Jeff Bishop has been The Funk Heritage Center’s Director since 2018 after years of museum experience and following his passion for preserving history. The Funk Heritage Center, located on Reinhardt University’s campus, creates an immersive experience that connects local history to the culture of North Georgia. The mission of the Funk Heritage Center is to tell the story of the early Appalachian Settlers and Southeastern Indians through educational programming and the collection, care and exhibition of art and artifacts.
In 2017, Bishop was first appointed by then Gov. Nathan Deal to the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC). In July, current Gov. Brian Kemp re-appointed Bishop for a second 3-year term to the council. While not a political appointment, the council serves at the pleasure of the Governor to ensure the preservation of history and historical records of the state of Georgia.
“It is an honor to be a part of the GHRAC and to be appointed by Gov. Kemp for a second term,” says Bishop. “My personal interests and career have been focused on telling the stories of our history. On the GHRAC, I have the opportunity to work with colleagues from across the state of Georgia to support the education and preservation of Georgia’s history.”
The GHRAC consists of twelve members representing a cross-section of the Georgia community: citizens, educators, local governments, historical repositories and professional organizations. The goal of the Council is to provide the opportunity for anyone to learn about Georgia’s history through the preservation and improved access to historical records.
One of the many programs the Council oversees is the awards program. This program recognizes outstanding efforts in archives and records work in Georgia. This year, Jeff Bishop nominated Reinhardt history professor, Dr. Kenneth Wheeler, for his book on Georgia’s Etowah Valley, “Modern Cronies: Southern Industrialism for Gold Rush to Convict Labor, 1829-1894.”
“This year it was a great joy to nominate Ken Wheeler for his book, ‘Modern Cronies.’ This book was a prime example of what we are trying to achieve at the GHRAC by bringing attention to the history of our region that is not widely known,” explains Bishop. “Winners of the awards program have been from many formats – video, photography, artwork to library collections. I currently have a stack of books on my desk I’m reading for this year’s nominees!”
Beginning his career in journalism, Bishop followed his passion for historical storytelling to earn a Master of Arts in public history from the University of West Georgia onto his work in museums before joining The Funk Heritage Center. A well-known author about the Cherokee, plus a series of reports on Cherokee Removal fort sites in northwest Georgia, he is considered an authority on the Southeastern Indians.
Reinhardt is proud of the work Jeff Bishop brings to The Funk Heritage Center and as a representative of the University.
“Another bonus to serving on the GHRAC is it provides a way for me to advocate for Reinhardt University with so many on the Council from across the state,” shared Bishop. “It is a way to bring attention to the great work of our faculty and students - and The Funk Heritage Center.”
For more information on the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) visit: https://www.georgiaarchives.org/ghrac
For more information on The Funk Heritage Center visit: https://www.reinhardt.edu/funkheritage/
For information on Ken Wheeler’s book visit: https://ugapress.org/book/9780820357508/modern-cronies/