FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – James Leo Garrett, Jr., distinguished professor emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, offered his expertise as a church historian during a panel discussion celebrating the 400th anniversary of the birth of the first known Baptist congregation in 1609. The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina organized the panel as part of its Koinonia radio podcast.

Garrett, whose book “Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study” was released earlier this year, joined other Southern Baptist scholars to discuss the origins of Baptists and the rise of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest denomination of the family of Baptists. Other panel guests included David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn.; Gregory Wills, professor of church history at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and Nathan Finn, assistant professor of Baptist studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

The panel conversed about such topics as the influence of Anabaptists, Evangelical Calvinism, the SBC founders, the Cooperative Program, the Conservative Resurgence and predictions about the future of the SBC.

Audio of the panel discussion can be found at