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


January 2013 / Vol. 2 No. 1   

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




Adopt a Congregation
Empower a Congregation to Value,
Learn and Teach Baptist Identity

For all the talk of a post-denominational age, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 Baptist churches in America today. In much of the country, if you've been out and about driving around today, you likely passed one or more Baptist churches. Befitting the enormous scale of the Baptist presence in America, Baptists are undoubtedly the most diverse religious group in the nation. The Baptist story is that of Gospel-driven freedom of conscience that allows tremendous diversity within the family of faith.

Despite the proliferation of Baptist churches, awareness of Baptist identity is no longer commonplace in many Baptist congregations. Although the BH&HS provides a wide range of printed resources targeted at local churches, our budget is not sufficient for reaching all Baptist congregations in the United States (much less the many more tens of thousands worldwide).

You can help by adopting a congregation in the United States. A designated gift of $100 will provide a bundle of printed materials (books, booklets and brochures), retailing for at least $200, to the church of your choice. Does your church, or another in your community, need materials for a study on Baptist heritage and identity? A gift of $500 will provide resources for 5 congregations; a gift of $1000 will provide resources for 10 congregations; a gift of $5000 will provide resources for 50 congregations, and so forth. Should you have no preference as to the identity of the church or churches you would like to support, the Society will select a congregation(s) on your behalf.

Make a difference in the life of a Baptist congregation today. Click here to adopt a congregation. (With your donation, include the name and address of the congregation or congregations you would like to support.)


Religion and the War for Freedom: A Conference for the Ages
Richmond, Virginia
May 20-22, 2013


The annual meeting of the Baptist History & Heritage Society is shaping us as the largest and most significant conference the Society has ever put together. In conjunction with the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and the Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies, we are exploring the theme of "Faith, Freedom and Forgiveness: Religion and the Civil War, Emancipation and Reconciliation in Our Time." Hosted by the University of Richmond and Virginia Union University and timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War,

The Fall of Richmond, Harpers Weekly, April 1865

the conference explores the role of religion during the war for freedom and the 150 years that have followed. Renowned Civil War historians Harry S. Stout (Yale Divinity School) and Edward L. Ayers (University of Richmond) are headlining the conference. Black and white Baptist and other religious leaders from Richmond and Washington, D.C. will be making presentations on Racial Reconciliation. The program includes tours of Civil Rights museums and special lunch and dinner events. Pre-conference events include tours of Civil War battlefields and special Sunday programs in churches throughout Richmond. If you attend only one religious history conference in 2013, this is the one you don't want to miss! Click here to view the conference program and to register.
Notes About Society Members and Supporters
December Gifts: The BH&HS express gratitude for recent gifts from: Patricia Ayers (TX), Judy D. Barking (UT), Baylor University, Ira Birdwhistell (KY), Randall Bradley (TX), Paul Brewer (TN), Gary Burton (AL), CBF North Carolina, James Carter (LA), Toni Clevenger (FL), David R. Cook (GA), Dan Day (NC), Lloyd Elder (TN), Harry and Margaret Eskew (GA), June Rose Garrott (KY), Bruce T. Gourley (MT), Felix V. Greer (MS), Wayne and Sally Hannah (VA), Harvey Baptist Church (CO), Barry W. Jones (KY), Clarence R. Lassetter (KY), Robert D. Linder (KS), Robert and Sara Merrill (LA), Richard V. Pierard (NC), Jackie Riley (GA), Royce Rose (TX), Drayton and Mary Etta Sanders (GA), Rufus B. Spain (TX), Joseph and Deborah Super (WV), Ron Tonks (TN), Doug Weaver (TX), and Carol Woodfin (TX).
Upcoming Society & Partner Happenings
Society Director's Notes:
  • The 30th anniversary of BH&HS partner Baptists Today is this year. Bruce is writing a Baptists Today 30th history volume, to be unveiled April 25th at a special anniversary celebration hosted by the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Georgia. More information.
  • Registration is now open for the 2013 annual BH&HS conference in Richmond, Virginia, May 20-22.
  • 24 paper presentations focused on topics of religion and Civil War, Emancipation and racial reconciliation are slated for the BH&HS annual conference.
  • The third year of the Baptists and American Civil War project began this month.
  • Bruce will be visiting churches in Georgia, Florida and Alabama during the months of March and April.

Baptist Studies Bulletin: Would you like to contribute to a future edition of the Baptist Studies Bulletin? Contact Bruce for more information.

University of Oxford: The Angus Library of Regents Park College of Oxford University has secured almost 500,000 of funding to digitize its Baptist collection. The sum was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Baptist Union Newington Court and will be used to digitize books, pamphlets, journals, church records and letters in the Angus Library collection. The library houses over 70,000 items that chronicle the life and history of Baptists. The digitization project will provide valuable teaching resources for secondary schools, lectures, and exhibitions. More information.

Your Donation Helps Ensure Baptists' Future
"What need to be the primary factors that shape our identity moving forward?" (David Hull, chair of the 2012 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Task Force, noting that much of the feedback received by the Task Force in 2011 had to do with questions of "identity.")
The question of Baptist identity is increasingly pondered by Baptists of all theological persuasions. Who are we? Who shall we be? The Baptist History & Heritage Society helps equip Baptists to question and understand the dynamics of the Baptist faith. Our resources help Baptists learn, value and teach Baptist heritage and identity. But we cannot do this important work and ministry alone. We need your help. Please consider supporting the Baptist History & Heritage Society.

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