Early, Joseph E., Jr. A Texas Baptist History Sourcebook.

Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 2004. 676p., hardcover. Index. $29.95. ISBN 1-57441-176-4.

Early is a professor of religion at Cumberland College and the author of two previous books on the history of the Baptist denomination in Texas. This one is meant as a complementary volume to Harry McBeth’s Texas Baptists: A Sesquicentennial History (1998), currently the standard historical survey.

The Baptists have had a prominent role in Texas’s history since the Revolution, both as individuals and as an organized body, and a number of histories have been published in the past century and a half, but this volume is the first attempt to bring together in one place all the sources those earlier works used. It includes church minutes, state convention records, articles from Baptist newspapers and other publications, speeches delivered in public, debates carried on in private, excerpts from missionaries’ logbooks and memoirs, correspondence to and from Baptist leaders, and extended quotations from published histories of churches and universities. And, of course, there’s a great deal of material on the issue of slavery and the range of Baptist responses to it. (There’s rather less on today’s parallel divisive issue of homosexuality.) And throughout all of this, there are names. Many, many names, all of which appear in the index. Researchers in Texas history and genealogy are aware that throughout the state’s history, if you were an Anglo, there’s a strong chance you were either a Baptist or a Methodist. That being the case, anyone with Texas connections needs to take a close look at this book. And then perhaps follow its footnotes to additional sources.

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Published in: on 8 June 2011 at 5:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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