19th Century Revival.

DCHS Calls Dr. Joel Brown as President


Dr. Joel Brown.jpeg


The Board of Trustees of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (DCHS) is pleased to announce the call of Dr. Joel Brown to serve as its new President.

Search committee chair and DCHS board member, Rev. Rebecca Hale, noted that “This is an important time as the Society builds on the excellent leadership of Rev. Dr. Lowery in expanded digitization, infrastructure improvements, and living ever more fully into the Society’s vision of  ‘celebrating our past and telling its hard truths, we seek a church empowered to make history now and thus to shape a future ever more faithful to God’s dream of unity and justice for all’.”

Through an extensive search process, the Society sought a visionary leader to work alongside the Board of Trustees to lead DCHS into a future that lives into the vision illustrated at the March 2022 Kirkpatrick Lectures with the theme: “Systemic Racism, Antiracism, and Reconciliation in Our Shared History and Tradition.” The ability to make significant gains in digitization, fundraising, and infrastructure improvements were also named as priorities in the search for a new President.

Dr. Brown recently earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago with a dissertation titled: “Preparing the Way: African American Women and Social Christianity in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago.” He holds a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Texas Christian University, Brite Divinity School, where his thesis was titled: “White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement” and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Abilene Christian University, Graduate School of Theology. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Abilene Christian University.

Joel’s recent work includes serving as the Associate for Publications and Programming at the Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago, serving as the Managing Editor for the Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion, and as the Managing Editor for the Religion & Culture Forum (2016-2018).

Committee and Board of Trustee members noted that Dr. Brown brings excellent scholarship, a breadth of knowledge related to historical archives, deep connections to the Stone-Campbell traditions, and a visionary yet humble spirit that will guide the Society. Joel’s well lived and clearly articulated commitments to equity and justice work also came to the fore during the search process.

Dr. Brown notes, "I am incredibly honored and deeply humbled by the call to serve in this leadership role and to continue the important work that DCHS has been doing of preserving and telling our history, both lifting up those narratives that tell of our movement’s faithfulness and achievements as well as reckoning with those parts of our story where we have fallen short and caused harm. As we find ourselves in a particular moment when “history” is being weaponized to narrow minds and hearts, I look forward to working with our churches, ministries, schools, and partners in other streams of the Stone-Campbell Movement to realize that critical and faithful study of our history can be a source for liberation, justice, and wholeness as we move forward into the future.”

Dr. Brown begins his service on September 1, 2022.

The Search Team was led by Rev. Rebecca Hale, DCHS Board Member; Archie Jenkins, DCHS Board of Trustees Chair and member of Guyton Christian Church in Georgia; Rev. Dr. Tim Lee, Professor, Brite Divinity School; Joyce Lambert, Elder at Philadelphia Fellowship Christian Church in Pennsylvania; Rev. Janae Pitts-Murdock, Senior Pastor, Light of the World Christian Church, DCHS Board Member; Rev. Dr. José Francisco Morales Torres, Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary; Rev. Sandhya Jha, Consultant, Without Fear Consulting; Dr. James Gorman, Professor, Johnson University, DCHS Board Member.

DCHS COVID Protocols


The DCHS building is open to the public during posted hours. We follow the latest CDC guidelines and state and federal laws concerning businesses and in-door gatherings.

We ask that all visitors wear masks while inside the building.

Visitors may call (615) 327-1444 or email info@discipleshistory.org for reservations to do research or tour the Campbell Mansion.

Call for Articles for Journal of Discipliana


The Editorial Committee of the Journal of Discipliana invites manuscript submissions in all areas of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Editors are seeking contributions grounded in original research which defend a clear thesis and inform specialists and/or general readers. Articles should explore issues relevant to all aspects of thought and religious life and practice within the historical or contemporary Stone-Campbell Movement.

The General Editor of the Journal of Discipliana, an online only, open access journal, is Mark G. Toulouse, who works in consultation with an editorial committee. Scholars from the three primary streams of the Stone-Campbell Movement: the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, the Churches of Christ (a cappella), and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) serve on the editorial committee. Dr. Richard H. Lowery, president of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society is publisher.

Teachers of graduate students are encouraged not only to submit their own scholarly endeavors but those of their most promising students. The Historical Society seeks to cultivate the work of young scholars through the Isaac Errett Award, an essay contest which each year honors an outstanding student essay.

Manuscripts should follow the Chicago Manual of Style and the SBL Handbook of Style and are to be 5000-6500 words (or approximately 18 - 20 pages, double-spaced) with footnotes. Submit in Microsoft Word to General Editor, Dr. Mark G. Toulouse at journalofdiscipliana@discipleshistory.org



Lowery Retirement


DCHS President Rick Lowery announces his retirement next year. Lowery will retire by September 2022 after the selection of his successor. Lowery was installed as DCHS President in November 2017. Under his leadership, DCHS has moved forward with its project of digitizing and making many of its resources available online through its recently established Digital Commons website. It has launched the peer-reviewed, online-only Journal of Discipliana for scholarship of issues in the historical and contemporary life and thought of Disciples  and the broader Stone-Campbell Movement. Lowery has edited a book about Disciples Restructure, as well as a book of prayers by presidents and staff of general ministries, and has recruited authors for forthcoming biographies of key Disciples leaders, with a special focus on historically underrepresented groups. DCHS is sponsoring a major academic conference on "Systemic Racism, Antiracism, and Reconciliation in Our Shared History and Tradition" in March 2022. The DCHS Board has initiated a search process following the general church's Executive Search Model to find Dr. Lowery's successor.

For a more detailed announcement see: 




Wellsprings of Hope


DCHS President Rev. Dr. Richard H. Lowery's most recent publication, Wellsprings of Hope: Prayers for a Prophetic New Visions for Disciples is now available.

In this new collection of 52 weekly reflections on Isaiah 35, the hallowed passage about finding new life, new faith, and new prophetic vision in challenging times and places, walk alongside other Disciples and congregations toward a new vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Copies of the book are available from Chalice Press, including a discount for bulk purchases.


To learn more about the book here is an interview between Dr. Lowery and Chalice Press President Brad Lyons:


Video: Hope's Design

  • The Disciples of Christ Historical Society provides this Kirkpatrick Lecture on the 50th anniversary of the Merger and Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

    DCHS wishes to acknowledge and thank the following partners for their contributions to the production of this video: Patricia R. Case, Christopher Higgins and Sir Chuy Productions (sirchuy.com), Rev. Dr. Betsy Goehrig, Regional Minister of Florida, and Christian Theological Seminary Library. Photos of the 1948 WCC Assembly, copyright, World Council of Churches, used by permission.

Stone-Campbell History

  • During the 2019 General Assembly in Des Moine, IA, several Disciples told stories of how the church has impacted their life, the life of their community and world, and what they hope for the church 50 years from now.

  • 19th Century Revival

    The American frontier of the early 19th century was brimming with religious fervor. While the human spirit was being awakened in the cities of the United States, there was a special intensity to the revivals of the frontier.


  • The Kirkpatrick Lecture is presented biennially, in odd years, featuring prominent historians in the Stone-Campbell heritage.

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