Description: Texas Baptists in the twentieth century struggled to overcome prejudice and embrace racial equality. While historians have generally agreed that Baptist leadership in Texas was more progressive in regard to race relations than that of other southern states, Texas Baptists acquiesced to calls for racial justice with great difficulty. This study seeks to analyze the relationship between Texas Baptists' understanding of social Christianity and their views of racial equality. Furthermore, this study seeks to examine the extent to which white Texas Baptists actually changed their racial views and incorporated African Americans into their church services following the civil rights movement. An analysis of the racial transformation of one of Texas' most famous Baptists, W. A. Criswell, and the history of the Christian Life Commission, which is the ethical arm of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, provides great insight in to the racial progress made by Texas Baptists in the twentieth century. As Texas Baptists enter the twenty-first century and encounter a large and growing Hispanic population, the findings of this study will render aide to those who wish to embark on a new future by learning from the mistakes of their past.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Davis, Joseph J.