|Owner(s)||Baptist State Convention of North Carolina|
|Editor||K. Allan Blume|
|Headquarters||Cary, North Carolina|
The Biblical Recorder is a bi-weekly newspaper published by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC).
The newspaper was founded in 1833 by Thomas Meredith, a prominent Southern Baptist leader in North Carolina. Apart from providing news, Meredith used the paper as a vehicle for clear and principled editorials on issues of the day such as slavery, which he strongly opposed, "Campbellism", which threatened to cause a split in the Baptist movement, temperance, and the troubled relationship with the Triennial Convention. At that time, many Baptist preachers had limited formal education. Religious periodicals such as the Recorder were of great importance to pastors in furthering their theological education and staying connected to other Baptists. Meredith often published multi-issue expositions of key doctrines or defenses of traditional evangelical theological convictions, always providing a rigorously orthodox view.
First published in Edenton, the paper was moved to New Bern in 1934 and to Raleigh in 1938, and to Cary in 2011. After the move to Raleigh the paper was merged with the Southern Watchman of Charleston, South Carolina, and until 1842 was named The Recorder and Watchman. Meredith continued as editor until his death in 1851. The paper then went through various changes of ownership, at some times suspended for lack of funds. C.T. Bailey, who edited the Recorder in the late 1800s, died in 1895 and was succeeded by his son Josiah Bailey, aged 22. Josiah Bailey used the paper to promote the development of public education based on state aid for primary and secondary education, a change from earlier policy which had advocated parochial schools. Bailey also championed the temperance movement. After leaving the paper he had a successful career as a lawyer and a Senator.
The Biblical Recorder was purchased by Baptist State Convention of North Carolina in 1930. Recent editors include J. Marse Grant (1960-1982), R.G. Puckett (1982-1998), Tony Cartledge (1998-2007) and Norman Jameson (2007-2010). The current editor, K. Allan Blume, began in May 2011.
The format and delivery system that makes the Recorder available to Baptists has changed over time. For over 160 years the print edition was the only medium for publishing news. In September 1997 the Recorder launched one of the first Baptist news websites. The site was redesigned and re-launched in October 2011 as BRnow.org. In May of 2012 a weekly e-newsletter, the BRweekly, was launched. In 2013 the Recorder launched an app for smartphones, a digital online edition and an updated responsive design website. The bi-weekly print version that is distributed throughout North Carolina, and in 48 states and 39 foreign countries, hovers around 20,000 copies, but thousands more read the Recorder online.
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- William Stevens Powell (1996). Meredith, Thomas. Dictionary of North Carolina biography (University of North Carolina Press). ISBN 0-8078-1918-2. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- "Thomas Meredith's Biblical Recorder, 1834-1850". Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- William Cathcart (2001). The Baptist Encyclopedia - Vol. 2. The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc. p. 855. ISBN 1-57978-910-2.
- By Tony W. Cartledge (Nov 7, 2005). "Sitting in Josiah's chair". Biblical Recorder. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- "Agencies". Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- "About Us - Biblical Recorder". Biblical Recorder. Retrieved 2011-04-21.