The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 264
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
larger context. Students of East Texas and Texas maritime history will enjoy this
Texas A&M University-Galveston DON WILLETT
Calling Out the Called: The Life and Work of Lee Rutland Scarborough. By Glenn
Thomas Carson. Foreword by Leon McBeth. (Austin: Eakin Press, 1995- Pp.
xiv+161. Foreword, introduction, acknowledgments, illustrations, appen-
dices, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-57168-018-7. $19.95, cloth.)
Aside from B. H. Carroll, no one was more important in the early years of
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth than Lee Rutland
Scarborough. He helped select the site for the seminary, held the school's first
chair of evangelism, succeeded Carroll as president in 1915, and remained at
the helm until 1942. He was a major figure among Southern Baptists, one wor-
thy of study. This fine biography by Glenn Carson, a former student at South-
western who now teaches at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina,
was begun as a dissertation. Thoroughly researched, clearly written, amply
footnoted, and adequately indexed, this is the best, albeit not definitive, ac-
count to date of Scarborough's life. Southern Baptists will enjoy Carson's
book, and students interested in religion in early twentieth-century Texas will
find it useful.
Although born in Colfax, Louisiana, on July 4, 1870, Scarborough was reared
in West Texas. His father George was a preacher-rancher; his mother Martha was
a devoted Baptist; and both parents prayed their youngest son Lee would be-
come a minister. But the young Scarborough was initially drawn to the bar
rather than the cloth. He enrolled in Baylor University (BA, 1892) intent upon a
legal career and pursued that ambition at Yale (BA, 1896). During his last year
in New Haven, however, he yielded to "the call." He pastored a Baptist congrega-
tion in Cameron, Texas, for three years, then journeyed to Louisville, Kentucky,
in 1899 to study at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Without com-
pleting a degree, he returned to the Cameron Church in 1900, accepted a call
to the First Baptist Church, Abilene, in 1901, and joined the Southwestern facul-
ty in 1908.
Scarborough's subsequent stature among Baptists advanced along with that of
the seminary. His leadership was crucial to the institution, but the institution al-
so gave him added standing within the denomination, particularly after owner-
ship of Southwestern was transferred to the Southern Baptist Convention in
1925. According to Carson, the intensely evangelistic Scarborough used his posi-
tion to promote a new kind of denominationalism based upon cooperation. And
herein lies the basis of the bitter conflict between Scarborough andJ. Frank Nor-
ris, the controversial pastor of the First Baptist Church, Fort Worth. These men
represented different aspects of Baptist polity. Whereas one believed local
churches cooperated to accomplish broader denominational goals, the other in-
sisted upon complete congregational autonomy. Whether Scarborough's new
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/m1/316/?rotate=270: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.