Center for Regional History and Culture Kennesaw State University

Spring 2000 Public Lecture Series

"Faith of Our Fathers:
That Old Time Religion in Northwest Georgia"

One of the most important and least explored facets of history in Northwest Georgia has been religion. Fortunately, scholars are beginning to address this gap in our understanding of the past. "Faith of Our Fathers: That Old Time Religion in Northwest Georgia" was a program of public lectures that brought four examples of this new scholarship to the people of Northwest Georgia in the Spring of 2000. Co-sponsored by Roselawn Museum and the Etowah Valley Historical Society, and by a generous grant from the Georgia Humanities Council, two of the events were held in Cartersville and Bartow County, and two on the campus of Kennesaw State University.

The program was well received on campus and in the community, with an overall attendance of three hundred people.

Dr. Wayne Flynt

"Baptizing Souls and Culture:
Southern Religion and Georgia Baptists"

Dr. Wayne Flynt Held on February 24th at Kennesaw State University, the first program of the "Faith of Our Fathers" lecture series featured Dr. Wayne Flynt, Baptist Minister and Distinguished University Professor at Auburn University. Dr. Flynt is the author or co-author of ten books dealing with southern politics, poverty, and religion. His Poor But Proud: Alabama's Poor Whites won the Lillian Smith Prize for non-fiction in 1990. Flynt's most recent book, Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the Heart of Dixie, tells the story of "a church's love-hate relationship with the culture surrounding it."

Dr. Kathleen Minnix

"Sam Jones, the Irreverent Reverend"

Dr. Kathleen Minnix The second event was held at Roselawn Museum in Cartersville, former home of Sam Jones, the most popular evangelist in the nation a hundred years ago. Jones's "Quit Your Meanness" theology appealed to southerners and other Americans at a time of economic growth and social disruption. Jones's leading biographer is Dr. Kathleen Minnix, Assistant Professor of History at Oxford College of Emory University. Her Laughter in the Amen Corner: The Life of Evangelist Sam Jones is the definitive biography. Minnix's lecture, "Sam Jones, the Irreverent Reverend," was followed by a tour of Roselawn led by Howell Jones, great-grandson of the evangelist, and Steven Ellis, Director of Roselawn.

Mary Hood

"Tropic of Conscience"

Author, Mary Hood Mary Hood, grand-daughter of a Methodist minister and prize-winning author of How Far She Went, And Venus is Blue, and the essay on Northwest Georgia in The New Georgia Guide, will talk about how religion has figured in the Georgia folk of her stories. A reception and book-signing follow the talk.

Dr. Catherine Badura

"Revisiting the Legacy of Corra White Harris:
Religion, Church, and the Circuit Rider's Wife"

Dr. Katherine Badura Corra Harris was a prominent and prolific novelist and essayist from Bartow County. Much of her work reflects her religious beliefs and her association with the Methodist Church through her husband, Lundy Harris, a Methodist minister and educator. Harris's most famous novel was the semi-autobiographical A Circuit Rider's Wife, which was made into the movie "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain." Dr. Badura, Assistant Professor of History at Valdosta State University, is the leading scholar on Harris's work; her doctoral dissertation at Michigan State University is under consideration for publication at University Press of Florida. Dr. Badura's lecture, "Revisiting the Legacy of Corra White Harris: Religion, Church, and the Circuit Rider's Wife," will be at the carriage house at Roselawn. Following the lecture will be a special tour of the Harris home, "In the Valley," in Pine Log in upper Bartow County. The tour will be led by Jodie Hill, a retired Marietta businessman, who is currently restoring the Harris Homestead. Guests may drive from Roselawn to the Harris home, or take advantage of a van service courtesy of Bartow County.

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