David G. Roebuck
This past Saturday I joined other family members to help my brother-in-law’s family move into a new home that God has blessed them with. While taking a lunch break someone asked me what I do for a living. It is easy to talk about directing the Research Center and teaching at Lee University and the Theological Seminary. But that doesn’t do much to explain a typical week.
Although it is hard to know what a typical week really is, last week was certainly a full one. Monday involved a web-cast training session sponsored by the Society of American Archivists. The Research Center hosted the session on using PDF files for preservation. We invited friends from Squires Library and the Cleveland Public Library to join us. The digital age brings many opportunities and challenges to archives such as ours.
Tuesday because with a visitor bringing by a donation of materials. Jerry Bradwell is the grandson of H.L. Trim. Trim and his second wife Flora were early Church of God leaders. Mr. Bradwell brought us a great family photo and some important history of the family. Tuesday also included teaching the course “History and Theology of the Pentecostal Movement” at Lee University.
The famed Bennie Triplett came by to use our reel-to-reel tape player. I can’t verify his claim that the Research Center has the only one in town, but I am thankful that we have a way to play the hundreds of reel-to-reel tapes in our collection. Later we set up a display for Black History Month at the Church of God International Offices. I ended the day with a conference call of the Executive Committee of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. Since I became Executive Secretary in 2003, the Research Center has served as the main office for this organization of almost 600 scholars of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. These days my SPS responsibilities take up much of my time as we prepare for the upcoming annual meeting that Lee University will host March 8-10.
On Wednesday our Archivist, Susan Fletcher, and I attended a special service and brunch at the International Offices celebrating Black History Month. We were able to display some wonderful photo albums of black congregations in the Church of God and solicit the identification of some of the congregations.
Thursday began with a meeting of the Church of God Board of Church Ministries. This is an occasional meeting of Church leaders for information sharing. Afterwards I met privately with General Overseer Dennis McGuire to talk about the possibility of updating Like A Mighty Army at an appropriate time. Thursday afternoon and evening included two lectures and dinner with Dr. John Woodbridge, who teaches Church History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and was a special guest at Lee University.
Friday began with an oral history interview with former General Overseer Cecil B. Knight. This was part of a project in which we are interviewing former members of the International Executive Committee. So far I have been blessed with interviewing Dr. Ray H. Hughes Sr., and the Reverend Woodrow C. Byrd. The plan is to conduct three or four interviews with each person in order to preserve an extensive history of his life and ministry. T. Scot Carter, Chad Guyton and their staff are doing a terrific job making this possible.
It was a great week, and I’m thankful for all of the opportunities that God is giving us.