Show Us How You Do It
Marshall Keeble and the Rise of Black Churches of Christ in the United States, 1914-1968
Marshall Keeble (1878–1968) was the premier evangelist in black Churches of Christ from 1931 until his death in 1968. Born and reared in middle Tennessee, Keeble came under the influence of Preston Taylor, Samuel Womack, and Alexander Campbell, as well as the social influence of Booker T. Washington. In 1914, Keeble committed himself to full-time evangelism and by the 1920s had established himself as a noteworthy preacher. By the time of his death, he reportedly had baptized 40,000 people and had established more than 200 congregations, some of which still flourish today. Show Us How You Do It is the first critical study of Keeble and his evangelical career.
Based on primary sources, Edward Robinson reconstructs the life, public ministry, missionary activities, and the reception of Keeble among Churches of Christ. He also explores Keeble’s relationship with white businessmen and how he secured white support in establishing a large fellowship of African American Churches of Christ in the South. Show Us How You Do It details Keeble’s theology, ethos, and polemics toward other churches. Robinson demonstrates Keeble’s legacy in the labor of his African American co-workers and of the students who attended Nashville Christian Institute.
Of the approximately 2.5 million members of the Churches of Christ in the U.S., an estimated 10 percent are African-Americans, and many in this fellowship can trace their affiliation to Keeble and to those whom he trained.