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LOCAL NEWS

Redbank Valley Historical Research Project Launches!

NEW BETHLEHEM (RVO) – The Redbank Valley Historical Society and St. Mary’s Redbank Church are thrilled to announce the launch of the Redbank Valley Historical Research Project (RVHRP). This exciting initiative, in collaboration with Liberty University’s History Department, aims to provide students with invaluable hands-on experience in historical research by delving into the rich history of New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the greater Redbank Valley community.

RVHRP 2024 - Researchers - New Bethlehem PA

Left-to-right: Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle, Colin Wood, and Rev. Dr. Gordon Barrows

Colin Wood, Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle - Liberty University - New Bethlehem

Colin Wood, Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle – Liberty University – New Bethlehem

The RVHRP will run from June 1st to July 31st and focuses on examining the impact of the Great Depression on the Redbank Valley area, particularly within the church community. The research will culminate in a published scholarly paper and a public presentation at the Redbank Valley Historical Society towards the end of July (date to be determined).

Leading this research are three dedicated scholars from Liberty University:

  • Colin Wood: Born and raised in Seattle, WA, and currently residing in Washington, DC, Colin is completing his undergraduate degree and exploring Masters and PhD programs. His historical specialty is societal history in America during the 20th century. Colin aspires to be an author and professional researcher. “This experience has helped me grasp an intimate understanding of the historical process and it impacts communities.”
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  • Christian Mumpower: A second-year graduate student specializing in the study of the First World War, Christian comes from a rural community near Bristol, Southwest Virginia. He graduated with highest honors from Liberty University in the spring of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in history and minors in German and military history. Christian plans to enhance his skills as a historian overseas and aims to become a professional researcher and author. “My time spent working on the Redbank Valley research project has already yielded a great deal of valuable experience and has allowed me to positively impact a community similar to the one I grew up in.”
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  • Jacob Battle: A sophomore history student specializing in the study of the Cold War, Jacob hails from Chesterfield, Virginia. He aspires to become a history professor and author. “The Redbank Valley Historical Research Project has opened up a number of doors both in the community and in my career. We are already making huge progress in uncovering a previously neglected part of history.”
Colin Wood, Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle - Liberty University - New Bethlehem

Colin Wood, Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle – Liberty University – New Bethlehem

Supporting these scholars is Associate Researcher Clara Gourley, whose commitment to preserving our community’s history has been instrumental.

The research findings will be shared through routine photos and videos posted on Facebook and Instagram. Follow their journey at Facebook.com/RVHRP and Instagram.com/RVHRP2024.

To sustain the RVHRP and provide ongoing opportunities for scholars, we aim to raise $20,000 annually. We welcome your fully tax-deductible donations via all major credit/debit cards to the St. Mary’s Redbank Church (StMarysRedbankChurch.org/#giving) and the Redbank Valley Historical Society (RVHistory.org/donate).

Colin Wood, Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle - Liberty University - New Bethlehem 2

Colin Wood, Christian Mumpower, Jacob Battle – Liberty University – New Bethlehem

If you see Colin, Christian, or Jacob, please extend a warm welcome to our community. Also, be sure to thank Clara for her dedication to preserving our local history. For more information, please contact the Redbank Valley Historical Society or St. Mary’s Redbank Church. RedbankValley.org/RVHRP

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