In these early years
of the 21st century, our vision is to make our collections easily available for all who are interested in the Baptist legacy.
“ almost limitless possibilities for creating virtual history exhibits and online resources ”
Today's Compelling Call
When it became obvious that the materials under the safekeeping of ABHS needed to be consolidated to a single location (we were in two--300 miles apart), the ABHS Board of Managers thoroughly studied a variety of options for two years.
The Board overwhelmingly decided that the new location would be on the Atlanta, Georgia campus of Mercer University, an institution that has retained its Baptist distinctives since its founding in 1833.
The consolidation of our collections and operations will ensure that Baptist History Matters; that information on Baptist contributions to church and society is readily available.
At one location, researchers will be able to examine Baptist records as a means to more effective ministry, stronger identity, and a deeper understanding of American culture at home and abroad.
Tomorrow's Compelling Need
ABHS also needs to secure the financial resources to continue expanding our mission to preserve and share Baptist history. These critical efforts take physical resources and knowledgeable personnel.
- Through digital technology and the Internet, there are almost limitless possibilities for creating virtual history exhibits and online resources for churches, scholars, and pastors.
- Materials placed with us in an earlier century need more intensive care.
- Publications, like our respected American Baptist Quarterly, give scholars worldwide access to the treasures within our collections.
- Special lectures and conferences on Baptist mission history will bring leaders and institutions together from a multitude of disciplines.
- There is an urgency to collect the history of our elders, the Baptist saints who lived out their faith through the Second World War (including on the home front in Japanese-American internment camps, and the military), the Civil Rights era, or the years of the Spanish-American Baptist Seminary in California.
In order to be successful, this future-oriented vision requires significant resources.
The History Matters capital campaign will ensure the availability of Baptist historical resources, including those yet to be given to ABHS, so that future generations of church leaders and the general public will gain the knowledge that the past provides.
The History Matters campaign has a goal of $4 million. The relocation of the archives has the highest priority, and gifts are urgently needed at the beginning of the campaign to finance relocation costs.
Additionally, pledges and gifts will provide for the endowment of two staff positions, the preservation of specific records, and the funding of new educational programs.