Finding Aid Round Up

We’ve been busy writing finding aids for recent acquisitions and revising finding aids for sets of papers already in our holdings. You can browse all of our collections on DigitalCommons. See something below that piques your interest or could be useful for your research? Get in touch and let us know what you’re thinking about; we’d love to help!


Wendel Lavern Moore Papers, 1951-1986, MS#444 [Revised Finding Aid]
These papers include cloth sermon charts, materials related to creating cloth sermon charts, magnetic audio reels, hymnals, film strip series, and photographs.

Gailyn Van Rheenen Papers, 1972-2016, MS#455 [Revised Finding Aid]
This collection includes newsletters, notes, correspondence, and photographs related to Van Rheenen’s mission efforts in East Africa. There are also African wood carvings, paintings, and spears.

Gailyn Van Rheenen

Robert D., Sr. and Lula Arrington Smith Papers, 1898-1993, MS#466 [Revised Finding Aid]
Robert D. Smith, Sr. preached in Churches of Christ in Texas for over fifty years. He was the brother of George Dallas Smith and uncle of Lawrence Leon Smith, Sr. This collection includes genealogical information, correspondence between Robert D. Smith, Sr., Lula Arrington Smith, and their family members. There are sermons, lessons, ledger books, and poetry authored by Smith. Additionally, there are many photographs, mainly of family members.

Carol Gafford Papers, 1974, MS#479 [Revised Finding Aid]
The Carol Gafford Papers include a paper by Bobbie Lee Holly called “God’s Design- Women’s Dignity” which was given at the Women in Christ Today Conference. Carol Gafford wrote the second response to “God’s Design- Women’s Dignity” which is also included in these papers.

Joe Allen Wilson Papers, 1960-1981, MS#510 [New Finding Aid]
Joe Allen Wilson (1923-2007) preached in various congregations for 65 years. These papers include seven folders of sermon notes, research materials, and print materials from Joe Wilson and various Churches of Christ.

Typed notes, Joe Allen Wilson Papers, 1960-1981. Center for Restoration Studies MS #510. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.


Stay tuned for more installments of Finding Aid Round Ups!

Foldered & Finished: Robert Lynn Anderson Papers

The Robert Lynn Anderson Papers (1965-2019) are processed and ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers and digitized selections are now available on DigitalCommons@ACU. These papers include 34.5 linear feet (58 boxes) of paper-based files and cassette tapes, and over 1000 digital files including 175 audio and video files.

List of plases sermon What is ‘Spirituality?’ was preached over the years. Series VI, Spirituality flash drive, Robert Lynn Anderson Papers, 1965-2019. Center for Restoration Studies MS #488. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

The following biographical sketch is adapted from the biographical note on the dust jacket of Lynn Anderson, Steps to Life, 20th Century Sermons Series Volume 10. Abilene: Biblical Research Press, 1977.

Robert Lynn Anderson was born September 22, 1936 in Saskatchewan, Canada. After graduating from high school at Western Christian College (Weyburn, Saskatchewn) he attended Freed-Hardeman College (Henderson, Tennessee) and Harding College (Searcy, Arkansas) where he received the B.A. degree in 1959. He received the M.A. degree in 1965 from Harding Graduate School of Religion (Memphis, Tennessee). In 1990, Anderson was the first Doctor of Ministry graduate at Abilene Christian University.

Click on audio player below to hear the opening of Lynn Anderson’s sermon, Ride the Wild Horses, preached at Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. Visit DigitalCommons@ACU to hear the entire sermon and explore more digitized resources: 

Anderson’s ministry experience includes the establishment of a congregation in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, where he preached from 1960-1964. In 1964-1965 he preached in Lepanto, Arkansas, and then established a congregation in Kelowna, British Columbia, where he ministered for six years. From 1971-1989 he preached at Highland Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas. From 1991-1996 he preached at Preston Road Church of Christ, Dallas, Texas. Following these congregational ministries, he devoted full-time to leadership development and coaching through Hope Network Ministries. He conducted a radio ministry consisting of brief 60-second spots heard twice daily in Kelowna and three times per day in Abilene.

Sermon Interruptions, Series VI, Wild Horses flash drive, Robert Lynn Anderson Papers, 1965-2017. Center for Restoration Studies MS #488. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

He was active in community life, serving in leadership and board positions in Kiwanis Club, Community Chest, United Appeals, Action for Education Association, and the Committee for Better Education Now. As an adjunct professor, he taught cross cultural communication, Bible, and ministry courses at Abilene Christian University.

Click on audio player below to hear part of Lynn Anderson’s sermon, How to Find Faith, which was part of a series on spirituality. Visit DigitalCommons@ACU to hear the entire sermon and explore more digitized resources: 

Series I, Sermons and Research Material (boxes 2-16) consists of folders Anderson generated in the course of preaching and teaching through the Biblical text. The processor preserved the original order which closely mirrors the Biblical canon. In many cases the folders contain sermon notes, manuscripts or outlines. Series II, Topical Files (boxes 17-34) consists of topical files Anderson generated in the course of teaching, preaching, and speaking. Included in this series are the scripts from and correspondence about Anderson’s radio ministry. Series III, Ministry Files (boxes 35-39) contains files of historic memorabilia, keepsakes, and correspondence from Anderson’s tenures at Highland Church of Christ, Preston Road Church of Christ, and Hope Network Ministries. Of particular note are the notes of appreciation and encouragement Anderson received over the course of his ministry. He kept these in folders labelled ‘Bad Day File.’ Series IV, Writings (boxes 40-42) contains articles Anderson wrote as well as drafts and correspondence about Anderson’s books. Series V, Cassette Tapes (boxes 43-58) contains recordings of Anderson’s preaching at Highland Church of Christ and Preston Road Church of Christ. In many cases these recordings correspond to foldered materials in Series I and II. Series VI consists of digital files Anderson created in the course of his writing and speaking. Contact Special Collections and Archives for access to these files.

Stay tuned additional content on DigitalCommons@ACU! 

Foldered & Finished: White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching Collection

The White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching Collection (1958-1972) is processed and ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers and digitized selections are now available on DigitalCommons@ACU.

“The Pentateuch” outline, box 21, folder 14, White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching Collection, 1958-1972. Center for Restoration Studies MS#471. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching was founded in 1964 in West Monroe, Louisiana as part of a wave of schools of preaching founded in the 1960s in response to the lacuna that was preaching vacancies. The school of Preaching was pietistic in its theological approach. The curriculum was heavily bibliocentric with, essentially, all of its documents explicitly or implicitly pertaining to the biblical text. White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching closed in 1992, however, the latest documents within this collection date to 1972.

“Bible Introduction,” box 1, folder 2, White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching Collection, 1958-1972. Center for Restoration Studies MS#471. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.

This collection contains documents from the White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching which includes syllabi, lesson plans, lecture manuscripts, sermons, polemics and apologetic materials. Materials included within this collection were used for classes at the school of preaching. Most documents within this collection are either loosely exegetical or homiletic materials concerning the biblical text. A smaller portion of the collection is devoted to practical theological matters concerning the Churches of Christ as well as apologetic and polemic materials. The most prolific contributors to this collection of texts include Ed Sanders, William H. Smith, Harold G. Taylor, and J.J. Turner. Other notable authors whose documents are included within this collection are J.D. Bales, L.V. Pfeifer, and Paul C. Witt.