Imagery of Regent people and campus

University Library Dedicates Archives

By Brett Wilson | October 31, 2013

Jo Ann "Coppi" Reed, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, and Dr. Rita Bennett.
Photo courtesy of University Marketing.

Along with the revival that sparked and spread like fire around the world, the Charismatic movement in the history of the church has also led to countless scholars' books, speeches, articles and papers

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Regent University Library celebrated the dedication of archives holding the Rev. Dr. Dennis J. Bennett Papers and the William Standish Reed, M.D. Collection.

"This is a historic moment as we honor people who honor the Lord," said Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, Regent's founder, chancellor and CEO. "Their heritage will live on longer than we will."

The archives feature the works from the lives of two distinguished leaders of the 1960's Charismatic renewal movement. Dr. Sara Baron, dean of the University Library, explained that the responsibility for preserving, organizing and making the archives accessible rests on everyone at Regent. This is a task that she does not take lightly.

"These archival collections are one of a kind, and they tell a story about an organization, a movement or a person," said Baron. "They are not only unique to that entity but to the organization they are left with, and we are so blessed to have been chosen as the home of the archives of Rev. Bennett and Dr. Reed."

By Baron's estimation, the archives contain nearly 40,000 items from the Bennett collection. The Rev. Dennis J. Bennett Papers consists of items such as pamphlets, correspondence, audiotapes and scrapbooks documenting Bennett's career—as well as copies of his well-known book, Nine O'clock in the Morning, translated into 15 different languages.

The William Standish Reed, M.D. Collection consists of 20,000 documented items. Along with recordings of Reed's appearance on CBN's 700 Club, the collection contains 9,000 audio and video recordings ranging from 1950 to 2007, spurring the Charismatic movement forward.

The archives, according to Dr. Amos Yong, dean of the School of Divinity, are also a crucial addition to the university's Pentecostal Research Collection.

"Having the Bennett-Reed collections here will serve the next generation of researchers who will be documenting the significance of the charismatic renewal movement for posterity," said Yong.

Dr. Vinson Synan, dean emeritus of the School of Divinity, also addressed the faculty, staff and community-members present, explaining that without the contributions that Bennett and Reed made to the Charismatic movement, universities such as Regent might not have existed.

"The inspiration of the two men, along with the Holy Spirit, is responsible largely for the renewal of a generation of believers," said Synan.

Dr. Rita Bennett and Jo Ann "Coppi" Reed, the wives of the two late Charismatic thinkers, were present for the archival dedication. Both shared insights about their husbands, unveiling the men behind their scholastic achievements. Reed recalls her husband singing "My God Can Do Anything" in a baritone voice. Both expressed their appreciation of the archival of their husbands' great works and memories.

"I'm so thrilled, and I'm so happy that I was the one to be able to donate these papers to this wonderful university," said Bennett. "This was the right thing to do, and I'm so honored to be here."

Learn more about Regent's University Library.


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