J.R. Graves is considered the father of Landmarkism in Baptist history. Patterson proposed doing research for a book about Graves’ life. His semester of leave time made possible an entire week of research at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth and three additional days at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. With this head start on research, Patterson began writing the book in the summer following his leave. The academic benefits don’t end with the book project.
Patterson: “Every other year I teach a course in Baptist history, and I think some of what I found will spill over into those classes, both undergraduate and master’s level.”