FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – It has been more than 40 years since the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Conservative Resurgence” took root, embracing biblical authority and distancing its entities and seminaries from what had been called a growing presence of liberal ideology.
The libraries and archives of Adrian Rogers, the first SBC president of that era, and James C. Hefley Jr., the primary journalist of that movement, will be preserved as part of the new Baptist Heritage Library at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, along with the collections of Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson.
The new library is slated for completion in the fall of 2018, but seminary leaders hope messengers attending the SBC annual meeting in Dallas will be able to view the sprawling two-story facility designed to house the collections along with living quarters for researchers and security staff.
Patterson, SWBTS president, also has gifted his own 35,000-book library to the center, which will serve as the repository for his personal papers, mission gifts, and realia.
Rogers’ family donated the books, papers and personal artifacts of the three-time president of the SBC to the seminary following his death in 2005. His election as SBC president in 1979 was said by many to mark the beginning of the Conservative Resurgence.
Hefley’s archives were transferred in 2016 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. to Southwestern. Hefley, author of the first history of the Conservative Resurgence with his “Truth in Crisis” series, died in 2004.