Foldered & Finished: Ross Dean Blasingame Papers, (1958-1969)

The Ross Dean Blasingame Papers are ready for researchers. An updated finding aid and digitized selections from the collection are now available on DigitalCommons@ACU.

Bulletin for Reynolds at First Street Church of Christ 12 January 1969, Goldthwaite Bulletin, 1968-1969, Ross Dean Blasingame Papers, 1958-1969. Center for Restoration Studies MS #2. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Ross Dean Blasingame served as preacher at the churches represented in these papers at the time the bulletins were published.

The Actuate 24 August 1958, folder The Actuate, 1958 – Bulletins from Lingleville, Texas Church of Christ, Ross Dean Blasingame Papers, 1958-1969. Center for Restoration Studies MS #2. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

This collection includes bulletins from Churches of Christ in Texas and New Mexico from 1958 to 1969. Bulletins are bound by congregation and then by date. The collection is housed in one box and one series.

Related resources from ACU Special Collections and Archives:

Rare debate now available

The Paton-Williams Debate on Universal Salvation and the Destiny of the Wicked, between John H. Paton and Thomas Williams, is now available for browsing and full-text download.

Paton-Williams Debate on universal Salvation and the Destiny of the Wicked, 1906, front cover

This item, from the Joe Johnson Collection in American Christianity, is the only known copy.  The pamphlet is just a few dozen pages in length and in very good condition. Thomas Williams, editor of The Christadelphian Advocate, represents a Christadelphian position.  The propositions are:

  1. The Bible teaches that all mankind shall finally be saved (Paton affirms; Williams denies)
  2. The Bible teaches that the punishment of the wicked will result in their final destruction (Williams affirms; Paton denies)

The debate may be viewed and downloaded here.  It is the newest addition to the collection of digitized Stone-Campbell Books at

Mission Journal Digitization Project

Launched in 1967, Mission Journal was a forum for theological reflection on issues such as race, gender, war and peace-making, the place of the church in urban society, the nature and implications of Restorationism and critical Biblical and historical scholarship.

Mission, Volume 1, number 1, July 1967 front cover

Bob Turner, in his preface to this oral history project, describes Mission’s character as “unique—sort of Sojourners meets Village Voice meets MAD Magazine. It was smart enough to provoke a theologian but accessible enough to put on your coffee table; classic enough to attract intellectuals in the 1960s but avante garde enough to get picked up by a college kid a generation later. It was unquestionably the literary counterculture of Church of Christ periodicals for two decades.”

His oral history compiles reflections from some of the key persons involved in Mission from its founding to its closure in 1988: Dwain Evans, Don Haymes, Richard Hughes, Victor Hunter, Warren Lewis, and Thomas Olbricht.

Olbricht provides in this essay, New Journals for the Sixties: Restoration Quarterly and Mission, an extended reflection and assessment of the impact of these journals. Drawing from his deep insider involvement in Mission and from Abe Malherbe’s in Restoration Quarterly, Olbricht situates them within the journalistic, editorial, theological and historical contexts of the 1950s-1970s Churches of Christ.

Greg McKinzie conducted an interview session at the 2017 Christian Scholars’ Conference, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, dedicated to recording the stories of Dwain Evans, Vic Hunter, and Richard Hughes in the production of Mission Journal. Participants reflected on the motivations, hardships, and successes of publishing thoughtful, courageous content during a tumultuous time for the country and for Churches of Christ. What were the personal costs? How did the journal evolve and why? What would they do differently if they had it to do over? And what is the legacy of Mission for today? Listen here:

Digitization of Mission is underway.  Fully searchable and downloadable PDFs of every issue will be available at  Mission on ACU DigitalCommons will contain the full run of the journal, from volume 1, number 1 issued in July 1967 to the final issue, volume 21, numbers 5-6, issued in December 1987-January 1988. This digital archive will ensure Mission is widely and easily available for historical research and continued reflection on the issues it raised and discussed.

The digitization initiative is led by Greg McKinzie, Executive Editor of Missio Dei Journal and Bob Turner, Librarian at Harding School of Theology in partnership with ACU Special Collections Librarian and Archivist Mac Ice.

For information on how you can contribute to this initiative, please see this page at Missio Dei Journal.