Bruce T. Gourley, BH&HS Executive Director Online @


December 2012 / Vol. 1 No. 4   

Baptist History &
Heritage Society
Partner Digest
A Brief Monthly Compilation of Society News

Working Together to Communicate Baptist Heritage and Strengthen Baptist Identity


The BH&HS partners with Baptist organizations & individuals to provide resources,
host conferences and lead seminars for the academy and local congregations.


New and Notable from the Baptist History & Heritage Society


Is the Baptist History & Heritage
Society in Your Year-End
Giving Plans?

10 Reasons it Should Be


1) It's a Miracle Baptists Exist Today!
King James in England and colonial leaders in America wanted to eradicate the heretical little sect known as Baptists, while few in the 17th century general public even knew Baptists existed. Baptists who?

2) Today It's a Miracle So Many People Call Themselves Baptists! The majority of American presidential campaigns from 1976 to the present have featured a Baptist as one of the major party's nominees. Other than politicians, maybe you've heard of some of these folks: Ralph Stanley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood, Whitney Houston, Louis Armstrong, Oswald Chambers, John Grisham, Tim LaHaye, Kevin Costner, Chuck Norris, Reggie White, Joe Frazier, and Bill Moyers. All Baptists, of course. Are Baptists the most diverse faith group in the world? Does my cat like salmon?

3) Baptists Are a Global People. The future of Baptists is in the South ... the Southern Hemisphere, that is: Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The BH&HS is international in scope, with members hearkening from many nations across the globe. Your gift to the Society contributes to the global Baptist witness.

4) Forgetting the Past is Costly. If you were to awake in the morning with no memories of anything prior to that moment, how would your life be impacted? So how much is your past worth? Does your church remember their past? And what would be the consequences if too many Baptists forgot their collective faith history, heritage and identity? The BH&HS produces and distributes resources for individuals and congregations. Your contribution assists the Society in helping Baptists remember and interpret their past, so that we can all move forward into an informed future.

5) Thomas Helwys and Tommy Douglas. Baptist laymen Helwys (1575-1616) sacrificed his life in England for the cause of religious liberty for future generations, while Baptist minister Douglas (1904-1986) was chosen by his fellow countrymen as "The Greatest Canadian" of all time, an honor that arose out of his commitment to living out the teachings of Jesus. (If you've not heard of Tommy Douglas, you owe it to yourself to Google him and then watch the movie). Helwys is a frequent subject in BH&HS publications, but Douglas deserves a biography focused on his life of faith. The Society would like to publish just such a volume, but we need funding to do so.

6) Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Lincoln's abolitionist convictions were formed in part by his upbringing in an anti-slavery Baptist congregation, a thread of his life you can read about in the Society's Baptists and the American Civil War project. King's witness and work finally brought about the freedom for black Americans that Lincoln had envisioned, a story the Society has explored in BH&H Journal articles and other publications. Who will be the next Baptist to stand tall in the public eye and further advance the love of neighbor that Jesus commanded?

7) Andrew Smith, Melody Maxwell, Nathan Finn and David King. Four of the newest, youngest, and brightest Baptist historians in America today, and all are members of the Baptist History & Heritage Society. If you don't know them, you should. You can meet them next year at the Society's annual conference in Richmond, Virginia, May 20-22, 2013.

8) Delane Tew, Bill Pitts and Bonnie Oliver Brandon. Behind every successful non-profit is a great team of officers. The BH&HS is creative and cutting-edge in its mission of communicating Baptist history, heritage and identity to Baptists and the world, and to Delane, Bill and Bonnie we all owe thanks.

9) 2013. Like most non-profits, the Baptist History & Heritage Society each year depends on the generosity of individuals. Your year-end gift will help us close out this year on firm footing and prepare for a new year of conferences and seminars, print publications (including an excellent history of the International Baptist Theological Seminary, due to be released in May), digital resources (the third year of the critically-acclaimed Baptists and the American Civil War project, and more), local church resources, historical research, advocacy work, and so much more.

10) You! How much are your Baptist convictions worth to you? Many Baptists of the past endured terrible persecution or made great sacrifices in order to pass along to you the convictions you hold dear. An investment in the BH&HS is an acknowledgement of how much your own Baptist convictions mean to you and to those you love, as well as a down payment on a future in which your Baptist convictions will thrive for generations to come.

Year-end gifts to the Baptist History & Heritage Society are tax-deductible and may be made online by clicking on the button to the right:



Or you may postal mail a check to:
Baptist History & Heritage Society
151 Broadleaf Drive
Macon, Georgia 31210

Notes About Society Members and Supporters
November gifts were received from the following persons, institutions, organizations and churches: The BH&HS is appreciative of recent gifts from Martha Bailey (OR), Virginia Chancellor (FL), David R. Cook (GA), Eldonna Deweese (MO), Warren C. Fields (GA), Klein and Karen Gilhousen (MT), Hardin-Simmons University (TX), Glenn Jonas (NC), Harvey Park Baptist Church (CO), Nelda Kent (AZ), Wanda Kidd (NC), Bill Malone (OK), Morgan Nelson (NM), Mrs. Morgan Patterson (CA), Bill Pitts (TX), Walter and Kay Shurden (GA), Joseph W. A. Whitehorne (VA), Winnie and Woodie Williams (SC), and Yellowstone Theological Institute (MT).

Gift Memberships: Thank you, Eva Long, for gifting membership in the BH&HS to a number of your friends in November. Gift membership subscriptions in the Society are a unique Christmas present for the Baptists in your family, church, or Bible study circles. Membership renewals and gift memberships can be purchased online.

Upcoming Society & Partner Happenings
Society Director's Notes:
  • Paper proposals for the 2013 BH&HS Conference in Richmond (see below) are due by December 19. (Paper proposal submission information)
  • In the month of November Bruce spoke in churches and at conferences in Montana, Georgia and South Carolina. In the spring, he will be available to speak at churches in the Southeast in the months of March and April. Email Bruce for more information.  

Baptist History & Heritage Journal: The fall edition of the BH&H Journal will be postal mailed in the middle of this month.

Do you have a Baptist question?: The national Baptist news journal, Baptists Today, is currently publishing a monthly column that highlights the work of the Baptist History & Heritage Society. Entitled "Good Question," the column offers answers to questions that persons on the street may have about Baptists. If you have a question you'd like to see answered, contact Bruce.

Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness: Religion and the Civil War,
Emancipation and Reconciliation in our Time
, BH&HS annual conference, May 20-22, 2013, University of Richmond and Virginia Union University. Co-sponsored with the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and the Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies. Featured Speakers are Harry S. Stout (Yale Divinity School), Edward L. Ayers (University of Richmond), and Andrew M. Manis (Macon State University). Conference information and registration.

Your Donation Helps Ensure Baptists' Future
"America's greatest gift to civilization." (Baptist minister and attorney Oliver Thomas in a USA Today column, describing the First Amendment of the United States, itself largely a gift from Baptists to the world.)
Our four-centuries old Baptist identity of freedom of conscience, volunteer faith, religious liberty, and church state separation points the way to a healthy future for America and the world. The story of our Baptist past is good news for tomorrow. The Baptist History & Heritage Society is leading the way in communicating the story of Baptists and strengthening Baptist identity, but we need your help in fulfilling this important task now and in the days and years to come.

The BH&HS cannot fulfill its mission without donations from Baptists like you. Your donations are tax-deductible. Send your check to BH&HS, 151 Broadleaf Drive, Macon, GA, 31210 or donate online.

Contact Information
  • Bruce Gourley, Executive Director: email or 406-599-1754
  • Jackie Riley, Office Manager: email or 406-600-7433
  • Delane Tew, President: email
  • Bill Pitts, Vice-President: email
  • Bonnie Oliver-Brandon, Secretary: email
  • Postal Mail: 151 Broadleaf Drive, Macon, GA, 31210

Baptist History & Heritage Society Officers