While Chicago was shyly emerging into springtime, National Association of Evangelicals met April 14–18, to bask in recent evangelistic and theological gains in American life. By its 16th convention, NAE—“a service organization, a fellowship of believers, and a means of identification”—had gathered 41 cooperating denominations into its orbit and spawned an impressive array of affiliated agencies (Evangelical Foreign Missions Associations, National Association of Christian Schools, National Sunday School Association, National Religious Broadcasters, and many others). The Chicago gathering was unproductive of spectacular achievements, but 1,000 churchmen and lay delegates shared a common faith and fellowship that vigorous leadership could weld to a crusading spirit.
Behind the scenes conferences in Hotel Sherman were almost as plenteous as public sessions. Off-the-record discussion of ecumenism closeted some of NAE’s past presidents (Harold John Ockenga, Bishop Leslie R. Marston, Stephen W. Paine, Paul S. Rees, R. L. Decker, Frederick C. Fowler, and H. H. Savage) in an unofficial way with churchmen whose denominations (like Southern Baptists, Missouri Lutherans, Christian Reformed) make up some 22 million evangelicals outside both the National Council of Churches and NAE. Twenty additional churches and five organizations were accepted into NAE membership.
Mekeel New President
New president is Dr. Herbert S. Mekeel, pastor for two decades of First Presbyterian Church of Schenectady, New York.
Also named: first vice-president, Dr. Thomas F. Zimmerman, of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Springfield, Missouri; second vice-president, Dr. Charles Seidenspinner, president of Southeastern Bible College, Birmingham, Alabama; ...1
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