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To a People Yet Unborn: a Fifty-Year History of the California Baptist Foundation.

To a People Yet Unborn: A Fifty-Year History of the California Baptist Foundation. By Deborah Osen Hancock. Fresno, CA: California Baptist Foundation, 2002. 99 pp.

The Southern Baptist Convention consists of churches as well as other entities and organizations that help churches in their task of spreading the gospel. One such support agency is the California Baptist Foundation, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2002. Deborah O. Hancock, a former administrator and professor in the California State University system, and currently the president of the California Baptist Historical Society, provides a concise look at the organization's first fifty years of service.

The book is organized in three parts. The first, entitled, "The Mark of Trust," covers the organizational make-up and focuses heavily on the individuals who provided leadership at the time of publication in the three main divisions of the foundation's work. The three divisions are Church Financing Services, Trust Services, and Foundation Operations. The Church Financing Services division helps existing churches with financial matters, including financing building projects, issuing church bonds, and providing other loan services. The Trust Services division helps provide estate-planning assistance for individuals and also manages endowments for various other California Southern Baptist entities. The Foundation Operations provides the necessary administrative tasks including accounting services, banking relationships, annual budget preparation, and the human resources department.

The second part of the book introduces individuals who have made a significant contribution to the foundation's success and is appropriately titled "Key Leaders." Each entry offers a brief biographical sketch of the individual and includes personal information such as date of birth, family members, educational background, salvation experience, and a brief summary of the individual's professional career. The last part, "History Highlights," offers excerpts directly from the foundation's annual reports in 1952-2002.

The book rightfully celebrates the fifty years of faithful service of the California Baptist Foundation. Hancock clearly communicates the significant role the foundation has played in assisting individuals and churches with financial matters in order to enable both the individuals and churches to be successful in their respective ministries. Individuals interested in the growth and development of a Baptist support agency and Southern Baptists in California may be particularly interested in this work and would benefit by examining its contents.--Reviewed by Scott E. Bryant, doctoral student in church history with an emphasis in Baptist studies at Baylor University, Waco, Texas.
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Author:Bryant, Scott E.
Publication:Baptist History and Heritage
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 22, 2004
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