Oral History Project: Telling Your Stories

in ACBAS, Front Page

Oral HistoriesAt the 2021 Zeman lecture, ACBAS introduced our new initiative: Atlantic Baptist Stories. This oral history project aims to collect your story, the stories of Baptists in Atlantic Canada.

Our stories tell us who we are, where we come from, and how God has been working in our lives and in this part of the world. We all have stories to tell, but we are not always given the space and time to tell them. Furthermore, our current culture is focused on change and progress, so we are prone to forget our past. However, understanding our past is crucial to following God now and in the future. If we do not remember how God has worked amongst us in the past, we are liable to lose sight of the fact that he is working amongst us now. In providing pastoral care in university, hospital, and church settings, I have found that speaking our stories out loud can give us hope. We can see how God has been working in our lives by sharing our stories with each other. Many today are in despair of the Church’s future, but a project like this one can provide hope.

The project’s scope is wide: you could have grown up Baptist in Atlantic Canada but now live elsewhere in the world. You could have recently moved to Atlantic Canada and gotten involved in the church in the last few years. You could have recently become Baptist. Or you could have spent your entire life in Atlantic Canada and in the church. No matter your story, we would like to hear from you! To participate, record your story on your smartphone or computer and upload it to our website.

Some questions to help you tell your story are:

  • How, in your experience, has church and denominational life changed over the course of your lifetime?
  • What roles were available for women and people of colour in church and denominational life during your lifetime? Did you note any discrimination against these or other groups? Did you note any changes in attitudes or actions toward these or other groups?
  • What other important information from your own experience do you want to make sure future generations know?

If you know someone who should participate but is uncomfortable with technology or would like to be interviewed in person, please contact acbas@acadiau.ca; we are happy to interview them. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Contributed by Ginny Wilmholf