Virginia E. Walker Broughton (March 1, 1856 – September 21, 1934) was an African American author and Baptist missionary. She was a known religious scholar and wrote articles for the National Baptist Union newspaper and National Baptist Magazine. As a prominent member of the Baptist church and National Corresponding Secretary of the National Baptist Convention, she worked to include the issues of African American religious women among the important components of the governing body of the denomination. Virginia was licensed as a Missionary and subsequently commissioned to the mission field. Her teaching, writing and preaching was popular among women and men alike.
Virginia (née Walker) Broughton was born on March 1, 1856, in Nashville, Tennessee to Nelson and Eliza (née Smart) Walker. The slave master of her father permitted him to work elsewhere, in order to earn enough money to purchase his family's freedom. After obtaining his freedom, he became an attorney, and was known as the first African American man admitted to the state bar in Davidson County, Tennessee. During her childhood, Broughton attended Fisk College and Normal Institute. In 1875, Broughton graduated with honors from Fisk University, from where she earned her teaching credentials. In 1878, she earned a Masters degree in teaching, also from Fisk. Broughton along with James Dallas Burrus, John Houston Burrus, and America W. Robinson were the first four students to enroll at Fisk in 1867 and upon graduation Broughton and the two Burrus' were the first African Americans to graduate from a liberal arts college south of the Mason-Dixon line. Broughton began teaching in the public schools in Memphis, Tennessee. She remained there until 1887, when she resigned and accepted a position with the B.B.N.&I. (Bible Bands) Institute in Memphis. Her position with the Institute was the official start of her missionary work. In August 1902, at the Woman's State Convention of Tennessee, she was elected to serve as the National Corresponding Secretary for the National Baptist Convention.
Broughton married Julius A. O. Broughton Sr. and together, they had five children, Elizabeth, Emma, Selina, Virginia, and Julius, Jr. Broughton died on September 21, 1934 from complications due to diabetes. Her husband died on December 4, 1930 from a stroke.
- Broughton, Virginia E. Walker (1895). A Brief Sketch of the Life and Labors of Mrs. V. W. Broughton, Bible Band Missionary, for Middle and West Tennessee.
- Broughton, Virginia E. Walker (1904). Woman's Work: As Gleaned from the Women of the Bible, and the Bible Women of Modern Times.
- Broughton, Virginia E. Walker (1907). Twenty Year's Experience of a Missionary.