Document Type

Finding Aid

Publication Date


Inclusive Dates--Span


Inclusive Dates--Bulk


Scope and Content Note

The Ferguson papers consists primarily of over 9600 color slides taken by Dr. William Everett Ferguson while on trips to study the antiquities of Europe, Israel, Turkey, Greece and Egypt. He photographed museum artifacts such as coins, sculptures, and portrait busts depicting the art and objects of ancient civilizations and early Christianity. Also included are slides of buildings related to the history of these early civilizations and the beginnings and development of Christianity. Images include those of early Christian churches, basilicas and cathedrals as well as images of modern and ancient cities and archaeological sites in Israel, Turkey, Greece, ancient Rome, and throughout Europe. The objects photographed are from exhibits at the British Museum, the Ashmolean, the Louvre and other prominent museums of Europe and the Mediterranean countries. These slides document both Dr. Ferguson’s travels and his pedagogy because he used them as visual aids to his lectures on ancient world history and religion and the development and art and symbolism of early Christianity through the Middle Ages. The full collection was digitized in 2015 by Simon Summers and is available online at

Biographical Note

William Everett Ferguson (b. 1933) is Professor Emeritus of Church History at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where he taught in the College of Biblical Studies for over thirty years. After completing his Baccalaureate and Master of Arts in Church History from Abilene Christian College, he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Harvard University. He continued his studies at Harvard and, in 1960, completed the Ph.D. (with distinction) in History and Philosophy of Religion.

Dr. Ferguson is former president of the North American Patristics Society and a member of the councils of the American Society of Church History and the Association Internationale D’Etudes Partistiques. The Early Church in Its Context: Essays in Honor of Everett Ferguson, ed. Abraham J. Marlherbe, Frederick W. Norris, and James W. Thompson (Leiden: E.J. Brill) was published in 1998 to honor his work. His has been the co-editor of the Journal of Early Christian Studies and the author of several publications: These include Backgrounds of Early Christianity (Eerdmans, 2nd ed. 1993), Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, ed. (Garland, 2nd ed. 1997), Recent Studies in Early Christianity, ed. (Garland, 1999), and The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (Eerdmans, 1996). He has traveled extensively to study and has led guided tours of both Greece and Turkey.

Donor Note

William Everett Ferguson


These papers consist of two series; Series I: 9600 color slides and Series II: Teaching and Ministry Materials.


Churches of Christ -- History -- 20th century
Churches of Christ -- Texas – Abilene
Abilene Christian University
Early religions
European art and architecture
Early Christian Art
Byzantine Art
Greek Art
Egyptian Art
Archeological sites: Europe, Israel, Greece, Rome, Turkey, Egypt
Roman and Greek gods and goddesses



Extent of Collection

12 linear feet (20 boxes)

Manuscript Number

Center for Restoration Studies Manuscripts #78

Physical Location

Center for Restoration Studies

Use Restrictions

Open to researchers. Contact Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives to make an appointment.

Processing Status


Finding Aid created by

Mary Lee Bartlett, Darren Hagood, Brady Kal Cox, Mac Ice, Chance Juliano, Amanda Dietz


Finding aid for the William Everett Ferguson Papers, 1941-2014.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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