BETHANY, W.Va. – The author of a biography on the founder of Bethany College will be the keynote speaker at the college’s annual Founder’s Day Convocation on March 4.

Douglas A FosterDouglas A. Foster is a scholar in residence at Abilene Christian University, where he was a full-time professor for more than 25 years. His latest book, “A Life of Alexander Campbell,” was published in June and is considered the first critical biography of Campbell.

Campbell was a leader in childhood and adolescent education and championed universal female education. He also was one of the principal founders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and of Bethany College.

With COVID-19 safeguards in place at Bethany, the college will host this year’s Founder’s Day via Zoom. To register for the 11 a.m. March 4 event, click here.

He was general editor for “The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement” (2004) and “The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History” (2013). Also in 2013, he published “The Story of Churches of Christ,” which was followed the next year with a video series of the same name.

In 2017, he wrote a chapter on the history of white supremacy and the church in “Thinking Theologically about Mass Incarceration: Biblical Foundations and Justice Imperatives.”

Last winter, Foster’s article “Reclaiming Reconciliation: The Corruption of ‘Racial Reconciliation’ and How It Might Be Reclaimed for Racial Justice and Unity” appeared in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies 55.

Bethany College holds Founder’s Day annually on the first Thursday of March.

Bethany received its original charter March 2, 1840, from the Legislature of Virginia. It was reaffirmed on June 20, 1863, by the legislature of newly formed West Virginia.

Founder’s Day also features a wreath-laying service at Campbell’s grave at nearby God’s Acre Cemetery.
Campbell died March 4, 1866, in Bethany.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.