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John Gordon Crowley Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Collection number: UA-23-21

Scope and Contents

John Gordon Crowley is a VSU History Professor whose book, Origins and development of the Union Primitive Baptist Association of Georgia,is the definitive work on this areas’ Primitive Baptist history and traditions. This collection includes his exhaustive research materials. The Primitive Baptist Church, also known as Hard Shell, Old School and Anti-Mission, emerged as a distinct denomination during the Second Great Awakening (app 1790-1830). Due to the success of the movement’s revivals, many churches (including Baptist Churches) formed missionary societies to spread the gospel of “free will”. Primitive Baptists maintained their belief in predestination and rejected missionary societies along with Sunday schools, bible tract societies, seminary education, hierarchal church structure and temperance societies on the basis that there is no warrant or sanction from the New Testament. Primitive Baptists generally practice a cappella singing (Sacred Harp), family integrated worship, and foot washing. Primitive Baptists churches arose in the Appalachian areas of the southeastern United States and spread to what were the “frontier” areas of the South beyond the Appalachians.  They exercised a powerful influence on the founding and settlement of many Southeastern United States frontier communities in early nineteenth century.  An African-American Primitive Baptist movement developed separately and still maintains their unique denomination. Individual churches formed loose geographical associations to ensure adherence to doctrine and promote fellowship. Pamphlets of the proceedings of annual association meetings were published and distributed to members, churches and other associations. The pamphlets recorded the minutes of the meeting, membership numbers, monetary contributions, and doctrinal statements. The collection includes both original and photocopied pamphlets published from 1802-2011 by associations from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,  Virginia and West Virginia. Information in the descriptions may also include meeting location, dates, names of church elders, recording clerks and obituaries. A large part of the collection is concentrated on associations and churches within the geographical region of South Georgia and North Florida. The collection is useful for historical and genealogical research. The collection is by no means comprehensive or all inclusive of Primitive Baptist congregations or associations in the United States.

Dates

  • Acquired: 2011-06-29

Biographical or Historical Information

The collection was assembled by  Valdosta State University history professor  Dr. John Crowley in researching his book Primitive Baptists of the Wiregrass South: 1815 to the Present (1999).

Note written by

Extent

23.00 Boxes

Language

English

Abstract

The Primitive Baptist Church, also known as Hard Shell, Old School and Anti-Mission, emerged as a distinct denomination during the Second Great Awakening (app 1790-1830). Due to the success of the movement’s revivals, many churches (including Baptist Churches) formed missionary societies to spread the gospel of “free will”. Primitive Baptists maintained their belief in predestination and rejected missionary societies along with Sunday schools, bible tract societies, seminary education, hierarchal church structure and temperance societies on the basis that there is no warrant or sanction from the New Testament. Primitive Baptists generally practice a cappella singing (Sacred Harp), family integrated worship, and foot washing. Primitive Baptists churches arose in the Appalachian areas of the southeastern United States and spread to what were the “frontier” areas of the South beyond the Appalachians.  They exercised a powerful influence on the founding and settlement of many Southeastern United States frontier communities in early nineteenth century.  An African-American Primitive Baptist movement developed separately and still maintains their unique denomination.

Arrangement Note

Pamphlets are arranged in folders by ascending meeting dates within the respective association.

Custodial History

Papers were first given to Michael Holt to organize and then passed to Archives.

Source of Acquisition

John Gordon Crowley

Method of Acquisition

signed deed of Gift.  Any materials not used to be returned.

Appraisal Information

original and xeroxed church and association and miscellaneous records mainly pertaining to the Primitive Baptist denomination.  Unassessioned materials to be returned.
Title
Archon Finding Aid Title
Status
Completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021-03-18: Revised for DACS compliance by Douglas Carlson

Repository Details

Part of the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Valdosta State University Archives, Odum Library
1500 N. Patterson St.
Valdosta GA 30601 United States
7063728116
229-259-5055 (Fax)