ETBU Library Receives Historic Church Minutes from Karnack Baptist Churchby Mike Midkiff
MARSHALL, Texas (8/06/12)- Karnack Baptist Church, established in 1843, has presented to East Texas Baptist University its original church minutes to be archived in the Mamye Jarrett Library. ETBU Director of Library Services Cynthia Peterson received the historic documents during the church’s annual Homecoming Service on Sunday, August 5, 2012.
"I want to thank you for entrusting us with this important historical document,” said Ms. Peterson to the Homecoming congregation gathered. "This document will be a wonderful resource for historians and researchers, including students of ETBU. In sharing your past you are also enhancing the studies of future students.”
ETBU became aware of the historic documents after a church member approached their interim pastor, ETBU Professor of Theology and Ethics Dr. Jeph Holloway. Dr. Holloway immediately recognized the importance of the ledger book which contains the church business minutes from 1843-1903.
In an article in the Marshall News Messenger, Dr. Holloway said, "It’s an old ledger book, handwritten. It talks about different pastors over the years and how much they were paid, like $1.50 a week.” The minutes also reported that whites and slaves worshipped together.
Before the originals were presented to ETBU, the minutes were sent to the Dallas-based Texas Baptist Historical Collections (TBHC) of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The TBHC digitized the files for their collection as well as provide an electronic copy to ETBU.
"In talking with Naomi Taplin at the Texas Baptist Historical Collection she said she had fun making the pages readable. Old ink bleeds through pages or fades,” said Ms. Peterson. "This collection will be a great addition to ETBU’s Baptist History archives and it is a source for local history as well.” The original documents will be housed in the Jarrett Library in a climate-controlled vault.
Karnack Baptist Church is located in the Harrison County town of Karnack, which is located 14 miles northeast of Marshall.