Scales, Pruitt, and Maxwell, 2015 2bhhs_panel_2

By Ben Murray

A few weeks back, I sat down with Nicholas Pruitt, a PhD student in History, to discuss the Baptist History & Heritage Society conference he attended in Nashville, Tennessee.  At the conference, Nicholas gave a presentation along with Baylor’s own Dr. Laine Scales and Melody Maxwell—assistant professor of Christian Studies at Howard Payne University.  Their topic of discussion centered upon the important historical role Baptist women have played in improving race relations in the U.S. According to their panel, Baptist women were decades ahead of male religious leaders in this aspect.  They pointed out that personal friendships between black and white Baptist women actually date back to 1901 when the Women’s Convention and National Baptist Convention joined to fund two African American Missionaries.  If you would like to know more about what went on at the convention, click here.

Nicholas’s path to this unique subject began at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.  It was there that he earned a BA in History, then moved to Waco to earn his MA in Church-State Studies from Baylor in 2009.  After teaching for two years back at Wayland, he returned to Baylor for his PhD and will graduate this year.  He says his time at Baylor has been great and that he has enjoyed the close community of graduate students within the history program.  Nicholas’s area of focus involves twentieth-century American religion and its relationship to social, cultural, and political trends.  He hopes to continue teaching in a Christian setting and looks forward to seeing what the future holds for his career.