2016’s most Influential Christians – (In sports, business and ministry)

Here is the list of 2016’s most influential Christians compiled by

This list was compiled by our team at Smart and Relentless. Each individuals listed were selected for the following:

– Transforming the lives of millions within their sphere of influence.

– Creating leaders from scratch and launching them to advance the gospel.

– Influential within the world of media.

2016 Influential - One

The List – Text version below 

1. Andrew Van Der Bijl – Founder of Open Doors

Credited for his unrelenting desire to preach the gospel around the world. Personally putting his life in danger. His ministry, Open Doors is responsible for aiding and passing out Bibles to persecuted Christians in over 50 countries.

Quote – “If your vision doesn’t scare you, then both your vision and your God are too small.”

2. Bob Fu – Founder of China Aid

Credited for his determination to fight for religious freedom in China, a communist nation.

Quote – “There’s one single fact that not a single copy of the Bible is allowed to be sold in any public bookstore in China.”

3. Franklin Graham – President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Credited for using his political influence to rally against the US governments agenda of removing God’s laws from the American constitution.

Quote – “We have taken God out of our education system. We have taken Him out of government. You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any public forum.”

4. Andrea Williams – Director Christian Concern and Christian Legal Centre

Credited for her vision and dedication towards seeing that United Kingdom returns to the Christian faith.

Quote – “When we abandon God’s laws we end up in the social, legal and moral chaos that the UK has currently found itself in.”

5. Christine Caine – Founder of the A21 Campaign

The Australian activist is credited for her determination in combating human trafficking and sex slavery globally with the A21 Campaign, a non-profit organization she founded in 2008.

Quote – “Compassion’s only compassion when you cross the street and go to someone. Too often, we confuse compassion with emotion.”

6. Dr Robert Jeffress, Jr – Pastor of First Baptist Church

Credited for consistently using his influence in mainstream media such as Fox News to speak against the unbiblical views in America.

Quote – “God has not called us to save America; He has called us to save Americans from the coming judgment of God by introducing them to faith in Jesus Christ.”

7. Pastor Brian Houston – Senior Pastor at Hillsong Church

Credited for his innovative evangelistic approach to ministry and contribution towards youth revival across the globe.

Quote – “Some people would say Hillsong is a ‘relevant’ church because of the music we sing and the ‘image’ we portray. But I have always said that relevance isn’t about the clothes you wear, but that ‘true relevance is measured by the distance between what you say and what you do.”

8. Pastor Sunday Adelaja – Pastor of the Embassy of God

We credit the Nigerian born Ukrainian based pastor for establishing thousands of ministries including soup kitchens and rehabilitation centres. More than 5,000 people have been set free from drug and alcohol addiction through the work the Embassy of God.

Quote – “We sometimes live in hope, thinking God will raise people. He could even use stones to accomplish His will. Beautiful! But why should God be looking for stones when there are millions of Christians sitting down on the pews in church?”

9. Pastor Ranjit Abraham – Founded New India Church of God

Credited for his fearless approach in spreading the gospel in India despite the threat of severe persecution.

Quote – “Our native missionaries have planted over 2200 churches in 22 States of India. The purpose of our Churches is to teach and make disciples of new believers in accordance with the Great Commission of Jesus and to prepare the Bride of Christ for His second coming.”

10. Nabeel Qureshi – Bestselling author and Christian apologist

The former devout Muslim is credited for his bravery in sharing his testimony of converting to Christianity, with a goal of leading those within the Islam religion to Christ.

Quote – “All suffering is worth it to follow Jesus. He is that amazing.”

11. Ravi Zacharias – Founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

Credited for his dedication towards evangelising and excellence in debating against those with opposing Christian views from Muslims to Atheists. The late Chuck Colson referred him as “the great apologist of our time.”

Quotes – “I’m a Christian apologist; I have apologetics built into me. The way God has hardwired me is to be Ravi Zacharias. And Ravi Zacharias will always be Ravi Zacharias. But there will be some more brilliant and capable apologists who will come after me.”

12. Jerry Falwell, Jr – President of Liberty University

Credited for his devotion in raising up the next generation of future leaders in Christ.

Quote – “The vision wasn’t to build only a Bible school, but to build a fully accredited liberal-arts university that would train men and women to influence the world for Christ through their vocation, not in spite of it.”

13. David Green – Businessman and founder of Hobby Lobby

Credited for faithfully using his financial resources to advance the gospel including funding several faith institutions such as Oral Roberts University.

Quote – “Our business is only a means to an end and our end is to try to affect lives for eternity.”

14. Phil Robertson – Founder of Duck Commander and reality Television star

Credited for using his celebrity status as a platform to speak against imposing the ungodly laws in the US constitution.

Quote – “We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

15. Mark Burnett – Television producer and President of MGM Television and Digital Group.

Credited for producing faith based hit TV Shows including the Bible series which received more than 100 million cumulative views.

Quote – “I’m a really noisy Christian, I go on major TV shows with my wife, which are secular shows and say absolutely we believe Jesus is the Son of God.”

16. John Ramirez – Founder John Ramirez Ministries

Credited for his commitment to winning souls for Christ by sharing his testimony on how Jesus redeemed him from his previous life as a high ranking satanic priest.

Quote – “If you’ve ever doubted the power of Jesus Christ, even for a moment, after hearing my story I am hopeful you’ll never do so again.”

17. Tim Tebow – American football quarterback

Credited for using his celebrity status to influence and lead his followers to Christ. In late 2015, Miss Universe winner Olivia Culpo ended the relationship with Mr. Tebow after he refused to have sex with her due to his Christian values in believing in sex after marriage.

Quote – “You and I were created by God to be so much more than normal….Following the crowd is not a winning approach to life. In the end it’s a loser’s game, because we never become who God created us to be trying to be like everybody else.”

18. Manny Pacquiao – World champion professional boxer and politician

The Filipino boxing champion is credited for boldly declaring his Christian faith and using his platform to bring many to Christ, predominantly those within the Philippines. Pacquiao is also involved in many charitable causes, he most recently donated thousands of free houses in his community.

Quote – “I changed when I heard the voice of God, and I can testify that there is a God. I saw two angels, white, long, big wings. I saw Paradise. God showed me about the end of time.”

19. Candace Cameron Bure – American actress and talk show panelist

Credited  for using her sphere of influence as a TV panelist to proclaim the message of salvation on secular platforms such as the Emmy award winning talk show, The View.

Quote – “I just pray that you will continue to say, man, I’m going to be a light in whatever industry I’m going to be in, and I’m going to make it a point to share my faith with whomever I’m around. Just like, me, that’s my goal, to whomever I’m working with I try to share my faith.”

20. Ray Comfort – Founder of Living Waters Publications and The Way of the Master

The New Zealand-born is credited for his devotion in raising evangelic leaders by leading by example.

Quote – “This life is the only hell believers will ever know. But for those who die in their sins, this is their only heaven.”

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Jesus Christ – Matthew 10:32-33


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      Alan Parker
      August 8, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Very insightful list, there are many people in the list that I was completely unaware of such as Bob Fu, Nabeel and many others.

      I will surely check them out.

      Thanks you

    2. Alex J
      August 9, 2016 at 2:14 am

      Great list.

      It would have been great to include the following:

      1. Bobby Gruenewald – YouVersion founder
      2. Glenn Beck
      3. Carl Lentz – Hillsong NYC
      4. Ray Lewis – Sportsman and activist

      Ross Andews
      August 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Manny Pacquiao 100% deserves to be on this list, he shows you that when you serve God and dont back down – new opportunities rise.

      Pacquiao now is in the Philippines senate.

    4. Guest Post
      August 15, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Thanks.This page led me to one awesome documentary on John Ramirez –

      Lindy Wise
      October 29, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      Glen Beck is a Mormon…not a Christian.