Dr. John Inscore Essick

Dr. John Inscore Essick

Associate Professor of Church History

Director, Rural Ministry Program

B.S., Appalachian State University

M.Div., Campbell University Divinity School

Ph.D., Baylor University





Dr. Inscore Essick is Associate Professor of Church History and Director of the Rural Ministry Program

He began teaching at BSK in 2009. His teaching centers on Christian history, Baptist heritage, and rural ministry. His most recent book is Baptists in Early North America–Middletown Baptist Church, New Jersey, Volume VIII (Mercer University Press, 2022).

In addition to teaching and writing, Dr. Inscore Essick serves as Book Review Editor for the journal American Baptist Quarterly and is a member of The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion.

Dr. Inscore Essick resides in Port Royal, KY with his wife, Rev. Amber Inscore Essick, and their children, Olin, Leif, and Wren.  The Inscore Essicks co-pastor Port Royal Baptist Church, a rural congregation along the Kentucky River in Henry County. In addition to pastoring and working with his farmer-friends, Dr. Inscore Essick enjoys writing regularly for the Henry County Local and coaching elementary cross-country runners.

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Thinking historically as a Christian practice

Baptist beginnings and the Baptist future

Weird or radical?–Sessions which revisit some of the stranger stories from Christian history with an eye for how they can speak to us today (for youth or adults)

Thinking about and thinking with Rural congregations

Going and Staying: Black Baptists and Church Freedom after the Civil War

Engaging short stories within a congregation

Thinking historically and congregationally about Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead quartet of novels: Gilead, Home, Lila, and Jack (including a 14-episode podcast)

To view Dr. Inscore Essick’s CV, click here.