NEW JOURNAL - the 2015 Virginia Baptist Register - features TO SEE A WORLD: Virginia Baptist Innocents Abroad - travel experiences and observations of 19th century Baptists who toured Europe, the Near East, Egypt, the Holy Land, Africa and China. In connection with the theme, the Virginia Baptist Historical Society is mounting a large new exhibit to open early in 2016. The exhibit will include manuscripts, artifacts and period photographs from the travels highlighted in the journal.
The journal also includes articles on Northern Baptist contributions to the South following the Civil War and on Virginia Baptists seeking reconciliation with Northern Baptists in the post-War period.
Copies of TO SEE A WORLD - the new journal - will be mailed to all annual members of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. Others may order copies at $20 each plus $5 s&h from VBHS, P.O. Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173.
Annual Meeting Explored Reconciliation after the Civil War
In May 1865, the Virginia Baptists, like all Virginians, could look around them and see the total devastation left from four years of the Civil War. Churches were destroyed, congregations scattered, the denomination in tatters. Rather than live in the past, Virginia Baptists sought to embrace the future. Through their General Association they issued the first act of religious reconstruction in the South, seeking reconciliation. Through their leaders and their newspaper, they reached out to Northern Baptists to re-establish relationships. "Towards a More Perfect Union" was the theme of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society's Annual Meeting held May 19 at Second Baptist Church on River Road in Richmond.
Speakers included Fred Anderson, executive director of the Society, who addressed Virginia Baptists' actions of reconciliation. David Laubach, formerly associate executive director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, spoke on Northern missionaries in the South. Adam Bond, professor of church history at the School of Theology of Virginia Union University, delivered an address on "Reading Freedom in History," in observance of his school's 150th anniversary. There also was a special feature on hymns in the Civil War period as presented by Paul Dakin, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lynchburg, VA. The enlarged addresses of Fred Anderson and David Laubach are included in the 2015 Virginia Baptist Register which carries the sub-title of To See a World and can be ordered for $20 plus $5 s&h.
Baptist beginnings in Virginia...
The 2014 issue of the Virginia Baptist Register, the annual journal of the Society, explores the beginnings of a Baptist presence in Virginia. Fred Anderson, executive director of the VBHS, has written an extensive article on "the Virginia Mission" which was undertaken by English Baptists beginning in 1714 and which resulted in the planting of the first Baptist church in Virginia in 1715 by Robert Norden. Also included in the journal are studies by two Virginia Baptist college students about church planting today through the Baptist General Association of Virginia. The students are Heritage Fellows appointed by the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies and are Katie Wilkins of Bluefield College and Abby Chapin of Virginia Tech.
The journal also includes a major article by Michael Whitt, special projects assistant at the VBHS, on the impact of the Civil War upon Virginia Baptist churches. Whitt made an exhaustive study of the period by using church and association records as well as issues of the Religious Herald for the war years.
The 2014 Register can be ordered for $20 plus $5 shipping and handling. Orders can be sent to VBHS, Box 34, University of Richmond, VA 23173. Copies will be mailed later this year to all annual members of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society.