William Heth Whitsitt (1841-1911) was the third president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Whitsitt was also professor of Biblical introduction and church history. It was as a church historian that Whitsitt became the center of a controversy that threatened the life of the seminary. In 1886, Whitsitt published an anonymous article that claimed that American Baptists derived their origin from English Congregationalists in 1641. This stirred up the Landmark Baptists, who believed in a succession of Baptists all the way back to the first century. Whitsitt was forced to resign as president in 1899, and moved to Richmond, VA, where he became professor of philosophy at Richmond College.
The Whitsitt Collection includes journals, lecture notes, published and unpublished essays in manuscript form, clippings related to Mormonism, correspondence, and sermons. Dr. Whitsitt’s papers were given to Southern Seminary by his daughter, Mary Whitsitt Whitehead.
Location: Archives (Manuscript collection in Rare Book Room, 2nd floor)