So you can gain an appreciation for Baptist history and heritage and share your ideas with others.
Each year the contest is for high school students and carries cash awards and the publication of the winning essays. It is a special opportunity for individuals or for an entire Sunday school class or Youth Group to encourage its members to enter.
Recent contest themes....
The theme changes each year. In 2011, the theme was "Compassionate Churches." Four award winners were selected and their essays were published in a booklet. The booklet is available free of charge if you would like to read the essays that were judged best in the 2011 competition. Telephone the Heritage Center at (804)289-8434 and request that copy of "Compassionate Churches" be mailed to you. Tell the person who answers that you are a student who is considering entering the contest for this year.
The topic for the 2012 Essay Contest was: "Let Me Tell You About the Person Who Has Most Influenced My Thought as a Baptist and Let Me Tell You Why..." The topic complimented a major book which was published this year by the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies. The book was entitled "Modern Shapers of Baptist Thought in America" and included 24 persons - pastors, professors, missions leaders, lay leaders - who have through their writings and lives influenced the thoughts of several generations of Baptists. For the high school students entering the contest, the theme afforded an opportunity to consider the person - living or dead - historical or contemporary - whose life and work or whose writings or messages influenced them in their own thoughts and beliefs. Four award winners were selected and they were honored at the annual meeting of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society held in May 2012. The first place winner read her essay to the audience.
The 2013 Theme....
And now for the 2013 Roots and Wings Young Scholars Essay Contest.... The Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies is co-hosting a national conference to be held May 20-22, 2013, at the University of Richmond and with a session at Virginia Union University. The theme is "Faith, Freedom & Forgiveness: Religion in the Civil War, Emancipation and Reconciliation in Our Time." There will be numerous historians speaking to some phase of the three key words in the conference theme.
For the 2013 Essay Contest the student writers are asked to reflect upon the following statement: "How to achieve racial reconciliation in the United States on the 150th anniversary of emancipation." The student essay writer could incorporate some historical background about slavery, emancipation, race relations, and civil rights - that is, "remembering the past" in order to set the stage for the writer's "imagining the future" as to how racial reconciliation can be achieved at this time in our nation.
For details on the contest - eligibility, rules, awards - see further information below. The Center expects for the winners to be recognized at one of the sessions during the national conference.