ISR's Final Faith and Freedom Session Will Hear From Baylor's Michael Parrish and ACU's Edward Robinson

  • Michael Parrish
    Michael Parrish file photo
  • Edward Robinson
    Edward Robinson courtesy photo
Nov. 11, 2013

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Nov. 11, 2013) - Michael Parrish, Ph.D., the Linden G. Bowers Professor of American History in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences, will provide the culminating presentation of the Institute for Studies of Religion's fall programs on Faith and Freedom in the Lone Star State from 7 to 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Faith and Freedom in the Lone Star State is a program of Baylor ISR that explores Texas' diverse religious heritage over the last five centuries.

"Texas has a very different religious history from the rest of the country, and part of that is that it spent 10 years as an independent country," said J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of American Religious History in ISR, who guides the Faith and Freedom program for ISR.

Scholars of religion estimate more than 2,300 denominations exist in the United States, with Texas having representatives of at least 500 of those, Melton said.

Parrish's talk, "Slavery, Civil War, and Freedom: Texas Baptists in the Civil War Era," will focus on the role of Baylor University and Waco University in this point in Texas' development.

Joining Parrish is Edward Robinson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Bible and history at Abilene Christian University, whose presentation "The Fight is on in Texas: African Americans in the Church of Christ," will explore the perspective of the Churches of Christ within the larger Christian community, the elements that attracted African Americans and the fight for truth that motivated the new members in the early 20th century.

Melton noted the continued high quality of the presentations at the Faith and Freedom sessions, saying that "Parrish and Robinson bring the program to a fitting high point with talks on major issues affecting major groups in the Lone Star state."

The session will take place at The Palladium in downtown Waco, at 729 Austin Ave. For more information, visit or call (254) 710-7555.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute's mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve. For more information, visit

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