In the Name of the Father

The Rhetoric of the New Southern Baptist Convention

  • Author(s): Kell, Carl L. and Raymond L. Camp
  • Series:
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2010-03-20
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $29.95 | Buy Now


In the Name of the Father begins with an analysis of the 1979 Southern Baptist Convention, the watershed convention where moderate forces fell before the powerful oratory of the ultraconservative faction, which has remained in power ever since. Communication professors Carl L. Kell and L. Raymond Camp investigate the rhetorical shift from moderate to ultraconservative in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest denomination in the South and the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Drawing on sermons delivered at national conventions from 1979 to the present, Kell and Camp outline the discourses of fundamentalism, inerrancy, and exclusion. These discourses, the authors assert, point to the SBC leaders’ call for a return to times before feminism and tolerance of varying sexual orientations allegedly brought chaos to society and shook believers from their theological foundations.


CARL L. KELL is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication at Western Kentucky University.

RAYMOND L. CAMP was professor emeritus of communication at North Carolina State University before he passed away in 2017.