Baylor Professor Robert F. Darden to Present Lecture on Black Gospel Music

  • Nothing But Love in God's Water graphic
  • Robert Darden
    Robert Darden
Feb. 19, 2018

Author of two-volume Nothing but Love in God’s Water serves as impassioned voice for black sacred music’s history and impact

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Feb. 19, 2018) – Baylor University Libraries and The Texas Collection will host author and Baylor journalism professor Robert F. Darden for a lecture on his two-volume book on black gospel music, Nothing but Love in God’s Water, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Guy B. Harrison Jr. Reading Room at The Texas Collection.

“Professor Darden’s work with the Libraries’ Black Gospel Music Restoration Project is a great example of how our unique resources can support scholars from many different backgrounds,” said John Wilson, interim dean of libraries and director of The Texas Collection. “We are proud to support his work on the connections between Civil Rights and America’s gospel music heritage.”

For his lecture, Darden will speak about Nothing but Love in God’s Water: Volume 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement and Nothing but Love in God’s Water: Volume 2: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City.

“What has been special about the response to Nothing but Love in God’s Water, Volume II, is seeing how the music of the African-American slaves and the music of the Civil Rights Movement remains just as vital in the United States and among freedom-loving and justice-seeking people around the world,” Darden said. “I’m honored by this opportunity to share this message with an institution that has been doing the same thing for a very long time.”

The first of his two volumes explores how songs and singers helped African-Americans challenge and overcome slavery, oppression and persecution. The second volume continues the narrative, detailing the role that music played in sustaining and energizing the Civil Rights Movement. The culmination of the two books explains the role of black gospel music on the African-American experience and fight for equality.

“I’m so delighted to work with The Texas Collection. We’re in the same business – saving priceless artifacts, music, photos and memories,” said Darden, who founded and directs Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, an effort to preserve black gospel music recordings from the “golden age of gospel” from 1945-1975. To date, the project has preserved more than 3,600 records and recently was included as part of the standing exhibits in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Texas Collection is located in Carroll Library, 1429 S. Fifth St., on the Baylor campus. For more information, visit


For nearly 20 years, Robert F. Darden has worked as a professor at Baylor University in the department of journalism, public relations and new media, where he has received numerous awards for his outstanding performance in the classroom. With more than 30 years of journalism experience, he is the author of more than two dozen books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles that have appeared in publications, such as The New York Times, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Oxford American. During his time at Baylor, Darden founded and continues to serve as the director for the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University; the world’s largest initiative to identify, acquire, digitize, catalogue, and make accessible the fast-vanishing vinyl of gospel music. As evidenced by his work on the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, his experience as former gospel music editor for Billboard Magazine and author of People Get Ready: A New History of Black Gospel Music, Darden has spent much of his life listening to, collecting and writing about black gospel music. A gifted storyteller, Darden serves as an impassioned voice for black sacred music’s history and impact.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 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 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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