Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baptist Witness in the Bahamas

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the big projects that I've been working on intensively for the past couple of months is an upcoming issue of the American Baptist Quarterly that will focus on the history of the Bahamian Baptists. Slated for publication at the end of this year, this issue will contain a number of articles by Bahamians and Bahamianists alike that should help to illuminate our understanding of this heretofore largely ignored aspect of Baptist history. Given that Baptists make up approximately 33% of the Bahamian population, making them the largest religious group in the Bahamas, one simply cannot overlook their contributions to the Bahamas. Once released, I hope that this issue will not only be well received by the ABQ's regular readers but also by Bahamian scholars and clergy who would find this topic to be of interest.

Once we have determined how and where this issue of the ABQ will be made available in the Bahamas, I will make that information available on this blog. For those interested in obtaining a copy of this edition directly from the American Baptist Historical Society, the organization that publishes the ABQ, click here. In the meantime, here's a copy of the table of contents along with the author bios to whet your appetite.

“The Bahamas: Baptist Witness amidst Slavery, Colonialism, and Globalization”
American Baptist Quarterly 26 (W 2007)
Edited by Robert E. Johnson and Daniel M. Schweissing

1. “Introduction: Baptist Witness in the Bahamas”
By Daniel M. Schweissing

2. “The Great Awakening and Baptist Beginnings in Colonial Georgia, the Bahama Islands, and Jamaica, 1739-1833”
By Alfred L. Pugh

3. “Shadrach Kerr: Priest and Missionary”
By Jim Lawlor

4. “A History of the Baptists’ Contribution to Education in the Bahamas”
By Christopher Curry

5. “The Role of the Afro-Bahamian Pastor as a Catalyst for Majority Rule”
By R.E. Cooper, Jr.

6. “Rev. Julio Laporte: Pioneer Haitian Baptist Pastor in the Bahamas”
By Charles Chapman and Daniel M. Schweissing

7. “Decolonizing Theology: The Role of Theological Education in Bahamian Nation Building”
By Daniel M. Schweissing

8. “An Annotated Bibliography of Resources on the Bahamian Baptists”
By Daniel M. Schweissing


Charles Chapman, a retired American Baptist pastor and missionary, has served overseas in Congo (formerly Zaire), Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. He is currently an interim pastor in the Philadelphia area.

R.E. Cooper, Jr. is the president of Atlantic College and Theological Seminary in Nassau, the senior pastor of the historic Mission Baptist Church in Grant’s Town, and the general superintendent of the Mission Baptist Consortium of Churches.

Christopher Curry, a lecturer at the College of the Bahamas in Nassau, is currently pursuing Ph.D. studies in Latin American and Caribbean history at the University of Connecticut. He is a specialist in the African diaspora of the Anglophone Caribbean.

Robert E. Johnson, editor of the American Baptist Quarterly, is an associate professor of church history and missiology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

Jim Lawlor, a retired educator, currently divides his time between substitute teaching and historical research and writing. He has researched for Paul Albury, Arthur Hailey and Sir Orville Turnquest on various aspects of Bahamian History. Together with his wife Anne, Jim has written The Harbour Island Story, updated The Paradise Island Story written by Anne's father, Paul Albury, and presented lectures and written numerous articles in journals and magazines on Bahamian History. Jim has recently authored a biography of the late Paul Albury.

Alfred L. Pugh is a retired American Baptist pastor. From 1970 to 1987, he was an assistant professor in the Black Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh and an adjunct professor of church history and homiletics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He has recently authored Pioneer Preachers in Paradise.

Daniel M. Schweissing is an American Baptist missionary in Nassau where he serves as a theology instructor at Atlantic College and Theological Seminary and conducts leadership training workshops through the Mission Baptist Consortium of Churches. He is also the guest editor for this edition of the American Baptist Quarterly.

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