In 1962 the Virginia Baptist Historical Society launched an annual scholarly journal entitled The Virginia Baptist Register. Its goal from the beginning was to present previously unpublished articles which primarily aimed at early periods of Baptist history in Virginia. There have been 56 issues published as of 2017 with a total running page count of 4,158 pages. Every five years the issues are thoroughly indexed in separately printed indexes. The indexes alone form a useful tool for researchers and can refer the researcher to a specific article of possible interest.
For further information on the current issue as well as on ordering a full set of back issues, see below. For specific articles, click on the Register Articles to the left. Libraries, historians and genealogists find a complete set of the indexes to the over 50 years of journal articles to be a valuable addition to their shelves. A complete set of 10 indexes - a value of $100 - can still be ordered for $30 plus $5, S&H.
The much anticipated 2017 issue, #56, is now available. With transition reflections from Fred Anderson and Nathan Taylor, "Gold Tried in the Fire" is a detailed look at the history of Baptists in Virginia's beloved Northern Neck region ($26).
The 2016 issue, #55, carries the special title of One Man & His Family, the story of the remarkable James Thomas, Jr. and his family. Thomas was one of Richmond, Virginia's first millionaires and generous to Baptist causes. A member of Richmond's First Baptist Church, he was known as the most outstanding Baptist layman of his time. In addition to his biography, the issue includes World War I letters written by one of his grandsons, as well as stunning photographs of late 19th century life taken by one of his granddaughters. ($26).
Issue #54, (2015) To See a World features the travel experiences of a host of Virginia Baptists of the 19th century. In the 18th century, Baptists were arriving in Virginia; by the 19th century some were able to visit "the old country" in Europe, as well as Africa and Asia. They wrote fascinating travel accounts, published in the Religious Herald, while others gave lectures upon their return. Also included in #54 are the papers delivered at the Society's meeting on Reconciliation After the Civil War. David Laubach submitted his paper about Northern Baptist missionaries who came to work with freedmen, while Fred Anderson offered his paper on Virginia Baptists' Overtures Towards Reconciliation. ($26)
Issue #53, 2014, is titled The Beginnings of Baptists in Virginia and features the 300th anniversary of a Baptist minister to be appointed by the English Baptists. Fred Anderson compiled an article on Robert Norden, the first minister, and the historical theories and known facts regarding "the Virginia Mission." He visited England and conducted research in a private library in London and visited the hamlet which was Norden's home community. Another major treatment in the current issue is an examination of the effects of the Civil War upon Virginia Baptists and their churches. Written by Mike Whitt of the VBHS staff, the article covers the four years of the war and is based upon the author's extensive use of primary sources in the VBHS collection. Also included is an article by Fred Anderson on the centennial of the present campus of the University of Richmond. The relocation to the west end and the building of the original buildings was a tremendous undertaking promoted chiefly by Virginia Baptists. Yet another feature are the papers of the 2013-14 Heritage Fellows appointed by the Heritage Center. Abby Chapin of Virginia Tech and Katie Wilkins of Bluefield College interviewed persons associated with church planting today among Virginia Baptists and their findings are also included in #53. ($26)
The previous issue, #52, 2013, carries the title Powerful Preachers. It features an overview of Virginia Baptist preachers of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. It includes feature articles on the following: William E. Hatcher, Joshua Brown Hutson, James Edward Hutson and Jeremiah Bell Jeter. The Jeter article was written by Arden Sizemore, the Heritage Center's Heritage Fellow for 2012-13. She transcribed sermons written by Jeter in the Civil War. Also included is an article by Fred Anderson on his portrayals of William E. Hatcher and the award-winning essay by Rachel Cook on racial reconciliation. Michael Whitt has compiled a listing of African-American Baptist preachers serving in Virginia in the years immediately following the Civil War. ($26)
In 2012 the Historical Society published the Virginia Baptist Register, #51, titled My Dear Doctor Mac. It is a 500 page new biography of Dr. George White McDaniel, a leader who both reflected and shaped the times in which he lived. He served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1924-27 and was instrumental in saving the denomination from financial ruin and from division over the controversy of the times: evolution. He took a stand for religious liberty and church/state separation by opposing a compulsory Bible reading bill in Virginia. The biography is based upon research in the 25,000 items in the McDaniel collection at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. ($26)