Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the heart of Dixie by Wayne Flynt

By Wayne Flynt

Alabama Baptists are a fancy humans. even if considered as conservativein either politics and theology, many Baptists turned leaders of the 1890sagrarian rebel, dedicated partisans of the social gospel early within the 20thcentury, and ardent advocates of the recent Deal. Complexity has additionally characterizedthe denomination's race family. for almost 5 many years part its memberswere slaves, whereas many different participants owned slaves. therefore, interplay ofblack and white Baptists created a distinct spiritual atmosphere during which peoplewho have been contributors of a similar church buildings interpreted the gospel of liberationin dramatically other ways. After the Civil conflict, Baptist church buildings inthe South divided into white and black congregations. in basic terms white congregationsremained a part of the Southern Baptist conference, whose individuals are knownas Southern Baptists. Black congregations grew to become a part of the nationwide BaptistConvention, and their historical past is a separate tale deserving destiny learn. regardless of social and cultural clash Alabama Baptists helped tame achaotic frontier, sustained a feeling of neighborhood, created opportunitiesnot to be had in secular society, formed Alabama politics, and obtainedreligious dominance seldom matched in U.S. background. Wayne Flynt's balanced, exhaustively researched ebook is the 1st aboutAlabama Baptists to be written by way of a certified historian. Publicationin 1998 marks the one hundred and seventy fifth anniversary of the Alabama nation Baptist conference.

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Perhaps the state's most erudite Baptist minister, sometimes encountered problems with such informality. Arriving in Huntsville to preach at Enon in 1846, he discovered that the church had no pulpit Bible. He could not remember all his text, so he had to change it. The brick floor was covered with several inches of straw, and the few benches were askew. The scene reminded Manly more of a barn than a sanctuary. One woman carried a hymnbook in her pocket, allowing the service to commence. But when Manly stood in the pulpit, the book board was low and only three inches wide, not even large enough for his notes (perhaps reflecting a widespread Baptist belief that preachers should not use them).

This congregation later sided with antimissionary forces and became a Primitive Baptist church. So the honor of being the first documented, continuously operating, missionary Baptist congregation belonged to Huntsville First Baptist Church. 12 It seems entirely appropriate that Alabama's initial missionary Baptist church should have been called Flint, an extremely hard, fine-grained form of quartz that gives off a spark of fire when struck. The founders no doubt had in mind their location on Brier Fork of the Flint River, but their name evokes the flinty nature of the people called Alabama Baptists.

205 7. " 251 8. " 307 9.  . " 360 Page viii 10. " 399 11.  . " 455 12. " 517 13. " 563 Notes 625 Bibliography 687 Index 707 Page ix Preface The purpose for writing this book was simple: to explain Baptists to themselves and to explain them to others, with a focus on the people who called themselves Alabama Baptists. Who were they? What did they believe? How did they relate to their society? What institutions did they create to sustain their work? Writing the history of a denomination in an era widely described as postdenominational seems strange.

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