Former Bethany President Publishes Book

BETHANY, W.Va. — Former Bethany College President Dr. D. Duane Cummins has published a new book—“Alexander Campbell: Adventurer in Freedom." The literary biography is a project of Texas Christian University (TCU) Press and the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Fort Worth, Texas.

According to the publisher, Eva Jean Wrather devoted 70 years to writing an 800,000-word biography of Alexander Campbell, founder of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)--a monumental literary biography described by Dr. Cummins as "a creative and skillful blend of history and superb literary writing, a book made strong by the force of her knowledge and graced with the charm of her wisdom."

In the early 1990s, Cummins was asked to assist Ms. Wrather in revising her manuscript. Their work together produced volume one, covering Campbell's early life and tracing his spiritual journey in Glasgow, Scotland. Volume two follows Campbell's life from 1823 to 1830, years filled with the writing of "The Christian Baptist," public debates and his experience as a delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1829—years that confirmed his power as a thinker, speaker and writer.

The latest book records the final three decades, 1830 to Campbell’s death in 1866, and includes the founding of "The Millennial Harbinger;" his work as an architect, farmer, printer, religious reformer and educator; the founding of Bethany College; his stand on slavery; the great family trauma induced by the Civil War; and the deep sadness of his declining years and death.

Dr. Cummins has been Visiting Scholar in American History at Johns Hopkins University since 2002. He is president-emeritus of Bethany College, past president of the Division of Higher Education and past Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is a former Darbeth-Whitten Professor of American History at Oklahoma City University and former interim president of Brite Divinity School at TCU and of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.

He is the author of the Chalice Press classic "Handbook for Today's Disciples," "Dale Fiers: Twentieth Century Disciple," "Kenneth L. Teegarden: The Man, the Church, the Time," "The Disciples Colleges: A History" and "The Disciples: A Struggle for Reformation." He is editor of Eva Jean Wrather's three-volume study, "Alexander Campbell: Adventurer in Freedom." In addition, he has authored seven books on topics in American History, including “The American Revolution.”

For additional information or to purchase the book, contact TCU Press, P.O. Box 298300, Fort Worth, Texas, 76129, or call 817-257-7822.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.