Challenges: The Restoration Movement in Texas film now available online

In 1986 Herald of Truth and Abilene Christian University collaborated on a video retelling 150 years of Restoration history in Texas.  It features R. L. Roberts, Bill Humble, Richard Hughes, Ethelyn Mitchall, John Stevens and William Teague and was filmed on location at historic sites across Texas.

The film is now available online for free streaming and download.

Challenges – The Restoration Movement in Texas from ACU Library on Vimeo.

What Does Special Collections Collect?: A Brief Guide for Donors and Patrons

ACU Special Collections and Archives actively seeks materials from, by and about the Restoration Movement from its earliest days to the present.  We hold books, periodicals, ephemera, photographs, audio and video recordings, archival materials and artifacts.

Books and periodicals:  Ideally we will preserve one copy in as pristine a condition as we can locate.  Where we have two copies, one will be available to researchers as a ‘use copy’ while the other is kept as a ‘preservation copy.’  We are always looking to 1) fill in gaps in our collection; 2) to acquire better-condition copies; and 3) acquire signed or inscribed copies.  In outstanding cases we will retain additional signed or association copies.

Several first editions of the works of Alexander Campbell. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Masthead, Gospel Advance, September 1919, vol. 1 no. 1. Edited and published by Price Billingsley. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Ephemera and photographs:  Printed for the moment then cast aside, ephemeral items open a window into our history that is, regrettably, seldom preserved.  Broadsides, leaflets, posters, advertising cards, clippings and the like can help us understand moments that comprise our history.  Photographs, portraits, snapshots, and slides document the moment without using words.

Campbell Street Church of Christ, Louisville, KY. 3 June 1923. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Scrapbook, Box 1, Folder 1, Mable Fuchs Papers, 1920-1921. Center for Restoration Studies MS #445. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Audio and Video Recordings:  We estimate that we hold over 15,000 recordings in a variety of formats (from magnetic tape reels to phonograph records to cassettes to VCR tapes and DVDs).  Listen below to Lynn Anderson’s sermon Ride the Wild Horses:

Listen below to Zelma Stroop remember David and Margaret Lipscomb:

Archival material: We currently house just under 490 collections of personal papers of ministers, evangelists, professors, editors and missionaries.  Each set is as different as its creator.  Some are rich in sermons or correspondence, others in manuscript materials and some contain records from congregations or organizations.  Many have a little of everything. Congregational records include minutes books, selected bulletins, membership rosters, and directories.

Letter from Carl Ketcherside to Stanley Paregien, 11 February 1970. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Letter of Recommendation for both G.W. Varner and A.V. Varner signed by the entire congregation. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Artifacts: The iconic pulpit used by Thomas Campbell at Ahorey (Ireland) Presbyterian Church may be our most recognizable artifact.  But we have communion ware from the 19th and early 20th centuries, a pew from the Madison, TN Church of Christ and artifacts from across the world from several missionaries.  These items tell yet another side to the story.

Bed-sheet sized sermon chart on Heaven, ca. 1940s-1950s. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Brass printing plates used in the production of Great Songs of the Church. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

If you have materials like these you would like to donate, please contact Mac Ice, Director of Special Collections and Archives at mac.ice@acu.edu or (325) 674-2144.  Mac will be pleased to discuss any aspect of the holdings and work of ACU Special Collections and Archives.

Foldered & Finished: Exodus/New Jersey Records

The Exodus/New Jersey Records are ready for researchers. An updated finding aid and digitized selections from the collection are now available on DigitalCommons@ACU.

Broadway Bulletin from 12 September 1971, box 1, Exodus/New Jersey Papers, 1964-1971. Center for Restoration Studies MS #10. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

Exodus/New Jersey was a missions program spearheaded by the Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland, TX. The church, along with others sent families and individuals to Somerset Co., New Jersey to establish a church plant. The program was a part of the larger Exodus Movement, which sought to establish Churches of Christ in the Northeast.

Advancing the Church through Effective Missions September 1965, box 1, Exodus/New Jersey Papers, 1964-1971. Center for Restoration Studies MS #10. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

International Mission is an organization founded by Garretson Road Church of Christ in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The organization sought to evangelize international travelers in New York City by inviting them into the homes of members of their congregation.

International Mission booklet, box 1, Exodus/New Jersey Papers, 1964-1971. Center for Restoration Studies MS #10. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

This collection contains materials concerning and produced by the Exodus/New Jersey missionary program. The collection also contains materials produced by International Mission, an organization sponsored by Garretson Road Church of Christ.

Other resources from ACU Special Collections related to the Exodus Movement: