Reinhardt University’s Funk Heritage Center has a new director, one with extensive experience in running a museum and storytelling.
“Jeff Bishop is going to bring a lot of experience to Reinhardt as he takes over the reins as the director of the Funk Heritage Center,” said Provost Mark Roberts. “He is a natural storyteller, coming from a background of journalism. He has excellent experience running a small, historical museum, and he also has a master’s degree in public history.
“Jeff is an expert in southeastern Indian history, in particular on their culture and belief system, which, of course, is what the Funk Heritage Center is all about.”
Bishop was previously the executive director of the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and Historic Train Depot located in Newnan. In addition to his experience as a museum director and professional historian, he worked with the National Park Service, developing an interpretive brochure and map for the NPS Trail of Tears National Historic Trail website. He developed wayside exhibits and sign plans for the Trail in sites throughout the northwest Georgia and researched the history of the homes of Chief John Ross House and John Ridge, both in Georgia. As the president of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association for a decade, Bishop has many friends in this area.
“There are so many important stories to tell about the history of this region of the state. I feel fortunate to be given this opportunity to help tell those stories, hopefully in engaging and provocative ways,” said Bishop. “I’ve enjoyed meeting everyone and am already beginning to feel like part of the Reinhardt family.”
Bishop has 20 years of experience as an award-winning journalist before his interest in history took him to another field. He earned a Master of Arts in in public history from the University of West Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Georgia. 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.