Ice.headshot.12.15A Nashville, TN native, my roots extend to the hills of east Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, central Ohio and West Virginia.  My spouse Laura and I now live in Abilene, Texas, with our four children.

A teacher at heart, I’ve pursued this vocation in a variety of contexts. I am currently  Assistant Professor of Library Science and Director of Special Collections and Archives, Milliken Special Collections, Brown Library, Abilene Christian University.

In 2011 and 2012 I interpreted late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century Tennessee history at Historic Mansker’s Station and the Bowen-Campbell Plantation Home in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.  I was Director of Research Services at Disciples of Christ Historical Society from 2006-2010 and taught Biblical Studies at Ezell-Harding Christian School from 1999-2006.

I was a staff minister at Central Church of Christ, Nashville, TN, teaching and preaching in several capacities from 1996-2008.  From 2008-2012 we were active in several ways (and I served as a Deacon) at Smyrna Church of Christ outside of Nashville.  We are active at University Church of Christ in Abilene, where I serve as an Elder.


I am a graduate of Lipscomb University with degrees in Biblical studies and the University of North Texas in Library Science and Archival Studies.  I am currently researching and writing for the Ph.D. in Church History at the University of Divinity and Stirling Theological College, Melbourne, Australia. I have additional certifications through the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Records Administration and the Academy of Certified Archivists.  I am active in the Society of American Archivists where I serve on the Steering Committee of the Archivists of Religious Collections Section and participate as a mentor for early-career archivists.  Since 2016 I have served as Associate Editor of Restoration Quarterly and as Secretary of the Restoration Quarterly Corporation Board.

My research and writing interests center in the broad areas of bibliography, Nashville Churches of Christ, and Stone-Campbell studies, which I list in full in my CV (linked below). Occasional speaking engagements at churches, schools and conferences afforded me avenues to pursue each of these interests.

About the blog:

A good deal of this blog focuses on my on-going research of the Stone-Campbell Movement (or Restoration Movement).  I am deeply interested in how the story of this religious movement intersects Nashville history and culture.  That I live and work in Texas does not diminish my research interest in Middle Tennessee, though it sometimes poses spatial and practical obstacles.

Alexander Campbell’s outdoor hexagonal brick study, pictured here, was for him a space sacred for both retreat and study as well as conversation and engagement.  The study — or scriptorium if you will — was purposefully lit from above by a skylight: he labored by the conviction that all light comes from above.  Here he retreated each morning to pray, to read, to reflect on the ancient scriptures.  Here he engaged the ideas of his day.  Lastly, here he wrote books, periodicals, essays, sermons, speeches, and debates.   From his scriptorium he participated in the larger community of scholarship and ministry.

I’m certainly no Alexander Campbell, yet I’m inspired by his study: what it meant and what it yet means.  So eScriptorium is one effort of mine to participate in both the academic and faith communities.  I alone am responsible for the content of this blog. Any judgment or opinion expressed herein represents only myself as the sole owner of this blog. I moderate comments according to my own preferences.

Click here for my full Curriculum Vitae

15 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello,
    I read your most recent post in my Reader, but it is not posted here, which is odd. The post was Exploration in Bibliography #5, and stresses the need for a Restoration Movement Bibliography. I agree with you 100%, but don’t know if anyone will be taking this on soon. So, I have a suggestion.
    What if we do it? If everyone who reads your blog (and others, once the word is out) would create entries from their own collections/ libraries we could have a decent bibliography put together for the most knowledgeable scholars to look at and fill in the holes. It could be hosted on the DCHS website, providing another service to Restoration scholars. A database would be cool, allowing for searches according to any field, and could include tagging by users. What do you think?


  2. I read with great interest in the closing of Clover Bottom. I worked there 3 years as Personnel Director. It was a place dear to my heart. There were many devoted employees earning little pay at that time.

    There was also so ugly things at Clover Bottom in which I
    tried to correct while I was there. After three years, I moved on into the General Hospital setting but thinking back many years ago it was probably one of my most rewarding jobs.

    Thank you.

    Jim Marler
    Baltimore, MD

  3. I have a book that I have a question about and thought you might be able to help me. I found a book by J.W. Chism that was published my the Gospel Advocate Publishing Company in Nashville, Tenn the date is 1901 If you could email me back and tell me what you know I would really appreciate it. I have done internet searches and all I pulled up was one item on amazon and there isnt much info to go on. The title of the book is Cambellism What is it? by J.W. Chism

  4. Mac, I was referred to your blog by cousin Kevin Owen at the Lebanon College Hills church, trying to make a contact point. About three years ago you gave the wife, Clema, and I a tour at the museum. I took a picture of a log cabin meeting house but failed to document what it was. I am not reading Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, a book recently given to me, and wonder if the log cabin in the picture was the one constructed as a meeting place for the Christian association prompted by Thomas Campbell. Seems likely but can you confirm or deny?

    I will visit your blog ofter now that I know of it.

    I sent the museum a book I put together on the history of the church in Laredo, Texas. I presume you got it.

    Chuck Owen

  5. I commend and appreciate your efforts to search and document the history of the church around Nashville, where I was born and still feel at home. Apparently it’s an ill internet search that doesn’t lead you to further understanding of your world and yourself. As an amateur and part-time genealogist, I have been fascinated to find Great-Great’s on both sides of my family in the midst of the Restoration movement of the Lord’s Church 150-100 years ago. It bolsters my genealogy interest, and although the UDC and DAR would scarcely acknowledge it… this is a heritage of faith that I can be proud to pass on to my sons.
    It was in searching for anecdotal information about my great grandfather that I found your blog. Before I found you, I found the history of the Mt. Juliet, TN Church where he – George Van Buren Goodall was one of the founding elders about 1891. You would find the deed restrictions placed upon the church property in 1915 to be fascinating: [http://www.mtjuliet.org/sermons/archives/002143.html] I did, along with the confirmation that the author of those words, Bro. Elam, was the minister who officiated at my grandparent’s wedding in 1909. I have my grandmother’s wedding book and many of the people who signed it were members of the early Mt. Juliet Church. My grandmother was a faithful member of the church and reader, subscriber of the Gospel Advocate until her death at age 96. This is my father’s family.
    My mother’s Great Grandfather, David Purviance McCorkle, was named after his great uncle, David Purviance – a preacher and compatriot of Barton Stone. When D.P. McCorkle’s grandfather William married David Purviance’s sister and started following the teachings of Barton Stone,”he freed all his slaves and took up preaching” according to family history. These McCorkle’s are from the same family of staunch Scots Presbyterian parents – different son – that produced Samuel Eusebius McCorkle, Presbyterian revivalist and one of the founders of the University of North Carolina. Near Newbern in West Tennessee, these McCorkles help establish the Lemalsamac Church of Christ [http://www.lemalsamaccofc.com/Blog/?p=10] and a McCorkle family history says Jane M. McCorkle, D.P. McCorkle’s mother, was baptized into Christ as a charter member of that church in 1847. Her descendants have worshipped there for 163 years. As her 4th great granddaughter, I find it amusing to find a few relatives from that period named after great evangelists of the restoration… and heartwarming to know that I on the Lord’s day worship the way my family has for more than 150 years as well as the first disciples did after Pentecost. The newest reborn Christian is far greater in the Kingdom than I, but my responsibility to my Lord and my family has grown through these discoveries – which delight my soul.

    Karen Moore Waugh
    Tampa, FL

    • That is wonderful Karen. Thank you for your kind words; I appreciate it very much. Please keep me in mind if you learn abything else about these churches.

  6. Mac, Been too long looking at your blog – until today. Still interested in keeping up with you and Restoration/reformation. BTW, I recently had the biography of Campbell given to me. Enjoy the read and glad to have it in my library.

  7. Hello Mac,

    I wanted to let you know that I finally finished my book entitled From Campbell to Katrina: A History of the Churches of Christ in New Orleans.

    Your name appears in my preface section because of your wonderful assistance when I came to the Historical Society awhile back.

    Take care and God bless,

    Eric Dishongh

    • Hello Eric,
      It is great to hear from you. Congratulations on the book! Would you consider sending a copy so I can review it here on the blog? I’ll do what I can to publicize it. Grace and peace, Mac

  8. I remember 22nd Ave. as 25th ave, but the addresses are about the same. I believe I sent you a note that I used to attend there in the summers on Wednesday evening and sometimes on Sunday evenings with Granville Cullom, but the note does not show up anywhere. I think that 49th Ave. was started by some members from 48th Ave, which was non-Sunday School and I think one cup.

  9. I am trying to get more information about the history of the churches of Christ. Posted is a church back in the days names, Jefferson Street Church of Christ the minister back then was a man named “Marion F. Holt”, My grand-father, He name is spelled wrong. Just wanted to let you know.

    Marion Jr.

  10. Hi, I am hoping you can answer a question for me concerning Grace Avenue Church of Christ. My childhood was spent around the church as I was born 1942 on Grace Avenue. I remember so well the beauty of the church and it being the anchor of the neighborhood. I have tried to find out what happen to the church because I thought that church would surly not be torn down if there was a way to move the church and place it in a new location. If you have any knowledge of this church and if it has a location it would please me to visit.

  11. Mac,
    I saw your post on Short Mountain Bible Camp and I have many fond memories of SMBC as a child, former caretaker and now as an adult. I was wondering if I could request a copy of the scanned camp brochure featured in your blog. My parents, Gayle and Patricia Rains were the caretakers from 1988-2000 and we have several original photographs from that brochure. I am working on restoring the photographs and plan to have copies mounted on archival card stock for an exhibit in the Mess Hall. I would like to feature the camp brochure as a centerpiece of that exhibit along with the photographs through the years of campers. Any thoughts are appreciated and feel free to send me an e-mail.

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