Document Type

Senior Paper/Project


History, Philosophy and Political Science


On the afternoon of February 23, 1943, amidst the gathering of professors, pastors, and students, the inauguration ceremony of Professor Henry Conrad Wingblade as the second president of Bethel Institute was held at the school's chapel. In his acceptance address entitled, "Bethel and the World of Tomorrow," Wingblade reflected on the Institute's role in a global war that seemed to be spiraling out of control: "Nor should we forget just now that Bethel men and women are sharing in the crucial tasks and burdens which face our country and the world today-increasingly in the places of spiritual power as chaplains, and then as officers and men in the different branches of service and in different parts of the world for God and for country, rendering a contribution which we believe is distinctly plus." The sentiment expressed by Wing blade offers a key to the historian for unlocking a refined question within the realm of American religious historiography: what was the attitude of the Baptist General Conference of America toward the Second World War? To this end, several questions may be asked: What was the nature of the BGC's patriotism? How did BGC leaders theologically evaluate the onslaught of global war? What role did the BGC see itself playing in the social, spiritual, and practical realms of American society and the war effort?

Date Accepted/Awarded



HIS499 History Senior Seminar

First Advisor/Reader

Rivera, Ruben