Celebrate 300 Years of Baptists
in Virginia - Save the Dates of
May 16 & May 17
In May 1714 English Baptists appointed a "messenger" to Virginia and this man - Robert Norden - planted the first Baptist church in Virginia. For 300 years there has been a continuous Baptist presence in Virginia. The 300th anniversary of Virginia Baptists will be observed in two special events:
An Evening of Remembrance & Thanksgiving
7:30 p.m., Friday, May 16, 2014
River Road Baptist Church
8000 River Road, Richmond, VA
A time for worship, a time for reflection, a time for anticipation...
Featuring grand music of the faith in a grand setting...
Heritage Festival: 300 Years!
10 - 4, Saturday, May 17, 2014
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA
Join Baptists from across Virginia as they celebrate 300 Years of a Baptist presence. Learn about the accomplishments, the ministries, the missions of Virginia Baptists. Enjoy the Festival in an English garden setting with music, entertainments, exhibits and special presentations. The Festival will be a "Baptist family" event with something for "children of all ages" - senior adults, youth, children. Plenty of nearby parking. Enjoy touring the campus which Baptists built exactly 100 years ago and see the old and the new buildings of Gothic design. Enjoy lunch and snacks on-site in the building built over the beautiful lake. Organize a group to come to the Heritage Festival!
The two events are sponsored by the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies at the University of Richmond. Both events are free and open to the public.
POWERFUL PREACHERS salutes
early Virginia Baptist Preachers
in new Virginia Baptist Register
The latest issue of the Virginia Baptist Register (No. 52, 2013) carries the special title of Powerful Preachers and is a salute to the Baptist preachers of Virginia in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Three preachers are highlighted with feature articles: William E. Hatcher (1834-1912) in an article by Fred Anderson; Joshua Brown Hutson (1844-1922) in an article by Donald Traser; and Jeremiah Bell Jeter (1803-1880) in an article by Arden Sizemore, the Heritage Fellow for 2012-13. Also included is James Edward Hutson (1841-1915), a traveling evangelist and brother to Joshua Hutson. Fred Anderson shared stories associated with his portrayals of William E. Hatcher in an article entitled "My Life as Doctor Hatcher." Also included is Rachel Cook's award-winning essay on racial reconciliation which won first place in the 2013 Roots & Wings Young Scholars Essay Contest sponsored by the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies. The annual essay contest is open to high school students and Miss Cook is a home-schooled high school student in Blacksburg, VA. Copies of Powerful Preachers have been mailed to all current annual members of the VBHS. Copies can be ordered by sending a check to the VBHS in the amount of $17.80 which includes sales tax and shipping and handling. Send to: Elsie Richards, VBHS, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.
Major New Biography
Published on Life & Times
of George White McDaniel
MY DEAR DOCTOR MAC is the title of a new book published by the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. ( It also is The Virginia Baptist Register for 2012, No. 51) MY DEAR DOCTOR MAC is a major biographical treatment of the life and times of Dr. George White McDaniel who served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Richmond, VA, from 1905 until his death in 1927 and who during the last three years of his life was president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. McDaniel's life story was based upon researching some 25,000 letters to and from McDaniel which are in the collection of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and which have been examined for the first time. His story is one of heroics as he addressed social issues of the times, saved the SBC from division over the controversy of evolution, rescued the SBC from near bankruptcy and led his congregation to build a new house of worship against all odds. It is a human biography which brings to life a man who virtually has been forgotten. It tells his personal trials and how he faced them. My Dear Doctor Mac explores his lasting legacy especially in scotching a Bible bill which would have enfringed upon religious liberty. He enjoyed two things in life: evangelizing and fox hunting and not necessarily in that order!
Copies can be ordered by sending $20 plus $1 sales tax plus $4 for s&h= $25 to VBHS, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173. Pre-publication orders can be received.
free indeed! project
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 is scheduled to be on view through March 2014. 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.
SUNBEAMS & SHADOWS: The Life of George Braxton Taylor is a new biographical treatment of the noted minister and founder of the Sunbeams, the organization founded in 1886 to teach missions to young children. Fred Anderson, executive director of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, read some 12,500 pages of Taylor's diary as well as many other source materials to write the biography. It is an honest treatment of the glad and sad times experienced by this minister. Copies may be ordered for $12 including shipping and handling. Send orders to VBHS, Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173 Put "Sunbeams" on your check.
WHAT MEAN THESE STONES? - Religious Liberty and the Monuments to Virginia Baptists Who Secured It.
What Mean These Stones? which gives an account of the struggle for religious liberty and the monuments, markers and tablets scattered across the Virginia landscape which herald the courageous men who helped secure religious liberty for all Americans to enjoy. Included are the addresses delivered by leading historians when the monuments were dedicated. Also included is an annotated journal of a pioneer Virginia Baptist minister, William Young Hiter, and his wife, Jane Goodwin Hiter. The journal dates to 1811-12. It was annotated by Joel Feigenbaum, a student at the University of Richmond. Orders for What Mean These Stones? can be secured by sending a check for $12 including shipping and handling to: Virginia Baptist Historical Society, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.
UNTO THE HILLS - History of Baptists in Southwest Virginia
Unto the Hills is a history of Baptist life and work in Southwest Virginia from the 1700s to 1890.The publication includes a history of the establishment of Baptist work especially through state missionaries and Bible distributors, an inventory of all known Baptist churches in the region, and a biographical study of one of the pioneer preachers, Noah Baldwin.“The Man from Whang Doodle Hollow” tells Baldwin’s story using his diary as a primary source.
Orders may be placed by sending a check for $12 including shipping and handling to:
Virginia Baptist Historical Society
SWVA Book Order
P.O. Box 34
University of Richmond, VA 23173