FORT WORTH, Texas – A new book by missiologist Justice Anderson traces the history of Baptists in Latin America and their role in a global shift in Christianity.

“An Evangelical Saga: Baptists and their Precursors in Latin America” analyzes the explosive growth of the denomination in the region, but also examines the waning of Roman Catholicism and the rise of Pentecostalism. Growth among Baptists and other groups has led to what Anderson sees as a significant paradigm shift with Christianity’s “center of gravity” moving rapidly away from North America.

A retired missionary and former professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Anderson sees the roots of a genuine Latin-American Reformation.

In the foreword to the book, James Leo Garrett Jr., distinguished professor of theology emeritus at Southwestern Seminary, called Anderson’s book an “informative venture in reading” for those “whose interests have not spilled over the parapets of Old Christendom.”

Keith Eitel, dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions at Southwestern and a former missionary to Africa, said Anderson’s new book is full of historical detail.

“It is a must-read for those interested in Latin American history in general, but especially for specialists in Baptist missionary history,” Eitel said.

Eitel cited the book's account of missionary Luther Rice landing in Brazil as he returned to the United States from India.

“Rice scouted out the possibilities of a viable mission station being set up there. That, of course, would be one of the earliest Protestant missionary contacts with Latin Americans,” Eitel said.

Anderson previously published a three-volume history of Baptists in Spanish. He served as a missionary-professor at the International Baptist Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for 17 years, serving as vice president of the Argentine Baptist Convention in 1962 and 1965. After returning from Argentina and while teaching at Southwestern Seminary, Anderson taught courses in homiletics, church history and missions in Colombia, Peru, Spain, Russia, Ukraine and Nigeria.



© 2005 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.