VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 6/23/16)—During a meeting June 17 at the American Baptist Assembly, Green Lake, Wis., the Board of General Ministries for American Baptist Churches USA voted their unanimous approval of Dr. Priscilla Eppinger as the next Executive Director of the American Baptist Historical Society. Dr. Eppinger comes to the Historical Society from Graceland University Community of Christ Seminary in Lamoni, Iowa, where she has been Professor of Religion since 2002. She was educated at Agnes Scott College (BA), Andover Newton Theological School (M.Div), and Northwestern University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (PhD). At Graceland University, she has been teaching religious studies, theology, and church history to seminary students and undergraduates.
Her roots in American Baptist Churches (ABC) life run deep, having served as a missionary to Zaire and on staff for the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. She has also been a member of the General Board of ABC and the board of Educational Ministries, as well as on the ABC Biennial Planning Committee. As an ordained minister, she served churches in Massachusetts and Illinois.
The Search Committee and Board of Managers for the American Baptist Historical Society presented Dr. Eppinger to the Board of General Ministries of ABC with the following statement: “We believe that she has the leadership qualities required to build on our successes of the last decade. We perceive her as a strategic thinker, a collaborative leader, and a team builder. We were impressed with her professionalism as well as with her sense of humility.”
Dr. Eppinger will begin her work at the Historical Society on August 15, with a formal welcome reception for her planned for Friday evening, September 30. Sponsored by the ABHS Board of Managers, the reception is being held in conjunction with the ABHS annual board meeting and a public lecture on “New Era Institutes: An Early Path Toward Baptist Cooperation.” This lecture will be presented by outgoing Executive Director Deborah Van Broekhoven.
Founded in 1853, the American Baptist Historical Society preserves and shares its collections documenting the influence Baptists have had on religious and civic life. Its six miles of shelving hold the archives of the national mission societies of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., of which it is a part; the personal papers of prominent Baptist leaders; original church records; periodicals representing the world-wide Baptist press; national, state and associational published minutes from the vast array of Baptist denominations in the U.S.; and books and pamphlets that are by, about, for and against Baptists. Researchers come from all over the world from a multitude of disciplines, including American history, political science, women’s studies, anthropology and sociology. For more information about ABHS, including how to make a research appointment or to volunteer, visit our website at www.abhsarchives.org.
American Baptist Churches 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.