FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) Phil Copeland, special advisor to the vice president of Institutional Advancement, remembers being fascinated with Texas history as a child. Growing up in San Antonio, he had the opportunity to learn about his state from the city where much of Texas history occurred.
Throughout his life, Copeland collected books about Texas history. Always looking for a unique perspective of well-known events, he paid particular attention to first-hand accounts whenever available.
For almost 40 years, Copeland has been a part of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. As the seminary celebrated 100 years in 2008, Copeland reflected on the overlap of Texas history in Southwestern’s commencement. Before he was called to preach and train ministers, the seminary’s founder, B.H. Carroll, was a Civil War veteran and former Texas Ranger. His successor, L.R. Scarborough, was a cowboy.
Copeland decided to donate his collected works of Texas history to Southwestern’s library to invest in the training of future church leaders. What he calls a “small collection” includes more than 500 books.
“This is the generation who will write the next exciting chapter in Texas history,” Copeland says.

“My prayer is these young people will better identify with their roots and have a better vision to serve our Heavenly Father.”