Publishing local-church history: many people have shaped my life for fifty-nine years--parents, grandparents, siblings, wife, daughters, friends, professors, and colleagues at work. But if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that local churches probably have influenced me as much or more than anyone or anything else.In local churches, I committed my life to Christ, was baptized bap·tize
v. bap·tized, bap·tiz·ing, bap·tiz·es
1. To admit into Christianity by means of baptism.
a. To cleanse or purify.
b. To initiate.
3. , observed the Lord's Supper, studied the Bible, learned about missions, worshiped weekly, took study courses, participated in revivals, served as Youth Week pastor, attended funerals, was licensed, ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. , and married, and served as pastor and deacon. Our two daughters were dedicated, converted, baptized, trained, and married in churches. Recently, we attended the dedication of our first grandchild in a church. The church has been a vital part of my life.
How important was church to the earliest Baptists? The first English Baptist confession of faith, dated 1611, contains twenty-seven articles. Eleven use the word "church." The church belongs to Christ, consists only of the faithful "upon their own confession of the faith," should worship even if "their Officers should bee in Prison, sick, or by anie other meanes hindered from the Church," should not "challenge anie prerogative over anie other [church]," should receive members "by Baptisme upon the Confession off their faith and sinnes," and should choose as officers "either Elders ... or Deacons Men, and Women." (1)
James P. Wind, a Lutheran, stated in his book Places of Worship: Exploring Their History that "Congregations are places of worship. They are the special places in our culture where people relate to the holy, search for the sacred, address God." He observed that these "institutions are distinctive because--like in no other--humans regularly come together within them for the purpose of expressing ultimate concerns and meanings." (2)
Walter B. Shurden discussed "Microscopic Baptist History" in the March 2004 edition of The Baptist Studies Bulletin. "I believe," he asserted, "that one of the most urgent and neediest areas in Baptist history is that we learn to do serious, in-depth, scholarly work on local churches."
The Baptist History and Heritage Society recognizes the importance of local-church history. For that reason, it inaugurated its Baptist History Book Publishing book publishing. The term publishing means, in the broadest sense, making something publicly known. Usually it refers to the issuing of printed materials, such as books, magazines, periodicals, and the like. Program in 1999 and designed it especially for churches. The BH&HS provides this service for lane, medium-size, and small churches.
We have a complimentary packet of materials that describes how our book publishing program works and presents a simplified, step-by-step approach to publishing your church's history. This program offers complete editing, layout/design, dust-jacket development, index preparation, and quality control throughout. We specialize in tailoring books to meet each church's specific financial needs. If your church plans to publish its history, contact Charles Deweese (800-966-2278; email@example.com).
A useful resource for any church preparing to publish its history is the BH&HS's A How-to Manual for Your Church's History. Titled "How to Research, Write, and Publish Your Church's History," Chapter 4 presents detailed information on every aspect of such a project.
The BH&HS is currently publishing the histories of The Baptist Church of Beaufort, South Carolina Beaufort is a city in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States, situated on the Beaufort River. 304 acres of the town have been designated a National Historic Landmark. The city-limit population was 12,950 in the 2000 census (46,227 total pop. of Beaufort Urban Cluster). ; the First Baptist Church First Baptist Church may refer to many churches: Canada
The BH&HS coordinates its book publishing program in association with Fields Publishing in Nashville, owned by Tim Fields Tim Field was born in the UK in 1952. He left North Staffordshire Polytechnic, now Staffordshire University, with a First Class Honours degree in computing science and worked in that discipline for nineteen years. , award-winning Baptist communications and publishing specialist.
(1.) William L. Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions 1600s
(2.) James P. Wind, Places of Worship: Exploring Their History (Nashville: American Association American Association refers to one of the following professional baseball leagues:
Charles W. Deweese
Baptist History and Heritage Society