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J. BRUCE EVANS PAPERS

(Mss 4664)

Inventory

 

Contents of Inventory

Summary

Biographical/ Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

List of Series and Subseries

Groups, Series and Subseries Descriptions

Index Terms

Container List

Appendix Reel-to-reel tape index 1962-1966

 

Summary

Size. 16 linear feet.

Geographic locations. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Inclusive dates. 1956-1996.

Bulk dates. 1962-1985

Languages. English.

Summary. Correspondence, business papers, sermons, talks, workshop materials, poetry, fiction, newsletters, newspaper clippings, slides, photographs and audio tapes reflect the career of J. Bruce Evans as minister and counselor, his involvement in the Civil Rights movement in Louisiana and the organization of University Baptist and Fellowship Churches of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Source. Gift: October 21st, 1996.

Copyright. Literary and property rights of the materials of J. Bruce Evans are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright of other original materials is retained by the creators, or their descendants, of the materials in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Restrictions. Requests must be made for copies of audio tapes before use.

Citation. J. Bruce Evans Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Stack locations. 36:57-64, OS:E.



Biographical/Historical Note

J. Bruce Evans is a Baptist and ecumenical minister and Civil Rights activist in Baton Rouge. His first degrees were a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and an M.R.E. in religious education. He took his D.R.E. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; his dissertation was entitled "A Personality Inventory": "a testing instrument for assessing the personalities of church-related vocational workers".(1) He undertook post-graduate work at Union Theological Seminary, New York. In 1956, he began work as the youth director of the First Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, whose pastor at the time was Dr. J. Norris Palmer. He was ordained in 1958, and in 1959 he became Minister of Education. In September of 1959 he left to become pastor of University Baptist Church, Baton Rouge. In 1963, Evans's resignation from University Baptist Church was forced due to his affirmation of Civil Rights in opposition to the views of many in his church. He left with a group of people to form Fellowship Baptist Church (see below). His subsequent career until retirement in 1996 was as minister and counselor. As well as his pastoral work at Fellowship Church, he offered workshops and counseling for personnel development through Human Resources Development, which he formed in 1968. In the mid-1970s, he also served on the board of the Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge. In 1982, Evans was nominated for the Templeton Foundation, Inc. Award, a prize for work in the advancement of understanding of religion.


Evans's involvement in the Civil Rights movement began in 1957, in response to the actions of members of First Baptist Church to uphold segregation within their church.(2) In 1961, he and 52 other ministers published a Statement of Basic Principles in response to the imminent desegregation of Louisiana Public schools; Evans and other signers suffered threats and phone tappings as a consequence, and Evans's wife, Ann, was fired from her post as a math teacher at Baton Rouge High. During his ministry at Fellowship Church, Evans's congregation sponsored a national Church in the World Conference on race relations in the South (1965). In 1965 he was elected first chairman of the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations, which participated in the desegregation of Baton Rouge facilities such as restaurants. He also participated in organizing American Baptist Churches of the South, the first large integrated southern denominational group; he was its president from 1977-1979.

Evans's writings include sermons, articles, material for workshops and courses, poems, journals and prose works on theology, psychology and genealogy. Many of his writings deal with the fusion of theological and psychological language and thinking. Evans described "the three most unique, controversial, and relevant arenas" of his work as Now Theology, a re-interpretation of Christian doctrine on the premise of achieving the kingdom of heaven in the present, his merging of religion and psychology and his gender research on male/female differences.(3) Published works include Experiments in Church: Fellowship After 10 Years (1975), The Human Odyssey (1979) and The Man/Woman Book (1989). His articles have appeared in local, state and national publications. A descriptive bibliography of his published and unpublished writings can be found in the manuscript volume, "Writings of Bruce Evans" (1995). Bruce Evans also formed a tape ministry consisting of his talks at Fellowship and tapes prepared specifically for guidance in personal problems as an extension of his pastoral work. These were made available through a tape library at Fellowship Church. A summary of the tapes can be found in the manuscript volume "Tape Guidebook" (1986).

Fellowship Church was formed in 1963 under the name Fellowship Baptist Church. It was an ecumenical, integrated church, probably the first in Baton Rouge; it was also the first American Baptist Church in Louisiana. In 1966, the title "baptist" was dropped in an effort to highlight Fellowship's ecumenical status. Fellowship was instrumental in the organization of American Baptist Churches of the South and maintained connections with, for example, the American Baptist Convention, an early integrated Baptist organization, and the Liberal Synagogue in Baton Rouge, led by Rabbi Marvin Reznikoff. It has been described as a "non-church church". It focused on achieving the Kingdom of God, and the "good life" in the present rather than focusing on heaven in the afterlife. Some of its other distinguishing features were an equal male-female diaconate and personal growth groups as forums for self-development. At the height of its membership, Fellowship had 153 local members.

In the late 1970s-1980s, Fellowship worked to alter its ministries through initiatives to organize Fellowship Cooperative. This led to Fellowship Life Ministry, a ministry focused on activities such as a retreat center in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. In 1985, the outreach of the church was expanded with the formation of the Growth Center. Also in 1985, Fellowship Community was initiated, intended to be a core spiritual family within the church.

In 1982-3, during the period of Evans's separation and divorce from his wife, Ann, and remarriage to Anita Lowe, conflicts developed within the church and many members left. By 1992, continuing financial difficulties resulted in the church property being put up for sale; services continued in the home of a member in Port Allen. By 1994, the church had been dissolved and those wishing to remain part of a group continued Sunday discussions in Evans's home.

Fellowship published three books of poetry: Of One and Many (1966); Who's Afraid of Being Adam? (1966); Certain Days are Islands (1971) ; a cook book, Quickies for Singles (1980) and 12 manuscripts by Bruce Evans. Fellowship Ministry Press, which published many of these texts, was organized in 1976; Gwen McKee of Quail Ridge Press became its director in 1980.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence reflects Bruce Evans's pastoral work at First Baptist, University Baptist and Fellowship Churches; the wider concerns of these churches including organizational affiliations and outreach; his research interests in psychology and religion and his fictional and non-fictional writings. It also documents his relationships with parishioners and with his contemporaries in the Baptist Church ministry.

Papers documenting Evans's time as pastor of University Baptist Church are comprised of minutes of deacon's meetings, proposals for church development, reports and financial records. The papers of Fellowship church include rosters, financial papers, minutes, records of church organization, calendars of events, pamphlets, newsletters, copies of congregational letters and notices.

Civil rights materials consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, sermons, articles, pamphlets and course material that reflect both sides of civil rights and integration issues in Louisiana and the United States in general.

Writings and manuscript volumes consist of Bruce Evans's sermons, material written for courses at Fellowship Church and published articles. Other writings, from members of Fellowship and Evans's correspondents, consist of poetry, fiction and sermons. Manuscript volumes include a scrapbook of Fellowship Church, guides to Evans's writings and audio tapes, Fellowship guest books, a biography of members of Fellowship, and an unpublished manuscript by Evans, "Why Fellowship Failed".

Printed items relating to University Baptist Church include pamphlets, membership lists and service sheets. Items relating to Fellowship Church include newsletters concerned with the church calendar and creative writing and pamphlets describing church organization and courses and services available. Other printed items include materials relating to a Baptist controversy over biblical interpretation in the 1960s and the missionary work of David Hoy. Newspaper clippings represent the work of Fellowship Church and other ministries.

Photographs and slides depict members and events of Fellowship church. Audio tapes reflect a part of Bruce Evans's ministry and include lectures on the topics of religion, psychology and human relationships as well as tapes designed for guidance in dealing with personal problems.

 

List of Series and Subseries

I. Correspondence, 1956-1993 (boxes 1-2)

Subseries 1. To Bruce Evans, 1956-1993 (boxes 1-2)

Subseries 2. From Bruce Evans, 1956-1992 (box 2)

II. Religious and Civil Rights Involvement, 1958-1996, n.d. (boxes 2-3)

Subseries 1. University Baptist Church, 1958-1963, n.d. (box 2)

Subseries 2. Fellowship Church, 1963-1990 (box 3)

Subseries 3. Civil Rights in Baton Rouge, 1961-1996 (box 3)

III. Writings and Manuscript Volumes, 1965-1995, n.d. (box 4)

Subseries 1. Writings: Bruce Evans, 1965-1976, n.d. (box 4)

Subseries 2. Writings: Fellowship Church members and associates, 1958-1990, n.d. (box 4)

Subseries 3. Manuscript volumes, 1963-1995, n.d. (box 4, OS folders 1-2)

IV. Printed Items and Newspaper Clippings, 1954-1988, n.d. (box 5)

Subseries 1. University Baptist Church, 1954-1963 (box 5)

Subseries 2. Fellowship Church, 1968-1987 (box 5)

Subseries 3. Miscellaneous printed items, 1956-1988, n.d. (box 5)

Subseries 4. Newspaper clippings, 1957-1986, n.d. (box 5)

V. Photographic and Audio Materials, 1960-1989 (boxes 6-34)

Subseries 1. Slides, 1963-1975, n.d. (box 6)

Subseries 2. Photographs, 1960-1989, n.d. (boxes 6-7)

Subseries 3. Audio tapes, 1962-1989 (boxes 8-34)

 

Series and Subseries Descriptions

I. Correspondence, 1956-1993 (1.7 linear feet)

Summary: Correspondence reflects Bruce Evans's work in Baton Rouge churches: as Youth Director and education Minister at First Baptist Church and later as Pastor of University Baptist Church and Fellowship Baptist Church. Also reflected are his research interests in vocational guidance and psychological counseling, and his career as an author of poetry and non-fiction. Major correspondents include fellow Baptist workers David Hoy, David Mason, Hal Potts, Charles Osborn, and Martin England of the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board of the American Baptist Convention.

Subseries 1. To Bruce Evans, 1956-1993 (1.3 linear feet)

Correspondence with members of Evans's past and present congregation includes criticism (May 31 and Aug. 30, 1957) of his conduct and church management by Mrs. H.V. Carroll and correspondence with Fellowship member Wayne Steadman (1982-) on subjects of theology, Evans's sermons and church management; several letters (March 1991) comment on Wayne Steadman's suicide. There is also correspondence (e.g. Jan 30, 1982 and Sept. 13, 1986) with Gwen Mckee who, with her husband, formed Quail Ridge Press, which worked with Bruce Evans on the preparation and publishing of his work.

Correspondence with other Baptist ministers and workers includes letters ( 1957-1969) that reflect the work of David Hoy, a Southern Baptist missionary to Brazil and David E. Mason, a missionary in Jamaica. In a later letter (Nov. 4, 1989) David Mason writes for information on a book he is writing on congregational types. Correspondence with the Baptist minister Hal Potts includes a letter (March 9, 1964) outlining his decision to leave the ministry. There is also correspondence (e.g. April 10, 1973) with Baptist minister and historian Robert G. Torbet.


Evans's work outside his pastorates is reflected in letters that show invitations to discussions (e.g. May 29, 1969) "Missions and Personhood in Christ", his participation in workshops (e.g. April 25, 1974) and connections with the development of "Televangelism" (e.g. June 10, 1959). Another letter (May 22, 1974) confirms a grant, the Disciple Chaplain's Scholarship, awarded to Evans. Other correspondence (1962) reflects a crisis at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, stemming from Ralph Elliott's commentary on Genesis, over a faction of the Southern Baptist Convention which wanted a statement on an official method of scriptural exegesis.


There is correspondence (e.g. Sept. 25, 1967, Jan. 13, 1964, April 19, 1972, July 9, 1975 and Aug. 2, 1984) from those interested in the Fellowship Church experiment and from those involved in similar church organizations Another letter (March 5, 1971), from Bob Westerman, suggests similarities between Fellowship Church and Scientology.


Correspondence concerning Evans's research includes congratulations (Jan. 19-20, 1960) on attaining his Ph.D. and contact with others, e.g. with Robert Close (Feb. 7, 1983 and Oct. 10, 1962), involved in similar research projects.


Critiques of Evans's writings by church members and others include a discussion (ca. Oct. 1961) of the poem "I forgive", comments (e.g. March 27, 1968) on a book of poetry, Who's Afraid of Being Adam?, on Milestones (ca. Nov. 1976 and Sept. 23, 1976) and The Human Oddysey (May 28, 1989). A letter (Jan. 2, 1972) comments on a radio interview with Bruce Evans on WJBO. Comments on courses offered by Evans include those on "Working out your own salvation" (Feb. 28, 1973). There are numerous requests for Evans's sermons and poetry e.g. for Grant, Father (March 31 and April 3, 1975). Correspondence concerning Evans's publications includes a letter (Jan. 16, 1958) from the serial Baptist Student.


There is correspondence from Baptist associations such as the American Baptist Extension Corporation, American Baptist Churches of the South, American Baptist Home Mission Societies and the American Baptist Convention. This includes a letter (June 16, 1966) from the American Baptist Convention concerning its foray into Southern churches for membership. Another letter (June 16, 1966) welcomes Fellowship Church into the American Baptist Home Mission Societies. There is also correspondence (e.g. Oct. 8, 1974) with the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board of the American Baptist Churches. A letter (March 21, 1967) confirms Fellowship Church's new membership in the American Baptist Convention. Another letter (June 30, 1970) addresses recruitment in the South. Correspondence from other societies includes a letter (Dec. 30, 1971) from the Fellowship for Racial and Economic Equality. Correspondence also reflects connections with the Liberal Synagogue of Baton Rouge (e.g. Oct. 15, 1973).


Other correspondence includes a letter (April 9, 1971), which notes Evans's role as a member of an escort committee for Ted Kennedy during his attendance at an AFL-CIO convention in Louisiana. Correspondence (Sept. 23, 1974 and ca. Nov. 1974) from a Thai missionary asks Fellowship Church to join in mission work in Thailand. There is also a note (1962) from Charles McClendon, an LSU sports coach. Another letter (ca. March 1971) mentions advice given to family formerly part of Evans's congregation, by the husband's employer, Ross Perot.


Subseries 2. From Bruce Evans, 1956-1992 (0.4 linear feet)


Letters from the mid-1950s reflect Bruce Evans's work in First Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, e.g. his Directorship of the youth group, in church activities and personnel matters. Other correspondence documenting church life includes letters (Jan.-March 1958) concerning a revival and a letter (July 8, 1957) that considers the possibility of televising services. Another letter (March 7, 1960) discusses the new University Baptist Church building. Correspondence documenting Evans's pastorate of Fellowship Church include a letter (Aug. 24, 1963) concerning the purchase of a church building for Fellowship and letters (e.g. May 24, 1965 and Aug. 23, 1965) from similar church organizations.


Evans's career is reflected in a letter (Sept. 17, 1958) in which he requests to be ordained and a letter (May 22, 1968) that gives biographical information. Other letters (March 1962) document Evans's efforts to find a publisher for his poetry and non-fiction. A letter (March 5, 1970) to Association Publishers outlines a manuscript by Evans on "Now Theology". Correspondence with other pastors within the Baptist Church includes a letter (July 31, 1957) to David Hoy on his church visit and letters (Jan. 6 and Feb. 3, 1967) to Robert G. Torbet. Work outside his pastorate is reflected in a letter (April 25, 1968) which outlines the services of Evans's company, Human Resources Development.


Evans's own research is reflected in correspondence concerning church vocation training, e.g. seeking information for vocational aptitude tests (Oct. 1957), conducting research into existing work in psychological testing (March 7, 1960) and work on evaluation of personnel (Nov. 7, 1961). Another letter (May 18, 1961) contains an abstract of his thesis "A Personality Inventory".


Other correspondence includes a letter (Jan. 1962) which refers to his wife's dismissal from a teaching post because of his Civil Rights activities.


II. Religious and Civil Rights Involvement, 1958-1996 (1.1 linear feet)


Subseries 1. University Baptist Church, 1958-1963, n.d. (0.1 linear feet)

These papers reflect Bruce Evans's time as pastor of the University Baptist Church. There are minutes (1959-1963) of the deacons' meetings and a quarterly report (Sept. 1962) that includes membership lists and reports on committee work. A proposal for new ventures at University Baptist, "Anyone for Growing?" (ca. 1962), is centered on ideas for group and individual growth. Another item (ca. 1962) lists comments and suggestions by church members to the Church Organizational Study Committee concerning a study of church structure. Management of church life is also reflected in a series of graphs (1963) analyzing Sunday School attendance and remarks (ca. 1960-1963) on the restructuring of the pastor's role. Programs include one (1962-63) describing "Activities and Opportunities" at University Baptist. A document, "Your Church - What is it" (1962-63), profiles staff and church programs. Financial papers (1960-1963) include financial reports, giving records for 1961 (Jan.-June) and 1962 (Jan.-June) and the 1961 budget drive.

There are also copies (n.d.) of press releases advertising speakers and special programs and a memorandum (April 23, 1963) placing a motion to dismiss Evans and his assistant for assuming "A role completely unacceptable to a large segment of our Church".

Subseries 2. Fellowship Church, 1963-1990 (0.6 linear feet)

Summary: Papers reflect the organization of Fellowship Church from its beginnings as Fellowship Baptist Church through its development into Fellowship Church and its offshoot ministries of the Growth Center and Fellowship Community.

Items from 1964 chart the initial organization of Fellowship as Fellowship Baptist Church. They include documents concerning the "Fellowship Baptist Church Investment Association", the "Organizational Structure" of the church, articles of the church and "Division of Responsibilities". The development of the church is reflected in a revised document on organizational structure (1979), the "New Shape of Fellowship Church" (1987) which outlines the established theology of Fellowship and teaching programs and Evans's proposals (Nov. 1984) for a new ministry. Several items document the formation of Fellowship Life Ministry, an active ministry based around a retreat center in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, including minutes (Oct. 21, 1980) of an initial meeting to organize the ministry, a proposal for a "Fellowship Cooperative" (1980) consisting of privately owned lots and buildings cooperatively managed for Fellowship and "Koionia" (1980), a development of these proposals. The retreat center and cooperative are discussed in reports on the "Property Development Program" (Nov. 1980) and "Property Development Study" (Jan. 5, 1981). The sale of land in Bienville for the retreat center by John and Constance Evans is documented in a sale with mortgage, marina lease, sales agreement, surface lease and act of restrictions of property (Aug.-Nov. 1981). Church administration is reflected in a list (Sept. 1969) of recommended diaconate responsibilities, and a reorganization of church positions, with descriptions of positions (1982). Other items detail the formation of Fellowship Community, a core spiritual family at the heart of Fellowship Church, whose tenets were based on sharing skills and work on a bartering system. These documents include: proposals (1985, revised copies, 1986) for the formation of Fellowship Community and its principles; "Fellowship Community Commitment" (Jan. 1986 and June 1986); "Community Commitment" forms (e.g. Jan. 1986) detailing community and bartering services offered to the community; and monthly community reports detailing services rendered and bartered for the community (Jan. - Oct. 1986).

The organization of church membership is reflected in a revised document of "Commitment to Membership" (1969) during a membership drive and "A Proposal to Recruit, Enlist and Enjoy Members at Fellowship Church" (May 16, 1979). There are also response forms for commitments to Fellowship Church for 1987 (Oct.-Nov. 1986) and new-style contracts with Fellowship Church (e.g. Jan. 1987). There are several Church membership lists (e.g. April 1974, Feb. 1975, Nov. 15, 1977 and Feb. 4, 1987). There is also a list and analysis of membership (Nov. 1979), a list of directing members (July 15, 1982), an analysis of membership and giving (June 1984) and a list of Fellowship Community members (Jan. 7, 1986). Special events for membership include a "S.M.A.S.H." (Supporting Members Appreciation Saturday/Sunday Hallelujah) weekend (May 26, 1979).

Discussions of church organization are reflected in an explanation of perceived "errors" within Fellowship Church (1982) and "Thoughts on the future of Fellowship" by Paul McBroom (October 3, 1983), containing a commentary on the theological stance of Evans and Fellowship and thoughts on Fellowship's future as a movement. There are also proposals (June 15, 1982) and a letter to the board (July 7, 1982) detailing an initiative for Bruce Evans to take a new position within church administration and a proposal (Dec. 18, 1983) that Fellowship's position in not 'charging' for Sunday attendance be made clear.

The history of the Growth Center, an experiment in 1985 for a service for evaluation, education and development for the community is documented in an initial proposal (Sept. 9, 1984). Growth Center literature includes a list of consultants (January 1985) , consultancy contracts (e.g. Feb. 18, 1985 and Nov. 7, 1984), lists of current events, Bruce Evans's services, services offered by therapist Gloria Bockrath including materials for a workshop entitled "Experience and Celebrate Yourself!" (1985).

There are budgets, financial analyses and financial reports for the years 1969-1987 and graphs for extended reports (e.g. 1977). Several initiatives to counteract Fellowship's financial difficulties include establishing fees for members (1970), and an appeal for funds (1986). A letter (April 26, 1979) notes the completion of payment on a loan to the Church. There is also a "Financial Facts" sheet (Sept. 1987).

Details of ministries, workshops and growth groups include a brochure on "Special Ministries" (1970-71) and pamphlets on ministries (1972), a "Basic Education Program" (1974), explanations of Basic Education Courses (1980) and religious education for adults (1981). There are copies of Orientation exams (January 1980) and the Theology exam for new church members (March 1980). There is also a brochure for Fellowship service programs (1984). Specialized growth services offered (1986) include personality testing, couple counseling and massage. Items concerning the tape ministry include a detailed list (1972) of tapes available.

Association with the American Baptist Churches is reflected in certificates of recognition for giving (1980). There are also congregational profiles (Sept. 9, 1987 and Sept. 6, 1989) provided by American Baptist Churches.

Subseries 3. Civil Rights in Baton Rouge, 1961-1996 (0.4 linear feet)

This material is retained in original order, which is generally chronological. There is a summary compiled by Bruce Evans of his civil rights involvement from 1957-1996 included in the first folder.

1957-60: includes newspaper clippings (June 1960) on the segregation proposals put before the Louisiana Legislature, a satirical membership application for the N.A.A.C.P. (1960), sermons on "University Baptist Church and the Congress of Racial Equality" (1960) and "Christianity and Segregation" (Oct. 2, 1960).

March-July 1961: includes a sermon (March 19, 1961), "The Christian Attitude in the Segregation Issue", described by Evans as an attempt "to face racial issues in a more personal manner", and correspondence (March-April 1961) in response to this sermon from both supporters of civil rights and segregationists, which includes a satiric letter (March 30, 1961) from Hal Potts. Newspaper clippings (May 1969) document the signing of the "Statement of Basic Principles" by local clergymen in defense of civil rights and the local problem of school desegregation and correspondence in the Morning Advocate arising from this. Another clipping (1961) notes the resignation of Irvin Cheney, one of the ministers who signed the declaration.

Sept. 1961: contains newspaper clippings of articles on Ann Evans's dismissal from a teaching post due to Bruce Evans's stand on civil rights, and correspondence, the majority of which is in support of Ann. There is also a copy of a sermon (Sept. 10, 1961), entitled "Am I an Integrationist?".

Oct.-Dec. 1961: includes correspondence on the issues of Ann Evans's dismissal and requests for Bruce Evans's sermon, "Am I an Integrationist?".

1962-Feb. 1963: contains correspondence (Jan. 1962) on the issue of a vote by the Board of University Baptist Church to keep its doors closed to African Americans. There is also a photocopy of a sermon printed in the Pulpit Digest (Feb. 1962) entitled "A Voice from the South", a version of "Am I an Integrationist?" and correspondence in response to this sermon.

March-Dec. 1963: includes correspondence (April - June) on Evans's resignation from University Baptist Church in response to pressure from those opposed to his ministry. One letter (May 2, 1963) is from Irvin Cheney. Another letter (Nov. 4, 1963) discusses the rejection by Judson Baptist Association of Fellowship Church's membership application. There is also a sermon (1963), "Meeting the Negro".

1964-Jan. 1965: includes correspondence and papers concerning a conference sponsored by Fellowship Church, Church in the World, on Southern race relations.

Feb. - Dec. 1965: contains further correspondence and reports (Feb. - March) on the conference, material (March - April) on a meeting on Church and race organized by two other Baptist leaders involved in the civil rights issue, Carlyle Marney of Myers Park Baptist Church, North Carolina, and Martin England of the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board of the American Baptist Convention. Other letters note Fellowship's second attempt to join Judson Baptist Association (July) and the work of the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations, of which Evans was chairman (April - Oct.).

1966-1969: includes further material (Jan. - March 1966 and May 1967) on the local and state chapters of the Council on Human Relations and correspondence and newspaper clippings (June - August 1966) on the Head Start Program, an ecumenical, integrated program for disadvantaged children. There is also a sermon (May 26, 1968), "The New Jerusalem", and a note (Sept. 12, 1968) signed by Coretta S. King in thanks for sympathy expressed at the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1970-1996: includes correspondence on the organization of the group American Baptist Churches of the South, an integrated Baptist association (Feb. - April 1970), correspondence and newspaper clippings on the second annual conference of the organization, hosted by Fellowship Church (Nov. 1971, Feb. - March, 1972) and a letter (March 18, 1977) concerning Evans's election as president of its Southern Region. There is also a notice (August 1970) in response to school desegregation issued by Fellowship Church, correspondence and notices (Feb. 1976) of a presentation of Evans's writings sponsored by the Y.W.C.A. and letters (1986-1996) concerning the work of Carlyle Marney and Martin England.

Undated: contains material on a "Christianity and Life Series". This includes newspaper clippings on segregation and integration issues and notes and pamphlets published by pro- and anti-segregationists, some of which are duplicated in the previous civil rights materials. Pamphlets published by civil rights groups include Ten Commandments on Race Relations published by the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963); pamphlets published by segregationist groups include the Southern Digest (June 1956). There are also notes by Evans on addresses (n.d.) and addresses by others e.g. "The Voices Dying in the Wilderness" (October 1960) by Hamlet May, a fictional story of racial attitudes, and "Christian Responses to the Crisis in Human Relations", a Sunday School talk by N. Lyle Evans (ca. 1960). There is also a photocopy (n.d.) of an extract from a nineteenth-century volume, Pulpit Politics by David Christy.


III. Writings and Manuscript Volumes, 1965-1990, n.d. (1 linear foot)


Subseries 1. Writings: Bruce Evans, 1965-1976, n.d. (0.1 linear feet)

Material for seminars includes "The Understanding of God" (March 1968), "Decision for Christ" (Oct. 20, 1968) and "Time and Eternal Life" (1970). Sermons include "Being Resurrected" (1968), on forms of psychological resurrection, and "Church in the World" (1965). The theology of Bruce Evans and Fellowship Church is reflected in study series and workshops which include "Orientation to Fellowship Church" (1970) (topics covered include "Religious Language", "Sin", "Clarifications on Salvation Events" and "The Bible") and "How to be Saved" (Oct.-Dec. 1970). There is a photocopy of an article in The Baptist Student (Dec. 1970), "The Quest for Vitality in Fellowship". There are also two pamphlets (1976) outlining discussions as an introduction to courses offered by Fellowship, "Dealing with Guilt" and "Led by Spirit", and an alternative wording for a marriage service (ca. 1976) for those who have been living together.

Subseries 2. Writings: Fellowship Church members and associates, 1958-1990 (1 folder)

These writings, from correspondents and by members of Fellowship Church, include a birthday poem to Evans (1961) and remarks (n.d.) on Evans's study course, "Working out your own salvation". Other poetry includes "a call to christian life style" [sic] by William C. Kerley and several poems (1980-81) by Duane P. Truex. Prose includes "The turtle that learned to fly" (ca. 1979-80), written in response to the Fellowship S.M.A.S.H. weekend, and two sermons (July and Nov. 1988) by Joel Stegall.

Subseries 3. Manuscript volumes, 1963-1995, n.d. (0.7 feet)

There are two bound manuscripts by Bruce Evans: "Writings of Bruce Evans" (1995), which is an overview of Evans's areas of work and a descriptive bibliography of published and unpublished manuscripts and "Why Fellowship Failed - in case it did" (1994), a history and analysis of Fellowship Church and Evans's developing theology.

Manuscript volumes of Fellowship Church consist of a tape guidebook (1970-1986), an album, "Biographical Data of Members" and six volumes (1963-1993) of guest books for the church. There is also a guest book signed by attendees at the 10th Anniversary Party of Fellowship and a list of numbered copies of The Story of Fellowship with their buyers or recipients. A scrapbook (1963-1976) contains newspaper clippings, newsletters, pamphlets, correspondence, membership lists, minutes, checks and financial material relating to Fellowship Church. Materials include a list of members transferring membership from University Baptist Church (July 11, 1963), a proposed covenant (November 1963). a telegram (Feb. 7, 1964) welcoming Fellowship into the American Baptist Convention and a note (Nov. 11, 1964) on money borrowed from the American Baptist Home Missions Society.

IV. Printed Items and Newspaper Clippings (0.5 linear feet)

Subseries 1. University Baptist Church, 1954-1963 (1 folder)

There is a pamphlet (1954-1955) on University Baptist Church and Church membership lists (1961-62 and April 1963). There are also service sheets (May 1, 1960) dedicating the new University Baptist Church on Leeward Drive.

Subseries 2. Fellowship Church, 1968-1982?

The greater part of this material consists of bound and loose copies of the church bulletin (1968-1979). Other newsletters include "What's happening at Fellowship" (Jan. 1971) and "Verbatim" (1981-82). Pamphlets outlining the theology and structure of the church include "An Introduction" (1963), "On Membership" (1963), "Experiment in Church" (1964), "The pastoral ministry" (1968), "The organizational structure" (1972) and "Concerning contributions" (1975). There are also several pamphlets giving an overview of the church, including "Fellowship Church is..." (1968) and "Fellowship Church Ministries" (1976). Details of available tapes are found in the catalog "Fellowship Church Tape Ministry" (1976).

Subseries 3. Miscellaneous printed items, 1956-1988, n.d.

These include editorials and remarks (1962) on the case of Ralph H. Elliott, an itinerary (1959) for David Hoy and a membership card (1972-3) for the Louisiana Association for Mental Health.

Subseries 4. Newspaper clippings, 1957-1986, n.d. (1 folder)

These include an article (Aug. 8, 1957), "The Autopsy of a Dead Church", sent to Evans by Mrs. Carroll and newspaper clippings and publicity materials (Sept. 1959) concerning the ministry of David Hoy. Newspaper articles on the work of Fellowship Church include one (July 8, 1966) on the Head Start program, another (March 26, 1972) on the ministry and several (Feb. 1985) on the Growth Center.

V. Photographic and Audio Materials, 1960-1989, n.d. (10.8 linear feet)

Subseries 1. Slides, 1963-1975, n.d. (0.2 linear feet)

Slides depict Fellowship church events and people. A guide is included within the series. Slides numbered 2, 9, 70, 76, 102-110, 147, 162 and 166 are missing from sequence.

Subseries 2. Photographs, 1960-1989, n.d. (0.6 linear feet)

Photographs depict members of Fellowship church and events such as S.M.A.S.H. (1979-1980), St. Patrick's Day (1979) and a Fellowship Mardi Gras ball (1981). There is a series of photographs of the site of Fellowship Community (1987). There are also photographs of members and former members of Fellowship removed from correspondence, including several of the Bock family.

Subseries 3. Audio Tapes, 1962-1989 (10 linear feet)

N.B. Copies of tapes must be requested in advance by anyone wishing to listen to them. Please ask a member of staff for assistance.

Reel-to-reel tapes are arranged in chronological order by the first date on the tape. Cassette tapes are arranged in numerical order.

Reel-to-reel tapes (1962-1989) consist of sermons, conferences, services, and study courses given at Fellowship Church. A guide to early tapes (1962-1966) is given in Appendix I. Many of the subjects of the reel-to-reel tapes are listed in the "Tape Guidebook" (see manuscript volumes). The cassette tapes were made available for borrowing through Fellowship Church's tape library. They include topics on religion, psychology and relationships and direction in solving personal problems. Many are copies of the reel-to-reel tapes. See the "Tape Guidebook" for titles and summaries. Audio cassette tapes missing from sequence: 27-42, 44, 101, 123, 127, 145, 212, 220, 345, 357, 375.

 

 

Index Terms

(Materials relating to the topics listed on the left may be found in the series to the right, which is represented by its number)

Topic: Found in series:

Evans, J. Bruce I-II, III.1, III.3, IV-V

Hoy, David I, IV. 3-4

McKee, Gwen I

Mason, David E., I

Palmer, J. Norris (John Norris), b. 1898 I

Steadman, Wayne, d. 1991 I

Torbet, Robert G. (Robert George), b. 1912 I

Elliott, Ralph H. Message of Genesis I, IV.3

Fellowship Church (Baton Rouge, La.) I, II. 2-3, III, Iv.2, IV.4, IV

First Baptist Church (Baton Rouge, La.) I

University Baptist Church (Baton Rouge, La.) I, II.1, IV.1

Growth Center (Baton Rouge, La.) II.2, IV.2, IV.4

Baton Rouge (La.)--Church history I-V

Baptists--Louisiana--Clergy I-II, III.1, III.3, IV-V

Civil Rights--Louisiana--Baton Rouge II.3

Segregation--Louisiana II.3

Church in the World Conference (1965: Baton Rouge, La.) II.3

Container List

Stack

location Box Folders Contents

Series I. Correspondence

36:57 1 1-33 Correspondence: to Bruce Evans (1956-1979).

36:58 2 1-12 Correspondence: to Bruce Evans (1980-1993).

36:58 2 13-29 Correspondence: from Bruce Evans (1956-1992).

Series II. Religious and Civil Rights Involvement

36:58 2 30-31 University Baptist Church (1958-1963, n.d.).

36:59 3 1-21 Fellowship Church (1963-1990?).

36:59 3 22-33 Civil Rights Involvement (1961-1996).

Series III. Writings and Manuscript Volumes

36:59 4 1-4 Writings: Bruce Evans (1965-1976, n.d.).

36:59 4 5 Writings: Fellowship Church members and associates (1958-1990).

36:59 4 6-14 Manuscript volumes (1963-1995, n.d.).

OS:E Folder 1 Scrapbook (1963-1976).

OS:E Folder 2 Guest book (1974-1982).

Series IV. Printed Items and Newspaper Clippings

36:60 5 1 University Baptist Church (1954-1963).

36:60 5 2-11 Fellowship Church (1963-1987).

 

Stack

location Box Folder Contents

36:60 5 12 Miscellaneous printed items (1956-1988, n.d.).

36:60 5 13 Newspaper clippings (1957-1986, n.d.).

Series V. Photographs and Audio Materials

36:60 6 - Slides (1963-1975, n.d.).

36:60 6 1-5 Photographs (1960-1989, n.d.).

36:60 7 1-8 Photographs (1960-1989, n.d.).

36:60 8 - Reel-to-reel tapes (1962-75).

36:61 9 - Reel-to-reel tapes (1975-1982).

36:61 10 - Reel-to-reel tapes (1982-1985).

36:62 11 - Reel-to-reel tapes (1985-1988).

36:62 12 - Reel-to-reel tapes (1988-1989).

36:63 13-22 - Cassette tapes (1970-1986).

36:64 23-34 - Cassette tapes (1970-1986).

 

Appendix I

Reel-to-reel tape index 1962-1966

1/21/62: Too Bad About Church, J. Bruce Evans (University Baptist Church)

4/7/63: Assurance Of Salvation, J. Bruce Evans (University Baptist Church)

10/18/64: A Never Ending Winter, Dr. Carlyle Marney (Fellowship Church)

1/25-27/65: Church In The World Conference, National Speakers, including: Clay Lee, Jerry Chance, Carlyle Marney, Robert Otto, etc.

1/24/66: They That Mourn, J. Bruce Evans

1/3/65: Grown Children & Their Parents, J. Bruce Evans

2/7/65: Christianity & The Far Left, J. Bruce Evans [missing from sequence]

3/14/65: Letting God Be God, J. Bruce Evans

4/4/65: What Makes A Pretty Girl Pretty, J. Bruce Evans

5/30/65: Beans in Ears, J. Bruce Evans

6/6/65: Southern Baptists & Us, J. Bruce Evans

1965: Poetry Readings, Tempe Crosby et. Al.

10/3/65: Doctrine Of Man, J. Bruce Evans

10/31/65: Religionless Religion, J. Bruce Evans

12/12/65: Planning Ahead, J. Bruce Evans

1/8/66: Life Passing By, J. Bruce Evans

3/66: Sacred & Secular, To Buzbee

6/66: Summer Experiences, J. Bruce Evans

 

1. Bruce Evans, abstract of dissertation, letter, May 18, 1961.

2. For a fuller summary of Evans's involvement in the desegregation movement in Louisiana, see the document, "Summary of Civil Rights Involvements", at the beginning of the subseries "Civil Rights" (1957).

3. J. Bruce Evans, Writings of Bruce Evans (Mss., 1995), p. 4.