Disciples of Christ Historical Society announces the retirement next year of DCHS President, the Rev. Dr. Richard H. (Rick) Lowery. Lowery was installed as President of DCHS in November, 2017, and will serve until a successor is chosen in September, 2022.
During Dr. Lowery’s tenure, DCHS has expanded its efforts toward digitizing and making its extensive resources accessible online to a global audience through its Digital Commons website. It has launched the online-onlyJournal of Discipliana, a peer-reviewed journal for original scholarship on topics related to the theology, history, and practice of churches in the Disciples and broader Stone-Campbell tradition. On behalf of the Society at the 2019 General Assembly, he helped plan and lead the church’s celebration and commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Merger Agreement between the predominantly African American National Christian Missionary Convention and the International Convention of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ).
Lowery co-edited and helped write a book about the Design and oversaw the creation of a video about denominational Restructure in the 1950s and 1960s. Lowery conceived, helped write, and edited a book of prayers by the presidents and staff of the general ministries, Wellsprings of Hope: Prayers for a Prophetic New Vision for Disciples (Chalice Press, 2020).
Under his leadership, DCHS has focused on telling stories of historically underrepresented groups in the Disciples/Stone-Campbell tradition and recruiting authors for biographies of significant Disciples leaders such as Preston Taylor and Sarah Lue Bostick.
Dr. Lowery has gathered a diverse group of Disciples and Stone-Campbell scholars and church leaders to plan a DCHS-sponsored academic conference, “Systemic Racism, Antiracism, and ‘Reconciliation’ in Our Shared History and Tradition,” at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 18-19, 2022. Lowery will edit a book centered on the papers and discussions of that conference.
“Dr. Lowery has brought the Disciples of Christ Historical Society into the modern age by reaching out to patrons and donors across the entire Stone-Campbell movement, including the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Churches of Christ, and the Christian Church/Churches of Christ. With his deep knowledge and love of Stone-Campbell history and his ability to convey the importance of our history, he has drawn new enthusiasts into the fold. This has been key to the growth and stability of our ministry,” stated Archie Jenkins, Chairman of the DCHS Board of Trustees. “We are grateful for the energy and experience Rick has brought to DCHS and will miss him greatly. We wish him and his family the best as they step into this new journey.” The DCHS Board has begun the process, following the church’s Executive Search Model, of finding and calling Dr. Lowery’s successor.