With Quiet Diligence: How Claude Elbert Spencer Formed an Archival Tradition in the ­Stone-Campbell Movement

I published a chapter in The Faithful Librarian: Essays on Christianity in the Profession. (McFarland and Company, 2019) in which I provide for the first time a critical, source based account of Claude Spencer’s career and contribution to archival sensitivity in the Stone-Campbell Movement.  Below are the opening and closing paragraphs of the chapter:

As the pioneering archivist of the Restoration Movement or Stone-Campbell Movement, comprising the Christian Churches, Churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Claude Elbert Spencer (1898-1979) came onto the scene during the emergence and professionalization of library study and the concomitant higher expectation of library work in the academy; he possessed a native impulse and a unique vocational imperative to collect history; and finally he owned a theological subjunctive to embrace the breadth of Stone-Campbell material in a single archive.  This essay narrates the contours of his life’s story and work as it relates to the formation of the archive he conceived.  Further, it attends to the values and virtues that compelled his collecting and guided his service.  Spencer’s bibliographic work was exemplary and his archival work was peerless in his denomination. The story behind this work and the values that undergird it invite contemplation by those who would serve as archivists in denominational settings.

and

It is remarkable that a boy who learned to read at age nine would five years later become de facto librarian of his high school, and five years after that lead the library at his college in exchange for tuition, room and board.  It is remarkable that librarian who wouldn’t have known a Disciple book if it hit him in the head would compile a bibliography so authoritative it remains unsurpassed after seventy years.  It is remarkable that he formed a collegial society to serve the academy and the congregation, the graduate seminar and the Sunday school roundtable.  It is remarkable that he maintained an unrelenting commitment to charity and equal representation in collecting scope in the face of bitter intramural disputes over bureaucracy the very existence of which fractured the ecclesial fellowship he loved and served the entirety of his career.  It is remarkable that he recognized the need for, and advocated for needed research topics that were years ahead of their time.  It is remarkable that though he held no degree beyond the ars baccalaureus in education, no less than 84 master’s theses and doctoral dissertations credit his advice, counsel, and assistance.*  It is remarkable that he attained expertise with minimal formal coursework and professional training, but so mastered ‘library economy’ and was so productive in keeping up a demanding schedule, that the upon his retirement he was replaced by two and one-half full-time equivalents with graduate degrees in history, library science, and theology.

Spencer’s legacy survives in the several bibliographic works he authored, in the catalog records he generated, in the finding aids he assembled, and in the indexes he compiled.  His legacy survives among the holdings of Disciples of Christ Historical Society, of which he was visionary and architect.  His legacy endures in the community of librarians, archivists, historians, students and independent scholars he formed.  His legacy endures in the scholarship he facilitated by virtue of his quiet diligence in collecting, organizing, describing, preserving, and advocacy for print and archival materials of the Stone-Campbell heritage, consisting of the Christian Churches, the Churches of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and related groups.

The chapter was a sheer pleasure to research and write.  Stone-Campbell historical scholarship came into its own because of Claude Spencer.  First he raised awareness of its need, articulated that vision in plain terms, and then set about sourcing everything a scholar would need to write.  Look at the footnotes of the historical works published by or about anything Stone-Campbell since World War 2.  Look hard enough, and follow the references long enough, and you will find precious few that do not cite materials he gathered, inspired others to gather, or quote those who deal with those primary sources.  I think he surpasses all historians as the most significant single figure who has contributed to ‘Restoration history.’

*– I have since located two additional theses, for a total of 86.

Nashville Christian Churches, 1904

John T. Brown published in 1904 an encyclopedic pictorial and summative account of the Christian Churches.  Churches of Christ however was not exhaustive and underrepresented those writers, evangelists, congregations and publications opposing instrumental music in worship and Christian missionary work through agencies or societies other than a local congregation.

He provides on pp. 357ff a large and beautiful photograph of the Vine Street Christian Church along with its board of elders and a brief narrative sketch.   He concludes with a list of the other congregations in Nashville.

“There are seventeen other congregations in the city.  The following is a list:

1. South College Street [South Nashville]

2. Woodland Street

3. Tenth Street

4. Lockeland Church

5. Fourth Street [Grandview Church is first listed in the 1905 City Directory]

6. Foster Street [North Edgefield]

7. Highland Avenue

8. West Nashville

9. Carroll Street

10. Line Street [Jo Johnston]

11. Waverly Place

12. Beuna Vista [not listed in the City Directory for 1904 or 1905]

13. Nashville Bible School

Three of the eighteen are colored churches:

14. Lee Avenue

15. Gay Street [Second Church]

16. Jackson Street” [listed in the 1905 directory with the white congregations]

I compared Brown’s list to the 1904 and 1905 Nashville City Directories*.  In the list above, in square brackets, I add the names of the congregations as they appear in the City Directories.  The Directories have these additional congregations: Cherokee Park, Davis Hill, Green Street, North Spruce Street, Scovel Street and Willow Street.

I point this out only to say that both sources illuminate each other; at the same time both are incomplete and even when merged do not tell the whole story.  For example, in 1904-1905 the little mission on 12th Avenue North in North Nashville (launched from the North Spruce Street Church) was underway but it was too new for Brown and so far under the radar, it seems, as to escape notice of the Directory compilers.  There was also an African-American congregation/mission in East Nashville that no one seems to have noticed.

Also, Brown and the City Directories speak of the same congregations using different names:  Line Street and Jo Johnston are the same congregation; same for North Edgefield and Foster Street; Fourth Street is probably a reference to the mission that became the Grandview Church, first listed in the 1905 Directory; South Nashville is the same as South College Street; and Vine Street is also known as First Christian Church.

Such is the nature of the sources.

All of this to say that compiling a Name Authority for the Nashville Christian Churches and Churches of Christ requires relentless sleuthing, sifting, comparing and hypothesizing.  It has been not only enjoyable but satisfying.  Five years between revisions is long enough.  One of my 2018 goals for this blog is to publish a third revised and corrected edition of the Name Authority.

*Nashville City Directory 1904. Nashville: Marshall and Bruce Company, 1904, p. 62 and Nashville City Directory 1905. Nashville: Marshall, Bruce, Polk Company, 1905, p. 35.

 

 

eScriptorium 2017 Year In Review

One of my goals for 2017 was to resume blogging.  My move to Abilene in early 2013 slowed posting; my family’s arrival in late July that year began a series of transitions that all but stopped my blogging.  We spent all our emotional energy and much of our time the remainder of 2013 settling into all things new: new home, new city, new jobs, new friends, new church, new routines, and a new son in April 2014.  That fall I went back to graduate school and completed a library degree in August 2016.

While I managed to generate a few posts in 2015-2016, the output really stagnated.  The numbers, though, did not.  I managed through regular posting in 2011 and 2012 to build a readership that topped 17,000 hits per year in both 2012 and 2013, up dramatically from about 6500-8000 per year in 2009-2010 and 3400 in 2008.  Overall, page views  moderated to about 10,000 per year (from about 4500 discrete users) in 2014-2016.  This was a decline, but a net gain of some 2000 page views more per year than the previous two years, with virtually no additional posts.  Yes, the number of hits dropped off, but much to my surprise they did not tank.  In fact, many posts about various Nashville Churches of Christ (congregations, persons, subjects, issues, etc.) kept generating hit after hit through Google searches.  I take it to mean that the material I blog about is of interest.  Ain’t none of this viral, but it seems folks are already looking for it, and they find it here.  In 2006-2007 when I began blogging more and more about Nashville Churches of Christ history I would not have predicted my readership map a decade later (after almost three years of inactivity) would look like this:

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Obviously the bulk of my readership is located in the US, but these countries are represented in 2017:

United States” 9242
Brazil 58
Canada 29
Philippines 28
India 27
United Kingdom 22
Norway 22
Australia 22
Singapore 20
Germany 19
South Africa 19
New Zealand 11
Japan 10
European Union 8
France 7
South Korea 7
Trinidad & Tobago 6
Italy 5
Mexico 5
Malaysia 4
Netherlands 4
Nigeria 4
Moldova 3
Ghana 3
Ireland 3
Belarus 3
Belgium 3
Ecuador 2
Malawi 2
Honduras 2
Thailand 2
Zambia 2
Vietnam 1
Lebanon 1
Turkey 1
Bulgaria 1
Dominican Republic 1
Indonesia 1
Haiti 1
Bahamas 1
Bhutan 1
Spain 1
Albania 1
Morocco 1
Romania 1
Hong Kong SAR China 1
Finland 1

Top Ten posts (with page views) for 2017 are:

1. Understanding Non-Institutional Churches of Christ: 350

2. Understanding Non-Sunday School Churches of Christ: 276

3. David Lipscomb: A Bibliography: 209

4. South Harpeth Church of Christ, Davidson County, Tennessee: 195

5. Nashville, The City of David (Lipscomb): Three Issues of Gospel Advocate Remember Lipscomb and His Legacy: 192

6. About: 145

7. Helpful Lectio Divina Quotes: 116

8. Facts Concerning the New Testament Church, a tract by P. H. Welshimer: 103

9. The Spoken Word: 93

10. Mack Wayne Craig visitor follow-up letter, Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ, Nashville, TN, 1958-59: 83

10. The Written Word: 83

The top spot goes again to Chris Cotten, whose guest post about noninstitutional first reads has proven to be the most enduringly popular post on my blog.  He has had the top spot each year for almost a decade now.  I can only surmise I should post less and garner more traffic, or simply redirect to his blog.  Congratulations again Chris!  In all seriousness, over the years I have made overtures to a few people for guest posts like Chris’ and no one has taken me up on the offer.

The remainder of the top ten list suggests I should spend more time in these areas:

  1. Assemble resources readers might find useful
  2. Add resources to my About Me, Spoken Word and Written Word pages
  3. Continue Nashville history including the oddball artifact, ephemera, or document

The most popular tags and categories are also revealing (also with page views or clicks):

  1. Nashville Churches of Christ: 221
  2. David Lipscomb: 209
  3. Nashville Bible School and Gospel Advocate: 208 each
  4. Nashville history: 207
  5. James A. Harding: 206
  6. Nashville Stone-Campbell sites: 204
  7. Joe McPherson, State and Local History, and David Lipscomb College: 196 each

Perhaps the most symbolic statistic reached this year is that in 2017 discrete visitors topped 25,000 (as of now 25,468 viewers) and total page views reached 101,196.

If you are brand new, welcome, take a look around.  If you are a regular, thank you for reading, even if my pace has been a bit off these last four years. I make no promises for 2018.  I would like to blog more regularly, and I think I will have a wider margin that can allow for it.  I even have some concrete ideas.  So let’s try to resume.  I invite you to read along with me this year.

New Shops Church rescinds Cave’s and McKissick’s invitation, West Nashville, 1907

In 1907 R. Lin Cave and J. T. McKissick, minsters at Nashville’s Vine Street and 17th Street Christian Churches (respectively) engaged in a evangelistic tent meeting in near-west Nashville around the vicinity of New Shops Church of Christ.  This note from the July 18, 1907 Gospel Advocate clarifies that by 1907 the rift between local Christian Churches and Churches of Christ was deep and widening.  In 1907 the New Shops Church of Christ, also known as Winston Avenue Christian Church, was a young congregation in a growing working-class neighborhood.  I blogged about this congregation several years ago.  This item from the 1907 Advocate sheds light on the character of the congregation in its earliest years.  I am still in search of any scrap of information about this congregation: photographs, directories, bulletins, paper or ephemera of any kind.

Nashville_Congregations_NewShops_1907_GA_07.18.#29_p.16

W. J. Cullum, “A Statement,” Gospel Advocate, July 18, 1907, p. 16.

The Library as a Place to Stand

A couple weeks ago I spoke at the 2017 board meeting of the Friends of the Abilene Public Library.  Tasked with a making a speech of 20 minutes (or less) on a topic of my choosing, I decided to preach to the choir.

This group is already committed to libraries.  They donate thousands of hours on behalf of our city library in the form of facility and program development, publicity, fundraising, and advocacy.  Their work is largely unheralded because so much of its behind the scenes.  But all of it is vital work.

So, what to say?  Good question.  I decided to articulate why their support is so important and motivate them for continued shared work on behalf of our libraries.  It is an inductive speech: it builds a case to ask a question.  Throughout the speech I repeat refrains like ‘this is what we know.’ I want to underscore what I think are our shared values and having articulated them, use them to ask a question to move us forward.  Again, I’m preaching to the choir, but I want the choir to keep at it.

Here is the full speech: The Library as a Place to Stand.  It is also available on the Spoken Word page.

 

 

 

The Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Stone-Campbell Movement

One distinctive contribution Nashville made (and still makes) to the world of choral music, particularly Negro spirituals, is through the long history of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

A fine early source of information about the group is The Story of the Jubilee Singers; With Their Songs. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1875.  Authored by J. B. T. Marsh, it went through several editions and printings.  My copy is a second edition (likely a second printing).  Later editions vary and there are a few editions online.  The quote below indicates an intersection of the Stone-Campbell movement with this world-famous group:

“Every member of the company is a professing Christian, one or two having been converted in connection with the religious influences that have be God’s lessing ever attended the work.  The unsectarian feature of the work at Fisk could not, perhaps, be better illustrated than by the fact that the singers represent in their church-membership five different denominations–the Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist, Presbyterian, and “Christian.”  Whenever the exigencies of hotel life or railway travel do not prevent, family worship is held each morning–a novelty to hotel servants usually, and a season of spiritual refreshment with friends who are occasionally present always refer to afterward with peculiar interest…” p. 89

In particular, the intersection centered on one of the founding group members, Georgia Gordon.  This short notice was published in James T. Haley’s Afro-American Encyclopaedia (1895) p. 222:

Marsh included this longer sketch in his book, pp. 100-101.  later editions shortened and deleted some detail.:

In 1897 James T. Haley produced another book and featured Georgia again.  This sketch appeared on pages 75-76 of Sparkling Gems of Race Knowledge Worth Reading:

To read more, here are a few links:

Mark Lowe blogged about Georgia and Preston, providing greater detail. Emma Bragg compiled a helpful short biographical sketch.  Taneya Kalonji has a nice short blog as well.

 

David Lipscomb: A Bibliography

Compiled by McGarvey Ice, 9 November 2017

I list entries under three headings: BOOKS and MONOGRAPHS are stand-alone publications authored by David Lipscomb, or contain his works as edited by others; ESSAYS or CHAPTERS are materials authored by Lipscomb and published during his lifetime. These are not stand-alone publications; finally, BIOGRAPHICAL and INTERPRETIVE list biographical sketches about Lipscomb (published during his life and after his death) and scholarly interpretive works about his life and thought. I list entries under each heading chronologically by date of first publication. I note subsequent editions and/or reprintings only at the entry of first publication. In a few cases I add additional notes. Additions, corrections, and comments are welcome at mac.ice@acu.edu.  Click here to download the bibliography in PDF format.

BOOKS and MONOGRAPHS

Lipscomb, David. The Religious Sentiment, Its Social and Political Influence: An Address Before the Alumni Society of Franklin College, Tenn., delivered on the 4th of July, 1855. Nashville: Cameron & Fall, 1855. 36 p.

Lipscomb, David. Offerings to the Lord: A Tract. Nashville: Lipscomb & Sewell, 1878. 42 p.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb_1878_Offerings_1_cover

David Lipscomb. Offerings to the Lord: A Tract. Nashville: Lipscomb & Sewell, 1878.

[Lipscomb, David] The Standard and the Hymn-Book, with An Exposition of Its Course Toward the Missionary Society. Nashville: A. M. Sewell, 1883. 32 p.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb_1883_StandardandHymnBook_cover

[David Lipscomb] The Standard and the Hymn-Book, with An Exposition of Its Course Toward the Missionary Society. Nashville: A. M. Sewell, 1883.

Lipscomb, David. Difficulties in Religion Considered. [Nashville?: Lipscomb & Sewell?, prior to 1888, possibly in 1885]. Perhaps bound with John T. Poe, What Must I Do To Be Saved? and John T. Poe, The Identity of the Church. This content may be the same as the chapter by the same name in Salvation from Sin (1913).

Lipscomb, D. Christian Unity. How Promoted, How Destroyed. Faith and Opinion. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1891. 64 p. Reprinted by McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1916. Reprinted under a short title, On Christian Unity, by Doulos Christou Press, Indianapolis, 2006.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb.David_1916_ChristianUnity_cover

D. Lipscomb. Christian Unity. How Promoted, How Destroyed. Faith and Opinion. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1916.

Lipscomb, D. Civil Government. Its Origin, Mission, and Destiny, and the Christian’s Relation To It. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1889. 158 p. Reprinted by McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1913; Gospel Advocate Company, 1957. Reprinted by Vance Publications, Pensacola, 2006. This material appeared earlier in Christian Quarterly Review, issues of October 1888, January 1889 and July 1889.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb.David_CivilGovernment_cover

D. Lipscomb. Civil Government. Its Origin, Mission, and Destiny, and the Christian’s Relation To It. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1889.

Lipscomb, D. Life and Sermons of Jesse L. Sewell. An Account of His Life, Labors and Character. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1891. 318 p. Second and third ‘editions’, actually printings, in 1891 by Gospel Advocate Publishing Company. Fourth ‘edition’ by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1954.

Lipscomb, David. Notes on the International S. S. Lessons for 1895. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, [1895]. 279, 1, 34 p.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb.David_NotesonSSLessons_cover

David Lipscomb. Notes on the International S. S. Lessons for 1895. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, [1895]

Lipscomb, David. Notes on the International S. S. Lessons for 1896. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, [1896].

Lipscomb, D. A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, with Questions Suited for the Use of Families and Schools. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1896. 249, 5 p. Printed at least four times, one perhaps as late as 1939.

[Lipscomb, David] Instruments of Music in the Service of God: An Examination of the Subject from the Teaching of Both the Old and the New Testaments. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, [1903]. This tract first appeared in a three-part series of articles in Gospel Advocate in October 1901.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb_1903_InstrumentsofMusic_cover

[David Lipscomb] Instruments of Music in the Service of God: An Examination of the Subject from the Teaching of Both the Old and the New Testaments. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, [1903].

Lipscomb, David. The Sabbath: Which Day Shall We Observe—The First or the Seventh?  [Nashville?: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company and/or McQuiddy Printing Company?, prior to 1910].

Shepherd, J. W. Queries and Answers by David Lipscomb, Editor of the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1910. 458 p. Second and third editions in 1910 and 1911 respectively, both by McQuiddy Printing Company. Fourth and fifth editions by F. L. Rowe, Cincinnati, 1918 and 1942 respectively. Also a Fifth edition by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1963. All subsequent ‘editions’ after the first are actually printings.

Shepherd, J. W. Salvation from Sin by David Lipscomb, Editor of the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1913. x, 440 p. ‘Second edition’, actually a printing, by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1950. Reprinted by Faith and Facts, Indianapolis, ca. 1995.

Kurfees, M. C., ed. Queries and Answers by Lipscomb and Sewell being A Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, covering a period of forty years of their joint editorial labors on the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921. 767 p. Apparently the first printing bears the title as above, both on the title page and spine of the book. Second printing changed to ‘Questions Answered by Lipscomb and Sewell…”. Reprinted under the latter title by McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1952 and 1957 and by Gospel Advocate Company in 1963 and 1974. The title change may have occurred as early as May 1921; the book was first noted in February 1921.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb.David_QueriesAnswersKurfees_cover

M. C. Kurfees, ed. Queries and Answers by Lipscomb and Sewell being A Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, covering a period of forty years of their joint editorial labors on the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921.

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb.David_QuestionsAnsweredKurfees_cover

M. C. Kurfees, ed. Questions AnswereD by Lipscomb and Sewell being A Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, covering a period of forty years of their joint editorial labors on the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume I. Romans. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1933. 285 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume II. First Corinthians. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1935. 274 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume III. Second Corinthians and Galatians. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1936. 304 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume IV. Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1939. 330 p.

Dorris, C. E. W., ed. A Commentary on The Gospel by John by David Lipscomb. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1939. 339 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume V. I, II Thessalonians, I, II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1942. 324 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume I. Romans. Second ed. rev. and enl. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1943. 292 p. The commentaries were reprinted many times by Gospel Advocate Company, 1940s-present. In 1997 Gospel Advocate Company published a Spanish language edition under the series title Un Comentario Sobre las Epítolas del Nueve Testamento translated by Lionel M. Cortez.

ESSAYS or CHAPTERS

Introduction, Jarvis, Ida Van Zandt, Texas Poems. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1893.

“Man: His Beginning, Training, and End” in F. D. Srygley, Biographies and Sermons, A Collection of Original Sermons by Different Men, with a Biographical Sketch of Each Man Accompanying His Sermon, Illustrated by Half-tone Cuts. Nashville: [Gospel Advocate Publishing Company] 1898. pp 165-184. Reprinted by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1961.

Introduction. Calhoun, H. L. and M. C. Kurfees. Instrumental Music in the Worship. A Discussion Between H. L. Calhoun and M. C. Kurfees, with an Appendix. Introduction by David Lipscomb, Editor of the Gospel Advocate. Nashville; Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1901. 48 p.

“Tolbert Fanning’s Teaching and Influence” pp. 7-111; “Address” p. 358-363; “Notice of the Death of William Anderson” pp. 443-447 all in Scobey, James E. ed. Franklin College and Its Influence. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1906. Reprinted by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1954.

Contributor. Lipscomb, A. B. ed. Christian Treasures, An Exposition of Vital Themes by Earnest and Forceful Writers. Volume 1. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1916.

Contributor. Lipscomb, A. B. ed. Christian Treasures, An Exposition of Vital Themes by Earnest and Forceful Writers. Volume 2. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1916.

BIOGRAPHICAL and INTERPRETIVE

Srygley, F. D. “Life of David Lipscomb,” in F. D. Srygley, Biographies and Sermons, A Collection of Original Sermons by Different Men, with a Biographical Sketch of Each Man Accompanying His Sermon, Illustrated by Half-tone Cuts. Nashville: [Gospel Advocate Publishing Company] 1898. pp 150-164. Reprinted by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1961.

“David Lipscomb Memorial Number’ of Gospel Advocate, 59:49 (December 6, 1917) contains numerous articles, tributes and memorials.

Boles, H. Leo. Biographical Sketches of Gospel Preachers, Including the Pioneer Preachers of the Resotration Movement and Many Other Preachers Through Decades Down to the Present Generation Who Have Passed to Their Reward. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1932. pp. 243-247.

West, Earl Irvin. The Life and Times of David Lipscomb. Henderson: Religious Book Service, 1954.

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Earl Irvin West. The Life and Times of David Lipscomb. Henderson: Religious Book Service, 1954.

Vaughn, J. Roy, “David Lipscomb” in B. C. Goodpasture, comp. The Gospel Advocate Centennial Volume. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1956. Ch. 3 devoted to David Lipscomb, pp. 14-40, which includes several articles by Lipscomb.

Barnett, Herman L. “David Lipscomb’s Doctrine of the Church.” MA Thesis, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1956.

Harrell, David Edwin, Jr. “Disciples of Christ Pacifism In Nineteenth Century Tennessee,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly, 21:3 (1962): 263-274

Holland, Tom. David Lipscomb: An Example of Ethical Power in Preaching. MA Thesis, Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas,1964.

Campbell, Thomas L. The Contribution of David Lipscomb and the Gospel Advocate to Religious Education in the Churches of Christ, Or, David Lipscomb’s Contribution to the Restoration Movement. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 1968.

Robinson, John Louis. David Lipscomb : Journalist in Texas, 1872. [Quanah, Texas] Nortex, 1973.

Murrell, Arthur V., “David Lipscomb: Moderate in the Middle; or David Lipscomb Reconsidered,” Discipliana 34 (Winter 1974): 43-57.

Seawright, Sandy, “Ten ‘Greatest Tennesseans’—A Reappraisal,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 35 (Summer 1976): 222-224.

Hooper, Robert E. A Call to Remember: Chapters in Nashville Restoration History. [Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1977].

Nashville_Evangelists_Lipscomb.David_Hooper.Call_cover

Robert E. Hooper. A Call to Remember: Chapters in Nashville Restoration History. [Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1977].

Hooper, Robert E. Crying in the Wilderness: A Biography of David Lipscomb. Nashville: David Lipscomb College, 1979.

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Robert E. Hooper, Crying in the Wilderness: A Biography of David Lipscomb. Nashville: David Lipscomb College, 1979.

Hooper, Robert E., “The Lipscomb Family,” Nashville Families & Homes, Paragraphs from Nashville History Lecture Series 1979-1981. Nashville: The Nashville Room, The Public Library of Nashville & Davidson County, 1983, pp. 90-103.

Dunnavant, Anthony L. “David Lipscomb on the Church and the Poor.” Restoration Quarterly, 33:2 (1991): 75-85.

Dunnavant, Anthony L. “David Lipscomb and the ‘Preferential Option for the Poor’ among Post-Bellum Churches of Christ.” Poverty and Ecclesiology: Nineteenth-Century Evangelicals in the Light of Liberation Theology, Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992, pp. 27-50.

Brewster, Ben. “Torn Asunder the Civil War, David Lipscomb, and the 1906 Division of the Disciples.” MA Thesis, Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1999.

Foster, Douglas A. “Churches of Christ and Baptism: An Historical and Theological Overview.” Restoration Quarterly, 43:2 (2001): 79-94.

Roberts, R. L. “Lipscomb, David” in Richard T. Hughes and R. L. Roberts, The Churches of Christ. Denominations in America, 10. Henry Warner Bowden, Series Ed. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2001: 252-253

Little, David L. “The Aversion to Biblical Interpretation in the Thought of David Lipscomb and Tolbert Fanning.” Restoration Quarterly, 44:3 (2002): 159-164.

Casey, Michael W. “From Religious Outsiders to Insiders: The Rise and Fall of Pacifism in the Churches of Christ.” Journal of Church & State, 44:3 (2002): 455.

Hooper, Robert E., “Lipscomb, David (1831-1917), Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Douglas A. Foster, Paul M. Blowers, Anthony L. Dunnavant, D. Newell Williams, Eds. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004: 480-482.

Hicks, John Mark and Bobby Valentine. Kingdom Come: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of David Lipscomb and James Harding. Abilene, TX : Leafwood Publishers, 2006.

Foster, Douglas A. “The 1906 Census of Religious Bodies and Division in the Stone-Campbell Movement: A Closer Look.” Discipliana, 66:3 (2006): 83-93.

Mead, Jason. “An Abandonment of the Christian Religion”: War, Politics, and Society in the Writings of Tolbert Fanning and David Lipscomb, 1855-1876.” Journal of East Tennessee History, 82, (2010): 33-52.

Hooper, Robert E. Crying in the Wilderness: The Life & Influence of David Lipscomb. [Nashville: Lipscomb University, 2011]

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Robert E. Hooper. Crying in the Wilderness: The Life & Influence of David Lipscomb. [Nashville: Lipscomb University, 2011]

Grubbs, Shaun. The Heritage of Pacifism in the Stone-Campbell Movement: A General Study. MA Thesis, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, 2012.

Brown, Joel A. “Concern for the Poor in the Nashville Bible School Tradition: David Lipscomb and James A. Harding.” Restoration Quarterly, 55:2 (2013): 91-106.

 

That you may give it in due time to others: a brief meditation for congregational historians and others who care about the past and the future

In 1939 Frederick John Foakes Jackson* published A History of Church History: Studies of Some Historians of the Christian Church (W. Heffer & Sons Ltd: Cambridge).  His final book–he published it at age 84–it surveys in fourteen chapters just what its title suggests using biographical and bibliographical lenses.

Foakes Jackson studied under Bishop John Lightfoot at Trinity College, Cambridge and likely he first read church history under Lightfoot.  He returns full circle to his teacher in the final chapter of this final book under the title “The Books Recommended by Bishop Lightfoot.”

The entire book though is somewhat of a tribute volume to Lightfoot.  Foakes Jackson not only ended the book with a very kind nod to his teacher, he prefaced it with a subdued compliment to Lightfoot’s erudition and personal magnanimity. After three unsuccessful attempts at gaining a scholarship to study at Cambridge, Foakes Jackson obtained in 1880 the Lightfoot Scholarship in Ecclesiastical History.  From there his teaching career launched and sailed for the next six decades.  The Preface to A History of Church History contains the reply Foakes Jackson received when, upon learning of this award he wrote a note of thanks to the Bishop.  The closing line of the reply reads: “I trust you will take up some portion of history and make it your own that you may give it in due time to others.”

Take up…make it your own…give it to others.  I imagine Foakes Jackson at near ninety rereading the treasured letter from the patron who enabled his early university career.

There is wisdom here from Lightfoot and Foakes Jackson.  As church historians, or congregational historians, or teachers in congregational settings, or preachers, we stand in a tradition.  We are not the first to undertake the task of sorting out our past.  We are not the first to stand before a class or congregation.  We are not the first to write or research or sift or evaluate or craft the product of our study.  We are not the first and we will not be the last.  We have neither the first nor the final word.  But we have our word, and with that a responsibility to pay close attention to those who precede us, add to it in our own way with criticism, insight, research and commentary, and then hand it off again.  Just as our predecessors entrusted the work to us, we entrust it to others.  We have responsibility to look backward at the tradition we have inherited; likewise we bear a responsibility to pass it forward after we make our contribution.  We care about the past, we steward our gifts and resources in this moment, and we care about the future.  We receive, we give.  We take up, make it our own, and then give it away.

This inspires me to be responsible with what I receive.  It inspires me to take seriously and steward wisely the opportunities and resources available to me.  It underscores for me the reality that I am part of a community, one that ‘right now’ as much as it is past/future.  For some of us the community may be a professional guild, or it may be the Wednesday night regulars, but there is a community.  It encourages me to submit the fruit of my work to the good of the community.

Wikipedia will get you started; follow the links there to good and useful information about FJFJ.

Burnette Chapel Church of Christ

Today’s shooting at Burnette Chapel Church brings great sadness.  The Churches of Christ community in Nashville can be a very close-knit web of relationships, kinships, and friendships.  When Laura and I taught at Ezell-Harding we formed many friendships and some of those reach into Burnette Chapel Church, including Joey and Peggy Spann.  Other connections revolve around common connections we have all over town.  Today’s tragedy touches the web in all kinds of ways.

The last time I was at Burnette Chapel, in 2011 I think, I came in just a few minutes after the evening services began.  Joey was very warm and kindly introduced me to several folks who could help me with my history pursuit.  Burnette Chapel is an old congregation with deep roots in that part of the Nashville/Davidson County community.

Some time ago I posted a few tidbits about Burnette Chapel history on the Nashville Churches of Christ Facebook group:

Samuel Parker Pittman was a fixture, first as a student, then on the faculty, at Nashville Bible School/David Lipscomb College. He preached his first sermon at Burnette Chapel in the fall of 1892, at the ripe age of 16 years. This is the old Burnette Chapel building, the site of which is now under the waters of Percy Priest Lake. The current building is not far from the lake. These photos are from the 1954 biography of S. P. Pittman. Also, TB Larimore preached his first sermon at Burnette Chapel while he was a young student at Tolbert Fanning’s Franklin College. This is a fine example of a congregation growing preachers the organic, natural way: slowly, patiently, lovingly, fanning the flame of the gifts of the Spirit. Burnette Chapel was not unique in this regard; neither were Pittman and Larimore. Jim Allen got his start this way, so did David Lipscomb, Lytton Alley, the Cullum’s, Joe McPherson, Marshall Keeble, and a host of local elders and deacons who regularly taught and fed the flocks in addition to carrying full-time employment responsibilities in the marketplace and family responsibilities at home.

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My thoughts, now, though are not on the past, but the very much on the pressing grief and shock of the moment.