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Black denominational network restarts journal

HOUSTON (BP) — The Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants’ Network will resurrect its journal with online editions on the website of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, managing editor Leroy Fountain announced June 10.

Fountain, a national coordinator for church mobilization for the North American Mission Board, reported the rebirth of The Journal of African-American Southern Baptist History in remarks at the National African American Fellowship business meeting in Houston. The first online issue will appear this fall, Fountain said.

“You’ve not seen the Journal of African American Baptist history in several years. We have entered into a partnership … with New Orleans Seminary and we have made an arrangement to post the journal as an online document,” Fountain said. “And if anyone needs the journal they will be able to go to the New Orleans Seminary website and pull that document from there.”

Describing the value of moving the journal online, Fountain said, “Number one, it gives the journal an elevated sense of presence in terms of its academic reality,” he said. “We have great writers doing the work of preserving the history of what African Americans have done in this Southern Baptist Convention. It is being archived now in such a way that we don’t have to go through the dusty box in somebody’s closet to pull out an article from years ago, make copies of it and mail it to somebody in another part of the country. You can just go to the website, download it and use it as you will.”

Secondly, the arrangement with NOBTS will make the journal more attractive to the academic community, Fountain said, providing “an opportunity to have persons … make contributions to the journal where they might not have made contributions to it in the past. Not only does that student have an opportunity to be published, but we have an opportunity to have captured those thoughts, captured those ideas from some bright academician.

“Then we have a document that is extremely beneficial to the academic community and to the country and the world at large.”

The journal archiving the history of SBC African American contributions to the Kindgom was the brainchild of the late Sid Smith, servants’ network founder. The journal has not been published since June 2009, months after Smith’s death.

The network, composed of black workers at national and state Baptist entities, held a breakfast meeting June 10 at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Houston, where members discussed strategies to widen the network’s membership base and maximize the network’s effectiveness.

In his presidential address, network president Eugene McCormick encouraged members to live sacrificially as models of leadership defending God’s Word.
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ staff writer. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).