Reece Vernon Boyd (1932-2016) 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. 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.


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