Books We Recommend

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1. The King James Bible (AV 1611) 

The words of the Living God.

2. The Roots of Appalachian Christianity, The Life & Legacy of Elder Shubal Stearns

Author: (Baptist) Elder John Sparks

Copyright 2001, The University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0-8131-2223-6 (alk. paper)   Cost: About $25.00 and worth every penny.

Biography; Appalachian Region; Church (Baptist) History; 18th Century

This is one of the most interesting non-fiction historical books I have ever read; one of the very best Baptist history works I have read. John Sparks is an outstanding researcher and writer. All Baptists should study this 327 page book carefully. It would be great as a high school or college course textbook. I will have my children read it.

This book is about the fascinating life and ministry of Shubal Stearns who was the preeminent leader of the Separate Baptists of the 18th Century. Stearns was every bit as effective a revivalist as George Whitefield, or more so. He led what is arguably the greatest revival in American history, greater than the "Great Awakening." And he did what Whitefield could not do--he planted local Bible-believing churches and trained Baptist preachers.

There are chapters at the back that also tell you of some non-Baptist groups that sprung from the Separates (right or wrong; good or bad), like the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), and the Church of Christ (Campbellite). I never fully understood the confusion among Baptists that led to Campbellite heresy until I read Mr. Sparks' book. It's clear now.

3. History of the Separate Baptist Church, With a Narative of Other Denominations

Author: Morgan Scott

1901, Indianapolis, The Hollenbrook Press

No ISBN; Hardback

Here I am recommending a book to you, but I have absolutely no idea where you might find a copy. I obtained an evidently rare copy from a Separate Baptist preacher acquaintance in Kentucky, but he has no more. You might try the Internet for used copies, or try used book shops.

Excellent history. Although the introductory and doctrinal sections reveal a strict Landmark Baptist position (extreme in our view), the sections on the histories of the Novations, Waldenses, are simple, instructive, and useful. The older writing style is delightful.

The Separate Baptist History moves you from Shubal Stearns' North Carolina through Kentucky and into Indiana. If independent Bible-believing Baptists want a primer for research into Baptist history in Indiana, here's a book you can start with.

4. The Secret File On John Birch

Authors: James & Marti Hefley

Copyright 1995, Published by Tyndale House, Wheaton, IL

ISBN 0-929292-80-4; paperback

Available from: Hannibal Books, P.O. Box 461592, Garland, TX 75046; Tel: 1-800-747-0738;

This book, if I understand correctly, was first published by the John Birch Society, or first distributed by the JBS. The society which bears Birch's name was founded years after Birch was murdered by the Red Chinese in Suzhou, China, and Birch himself, therefore, never had any connection to the JBS.

This is about Missionary John Birch, who along with Oscar Wells, was sent out of J. Frank Norris' Fort Worth church to China in the late 1930s. There they linked up with Missionary Fred Donnelson.

During WWII, Birch took the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army and was an intellignece officer in China.

This is good Baptist history, and U.S. history.