In his State of the University report, President John M. Lilley spoke to the board about Baylor’s planned commemoration of this important period in Baptist history: John Smyth’s founding of the first Baptist churches in Holland in 1609. As the world’s flagship Baptist university, Lilley said Baylor will take a leadership role highlighting the significance of the Baptist heritage in scholarship, the arts, preaching and culture. Events throughout the 2008-2009 academic year are in the planning stages and will engage representatives from national and international Baptist organizations.
“As the largest and most comprehensive Baptist university, it is fitting that we would commemorate on the campus of Baylor University, the 400th anniversary of Baptists in the world,” Lilley said. “We are immensely proud of our Baptist heritage, and we look forward to celebrating the wonderful tradition and conviction of that same faith which inspires all that we do today.”