Historian (Ph.D., Auburn Univ.)  Author  |  Photographer | Owner, Yellowstone.Net
Executive Director, Baptist History and Heritage Society
Contributing Writer, Nurturing Faith | Outdoor Enthusiast

"... one of America's most-respected scholars of nineteenth-century American religion ..."

And an award-winning photographer. View Bruce's Photography Portfolio.

Contact Information: email or call 406-599-1754

Biographical Sketch

Bruce T. Gourley is a historian (PhD American History primarily, Islamic History secondarily), acclaimed author, award-winning nature photographer, and technological entrepreneur.  He is the author of eight books and counting; is involved in the non-profit sector as an administrator, writer of historically-informed articles, and a volunteer; creates, manages and markets various websites; and is a part-time photographer.

Bruce lives near Bozeman, Montana with his family and enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, especially Yellowstone National Park. He has hiked most of the thousand miles of trails in Yellowstone and many others in Montana's mountains. Among the many websites he owns is Yellowstone.Net.

Bruce grew up in Douglas, Georgia, in the deep, heavily wooded southern part of the state. When not reading books from the local library, where his mother worked as a geneaologist, he spent much time fishing, hunting and camping with his father.

Moving to Montana as a young man in 1993, Bruce has since lived in Montana (first Billings and then Bozeman), other than a brief sojourn for doctoral work at Auburn University in Alabama.

Bruce's historical writing is wide-ranging and includes the following fields: American Civil War, church state issues, racial issues, economics, Montana history, American religion, Islam and more.

His works include the following:


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)


Bruce has authored over two thousand published papers and articles in print or digital form, including the select following related to Baptist history:

Bruce has published book reviews in the following periodicals:

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.”



  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Nominating Committee
  • Georgia Baptist Heritage Council
  • Mainstream Alabama Baptists
  • Yellowstone Country Montana


Bruce routinely speaks at conferences and in other settings on subjects related to church state separation / religious liberty issues, American religious history at large, the American Civil War, racial history, Islamic history and Yellowstone history.

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 created and owns the following websites:

Yellowstone Net

Montana History Net

Baptists and the American Civil War

Wall of Separation

Jekyll Island Information

* Amazon.com rankings change constantly. Diverging Loyalties reached #8 in the Baptist books category on January 30, 2012.