VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 7/16/15)—The American Baptist Historical Society launched the At Your Fingertips: Archives for the 21st Century campaign this June during its breakfast meeting at the 2015 Biennial Mission Summit in Overland Park, Kansas. Breakfast attendees, along with the Society’s board of managers, staff, and friends, have pledged $245,000 for the campaign to date, toward a goal of $550,000.
A major gift of $125,000 has been given by the Bauer Foundation in memory of Dr. William and Maria Staughton, ancestors of Carol Bauer and founders of the modern mission movement. Another significant gift of $62,000 has come from a bequest by educator Shirley Jones, retired executive for the American Baptist Board of Educational Ministries
At Your Fingertips: Archives for the 21st Century is the American Baptist Historical Society’s new fund-raising campaign to make our rich Baptist heritage collections widely known and digitally available throughout the world. Particularly for those at the far-flung corners of the globe, digitization is key to an effective ministry. Consider this request received from a researcher working in Myanmar (Burma):
“I am the researcher compiling a book on the William Marcus Young missionary family who worked in Burma and China. I have recently returned from a research trip to the old mission stations in Keng Tung, Burma, and Banna, China. The church members there were very happy to host me and were overwhelmed when I showed them some of the images you sent to me two years ago of the very first Lahu and Wa converts. The Lahu . . . were almost in tears, saying, “We have been searching for a picture of this man for over 40 years and now you have brought it. God truly must have sent you here!” It was quite an amazing moment. They are devout Christians but have very little information about the history of their church and the first missionaries, so they have asked me to return next year and give seminars on the history of the Keng Tung church, which I am very excited about! …. Have any of these [historic documents] been digitized?”
With campaign support, the Historical Society can begin saying “Yes” to queries such as these–through our At Your Fingertips: Archives for the 21st Century campaign. Campaign funds are needed to pay for the costs of adding an archivist for digital initiatives to our staff. For more information about the campaign, call the Historical Society at 678-546-6680 or go to the campaign web pages at http://abhsarchives.org.
Founded in 1853, the American Baptist Historical Society cares for the largest and most diverse collection of Baptist materials in the world and publishes the oldest Baptist historical journal, the American Baptist Quarterly. Researchers come from around the globe to research the contributions Baptists have made to church and society.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.