Jerry Gaw

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Jerry Lewis Gaw

(Historian at Lipscomb University
in Nashville, Tennessee)

Jerry L Gaw.jpg

Born March 12, 1952
Gainesboro, Jackson County
Tennessee, USA
Spouse Vicki Renee Gaw (married 1976)
Religion Church of Christ associate minister

Jerry Lewis Gaw (born March 12, 1952) is a former professor of history at the Church of Christ-affiliated Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, whose research specialization is concentrated in the fields of Great Britain, modern Europe, and the history of medicine. He is also a Church of Christ associate minister. He retired in May 2020.   


Gaw is the youngest of five children born to Lewis Ambrose Gaw (1918-1996) and the former Sylvia Gerlene Hix (1918-1995) in Gainesboro in Jackson County located on the Cumberland Plateau near Cookeville in north Tennessee not far from the Kentucky border. His oldest sibling, Joy Chaffin, is a homemaker in Jackson, Tennessee. A brother, Charles Lewis Gaw, was stillborn in 1945. Two other siblings were Shirley Dianne Gaw O'Shields (1942-2011) of Monterey in Putnam County in north central Tennessee and Gary D. Gaw (1950-1998), who died of a ruptured esophagus in Lewisburg in Marshall County, Tennessee, approximately midway between Nashville and Huntsville, Alabama. Sylvia Gaw was cremated. Lewis, Charles, Shirley, and Gary Gaw are interred at the Gaw Family Cemetery No. 1 in Gainesboro.[1]

From 1963 to 1969, Gaw resided in Warren in Macomb County, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, because his father was employed in the  automobile industry. The family returned to Gainesboro in time for him to graduate in 1970 from Jackson County High School, located at 190 Blue Devil Lane, a street named for the school sports teams.[2]    In 1974, Gaw received his Bachelor of Arts in history education from the then David Lipscomb College. He then taught in Church of Christ-related schools in Pensacola, Florida, from 1974 to 1976 and in Shreveport, Louisiana, at the since closed Shreve Christian School from 1978 to 1979, when he entered Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, from which under the department chairman Donald Rawson, he procured in 1983 his Master of Arts degree in history.[3] He was a full-time pulpit minister in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, from 1976 to 1978 and thereafter an associate pastor in Shreveport. He served part-time between 1978 and 1980[2] at the since inactive Cotton Valley Church of Christ in Cotton Valley,[4] a village in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, where his wife's grandparents resided, while he was also completing the master's requirements at Northwestern State University. Gaw thereafter enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Mississippi State University in Starkville. After completion of his doctoral course work from 1982 to 1984, he returned permanently to Lipscomb and received his terminal degree in 1990.[5] 

Gaw's wife is Vicki Renee Gaw, a Lipscomb administrative assistant[6] originally from Shreveport, whom he married in 1976. They have one son, David Gaw, also of Nashville.

Academic career

In 1999, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, published Gaw's A Time to Heal: The Diffusion of Listerism in Victorian Britain, a study of the medical progress through antiseptic surgical procedures and other reforms promoted by Joseph Lister.[7] In a review of Gaw's book in the publication Victorian Studies, Margaret Anne Crowther of the University of Glasgow in Scotland writes: "Amongst the useful features of the book is a substantial bibliography of works dealing with Joseph Lister and antiseptic surgery. ... Gaw's approach is to concentrate on the years from the late 1860s to the mid-1880s, when Lister's views, at first highly contentious, began to dominate the medical world."[8]

Professor Gaw is listed with Who's Who in the South and Southwest.[5] He is a member and the faculty sponsor of Phi Alpha Theta,[3] the honorary history society. He holds membership in the European section of the Southern Historical Association.[5] He was a member of the since discontinued steering committee of the Lipscomb University Lifelong Learning Program, a study geared toward the intellectual stimulation of the retired and semi-retired.[9] He has taught abroad for Lipscomb programs in Bath, Somerset, England, and Vienna, Austria.[3]

In 1980, he penned an article, "Refuge in a Hostile White World: The Negro Church in North Louisiana during Reconstruction,"  in the publication, North Louisiana Historical Association Journal, since known as North Louisiana History.[10] He has completed and awaits publication of a study of the World War I-era British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, a member of the Church of Christ denomination. The work examines Lloyd George's religious convictions in the implementation of public policy.[3] Gaw has entries on Edward Jenner and Joseph Lister in The Research Guide to European Historical Biography.[11] He has penned two book reviews in The Stone-Campbell Journal, published in Cincinnati, Ohio.[12]


  1. Lewis Ambrose Gaw. Retrieved on September 20, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Statement of Jerry L. Gaw, September 26, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jerry L. Gaw: Faculty & Staff at Lipscomb University. Retrieved on September 20, 2017.
  4. Cotton Valley Church of Christ in Cotton Valley, Louisiana. Retrieved on September 20, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Jerry Gaw Professor. Retrieved on September 25, 2017.
  6. Vicki Gaw. Retrieved on September 20, 2017.
  7. (1999) A Time to Heal: The Diffusion of Listerism in Victorian Britain. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American Philosophical Society. ISBN 087169-891-9. Retrieved on September 25, 2017. 
  8. Margaret Anne Crowther, Victorian Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Summer 2001), pp. 688-689.
  9. The Lifelong Learning Program. Retrieved on September 25, 2017.
  10. Jerry L. Gaw, "Refuge in a Hostile White World: The Negro Church in North Louisiana during Reconstruction," North Louisiana Historical Association Journal, Vol. 11 No. 4 (Fall 1980), pp 19-32.
  11. Edward Jenner and Joseph Lister entries, The Research Guide to European Historical Biography, edited by James A. Moncure (Washington, D.C.: Beacham Publishing, 1993), 8 vols., pp. 3414-27 (Jenner), pp. 3649-61 (Lister).
  12. Book reviews in The Stone-Campbell Journal of David W. Bebbington, The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody, Vol. 9 (Fall 2006), 264-65, and John Howard Smith, The Perfect Rule of the Christian Religion: A History of Sandemanianism in the Eighteenth Century, Vol. 14 (Spring 2011), pp. 87-88.