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Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections

About the Baptist and Religious Collections

Baylor University's long history as a Baptist institution for higher learning has led to a large corpus of Baptist and religious material available to the campus community in the form of Baptist archives, collaborative projects and unique library collections. Through the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections, the materials from those collections are being made available to the world. These collections explore the topics of Baptist identity, the ties between church and state, the exercise of faith in suppressive regimes and much more.

Baptist and Religious Collections

The 'Baptist Argus' ('Baptist World')

The Baptist Argus began publication on October 28, 1897 in Louisville, Kentucky. Under the masthead motto "Watch and Pray," the Argus published information on the activities of the Baptist church, from missionary appointments to changes in pastoral guidance at the local level and major actions of the statewide conferences. 

Baptist Materials Collection

As the world's largest Baptist institution of higher education, Baylor University is uniquely situated to preserve and present materials documenting the Baptist tradition. This collection highlights selections from the Baptist materials collections at Baylor University's Moody Memorial Library and other materials from partner institutions chosen to provide insight into the development, traditions, and ongoing discussions surrounding what it means to be a Baptist in today's world.

'British Pulpit' Online

This collection contains more than 200 of Charles H. Spurgeon's sermons from his time at New Park Street (1856-1859) and covers topics ranging from Biblical personages to the ways of salvation.

'Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists'

"These volumes present Southern Baptists in the context of their history, their present organization, and their maturing methodology. Eight hun­dred and ninety-nine writers contributed 4,349 articles, and a qualified editorial staff prepared the manuscript for publication. In it all a dedicated effort was made to provide Southern Baptists and all others who are inter­ested with the facts that are necessary to a genuine understanding of South­ern Baptists—their past, their present life, and their work." (From the Preface, Volume One)

Dr. George W. Truett Sermons

George W. Truett (1867-1944) was a noted Baptist preacher, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Baylor University alumnus. He was the long-serving pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. In 1920, Truett delivered his now-famous "Baptists and Religious Liberty" speech on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Baylor University's theological seminary is named in honor of his long legacy of service to the Lord.

Institute for Church-State Studies Vertical File

Spanning more than 80 years and dozens of unique topics, the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies Vertical File collection contains 1,492 items related to the relationship between government and religious institutions in the United States and abroad. With a special emphasis on the evolution of Baptist institutions, the collection provides insight into the often contentious struggle to find a balance between church positions and the workings of local, state, and national government.

The Keston Digital Archive

The Keston Digital Archive is a collection of materials documenting religious persecution under Communist regimes. It contains rare and one-of-a-kind photos, books, journals, transcripts, and documents. Collected and held by the Keston Institute at Oxford, the collection was donated to Baylor in 2007 and is now housed in the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society.

Rev. Selsus E. Tull Sermons Collection

This collection contains the sermon notes and publications of long-time Baptist preacher Selsus Estol Tull (1878 - 1973). Tull pastored numerous Baptist churches over a six-decade career and was an influential participant in the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meetings for more than four decades. This collection contains Tull's hand-written sermon notes spanning the bulk of his career. The sermons cover topics ranging from Baptist theology and the early 20th century church to communism, evolution and the anti-Christ; they date between the early 1900s and the 1960s.

Southern Baptist Annuals Collection

This publication records the business of the Southern Baptist Convention, including at various times reports, statistics, sermons, state convention information, and lists of staff, trustees and committees. The minister list appearing at the end of various SBC Annuals is not available online until 40 years from its date of publication. This includes pastors, ministers of education, ministers of youth, associate ministers, mission pastors, ordained ministers, chaplains, evangelists, etc., but does not include entity staff lists, trustee lists, state convention lists, committee lists, or other such directories.

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