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Behind the Making of the 175th Anniversary Book by Andrew Nash

At last year’s church picnic, Harold Phillips and I began talking about the need to write a book for Second Baptist’s 175th anniversary. That sparked a conversation between the two of us about what we wanted and what we needed to make a church history book happen.

We knew what we didn’t want. What we didn’t want was a textbook. What we didn’t want was a dry chronology. What we didn’t want was a book that wouldn’t be opened for another 25 years. 

We also knew what we wanted. We wanted a book that told stories based on broad themes. We wanted as many people to be a part of the book as possible. We wanted a book people could be proud to have on their coffee table. 

We also knew we needed help and we needed a committee. Eleanor Speaker brought a deep knowledge of the church archives. Sue Wright brought a network of writers and an unmatched enthusiasm. Carolyn Fulk brought a tireless effort and had connections to help us fill in the blanks. Harold brought guidance and ideas that helped point us in the right direction. I brought a different approach to writing as a former newspaper reporter and editor. 

We had others write about their favorite people, events, and memories. I wrote more than 100 pages for the narrative chapters, but we supplemented those chapters with breakouts on “Stalwart Saints” and other themes to break up the text. We asked for and compiled “Second Thoughts” earlier this year. All told, we’ve had more than 140 submissions from more than 100 contributors. Carolyn and Eleanor have scoured the archives for photos and asked for others from church members. 

Right now, the text of the book is in a three-ring binder. We’re in the final editing stages and sending it to our designer before printing for the church Thanksgiving meal.

If you want a book, please order now online or in the Welcome Center any Sunday in September. The deadline for pre-orders is September 30. Ordering ahead of time is important so we can print the right number of books for everyone without running out. A lot of effort has gone into it, and we can’t wait to show you the final product. 

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