Levens addresses plantation evangelism and its part in Texas Baptist life

Dr. Laura Levens is assistant professor of Christian Mission at BSK.

“Before and during the Civil War, white Texas Baptist leadership tied their theology of the gospel and plans for evangelism directly to Southern plantation patriarchy and support of the Confederacy. In the 10 years following, known as Reconstruction (1865-1875), Texas Baptists adapted their plantation evangelism to maintain their religious authority over Black freed persons. Texas Baptist association leaders instructed their pastors and missionaries to go and preach a gospel that instructed Black worshippers, preachers and institutions to serve white society, and they claimed this was God’s providential design. Black worshippers and church leaders refused this gospel and left white churches for Black-led denominations, even though they risked rebuke, slander and even murder from the white society the Texas Baptist leadership continued to commend.”

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