Rev. Dr. H. W. Walker Pipkin Named Director of ABSCHL

Jan 10, 2003 09:14 AM EST

Valley Forge, Pa. -- The American Baptist Historical Society has announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr. H. W. Walker Pipkin, a pastor, educator and historian, as director of the American Baptist-Samuel Colgate Historical Library in Rochester, N.Y., effective Feb. 1.

In his new responsibilities Pipkin will oversee both the preservation and development of the research collection and the assistance provided researchers and other visitors to the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School campus, where the collection is housed. The largest library of materials by and about Baptists, the American Baptist-Samuel Colgate Historical Library includes local, regional and institutional records, as well as historical resources from other Baptist groups. Founded in 1853, the American Baptist Historical Society also holds the official records of American Baptist Churches USA at its Archives Center in the American Baptist Churches Mission Center, Valley Forge, Pa.

Pipkin brings to this position extensive experience in teaching and researching Baptist and Reformation history and working with American Baptist institutions.

He has taught in the U.S. and aboard, including the Baptist Theological Seminary in Ruschlikon, Switzerland, from 1978-1989, prior to the seminary's move to Prague. While there he founded the Seminary's Institute for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies, set up an archives for the seminary library and catalogued all Baptist and history acquisitions.

More recently he taught at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries in Elkhart, Ind., and served as senior pastor from 1993-1995 at the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, Russian Federation, through appointment as an American Baptist International Ministries missionary.

Pipkin holds degrees from Baylor University, the University of Connecticut and Hartford Seminary.

He has published numerous books and articles on Anabaptists, most extensively on the reformer Ulrich Zwingli. He has translated Jurgen Moltman's The Gospel of Liberation and Paul Tournier's Medicine for the Whole Person and also has written on American Baptists, including 27 articles for the Dictionary of Baptists in America (1994).

An ordained American Baptist Churches USA pastor, he has served on the Baptist Heritage Commission of the Baptist World Alliance and currently is on the Advisory Board for the Acadia Centre for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies, Nova Scotia. A member of Riverside Church in New York City, Pipkin has been serving since last July as interim pastor of Park Avenue Baptist Church, Mansfield, Ohio.

He is the father of two daughters and widower of the late Rev. Arlene Pipkin, Mennonite pastor.

In announcing the appointment of Pipkin, Dr. Deborah Bingham Van Broekhoven, executive director of the American Baptist Historical Society, praised the "passion, humor, creativity and vision that he brings to his work in Baptist history and with scholars and laypeople from a wide variety of backgrounds."

By Albert H. Lee
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