Free Will Baptists: A History of Migrants
Aug08

Free Will Baptists: A History of Migrants

At the turn of the twentieth century, very little was known about the development of the Palmer Movement of Free Will Baptists. Since then, historians have gathered and synthesized myriad documents into excellent narrative accounts.[1] Now Free Will Baptist historians need to begin filling in details and applying relevant historical analysis. Our understanding of how Free Will Baptists spread geographically could benefit greatly from...

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Is Art Really about Self-expression?
May30

Is Art Really about Self-expression?

My wife Megan and I were on a date in an establishment that provides three-hour painting sessions with general instruction. From across the room, I heard the teacher reassuring a student, “Art isn’t about rules. It’s about being free and expressing yourself.” As I struggled to paint a realistic forest on my canvas, I thought about how cavalierly the instructor had just rejected and accepted whole philosophical systems without a...

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Hannah Dow: Answering the Master’s Call
Mar13

Hannah Dow: Answering the Master’s Call

Sitting on a shelf in the National Association of Free Will Baptists Historical Collection is a thin, bound copy of Hannah Dow’s personal journal from 1843 until 1847. I stumbled across it one day while looking for something else but found myself drawn into this young woman’s story as I scanned through the opening pages. Hannah came to faith during the nineteenth century through the ministry of northern Free Will Baptists (the Randall...

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How Broad the Umbrella? Christian Education in the Thought of Robert E. Picirilli
Jan16

How Broad the Umbrella? Christian Education in the Thought of Robert E. Picirilli

Bible-believing Christians faced many challenges during the twentieth century, including education. Once they realized that the vast majority of higher-education institutions had rejected the Christian worldview, conservatives had to “rake from the ashes what scorched fragments of civilization” were left.[1] Part of this process required determining what precisely constituted “Christian” education and separated it from secular...

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The Good and the Beautiful: Charles and Laura Thigpen’s Commitment to Excellence
Dec08

The Good and the Beautiful: Charles and Laura Thigpen’s Commitment to Excellence

In April of 2015, I was privileged to spend two days with Charles and Laura Thigpen in their beautiful Byron, Georgia home. I interviewed them about their time at Free Will Baptist Bible College. During my visit, we covered everything from institutional planning to course work. Since then, my appreciation for them has only deepened. The Thigpens are committed to giving their best to God in everything they do, always striving for...

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