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 insurrection, dedicated partisans of the social gospel early within the 20thcentury, and ardent advocates of the hot Deal. Complexity has additionally characterizedthe denomination's race relatives. for almost 5 a long time part its memberswere slaves, whereas many different individuals owned slaves. therefore, interplay ofblack and white Baptists created a different spiritual environment within which peoplewho have been contributors of a similar church buildings interpreted the gospel of liberationin dramatically other ways. After the Civil warfare, Baptist church buildings inthe South divided into white and black congregations. basically 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 background is a separate tale deserving destiny examine. regardless of social and cultural clash Alabama Baptists helped tame achaotic frontier, sustained a feeling of group, created opportunitiesnot on hand in secular society, formed Alabama politics, and obtainedreligious dominance seldom matched in U.S. heritage. Wayne Flynt's balanced, exhaustively researched publication is the 1st aboutAlabama Baptists to be written through a qualified historian. Publicationin 1998 marks the a hundred and seventy fifth anniversary of the Alabama kingdom Baptist conference.
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Additional info for Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the heart of Dixie
Once upon a time the SBC was one of the most selfcontained of all denominations. In recent years the story has become much more complex. A congregation may still be officially connected to the SBC but choose to give its mission contributions to the more moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Or it may feel alienated from the state convention, which it considers insufficiently conservative, and give its money directly to the SBC. Fundamentalist Alabama Baptists proclaim that they feel more comfortable with like-minded Presbyterians than with "denominational loyalist," "moderate," or "liberal'' Baptists.
Worthy, who ushered me into the Christian faith; to B. Locke Davis, C. Otis Brooks, and John H. Jeffers, who were my long-time pastors; to W. Albert Smith, my father-in-law and a model of nondogmatic fundamentalism; and to William T. Edwards, my freshman college teacher of Old and New Testament, later my friend and colleague, whose theology was more critical and liberal than the others. What these mentors had in common was a fervent commitment to being Baptist and a warm personal faith. They were all white males.
At this level, the centrality of family, friends, neighbors, and community emerges. Local organizations (Sunday school, Woman's Missionary Union, deacons, pastors, church discipline) are paramount. Finally, I focus on Alabama Baptists as a denominational experience: a group of relatively like-minded congregations committed to common theology and polity. To facilitate their mission in the world, churches deemphasized their differences in order to construct institutions, train leaders, and work cooperatively and efficiently.