Lewis V. Baldwin
Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus
Dr. Baldwin is a native of Camden, Alabama. He received his early education in the public schools of Wilcox County, the heart of the so-called Alabama Blackbelt, where he participated in student demonstrations and other civil rights activities in the 1960s. He graduated from Camden Academy High School in 1967.
During the height of the civil rights and black power movement, Dr. Baldwin matriculated at Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama. He received a B.A. degree in History from that institution in 1971. He then studied at Colgate-Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminaries in Rochester, New York, where he was awarded the M.A. degree in Black Church Studies in 1973 and the M.Div. degree in Theology in 1975. In 1980, he received the Ph.D. degree in American Christianity from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
An ordained Baptist minister who has preached throughout the United States, Dr. Baldwin has also established himself as a professor and scholar with a growing reputation. He has taught at Wooster College in Ohio, Colgate University in New York, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School in New York, Fisk University, and American Baptist College in Nashville, and is now a Professor in Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of some sixty articles and several books, among which are "Invisible" Strands in African Methodism: A History of the African Union Methodist Protestant and Union American Methodist Episcopal Churches, 1805-1980 (1983); The Mark of a Man: Peter Spencer and the African Union Methodist Tradition (1987); There is a Balm in Gilead: The Cultural Roots of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1991); To Make the Wounded Whole: The Cultural Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1992); Freedom is Never Free: A Biographical Portrait of E.D. Nixon, Sr. (1992); and Toward the Beloved Community: Martin Luther King, Jr. and South Africa(1995). His "Invisible" Strands in African Methodism won the American Theological Library Association Award, and his There is a Balm in Gilead won the Midwest Book Achievement Award of the Midwest Independent Publishers Association.
Dr. Baldwin contributed substantially to two major works which appeared in published form in 2002. They are Between the Cross and the Crescent: Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Malcolm and Martin, co-authored by Baldwin and Amiri YaSin Al-Hadid; and The Boundaries of Law, Politics, and Religion: Revisiting the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Baldwin.
Dr. Baldwin is currently working on several major publications. They include God of Our Silent Tears: Sermons from the Depths of the Human Spirit; The Harmonies of Liberty: Malcolm X and the Black Nationlist Tradition; Slave Thought: The Contours of a Folk Theology; In the Backwaters of African Methodism: Small Black Methodist Denominations, 1805-2005; Standing in John's Shoes: The Black Preacher and the Folk Sermon; and The World as Parish: John Wesley and the Oppressed.