The Baptist History and Heritage Society has received a $34,595 grant to promote public engagement with recent historical scholarship on Baptists in the United States.
The grant is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities and its Sustaining Humanities through the American Rescue Plan in partnership with the American Historical Association.
The “Making Baptist History Public History Project” will be a part of a national effort to support small history-related organizations adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. BHHS had to cancel its annual meeting in 2020 and was forced to move both its 2021 and 2022 gatherings online.
“We are grateful to the American Historical Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities for this grant, which enables the Society to promote recent historical scholarship that intersects with Baptist History in collaboration with local religious congregations around the country,” said BHHS Executive Director John Finley.
Beginning in April, the project will convene a year-long series of monthly webinars that highlight recent historical works that intersect and engage Baptist History. These virtual webinars will bring together professional historians, informed religious leaders and local congregations to converse about history and its implications for the present. The events will be free and open to the public.
“With so much anxiety in the country around historical curriculum in public schools, Critical Race Theory, and the purpose of historical study, it’s important for organizations like the Baptist History and Heritage Society to lead public conversations about history,” said project director Andrew Gardner, who currently serves as Louisville Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Gardner will work closely with Executive Director John Finley to carry out the project.
The first webinar will be held April 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern time and will feature Christopher Moore’s work Apostle of the Lost Cause: J William Jones, Baptists, and the Development of Confederate Memory. The webinar will be virtually hosted by First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Ga.
BHHS’ annual conference, which this year will carry the theme “Baptists and Science,” is scheduled for May 26-27. Register online.