Generations of Faith

2oth February 2018 to 29th June 2018

Curator:  James M. Barnette

Generations of Faith tells the story of how faith – which is deeply rooted in our Memphis communities – has been passed down from generation to generation. This story is told through local antiquities and photography.

Faith is an integral part of community life in the Mid-South. The strength of our schools, businesses, and local civic government has historically been rooted in a deep sense of faithful reverence that exceeds even the Sunday morning church experience. Generations of Faith will celebrate the faith legacy of our community through a collection of faith artifacts loaned to the museum by members of the community. Family Bibles and Books of Prayer from early American history will tell the on-going story of how faith has been transmitted from generation to generation. In addition to these remarkable antiquities, we will be featuring a collection of stunning photography that highlights ways in which the people of today are taking up the mantle of faith in our neighborhoods. Our hope is that the story told through Generations of Faith will inspire all of us to share faith with those within our circles of influence.

Generations of Faith will premiere on February 20, 2018. The gallery at Bible Museum on the Square will be open weekly Tuesday through Saturday10am-5pm. Highlights of the exhibition will include a German family Bible from the 1700s, historical antiquities from local congregations, the Brinkley S. Snowden family Bible, a 1600’s book of prayer on loan from Tennessee State Representative Kevin Vaughn, and contemporary photography by Hudd Byard and Craig Thompson.


Here are recorded the local antiquities that made up our exhibit as well as descriptions depicted on their placards.

Bay Psalm Book, 1640

Facsimile Reprint c. 1903

Printed in Cambridge Massachusetts, the Bay Psalm Book is historically marked as the first book published in British North America, first printed 20 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. The Psalms within were translated metrically into English, meaning that though they were not as smooth as standard translations, they could be sung.

Divine Dialogues by Francifus Paelaeopolitanus, 1668

Francifus Paelaeopolitanus is a pseudonym of Henry More (1614–1687), an English philosopher and Cambridge Platonist. This dialogue focused primarily on the providence of God, the certainty of faith, and included hymns to be sung on particular days of the holy calendar. Considering the dating of this volume coincides with the original printing date of the work, this volume has the potentiality of being a first edition. On loan from the private collection of Kevin Vaughn.

The Self Interpreting Bible by Rev. John Brown of Haddington, 1819

Imprinted: George H. Kellinger
The Self Interpreting Bible was Brown’s (1722–1787) most significant work. Originally published in 1778, it remained in print (edited by others) until well into the twentieth century. The intention was to provide commentary for ordinary people. The “self-interpreting” concept involved copious marginal references comparing one scripture with another. Brown also provided a substantial introduction to the Bible, and added included summaries and reflections for each chapter.

The Pictorial Child’s Bible, 1876

Together with a Child’s History of the English Bible and an account of the Children of the Bible, The Pictorial Child’s Bible is a small library of biblical information endeavoring “to put into a consecutive form such portions of Holy Scripture as seem best adapted to the wants and capacities of childhood.” According to its editors it strove to fill the gap other Bible storybooks left by presenting information from across the whole Bible and with comparable language to the Bible itself. On loan from the personal library of John Green of Collierville, TN.

Illustrated Family Bible, 1877

Originally published in 1872 this volume, like many family Bibles, would sometimes be the only religious text in a household. Therefore it contains a library within itself, including: “Revelation, Inspiration and Authenticity of the Holy Scriptures” by Rev. F. W. Farrar, B.D.A; “Comprehensive and Illustrated History of the Old and New Testaments” by Rev. Alfred Nevin, D.D.; “History of Herod, King of the Jews” by Rev. G. F. Maclear D.D., and several chronological charts, maps, and complete concordance.

Book of Common Prayer, 1864

Imprinted: Arthur H. Webster

Two years after its printing, this Protestant Episcopal Book of Common Prayer came into the possession of Arthur H. Webster on January 18th 1866. Over the next 150 years and over 800 miles its travels are lost to history. Its contents, like most common prayer books, include instructions on the administration of sacraments, as well as the rites and ceremonies peculiar to the Protestant Episcopal Church, and the Psalms. On loan from St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

Bishop Quintard’s Declaration, 1891

Charles Todd Quintard (1824–1898), remembered by the Episcopal Church as Bishop and Educator, received his M.D. degree from New York University in 1847 and became professor of physiology and pathological anatomy at the Memphis Medical College in 1851. Ordained deacon on Jan. 1, 1855, and priest on Jan. 6, 1856, he served as rector of the Church of the Advent, Nashville, until he was consecrated Bishop of Tennessee on Oct. 11, 1865. He served as bishop until his death. Quintard was instrumental in the revival of the Episcopal Church in Tennessee. He supported missions to the freed African Americans and was deeply interested in the educational mission of the church. Quintard was the second founder of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN and presided at its official opening on Sept. 18, 1868.

Portrait of Dr. D. Drummond

This is a portrait of Dr. D. Drummond, the first minister to hold regular Episcopal services in Collierville, TN. This image was given to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church by the Mangum family, taken from one of their picture albums. On loan from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Prefaced King James Bible, 1773

Three years before the United States declared independence, this volume was printed by Alexander Kincaid, His Majesty’s Printer, in Edinburgh. The herringbone type of binding was enormously popular in Scotland during the 18th century. It is likely that this is one of a multi-volume set as this volume contains only the Old Testament from Genesis to Proverbs, yet claims both Old and New Testaments on the title page. The Apocrypha is also listed among its contents and it includes the original preface of the translators to “Prince James.” On loan from the personal collection of Steve Wiggins.

Davis Family German Bible, 1788

This family heirloom was printed in Nuremberg, Germany in 1788. Passed down ultimately to the Davis family from the European immigrant Berthold Johann Friedrich David Simmon, born October 12, 1853 in Schivelbein, Pomerania, Prussia (Germany); he immigrated to the U.S. after 1867, and died in Nashville, January 23, 1905. It contains the Old and New Testaments, the Apocrypha, and Martin Luther’s writings. On loan from Berthold’s great grandson-in-law Jeremy Davis.

The Holy Bible, 1864

This King James Bible comes with documentation of its travel through four generations. Entering in to the history of the Holland family as a gift from a preacher to an unbeliever, it was in turn handed down from father to daughter, to granddaughter. It was donated to Freed-Hardeman University in 2007 for its connection to its earliest known owner, Jolish Holland, due to his having baptized W. A. Bradfield (1910–1972)  the namesake of one of FHU’s female dorms and prominent evangelist in the Restoration Movement. Originally printed in 1894, it is likely that Holland was not its first owner. On loan from J. M. Barnette of Henderson, TN.

Holy Bible, 1967

Imprinted: John & Virginia L. Adams

Titles New Illistrated and Practical Polyglott, this English translation is a predecessor of the Polyglot Bible originally edited by Samuel Bagster (1772–1851) in 1816. A Polyglot Bible is usually arranged in several parallel columns so that the text of a particular passage can be compared in the various languages. Volumes such as this one contain only the English version of Bagster’s original 8-language polyglot; however, they retain the 60,000 cross-references and helps of the Bible. Once published it was called the “Polyglot” Bible or the “English Polyglot.” The use of this title was to focus on Bagster’s notes and cross-references included in the Bible, as it was the notes that allowed him to bypass the United Kingdom’s monopoly on the printing of English Bibles. A gift from Betty Gray, 2016.

Worthington Family Bible, 1875

Imprinted: W.W. Worthington Jr.

This Holman’s Edition family Bible was originally obtained by William Waring Worthington Jr. in 1875. W.W. Worthington was the son of Dr. W.W. Worthington Sr. of Kentucky, one the five Worthington brothers to head south for the Delta pre-Civil War and proprietor of the Belmont Plantation (est. 1857). In the 1930s, due to the Great Depression, the Worthingtons sold their estate now exists as a bed & breakfast and restored historical site of antebellum architecture. The volume contains the Old and New Testaments as well as the Apocrypha, and records Worthington family births, marriages, and deaths from 1837 onwards. This Bible came to be exhibited here by Ruth Worthington, daughter of William Waring Worthington V.

Thrupp Family Collection (1833–1905)

The Thrupp Family collection was originally the prized contemplative collection of Harriet Martha Merry Thrupp (1833–1905), the mother of Marion Theola Thrupp (1870–1924). Theola, or Theo, sent the collection to her nieces in Caruthersville, MO by way of her brother Lawrence Edward Thrupp (1866-1947).

Family Prayers by the late Henry Thornton, Esq. M.P, 1834

This volume is a collection of family prayers which also includes a family commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. Henry Thorton, a member of British Parliament and cousin of William Wilberforce, author of the iconic hymn “Amazing Grace,” originally penned the contents of this book for his own family. It was later collected and edited for public use. In the preface it is lamented that Wilberforce would be unable to complete a “Life of Henry Thornton,” a “hope long cherished,” due to Wilberforce’s death the previous year—1833. The date identifies this volume as a first edition.

Daybook for Lent by Canon Knowles, 1893

Marketed as a help for busy people, this 59 page booklet contains a reading from Scripture, a sermonette, a ‘thought,’ a prayer, and a promise, for each day from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Each such daily reading was designed to take no more than 5 minutes of one’s time and to promote devotion and consistency during the practice of Lent.

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, 1891

First composed in Latin ca. 1418–1427, The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read Christian devotional work next to the Bible. It was printed 745 times before 1650 and at the time, apart from the Bible, no book had been translated into more languages. The text is divided into four books: “Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life”, “Directives for the Interior Life”, “On Interior Consolation” and “On the Blessed Sacrament”.

Gideon Bible

Originally owned, and signed, by “First Mate Bob,” the nautically themed persona of radio personality Paul Myer, original host of The Haven of Rest radio program, this Bible harkens back to Paul’s own voyage towards faith. After being separated from his wife in 1930 due to his alcoholism, Myers began reading the complementary Bible found in his hotel room. It is from this Bible his faith was born and lead to his evangelistic activities as First Mate Bob. Gideons International first began placing Bibles in hotels in 1908, with the intent of distributing Bibles to any who desire them free of charge. Found in hotels, motels, hospitals, jails, prisons, schools, colleges, etc. around the world, the Gideons Bible has become an iconic symbol of American evangelism.

The Faith of Ellen Christie Morton

The Bible, a King James Teacher’s Edition, was gifted to Ellen B. Christie to commemorate her wedding in 1905. Its battered pages and tied on cover betray its heavy use. The scrapbook, a collection of devotional material and familial memories records, spans decades of diligent discipleship. It contains: clippings from various publications, history, meaningful quotes, telegrams, and even greeting cards. The single framed quotation shows that this scrapbook was not the only one. This collection is on loan from her granddaughter Herbert Ann ‘Herbie’ Krisle.

Snowden Family Bible, 1956

Presented on February, 9 1956 from a devoted husband to a beloved wife, this family Bible commemorates the 21st wedding anniversary of Brinkley and Margaret Snowden. The Snowden Family Bible contains a genealogy tracing back nearly four generations, including a set of Brinkley’s great-great-great-grandparents.

Don Bassett Bible, 1960

This 1901 Revised American Standard Bible was the personal Bible of Dr. Donald E. Bassett from 1960 till his passing in September 2016. Founder and former Director of the Biblical Resource Center and Museum, now known as the Bible Museum on the Square, Dr. Bassett kept records of gospel meetings, baptisms, weddings, and funerals which he officiated amongst the countless notes within the front and back covers. This volume is on loan from Mrs. Nancy Bassett of Collierville, TN.

Wallace Johnson’s Bibles, 1972 & 1983

Wallace E. Johnson was born in 1902 into a poor farm family in Edinburg, Mississippi. Learning carpentry as a young man, he went into the home-building business in Memphis at the age of 38, with a $250 loan. Within a few years his business was the largest and most successful in the South, and in 1952 he and Kemmons Wilson formed the Holiday Inn motel chain. He insisted there be a Bible in each room stating, “The one reason why we’ve always had an open Bible in every room in the Holiday Inn motels is to help people find Jesus and the solution to their problems, no matter who they are.” Both Bibles are the Living Bible, a popular contemporary paraphrase. The one, a personal copy of Wallace himself, the other a special 1983 Year of the Bible, as instituted by president Ronald Regan. It is also a Living Bible paraphrase, gifted to them by Dr. William R. Bright, Chairman of the National Committee of the Year of the Bible and Founder and President of Campus Crusade International. On Loan from the private collection of John Green.

NIV Pocket-sized Bible, 1994

Personal Bible of Steve Wiggins. This Bible is marked throughout including highlights, and marginal notes. His practice is to read through the Bible completely every three years, marking, highlighting, and making notes as he goes. Once completed, a new Bible is obtained and the process begins anew. On Loan from Steve Wiggins.

She Reads Truth Bible, 2017

Personal Bible of Amy Hale, presented to her on April 13, 2017 by Raechel and Amanda, the Bible’s two General Editors.

Sgt. C. H. Harrell’s New Testament, 1917
Charles Herbert Harrell, former principal of Collierville High School and namesake of The Harrell Performing Arts Theatre, carried this New Testament by shirt pocket across France. Passed from father to daughter (1950) and from mother to son (2013), his grandson writes, “He (my grandfather) carried this Bible with him all through WWI and he looked to God for direction in all that he did and we were very, very close and I saw that in him and how he lived his faith. He was a person that did not seek the limelight, but he was a servant and that’s how I’ve tried to model my life. He taught me to work behind the scenes. My dad was the same way—to be a servant and to find people in need.” – Wright Cox

FDR Military Pocket Bible, 1941

Published by Gideons International and issued to the troops by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this pocket Bible contains the New Testament and Psalms. Notice also the church pennant opposite the president’s message, the only flag ever authorized to be flown above that of the United States and only during religious services. These issued Bibles came in both protestant and Catholic versions, with the encouragement of president to read them:

“As Commander-in-Chief, I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors, 1943

This pocket sized Protestant Episcopal prayer book is a sixth edition printing originally published only two years earlier in 1941. Inside the front cover the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed are easily accessible. It also contains liturgical material for military personnel, including: and order of worship, how to conduct Holy Communion, prayers, psalms, hymns, and selected readings from the Bible. With only ninety-one pages this volume light and easy to travel with, regardless of where Uncle Sam may send you. On loan from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

Tucker Family Red Letter Bible, 1926

This KJV family Bible contains Jesus’ words in red, a practice first started by Lous Klopsch, editor of Christian Herald magazine in 1901. Belonging first to John (1897–1986) and Ada (1903–1994) Tucker, this volume has been passed down to Will “the axe man” Tucker of Memphis’ own Will Tucker Band.  The Will Tucker Band was Voted Best Local Band in Memphis in 2013 and 2016, Will himself being voted 3rd Best Blues Musician behind BB King and Al Green in “MemphisMost” in 2010. On Loan from Will Tucker.


Contemporary photography by Hudd Byard and Craig Thompson; each image links to the subjects name and faith story.

  • Will Tucker
  • Sessen Stevens
  • Amy Hale