November 5, 2021
East Texas Baptist University hosted Dr. Carol Holcomb, Professor of Church History and Baptist Studies at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, on Wednesday, November 3, as part of the William Pinson Lecture Series. The William M. Pinson Baptist History Lecture Series was established by the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) as an expression of gratitude for Dr. William Pinson’s service to Baptists throughout the United States, including serving as a pastor, seminary professor, seminary president, and Baptist denominational leader.
“Today, we honor Dr. William (Bill) Pinson, who was the Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention for nearly 20 years,” ETBU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “He left a legacy of commitment to missions and to our Baptist heritage, and today we celebrate that commitment and legacy.”
During the University-wide chapel service, and a luncheon held afterward, Dr. Holcomb spoke about difficult aspects of Baptist heritage and encouraged those listening to be aware of all versions of history.
“You see, the truth of history, like the truth of the Gospel, is bigger than we can possibly imagine,” Dr. Holcomb said during chapel. “The more truth we uncover, the more pictures we take, the clearer the past will become. And we cannot be afraid of the truth. We cannot shrink from the truth, even when it paints us in a negative light, even when it reveals things that we would rather not see. In order to be faithful to my vocation as a church historian and in order to be faithful to the high calling of Christ Jesus, I must always, always tell the truth. Because I believe absolutely in what our Savior taught us. That the truth will set us free.”
Dr. Carol Holcomb has served as a Professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the College of Christian Studies since 1999. She earned a Bachelor of Arts at Louisiana Tech University in 1988, a Master’s of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1992, and a Ph.D. at Baylor University in 1999. Her areas of expertise are Church History, Baptist Studies, and Women in American Christianity. She is the author of numerous professional publications, including the forthcoming A Home Without Walls: Southern Baptist Women in the Progressive Era.
“I want to thank Dr. Holcomb for having the courage to boldly confront the history of racism in Southern Baptist life,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said during the luncheon. “I admire your candidness to clearly identify the absence of women's voices as well as the voices of black men and women, and their contributions to Baptist life – church, missions, education, and civil rights. To tell the truth of history is difficult because it creates conflict. It reveals the pain and agony that too many in our country have faced. Thank you for convicting us with the truth through your remarkable Christian scholarship and study.”