A new history of Florida Baptists is now available. Here is an excerpt from a Florida Baptist Witness story:
….Favored Florida: A History of Florida Baptists Volume One 1784-1939 [is]—a beautiful, 466-page, full-color, page turner fit for every family’s coffee table, every pastor’s bookshelf, and every serious student’s desktop.
Replete with historic post cards, colorful sketches, helpful maps, sharp photographs, and lively anecdotes—about everything from how our Florida Baptist associations were organized, to the rationale behind the major schisms related to social and moral causes, to the founding of our state newspaper—the book has it all.
Florida’s first Baptist governors are featured, as are women who distinguished themselves in missions and ministry endeavors. E. H. Rennolds, Florida Baptists’ first historian has a well-deserved tribute.
Narratives explaining the building, development, and growth of key churches throughout the state establish the history as more than a rehashing of the Convention and its programs, but looks to personalities, churches, and movements. There is a listing of pioneer Florida Baptist churches and an appendix lists each state Convention annual meeting since the first in 1854–and includes the name of the president, executive secretary-treasurer, and others, until 2012.
A section on African-American Baptists talks about an assertion of “self-identity.” And it was the discovery by Hepburn of a group of Black Anabaptists that were recorded to be holding worship services in 1784 that determined the final title of the book….