Joe Coker, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer
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Senior Lecturer

  • Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2005.
  • M.Div., Emory University, 1997.
  • B.A., Carson-Newman College, 1992.
  • Additional study of Church History at Regent's Park College, Oxford University, 1992.

Dr. Coker is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and became fascinated by the study of religion while attending college, and decided he wanted to spend his life teaching religion. He came to Baylor in 2008 as a Lecturer in the Religion Department, and prior to that taught at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. His wife, Amy, is a nurse, and they have four boys: two teenagers, a three-year-old, and a one-year-old.

Area of Specialization

Church history, particularly Baptist history and religion in the American South.  The church and the prohibition movement.

Books published

Liquor in the Land of the Lost Cause: Southern White Evangelicals and the Prohibition Movement, 1880-1915 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2007).

Selected Articles and Essays

“Isaac Backus and John Leland: Baptist Contributions to Religious Liberty in the Founding Era,” in Faith and the Founders of the American Republic, ed. by Daniel Dreisbach and Mark Hall (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014): 305-338.

“‘Cast Out From Among the Saints’: Church Discipline Among Anabaptists and English Separatists in Holland, 1590-1620,” Reformation 11 (2006): 1-27.

“Developing a Theory of Missions in Serampore: The Increased Emphasis Upon Education as a ‘Means for the Conversion of the Heathens,’” Mission Studies 17 (2001): 42-60.

“The Sinnott Case of 1910: The Changing Views of Southern Presbyterians on Temperance, Prohibition, and the Spirituality of the Church,” The Journal of Presbyterian History 77 (winter 1999): 247-262.

Selected Presentations

“John Murton and the Use of Non-Biblical Sources by Early English Baptists,” presented at the Reformation Studies Colloquium, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, September 2010.

“’The Noblest Chivalry’: How Southern Evangelicals Attempted to Redefine and Reclaim Honor in their Campaign for Prohibition,” presented at the American Society of Church History annual meeting, San Diego, CA, January 2010.

“’Distilled Damnation’: Southern Baptists and the Prohibition Movement,” presented at the Pruit Memorial Symposium, Baylor University, October 2009.

Current Projects

Editing the works of early English Baptist John Murton.

Courses Taught at Baylor
  • REL1350 The Christian Scriptures
  • REL1350 The Christian Heritage
  • REL3330 Church History
  • REL3331 The Zombie Apocalypse and Christian History
  • REL4340 Christian Missions
  • REL3344 New Religious Movements
View Dr. Coker's CV and Books