Theological Kernels: A Question-Book of Bible Doctrines and Baptist Church Polity, with Scripture References.
First and sole edition. Jacob Tileston Brown (1863–1947) was among the first Black American ministers to write Sunday school literature. (Houston Bryan Roberson) Pages 1–13 of Brown’s book provides a biographical sketch of his life and prints his statement explaining why he wrote this book, written in Texas when Brown lived there.
Brown was born enslaved at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Martin R. Delaney was a friend to his father. He schooled at Hampton Institute in Virginia and by age sixteen Brown was teaching school in Great Bridge, Virginia. Browns’ biographer notes that he then taught in South Carolina where he had a “cultured white lady as his assistant” before remarking on his attendance at Lincoln University.
Brown pastored in Savannah, Fernandina, Live Oak and Miami, Florida, Alabama, Memphis, Illinois, Nashville and Gonzales, Texas and at Guadalupe College in Seguin, Texas. Absent from HOTO, Brown’s activities in Texas are described in just over three pages.
In part, Brown wrote this book to create a blueprint, a Socratic-based methodology, for African American Baptists to work from, to solidify their convictions, and to promote racial uplift: “The Negro’s religion needs more than emotion —the transient ebullitions of feelings. It needs the firm earth of reason on which to stand— the solid foundation of systematic truth on which to organize and build both individual and race-character.”
The book is divided into four parts: God, Man, The Church, the Future Life, written in catechism format. Brown warmly (and lengthily) dedicates Theological Kernels to Revs. Matthew W. Gilbert of South Carolina and Martin Hurd of Texas. He also thanks his two copyists, and informal editors, a Miss Lucy M. White of Luling, Texas and a Miss Della M. Aycock of Rockdale, Texas.
Description: Theological Kernels: A Question-Book of Bible Doctrines and Baptist Church Polity, with Scripture References.
Nashville: National Baptist Publishing Board, 1903. 298 pages. Small sq. 8vo. Publisher’s gilt-lettered cloth. Provenance, in m.s., “Atlanta Baptist College, Atlanta Ga.” [and:] “G.A. [indistinct word] Jefferson City [indistinct word]”. Binding rubbed, stained; textblock sounds and contents very good.