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Featured A Baptist Historical Society

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by rlvaughn, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    What I am asking below may not directly affect you, but since I know that some of you are interested in Baptist history, I'd like like to ask your opinion on something. In our state, we have Texas Baptist Historical Society which is related to and (I suppose) funded by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. It has done a lot of good work, but seems to have become almost non-existent. They haven't published a journal since 2012.

    My idea is that a historical society of Texas Baptists not connected to any particular church, association, fellowship, or convention would be good for Texas -- but made up of individuals (historians, genealogists and otherwise interested persons) from all the kinds of Baptists in Texas. It might create a greater "buy-in", since it would not related to a single denominational body. Such a society could encourage historical corroboration also sub-denominational lines without compromising denominational considerations. I may be an odd duck who enjoys Baptist history for the sake of Baptist history; perhaps most others will prefer to fly with historical birds of a similar feather. But I have noticed time and again certain defects in church or denominational histories that could have been avoided by consulting with other knowledgeable Baptists in Baptist groups. Such corroboration as mentioned could help avoid some of these mistakes.

    A probable negative (other than just the general uncooperativeness of some of us Baptists!) is financial, with costs borne by the individual members, without any subsidy by the parent body. Some of that could be alleviated by have an online journal rather than print journal, and leave the Texas Baptist Historical Collection of the BGCT continue to do the collecting and storing of materials.

    I am polling you folks that I hope have an interest in Baptist history. I would appreciate your opinions. What do you think of such an idea? Sane? Crazy? How do think historians and Baptists of your acquaintance would respond to it? Even if it is a good idea, would it be able to get off the ground and fly? It seems like many Baptist historical societies have fallen on hard times. I was a member of the Georgia Baptist Historical Society, which a few years back decided to close up shop.

    Thanks for any thoughts you are willing to share.
     
  2. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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  3. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    Not much interest lately-- when you suggest that true Baptists are not reformed Catholicism, not part of the Protestant Reformation, and not a denomination, you get some strange looks. It is sad. Our heritage goes all the way back to the shores of Galilee when Jesus called out His first New Testament Assembly. That Faith and Practice is still in the world today having been through the gates of Hell. I get a real blessing everytime I study Baptist History. God has kept His promise to keep a remnant. Praise His Holy Name.

    The ones conformed to the world do not want to disturb their religious comfort zones--the trail of the True Church is covered in the blood of the saints--without beatification and canonization.

    I would like to join in an on-line study. Anyone interested in doing: The Non-Protestant Baptists, by William Bekgaard?

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
    #3 Bro. James, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Seems like that is pretty much just the opposite of what I'm proposing, a society focused on one man and the things that were important to him.

    I agree, though I realize many people don't find history either interesting or important.

    I have purchased that book, but haven't gotten around to reading it.

    So, do either of you have a specific opinion on the idea I presented?

    Thanks.
     
  5. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    I like the idea of having a Baptist History Society. I live in Florida. We could figure a way to get on www to get more exposure perhaps. In this age of ecumenism, many folk are not to interested is stirring up old landmarks of Baptist History. It disturbs too many religious comfort zones.

    There is already a Baptist History (of sorts) site on Facebook.

    Count me in.

    Bro. James
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    There is a Florida Baptist Historical Society. I assume it is probably affiliated in some way with the Florida (Southern) Baptist State Convention, but don't know that for certain.

    I have been thinking about creating a Facebook group related to the OP. I think the online route is a good one. Lot less expense in creating a PDF to view online than printing and mailing journals to all the members. Also, though more expense and work here, documents can be collected, scanned and made available online. There is a lot of this being done now, even on Google Books (Free Baptist Cyclopedia, e.g.) and Archive.org (minute books: Hyde County, Suwannee River, e.g.). (HathiTrust is another place where such documents can be found.)
     
  7. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    All members of the board of directors are appointed by the State Board of Missions.
     
  8. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    You got something at the 8th grade level? Some of us have no pedigrees or letters.

    Bro. James
     
  9. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks.

    Eh?
     
  10. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    My first impression of your proposal was he's going with the Northern Baptist method of functional organization of interested individuals rather than another ministry of the convention.
     
  11. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    My thought is that an historical society tied to a convention sends a message, even if not intended, that this historical society is for "our kind".
     
  12. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    What "our kind" might be gets lost in the ambiguity of ecumenism. You got two basic groups f Baptists: founded by Jesus Christ and founded by John Smythe. A lot of effort needs to be spent on showing that Real Baptists are not Protestants and have never been part of Rome.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  13. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Brother James, my reference to "our kind" was about limiting historians to being in a certain association or convention. I'm not an ecumenist church-wise -- and I think that is one thing wrong with the direction of the Texas Baptist Historical Society. It seems to be in control of the "Libs" in my opinion.

    But history is history, and honest historians are what we need when looking at the historical record. I've found some conservative historians aren't exactly honest in their findings either.

    You didn't answer my "Eh" question about your statement, "You got something at the 8th grade level? Some of us have no pedigrees or letters." I don't understand what you mean by that -- that is, in regard to what we have.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    James, as I read the proposal, this society is going to deal with much more contemporary history, the history of Baptists in Texas. That means its focus begins with the entry of Anglos into Texas when it was still part of Mexico. Your segmentation of Baptists is irrelevant to the purpose of this organization.
     
  15. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Yes, that it correct, as far as what I am proposing. I am mainly looking for opinions on the concept as conceived. And as far as the Texas Baptist history is concerned, the idea would not be to try to determine who was heretical and who was not, but to research the history of those who called themselves Baptists. There is, I believe from general observation, much of early Baptists in Texas changing back and forth from one "brand" to another according to what type of Baptist preacher they could get to come to their community.

    Here is a little more detail on the concept (subject to much change through beneficial suggestions).

    Name: The name of the organization shall be ‘All Texas Baptists’ Historical Society.

    Purpose: The purpose of the ‘All Texas Baptists’ Historical Society is to promote interest in the continuing research the history of all Baptists in Texas and preserve the discoveries. The Society will discuss, share, inform, educate, and inspire Baptists; promote locating and making available Baptist records; and corroborate across Baptist denominational lines. We encourage members and others to find and transcribe church and association records and documents, as well as church related family history, land records, etc.

    Membership: ‘All Texas Baptists’ Historical Society shall be composed of any individuals interested in Texas Baptist history.

    Relationship: The ‘All Texas Baptists’ Historical Society is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination, but will cooperate with them in the common goal of discovering and preserving Texas Baptist history. The agenda shall be historical, not theological or denominational (other than to the extent the latter considerations relate to Baptist history in Texas).

    Definition: For the purposes of this Society, a “Texas Baptist” shall be any individual, church, association, or related organization that holds the doctrine of complete immersion for professing believers, and identify themselves by the name “Baptist” (e.g., but not limited to: Bible Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Missionary Baptist, National Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Southern Baptist).
     
  16. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    You left out Conservative Baptist, GARBC, and the FBFI. Though these organizations would only be relevant in post WW2 history.
     
  17. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Yea, that last part -- naming various bodies -- is kind of tricky. It's impractical to try to name all the Baptist bodies in Texas. But when you start naming names, it is easy for anyone not named to feel left out. Maybe not mentioning any would be better than trying to give examples? Any that "identify themselves by the name “Baptist”" is perhaps sufficient.
     
  18. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    When I read your initial list, what I saw was a list of southern-based Baptist bodies. I agree it probably would be better to not be too specific. As one author puts it, "Vague is your friend."
     
  19. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    Sorry. I did receive the "eh" question. I have a serious aversion to "isms and ologies" which come down trom the hallowed halls of higher academia. I was blessed many years ago by pastors, with and without pedigrees, who had classes for "laity". We had evangelism, Church history, English, Greek, Hebrew and more. This does not make for large congregations, but surely makes for a wonderful fellowship of spirit. Anyway, I have a real non-conformist, skeptical attitude.

    The world of religion has been duped for 16 centuries at least. It shows up in the history books.

    Can we study: Are Texas Baptists connected to John Smythe and the Protestant Reformation? Let's start digging.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
    #18 Bro. James, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  20. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    All but irrelevant in my opinion, because by the time Baptists came to Texas in the early 1800s your two streams of Baptists had intermingled for well over 150 years.
     
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  21. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    How do we know what time them came? How do we know there were two streams? Does this include the Baptistic Church from Holland who arrived at Plymouth Rock, circa Nov. 1620, on a ship called Mayflower? They had a pastor and used Geneva Bibles.

    Maybe some of the Baptists came from Mexico--a place which still needs to hear the real Gospel. They are still worshipping Mary from Guadalupe.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
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