Bachelor, Mississippi College, 1932. Doctor of Divinity, Mississippi College, 1948. Master of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1935.
Ordained to ministry of Baptist Church, 1930, pastor Boston, 1932-1933, Beaver Dam, 1933-1938, Ripley, Tennessee, 1938-1940, Clinton, Mississippi, 1940-1942, First Baptist Church, Brookhaven, 1942-1946, Belmont Heights, Nashville, 1946-1950, Abilene, Texas, 1950-1953. Executive secretary, treasurer Baptist Sunday School Board, Nashville, 1953-1973, president, 1973-1975. With Broadman Press, 1953-1975.
Executive secretary Convention Press, 1955-1975. President Southern Baptist Convention, 1977.
Trustee Union University, Cumberland University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Hardin-Simmons University, Midstate (Tennessee) Baptist Hospital, Hendrick Memorial Hospital, Texas. Chairman long-range planning committee City of Nashville. Member Baptist World Alliance (executive committee 1953-1980, vice president 1970-1975).
Clubs: Rotary (Ripley, Tennessee). Lions (Brookhaven, Mississippi). Kiwanis (Abilene, Texas).
Married Velma Scott, October 22, 1935. Children: Mary Beth (Mistress Bob R. Taylor), Martha Lynn (Mistress James M. Porch, Junior), James David.