THE BAPTIST STUDIES BULLETIN
"A Monthly Emagazine, Bridging Baptists Yesterday and
Vol. 3 No. 5
Produced by The Center for
Baptist Studies, Mercer University
Walter B. Shurden, Executive Director and Editor, The
Baptist Studies Bulletin
Bruce T. Gourley, Associate Director, The Center for Baptist Studies
Wil Platt, Associate Editor, The Baptist Studies
Robert Richardson, Coordinator, Mercer Certificate Program
in Baptist Studies
|Table of Contents
Table of Contents:
I Believe . . . : Walter B. Shurden
"Tacky, Tacky, Tacky"
The Baptist Soapbox: Bruce T. Gourley
"BWA Withdrawal Part of SBC Leaders' Anti-Baptist Agenda"
Emails from Baptists around the World:
Franciso "Paco" Rhodes
"Baptists in Cuba"
Baptists, the Bible, and the
Most Difficult Word for Baptists To Say"
Spirit: Strengths and Challenges: Charles
Themes in Baptist Origins"
Church and State
Doesn't Justify State-Sponsored Prayer at Public Schools"
Websites: Greg Thompson
History and Heritage"
A Note to Our Readers:
Walter B. Shurden
To change/add/delete your
email for the Baptist Studies Bulletin
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"Tacky, Tacky, Tacky"
By Walter B. Shurden
I believe . . .
that God's people have a long, long history
of compassion, Christ-likeness and fairness. But, on the other hand, God's
people can be tacky, can't we?
Will Campbell, the inimitable and eccentric Baptist from my home state of
Mississippi, has ended up on the right side of most moral issues
throughout his ministry. As I've heard the story (all "Will" stories, like
much of the Bible, are true even if they never happened!), Will once
debated another Christian minister at Florida State University on the
issue of capital punishment. Will took his usual minority position. He was
opposed. The other guy got up first. He harangued and hollered about evil
people and the need for killing them. When it came Will's turn to speak,
he waited for a few minutes in his chair, finally got up, hobbled to the
microphone and, after a long pause, said, "Tacky, tacky, tacky." He turned
and went back to his chair. At times, "tacky, tacky, tacky" is enough of a
A debate is brewing
in Floyd County Baptist Association in Rome, Georgia, over whether an
autonomous Baptist church can have a female as a co-pastor. North Broad
Baptist Church, exercising their Baptist privilege, called Katrina and
Tony Brooks as co-pastors some time back. And now the Floyd County Baptist
Association wants to hang the 2000 noose of the Baptist Faith and Message
around the churches of the association in order to have a reason to
exclude North Broad from the association. You will recall that the
fundamentalist leadership of the SBC led the SBC to revise the Statement
of the Baptist Faith and Message in 2000 so as to creedalize it and,
therefore, to be able to exclude churches who have female pastors. "Tacky,
When the Floyd County Baptist Association flexes its confused orthodox and
biblical muscles to save God's kingdom from the onslaught of a female
pastor, it is altogether within its legal rights. Like North Broad Baptist
Church, the association is autonomous and self-governing. Baptist
associations have the legal right to exclude churches on the basis of ANY
criteria they wish. But legal authority is neither as powerful nor as
Christian as moral authority.
Beyond North Broad
Baptist Church's legal authority, an authority rooted in Baptist history
and polity to call whom they please to be pastor, that church additionally
has the moral authority on its side of acting Christ-like. Apartheid in
South Africa and slavery and segregation in America were all legal; they
were also all immoral. Baptist associations can act both legally and
immorally at the same time. They quite often have done so in Baptist
history. By the way, who can name the last time a Baptist association
acted prophetically in Baptist life?
When the Floyd County Baptist Association takes its pathetic little stand
for so-called biblical righteousness, what can we say but "tacky, tacky,
tacky." And I have a prediction: within less than a hundred years, this
association, others like it, and the SBC will act toward women in ministry
the way the SBC fortunately acted toward African Americans a few years
back - they will repent! They will repent of acting legally but immorally.
But the leadership of the Floyd County Baptist Association does not have a
monopoly on Baptist life in Georgia, even today. The same week I read
about the action of the Floyd County Baptist Association, I worshipped at
my home church, The First Baptist Church of Christ at Macon, Georgia (I
love the name!), on Sunday morning, May 2. Sandra Adams read the
scripture. Of the twenty deacons who walked up and down the aisles of our
church and choir, serving bread and cup to remind us whose we are and why,
ten of them were named Susan Broome, Mary Jane Johnson, Connie Jones (our
church's chair of deacons), Maxine Keoughan, Caroline Kicklighter, Carolyn
Martin, Suzy McCullough, Beverly Penley, Elaine Vasquez, and Doris
Williams. The ten male deacons graciously served alongside them. "Classy!
The Baptist Soapbox:
Invited guests speak up and out on things Baptist (therefore, the views
expressed in this space are not necessarily those of The Baptist
Studies Bulletin, though sometimes they are). Climbing upon the
Soapbox this month is the new Associate Director of the Center for Baptist
Studies, Bruce T. Gourley. I will say more about Bruce in a
"BWA Withdrawal Part of SBC Leaders' Anti-Baptist
By Bruce T. Gourley
In October, the fundamentalist leadership of the
Southern Baptist Convention quietly decided to pull the SBC out of the
Baptist World Alliance. In December, they made their decision public,
citing liberalism within the BWA. The BWA promptly refuted the charge of
liberalism, exposing the lies of Southern Baptist leaders. Baptist leaders
from Russia, Poland, Romania, Great
Britain, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Germany,
France, Bulgaria, South Africa, Ukraine, Italy, Sri Lanka, Malaysia,
India, Bangladesh, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and other Latin
American nations, not to mention the United States, have publicly
criticized the Southern Baptist Convention.
To longtime observers of
the twenty-five year fundamentalist makeover of the Southern Baptist
Convention, the departure from the BWA comes as no surprise. Southern
Baptists' fundamentalist leaders have long been marching the SBC out the
door of Baptist life and onto the threshold of their own little kingdom.
Core Baptist principles are systematically being discarded in place of
policies designed to shore up the new fundamentalist order. The Priesthood
of all Believers has been dismantled and replaced with strict pastoral
authority. Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State have been
jettisoned in favor of the myth of America as a Christian nation. The
Authority of Scripture has been buried under layers of creedalism, of
which the frosting on the cake is the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
Faith in Christ alone now plays second fiddle to homage to the BF&M 2000.
Local Church Autonomy has been rejected in favor of Roman Catholic-like,
In short, Southern
Baptists' fundamentalist leaders have been intentionally dismantling the
"Baptist" in Southern Baptist Convention for more than two decades. In its
place they have been crafting a southern coalition of inerrantist-spouting,
right-wing Republican Party-loyal evangelicals which now reaches
throughout the nation. This far-reaching coalition which the SBC is
morphing into has one central goal: to save the world by regulating family
life and purifying doctrine, an agenda outlined last summer in the
Empowering Kingdom Growth initiative (http://www.sbc.net/ekg).
Read the EKG materials closely on the website, and you will notice that it
is a global, non-denominational initiative designed to lead theologically
and politically conservative evangelicals in creating a male-dominated,
fundamentalist Christian world order. In light of EKG, there simply is no
place at the table for the diverse, spiritually-minded, servant-oriented
Baptist World Alliance.
Guilty of ongoing,
blatant violations of the Ten Commandments and Jesus' own commands, SBC
leaders' claims of purity ring hollow. Furthermore, SBC leaders have no
interest in being "Baptist." Their commitment is to their own agenda,
their loyalty to their own kingdom. And although the BWA will be better
off without dictatorial SBC leadership, millions of Southern Baptists in
the pews, deceived by the lies of their leaders, are blindly being led
away from the Baptist faith into religious-political legalism. It is only
right that Baptists throughout the world stand up in protest of the lies
and deception. But in the end, it is only biblical that the Baptist World
Alliance refuse to betray the legacy of Baptists by embracing the false
gospel of legalism.
Table Of Contents
Emails From Baptists Around the World:
An Email on Baptists in Cuba Today.
Francisco "Paco" Rhodes, who wrote this
article, directs Baptist Studies and teaches Latin American Church History
at the ecumenical Evangelical Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba. With a D.
Min. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, he is responsible
for theological education in the Fraternity of Cuban Baptist Churches.
Baptists in Cuba"
Francisco "Paco" Rhodes
The presence of the Baptists in Cuba can be traced
back to the year of 1886. The first believers were baptized during the
night on the Havana shore. Under the energetic leadership of Alberto J.
Díaz, they organized the Gethsemane Baptist Church. In those times the
country was under the colonial Spaniard domination, and the majority of
the Baptists, included Alberto J. Diaz, were sympathizers or collaborators
with the patriot party.
In fact, when the liberation war erupted, Díaz was imprisoned, and
sentenced to be shot. The intervention of the US authorities prevented his
execution and he was exiled to Florida. After the end of the war in 1898,
he returned and found that the Church had survived the troubles of the
war. The Americans governed the country for four years, and this provided
opportunity for the American missionary agencies to enter Cuba. But much
of the authority and power became concentrated in the hands of the
missionaries. The patriotism of Díaz caused tensions with the
missionaries, and eventually he quit the Baptist ranks.
The Baptists missionaries from America brought to
Cuba the existing divisions among Baptists in the Unites States. The
Southern Baptist Convention occupied the western part of the island
through the Home Mission Board. The Northern Baptist Convention took the
eastern area. While the Baptist churches of Cuba did not increase rapidly
in the twentieth century, the churches stabilized and reached most of the
towns and cities. The Eastern Convention put special emphasis on
educational ministry and rural work, planting many peasant churches,
including the constituency of rural immigrant workers such as the Haitians
and Jamaicans. When the ecumenical movement emerged in the forties, the
eastern Baptists were among the most enthusiastic.
The Western Baptist
Convention established an aggressive evangelistic program, conducted to
gain the most industrial cities and the middle classes. Both conventions
organized their own seminaries, summer camps, and publications, developing
strong institutional identities.
In the decade of the
forties the Free Will Baptists started their work in Cuba, mainly in the
extreme provinces of the west. Their growth has been gradual, but they
have established some rural churches and a seminary.
The Revolution of 1959:
The Revolution in 1959 created a crisis for Cuban Baptists. When the
socialistic ideology of the Cuban revolutionary leaders became public and
the conflict with the US government followed, more than the seventy
percent of the Baptist pastors of the Western Convention opted for exile
in Florida. Many Church members of the western churches left as well.
However, the majority of the Baptists in the east remained in Cuba.
The evangelical churches in
Cuba were unprepared for the challenge of such radical social change.
Tensions with the new government increased. The introduction of dogmatic
Marxist manuals from the Soviet Union, containing an antireligious
outlook, made dialogue between Baptists and the new political forces much
more difficult. The tendency among the evangelicals, including the
Baptists, was to insulate themselves within the walls of the Church.
Defending themselves against the accusation of being an institution allied
with the American government, evangelicals sought with difficulty to
The decade of the seventies
brought a more relaxed trend in Church-State relations. It was clear that
the churches were not to be closed, in spite of the discrimination. The
facilities of the churches were respected. The 1974 constitution of Cuba
endorsed religious freedom under some limitations.
Emerging new answers:
A new generation of Baptist believers faced the challenges of the time
with new vision. The impact of the sixties, with the Martin Luther King
assassination, the awakening of a social conscience among many Christians
around the world, and the appearance of the liberation movement in Latin
American, could not be ignored by Baptist youth in Cuba. So in 1974 a
movement emerged created by students and young pastors from both
Conventions. Called the Coordination of Baptist Workers and Students, it
focused on the social responsibility of the Christians.
The new generation needed to be
nurtured with a theology that could equip them for a positive presence in
the society and the world. This movement had its highlight in the Summer
Camp for the Social Responsibility of the Christian, a gathering that
brought together hundreds of young people to reflect on and discuss the
Christian's role in social changes. The combination of biblical reflection
on the one hand and dialogue with the Marxist on the other resulted in a
change of mind among the communists.
This new attitude laid the foundation
for the emergence of the Fraternity of Cuban Baptist Churches (1989). The
fraternity brought a renewed style to the churches. This renewed style
sought to incarnate in the middle of the Cuban culture an autonomous
church, open both to the ecumenical movement, the affirmation of women's
rights to ordination, and to liturgical renewal.
decade of the twentieth century brought to the world unexpected events.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialistic system in Eastern
Europe pulled the small island of Cuba into a dramatic crisis. The
unparalleled economic situation had the effect of a devastating
earthquake, imposing daring challenges. The country was alone in a world
of competition, with an increasing hostility from the US administration.
A depressed feeling of hopelessness
dominated many of the Cubans, and they did not envision any future. Many
talented young people opted for emigration. The churches assumed the
diakonic spirit of service, offering humanitarian assistance and calling
for solidarity in world. Especially important was the collaboration of the
churches in ministry in the fields of medicine and food.
changes in the Constitution of 1991 eliminated all kind of religious
discrimination, and opened unimaginable opportunities for the spreading of
the gospel. The people of the nation were thirsty for inspiration and
hope, and they began returning to the several religions in the country.
Places of worship became packed with new believers. The Baptists and
Pentecostals grew the most among the Christian churches. Thousands of new
places of worship were opened, including houses, garages and yards.
During the nineties the membership among evangelicals increased two
This huge wave of new
people into the churches brought great enthusiasm, but they were without
any Christian background. As one would expect, this situation offered
challenges and opportunities but also risks. The opportunity today is to
build a new Church without the hostility of the past. The danger, however,
is that the new religious enthusiasm may be void of a deep biblical and
theological foundation, thus becoming the spawning ground for all kinds of
We pray for the best.
The following information describes the size of the four Baptists groups
Western Baptist Convention
Churches ......................... 205
Seminary students................. 40
(Baptist Seminary in Havana)
Eastern Baptist Convention
Seminary students............... 60
(Baptist Seminary in Santiago de Cuba)
Free Will Baptists
Seminary Students................. 12
(FreeWill Baptist Seminary in La Palma)
Cuban Baptist Churches
Seminary Students................. 15
(In Evangelical Seminary of Matanzas and the Biblical University of Costa
Marco Antonio Ramos, Panorama del Protestantismo en Cuba, Miami,
Editorial Caribe, 1986.
Table Of Contents
|Baptists Bible and Poor
Baptists, The Bible, and
the Poor: Charles E. Poole is a
Baptist minister with Lifeshare Community Ministries out of Jackson,
Mississippi where he delights in ministering alongside the poor. "Chuck"
Poole, a provocative preacher and servant pastor, served Baptist churches
for twenty-five years. Among the churches he has served are First Baptist
Church, Macon, GA, First Baptist Church, Washington, DC, and Northminster
Baptist Church, Jackson, MS.
"The Most Difficult Word for Baptists to Say"
Charles E. Poole
"Enough is so vast a sweetness, I suppose it
never occurs." Rarely has the pervasive problem of discontentment been
captured more clearly than it is in that sentence from Emily Dickinson.
"Enough" can be a hard word to say. "I have enough." "Our life is
comfortable enough." "Our things are nice enough." Syllables such as those
can be hard to pronounce. The Belle of Amherst was right: "Enough is so
vast a sweetness, I suppose it never occurs."
Of course, it might help if the
church would lead the way. Individual believers might stand a better
chance of growing into Christian contentment if the church would lead the
way by saying something shocking, such as, "The buildings we have are big
enough." "The facilities we own are nice enough." "The parking we use is
convenient enough." Then, at least, people would have an example of
contentment from which to learn.
And what does all that have to do
with "Baptists, The Bible and The Poor?" Baptist churches keep spending
millions upon millions of dollars on church facilities because we think
that what we have isn't nice enough or big enough to draw a crowd and keep
a crowd. (Isn't it odd that we actually think we need convenient and
comfortable facilities to attract people to a gospel that calls them to
deny themselves and take up a cross?) And while churches keep building
bigger buildings, school kids try to do homework in houses where the
lights keep getting turned off and adults keep losing jobs because they
can't get transportation, and families in other nations keep burying
babies who have starved to death.
I know the standard Baptist answer to
all the above: "But if we build bigger, nicer buildings we'll get more
folks in and that will enable us to give more to what really matters."
But the truth is, not really. What really happens is that bigger, nicer
buildings bring bigger, nicer utility bills, insurance bills, debt
payments, cleaning costs and maintenance expenses.
What we need is for Baptist churches
to learn how to pronounce that most difficult of all words to say:
"Enough! We are comfortable enough at this church, and we have more
important things to do with our money than to make ourselves a little more
comfortable a few hours a week. And anyway, we are Baptists. And Baptists
are big on the Bible. And the Bible says, 'Those who have much should not
have too much, so that those who have little will not have too little'
(II Corinthians 8:13-15).'"
Needless to say, this is not as
simple on the street as it is on the page. I have spent twenty-five years
as a Baptist pastor resisting bricks and mortar for theological reasons
before buying bricks and mortar for practical reasons. It's tough work. On
the one hand, you resist the expenditure of church dollars on land and
buildings because the church's Lord said, "Sell your possessions and give
the proceeds to the poor," which is the opposite of acquiring, obtaining
and expanding the church's holdings. On the other hand, incredibly
important things happen in church buildings that don't happen anywhere
else, making space and place not only significant but sacred. So, none of
this is simple. Here is a small answer, a modest proposal for Baptist
churches in a hurting world: Start with the assumption that when it comes
to building church buildings, we will do as much as necessary and as
little as possible. We will do only what we must, not all that we can, so
that when it comes to the poor, we'll have enough money to do all that we
can, not just what we must.
The Baptist Spirit: Strengths and Challenges Charles W. Deweese, Executive Director-Treasurer
of the Baptist History and Heritage Society, writes this section of
BSB. An articulate and passionate Baptist, He identifies the
historic Baptist Spirit in America. |
"Dimensions of Baptist Sacrifice"
Charles W. Deweese
King James I released his Bible in 1611.
Baptists also released an important writing that year. Titled "A
Declaration of Faith of English People Remaining at Amsterdam in Holland,"
written by Thomas Helwys, this document can be "rightly judged the first
English Baptist Confession of Faith," according to church historian
William L. Lumpkin - Baptist Confessions of Faith (rev. ed.;
Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1969), 115. Lumpkin included this 27-article
confession on pages 116-23 of his book. What these first Baptists said
about freedom in their first statement of faith can instruct the Baptist
confession's title suggests freedom. A small group of English Separatists
had gone to Amsterdam to find and exercise religious liberty. Driven by
soul competency and liberty of conscience, this body of Christians chose
to become Baptists in 1608-09 by adopting believer's baptism.
13, and 14 exhibit the power of voluntarism in believer's baptism and
church constitution and membership. The church consists of "faithful
people separated from the world by the word & Spirit of GOD being knit
unto the LORD, & one unto another, by Baptism. Upon their own confession
of the faith and sins." Such baptism "in no wise appertaineth to infants."
Articles 11, 19, 20, and 21 express the freedom of the local church to
worship, to choose its own officers (including women), and to perform all
essential church functions if officers are not present. "Officers are to
be chosen . . . by Election and approbation of that Church or congregation
whereof they are members." In addition to elders (pastors), the officers
also include "Deacons Men, and Women." If a church does not yet have
officers or if the church's "Officers should be in Prison, sick, or by any
other means hindered from the Church," church members "may and ought, when
they are come together, to Pray, Prophesy, break bread, and administer in
all the holy ordinances." Calling for the exercise of the priesthood of
all believers, this confession shows that ordination is not a requirement
for any of these church functions.
While urging the
church to continue on in freedom even if its "Officers should be in
Prison," little did Helwys, later the first Baptist pastor in England,
know that King James would later put him in prison because of Helwys's
powerful defense of religious liberty for all in his masterful work A
Short Declaration of the Mistery of Iniquity (1612). The freedom
impulse among early Baptists often resulted in persecution; ironically,
this persecution then fed the freedom impulse.
Articles 12 and 22
highlight the freedom inherent in local church autonomy. Articles 17-18
affirm the freedom of a church to exercise discipline over its members,
including excommunication. Article 23 lays out the freedom (and duty) to
search the Scriptures, "for they testify of CHRIST" and contain "the Holie
Word of GOD, which only is our direction in all things whatsoever."
NOTE: I have updated the English and eliminated Scripture passages in the
|Church And State
Baptists in America
and Church State Issues:
a column on hot
button issues related to religion and government written by K. Hollyn
Hollman, General Counsel, The Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs,
"History Doesn't Justify State-Sponsored Prayer
at Public Schools"
By K. Hollyn Hollman
The U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to
review a court decision holding the Virginia Military Institute's supper
prayers unconstitutional. Virginia's attorney general decried the
decision, citing the long tradition of the practice and claiming that such
prayers are part of "the fabric of society." The case reminds us that
history alone does not determine constitutionality.
had challenged the school's policy of requiring students to stand quietly
during an invocation led by a senior student before meals. The practice,
at a state-run institution, they argued, violated the Constitution's ban
on laws respecting an establishment of religion. Two lower courts agreed,
finding that students could not be compelled to participate in
state-sponsored religious exercise.
While the long
history of the VMI practice did not save it, the historical argument has
some validity in the Court's jurisprudence, at least in a limited context.
In the 1983 decision of Marsh v. Chambers, the Supreme Court upheld
prayers by a legislative chaplain at the opening session of the Nebraska
legislature. The Court noted that Congress has opened its sessions with
prayer without interruption for almost 200 years and that a similar
practice has been followed for more than a century in Nebraska and many
other states. It stated that in light of the history, such practice "has
become part of the fabric of our society" and that the First Amendment
should not be interpreted to bar the practice. The decision, however, made
plain that "historical patterns, standing alone, cannot justify
contemporary violations of constitutional guarantees."
thus does not hold that official prayers in other contexts, such as
schools, even those with a longstanding tradition are constitutional. The
case has typically been limited to the facts of prayers before
legislatures or other governmental forums despite various attempts to
characterize challenged religious expressions as being a part of "the
fabric of society."
In general, voluntary prayer is
constitutional, state-sponsored prayer is not. Still, I know that some
will fail to see this important distinction and ask: "Why can't they
pray?" or "What's wrong with students praying together?" The answers to
these questions are easy. The students can pray - they just can't be
compelled to do so by school policy. That distinction is crucial to
protect the religious liberty of all students. There is nothing wrong with
students praying together before meals, but there is something wrong with
the state telling them how to do so. Those who bemoan the end of VMI's
supper prayer tradition should be heartened by the possibility of a new
tradition that may emerge - student prayer that is voluntary, unscripted,
and consistent with the religious freedom that is truly the fabric of
Are you a Baptist Minister
interested in a week-long sabbatical of supervised
reading in Baptist Studies?
here for more detail.
Table Of Contents
|Helpful Web Sites for Baptist
by Greg Thompson |
Site of the Month: Baptist History and Heritage Society
In the course of planning special events and
services for Baptist churches, such as homecomings, anniversary
celebrations, Founders Days or other designated days to remember, we are
always looking for good resources, aren't we? Such days are not only popular
with church members, they are also exciting times to remember and to educate
concerning our Baptist heritage. The Baptist History and Heritage Society's
web site provides excellent resources available in printed form for such
occasions. The site highlights a section called, "Who are Baptists?" that
contains seven links to essays by prominent Baptist historians on key
elements of Baptist distinctives. Information about the annual meeting of
the Society as well as about the Fellowship of Baptist Historians appears on
the site. Also, the site has important information about the Society's
quarterly publication, Baptist History and Heritage, one of the
premier Baptist historical journals in the world. All of the above and much
more makes this site a welcome witness to what is good about Baptists in a
cyber world. Before your next church celebration, why not stock up your
church's pamphlet rack with several of these superb documents?
Table Of Contents
A Note to Our Readers from Walter
Many of you have followed the BSB ever
since we began producing it in January of 2002. If you have followed us, you
know that Greg Thompson has been the computer whiz who has put this ezine
together on the web for us each month. He not only designed the BSB,
he suggested to me and nudged me to begin producing it when we first began
The Center for Baptist Studies three years ago.
Greg Thompson left his
work with us here at The Center for Baptist Studies at the end of April.
Before he left, however, he had left his fingerprints all over the work of
the Center, not simply with the BSB. As executive director, I
am deeply indebted to Greg for his many efforts in helping launch the work
of the Center. He coordinated our conferences. He helped with our A. H.
Newman Scholars Program and our Mercer Baptist Heritage Student Essay Award.
He was our office manager and budget manager and much more. I shall miss him
as a working colleague and as a crazy friend with whom to enjoy life. All
the time that Greg has been working with us at the Center, he has also
served as pastor of Central Baptist Church in Gray, GA. Blessings, Greg, as
you move back to your church work and to other new things.
Bruce T. Gourley is
stepping into Greg Thompson's shoes, and we are extremely glad that we could
persuade him to join the work of the Center. Bruce, like Greg, is both a
graduate of Mercer and of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Both love
Mercer University and the ministry of the Christian church in its ecumenical
and Baptist expression.
Bruce served for ten years on
the mission field in Montana as the Billings-area Director of Baptist Campus
Ministries, Instructor of Church History at Yellowstone Baptist College, and
frequent preacher in churches. Currently a doctoral student in History at
Auburn University, Bruce is also Online Editor for Baptists Today,
webmaster for Baptist History and Heritage Society, and owner of the
BaptistLife.Com website. He is the author of one book, The GodMakers: A
Legacy of the SBC? (Providence House, 1996). His doctoral dissertation
will be on the subject of Baptists in Georgia during the Civil War era. At
Tarver Library at Mercer University in Macon, GA, he is in the right place
to research and write that dissertation. He is also in the right place to
enhance the work of Mercer's Center for Baptist Studies. Welcome, Bruce!
||Dates to Note|
May 27-29, 2004 Baptist History and
Heritage Society Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Washington. For details go to
June 6-11, 2004
"The E. Glenn Hinson Spiritual Formation
Institute," Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, NC. Sponsored by Advent
Spirituality Center, Mars Hill College. For details contact Paula Dempsey
email@example.com) or call 828.206.0383.
June 24-26, 2004
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly, Birmingham, AL. For
details, go to
July 21-24, 2004, "Creating Space: An
Experiential Prayer Retreat" at Sterchi Lodge, Hot Springs, NC. For
details contact Paula Dempsey (email:
firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 828.206.0383.
September 9, 2004,
"Church State Issues in the 2004 Election: A Morning Dialogue With Brent
Walker," Religious Life Building, Mercer University, Macon, GA. Contact
2004, The Mercer Preaching Consultation, The King and Prince Hotel,
St. Simons Island, GA. For details go to
www.mercer.edu/baptiststudies and click "conferences."
July 27-31, 2005,
Centennial Congress of the Baptist World Alliance, Birmingham, England. To
Congress@bwanet.org , phone 703.790.8980, or fax 1703.893.5160.
Myths: A New Pamphlet Series
A series of eleven pamphlets that address negative perceptions
held towards Baptists in popular American culture. These pamphlets are
suitable for individual study, church classes, and academic courses. They
are jointly published by the Baptist History and Heritage Society, The
Center for Baptist Studies of Mercer University, and the Whitsitt Baptist
Heritage Society. Editor: Doug Weaver; Associate Editors: Charles W.
Deweese & Walter B. Shurden.
Table Of Contents
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