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

By Wayne Flynt

Alabama Baptists are a posh humans. even though considered as conservativein either politics and theology, many Baptists turned leaders of the 1890sagrarian insurrection, committed partisans of the social gospel early within the 20thcentury, and ardent advocates of the recent Deal. Complexity has additionally characterizedthe denomination's race kinfolk. for almost 5 a long time part its memberswere slaves, whereas many different participants owned slaves. therefore, interplay ofblack and white Baptists created a different non secular atmosphere during which peoplewho have been contributors of a similar church buildings interpreted the gospel of liberationin dramatically alternative ways. After the Civil warfare, Baptist church buildings inthe South divided into white and black congregations. in simple terms white congregationsremained a part of the Southern Baptist conference, whose participants are knownas Southern Baptists. Black congregations turned a part of the nationwide BaptistConvention, and their heritage is a separate tale deserving destiny research. regardless of social and cultural clash Alabama Baptists helped tame achaotic frontier, sustained a feeling of group, 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 booklet is the 1st aboutAlabama Baptists to be written through a qualified historian. Publicationin 1998 marks the one hundred and seventy fifth anniversary of the Alabama kingdom Baptist conference.

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Extra info for Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the heart of Dixie

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As we judge distant ancestors, we would do well to remember that no denomination does all things equally well. If the primary focus of a religious people is on evangelism and church growth, they are often less gifted at developing internal spirituality and external social ethics. To some extent then, one must judge Alabama Baptists by their own values and priorities. At the same time, one must note the roads not taken and hold them accountable for their own decisions. It may be true that the best way to transform society is not by the social gospel but by converting individuals and letting them change race relations for the better.

He reached for his glasses, but did not have them. " The congregation dutifully sang his words, which fit the hymn's meter. 25 Mishaps with music caused little disruption because services focused on the word, on hearing and speaking. Art and architecture occupied lowly positions. So did communion, at least relative to Catholic and Anglican churches. Usually confined to quarterly or even semiannual observance, this central act of worship in liturgical churches was so infrequent among Baptists as to constitute a discernible break in the rhythm of congregational life.

Churches are linked at many pointssome to transdenominational fundamentalist or pentecostal groups and leaders (Jerry Falwell and Moral Majority, Pat Robertson and Christian Coalition); others to ecumenical and community social agencies and main-line denominations. Some eschew all external Page xi links and remain loyal only to the SBC regardless of who leads it or what they believe. All these strands are fragile and hard to reconstruct once broken. If one can argue that Alabama probably has more congregations still solidly tied to the ABSC and Southern Baptist Convention than other states, it is probably safe to add that the connecting strands have seldom been so tenuous.

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