For twenty-five years Robert S. Duncan actively collected letters, biographical information, association materials, annuals, photographs, church records and many other types of historical resources to use as research material for his book later called History of the Baptists in Missouri. His long campaign for donated materials proved to be so successful that when the book was published in 1882 he was in need of a place to store the great volume of things he had collected.

On June 10, 1885, a meeting was held in the chapel of William Jewell College to discuss the need to preserve Missouri Baptist history. Later that year, on October 24, the Missouri Baptist Historical Society was officially organized and it was recognized by the Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri on October 27, 1886 as a non-profit corporation under the laws of Missouri. Its purpose was to collect and preserve Missouri Baptist history and Duncan’s collection would be the foundation of this project.

Materials were originally stored in a vault in Liberty until 1907 when it could be housed in the new William Jewell library. In 1981 the Center for Baptist Historical Studies was established to provide leadership to the collection and preservation of materials as well as create programs to assist individual Baptist groups and other researchers. Four years later, a 1925 Jewell graduate, Mr. William E. Partee, endowed the work of the Center and in return it was named after him. Mr. Partee was an avid Baptist historian and collector in his own right. He was the great, great, great grand nephew of Jeremiah Vardeman who was the first moderator of the Missouri Baptist General Association (now called Missouri Baptist Convention) in 1834. Mr. Partee passed away in 1998 but his legacy will continue for many years.

Today the Partee Center continues to be a repository for Missouri Baptist materials and provides programs to assist all Missouri Baptists in their own preservation and planning needs. Individuals and churches can obtain direction on how to implement or improve historical collections and history education programs. Workshops can be arranged for small or large groups who have an interest in learning technical procedures, creating history education programs, writing a church history and locating additional resources. The Partee Center assists over 400 individuals and churches annually.
About Us
-Location and Hours

Partee Center | William Jewell College | 500 College Hill | Liberty, MO 64068 |
Phone 816-415-7557 |
parteecenter AT william.jewell DOT edu
© 2009 Partee Center 

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