Bruce T. Gourley was Executive-Director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society from 2010-2017.
An historian (Ph.D., Auburn University) and Internet innovator (creator and author of the Baptists and the American Civil War digital project, Yellowstone Net and Montana History Net), Bruce is the general editor of Baptist History & Heritage Journal, online editor for Baptists Today, editor of the Baptist Studies Bulletin, and the former Associate and later Interim Director of Mercer University’s former Center for Baptist Studies. In addition to Auburn University, Bruce holds degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Mercer University.
A Journey of Faith and Community: The Story of the First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia (Mercer University Press, August 2017) — A religious, sociological and cultural analysis of one of the most historically prominent churches of the American South.
Crucible of Faith and Freedom: Baptists and the American Civil War (Nurturing Faith, 2015) (review)
Baptists Today at 30: Enabling, Recording and Shaping a Baptist Movement (Nurturing Faith, 2013)
Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia During the Civil War (Mercer University Press, 2011) – a top seller in Amazon.com’s Baptist books category* (read reviews)
Images of America: Manhattan, Belgrade, Amsterdam and Churchill and Amsterdam (Montana) (Arcadia Publishing, 2011)
A Capsule History of Baptists (Fields Publishing, 2010)
Leading the Way For 200 Years: The Story of the First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Alabama, 1809-2009 (Fields Publishing, 2009)
The GodMakers: A Legacy of the SBC? (Providence House Publishers, 1996)
“John Clarke,” in Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage: Thirty Baptists Every Christian Should Know, Michael E. Williams Sr., editor (Mercer University Press, 2016)
Update of “The Baptist Tradition,” in Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices (Missoula, Mont.: Thomas Riggs & Company, 2014 edition)
“A Brief Survey of Four Centuries of Baptist Mission Quest,” in On Mission With God: Free and Faithful Baptists in the Twenty-First Century, Pamela E. Durso, editor (Atlanta, Ga.: Baptist History and Heritage Society, 2011)
“Baptist Models of Polity: An Historical Overview,” in Walking Together: The Struggle of Baptists with Polity in the 21st Century (Richmond, Va.: Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies, 2005)
SELECT PAPERS, ARTICLES, BOOK REVIEWS AND AWARDS
Bruce has authored over two thousand published papers and articles in print or digital form, including the select following related to Baptist history:
- Monthly articles, “Religion and American Presidents,” Baptists Today, 2015-present
- Daily articles, “Baptists and the American Civil War: In Their Own Words” Digital Project, 2011-2015 (read reviews)
- Monthly articles, “Baptists and the American Civil War,” Baptists Today, 2011-2015
- Editorials (Thrice annually), Baptist History & Heritage Journal, 2010-present
- Monthly editorials, Baptist Studies Bulletin, 2005-present
- “A Century Ago: Revisiting Henry Ford, Morality and the Baptists of 1914” Baptists Today (March 2014)
- “Tommy Douglas: Baptist Champion of Freedom,” The Whitsitt Journal (Fall 2009)
- “The Significance of Local Baptist Church History: The 200th Anniversary of the First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Alabama” – Baptist History and Heritage Journal (Summer/Fall 2009)
- “Celebrating 400 Years of Being Baptists,” A Series published by Baptist History and Heritage Society (2009)
- “The Discipline of Eating” – VISIONS, Georgia Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (June/July 2009)
- “Early English Baptists” – Baptist History and Heritage Journal (Winter 2009)
- “Old Wines in New Wineskins: the First Amendment and the Internet – Baptist History and Heritage Journal (Summer/Fall 2008)
- “Maybe It’s Time to Dust Off John Leland” – Baptist History & Heritage Journal (Spring 2008)
- “The Christian Index and the American Civil War” – Visions Journal (2007)
- “Politically Correct Baptists,” Virginia Baptists Committed Newsletter (Fall 2007)
- “How Do We Tell the Generations Following of What Happened?” – Logsdon Window Journal (2006)
- “These Days Are Fraught With Many Blessings: The World of Julia Stanford” – Visions Journal (2006)
- “The Baptist Light: Free and Fragile” – Baptist History and Heritage Journal (Winter 2006)
- “Baptist Missions in Recent Decades: Laity Involvement” – Baptist History & Heritage Journal (Spring 2006)
- “John Leland: Evolving Views of Slavery, 1789-1839” – Baptist History & Heritage Journal (Winter 2005)
He has published book reviews in the following periodicals:
- Journal of Religion
- Journal of Church and State
- Journal of Appalachian Studies
- Baptist Studies Bulletin
- Baptist History & Heritage
- Baptists Today / Nurturing Faith
In addition, Bruce is the recipient of the Baptist History & Heritage Society’s 2005 Carolyn Blevins Meritorious Service Award and the 2006 Norman W. Cox Award “For Best Article Published by the Baptist History and Heritage Society in 2005,” for his article entitled “John Leland: Evolving Views of Slavery, 1789-1839.”
CURRENT HISTORY ORGANIZATION AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
- American Historical Association
- American Society of Church History
- Baptist History and Heritage Society
- Fellowship of Baptist Historians
- Gallatin Historical Society
- Montana Historical Society
- Southern Historical Association
- Yellowstone Historic Center (board member, 2013 – present)
FORMER BOARD POSITIONS
- Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Coordinating Council
- Georgia Baptist Heritage Council
- Mainstream Alabama Baptists
- Yellowstone Country Montana
Bruce has spoken at many conferences and in local churches on subjects related to Baptist history and American religious history at large. He also is available to speak on Yellowstone National Park tourism and history. Current speaking topics include religion and the American Civil War, the contemporary religious landscape in America, religious liberty and church state separation. To contact Bruce for a speaking engagement, click here.
Bruce is also an award-winning, semi-professional photographer whose work has been widely published and is available for sale at Fine Art America.
Bruce lives near Bozeman, Montana with his wife, Debra, and daughter, Elizabeth. He currently serves on the Nominating Committee of the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and is a former moderator of CBF West. Prior to his work with the Center for Baptist Studies and Baptist History and Heritage Society, Bruce served as a campus minister for the Yellowstone Baptist Association in Billings, Montana, while teaching church history and New Testament at Yellowstone Baptist College in Billings.
He also enjoys being a father, hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, ultimate frisbee, and outdoor activities in general.
Bruce can be contacted by email or by phone (406-599-1754).
* Amazon.com rankings change constantly. Diverging Loyalties reached #8 in the Baptist books category on January 30, 2012.