"Mr. Evangelical"

One of the most important 20th-century shapers of modern evangelicalism was a man whose name is unknown to most evangelicals today: Harold John Ockenga (AH-ken-gay). During his lifetime Ockenga served as founder and first president of the National Association of Evangelicals; president of the American Board of the World Evangelical Fellowship; president, co—founder, and later Chairman of the Board of Fuller Theological Seminary; Chairman of the Board of CHRISTIANITY TODAY magazine; a member of the board of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; pastor of historic Park Street Church in Boston for more than three decades; and the founding president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. His remarkable oratorical skills and visionary speeches made him evangelicalism's most trusted voice for decades. Billy Graham, whose fame has now eclipsed his mentor, claimed that he never made a major decision in his life without first consulting Ockenga. [See America's Hour Has Struck for more about Ockenga.]

—contributed by Garth Rosell

Election redirection

The New Evangelicals were determined to infuse the public square—including the political arena‐with the truths of Christianity. In the midst of the 1952 presidential campaign, a group of Christians led by former Youth for Christ president Torrey Johnson held their own "campaign" on the heels of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in an attempt to spark discussion of spiritual issues. "We feel the time has come when the entire nation should pray for guidance in the coming elections," Johnson said. "We want every politician to know the real hope of America is Jesus Christ." This converted bus with its provocative question was used to ...

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