Baptist History & Heritage honors Bullock with Festschrift

IRVING, Texas (April 22, 2020)—The Baptist History & Heritage Society has honored B. H. Carroll Fellow Dr. Karen Bullock with a Festschrift for her contributions to research and teaching in the field of Baptist studies and her service to Baptist causes globally.

A Festschrift, literally a “celebration writing” in German, has been a tradition in the academy since 1898, when the term was first used. Members of the academic community are invited to provide an article in an area of interest to the honoree. The articles are then compiled in a single issue during a milestone year—usually an anniversary in teaching or a birthday.

The Spring 2020 issue of the society’s journal, Baptist History & Heritage (Vol. LV, No. 1), features articles written by Bullock’s former students, colleagues, and friends. Each writer was asked to participate in the project by issue editor Joseph E. Early Jr., professor of theology at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.

Early completed his doctoral study and dissertation under Bullock’s supervision at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Collectively, these essays bear testimony to the profound and far-reaching influence Dr. Bullock has had upon Baptist scholarship and the study of the Baptist heritage,” Early wrote in the preface to the issue. “They are presented in an humble attempt to pay tribute to and express appreciation for her.”

B. H. Carroll President Dr. Gene Wilkes said Bullock is a model of what a Christian scholar should be.

“I am humbled to be on mission with her at Carroll in this season of her teaching ministry. She has contributed immeasurably to the memory of the church through her scholarship in Baptist Studies and Church History. More importantly, she exemplifies what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. She has touched many lives through her teaching, and more through her prayers and service. That includes several of the newer faculty members now teaching with Carroll,” Wilkes said.

Among the authors who contributed to the Festschrift is Carroll Fellow Dr. Gregory Tomlin, who joined B. H. Carroll in Fall 2019 to oversee the Faith & Heritage Cluster following the retirement of Senior Fellow Dr. Jim Spivey. Tomlin wrote on “Eschatological Fulfillment and Ecclesiology in Roger Williams.”

Other articles in the issue include:

  • Dr. Stephen M. Stookey, “Brooks Hays: Civil Politician in an Uncivil Parish.” Stookey is the Lester W. James Sr. Professor of Church History and Theology and dean of the School of Christian Studies at Wayland Baptist University.
  • Michael E. Williams Sr., “Leslie Lee Gwatney: Editor and Peacemaker during the Dilemma of Two World Wars.” Williams is Professor of History at Dallas Baptist University.
  • Melody Maxwell, “Proceed with Care: Atlantic Baptists and Women’s Ordination in the 1980s.” Maxwell is Associate Professor of Church History and director of the Acadia Center for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies at Acadia Divinity College in Canada.
  • Sheila Klopfer, “And She Laughed to Herself: Toward a Theology of Laughter for the Community of Faith.” Klopfer is Professor of Religion and the director of the Christian Scholars Program at Georgetown College in Kentucky. 
  • Brian Talbot, “Can Baptists Be Identified in the Twenty-first Century?” Talbot is a minister of Broughty Ferry Baptist Church in Dundee and an adjunct professor in the Department of Theology at North West University in South Africa.

Bullock joined B. H. Carroll in 2007 and now, in addition to her teaching, directs the Institute’s doctoral program. Prior to joining B. H. Carroll, she served at Dallas Baptist University (2004-2007) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1994-2004).

She has served as chair of the Heritage, Identity, and Religious Freedom commissions of the Baptist World Alliance, and in an editorial role in numerous historical societies. She has lectured in seminaries in Uganda, Canada, and in several universities across the U.S.

She remains the historian and archivist for Buckner Baptist Benevolences in Dallas.

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