Timothy L. Smith

Last updated
Timothy Lawrence Smith
BornApril 13, 1924
South Carolina
DiedJanuary 20, 1997
West Palm Beach, Florida
NationalityAmerican
Occupation(s)Historian, Educator
Known forFirst American Evangelical Historian to become notable in research and higher education

Timothy Lawrence Smith (April 13, 1924 – January 20, 1997) was a historian and educator, known as the first American evangelical historian to gain notoriety in research and higher education.

Contents

Early life and education

Smith was born April 13, 1924 [1] in Central, South Carolina, [2] the son of Nazarene ministers. [3] He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees [4] from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa student, and his doctoral degree in history from Harvard University [2] under Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. [5] [6]

Career

He has been described as "the first evangelical historian in the U.S. to make it in the secular research university." [7]

Smith began his teaching career at the Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) in 1949 and left in 1954 to take a position at East Texas State University. [8] During his time at ENC, he was the first director of Quincy School Department-sponsored College Courses, Inc., after which fellow Eastern Nazarene history professor Charles W. Akers transformed it into Quincy Junior College and served as its first full-time director. [8] He later went on the teach at the University of Minnesota before becoming director of the American Religious History doctoral program [9] and Chair of the Education Department at the Johns Hopkins University, [7] [10] where he taught for 25 years. [7]

Smith received numerous awards and honors, and served as president of both the American Society of Church History, [4] and the Society of Religious Historians. [2] He was also an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, and pastored churches in Massachusetts, Maine, and Colorado. [7]

Published works

A prolific author who published in nearly every historical journal, Smith's best-known and most-praised work is his 1957 book Revivalism and Social Reform, [11] formed from his dissertation from Harvard, [5] which received the Brewer prize from the American Society of Church History. [2] Smith also wrote a history of the Church of the Nazarene, Called Unto Holiness, which Smith considered his most outstanding accomplishment. [7]

Legacy

Smith retired to Burke, Virginia but died at age 72 in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 20, 1997, after several strokes. [2]

The Wesleyan Theological Society at Northwest Nazarene University established a book award in honor of Smith and Mildred Bangs Wynkoop in 1999, and presents an award annually. [12] The 2008 recipient of the award, Randall J. Stephens, currently teaches at the Eastern Nazarene College, as well. [13]

Notes and references

Related Research Articles

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The Church of the Nazarene is a Christian denomination that emerged in North America from the 19th-century Wesleyan-Holiness movement within Methodism. It is headquartered in Lenexa within Johnson County, Kansas. With its members commonly referred to as Nazarenes, it is the largest denomination in the world aligned with the Wesleyan-Holiness movement and is a member of the World Methodist Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Holiness movement</span> Set of beliefs and practices which emerged from 19th-century Methodism

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Mildred Olive Bangs Wynkoop was an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene, who served as an educator, missionary, theologian, and the author of several books. Donald Dayton indicates that "Probably most influential for a new generation of Holiness scholars has been the work of Nazarene theologian Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, especially her book A Theology of Love: The Dynamic of Wesleyanism." The Wynkoop Center for Women in Ministry located in Kansas City, Missouri is named in her honour. The Timothy L. Smith and Mildred Bangs Wynkoop Book Award of the Wesleyan Theological Society also jointly honours her "outstanding scholarly contributions."

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Edward Stebbins Mann (1908–2005) was the president of the Eastern Nazarene College.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Church of the Nazarene</span>

The history of the Church of the Nazarene has been divided into seven overlapping periods by the staff of the Nazarene archives in Lenexa, Kansas: (1) Parent Denominations (1887–1907); (2) Consolidation (1896–1915); (3) Search for Solid Foundations (1911–1928); (4) Persistence Amid Adversity (1928–1945); (5) Mid-Century Crusade for Souls (1945–1960); (6) Toward the Post-War Evangelical Mainstream (1960–1980); and (7) Internationalization (1976-2003).

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenneth J. Collins</span>

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