History of the Brooklyn Council of Churches
List of Past Presidents
Significant Occasions and Celebrations
in the Lives of Brooklyn Churches
The Brooklyn Council of Churches originated as the “Brooklyn City Tract Society, Auxiliary to the American Tract Society.” The Brooklyn City Tract Society was founded as a branch of the American Tract Society in 1829 to “promote the interests of evangelical religion, by the systematic distribution within the bounds of Brooklyn of religious Tracts published by the American Tract Society; and to aid that Society, with all surplus funds, in extending its operations.” Originally focusing on the dissemination of religious literature and scripture, the Society soon expanded to offer religious services, and employed missionaries to extend their work throughout the City of Brooklyn. The Society’s name was changed in 1858 to “The Brooklyn City Mission and Tract Society” and in the same year its Constitution was amended to reflect this change.
The Society continued to prosper under its new name, employing both men and women as missionaries, and made active efforts to reach out to the underprivileged, including mothers and children, especially recent immigrants. Much of the Society’s work focused upon the idea of “American Christianity” with the hope of turning its wards into devout Christians and “reliable and helpful citizens.” Each missionary was charged with the task of visiting every tenement in his or her district, distributing literature and, if welcomed, establishing neighborhood prayer meetings.
In 1896 “The Woman’s Branch” of the Brooklyn City Mission and Tract Society was formally organized. Known as the “Women’s Auxiliary” from 1887 on, this division coexisted alongside the Society and “was to supplement the work of The City Mission, by taking up mission work to be done in homes among women and children. All Christian women were encouraged to join the Auxiliary, not necessarily to work as missionaries but to lend their prayers, influence, and financial support to the cause of missionary work.
The Society sponsored many activities aimed at drawing persons away from vices such as alcohol and gambling. Activities sponsored by the Society included lectures, Prayer Meetings, Bible Classes, and a Sewing School. The Society founded a “Floating Bethel” in 1893. This boat/meeting house was removed from the brothels and taverns of the waterfront and provided a space where sailors could come to read, write, rest, and pray.
In addition, the Society worked to “rescue the perishing” primarily through its City Mission Night Shelter for Homeless Men, which provided food, shelter, aid in obtaining employment, and religious services. The Society itself offered employment to many, running a broom factory and chair caning facility. These successful business ventures helped defray the costs of the Society’s charitable work.
As the Society continued to expand, it focused less on the dissemination of literature. Missionary work had become the Society’s primary function, and by 1906 it operated sixteen mission stations in Brooklyn. The Society chose to change its name accordingly in 1929, to the Brooklyn City Mission Society. The By-Laws were also amended declaring the Society’s objective, “to promote interdenominational missionary interests in the Borough of Brooklyn and to minister to the spiritual and material needs of the unfortunate.”
Shortly after this change in 1932, the Brooklyn City Mission Society took on the work of the Brooklyn Federation of Churches. The Federation had been established in 1920 to bring all Protestant denominations and races together in a cooperative effort to promote Christianity through religious education, social service, court work, and other venues. The two organizations operated side by side for many years, sharing a Secretary, Dr. Frederick M. Gordon, from 1926 to 1932. The Society again changed its name, this time to the Brooklyn Church and Mission Federation. The By-Laws of the Brooklyn City Mission Society were amended in accordance with the restructuring to declare a twofold objective:
1. To unite the Protestant Churches of Christ in Brooklyn for the prosecution of work that can better be done in union than in separation, and to secure a larger combined influence for the churches in all matters affecting the religious, moral and social welfare of the people, so as to promote the application of the law of Christ in every relation of human life.
2. To promote interdenominational missionary interests in the borough of Brooklyn, and to minister to the spiritual and material needs of the unfortunate.
The Federation continued to operate as such over the next decade, working throughout Brooklyn to reach out to a large, diverse, and changing community. With the Great Depression, the church had to rethink its mission, focusing more on service to the community and providing aid to those in need. Outreach during this time included mothers’ clubs, boys’ clubs, parole and court work, civic affairs conferences, industrial relations conferences, and population surveys. The Federation also began to focus on church unity, as it observed that cooperative efforts would “produce greater strength and a more definite program and positive results.”
In June 1946 the Federation “voted to amalgamate its program and activities with The Protestant Council of the City of New York to become the Brooklyn Division of the Council.” Although the Brooklyn Church and Mission Federation was not officially dissolved, the organization was now widely known as the Brooklyn Division of the Protestant Council of Churches. As such, the organization further shifted its focus to church unity and the future survival of the Protestant Church.
With the demographic changes of the early and mid twentieth century, the face of Brooklyn Protestantism had changed greatly. At the turn of the century, Protestants made up more than one-half of Brooklyn’s population. By 1950, Protestant Brooklynites had dropped to one-fifth of the total population. By the later half of the twentieth century, Protestants had become a religious minority within both the borough of Brooklyn and the city of New York, causing the church to reevaluate its position within the community. The Division expanded its field of social services to include work with veterans, hospital and jail chaplaincies, interracial projects, peace activities, and economic justice programs. The organization moved its focus toward social service and away from direct mission work, it strove to identify the church as an indispensable part of the community. In the late 1980s the body became known as “The Brooklyn Council of Churches.” The Council continued for the remainder of the twentieth century to use its influence as a united body with the community to strive for social reform to assist Brooklyn’s ever changing population.
Advocacy has included: Operation Breadbasket, Bank on Brooklyn (campaign against red-lining by banks), the emergency food distribution program, campaign against the In-Reming (seizing) of church property by the City of New York, support of the Burned Churches Fund of the National Council of Churches, repeal of the horrendous NYS fuel oil surcharge (tax) which had added 25% to your church fuel bill for many years, support of the clergy parking bill (A-60), successful opposition to the sale of Coney Island Hospital by NYC, opposition to apartheid (since it’s inception), handguns, sweatshops, excessive use of force by law enforcement, opposition to garbage collection fees for churches and fees for FDNY inspection of oil burners as well as Sunday morning FDNY fire inspections of churches, opposition to restrictive landmarking legislation of churches, opposition (unsuccessful) to the closing of St. Mary’s Hospital, removal of an indecent billboard from downtown Brooklyn and being the first voice city-wide against Sunday parking regulations. Sunday parking restrictions were removed on November 11, 2005.
We encourage your support. All churches who Profess Belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are welcome to participate as members.
Brooklyn Council of Churches Chronology
1829 July 22
“Brooklyn City Tract Society, Auxiliary of the American
Tract Society” founded
1858 Jan 30
|Name of “Brooklyn City Tract Society” changed to the“Brooklyn City Mission and Tract Society.” No longer
considered an auxiliary of the American Tract Society
1865 Feb 20
|Certificate of incorporation of “Brooklyn City Mission
and Tract Society” filed with the State of New York
1920 Sept 20
|“Brooklyn Federation of Churches” founded
1929 May 4
|Name of “Brooklyn City Mission and Tract Society”
changed to “Brooklyn City Mission Society
1932 Nov 16
“Brooklyn City Mission Society” takes over expenditures
and activities of “Brooklyn Federation of Churches”
1932 Dec 6
Name of “Brooklyn City Mission Society” changed to“Brooklyn Church and Mission Federation”
“Brooklyn Church and Mission Federation” voted to
amalgamate its programs and activities with “The
Protestant Council of the City of New York” to become
the “Brooklyn Division of the Council.” The ‘Brooklyn
Church and Mission Federation” would continue to exist,
operating for the benefit of the Brooklyn Division
||The "Brooklyn Division" conducts business as the “Brooklyn Council of Churches”
Reverend James H. Eggleston, Pastor, Cappadocia Ministries
Reverend Dr. John L. Pratt, Sr., Pastor, Zion Shiloh Baptist Church
Reverend Dr. Harvey P. Jamison, Pastor, Glorious Trinity Baptist Church
Reverend Dan Ramm, Pastor, Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church
Reverend Richard A. Miller, Pastor, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Mr. Charles E. Batson, John Wesley United Methodist Church
Mrs. Adele S. Hester, Greater Zion Shiloh Baptist Church
Reverend F. Goldthwaite Sherrill, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church
Miss Myra M. Gregory, Berean Missionary Baptist Church
Reverend David Murray, Pastor, Bethlehem United Church of Christ
Reverend Charles VanderBeek, Pastor, South Bushwick Reformed Church
Reverend Neville N. Simmons-Smith, Pastor, South Congregational Church
Reverend Walter S. Keiller, Pastor, Church of the Ooen Dorr
Mr. George E. Lawrence, Flatland Ecumenical Committee
Mr. Gordon M. Brown, Methodist Hospital of Brooklyn
Reverend Dr. V. Simpson Turner, Pastor, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church
Reverend David M. Cory, Th.D., Pastor, Homecrest Presbyterian Church
Reverend Robert W Howard, Pastor, Christ United Methodist Church
Reverend Dr. J. Henry Carpenter, Pastor, Flatbush Presbyterian Church
Reverend Dr. Harry H. Kruener, Pastor, Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims
Reverend Dr. George A. Cosper, Pastor, Greenwood Baptist Church
Reverend John Lewis Zacker, D.D., Rector, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
Reverend Dr. Floyd E. George, Pastor, Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church
Reverend Stanley Swan Slingerland, Pastor, Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church
Reverend Walter G.H. Jacobs, Rector, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church
Reverend Henri F. Gondret, Pastor, Grace Gospel Church
Reverend Linden Lindsay, Pastor, Cadman Memorial Congregational Church
Reverend J. Lane Miller, Pastor, Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church
Reverend Dr. John Emerson Zeiter, Pastor, Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church
Reverend Arthur Acy Rouner, Pastor, Cadman Memorial Congregational Church
Reverend Ernest A. Harding, Pastor, Messiah & Incarnation Lutheran Church
Reverend Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, Pastor, Concord Baptist Church of Christ
Reverend Oliver W. Powers, Pastor, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church
Reverend Henry A. Vruwink, Pastor, Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church
Reverend Dr. John Paul Jones, Pastor, Union Church of Bay Ridge
Reverend Dr. James Orlando Carrington, Pastor, First AME Zion Church
Reverend Kermit Castellanos, Rector, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
Reverend Dr. Alfred Grant Walton, Pastor, Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church
Reverend Hugh Dwight Darsie, Pastor, Flatbush Christian Church, Disciples
Reverend Dr. Cornelius B. Muste, Pastor, Old First Reformed Church
Reverend Dr. Ralph Emerson Davis, Pastor, St. Mark's United Methodist Church
Reverend Dr. William F. Sunday, Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
Reverend Dr. Phillips Packer Elliott, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
Reverend Dr. Quentin T. Lightner, Pastor, Baptist Church of the Redeemer
Reverend Alfred V. Price, Rector, St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Dyker Heights
Reverend Hartley J. Hartman, Pastor, Andrews United Methodist Church
Reverend Albert E. Roraback, Pastor, Church of the Evangel, Congregational
Reverend Dr. Herbert H. Field, Pastor, Church of the Evangel, Congregational
Reverend Dr. George A. Clarke, Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Reverend Martin Paul Luther, Pastor, New Utrecht Reformed Church
Mr. Edward H. Wilson
Reverend Dr. Frank E. Simmons, Pastor, Spencer Memorial Presbyterian Church
Reverend Dr. Harold S. Miller, Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Incarnation
Reverend Dr. John Howard Melish, Rector, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Reverend Dr. Joseph Dunn Burrell, Pastor, Classon Avenue Presbyterian Church
Reverend Dr. John Langdale, Pastor, New York Avenue Methodist Church
Reverend Dr. J. Frederic Berg, Pastor, Bedford Presbyterian Church
Reverend Dr. Samuel Parkes Cadman, Pastor Central Congregational Church
Reverend John B. Summerfield, Pastor, Sands Street Methodist Episcopal Church
Alfred H. Porter, Esq., Pilgrim Congregational Church
Alfred S. Barnes, Esq, Pilgrim Congregational Church
William W. Wickes, Esq., Presbyterian
Reverend Dr. Richard Salter Storrs, Pastor, Pilgrim Congregational Church
Reverend Benjamin C. Cutler, D.D., Rector, St. Ann's Episcopal Church
Reverend James S. 'Ichabod' Spencer, Pastor, Second Presbyterian Church
Bishop Charles Pettit McIlvaine, Rector, St. Ann's Episcopal Church
Significant Occasions and Celebrations in the
Lives of Brooklyn Churches
Dr. Samuel Parkes Cadman on
The Spiritual Value of Culture
The Rev. Dr. Samuel Parkes Cadman, pastor of the Central Congregational Church, Hancock street, near Bedford avenue, delivered the commencement address at Oberlin College on Thursday last. By request he incorporated much of it into his sermon yesterday morning in his own church. His subject was "The Spiritual Value of Culture." The address follows:
"The danger of college life to-day is in mediocrity. There is less distinction now than formerly in being a graduate. Our homes and streets swarm with them. There is more likelihood of dwelling on the ocmmon level, since that level is higher than it was. But not the less does the constant ascendancy of life call for your elevation in individuality, in aim and in achievement. The charm of novely is past, the very abundance of our academic privileges is sometimes a barrier to stern and deeper discipline. We must not cease to conspire with each returning day, to insist upon a new bias and a fresh authority, for those eternal truths toward which the whole creation moves and of which you are the representatives and the advocates.
"When the prophey speaks of how great men and women benefit human life he shows that they serve the race by arresting the drift, even as the desert rocks dams back the choking waste of sand. On the most distant horizon of history, in dim legends, in folk-lore, in song and story, we discern the evidences of this audacity. Generally the bold ones paid the penalty their temerity excited. Like the ancient banner which meant victory to the cause, but death to the bearer, so they made their protest and sealed it with sacrifice. But the philosophy of the past and all its healing of hurt and proclamation of gospel reveals dependence upon great characters, whose discernment substituted true for conventional morality, whose effort removed the accretions of error whic hlesser men had cast upon the eternal difference God has set between right and wrong. The abolition of slavery, the emancipation of women, the essential nobility of labor, the cleansing of social fountains, the removal of the relics of barbarism and the wrongs of civilization, the purification of speech and the triumphs of art and science and literature have been largely accelerated, when not actually caused, by free individuality moving under the compulsion of love and righteousness. Unto this end Oberlin stands appointed to emphasize the spiritual value of culture.
"Perhaps it will be better understood if we define our terms. Matthew Arnold was a man seriously impaired by prejudice and insular assurance, but his every word on the question of culture, is worthy of careful consideration. He rebuked John Bright for his fling at the friends and preachers of culture. He severely arraigned Frederck Harrison, the brilliant leader of the positivist school, for his statement that the very silliest rant of the day was the rant about culture. But if we remember the medieval tinge of some English schools the strictures of these men can be read in a new light. These schools suffered not coeducation, the resented science, they emphasized some useless studies. The unreal assumptions, the sickly cast, the absence of sympathy, the inertness and apathy against which John Bright protested, have damaged the influence of the den and the academic.
"But Dr. Arnold is stronger in his positive account of what culture really means that he is in his negative criticism. It is a desire to stagment the excellency of our own mixture to render an intelligent being more intelligent, having its origin, not in curiosity, as we use that term, but in a love of perfect life. Two sentiments are pervasive. First, the scientific passion for well ordered knowledge, and again the divine passion for doing good. To see, to learn the truth and make the truth the prevailing power of all life. This is culture, according to the apostle of sweetness and light. Simply to cherish these things for ourselves, to disassociate the one sentiment from the other, is a proceeding fraught with disaster. And this disaster. And this stands related vitally to all spiritual forces, because the conclusion they reach is an identified one. It is religion in its pregnant sense, and I am using the terms because they are different in meaning as much as for mental convenience.
"The final word of the Book of Books declares that the kingdom of God is within you. You are asked to make endless additions to self, in expansion of powers, in growth, in wisdom and beauty, and to reach this ever removing state the college has been instituted. But the expansion must be a general one. If you refuse to keep what you have by constantly bestowing it on those who have it not, you will not lose it. It is a twice blessed state, it blesseth him that gives and him than takes.
"Further, the gracious mingling of those elements in the due proportion saves from the excess against, which the Greeks masters warn us. Any neglect destroys the equipoise. The religious forces to-day need the grace, the geniality, the freedom of ths scholarly spirit, and scholarship needs the impulse of consecration, which devotion of God and man supplies. Sometimes these two elements have received names derived from the national exponents. They have been called hellenism and helbraism -- the tendencies toward perceiving, knowing, and also toward doing. But such distinctions should be carefully guarded; they are all absorbed in the sublime monotony of righteousness, which is the essential, the final, the supreme law of development for the individual, the nation, and the face. Wealth, arms, art, trade, government, must take their chance under that sovereign governance, and they should be cherished in the proportion of their service unto this end. Conscience is more than taste and moral blamelessness to be preferred before the cleverness of the senses; harmonized passions are the sweetest music and the purest delights are in the train of a profound and practical moral sense. When Mr. Arnold says that culture goes beyond religion, as religion is generally conceived by us, he indulges in specious talk which cannot fail to prove fatal to all good issues. The melancholy examples which show failure on a large scale because of the unwillingness or inability of nations to maintain the priority of God and His laws in their systems of knowledge were well known to this pleader. The world could not live by an incomplete message in the past. It needs the whole truth to-day. Holiness is wholeness, and wholesomeness, too, the standard, when rightly understood, of complete harmonious perfection.
"There is at present an aloofness from popular religion upon the part of earnest, thoughtful men. True this unfortunate condition is not without its brilliant exceptions, for which we feel profoundly grateful toward separateness upon the part of the learned and the wise. I sometimes wonder if we have not left the truth at some vital points quite as much as these people, and I opine that a mutual understanding would be beneficial to all concerned. But a truce to the painful query. Is it an outgrowth of this discussion to be mentioned in passing?
"The spiritual value of culture in mental discipline is an offset to the material and superficial estimates of this wealthy age. The possession of the atmosphere by the mind, the filling of it with principles and song and music, these were a more enduring possession for Germany than her conquests of a later day. England's coal fields may become exhausted but her glory in Shakespeare and Milton, Tennyson and Browning, cannot fade. Our true greatness is not in braggart shouts concerning power and resources, but in the strength and dignity and inspiration of our social countenance set against any wrong. The inestimable service you render others by patient self mastery and painful toil is felt wherever you move as a corrective for that fatal superficiality of temper which breeds cheap men, cheap thinking, cheap phrases, cheap hymns, cheap everything, and reinforces the burden of shoddy product beneath which we groan. The indirect influence of such sacrificial labor upon the world is an unexplored realm. And you can have no evangel for others which has not cost you weary toll. A few choice, close thinkers formed a band which liberated Europe. They were the noiseless forces overwhelming ancient traditions, and no man can write the history of modern days without continually recognizing their efforts. But they could not have done this were they not first the masters of themselves.
"So, let us cheerfully accept the drudgery of thinking, the unfamiliar as against the common, the hard work and unremitting sweat of brain which brings your thought and aim to heel at call. In such efforts, renewed daily, the fog lifts, the illusions scatter, you see men as trees walking and the first meaning of 'ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free' dawn across the soul. When the real temper of mind and heart necessary to knowledge and growth and service has been acquired, you perceive in the studies you follow the hidden secrets they will reveal only to the initiated.
"Take art, which is praise, dealing with beauty only, as science and literature deals with facts, and what to know, so art teaching us what to feel and enjoy rightly. In its constructive side the artist finds joy in the power given him to manifest God's glory; on the interpretive side He brings to others an intelligent appreciation and even rapture in the works of the Supreme.
"The world's no blot nor blank when thus laid hold of by cultured processes. Its meanings are our meat and drink. No glory passes away from the earth when we view it with clarified vision. The light of common day is the same radiance undimmed in splendor which first glided the solitary peak with the torch of dawn. And when we recognize that no bush, nor flower, nor river, nor the ground on which we tread, but is a divine thought, throbbing with the presence of God, then that sense of sacred unity will throw on the canvas its own beauty and give new meaning to the chisel which reveals the heart of marble.
"Bishop Westcott shows us that Christian art, through the fact of the incarnation, has given a wholly new significance to all nature and to all life. It has brought a sacramental element into all that touches our senses and its special aim is to realize beauty in life in the light of faith, to find in humanity and nature, despite ravages, the clew to the events which is creation's crown, that the word became flesh. Manhood is not, for the Christian artist, as it was for the Greek, the final type of the highest, but a sign and a pledge of the spiritual destiny of the finite. Here all rudimentary powers require seriousness and cultivation; here, as it seems to me, is the hope of this great pursuit, its redemption from folly, its cleansing from stain; here is the spiritual crown of mechanical methods and cultured means, and here, as everywhere, the unity I am trying to enforce most signally prevails.
"The fascination for the scenes and haunts of the older portions of the world is not because their native beauties are superior to those more recently known. The Alps are not above the Andes and the Rockies in this respect. Rather it is because in these great books of God we have no longer conned and the light of this interpretation is more concentrated upon the Rhine then upon the Hudson. And when our sceneries are spiritualized, and indeed, they are in part, as by Whittier in New England, they will be afresh invested with new delights and praises. Surely the words of Pericles should be ours too, possessing the country we do. "We are devoted to beauty, while we guard frugality; we are devoted to wisdom without the loss of manliness.' And when the soul has reached these treasures thus placed before it, the man and the woman will find no rest until their life corresponds with their patrimony.
"The spiritual value of literature; what a theme, with unsuspected heights and depths. I mention it since for mention it clamors, but any reference must be bare and fragmentary. So rich and suggestive are the various enticements of this topic, one is tempted to linger. Yet finals ends can only be attained by final means, and compromise here is frequent and sometimes it sullies the record. Popular education has been set back by tawdry books. Knowledge has been laid waste for by a spread of ephemeral and harmful literature. We may not share the taste of an old Highland deerstalker, but we can admire it. He lived fifteen miles from human intercourse and the good Bishop of Stepney asked if he might send him some magazines with which to employ the long winter evenings. 'No,' he replied, 'I have not wish for light stuff such as that, but could you get me a copy of the Sermons of Jonathan Edwards?' And then he added, 'He gives such a grand account of the scheme of redemption!' Such words echo in the heart of a true student. They should warn us that there is a sinister side to the shield, when we expatiate on the infinite blessings of literature. Think of the misuse of books, the debilitating waste of brain, in aimless, promiscuous reading or even in the poisonous inhalation of mere garbage. No book can be more than the man who wrote it; it may be less, and many are not desirable companions. Art we not in danger of seeking stimulus rather than solidity, of stuffing our minds with the trivial or the merely curious, of neglecting the nutritive elements of reading and the spiritually sustaining; of reading about Milton and Goethe rather than reading them, of dallying with the books of the day rather than pondering over the books of the ages, the precious heirlooms of our race?
"An impotent veracity for desultory information must be subdued, the abiding must be sifted from the evanescent parts of knowledge. Then comes discrimination, choice, system, comprehension, fitness and the highest contact, the finding of the very eye of God, so to speak, for every girl and woman before me. Our stately Milton said, 'As good almost kill a man as kill a good book.' In the great republic of letters the spirit of freedom and equality prevails: here is seen the inmost min of man, apart from shrouding mantle and disguise, no introduction is needed. We hear Johnson moralize and Burke perorate and Wordsworth muse on the dewy hillside and Scott tell his necromancers without asking leave or paying toll. And out of this wondrous realm there come trooping all the gracious and blessed forces which have spun electric thoughts from mind to mind, dissolved barriers, plucked down the mighty and exalted the humble and the weak. And since no volume can endure which does not respect the sanctions of divine law and reverence truth in its innermost parts, one may easily see the spiritual value of a knowledge of literature pursued in right lines.
"Theology finds vent in fiction, in the doctrines of the conscience as you have it in 'Romola' and 'The Scarlet Letter.' George MacDonald and Mrs. Humphry Ward expound their religious systems or lack thereof, in the form of a tale. The best and purest Christian optimism flows out of Browning's deep springs of though. Tennyson's services to the faith in his 'In Memoriam' can be dimly seen now he is gone, when you read his biography. He saved Oxford from agnosticism by this single poem, as surely as Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe doomed slavery by a second rate novel and James Russell Lowell smooth the nation's conscience with his glorious verse. Why should I linger to demonstrate further the value of culture as a spiritual force, or the spiritual value of the forces of culture, take it as you will? I can but hint at the revolution in the attitude of scientific thought in the past ten years. Had I stood here a decade ago these hints would have been denied by the trend of opinion among cultured scientists. They are not denied to-day. She has discovered her sheer inability to cast out God from her thinking, and the utterances of Professor Romanes, the later words of even Mr. Huxley, and the last word of Mr. Spencer would indicate that the tidal wave of materialistic agnosticism which threatened to become a mania is lowering its crest.
"We advocate that each life grow on its own root, and that root should be deeply fastened in God. We believe self-knowledge leads to self-reverence, self-control, and these conduct life to sovereign power. And above all we hold true to the Christian interpretation of life, to seek to know, to learn, to love, to serve, to die, as John Richard Green said, learning to die as Jesus did, loving, these are our ultimates. The busy world swallows up our graduates year by year, but the soul instilled here finds its familiar outside and works and waits in mingling of labor and of faith for the new day.
"When John Richard Green spent an evening with Gladstone he says of him: 'I felt proud of my leader, because he was so noble of soul.' Let us so live and act here that we may keep the soul of this nation alive and masterly. This is the supreme care for which God invested you with life and sex and peculiar facilities. Others are seeking lower ends; some in anarchy would destroy all. But we go out from these cloistered retreats to maintain the spirit of a mighty people, to give it force, direction, courage, purity and Godward aim. And this can be a common pursuit until the manhood and womanhood of America, free without license, and fearless without pride, and tender without maudlin weakness, becomes the revelation and crown of culture in spiritual realms.
Dr. Cadman will not be in his pulpit again until the second Sunday in September. He and his family sail on Friday for England. During July and August the Central and Tompkins Avenue Congregational will hold union services.
Publication: Brooklyn Eagle; Date: January 30, 1902
Banquet of the Reformed Church Social Union
A Large Gathering of Clergymen and Laymen -- Interesting Addresses by
Rev. Messrs., Davis, Drury, Van Dyke, Wells and Others.
The Reformed Dutch Church Social Union of Brooklyn and vicinity held its first anniversary dinner last evening in Wilson's parlors, 153 Pierrepont street. At 7:30 o'clock 150 guests seated themselves in the large dining room and did justice to a tempting menu.
The tables extended the full length of the room and one across at the head, where the speakers of the evening were placed. The right center table was occupied by representatives from the Bedford, Williamsburgh, South Bushwick and Flatbush churches; the left center by Flatlands, Van Pelt, New Lots, New Utrecht, South Reformed and First Reformed churches, while at the side table were represented the Greenpoint, South Bushwick and Flatbush churches and the church on the Heights. At a small table on the right East New York and Gravesend were represented. No vacant seats were to be seen, and altogether it was a successful, happy gathering. The present of the social union is the Rev. Dr. C. L. Wells, of the Flatbush Church; the vice president is the Rev. George Huest, of the South Bushwick Church; the Rev. William H. Boocock, of Flatbush, is secretary, and the Rev. Nicholas Pearse, of New Lots, is treasurer. The committee having charge of the collation was composed of Rev. Nicholas Pearse, Rev. A.D. Mason, of South Brooklyn, and Rev. Edgar Tilton, of Bethany Chapel.
When two hours had elapsed and the menu had become a thing of beauty rather than of use, the president arose at the head of the table and made a brief address. He said:
The Social Union was organized one year ago with the object in view of drawing together the ministers of the Reformed churches in Brooklyn and vicinity and becoming better acquainted. This had been a year of success; not successful as to numbers, but as to the object which has been aimed at. He felt encouraged to see so large a gathering before him. It had been said the way to get Dutchmen together was to offer to feed them. This had been done, and they had even been allowed to pay for their own tickets. Now was the time to become better acquainted. They had been too much occupied in others; there was not enough denominationalism in the Dutch Reformed Church. It was liberal to its own detriment and should to-day stand in the front ranks as to weight and numbers. Their first religious services were held in Kings County prior to 1654, making them the oldest, though not the strongest, as to numbers. The way to serve Christ best was to build up their own church. It was made up of the good men of the Methodist, Presbyterian and other churches, all of whom make good loyal Dutchmen. This year was one of marked success in mission work. It exceeded every other year, except the one when Dr. Chamberlain raised the big subscription for the seminary in India. The receipts of missionary work had been $117,000, of which $8,000 had been legacies. The past should be an incentive for the future. The sum of $117,000 this year should mean $125,000 next year and $130,000 the one following, and expand with each succeding year. The speaker hailed the large gathering as a good omen for hte future, and hoped they would always stand together in unity as he saw them before him.
The Rev. John b. Drury, editor of the Christian Intelligencer, was next presented to the audience. His subject was "The Church Paper." Mr. Drury said that he attributed the success of the past year over other years to the fact that one year ago they organized. It was a pity it was not the centennial instead of the first anniversary they were celebrating. If that were the case the Dutch would have taken Brooklyn long ago [laughter/] All knew the prominence and weight of the newspaper. The church paper was the pastor's first and chief assistant in his work. If Paul had lived in these days he would have been an editor. He would then have had more than one thorn in the flesh. [Laughter.] It was surprising how many swift rebuking words found their mark in the editor of a paper when the fault lay not with him. A good woman had died and became a saint. They all became saints when they died. [Laughter.] The obituary notice stated she had entered into her eternal rest. The compositor made it her eternal roast. [Laughter.] When the millennium comes every one will use typewriters and the editor will be more secure. The Reformed Church should be made to prosper and grown through an agency which will bring them together. The church paper was such an agency. The little girl who asked God in her prayer to make her like a certain baking powder -- absolutely pure -- but read the Christian Intelligencer. A good word now and then should be said for the church paper. The church people should write for it. They should have some things to say and say it. Then they should stop. It was their paper alone and they should support it. No money was made from it for it went in no field but theirs. He hoped they would work for it, write for it, and, as it was a part of the agency in connection with God's church, he trusted they would pray for it.
Mr. Silas B. Dutcher acted as a substitute for Rev. William W. Knox, of Bayonne, who was unavoidably absent. Mr. Dutcher said that he had acted as substitute for a minister at a funeral, and once, on account of his looks, had been asked to occupy the pulpit in a Methodist church, but he had never undertaken to fill a minister's place after dinner. He was a good feeder and too much of a Dutchman to be called on at so late an hour. Someone had expressed the fear that he would say something about politics. That reminded him of an old Whig in Massachusetts who quit going to church because the minister talked politics from the pulpit. Finally a new minister was installed and he went to hear him. On the way home a friend said: :Wasn't that a good sermon? No politics there!" "I don't know," said the old man, "Didn't he pray that the wickedness of the wicked might cease, and who could he have meant but the Democrats?" [Laughter,] The speaker had great faith in the Dutch Church and great faith in the ladies of the organization. The Dutch Church was bringing in the best of other churches and he was glad to see the Social Union turn out so strong in numbers. He was better on a short dinner than a long one and the same way with speeches, so would say good-night.
Rev.. John G. Van Syke was the next speaker. Referring to his invitation to be present and speak at the dinner of the Social Union, he likened himself to the Irishman who was asked it he would enjoy a glass of whisky. "Bedad," said Pat, "I thought it was an angel that was whisperin' to me." So, though the invitation was not couched in celestial language, he felt flattered and honored on receiving it. He was a mossback and lived in that serene, quioet place where Rip Van Winkle slept so long and so was rather lost in such an assemblage. He felt like the farmer who had tied a part of steers to his leg while he let down the bars. The steers ran away and when the old man came to he said he had discovered his mistake before he had gone five years. [Laughter.] The rope was already around the speaker's leg and he must make the best of it. Nothing was more characteristic of the Dutch Church than amiability, self complacency. It was the ideal church. In one way, knowing this had been their bane, they had felt thast too vigorous exertion would be useless and took things too east. Softness was nice, but not the best trait when it came to character. The Dutch Church was like butter in a warm climate -- there was too little self assertion. This was good for their neighbors, but not for themselves. The Dutch Church had buttered the bread of life for many other churches in Kings County. In India the natives cooked steak by cutting holes in it and inserting pieces of hippopotamus fat. He could pick out plenty of Dutch fat in the steak of New York and Brooklyn. The Methodists guide all their streams so they never overflow their banks; the Episcopalian and other churches do the same. The Dutch Church was overoverflowing and irrigating all around its channel with its waters of kindness, love and sympathy. All this was generous, but neighter wise nor necessary. The speaker then related an anecdote of a Scotch minister who, by the interpolation of the pronoun he after the Scotch custom thus exclaimed his text, which was : "The devil goeth about like a roaring lion." "First," said the minister, "we want to know who the devil he was; second , where the devil he was going, and third, what the devil he was roaring about." [Laughter.] the speaker's platitude was that the devil was very busy roaring yet and was not embarrassed for foom. Men were too unconcerned and took too little general interest in religion. The world wassaturated with secularism. the church had to compete with so many fascinations that it was considered almost superfluous. The church was considered, by too many as a place of rescue for men who came to it, instead of the greate engine room where the force was generated to go out and save men. It was not a sunken island that the tide overflowed, but they must realize that it stands avove the world and should exhibit greater activity and come down upon it. The church should be the externalized action of the Holy Ghost. The hearthstone and pulpit should be drawn more closely together and the church should come in contact with the actual world which surrounded it. Lincoln once said a man's legs should be long enough to reach from his body to the ground. So the church should have legs long enough to reach the ground and to traverse it in every direction.
Dr. Wesley B. Davis, of the Church on the Heighs, made a brief closing address. He said it was contrary to the Duitch custom to invite a man to a feast and then ask him to pay for it and after it was over to pay for it. [Laughter.] He had heard some things said about the church paper and had heard the editor giving counsel to the contributors. He had felt like talking back. The editor had said first to have something to say then to say it. Mr. Davis said to the editor, first have something to pay and then pay it. The day was past when the paper should be nursed by the church. He believed iit should cover larger fields. This was a realm of reality. The clergyman of to-day have to grapple with the spiritual questinos of life. The old type of clergyman thundering religion from a desk was not required now. Man must come in contact with man and feel the currents of the maelstom of life about him if he would lift up the spirit. There was never so much of the Christian spirit in mankind as now. The Dutch Church had always been at the front with its helpfulness. He did not believe it needed to be so careful, as a speaker had impliet, about preserving all ifs forces. The Dutch Church had enough spinal column and to share> [Applause.] He was glad to be with the Dutch church and would be solidly Dutch the rest of his life. [Applause.] He would not be an honest sinner if he did not repent being absent from the Social Union so much in the past, but hoped to be present every session and would promise to be at every dinner [laughter] in the future.
Rev. Mr. Wells then made a few closing remarkds and the exercises were concluded by the singing of the Doxology.
Publication: Brooklyn Eagle; Date: May 14, 1890
Growth of a Big Church
Important Celebration in the Classon Avenue Presbyterian Church -- Sermon
the First Pastor, Dr. Duryea -- An Interesting Historical Statement
The thirtieh anniversary of the founding of the Classon avenue Presbyterian church was celebrated morning, afternoon and evening yesterday, and a further celebration will take place on Tuesday evening, hwen there will be a reception in the chapel, with an address by the Rev. Dr. Theodore L. Cuyler, who took part in the installation of the first pastor, the Rev. Dr. Joseph T. Duryea, now at the First Reformed Church, in the eastern district. The platform was beautifully decorated with growing palms and flowers.
Previous to the sermon yesterday morning by Dr. Duryea, the pastor, the Rev. Joseph Dunn Burrell, made a historical statement, which contained some interesting facts. On December 10, 1866, there was a meeting of the sessions of the First and Lafayette avenue Presbyterian churches, at the request of the former, in the lecture room of the latter, to consider the question of establishing a new church somewhere east of Washington avenue, in the Seventh ward. A committee, consisting of Edward A. Lambert and James Robinson, was appointed to look into the matter. On December 20 the committee reported.
On March 11, 1867, a meeting was held at Mr. Walbridge's house. John Gibb, D.G. Walbridge, Henry A. Jones, James Robinson, J. March Martin, R. Ruddick, Joseph A. McDougall, J. Henry Smith, J.E. Eastmond, Theodore Eastmond and W.B. Burkhout were present. The sum of $3,100 was subscribed toward buying lots for the church edifice. On. March 26, 1867, trustees were chosen and the corporation of the Classon avenue Presbyterian church formed. The present site was afterward purchased, a chapel built and dedicated June 30. In July the presbytery of Brooklyn organized the church, with John Gibb, O.G. Walbridge and James Robinson as elders. Mills root, John Rhodes, and J. Marc Martin as deacons and fifty-seven members, among whom the following are still members: Miss Laura Berry, Mrs. Orlando H. Jadwin, Mr. and Mrs. Willam Harlan Page. On December 3, 1867, the Rev. Joseph T. Duryea, then of the Collegiate Reformed church of New York, was called as pastor, and on December 26 he was installed, the Rev. Dr. Thomas S. Hastings, lately president of Union Theological seminary, preaching the sermon. Dr. Robinson charging the pastor and Dr. Cuyler the people. At two communion services 128 persons joined, and in less than a year it was necessary to enlarge the chapel.`
On December 1, 1868, the cornerstone of the present church was laid and the building was dedicated January 2, 1870, having cost something over $100,000. The total cost of the ground, the original chapel and the present church was $128,000. The membership at dedicastion was 399. Dr. Duryea's pastorate lasted twelve years, he resigning in 1879, when the membership was 836 and Duryea chapel was founded. The Rev. Dr. David R. Frazer, second pastor, was called from the First Presbyterian church in Buffalo January 1, 1880. He was installed March 4, 1880, the Rev. Dr. J. M. Ludlow, now of Orange, preaching the sermon and the Rev. Drs. J.D. Wells and Cuyler charging pastor and people. December 12, 1880, there were subscriptions to the church debt of $30,537 and pews owned by individuals and valued at $40,000 were surrendered, making a total of over $70,000 toward the liquidation of the debt. The Rev. Dr. Leander T. Chamberlain had a successful pastorate of seven years, from 1883 to 1890. He was called from the Broadway Congregational church of Norwich, Conn., on May 16, 1883, and was installed October 11, the Rev. Dr. Francis L. Patton, now president of Princeton university, preaching the sermon, and Drs. Cuyler and Charles Cuthbert Hall giving the charges to pastor and people. Mr. Burrell began his work in 1892 and since his coming the Wyckoff Heights chapel has been established and all debt paid off on the entire property of the Classon avenue church.
The Rev. Dr. Duryea took his text yesterday from Matthew xvi:18: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church." Among other things he said: "Analyzed this passage means, "Tho are Peter" (petros -- a piece of rock), "and upon this rock (petra), of which thou are a part, I will build my church." The one foundation of the structure is laid, which is Christ Jesus. Upon this the apostles were built as the first tier of sontes of the edifice. Upon them rested the next generation and so on down to ourselves. We as a church rest on the life of those who went before us, as those who come next shall rest on us. The church is, therefore, a living body, not an organization, not an institution, but the company, gathered anywhere at any time......... In time of His apostles and made the New Testament. For Christ neither wrote Himself nor commanded anyone else to write. This living church, out of which came the divine word, takes that word to itself and so is nourished. But the life it lives is the one thing of most importance. This living spirituality is what the church has to bring as its gift to the generation in which we live. Here is the answer to skepticism. Doubts vanish in the presence of one good man. Here is the antidote to that superabounding worldliness which casts over our human society an indifference in the things of the soul which is worse than skepticism. The temper of our day is accurately revealed in the fact that in the financial distress which has come upon us, men, instead of flying to God for help to bear their burdens manfully, instead of deploring their sins, deplore the loss of their money. Men think far more of their earthly possessions than they do of their eternal destiny. In the gospel of Christ is that which can meet also the needs of the generation nex to come. When this church was first built I used to come in here on a Sunday afternoon and look over the infant class sitting up in yonder alcove. Where are those boys and girls now? Everyone of them is a man or a women to-day -- except those who passed from this life to the next. Are they faithful men and women? Are they living the Christian life? It is a searching question. It suggests to me to say this, that the time to get hold of any generation is in childhood. Every boy of a Christian home ought to stand here confessing Christ before his 16th year. So from generation to generation we carry on the great work of the living church."
In the afternoon there was a meeting of the Sunday schools of the Classon avenue church, the Duryea church and the Wyckoff Heights chapel, the boys' brigades of Duryea church and the home church being present in uniform. On the platform with the Rev. Mr. Burrell who presided, were the Rev. John E. Fray of Duryea church, and the Rev. Dr. Frazer.
The Rev. Dr. Frazer made an address which pleased the children greatly. He emphasized the duty of honoring fathers and mothers, serving Christ and being true to the word of God. He said that infidelity was doing its best to overthrow the Bible. "It can't be done," he said. "This book no more needs my poor little defense than God needs me to help light the stars."
At night the Rev. Dr. Leander T. Chamberlain preached to a large audience. He took his text from Revelation iii:8: "Behold I have set before thee an open door and no man can shut it." In the course of the sermon Dr. Chamgerlain said: "On a circular letter sent out by a group of prominent men lately. In the interest of a certain philanthropy, was a picture of a church door bearing these words: "No misconception could be more perverse." The open door which is meant is not that which leads into the church, but that which the church itself is to enter. The picture is not that of the shepherd opening the gate of the sheepfold to let the sheep enter, but the shepherd searching all over the mountains for the lamb that is lost. The mission of the church is not to invite the masses in, but to go out and seek them in the highways and hedges. The church has its mission to the rich, whom it reminds "that to whom much is given, of him much shall be asked.", it points them to the great white throne, where account must be given. But the church's chief message must always be to the multitude, to the poor. To them it goes with medicine, with disease, relief for famine, clothing for want, cleanliness for impurity, and love. To all the world it carries the gospel of the divine love, knowing no distinction of persons and setting upon every soul the estimate of heaven, that it is worth being bought with the blood of the only begotten Son of God.."
Publication: Brooklyn Eagle; Date: March 15, 1897
Thousands of Sunday School Children
Have a Day's Outing
Rivalry at the Bridge Dock
The Tompkins Avneue Congregational Church and the Baptist Temple
Left Almost Simultaneously, Hanson Place M.E. Church Children
to Long Beach. An Eastern District Excursion.
The cool breezes that were blowing this morning did not in the least lessen the number of people who had decided to go on several excursion parties that left the city today. Two very large parties sailed from the bridge deck at 9:30 o'clock. They were the Sunday schools of the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church and the Baptist Temple, at Third avenue and Schermerhorn street. The excursion steamers Grand Republic and General Slocum were chartered to carry the excursionists, and when the steamers cut loose from the dock they were crowded with a happy, joyous lot of young people and a good number of the parents, friends and Sunday school superintendents and teacher. The excursionists began to arrive fully one hour before the time appointed for the departure of the steamers, and committeemen from the different churches were stationed at the entrance to the dock selling tickets for the respective organizations. The men of the Tompkins Avenue Church wore bright yellow badges and those representing the Baptist Temple had blue badges pinned to their coats; and there was much friendly and amusing rivalry between them as they announced that tickets were for sale for the separate excursions. There was, however, no delay in getting away from the dock. Exactly at 9:30 o'clock sharp, the time set for the boats to sail, the last warning whistle blew. The Tompkins Avenue Sunday School was the first to get away, as the Grand Republic which had been chartered by them, was on the outside. The members of the Baptist Temple Church, on board the General Slocum, cheered them and gave them a parting salute as they moved off. It did not take long for the General Slocum to follow her sister boat out into the stream, and in a few ........
The Grand Republic, it was estimated, had on board about 2,000 people. The Tompkins Avenue excursionists went to Empire Grove, on the Hudson River, about forty-five miles up. Therre was no prepated programme for the amusement of the excursionists on the way up, but a band of music enlivened the trip with popular airs. For the grove a series of games and contest were arranged, including a 50 yard dash, a bicycle race, broad jump and a baseball game. A.W. Webster and the Rev. Dr. MMeredith, will keep a watchful eye on their flocks. It is expected that the steamer will arrive at the bridge dock on its return trip at 7 o'clock.
On the General Slocum there were nearly 2,300 excursionists from the Baptist Temple. their destination was Locust Grove, on the sound. A feature of this excursion party was that all the Sunday school children were carried free of charge, and only the adult members of the congregation were taxed for the trip. The music was furnished by the Baptist Temple Guards, of seventeen pieces, with Professor E.M. Bowman, the organist of the church, as the leader. There was also a piano on board,. On the return trip patriotic songs and hymns will be sung by the entire party. To assist in this a number of hymns and songs were printed in the programmes distributed. A number of events have also been arranged to be run off at the grove, and the only thing that is likely to mar the day's pleasure will be cool breezes on the homeward trip. Nearly all the excusionists prepared for this and carried overcoats and wraps along.
Another excursion to leave this borough this afternoon at 2 o'clock the sixth annual excursion of the Maltese Encampment No. 27, Knights of St. John and Malta, and the young people of the several churches of the Eastern District sailed on the iron steamboat Cygnus. The steamer was chartered to go to Boynton Beach, but on account of the mines in the harbor, the boat will not round Staten Island, but will take a sail up the Hudson River instead. The organizations, beside the knights to take part in the trip were the Young People's Association of Christ Church, Rivington League of the First Free Baptist Church, Young People's Society of the Christian Endeavor Society of the New England ......
Publication: Brooklyn Eagle; Date: January 18,1898
Siloam Presbyterian Church Holds a Celebration
The fiftieth anniversary of the Siloam Presbyterian Church, Prince street, near Willoughby, was celebrated last evening. The event will be concluded to-night. The history of the church has been given. An effort is now being made to relieve it from debt.
Last night's services opened with a prayer by the Rev. Dr. Alexander, followed by a piano selection by the organist of the church, Herman Hurlong. Dr. Alexander then introduced the Rev. W.R. Lawton, who preceded Dr. Alexander as pastor of the church. Mr. Lawton reviewed the work of the church, and told an interesting incident in regard to the raising of the necessary amount of money to begin the erection of the church. The amount needed was $2,000. The membership, he said, was not very large at that time and it was decided to tax each family $30. The single members of the congregation were let off with half that amount. The members of the church then wet to work with a will and many were the schemes which were adapted to raise the amount. Entertainments of every description were held and a few months after the call for funds had been sent out the money was in the hands of the pastor. Mr. Lawton then told of the dedication of the building and of how the membership increased after the building had been completed. He said that under the wise direction of the present pastor the church had incresaed in membership and that many debts were being liquidated.
Dr. Alexander then spoke briefly upon the celebration. He said that the event which the church was now celebrating was the fifthieth anniversary of the corporate organization of the church and not the fiftieth anniversary of the church. He stated that the church had been in existence for a year and a half before it was formed into a corporate body and the fiftieth anniversary of the church had been celebrated last year.
The Rev. W.T. Dixon of the Concord Baptist Church then made a congratulatory address.
At. to-morrow night's services, which will close the celebration, all of the living trustees and officials of the church, who have served from the first to the present year, will be in attendance and relate some events which occurred at the time they served.
Publication: Brooklyn Eagle; Date: November 30, 1900
Close of a Week's Celebration in the Concord
Baptist Church -- Addresses by Clergymen
The fiftieth anniversary of the Concord Baptist Church, which began on Sunday evening last in the church edifice, was brought to a close last night by a grand jubilee service, in which a number of ministers and choirs from neighboring churches took part.
The services opened with an organ voluntary, which was followed by prayer by the Rev. Dr. Edwards of St. Phillip's Baptist church, Port Richmond, S.I., who had been ordained in the church on Tuesday, May 4, last. The choir of the church followed with the anthem, "Great and Marvelous." The Rev. William T. Dixon, pastor of the church, made a brief address of welcome.
The next address was deliverd by the Rev. W.A. Alexander of Tarrytown, N.Y., who spoke of the questions, "Are Our Churches a Necessity?" He said that it was claimed by some that the establishment of churches for the colored people caused the fostering of prejudice and the perpetuation of misunderstanding. This he did not believe. Mr. Alexander was compelled to cut his address short by the tinkling of the bell, which told him that his time was up.
The Rev. A.J. Henny of the Nazarean Congregational church followed with an address on "Sociability in Our Churches." He said that Christ's sermons dwell on two things, love and respect of God, and also love and respect of man. By man's fall these attributes warred against one another, and it was the church's duty to bring man to his former place. In order to bring success to the church it was necessary to have sociability and all Christians should dwell together as in one church.
The choir of the Siloam Presbyterian church then sang "Calm on the Listening Ear," and Rev. L. Joseph Brown of the Berean Presbyterian church was introduced. he advocated the need of more spirituality in the churches and said that the words of Christ were useless unless the people were born again by water and the holy spirit.
"What the Church Should Do for the World," was the subject assigned to the Rev. G.F. Miller of St. Augustine's P.E. church. Dr. Miller stated that he had traveled ninety........
St. Augustine's boys' choir followed Mr. Miller and sang "Holy, Holy, Holy," with fine effect. The Rev. Dr. R.I. Gaines spoke of how strangers should be treated in the church. The church that was not hospitable would not live long. Every church should have a lookout committee that would take care of strangers and mank them welcome.
The Rev. J.M. Proctor of the Union Bethel A.M.E. church said that more liberality was necessary. The support of the church was part of the divine service. It wsa just as much the duty of the people to contribute financially as to enjoy the sermon or take part in the service.
After Mme. Wilson sang a solo Dr. Dixon introduced T. McCants Stewart who spoke on "Law and Gospel." He said that the rules of all law had been taken from the scriptures. Upon the ten commandments the jurisprudence of humanity had been based. Mr. Stewart finised his address before Dr. Dixon rang the bell, and the latter remarked that that was because he was a lawyer and carried briefs in his pockets.
Mrs. Dr. V.H. Morton, who was the only woman to speak, made a very interesting address on "Health and Religion."
The Rev. Dr. W.D. Cook of the Bridge street A.M.E. church also spoke and a letter of regret was read from T.T. Fortune who was to have made an address on "The Church and the Newspaper." Others who were unable to attend were the Rev. C.W. Appley, M.D.; the Rev. H.C. Bishop, the Rev. C.N. Randall, the Rev. J.H. Buckner and the Rev. R.D. Wynn.
The Rev. William Hill of Newark, N.J., made the closing prayer, after which Dr. Dixon stated that nearly $2,000 had been collected during the jubilee services. He urged further generosity and a collection was taken up and $100.80 was contributed.
The doxology was sung and afterward the benediction was pronounced, the clergymen and the members ofthe choir were furnished with refreshments in the lecture rooms.
Publication: Brooklyn Eagle; Date: May 22, 1897
Moody Speaks of Prayer
Evangelist Tells a Vast Assemblage the Way to Get God's Help
Man Needs to Adore, Confess, Restore and Forgive --
Country Needs a Joyful Church
Classon Avenue Presbyterian Church , corner of Monroe street, was crowded to the doors, many stood up against the walls and every available chair was put into use last night to accommodate the people who desired to hear Dwight L. Moody, the evangelist. The Rev. Joseph Dunn Burrell, pastor, had charge and the choir of the church furnished music. The Rev. Dr. David Gregg, chairman of the Presbytery committee, and the Rev. Dr. John P. Carson, secretary had seats upon the platform and took part in the services. The meeting was opened with the singing of the hymn, "Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove," and prayer by Mr. Burrell. Dr. Carson announced that Mr. Moody would speak at the Ainslie Street Presbyterian Church this afternoon and at the Throop Avenue Presbyterian Church this evenign, at which time it will be made known whether Mr. Moody will be able to stay longer in Brooklyn or not. Dr. Carson also announced a special prayer meeting that was held in the Throop Avenue Church this morning beginning at 6:30 o'clock and continuing until 8, and said that a prayer meeting would be held at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon in the Reformed Church on the Heights and at 4 o'clock in the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church.
When another hymn had been sung Mr. Moody asked all to join in silent prayer, which he followed with an earnest petition for a blessing on the meeting. "Before I speak," he said, "I want those nearest to them to open all the windows and turn out the gas, so that the air will be pure and people will not get drowsy and go to sleep or faint. If any one faint, just carry them out into the air and don't bring any water to them and make confusion. I spoke this afternoon on 'Prayer,' and I want to continue the subject this evening. I will read a portion of the eleventh chapter of Luke, beginning with the fifth verse."
Mr. Moody then pointed out what he considered the elements of prayer, first adoration, then the confessing of sin. "Many people wonder," he said, "why they do not get an answer to their prayers. It is because they have some cursed sin hidden away. You can't expect any blessing if you do not confess and give up every sin. Another element of prayer is restitution. You must right everything you have done and restore that which belongs to anybody else. Then another element is forgiveness. If you do not forgive you cannot pray. Perhaps some of you will not pray to-night, because there is somebody you cannot forgive. If you are not willing to forgive you will not be forgiven.
"Still another element of prayer is unity. A church divided cannot pray. If you are separated there will be no power in the prayer meeting. You must have the spirit of brotherly love. Why, it is easy to pray for one another. That will ill out all bitterness and you must kill it out if you wnat God to bless you and your church. Then there is praise, thanksgiving. I do not mean praise by hired singers, you must do it yourself. If you expect to get much from God be happy over hwat you do get. Give a fervent, hearty 'Bless the Lord,' not a hollow unmeaning one. Smile on people, for a smile begets a smile. A frown begets a frown. Let one member of a family snarl and the whole family will snarl. Life is an echo; yes it is. Be cheerful, bright full of thanksgiving, that is the kind of a Christian to be. Get off of Grumble street. Some of you live on Grumble street. I know you do; you look it. Be full of thanksgiving. That God for your blessings.
"What this country needs is a joyful church, a thanksgiving church. If you just stop to think how many prayers God has answered for you, you ought to be thankful. Have faith when you pray and believe that you are going to get an answer. You won't get 'yes' to everything you ask for, for God often has something better for you. I once heard of a boy who asked his father for the razor he was shaving with; the boy wanted to play with it. Lots of people pray for razors and of course they do not get them. It is no sign that God does not love because He does not answer all our prayers. Paul prayed three times to have the thorn taken out of his flesh. I do not know what that thorn was and I do not want to know. Some say it was sore eyes, because Paul had an amamnensis. Some say he had a scolding wife. I never knew that he was married. He prayed three times, and Pual was the prince of prayer, but God did not take away the thorn, but gave him grace to bear it, and he thanked God for the thorn in order that he might serve Christ. Don't whine because you have a thorn. As parents we do not give our children all they ask. My boy wanted a bicycle and he took text out of one of my sermons and patched up an argument why he should have the bicycle. It was a good argument. He got the bicycle, but I was not obliged to give it to him. God is not obliged to give us all that we pray for. He knows exactly what is best for us."
Mr. Moody told of an experience in Chicago, when he was president, secretary, treasurer, janitor and all there was of the Young Men's Christian Association, how he won a rough man, when he met on the street corner, to Christ; spoke of a woman in England who first told him it was none of his business when he asked her if she were a Christian, and afterward became a most efficient Christian worker, and urged all to never cease to pray, to live a life of constant prayer. He also told of his experiences with soldiers at Nashville, during the wave of letters from mothers urging them to become Christians, and said htat when there was a lack of prayer everything languished, and made an earnest appeal to his bearers to make their petitions known, petition being one of the most vital elements of prayer. "If you want to have a blessing before this meeting closes you can have it. Just bow your head and fervently say, 'Lord helpe me..' Every saint and every sinner wants His help. You can have salvation just now for the asking. This very minute help will come. Bow your heads and ask for it."
"Just as I am" was sung and Dr. Gregg pronounced the benediction.
Mr. Moody addressed another large meeting yesterday afternoon in the South Third Street Presbyterian Church. All of the seats in both the body and the gallery of the church were occupied and many persons stood throughout the service. The Rev. Dr. Gregg, pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, presided and made a short address before Mr. Moody was introduced. Mr. Moody's discourse was in his usual vein. "Prayer" was his general subject and he took as his text. "No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."
Mr. Moody said that prayer is ineffectual unless the supplicant is in the proper mood. He told about a Chicago woman who was greatly concerned about her soul and sent for him to have him come and pray with her. But when she came to the clause about "forgiving those who have trespassed against her" she balked, and said there was one woman whom she never would forgive, and that if that woman was going to heaven she didn't want to go there. This, Mr. Moody said, illustrates the spirir in which some people pray, and he protested that prayer under such circumstances was futile. He went on to say that this particular woman brooded so much over his wrong, real or fancied, done her by the other woman that she finally became insane and was sent to a madhouse, and he said he believed there were lots of people in insane asylums for this very same reason.
"I know," he continued, "that I must keep bitterness out of my heart if I want to have sweetness in my life. People say it isn't safe to act on impulses. I don't believe that; I believe that every good impulse comes right straight from heaven. If you have been harboring a grudge against anybody, go right to him or her and have it cleared away. Don't eat or dring or sleep or do anything else until you have done this. Love those who don't love you, who hate you and slander you and lie about you. Have you got that spirit. Some of you haven't, I know. There's Mrs. Brown who says she won't come to church because the minister's wife didn't speak to her on the street the other day. There is altogether too much of this foolishness
Publication: Brooklyn Eagle; Date: October 26, 1899
Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of Westminster Standards
The Head of Princeton University Speaks as the Guest of the Brooklyn Presbytery
-- A Large Audience Present in the Classon Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Some Differences Between Catholicism and Protestantism Outlined.
Classon Avenue Presbyterian Church contained a representative, if not, large, audience last everning. Clergymen and prominent laymen representing several denominations were present, in attendance upon the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Westminster standards, the foundation stones of Presbyterian doctive. It was the commemoration of the event by the Presbytery of Brooklyn. The celebration has been held by many Presbyteries throughout the country, and the General Assembly will observe it at its meeting in May next. The committee which arranged last neight's service was composed of the Rev. Dr. John Fox, the Rev. Dr. L.R. Fouts and Elder Charles Henderson.
The Rev. Dr. John D. Welles, pastor of the South Third Street Presbyterian Church, presided. The service began by the singing ........... nearer the time of the meeting of the Westminster assembly than Mr. Hutchins'. But they might have had another idea, that one of my age , nourished a little longer on Westminster truth, would know more about it. But Mr. Hutchins has begun to rear a family and he will give it the some nourishment as I had. I want to say a word as to what the great Presbyterian church has done toward celebrating the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the formation and adoption of the Westminster standards. The South has been in advance of the North, for in 1896 the general assembly of the Presbyterian church South determined to celebrate the anniversary this year, and eleven of the first men in the Southern church were apponted as a committee. Eleven addresses were made at the Southern general assembly this year, and they were so acceptable in the assembly that a resolution was passed to publish them in a volume of 300 pages, which I have had the pleasure of reading. Our assembly met in Winona, Ind., in May last, and a recommendation was offered and passed to make arrangements for a celebration on the second Thursday during the meeting in 1898. A committee, consisting of the officers of the assembly, with Dr. Sheldon Jackson, moderator, as chairman, was appointed to urge synods, presbyteries and church to celebrate this year. The Presbytery of Brooklyn is to be congratulated on the presence here to-night of the president of a great university and one of the faculty of the theological seminary, Dr. Francis L. Patton needs no introduction to a Brooklyn audience."
Dr. Patton said in substance: "I have chosen as my subject, 'The Creeds of Christendom.' Westminster standards generally represent a phrase of devotion in the matter of creeds which will be all the better understood if we consider the confession of faith and the catechisms in the light of those who went before. Christendom is divided into two great branches, the Catholic and the Protestant. I shall speak first of the Catholic and then of the Protestant. We do not make any concessions to the claims of Catholicism, but we do know that the Catholic church agrees in this, that those who are members of the church as members of an organizaiotn which possesses an unbroken constitution, episcopally officered, with a Catholic mission and a deposit of faith. Protestants do not believe in unbroken apostolic succssion, in the catholic mission of any one denomination or in a special deposit of faith.
Dr. Patton went on to speak of the branches into which the Catholic church is divided -- the Roman Catholic, Greek church and Anglican Church. He spoke of the three great ecumenical creeds -- the Apostles', Nicene and Athanasian and the decrees of the Council of Trent and the Vatican decrees. He said he was not going to enter into any debate over the errors of the Catholic church, but it runs itself out into direct individualism, and the individual may carry his devotion to creed to such a point that he will believe all who disagree with him to be heterodox. The logic that allows two denominations would allow 2,000. The branch theory of the church ends in individualism. Dr. Patton said he was not one to say tha ta church is not a church because it contained some error, but it was a question as to how much error it could teach before it ceases to be a church. It might be necessary to unchurch it when it teaches so much error as not to save some. He had no sympathy with those who declare that the great Catholic church should be unchurched. Therre was no need of more sectarianism. He said the Roman Catholic Church had had its schisms, spoke of the hot debate in 1870 as to the infallibility of the Pope, of the movements and marriage of Pope Hyacinth, of the attemps of the Old Catholics to reform the Roman church from within and said it would be an interesting thing if the Pope some day, contrary to the Vatican council should infallibly declare that he is fallable.