Janet L. McCoy


AUBURN -- Wayne Flynt, a distinguished University Professor at Auburn University, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Southern Baptist Historical Society.

The award -- the society's highest honor -- recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of Baptist history, said Charles Deweese, executive director of the Southern Baptist Historical Society.

Established in 1982, the award is also given to those who motivate others to greater achievements and who promote a greater awareness and appreciation of Baptist heritage among Southern Baptists.

The Southern Baptist Historical Society is a voluntary, non-profit, religious organization committed to the preservation and communication of Baptist history to individuals, churches, and interested organizations.

"Wayne was a natural choice for this award," Deweese said. "He stands out as a Baptist layman and as a strong scholar of history with deep interest in the Baptist denomination."

Flynt is the author of numerous books, including two about Baptists. The first, written in 1997, was Taking Christianity to China: Alabama Missionaries in the Middle Kingdom, 1850-1950. The second, Alabama Baptists: Southern Baptists in the Heart of Dixie, was written last year to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

Flynt has been active in the historical commissions in Alabama and with the Southern Baptist Convention. He served on the Historical Commission with the Southern Baptist Convention for eight years, two years as chairman; and 10 years as a member of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, one year as chairman.

The selection committee also mentioned Flynt's work in directing 16 thesis and dissertations by college students that dealt with Baptist history.

An ordained Baptist minister, Flynt is a professor of history at AU and is considered an expert in the history of the United States, the South and in American religion.

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CONTACT: Flynt at 334/844-6650; Deweese at 615/371-7938. Alabama Baptist State Convention --