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Bishop James Chamberlain Baker Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Bishop Baker: Artifacts

Bishop Baker: Papers, Essays, Letters, Photographs



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Bishop James Chamberlain Baker Collection, 1799-1969 | Theology Library Archives

By Kara Jackman, Archivist

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Collection Overview

Title: Bishop James Chamberlain Baker Collection, 1799-1969Add to your cart.

ID: 03/065

Extent: 2.0 Boxes

Arrangement:

In box one, the first section or series of records is filled with artifacts collected by Bishop James C. Baker and his grandson and donor, Benson Bobrick. Notable artifacts are the an ivory-handled seal that belonged to Bishop Herbert Welch and a pewter "Loving Cup" presented to Bishop James C. Baker by Asian students in 1918 for his ecumenism work that he did in Illiinois with students from Japan, China, and Korea.

In box two, there multiple sections of records and series in this box. The first section of the second box Civil War era material created by Benjamin Webster Baker. Bishop Baker kept essays and correspondence kept by his grandfather Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker. These essays were written for school and are on a range of topics from women's suffrage to education. There is also correspondence written by Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker. from before and during the Civil War. Highlights from this section include daguerrotypes of Benjamin "Webb" Baker, and photocopies of letters written by Baker from the field during the Civil War, images of his brother who fought alongside him and died at the battle of Perryville, Kentucky. In the second section of the second box, the collection contains materials relating to Bishop James C. Baker, his family, and work in the United Methodist Church in missions and ecumenism. Highlights from this section of material include, letters written between the Bishop and his son-in-law Robert L. Bobrick about various topics relating raising family, photographs of Bishop working in California Pacific Annual conference, with family, and of the Bishop's family members. There are also program booklets, newsclippings, and printed material written by or about Bishop James C. Baker. In the final section of box two, there is a collection of books from Baker's library, inscribed by Bishop James C. Baker. There are titles by T.S. Eliot, Henry David Thoreau, and John Dewey included.

Date Acquired: 03/23/2018

Abstract

The Bishop James Chamberlain Baker (b. 1879 - d.1969) is comprised of printed materials related to his work in the United Methodist Church in Illinois and California, his family, ancestors, and work in ecumenism finding the Wesley Foundation at the University Illinois, Ohio State University and other schools and universities.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection includes artifacts, personal papers, family and ancestoral correpondence from the Civil War, family photographs, and official programs from events concerning Bishop James Chamberlain Baker.

Collection Historical Note

Biographical

Retired Bishop James Chamberlain Baker, 90, one of United Methodism's best-kown elder statesmen and founder of the Wesley Foundation movement on college campuses throughout the nation, died Friday, Sept. 26, at a hospital here.

Bishop Baker suffered a stroke two weeks ago and was transferred from the infirmary at Claremont Manor, a United Methodist retirement home where he lived to the hospital two days before his death.

He was elected to the episcopacy in 1928 and retired as resident bishop of the Los Angeles Area in 1952.

Bishop Baker's ministry in The Methodist Church spanned all this century. He was born in Sheldon, Ill., June 2, 1879, and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1893. He entereed the ministry in 1900 and was ordained in the Illinois Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. At the time he was on the faculty of Missouri Wesleyan College in Cameron, Missouri, and in 1901 he married Miss Lena Benson, whom he had met while teaching there.

In 1902, Bishop Baker entered the Boston University School of Theology and accepted a student pastorate in Ashland, Mass. He received the degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1905 and returned to his native Illinois to become pastor of a church in McLean.

In 1907 he accepted an appointment to Trinity Church in Urbana, Illinois, and embarked upon what he always viewed as the greatest adventure of his life. Trinity Church was located adjacent to the campus of University of Illinois, then a school of less than 5,000 enrollment. Bishop Baker and his wife created a church that ministered in a unique and innovative way to that campus community, and the style of campus ministry that he carried out during his 21 years at Trinity Church became the model for hundreds of student ministries of all faiths at tax-supported institutions of higher learning throughout the world. Bishop Baker was known for the remainder of his life as the "father of the Wesley Foundation," an honorary title that he valued as highly as he did the title of Bishop. When asked on his 80th birthday what he prized most, he replied without hesitation, "The affection and confidence of so many young people."

Thus it was with somewhat mixed emotions that Bishop Baker accepted the call to the Methodist episcopacy at the General Conference in Kansas City in 1928. He did not want to leave student work, but he faced his new challenges with a sense of anticipation. He was assigned to the Seoul Area, with responsibility for Methodist work in Korea, Japan, and Manchuria.

In 1932 he returned to the United States and was assigned to the San Francisco Area, which then included work in Hawaii, Japan and Korea as well as California. In 1939, he became the new episcopal head of the California Area of the newly united Methodist Church, and he moved to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. In 1948, when the California Area was divided into two episcopal areas, Bishop Baker was assigned to the Los Angeles area. He retired in 1952, to be succeeded by Bishop Kennedy.

During his years as an active bishop, Bishop Baker served as a Methodist delegate to many international gathering of Christians. He was world chairman the International Missionary Council in 1942, served as consultant to the founding conference of teh United Nations in San Francisco in 1944, and was one of four men sent by the Protestant Churches of America to Japan during the occupation in 1945. In addition to found the Wesley Foundation, Bishop Baker could be called a founder of the World Council of Churches, for he was a member of the committee that organized that body in 1948. During that same year he also served as president of the Council of Bishops of The Methodist Church, the church's highest office.

After his retirement Bishop Baker remained active in many church affairs. He taught at the graduate School of Theology of the University of Southern California for several terms, and he showed his lifelong concern for students by donating to the school, after it moved to Claremont, Calif., most of his personal theological library. He attended sessions of teh Southern California-Arizona Annual Conference and the General Conferences of the churches. He carried on a heavy speaking schedule until well past his 80th birthday.

In recent years Bishop Baker's eyesight began to fail, but he continued to read through eyes of others. Dozens of friends and colleagues paid visits to his modest retirement home in Claremont to read and visit with the bishop. Interviewed shortly before his 90th birthday this year, Bishop Baker expressed some views on student radicals and campus dissent that revealed a continuing and deep insight into the psychology of students. And he reiterated his own position that the church "has no more important work" than its ministry to students.

There are no immediate survivors. Mrs. Bakker died in 1966 and their only child, a daughter, died in 1955.

(Originally published by The Methodist Christian Advocate, 1969)

Historical Note:

The collection documents the family life of Bishop James C. Baker. The majority of the material relates to his wife, Lena Baker, his ancestors from the Civil War, and son-in-law.

Administrative Information

Repository: Theology Library Archives

Access Restrictions: No restrictions on access on these records.

Use Restrictions: Contact donor for publication and display of records in this collection.

Acquisition Source: Donated by Benson Bobrick


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Bishop Baker: Artifacts, c. 1918-1959],
[Box 2: Bishop Baker: Papers, Essays, Letters, Photographs, 1869-],
[All]

Box 1: Bishop Baker: Artifacts, c. 1918-1959Add to your cart.
Item 1: Loving Cup, 1918Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Baker from the "Friday Circle" of Oriental Students, Christmas 1918
Item 2: Golden Anniversary Wedding Album, 1951Add to your cart.
Photo album compiled by Bishop J.C. Baker and his wife Lena Baker, June 12,1951
Item 3: Oversize Photographs of Bishop James C. Baker, c. 1930-1950Add to your cart.
Item 4: Ivory Dragon Seal, with tiny jeweled eyesm that belonged to Bishop Herbert Welch, when he was Bishop of Korea, c. 1929Add to your cart.
Item 5: Oversized Photocopied Records: Pension Records for Martha Francis Baker and Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker, 1755-1843Add to your cart.
Box 2: Bishop Baker: Papers, Essays, Letters, Photographs, 1869-Add to your cart.
Folder 1: "Battle of Chattanooga" Essay written by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker is Father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 2: "The Benefits of War" by  B.W. "Webb" BakerAdd to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker, Father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 3: School essay on J.R. Lowell's "Commemoration Ode" by B.W. "Webb" BakerAdd to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker, father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 4: School Essay on Government Required School Attendance by B.W. "Webb" BakerAdd to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker is father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 5: School Essay on Chinese Immigration is Beneficial to the United States by B.W. "Webb" BakerAdd to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker is the father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 6: School Essay on Education by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker is the father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 7: Essay on Women's Sufferage in America by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker is the father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 8: School Essay on Iron Ore by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker is the father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 9: School Essay on The American Nation by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
Benjamin.Webster. "Webb" Baker is the father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 10: Essay on "A Stone that is fit for the wall is not left in the way" by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
B.W. "Webb" Baker is the father of Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 11: Two Faded Philadelphia Hall Announcements, c. 1800-1890Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Letters of Thanks to B.W. "Webb" Baker in Newspaper from R.B. Kester, 1905Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Articles on B.W. "Webb" Baker in Central Christian Advocate, July 7, 1909, 1909Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Correspondence between B.W. "Webb" Baker (father) to Bishop James C. Baker (son), October 1902 [3 Letters], 1902Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Notes for Committee Meetings Written by B.W. "Webb" Baker, 1869Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Letters from B.W. "Webb" Baker to his wife, c. 1900-1905Add to your cart.
Some of the letters make mention of Bishop James C. Baker as a child.
Folder 17: Mock Political Speech made at the YMCA on May 21, 1901, by B.W. "Webb" Baker, Saturday, May 25, 1901, 1901Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Two Essays on "The Man that Do Not Go By the Canaries" writen by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Letters to classmates at Normal on the ceremonial planting of an oak tree, May 18, 1870, 1870Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Last will and testament of Martha F. Baker witnessed August 4, 1921 (Opened November 21, 1922), 1921-1922Add to your cart.
Folder 21: School Essay Marathon and It's Influnences by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
Folder 22: School Chemistry Exam, c.1860-1869Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Address o the Schismatic Brethren by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1860sAdd to your cart.
Folder 24: Sermon This One Thing I Do, B.W. "Webb" Baker, 1880Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Memorial Day Speech About the Civil War by B.W. "Webb" Baker, 1880-1900Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Decoration Address by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1869Add to your cart.
Folder 27: July 4th Address by B.W. "Webb" Baker, c. 1880sAdd to your cart.
Folder 28: Sermon: Memorial Day Service May 30, 1885 by B.W. "Webb" Baker, 1885Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Birth, Death and Marriage Records from the Baker Family Bible (Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker), 1799-1910Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Photocopies of Civil War Letter written by Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker to home from the field, c. 1850-1865Add to your cart.
Hi-Resolution color photocopies of letters. Digital copies included on thumb drive
Folder 31: Photographs: Two daguerrotypes of Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker in Glass FramesAdd to your cart.

2 Daguerrotypes of Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker in glass frames

Enlargements of daguerrotypes on photo quality paper

Images depict: B.W. Baker with saber and gun, taken before the Civil War

Images depict: B.W. Baker with no weapons at end of Civil War

Folder 32: Photographs: Mrs. Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker (Martha Frances Henry BakerAdd to your cart.

1 Photograh at Age 4

2 Photographs as adult

Folder 33: Photographs: John Baker Killed at Civil War Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, October 8, 1862, c. 1850-1862Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Photographs: Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker, c. 1800-1890Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Photographs: Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker's Grandparents and family members, c. 1700s-1899Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Articles About James C. Baker written in English, 1918-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 37: Articles About Bishop James C. Baker written in Japanese, c. 1929Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Articles written by Bishop James C. Baker published in the Christian Advocate, 1934Add to your cart.
Folder 39: Newspaper Clippers: From "The Argus" with article titled "Wesleyan Alumnus Interviews Japanese Emperor Hirohito", 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 40: Correpondence: From J.W. Decker to Mrs. Lena Baker, May 3, 1946, 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Program: 25th Anniversary Banquet As Founders of Wesley Foundation As Leaders in Los Angeles Area, c. 1940-1952Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Correspondence and Program: Relating to Portrait of Bishop James C. Baker at the University of Illinois, n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 43: Artifacts: Napkin and Invitation to 50th Wedding Anniversary of Bishop James C. Baker and wife, Lena Baker, 1951Add to your cart.
Folder 44: Articles about Bishop James C. Baker and Lena Bishop 50th Wedding Anniversary, 1951Add to your cart.
Folder 45: Articles on Retirement of Bishop James C. Baker, 1952Add to your cart.
Folder 46: Program: Retirement Timelne of Bishop James C. Baker, 1952Add to your cart.
Folder 47: Program: Dedicating Wesley Foundation Methodist Center at the Ohio State University, 1956Add to your cart.
Folder 48: Letter to Attorney General Herbert Brownell Regarding Immigration Status of David Hyun, 1956Add to your cart.
Folder 49: Correspondence: Between Irving Dillard, Methodist Pastor in San Francisco and Bishop James C. Baker in California, 1954-1965Add to your cart.
Folder 50: Correspondence: Bishop James C. Baker, 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 51: Correspondence: Letter written to United Methodist Bishops penned shortly before his death, c.1969-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 52: Program: Booklet from Worship Service for Funeral of Bishop James C. Baker, 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 53: Newsclippings: Obituaries written about Bishop James C. Baker, 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 54: Correspondence: Regarding Donations for Memorial At Wesley Foundation at University Illinois, Urbana, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 55: Photographs: Bishop James C. Baker, c. 1900-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 56: Photographs: Chaddock College Quincy, Illinois, c. 1900-1929Add to your cart.
Folder 57: Records Pertaining to Bishop Herbert Welch including cards and holiday greetings, 1942-1965Add to your cart.
Folder 58: Correspondence: Between Bishop James C. Baker and his son-in-law Robert L. Bobrick (Bishop's correspondence handwritten on the type written letters of Robert L. Bobrick), 1956-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 59: Letters from Bishop James C. Baker and his wife to Elizabeth M. "Sherry" Bobrick (Robert L. Bobrick's 2nd wife), 1967-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 60: Photographs: Bishop James C. Baker's Living Room Taken About Two Weeks After His Death on October 8, 1969, 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 61: Death Certificate for Lena Baker, Bishop Baker's wife, 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 62: Photocopies: Letter From Vallie Morris Benson to her daughter, Lena Baker, Bishop James C. Baker's wife, 1910Add to your cart.
Folder 63: Copy Letter to Others Regarding Meeting with General Douglas MacArthur on October 27, 1945, written by Bishop James C. Baker, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 64: Letter from The White House Assistant to the President regarding Bishop James C. Baker's  address to the National Conference of Christians and Jews, 1953Add to your cart.
Folder 65: Program: Lena Benson Baker Memorial Service, 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 66: Biographical Information on Benjamin Webster "Webb" Baker and his wife, Martha Baker, 1897Add to your cart.
Folder 67: Family Tree for Baker Family and Benson Family, 2018Add to your cart.
Folder 68: Telegrams Communicating Deaths of Bishop James C. Baker and Lena Baker, 1952-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 69: Last Will and Testament Bishop James C. Baker, c. 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 70: Correspondence: Last Letter from the Bishop's Brother Webb Baker, 1950Add to your cart.
Folder 71: My Travels by Mrs. Lena Baker, wife of Bishop James C. Baker, 1928Add to your cart.
Folder 72: Bishop James C. Baker's MemoirAdd to your cart.
Folder 73: Bishop Baker's wife (Lena Baker) Letrers to grandson Benson Baker "Barry" Bobrick, 1951-1969Add to your cart.
Letters wriitten to Pomfret School in Pomfret, CT and New York City, New York
Folder 74: Letters between Lena Baker (Mrs. Bishop James C. Baker) wife of Bishop Baker to her brother, Mansur P. Benson, sister-in-law Ida Benson, and nephew, Cornelius Benson, 1921-1922Add to your cart.
Folder 75: Photographs: Lois Benson Baker, daughter of Bishop and Mrs. Lena Baker, from childhood and early years, 1908-1955Add to your cart.
Folder 76: Photographs: Bishop James C. Baker and wife, Lena Baker from their childhood and early years, c. 1890-1940sAdd to your cart.
Folder 77: Photographs: Bishop Baker on goodwill mission to Japan, October 25, 1945, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 78: Photographs: Bishop Baker as Consultant to the United Nations, c. 1940 - 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 79: Photographs: Bishop Baker in Bishop speaking engagement, award ceremonies, and other gatherings with Methodists in California and Pacific Annual Conference, 1945-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 80: Photographs: Lena and Bishop Baker with family, 1946-1963Add to your cart.
Folder 81: Books: 1) Diary of Mrs. Lena Baker, kept 1928-1929 2) Annotated New Testament, translated by Edgar Goodspeed, published in 1923, 1923-1929Add to your cart.
Item 82: Book: James Dewey, Freedom and Culture, copyright 1939, 1939Add to your cart.

Book signed by Bishop James Baker

some, minimal notations made by Bishop James Baker

Folder 83: Book, T.S. Eliot, Murder In The Cathedral, copyright 1935, 1935Add to your cart.

Signed by Bishop James C. Baker

Minimally annotated by Bishop James C. Baker

Folder 84: Book: Charles Beard, The Republic copyright 1943, 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 85: Book: Henry David Thoreau, Maine Woods, copyright 1893, 1893Add to your cart.
Folder 86: Book: Benson Bobrick, Testament, 2003, 2003Add to your cart.
Folder 87: John Milton, Prose Works of John Milton, copyright 1885Add to your cart.
Signed by Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 88: Book: Charles Dickens, A Child's History of England, copyright 1888, 1888Add to your cart.
Inscribed: James C. Baker from Santa Claus, December 25, 1888
Folder 89: Book: Henry DavidThoreau A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, copyright 1893, 1893Add to your cart.
Signed by Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 90: Book: Major A. R. Calhoun, How To Get On In The World: A Ladder to Practical Success , copyright 1895Add to your cart.
Signed by Bishop James C. Bishop
Folder 91: Book: T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party, copyright 1950, 1950Add to your cart.
Signed by Bishop James C. Baker
Folder 92: Scrapbook: Kept by Bishop James C. Baker from his early days in Ashland, MA as student pastor to midwest as pastorAdd to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Bishop Baker: Artifacts, c. 1918-1959],
[Box 2: Bishop Baker: Papers, Essays, Letters, Photographs, 1869-],
[All]


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