Last week I took a walk on the wild side and traveled to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in a suburb of Fort Worth Texas. There I presented on the process and significance of digitizing the NC Biblical Recorder at the annual conference of the Association of Librarians and Archivists of Baptist Institutions (ALABI).
SBTS is a flat friendly place, with wide shady spaces between its large, concrete buildings. At SBTS, the President, Paige Patterson (above right), formerly President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, requires that all deans undergo comprehensive training in firearms. With prophetic foresight, he anticipated the day, now imminent, when the Texas legislature would make it legal to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. To summarize two of his papers, “Hunting’s Ultimate Happiness,” and “A Nation at Risk” if the Good Samaritan had been at Virginia Tech, he would have been prepared to use his weapon. Indeed, Patterson has forged a ministry around guns, forming church based societies throughout Texas to strengthen the father-son-bond (foundational to society) through hunting. Just before lunch on the first day we were treated to a tour of Patterson’s office, which displays a small portion of his trophies.
I learned at the conference that there are TWO major Baptist conferences in Raleigh next year, which gives me two more chances to promote the Biblical Recorder project to Baptist historians and librarians. The very few other digitization projects that include Baptist materials are working with Lyrasis and the Internet Archive. The interest of the ALABI group in our project was high.