The National Council of Churches, which like its predecessor the Federal Council was a creation of the denominations, made abundantly clear through its fifth General Assembly in San Francisco this month that the denominations are now virtually creatures of the ecumenical movement.

Four Major Denominations Nominated For Amalgamation

A prominent Presbyterian stepped into an influential Episcopal pulpit this month and made a far-reaching proposal: amalgamate United Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, and members of the United Church of Christ (Congregational Christian-Evangelical and Reformed).

Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, Stated Clerk of the United Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. and former president of die National Council of Churches, made the proposal in the pulpit of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, on the threshhold of the NCC’s fifth General Assembly.

Merger mechanics might consume 10 years, said Blake.

A name? Possibly the “Reformed and Catholic Church in the U. S. A.”

Size? Twice as large in membership as any single U. S. denominational organization now in existence. Total membership of the new church could easily reach 20,000,000, especially if other denominations joined with the four named (Blake left the way open for such a development).

Despite the fact that Blake is a noted champion of ecumenicity, his proposal came as a surprise to many. It caused some evangelical observers to conclude that super-church plans are moving along even more rapidly than had been generally supposed.

Blake projected immediate implementation of his plan. He suggested action by the United Presbyterian General Assembly in the spring and the Episcopal General Assembly next fall.

Here are excerpts from Blake’s sermon:

Led, I pray, by the Holy ...

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