Batsell Barrett Baxter

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Batsell Barrett Baxter ( September 23, 1916, Cordell, Oklahoma – March 31, 1982, Nashville, Tennessee) was an influential preacher and writer within the Churches of Christ.[1]

Biography[edit]

Baxter was the son of Batsell Baxter, another influential leader within the Churches of Christ.[1] The younger Baxter preached his first sermon in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1933.[2]:71 He received his post-secondary education at Abilene Christian College (B.A.), University of Southern California (M.A., Ph.D.), and Vanderbilt University (B.D.).[1] Baxter "was the first person in the Churches of Christ to receive a Ph.D. in speech communication," receiving that degree from the University of Southern California in 1944.[3]:607 He was appointed head of the Speech Department at David Lipscomb College in 1945.[1] Later he headed the Bible department at David Lipscomb College after his father died.[1]

Baxter preached in Nashville at the Trinity Lane Church of Christ from 1946 to 1951,[4]:171 and preached at the Hillsboro Church of Christ in Nashville for 29 years from 1951 to 1980 when he retired.[1] He was considered by many to be "the best preacher of the Churches of Christ during his lifetime."[3]:607 He advocated a method of preaching that focused on meeting the particular needs of his listeners and tailored the content and techniques used to the "life-situation" of the particular audience.[3]:607 Baxter's style was very different from the harder style that originated in the debating tradition of the Churches of Christ, emphasizing a "softer" gospel of love.[3]:607 He trained hundreds of younger preachers and his influence was such "that at one time many could readily tell if a preacher had trained at Lipscomb college."[3]:607

Baxter was also a writer for the Gospel Advocate and 20th-Century Christian.[4]:171 He wrote eleven books including Speaking for the Master, I Believe Because, and When Life Tumbles In.[2] He coauthored two books, and coedited seven more.[2]:71 He became the regular speaker for the Herald of Truth television program in August 1959.[1] When the program went to a radio series, he was featured periodically.[2]:71

In his youth, Baxter was an avid tennis player, winning the city championship in the boys' (14 and under) classification in Nashville, Tennessee.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Samuel S. Hill, Charles H. Lippy, Charles Reagan Wilson, Encyclopedia of Religion in the South, 2nd Edition, Mercer University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-86554-758-0, ISBN 978-0-86554-758-2 854 pages, entry on Baxter, Batsell Barrett
  2. ^ a b c d Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on Baxter, Batsell Barrett
  3. ^ a b c d e Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on Preaching
  4. ^ a b Richard Thomas Hughes and R. L. Roberts, The Churches of Christ, 2nd Edition, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, ISBN 0-313-23312-8, ISBN 978-0-313-23312-8, 345 pages

External links[edit]