Virginia Baptist Historical Society
VBHS will be closed to the public for collections maintenance for most of July and August 2018.
Annual VBHS meeting, June 7
Thanks to all who joined us for a splendid 2018 annual meeting, on Thursday, June 7, at Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond. Our theme was the Baptist contribution to global religious liberty and human rights. Dr. Elijah Brown, newly-elected general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, challenged us to greater advocacy in response to the ongoing crises of human rights around the world, including work on behalf of religious minorities in particular. VBHS commended the service of outgoing president Rev. Frank G. Schwall and elected incoming president Dr. William P. Tuck.
VBHS was present at the annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), Nov. 13-15, in Hampton, Virginia. Nathan Taylor and Fred Anderson offered a reflection on Tuesday evening during the main program, remembering Virginia Baptists who have "Answered the Call." In addition, those gathered passed a resolution of commendation and gratitude for Anderson's many years of service.
Religious Liberty was the emphasis for the VBHS Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 16 at River Road Church, Baptist, Richmond, VA. The keynote speaker was Amanda Tyler, J.D., executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Fred Anderson, set the historical context of Virginia Baptists in the struggle to secure religious liberty in the 18th century and the Society recognized the 18th century Virginia Baptist churches which are still in existence. At the meeting, Nathan Taylor was installed as new executive director, while Anderson was recognized for his many years of leadership by receiving the title director emeritus.
In a prime location selected by the president of the University of Richmond, the late Frederic W. Boatwright, a wing of the Boatwright Memorial Library was erected and dedicated in 1955 as a memorial to the Baptists who struggled to secure religious liberty for all Americans to enjoy. Financed by the Baptist women of Virginia for the exclusive purpose of housing the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and its valuable library, archives and museum, the building became more than a brick and stone memorial. It became a living memorial, a place where individuals of all religious persuasions and none, where students and scholars from universities across the nation, and where Baptists of many diverse streams may learn and appreciate the contributions made by a people who believed that the soul must be free to commune with its Creator.
Founded in 1876, the Virginia Baptist Historical Society is the oldest Baptist historical organization in the South and an acknowledged leader among Baptist historical agencies. Its charge is to facilitate the preservation of the tangible history of Baptists, convey this unique heritage to each generation, and make such information available for churches, the academic community and other researchers. Its Heritage Gallery attracts interested groups and hundreds of individuals each year, and its collections draw scholars from across Virginia, the nation and beyond.