History of Baptists in Illinois
I read Myron Dillow's book Harvesttime on the Prairie over the last year, and it is excellent! Many Baptist histories are simple overviews with little original research and no new contributions. Dillow's book goes through sources to break new ground. It was published in the 1990's, but it helped me understand many of the issues, people, controversies, and places that have influenced Baptist and evangelical work in IL. We need more books like this.
My favorite part of the book was finding my current church and its first pastor, Jacob Bower, included in it. Without his book, I wouldn't have known those stories or found his autobiography.
I also found where our church's statement of faith came from and details about Baptist work throughout our region.
The stories and details are now part of my regular thinking and conversation. I even used an early resolution as the basis for part of my pastoral prayer on Sunday morning.