In Search of the Heroic is a new Baptist heritage resource produced for high school and college-age youth and written by a young church historian, Andrew B. Gardner.  "There is something about the idea of a hero that captures the human imagination," writes Andrew Gardner in the introduction.  The author introduces the reader to five heroes who "challenge and layer the understanding of Christian faith that we hold as Baptists."  The five individuals from the past are John Leland, a spokesman for religious liberty; Lott Cary, a bold leader who was the pioneer missionary to Africa; Henrietta Hall Shuck, the first Baptist female missionary from America to China; James Ireland, a prisoner for conscience's sake; and Nannie Helen Burroughs, a dynamic leader and educator.

In Search of the Heroic introduces these heroes in connection with five themes:  heroism of conscience; responsibility of power; justice; courage; and the cost of heroism.  Included are questions to spark thought and conversation.  The resource can be used for church youth groups on the middle or high school level or for college-age groups or as a solitary read. 

Andrew Gardner is a former Heritage Fellow of the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies and as a college student was active in his campus Baptist student group at William & Mary.  He completed his master's degree at the School of Divinity of Wake Forest University and currently is engaged in doctoral studies at Florida State University.

Copies of In Search of the Heroic can be ordered at $6 each plus $2 shipping and handling or as a set of 10 for use with a youth group at half price of $30 per set plus $5 for each set for s&h.  Church orders need to include their tax exempt number to avoid Virginia sales tax.  Send orders to Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.  Orders also can be placed by e-mail to or by telephone at (804)289-8434.  Orders can be shipped with invoice for payment.




Strength for the Journey:  Feminist Theology & Baptist Women Pastors by Judith Anne Bledsoe Bailey has been published by the Heritage Center.  The book, based upon the author's doctoral dissertation at the College of William and Mary, examines the Southern mindset on gender, the long controversy within the Southern Baptist Convention over the role of women, and the lives of 20 Baptist women pastors.  250 pages, paperback, $19.95 + $1.05 sales tax + $4 s&h and make check payable to Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies and send order to Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173. 

What others have been saying about the new book...

"Carefully researched and cogently merits serious attention of anyone interested in women in ministry, Baptist history and doctrine, feminist theology and the struggle of churches to be faithful today." -  Glenn Hinson

"Exploring the life experiences, personal piety, vocational callings and unfolding ministries of Baptist women pastors...[it] nudges us to consider and evaluate our own place in history." - Pam Durso

"The author shows how these women have developed a strong sense of self and a deep and profound commitment to a calling of which they are sure." - Susan Shaw, Oregon State University

"Judith Bailey demonstrates the importance of religion to our understanding of American culture and society."  -  Robert Gross, University of Connecticut

Modern Shapers Book Available

The Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies has published Modern Shapers of Baptist Thought in America by William Powell Tuck.  The Center commissioned the author to research and write an anaylsis of the individuals whom he felt had most shaped Baptist thought across the last century.  He chose 24 individuals and has captured their life stories, indicates where they influenced Baptist theology, and offers an anaylsis of their legacy.  The new book is 544 pages in length.  The book is available through the Heritage Center.  To order make check payable to Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies and send to Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.  Modern Shapers is available in paperback for $24 + 1.20 Va. sales tax + 4.80 s&h = $30  and in hardback for $45 + 2.25 Va. sales tax + 5.75 s&h = $53.  Note:  If tax exempt, please supply tax exempt number and reduce cost accordingly.  If for a library or church, please state the name of the organization as well as the name of the individual placing the order.


Partnership Missions History

---Arms Reaching Around the World

by Ray Allen with Rolen Bailey

and the Heritage Fellows

Virginia Baptists are passionate about missions.  By the late 20th century a new phenomenon developed which allowed for volunteer "partnership" missions.  It offered the man and woman in the pews an opportunity to actively participate in missionary work.  By the opening decade of the present century, thousands of Baptists had experienced some form of hands-on missions.  It was time to pause and write a history of the Virginia Baptist story as it relates to the development of Partnership Missions.  Ray Allen, the grandfather of partnership missions from his many travels to India, wrote the basic story which was supplemented with a history of partnership missions within the USA as written by Rolen Bailey and with an early written history of the work by the late Charles Bryan.  The Heritage Center's Heritage Fellows were assigned a project of interviewing persons who had engaged in partnerships and their papers are included.  Arms Reaching Around the World can be ordered for $21 plus $3 shipping and handling and sales tax from the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.

 free indeed! project

commemorates 150th anniversary
of emancipation

The Virginia Baptist Historical Society and the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies at the University of Richmond have collaborated to produce the "free indeed!" project which is both organizations contribution to the 150th anniversary of emancipation. 

"free indeed!" is a three-fold project:

1)  It is an exhibit which tells the story of the relationships between blacks and whites especially within the Baptist churches of antebellum Virginia.  It includes numerous original documents, old church records and artifacts.  Individuals can visit the exhibit most weekdays at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society's building on the campus of the University of Richmond.  Groups including church groups must schedule a guided tour of the exhibit.  The exhibit will be on view through December 2015.  Hundreds of individuals and numerous church and civic groups have toured the exhibit.

2)  It is a book which was written by Michael Whitt, special projects assistant for the Virginia Baptist Historical Society.  It covers many aspects of slavery especially as related to life within the Baptist churches of Virginia.  Also included are several period writings on the subject.  The book is also entitled "free indeed!" and can be ordered for $15.75 plus $5 shipping and handling.

3)  It is a name registry which includes upwards of 51,000 names of slaves, freedmen and white surnames which Michael Whitt pulled from the manuscript pages of over 200 antebellum church record books in the Virginia Baptist Historical Society's archives.  The registry offers names as well as supporting information such as baptismal or death dates and names of slave owners.  It is anticipated that the registry can benefit family and social historians.  The registry is available at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society's library by research appointment.

For further information and to schedule group tours and research visits or to order books, please contact the Virginia Baptist Historical Society at (804)289-8434 or by mail at VBHS, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.  To schedule a group tour ask for Elsie Richards.  To schedule a research appointment ask for Darlene Slater Herod.


Disaster Relief Stories and History of Baptist Men's Ministry & Camps  

The Heritage Center has published the memoir of Lloyd Jackson, long-time leader of Baptist Men's ministry, camping and Disaster Relief Response for Virginia Baptists.  He has captured the history and the drama in his book entitled Reflections of a Journey.  Copies of the 200-page book can be ordered for $17 plus $3 for s & h.  Send your check to the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.

 Religious liberty resource available from Baptist heritage center

The teaching of religious liberty in churches is the purpose of a DVD-ROM resource produced by the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies. Our Story DVD contains a 20-minute video recounting the 18th-century Baptist struggle in Virginia to secure religious liberty. An understanding of the history offers an opportunity to also present current concerns over church-state issues.


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