Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the Heart of Dixie

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University of Alabama Press, 1998 - Religion - 731 pages
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Alabama Baptists are a complex people. Although regarded as conservative
in both politics and theology, many Baptists became leaders of the 1890s
agrarian revolt, devoted partisans of the social gospel early in the 20th
century, and ardent advocates of the New Deal. Complexity has also characterized
the denomination's race relations. For nearly five decades half its members
were slaves, while many other members owned slaves. Thus, interaction of
black and white Baptists created a unique religious setting in which people
who were members of the same churches interpreted the gospel of liberation
in dramatically different ways. After the Civil War, Baptist churches in
the South divided into white and black congregations. Only white congregations
remained part of the Southern Baptist Convention, whose members are known
as Southern Baptists. Black congregations became part of the National Baptist
Convention, and their history is a separate story deserving future study.

Despite social and cultural conflict Alabama Baptists helped tame a
chaotic frontier, sustained a sense of community, created opportunities
not available in secular society, shaped Alabama politics, and obtained
religious dominance seldom matched in U.S. history.

Wayne Flynt's balanced, exhaustively researched book is the first about
Alabama Baptists to be written by a professional historian. Publication
in 1998 marks the 175th anniversary of the Alabama State Baptist Convention.

 

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Contents

Confronting the Frontier 18001845
1
Taming the Frontier 18001845
35
The Work of the Gospel 18451860
65
War and Reunion 18601874
112
Building a New South 18751890
157
Revolt at the Forks of the Creek 18901900
205
Progressivism and Baptists 19001920
251
The Ballyhoo Years AlabamaStyle the 1920
307
War and Remembrance 19401954
399
Racial Religion 19551970
455
Race and Politics during the 1970s
517
The Fundamentalist Controversy in Alabama 19801998
563
Notes
625
Bibliography
687
Index
707
Copyright

The Great Depression 19301939
360

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About the author (1998)

Wayne Flynt is Distinguished University Professor at Auburn University
and author or coauthor of eleven books, including Poor but Proud, Alabama in the Twentieth Century, and Taking
Christianity to China: Alabama Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 1850-1950.
Flynt has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Lillian Smith Award for nonfiction, the Clarence Cason Nonfiction Award, the James F. Sulzby Jr. Book Award (twice), and the Alabama Library Association Award for nonfiction (twice).

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