New additions to Stone-Campbell Digital Archive

The latest additions to Stone-Campbell digital archive reflect the diversity of this movement.  A new online home for a 1960s-1980s periodical, rare ephemeral tracts and booklets, along with book-length collections of sermons, a debate, and a historical narrative round out this update.

Mission Journal was a unique voice among Churches of Christ periodicals during its 20-year lifespan.  Established in 1967, Mission provoked discussion about a range of social issues such as the Vietnam war, race, gender and sexuality, poverty, consumerism and how Christian faith intersects the life of the mind and life in both city and suburb.  In partnership with Missio Dei Journal and friends of Mission, we have launched a drive to fund a digitization project that will place the complete run of Mission online in a fully searchable and downloadable form.  For more information about how you can assist with this project, visit Missio Dei Journal.  

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

R. N. Moody’s 23-page tract is “The Language of Two Ordinances: Reply to a Tract by R. S. Gavin” concerns points of difference between Churches of Christ and Baptists about baptism.  Undated, we estimate this tract appeared in the 1920s.

Front cover, “The Language of the Two Ordinances” by R. N. Moody

At the time Norvel Young delivered his address “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” at the 1952 Abilene Christian College Bible lectures, he was preaching minister at the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas.  ACC President Don Morris prefaced the tract saying “Brother Young’s discussion is presented in a clear, frank, and objective way. Such a far-reaching, timely, and vital subject deserves the prayerful consideration of every Christian.”

Front cover “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” by M. Norvel Young (1952)

Richard Nathaniel Hogan was in 1940 one of the most well-known young evangelists among African-American Churches of Christ.  At the time (1940) his book, Sermons by Hogan, was one of only a handful authored by black preachers in Churches of Christ.  It is a seminal text for the study of African-American preaching in Churches of Christ and we are pleased to make it available now for the first time online.

Cover, “Sermons by Hogan” by R. N. Hogan


In 1910 Sherman Sexton of Joelton, Tennessee (just north of Nashville), published a pamphlet of about 36 pages by T. J. Jackson entitled My Mother and I or How “Tommy” Was Converted: Showing How The Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration.  A scarce item, with only our copy showing on Worldcat, this item will prove useful to anyone studying the Holy Spirit in Restoration thought and history.

Front cover of My Mother and I, or How “Tommy” Was Converted. Showing How the Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration (1910)

C. P. Roland’s Vanderbilt University MA thesis concentrates on the history of the Disciples in Tennessee to 1850.  Completed in 1931, it is an important early narrative thesis pulling together the early story of the Campbell movement in that state.

Cover, “A History of the Disciples of Christ in Tennessee to 1850” by C. P. Roland

J. N. Cowan of Robstown, Texas and Daniel Sommer, of Indianapolis, Indiana, debated for nearly a week in Sullivan Indiana in November 1926.  Through the lens of this debate, we may explore the disputants’ doctrinal commitments in several areas, especially how they read the Bible and apply its teaching to the life of the church.  An interesting item of ephemera is pasted into the back of this book: a 1941 newspaper clipping describing a terrible accident that claimed Cowan’s life.

Title page, “Debate Between J. N. Cowan and Daniel Sommer”

In about 1914 Ida Withers Harrison compiled and published Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914. This 162-page text describes the work of this missionary society before its incorporation into the United Christian Missionary Society in 1919.

Cover, “Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914” by Ida Withers Harrison

The Stone-Campbell Books section of our online digital archive contains fully searchable and downloadable texts from across the Stone-Campbell movement from the 1790s to the 1970s.  We scanned several dozen new additions over the summer; check back often for further updates.

Picture This: Ibaraki Christian College Ping Pong Champs

August 4, 2017 Abilene Christian University Special Collections staff participated in the US National Archive’s Twitter Hashtag Party. The featured hashtag for the party was #ArchivesSquadGoals. We brought to the party this 1953 photograph of the “Ping pong champs” at Ibaraki Christian College and queried if anyone was up for a match:

The US National Archives quickly put the ball back in our court with this tweet:

Be sure to check out Twitter on September 1 to see what the National Archives has going on for the next Archives Hashtag Party! To see more photographs from Ibaraki Christian College, search the ACU Digital Commons page here.

Digital collection of Stone-Campbell books now features over 300 items

The Stone-Campbell and associated movements from their beginning harnessed the power of the printing press to advocate for religious freedom and theological reform. James O’Kelly in Virginia and North Carolina, Abner Jones and Elias Smith in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, Barton W. Stone in Kentucky and Tennessee, and Thomas and Alexander Campbell with Walter Scott across the Ohio Valley and the Western Reserve employed a steady stream of published tracts, periodicals and books to advance their causes.  Center for Restoration Studies holds thousands of such items.

Total Depravity, a Review of S. A. Paine’s Book, by W. T. Kidwill. Published by Firm Foundation in Austin, Texas, 1909. Worldcat shows only one other known copy.

A few weeks ago we passed a small milestone for our growing online digital collection of Stone-Campbell Movement books, tracts and pamphlets.  Housed at, the collection now holds 329 published items by, from or about these movements, their leaders, shapers, adherents, principles, and values. Each item is available in full-text PDF download and the site is searchable in a number of ways.

The quantity, though, is relatively a minor milestone.  When celebrating a milestone, we gravitate towards numbers like 100, 500 or 1000…not 300.  But reaching this point gives me an opportunity to stress the qualities of this collection rather than celebrate a quantity (be it 300 or 30,000) for its own sake.

We launched this series realizing many Stone-Campbell books are already available on the web, particularly through, and Google books.  So we knew right off the bat it was unwise to steward our resources by scanning items that already exist digitally elsewhere.  Instead, I set these goals to guide selection of items for digitization: we want to curate items that 1) are relevant for historical inquiry into the thought and activity of the movement worldwide; 2) unavailable elsewhere online; 3) are held in hard copy by only a few institutions (at least so far as can be known through; and 4) reflect a wide representation of the movement.

Our goal is to serve scholarship (whether conducted in the academy or for the sake of the church) by preserving and providing excellent sources.  Hosting these materials online, for free, for any and all users, is one way to fulfill this mission.

Here are the most recent additions:

“Directory of Churches of Christ in the Northeast” (1969) 

C. A. Norred, The Bible Teacher: A Training Course For Bible Teachers” 

W.T. Kidwill, Total Depravity by W.T. Kidwill: A Review of S.A. Paine’s Book” 

H. T. Morrison,Twelve Reasons Why I Stand Identified With The People Known As Disciples Of Christ” 

Charles H. Roberson,Spiritual Depression”  

J. Harvey Dykes,The Kingdoms of the World”  

Guy N. Woods,The Menace of the Movies” 

Elbridge B. Linn, The Gods of “Christianity

Elbridge B. Linn,The Obedience of Faith” 

Elbridge B. Linn,The One Faith and The Creeds of Christendom” 

H. Leo Boles, The Second Coming of Christ and “The Millennium

Norman Davidson, A Christian Business Man Writes His Brethren”