Title of Collection

R. Vernon Boyd Papers,1894-2003


R V. Boyd

Document Type

Finding Aid

Publication Date


Inclusive Dates--Span


Scope and Content Note

The collection provides first-person stories of the development of the early African American Churches of Christ, race relations, and family histories of many of the early African American evangelists either in their own words or from the memories of people that knew them well. Consists of interviews conducted by R. Vernon Boyd with Floyd Rose, Mrs. Walter Balloon, John Flowers, R.N. Hogan, and Samuel/Mattie Garner. Processed material includes 5 mini audio tapes, a cassette player/recorder, 15 original cassette tapes containing the interviews (15 copied cassettes of that material), and a disk containing the interviews of Floyd Rose, Mrs. Walter Balloon, John Flowers, and R.N. Hogan. A Finding Aid can be found on the Special Collections website. In addition the collection houses five boxes of paper files that consists of written files, transcripts of interviews, notes, and related materials. The collection also contains Vernon Boyd's personal correspondence and a collection of various church bulletins.

Biographical Note

Reece Vernon Boyd (b. 1932) became interested in Restoration history and the development of African American Churches of Christ through his ministerial work in racial reconciliation in Chicago during the sixties. This interest led him to a study of early African American evangelists from the South and their connection with the growth of the churches particularly in the Chicago and Detroit areas. His first book, Undying Dedication: The Story of G. P. Bowser (1986), chronicled the life of G. P. Bowser, an early African American evangelist in the Churches of Christ. His latest book, A History of the Stone-Campbell Churches in Michigan (2009), traces the establishment and growth of Churches of Christ in the state. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lipscomb University and three degrees in Bible from Harding University Graduate School of Religion. His preaching career has taken him from his birthplace in Tennessee to Mississippi, Illinois and finally to Michigan. In the late sixties, he was the minister of the Stony Island Church of Christ in Chicago and from 1971 until his retirement in 2001 he ministered at the Strathmoor-Oakland Church of Christ in Michigan. As part of the research for his books, Boyd interviewed numerous prominent African American elders and evangelists beginning in the 1960s. Although many of the tapes were lost due to vandalism of his office in Detroit, he donated the remaining collection of interviews and information that he managed to preserve to Abilene Christian University in 2009.

Donor Note

Vernon and Alice Boyd


Arranged in four series: Cassettes, Papers, Correspondence, and Bulletins. Cassette tapes are organized in alphabetical order by last name and corresponding copies are arranged in the same order. Folders are also alphabetized by title. All correspondence has been alphabetized, and bulletins are in no particular order.

Content List

Series I: Cassettes tapes Box 1: Cassette tapes of Boyd's interviews with: Balloon, Mrs. Walter (2 cassettes) Flowers, John R. (3 cassettes) Garner, Samuel/Mattie (3 cassettes) Hogan, R.N. (2 cassettes) Rose, Floyd (5 cassettes) [Copies of each cassette are included as well as 5 mini-cassette tapes and a disk that includes the interviews of Mrs. Walter Balloon, John Flowers, R.N. Hogan, and Floyd Rose.] Series II: Papers Box 2: A-F Box 3: G-P Box 4: Pi-T Box 5: U-Y Series III: Correspondence Box 6: Folder: A-L Folder: M-Z Series IV: Bulletins Box 5: Oakland Church of Christ Bulletins Box 6: Miscellaneous bulletins


Race relations – Church of Christ, History - Church of Christ, African American history – Church of Christ, Restoration Movement - history, G.P. Bowser, Marshall Keeble, Silver Point School – Tennessee, Southwestern Christian College – history, Southern Christian Institute – history, Christian Echo, Civil Rights, Joseph Campau Church of Christ, R. Vernon Boyd, Norman Adamson, Carl Baccus, Mrs. Walter Balloon, John R. Flowers, Susy Minor Bynam (Mrs. D.J.), Samuel Garner, Mattie Garner, Richard Nathaniel Hogan, Andrew Clarence Holt, Sam Holt, Marion F. Holt, Thelma Bowser Holt, Levi Kennedy, John Kolb, Floyd Rose, G. E. Steward, Carl Swanigan, Orum Lee Trone, John Steve Winston, Robert Woods, Parson Ricks, Alexander Campbell (African American evangelist)



Extent of Collection

7.5 linear foot (6 boxes)

Manuscript Number

Center for Restoration Studies Manuscript #73

Physical Location

Center for Restoration Studies

Use Restrictions

Open to researchers. Contact Milliken Special Collections to make an appointment.

Processing Status


Finding Aid created by

Longwell, Mary Lee Bartlett, Audrey Schaffner

Subjects--Personal Names

Hogan, R.N; Rose, Floyd; Balloon, Mrs. Walter; Flowers, John; Busby, Thomas H.


Please contact ACU's Special Collections and Archives if you would like more information about our Finding Aids or any other questions you may have concerning our other holdings. Thank you.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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