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The Betty Strong Encounter Center will present Dr. Scott Culpepper’s “The Homestead Act: Creating Home Out of a Frontier” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

In his illustrated presentation, the Dordt College history professor will discuss how the Homestead Act of 1862 was passed as a wartime measure to ensure continued expansion of settlers loyal to the Union into the American frontier.

From its passage in 1862 to its final repeal in 1976, The Homestead Act opened new opportunities for millions of Americans to secure land.

 “The tales of determined settlers carving out a home on the frontier in the face of insurmountable odds stands at the heart of the American story,” says Culpepper. “We will explore that story through the history of the act that helped make their ambition to tame a frontier reality.”

Culpepper’s teaching and research interests are the Atlantic world and American history, with particular emphasis on the intersection of faith, politics and popular culture. He is the author of “Francis Johnson and the English Separatist Influence: The Bishop of Brownism’s Life, Ministry, and Controversies” (Mercer University Press, 2011).

Culpepper holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Church/State Studies from Baylor University; a Master of Arts in History from Northwestern State University of Louisiana; a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in historical and theological studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; and Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Religious Education from Louisiana College.