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Festschrift Editor's Note.

At the editorial board meeting of the Baptist History and Heritage Society two years ago, Executive Director John Finley asked the members who should be honored in the 2020 Festschrift journal. As I remember, Dr. Karen Bullock was the first name offered for consideration. I enthusiastically agreed, everyone approved, and I began to lobby to serve as the edition's guest editor. I received this honor as I had been her first doctoral student.

My first experience with Dr. Bullock was as a student in the Baptist history doctoral seminar at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her enthusiasm for, knowledge of, and ability to teach the material to anxious doctoral students left an impression on all of us. She masterfully led the class from John Smyth and Thomas Helwys all the way into the twenty-first century. During this seminar, I chose my dissertation topic and asked her to guide me through it. I am sure there are countless others whom she has guided throughout her career at Southwestern, Dallas Baptist University, and the B.H. Carroll Institute.

Beyond her outstanding teaching and mentoring abilities, Dr. Bullock's scholarship is also very impressive. She has published histories of local churches, dozens of academic journal articles, and written extensively on her beloved Buckner Baptist Benevolences. She is an active participant in the Baptist World Alliance, holds or has held myriads of professional positions in Baptist life, and remains an active participant in the local church. I can imagine no other person more deserving of a Festschrift than Dr. Karen Bullock.

The contributors to this Festschrift are Dr. Bullock's colleagues, friends, and former students. Each contributor wrote on a topic of importance to Dr. Bullock.

* A former student, Gregory Tomlin, discusses Roger Williams' eschatology and ecclesiology.

* A former colleague and friend, Stephen Stookey, addresses the work of Arkansas politician and Southern Baptist Convention president, Brooks Hays.

* A friend from doctoral studies, Michael Williams, delves into the life and influence of The Alabama Baptist editor Leslie Lee Gwaltney.

* A former student, Melody Maxwell, speaks to Atlantic Baptist women's ordination in the 1980s.

* Another former student, Sheila Klopfer, focuses on the theology of laughter.

* A friend, Brian Talbot, examines how one can identify Baptists in the twenty-first century.

Collectively, these essays bear testimony to the profound and far-reaching influence Dr. Bullock has had upon Baptist scholarship and the study of the Baptist heritage. They are presented in an humble attempt to pay tribute to and express appreciation for her.

Joseph E. Early Jr. Festschrift Editor

Joseph E. Early Jr. is professor of theology and director of the Quality Enhancement Program at Campbellsville University.

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Author:Early, Joseph E., Jr.
Publication:Baptist History and Heritage
Date:Mar 22, 2020
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