Bruce Gourley

Editor, Church & State

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Bruce Gourley is Editor of Church & State magazine, the monthly member publication of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Bruce is a historian whose career has long focused on educating about and defending church-state separation. His commitment to equal freedom for all persons is reflective of his belief in human equality and informed by the historic beliefs of Baptists, his religious background. Heavily persecuted by establishment Christian churches in theocratic American colonies, minority Baptists in those perilous days of old openly resisted religious tyranny. Demanding and fighting for equal freedom of religion and conscience for all, they played a major grassroots role in the toppling of theocracy and the founding of America as a secular nation.

Prior to joining AU, Bruce was history professor at Yellowstone Baptist College, director of the Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University, and editor of scholarly and popular journals, including the founding editor of Yellowstone History Journal. He has also taught lifelong learning courses at Montana State University, including a course on Christian Nationalism.

Bruce is the author of nine books, most of which have intersected with church-state separation, including Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia During the Civil War, which received widespread acclaim for its path-breaking treatment of religion during the Civil War at the ground level. Bruce has a Ph.D. in American History from Auburn University, and is a public speaker.

He lives in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, daughter, and a free-spirited cat, Whiskers.

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