In Philadelphia, where historic churches abound, many an old pew was dusted off this month as converts from the Billy Graham crusade sought out regular places of worship.

Some 15,000 persons recorded decisions for Christ during the four-week crusade, which drew an aggregate attendance of more than half a million despite an unseasonably hot September. It was unquestionably the most far-reaching religious endeavor ever seen in the three-state Delaware Valley area.

Ministers were especially jubilant over the grass-roots impact of the crusade.

“It’s going to mean additional members for us,” said the Rev. A. Scott Hutchison, pastor of Third Baptist Church. “But, more important, it has resulted in a kindling of spiritual fire which will continue to grow.”

A district conference superintendent of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the Rev. Carl M. Schneider, observed that church people were beginning to show new concern for their neighbors as a result of crusade participation.

“This is the wholesome thing,” declared Schneider.

Clergymen’s lives also were touched, according to the Rev. Robert W. Bringherst, minister of Leverington Presbyterian Church, who said that within evangelical ranks the crusade greatly strengthened cooperation among denominational and independent ministers.

At least four ministers were known to have made new personal affirmations of faith during the crusade, including a platform guest who stepped down during Graham’s invitation.

Personal workers said more than 50 per cent of those making decisions were 20 years of age or under. One teen-age convert, destined for the Jesuit priesthood, enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Bible instead.

Graham team members were gratified at the number of Negroes who turned out for the crusade, occasionally numbering up to 10 per cent of the audience, a record for American crusades, all of which have been integrated. Philadelphia’s population is estimated to be 28 per cent Negro, 42 per cent Roman Catholic, 6 per cent Jewish and 24 per cent white Protestant.

Graham’s next major U. S. crusade will be held in Chicago, beginning next May 30. During January and February he will tour South America, with rallies scheduled in seven key cities.

The Philadelphia evangelistic effort was augmented by a two-week follow-up seminar for ministers conducted by Charles Riggs, chief of counselling work for the Graham team.

Bypassing Doctrine

“The time has come,” said Dr. Truman B. Douglass, “when it is not necessary to wait for the solution of all problems of doctrine and form to begin to act together in fulfillment of the Church’s mission.”

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Expressing skepticism that church union such as envisioned by Dr. Eugene Carson Blake can be achieved, Douglass proffered what amounts to an alternative: merge the mission boards of as many Protestant denominations as possible.

Douglass made the proposal in an address this month before the annual meeting of Ohio ministers of the United Church of Christ. He said he will recommend to the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, of which he is the designated head, that merger conversations begin immediately.

“I suggest that the way to get the ecumenical movement off dead center is to return it to the missionary movement which gave it its original impetus,” declared Douglass.

He cited several specific forms of missionary work which ought to be unified: television and radio broadcasting; the making of motion pictures; establishment of churches in new communities; publishing and distributing books and periodicals; development of curricular materials for child education; “work of the Church in the field of higher education”; health and welfare projects; and the education and training of ministers.

Douglass lamented Protestant “disunity.” He declared: “Lay people who are finding ways of living together despite wide differences of ancestry, culture, and race are asked to separate themselves within the church because of theological quarrels conducted by their ancestors over issues which few of us today understand and even fewer care about.”

Some observers countered to the effect that mission work is hindered most, not by denominational competition as such, but by competing messages (often within the same denomination) wherein the uniqueness and finality of Christ is asserted by some and rejected by others.

Protestant Panorama

• Construction of a $2,000,000 religious center next to United Nations headquarters was endorsed this month by the Methodist General Board of Christian Social Concerns. The building would house a chapel, meeting rooms, offices, and a cafeteria, and would rise some 13 stories. It still needs the sanction of the Methodist Coordinating Council.

• The first evangelistic campaign ever conducted in modern Rome drew hundreds of persons nightly to Brancaccio Theater in summer meetings addressed by the Rev. Harold Herman of the U. S. Assemblies of God.

• A neatly-designed magazine geared to YMCA members and employees made its debut this month featuring a congratulatory letter from President Kennedy who noted that “the YMCA has provided a significant service to our nation by establishing sound programs of healthy recreation for both young people and adults through the years.” Editor of The Y Magazine, which will appear monthly, is Robert W. Moore.

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• Three California students returning from the National Methodist Student Conference in Urbana, Illinois, were among 78 persons killed in the crash of an airliner near Chicago this month.

• A professional school for the training of ministers beyond the baccalaureate degree will open on the Tennessee campus of Milligan College next fall. To be known as the Emmanuel School of Religion, it will have no organic relationship to Milligan, but co-operation will be maintained. The curriculum will include Bible, biblical languages, church history, Christian education, theology, and practical ministries on a graduate level.

• Observance in England and in Calcutta marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of William Carey, famed Baptist missionary to India.

• A $100,000 grant from the estate of Mrs. Amelie McAlister Upshur will enable Fuller Theological Seminary to begin construction of a new library building to accommodate more than 200,000 volumes, with room for expansion.

The Sunday-School World, a Christian workers’ monthly published by the American Sunday-School Union, is marking its centennial.

The Negro Rift

Because of the controversy over racial integration, opening of the fall school term spelled more than a little strife in the United States in recent years. This year, however, while more schools were integrating peacefully, the battleground shifted to an unlikely site: the church convention floor, where the conflict was between the Negroes themselves over integration methodology and where a leadership dispute led to the death of a prominent delegate.

In a surprising turn of events, the presidents of the nation’s two largest Negro religious organizations denounced Freedom Rides.

“What do you produce when you are in jail?” cried Dr. J. H. Jackson, whose claim to the presidency of the 5,000,000 member National Baptist Convention, U. S. A., Inc., was upheld in a court-monitored election in Kansas City.

“We want our rights, but we must assume responsibility,” said Jackson. “Negroes have got to learn that there is something else in the country besides civil rights.”

He said other Negro integrationists “want somebody else to solve the problem. They want the government to do it.”

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In San Francisco, where the 2,500,000-member National Baptist Convention of America was holding its own annual sessions, President C. D. Pettaway affirmed “a better way” to integration.

“Of course I want all the freedom to which a law-abiding citizen is entitled and that includes the freedom to ride on a bus, if I have the money,” he said. “But I wouldn’t want to go to jail just for a ride.”

The 75-year-old clergyman from Arkansas said his own formula to bring about integration was, “Just be a good citizen and a high-class man.”

In Kansas City, Jackson’s views were challenged by a strong minority group led by Dr. Gardner C. Taylor of Brooklyn, New York, past president of the Protestant Council of New York, and Dr. Martin Luther King, noted integrationist.

Taylor claimed to have defeated Jackson in an election for the presidency at last year’s convention in Philadelphia. Jackson, who had then been president for seven years, said he was re-elected when a convention assembly moved to accept a nominating committee’s recommendation to that effect.

After Jackson declared the Philadelphia session adjourned, however, a crowd stayed behind and held another election which Taylor won by 1,864 to 536. The convention was then stalemated when both sides obtained temporary court injunctions to prevent the conducting of business.

When the dispute went into the courts, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge ruled that he had no jurisdiction.

Then, in October of last year, the directors of the convention decided in favor of Jackson’s presidency.

Taylor, however, continued to declare that he was the rightfully elected president and he came to this year’s convention in Kansas City pressing his claim. His supporters stormed the convention speakers’ platform in an effort to obtain recognition and a near riot ensued.

During the melee, the Rev. Arthur G. Wright, a convention director, plunged headlong from the platform and was rushed unconscious to a hospital. He died of a head injury 17 hours later.

Wright, 64, was a wealthy businessman from Detroit and pastor of one of the city’s largest Negro churches.

Kansas City detectives said a preliminary investigation indicated that Wright had fallen accidentally—that he had apparently not been pushed.

Subsequently, Kansas City Mayor H. Roe Bartle took the rostrum and warned, “If you came here to raise hell in God’s name, then we’ll have to cancel the contract.”

After the violence, a petition for an injunction filed in a circuit court resulted in the appointment of Dr. D. A. Holmes of Kansas City to monitor the election. The 84-year-old minister was accepted as monitor by both factions.

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The polling of nearly 5,000 delegates to the convention took some five hours. Jackson was declared the winner by a vote of 2,732 to 1,519.

Taylor then acknowledged his defeat and urged delegates to support Jackson:

“The supreme court of the National Baptist Convention has spoken,” he said. “Let us all close our ranks behind the leadership of Dr. Jackson.”

In the fight for the convention leadership, both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and President Kennedy were brought into the dispute.

Taylor’s supporters accused Jackson of attempting to use a routine telegram of greetings from the NAACP to further his cause. They obtained a second message from Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP, saying that the organization was supporting neither candidate.

Because President Kennedy did not send a telegram of greeting to the convention, Jackson’s supporters charged that Taylor’s camp had turned the President against their leader.

Convention Circuit

At Bethlehem, Pennsylvania—New regulations on the remarriage of divorced persons were approved at the 29th Synod of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America.

The church’s previous rules had permitted remarriage only in the case of “an innocent party” in a marriage broken by adultery. Under the new regulations, a pastor is permitted to officiate in the remarriage of divorced persons if in his judgment, and the judgment of the congregation’s board of elders, the persons have met the following requirements:

Recognition of personal responsibility for the failure of the former marriage, penitence and an effort to overcome limitations and failure, forgiveness of the former partner, fulfillment of obligations involved in the former marriage, and a willingness to make the new marriage a Christian one by dependence on Christ and participation in his church.

In addition, one of the parties must be a member of the local Moravian congregation, and one year must have passed since the divorce.

The synod also went on record in favor of family planning. Some 110 delegates ended the eight-day meeting by adopting resolutions opposing capital punishment and federal aid to church-supported schools and reaffirming the 1956 synod’s call for racial equality in the church.

The Moravian Church in America (Unitas Fratrum) is divided into the Northern and Southern Provinces with a total membership of more than 60,000.

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At Tyler, Minnesota—A warning to laymen against the tendency to let their pastors become “errand boys” was made by the president of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Rev. A. E. Farstrup told delegates to the AELC’s 84th annual convention that denominational congregations should organize themselves so that many more duties could be taken from the shoulders of their pastors. He said this was particularly important as the AELC moves into union with three other Lutheran bodies and pastors are busy with merger negotiations. Pastors, he advised, also must have time to study and meditate and to counsel with those seeking their help.

One of the actions taken at the AELC convention was ratification, by a vote of 260 to 7, of an agreement of consolidation with the Augustana Lutheran Church, the United Lutheran Church in America, and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (Suomi Synod). The four groups are of Danish, Swedish, German, and Finnish background.

Vernon E. Nelson, AELC statistician, reported that latest available figures credit the denomination with a total of 24,201 members.

At Cape Girardeau, Missouri—A resolution adopted at the 56th annual General Assembly of The Church of God urged aid to the Russian and Chinese people. It called on President Kennedy and Congress to “feed all the hungry of Russia and China from America’s overabundance in the greatest diplomatic move ever proposed.”

Presiding at the sessions was Bishop Homer A. Tomlinson of Queens Village, New York, where the church has its headquarters. He has been general overseer of the church since 1943 when he succeeded his father, Bishop A. J. Tomlinson, who founded the body in 1903. Current membership is about 74,000. The church is not connected with any other group having a similar name.

At Tacoma, Washington—The 25th General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church, Inc., saw ratification of a proposed change in the name of the denomination to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The change had been proposed by the preceding synod and consequently approved by a majority of the 11 presbyteries throughout the country.

The reason given for the name change was to avoid confusion with the Bible Presbyterian Church, Collingswood Synod, made up of churches formerly associated with the General Synod.

The new name became effective immediately and involves about 70 churches in the United States.

Elected moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church was Dr. John M. L. Young. Stated clerk is the Rev. Robert Hastings.

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At Cheyenne, Wyoming—Delegates to the seventh annual meeting of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches moved to establish the group as the official denominational body for Congregational churches that did not join in the merger with the Evangelical and Reformed Church.

The group has been in existence since 1955 and has from the outset expressed opposition to the merger which created the United Church of Christ.

At the most recent three-day meeting, some 370 delegates voted to launch a $4,000,000-$5,000,000 fund-raising drive and to authorize establishment of a “Congregational Center for Graduate Studies.”

At Lockland, Ohio—Churches and mass media were urged to awaken America “to the danger of Communist infiltration of youth and student groups” at the 11th annual meeting of the Baptist Bible Fellowship.

In a resolution adopted by nearly 1,000 delegates, the group appealed to the country’s schools to educate “our youth in our glorious American patriotic heritage.”

The fundamentalist Baptist Bible Fellowship, founded 11 years ago with 64 co-operating churches, now claims a 1,200-church fellowship and a “total membership and Sunday School enrollment constituency” of more than 1,000,000. A missionary arm supports 160 missionaries on 27 foreign fields. Affiliation is maintained with the International and American Councils of Christian Churches.

In another resolution, delegates declared that the United States should withdraw from the United Nations if Communist China is admitted.

In other actions, delegates called for an investigation of the World Federation for Mental Health, a UNESCO agency, charging it with being “an instrument of socialism, subversion and an enemy of biblical Christianity.” Members were urged to avoid use of the recently-published New Testament of The New English Bible.

Among convention speakers was past president John W. Rawlings, who lamented “the new-time religion” as having “turned churches into recreation halls, nurseries, social service agencies and psychological clinics.”

“The new-time religion,” said Rawlings, “is just a new worldly Mother Hubbard movement that covers everything and touches nothing. It is not the old-time religion of the Bible at all.”

Call for Chaplains

An urgent plea for volunteer chaplains is being made by Major General Frank A. Tobey, chief of Army chaplains. Some denominations will continue to have more than their share, but the expansion opens up the quotas for a number of others. Tobey observed that there already was a shortage of Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, and Jewish chaplains.

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Moving Ministers

An Ohio Congressman is sponsoring a bill to provide that the amount paid to a minister for moving expenses shall be deductible for income tax purposes.

Republican Representative Jackson E. Betts’ measure provides an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code that would exclude from taxable income “amounts received for moving himself and his immediate family, household goods, and personal effects to a place at which he is to perform duties as a minister of the Gospel, to the extent used by him for such moving.”

Betts pointed out that clergymen in many denominations are required to move from time to time by the custom or rules of their church bodies.

Moving expenses are ordinarily not deductible because the IRS holds that a person usually moves to secure a better position or avail himself of better environment and that moving, therefore, is a personal rather than a business expense.

The Ohio Congressman said the situation is different with regard to members of the clergy.

Brotherly Dispute

A new fight for control of the Lutheran Brotherhood, a billion-dollar fraternal life insurance society, is reported brewing.

A committee of 100 clergymen and laymen has been organized to attempt to call a special convention of society delegates.

Such a meeting, if called, would “review the conduct of the administration since the last convention and reorganize the administration if it appears feasible,” one of the leaders of the movement, Gordon A. Bubolz, said.

Bubolz, a director of the society for 18 years, supported the Lutheran Brotherhood’s management, led by Carl F. Granrud, president, when an attempt was made to unseat it at the society’s 1959 quadrennial convention. This time he is opposing Granrud.

One of the charges that will be made, Bubolz indicated, is that the directors of the brotherhood, on Granrud’s recommendation, set aside an action of the 1959 convention putting an age limit of 65 on company officials and department heads.

Bubolz claimed the board action meant that at least four of the society’s 12 directors, including Granrud, who were near retirement age, “voted to extend their own terms of office.”

The society has members from all Lutheran bodies, but has no official relationship with any particular denomination.

Mending Fences

On a cold day in 1778 British troops tore down a fence belonging to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia and burned it for firewood.

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The church, which is marking its 200th anniversary this month, never wrote off the loss.

In this case, the perseverance paid off to the tune of $18, recently paid by British Chancellor of the Exchequer Selwyn Lloyd—out of his own pocket.

Officially, the British government rejected the claim made by the rector of St. Peter’s, the Rev. Joseph Koci, for payment of the original debt plus compound interest of $756,000.

But Koci said that with receipt of Lloyd’s personal check for six pounds, eight shillings, and one penny, he would see that the account was closed.

“As for the compound interest,” he declared, “we can willingly forget it in the interests of Anglo-American amity.”

The $18 will he applied toward classroom renovation.

Holding Seats

The three Arab Christian members of the 120-member Israeli parliament were re-elected last month.

One was Elias Nakleh, Eastern Rite Catholic, a member of Premier David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai Party.

The others were Youssef Khamis, a Protestant Episcopalian, who is a member of the leftist Mapai Party; and Tewfik Toubi, a Greek Orthodox.

Communists increased the number of their seats from three to five. In Nazareth they gained almost half the votes.

More Angola Arrests

Portuguese secret police arrested four American Methodist missionaries in strifetorn Angola, according to an announcement from the Board of Missions of The Methodist Church in New York.

Two ministers and two laymen were taken into custody, the board said, adding that charges against the missionaries are unknown.

The arrests brought to five the number of American Methodist missionaries picked up by Portuguese police in Angola, where a civil war between white settlers and Africans has been raging for nearly six months.

The Rev. Raymond E. Noah of Palco, Kansas, was arrested July 14 and held for 28 days before being deported to Geneva.

Two of the missionaries, the Rev. Wendell Lee Golden of Rockford, Illinois, and Marion Way, Jr., of Charleston, South Carolina, were reportedly arrested in Luanda, capital of Angola.

The others, Fred Francel of Endeavor, Wisconsin, and the Rev. Edwin LeMaster of Lexington, Kentucky, were said to have been picked up by police in the city of Quessua.

Communist Cynicism

East German authorities, in a move branded by church circles in Berlin as one of unprecedented cynicism, barred Dr. Kurt Scharf, chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, from returning to East Berlin this month after he had paid an eight-hour visit to West Berlin on official business.

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The action was taken despite the fact that the East German officials, acceding to a request from the management of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, had issued a temporary pass to Scharf permitting him to cross the border barricades.

When Scharf, who has resided in East Berlin since 1951, returned to the border checkpoint, Communist police took away his East Berlin identity card and pass, ostensibly to investigate the documents. Thirty minutes later, he was informed that he would not be allowed to re-enter East Berlin and that the decision was “final and not subject to further discussion.” His identity card and pass were confiscated.

Reason given for Scharf’s expulsion was that he had retained his West Berlin identity card and thus failed to make clear his claim to East Berlin citizenship.

Fear was expressed that Scharf’s expulsion might result in a breakdown of German Lutheranism over the political barrier. The church is the only remaining major institution which operates on both sides of the divided Germany.

People: Words And Events

Deaths: The Rt. Rev. Theodore Nott Barth, 63, bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Tennessee; in Memphis … the Rt. Rev. Charles A. Clough, 58, bishop of the Episcopal diocese of central and southern Illinois; in Springfield … Dr. Thomas M. Johnstone, ex-moderator of the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church … Colonel P. L. DeBevoise, former national secretary of the Salvation Army; in Atlanta … the Rev. Joseph Scott, 93, a founder of the Church of God denomination and an adviser to William Jennings Bryan in the historic Scopes trial; in Chattanooga … the Rev. Norman S. Townsend, 44, newly appointed chaplain of Gordon College and Divinity School; in Wolfboro, New Hampshire.

Resignation: From the editorship of the Ohio Baptist Messenger, the Rev. R. G. Puckett.

Appointments: As professor of Bible and religious education at California Baptist College, Dr. Cecil M. Hyatt … as general director of The Evangelical Alliance Mission, Vernon Mortenson.

Elections: As president of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America, the Rev. Kenneth C. Hamilton … as moderator, National Assn. of Congregational Christian Churches, Laurance E. Frost.

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