[[SherlockHolmes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PreacherMan.jpg]]

A spiritual leader for the believers in a small community. In Westerns, the preacher is usually dressed semi-formally in a black broadcloth suit, and may sport a clerical collar, depending on denomination. (Many preachers will have "[[AmbiguouslyChristian no denomination given]]" for the broadest appeal.)

When played straight (or [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism idealistically]] if you happen to be a cynic), the preacher is a GoodShepherd, a force for reason and peace in the community. He usually understands that violence is an option the law has to take sometimes, but weighs heavily against it for civilians or for less-than-emergency situations. Don't think this makes the PreacherMan an easy target, though--when push comes to shove, they'll [[BadassPreacher fight]] for what's right with all their might. Even those who are [[ActualPacifist opposed to violence in all its forms]] can still [[BadassPacifist end a fight by putting themselves in the line of fire]], as few villains are either [[EvenEvilHasStandards impious enough to shoot a messenger of God]] or [[PragmaticVillainy stupid enough to shoot the one person in the town everyone would be willing to defend / avenge]].

Towns too small to have their own church may share a "circuit rider" with other communities in the same fix. Like the CircuitJudge, the circuit preacher moves from place to place on a schedule so that any necessary weddings, baptisms or general preachifyin' can take place once a month.

May come with a "preacher's wife", who is usually long-suffering. (Preachers weren't paid much in the WildWest, and had to work any time of day or night they were needed.) The [[PreachersKid son of a Preacher Man]] will most likely be either a saint or a devil.

Most often spotted at weddings, funerals and town meetings.

Watch out though, as many characters introduced as the Preacher Man are in fact a SinisterMinister or indulging in BadHabits to exploit the respect generally given a man of the cloth.

In terms of rank, the [[AuthorityTropes authority tropes]] arguably equal are BadassPreacher, CorruptCorporateExecutive, IrishPriest, {{Landlord}}, PedophilePriest, {{Schoolteachers}}, SexyPriest, SinisterMinister and TheVicar. For the next step down, see StudentCouncilPresident. For the next step up, see DeanBitterman.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Nicholas D. Wolfwood in ''{{Trigun}}'', although he owes more to the Preacher With No Name than to any particular church.
* Baskerville in ''EtCetera.''

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* [[{{Preacher}} Rev. Jesse Custer]].

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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead'' featured a preacher that was a RetiredGunfighter.
* [[Film/HotFuzz "Fuck off, Grasshopper!"]]
* Parodied (of course) by Reverend Johnson in ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. Among other things, he attempts to save Sheriff Bart from execution but desists when someone shoots a hole through his Bible.
* The Preacher With No Name, played by Creator/ClintEastwood in ''Film/PaleRider''. Armed with ImprobableAimingSkills.
* Reverend Kane from the second and third ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'' films. Leader of a ghost army who would stop at nothing to get to Carol Anne.
* Rev. Eli Sunday, the [[SinisterMinister corrupt]] teenage preacher from ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood''.
* In ''Film/DeadInTombstone'', the preacher of Edendale has turned to drink since the town has become the WretchedHive that is Tombstone. But he still does his best to tend to the spiritual needs of his flock, and apparently has a vision regarding the coming of Guerrero to cleanse the town.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* The little frontier town in ''CaddieWoodlawn'' had a circuit rider.
* David Grantland in ''Christy'' (the book and corresponding short-lived TV series) was a recent seminary graduate who tried to preach to an entire area poverty-stricken, uneducated residents of the Appalachians in 1912. His efforts were met with mixed reactions.
* Hakham Dawid is the spiritual leader for his small, five-person yeshiva in ''Literature/AWolfInTheSoul''.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'': The Rev. Robert Alden, who was not only a voice of reason, reassurance and understanding but an active part in the lives of everyone in Walnut Grove. Usually a pacifist, you did not want to make him angry -- as the Gallander brothers found out when they finally pressed their luck with him (and he learns that two of them had gang-raped Caroline Ingalls).
* Shepherd Book of ''Series/{{Firefly}}''. Who was also remarkably accurate with firearms. Are you seeing a trend here?
** River even ''calls'' him "preacher-man" while 'fixing' his Bible.
* Reverend Samuels of ''{{Kings}}'' plays PreacherMan to an entire kingdom.
* Father Mulcahy of ''Series/{{Mash}}''. Who was also an accomplished boxer, a go-between with the black market, and not opposed to raising orphanage money by gambling.

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[[folder: Music ]]

* "Reverend Mr. Black" by B.E. Wheeler & J. Peters is a song about a preacher facing down a lumberjack.
* The only one who could reach and teach DustySpringfield was the ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjydOI4MEIw Son]]'' of a PreacherMan. Worth mentioning.
** Don't forget [[ArethaFranklin Aretha]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD42WhNl9z0 Franklin]], and [[JossStone Joss]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBH8o8XXnVM Stone]], [[CoveredUp and...and...and...]].

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* A storyline in ''{{Latigo}}'' starting [[http://riphaywire.com/latigo/?p=3 here]] concerns an [[RetiredGunfighter ex-gunman]] who [[RetiredOutlaw goes straight]] after four years in prison, and becomes the preacher in the town of Rimfire. It originally ran in 1981.

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[[folder: Roleplay ]]

* Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG, Dr. Noomi Shaw is the closest person on the team to this sort of character. While not actually a priest, she does wear a cross and tries to use her faith as a means of comfort both for herself and those around her.

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* The Whitmans

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The horror-western RPG TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}} not only has these, but [[BadassPreacher some]] of them can perform [[WhiteMagic actual]] [[HolyHandGrenade miracles]]

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Matthieu in ''TheSpiritEngine''.
* Sanctus in ''Devil May Cry 4''.

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