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, >: - 

the 'Coaieniumty .Gfcur^h Movensent 

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in the United States 



Compiled and Edited by 

DAVID R. PIPER 

\\ 

Editor; The Community Churchman 



Copyright, 1922, by David R. Piper. 
All rights reserved 



Price, 65 cents 



Published by 

THE COMMUNITY CHURCHMAN CO. 
Excelsior Springs,. Mo, 








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'/ 




j CONTENTS 

\ Page 

Compiler's Preface .. 5 

I Chapter 1. What is a Community Church? 7 

< Chapter 2. Five Types of Community 

Church 12 

The Denominational Church , 12 

The Federated Church , 14 

| The "Burbanked" Church ; 35 

i The Union or Independent Church .... IS 
The "Latitudinarian" Church 20 

Chapter 3. Community Church Organi- 
zation 22 

Denominational 22 

Federated 2G 

j Union or Independent 34 

( "Latitudinarian" 51 

j "Burbanked" 53 

| Chapter 4. Service Activities of Com- 

/ nmnity Churches 55 

I Chapter 5. Growth of the Community 

I . Church Movement 01 

! Statisticial Summary 75 

Partial List of Successful Community 

Churches 78 



COMPILER'S PREFACE 

i/ The value of a Handbook lies not in its 
size but in its accuracy. This little book gives 

/ statistics which have been .compiled at con- 
siderable expense and much painstaking 
labor ; checking and rechecking, revising and 
eliminating, have been necessary in order to 
uncover and present facts, free from error. 

No actual data of any consequence existed 
when the work began in January 1921, ex- 
cept a few bare lists of union churches 
gathered by State Federations for their own 
States. Although several of these State lists 
were generously furnished as a beginning 
from which we might work, the compiling of 
the country-wide list of some 700 churches 
was itself a time-consuming undertaking. 
Then followed the gathering of detailed in- 
formation by means of questionnaires to the 
churches and pastors, personal correspon- 
dence, and some field work. 

The statistics here published are acknowl- 
edged to be incomplete, but they are the 
most nearly complete thus far published, and 
they err safely and conservatively on the 
side of under-statement. The movement itself 
is much larger than indicated by the figures. 



The chief purpose of this Handbook is to! 
describe the community church movement 
not- as some one thinks it should be or will 
be, but as it actually is ; to tell what a com 
munity church is, judged by the study of al 
types of such churches as they operate atf 
their present stage of development; to de-i 
scribe their methods of organization, their 
special community-serving activities, and to 
give to the reader reliable data by which he 
may judge for himself of the success and 
importance of the movement. 



CHAPTER I 
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY CHURCH? 

In attempting to define the "Community 
Church" one is beset with the usual diffi- 
culties met in defining a living organism or 
a growing movement. This difficulty is some- 
what increased by the fact that community 
churches are of many varieties. The only 
method of procedure therefore, is the in- 
ductive. And in making use of this method, 
studying all types of community churches, 
two things become clear : First, that the com- 
munity churches of all types represent the 
attempt of the Christian people of hundreds 
of communities to apply the principles of 
democracy and the spirit of unity to religious 
organization ; Second, that in doing this they 
have found: it necessary to break down or 
reach across old sectarian lines of cleavage, 
which in the past have divided Christian 
people in the same community. They have 
also, in applying the spirit of unity, been 
compelled to seek a uniting principle outside 
of creed and ritual. 

In overcoming sectarian barriers they have 
all worked out or worked toward the prin- 
ciple of making the community and not the 



sect their basis of organization. They have 
found the people of the community an eco- 
nomic unit, a social unit, and they hare 
sought to make them a religious unit. Here- 
tofore Christians have felt themselves united, 
as Methodists or Baptists, with other Method- 
ists or Baptists in other communities thruout 
the world, rather than with other Christians 
in their own community ^This unity of people 
of the same sect the world over the commun- 
ity church does not attempt to tear down ex- 
cept insofar as it hinders the sense of local 
unity among all Christians. But it does build 
up and make stronger than the sectarian 
bonds of unity the feeling of the essential 
unity of all Christians in the same community. 
Thus it brings them into one fellowship of 
worship and service, and into one working 
congregation. 

i 

The community church also is organized 
upon a new basis of unity binding the mem- 
bership together,! The denominational church 
holds its members together in the unity of 
a common theological belief; the community 
church substitutes for this the unity of a 
common Christ-like purpose of love and ser- 
vice. It does not seek harmony thru theo- 
logical or doctrinal agreement a thing pat- 
ently impossible but in the common purpose 
of all Christians to live lives of spiritual 
power expressing in word and act, individ- 
ually and socially, the teachings and spirit 
of their common Lord. 

S 



The two fundamental features then, of all 
community churches is that they substitute 
the community for the sect as their primary 
basis of organization, and service for dogma 
as their basis of unity or principle of co- 
hesion. 

The community church is the effort of a 
single religious organization to become a 
clearing house for all Christian people of the 
community in their service to God, the com- 
munity, and the world at large. Practically, 
it ends or forestalls overchurching and over- 
lapping. Theoretically, it is the expression 
of the composite religious consciousness of 
the community. la proportion as it actually 
succeeds in expressing the composite religious 
life of the community; it is a perfect com- 
munity church. There is nothing perfect in 
.this world, andjthere is no perfect commun- 
ity church. It may be said of all community 
churches as it may be of all Christians, that 
they are in the process of becoming rather 
than of being. 

When we say then, that the community 
church is the expression of the composite 
religious life of the community, we mean 
practically, that it is an organization thru 
which the community expresses its common 
faith both in worship and in service. The 
church which attempts to express the common 
faith of a whole community must have a 
doctrinal basis as broad as the composite 
faith which it attempts to express ; its creedal 

Q 



2 

requirements for membership must therefore i 
be exceedingly small and undogmatically ex- 
pressed. It leaves theological creeds largely 
to the individual conscience, and uses instead 
covenants or declarations which embody, not 
theological opinions, but life purposes. As 
many as twenty-eight different denomina- 
tions and sects are represented in the mem- 
bership of some community churches, includ- 
ing elements as diverse as Chrstian Scien- 
tists, Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians, and 
Roman Catholics. Harmony is maintained 
because the principle of cohesion is not dog- 
ma. Dogma, the cohesive principle of sectar- 
ianism, does not unite communities. It divides 
them. But the community church finds in the 
common Christian ideal of life the ideal of 
Christ-likeness in personal life and social re- 
lations a religious principle strong enough 
to unify the community. Thus it successfully 
substitutes service for dogma as its principle 
of cohesion. 

All this implies the necessity of becoming 
broader than any sect. But when we say that 
the community church substitutes the com- 
munity for the sect as its basis of organiza- 
tion, we do not mean that it is anti-denom- 
inational. The community church organiza- 
tion to be sure, is nonsectarian and either 
interdenominational or undenominational. 
The individual member may identify himself 
with a sect and at the same time he may 
identify himself with the religious interests 

10 



and the religions program of the 'whole com- 
munity. But the community church as such 
is integrated with the community life and 
with nothing else. 

We shall now see how these principles have 
been successfully embodied in diverse -forms 
to suit local conditions. 



* 11 



CHAPTER III 
FIVE TYPES OF COMMUNITY CHURCH 

Five distinct forms of organization are 
thus far represented in the community 
church movement, each of which embodies 
the principles of substituting the community 
tor the sect as its basis of organization and 
rscrviee for dogma as its principle of cohesion 
(basis of unity). These are: The denomina- 
tional community church ; the federated com- 
munity church ; the community church of the 
Fepperell type, sometimes known as the 
"Kurbanked church ;" the union or independ- 
ent community church, and the so-called 
"latitudinarian" community church. 
I. The Denominational Community Church 

In many communities a single sectarian 
church has held the field for years, or has 
survived the vicissitudes of sectarian compe- 
tition in which all its competitors have per- 
ished. The fact that it is the only church 
in the community does not make it a com- 
munity church. Irrespective of how large a 
service it may be rendering to the community 
and of how tlioro a contact its ministrations 
may make w'ith every last, least member of 
the community, it cannot truly express the 
12 



composite religious life of the community so 
long as it admits to membership only those 
who desire to become members of the de- 
nomination which it happens to represent 
Such churches have in great numbers become 
community churches by adopting the plan of 
affiliate, open, or associate membership. By 
this means they admit to active fellow shin 
persons of any other denomination without 
requiring them to sever their denominational 
connections ; they also admit persons coining 
into the Christian life and fellowship for 
the first time, usually permitting them to 
form any or no denominational connections, 
as they desire. The associate members not 
only retain and exercise all their private 
convictions in matters of faith and practice, 
but also have full participation in the affairs 
of the congregation in all matters pertaining 
to the life of the local group and the service 
of the community. Those members forming 
the original denominational group continue 
their relations as a body with their denomina- 
tion, but in all other respects are on a par 
with the associate members. 

This is usually considered the least perfect 
type of community church organization. Its 
lack lies chiefly in the fact that many of the 
active members of the original group often 
continue to think and feel more largely in 
sectarian terms than in community terms. 
Nevertheless, it is a true community church, 
because it does grant to all persons possess- 

13 



ing the Christian spirit a common fellowship 
in worship and service; it substitutes serv- 
ice for dogma, and exalts the community 
above the sect as a basis of organization. 

2. The Federated Church 

In hundreds of towns, villages and rural 
districts, formerly overchurched, Christian 
people have tired of the wastefulness of com- 
petition and have heard and heeded the "get- 
together" gospel. But often the leaders have 
found such a large proportion of the people 
obsessed with sectarian ideals that a com- 
plete break with sectarianism was not only 
impossible, but would not truly have express- 
ed the religious life of the community. Thej 
have discovered the solution in such a feder- 
ation of the local churches as to form a 
single congregation, having a combined board 
of control and ministering to the community 
as one church. Usually separate membership 
rolls are kept of the various denominational 
groups making up the federated church. A 
federated church which keeps only these de- 
nominational membership rolls and which re- 
. quires all new members to be aligned with 
one of the denominations officially represent- 
ed in the federation is not a full-fledged 
community church. To be a full-fledged com- 
munity church, it must at least maintain a 
community membership basis, whereby any 
I>or8on desiring to enter into Christian fellow- 
ship may have absolute freedom to retain or 
to choose his denominational allegiance. 
14 



There is a marked tendency for federated 
churches to proceed to a closer union by eras- 
ing the sectarian lines entirely and merging 
all groups completely into the community 
congregation. This results in a form similar 
to the independent type described below. 
3. "Pepperell Type" or "Burbanked" Church 

The third form of community church is call- 
ed the Pepperell type because its most con- 
spicuous and earliest example is found at 
Pepperell, Massachusetts. This church was in- 
augurated under the leadership of Rev. 
Francis E. Webster, then of Christ Church 
(Episcopal), Waltham, Mass. At Pepperell, 
property and endowment offered some prac- 
tical difficulties to federation, which was 
tried but proved very unsatisfactory. Then- 
the leading church people formed a super-or- 
ganization, called "The Community Church' 
Society," as a working business concern "to 
conserve the resources of the Kingdom ot 
God", to promote the unity of His disciples 
for which Christ prayed ; to act as one con- 
gregation for all purposes of work and? wor- 
ship; and to accept as a bond of union the 1 
teachings of Jesus Christ." : 

The Society thus formed was joined by the 
members of the two churches' of Peppereil 
as individuals, and by many other residents' 
of the village as well. The trustees of the 
two denominational churches took proper 
action whereby the funds of their organiza- 
tions are used as a subsidy by the Commun- 

15 



ity Church Society. The Society thus acts as 
si sort of holding corporation for the churches. 
Under the auspices of this Society the Com- 
munity Church of Pepperell was then formed. 
Members of the Society become members of 
the Church by subscribing to a simple cover 
mint. 

Children and young people of the commun- 
ity are admitted directly to church privileges 
without the necessity of becoming members 
of the Community Church Society; and 
letters are received also from other churches. 

This type has also been called the Bur- 
banked church, because, by leaving the old 
organizations intact and undisturbed, but 
grafting upon their vital energies the life of 
a new organization, it employs in the eccle- 
siastical realm the favorite method of the 
Plant Wizard. ' 

The Pepperell plan in modified form has 
been successfully used elsewhere, notably 
at Kevere, Missouri. Here the formality of 
organizing a holding corporation or Commun- 
ity Church Society was dispensed with since 
local considerations did not demand it. The 
local organizations were left intact, and the 
people came into the super-organization, the 
Community Church, by signing a simple cove- 
nant, as at Pepperell. 

The practical advantage of the Pepperell 
method of reorganizing and reintegrating the 
religious forces of a community lies in the 
complete freedom from all possible sectarian 



entanglements which it attains. Property con- 
siderations are more easily dealt with. At 
Pepperell, for example, the trustees of the 
Congregational property leased their church 
edifice and manse to the Community Church 
Society. The funds from endowments were 
left undisturbed because they continued to be 
administered by the denominational trustees. 
All legal questions were obviated by leaving 
the old organizations intact. 

The Pepperell plan also makes it much 
more difficult for sectarian officials to use 
their undemocratic powers or their preju- 
dicial influence to thwart the will of the 
community. The federated church is most 
vulnerable to such attacks, and the denomina- 
tional- community church is by no means im- 
mune, inasmuch as the title to the property 
is often vested in a higher ecclesiastical 
body and some ecclesiastical power still 
exercises limited lordship over the main 
group of the community congregation. All 
these contingencies of sectarian interference 
are met and solved in advance by the Pepper- 
ell plan. The old sectarian organizations re- 
main legally intact, but their members have 
pledged themselves as individuals in the high- 
er loyalty to the community organization.- 
Sectarian officials can uot touch any sectarian 
group, because all such groups have been prac- 
tically dissolved, neither can they touch the 
community church organization because the 
sectarian organization srill exists legally and 



the only possible dealings are with its of- 
ficers, who are now members of the commun- 
ity church as well. The strategy of the Pep- 
perell plan may be made clear by comparing it 
to a situation which might exist with reference 
to two secret lodges. It is, presumably, as 
logical for one person to belong to the com- 
munity church and to a sectarian church at 
the same tune as for an Oddfellow also to 
become a Mason. But if the Oddfellows and 
Masons met on the same night at the same 
hour and with the same frequency, and if 
all the Oddfellows were also Masons, and if 
all the Oddfellows attended the Masonic 
lodge each night, the Oddfellows would auto- 
matically cease to function. This is what 
happens to the sectarian church under the 
Pepperell plan. The community church takes 
over all the functions, appropriates the hours 
of service, and absorbs the religious energies 
of all the people belonging to the sectarian 
organizations, which therefore automatically 
cease to function without ceasing to exist. 

4. The Union or Independent Church 

In some communities sectarianism has com- 
pletely collapsed or is so weakly operative 
that the group loyalties are already broken 
down. When religious desuetude has proceed- 
ed this far it is possible to effect the com- 
munity organization of religion by treating 
with the individuals as independent units. If 
any considerable number of them have a 
lingering sectarian consciousness the church 

18 



will be organized ostensibly as a union 
church, representing the union of all the 
varient elements of Christian belief in the 
community. Otherwise the result will probab- 
ly be known as an independent, or simply as 
a community church. "Union Church" is a 
term more frequently encountered^ in our older 
communities, and "independent church" is 
most frequently employed in the newer com- 
munities of the West. The difference be- 
tween a union community church and an in- 
dependent community church of the usual 
types is purely verbal and psychological. 

Not all union churches, however, and not 
all independent churches, are community 

churches. Some of the old-established union 
churches of New England, and some of the 
earlier experiments of this kind in the Middle 
West which still survive, are founded upon 
creeds which, while originating in the com- 
munities themselves, are quite as exclusive 
and divisive as any of the historic creeds of ^ 
Christendom, and which constitute a theo- 
logical basis of membership certain by its 
narrowness to exclude from the church some 
Christian people. This excluding factor may 
be an insistence upon a certain theory of the 
atonement. Or it may be the insertion of a 
particular view of the inspiration of the 
Bible, as against all other views. Whatever 
it is, if it sets up. a theological test instead 
of a life-purpose test, it makes the church 
sectarian and exclusive. No union or inde- 

19 



pendent church is a community church unless 
it leaves the believer free to interpret Christ 
and Christ's teachings by his own individual 
Christian experience. 
5. The "Latitudinarian" Community Church 

To many people, all of the forms of com- 
munity churches thus far discussed are lati- 
tudinarian, because they substitute service 
for dogma as their basis of membership. 
Nevertheless, they all hold to one truth, ex- 
pressed not as dogma, but as life the truth 
as embodied in Jesus, who is acknowledged 
as the Divine Lord and Living Head of the 
Church. These churches, in other words, are 
Christian churches. 

There is, however, a liberalism or latitud- 
inarianism within community church ranks, 
just as there is within sectarian ranks. There 
is a type of community church which accepts 
the community not only as a basis of organi- 
zation, but as its sole unit of integration. 
This means that church membership, for this 
type of church inheres in community member- 
ship. The member of the community is, by 
virtue of that very fact, a member of' the 
church, unless he rules himself out I To quote 
John Haynes Holmes, who is sponsor for 
this type : "If a man is a citizen of the com- 
munity, he is by that fact a member of the 
church. It would be as absurd and unjust 
to shut him out because he is a materialist, 
or a spiritualist, or a theosophist, or a Holy 
Roller, as it would be to exclude him from 

20 



society because he is a Republican, or a 
Socialist, or a Probibitionist. Tbe community 
church, like the democratic state, is all in- 
inclusive. Membership in the one, like citizen- 
ship in the other, is extended, not on the basis 
of ideas, but of human nature." 

There is no church in the United States 
practicing this ideal of membership fully. 
Mr. Holmes himself, in the preface to his 
book, "New Churches For Old," admits this; 
But there are about twenty churches thruout 
the United States, chiefly in the East, which 
profess this ideal and whose basis of mem- 
bership is non-Christian, or as some of the 
propounders of this theory would have it, 
"Christian plus," 

This type is nevertheless a true community 
church in the sense that it does make the 
community and not the sect its basis of or- 
ganization, and service rather than dogma 
its principle of cohesion. 

It is not necessary to say that this type of 
church is not destined to increase greatly in 
numbers or influence in the movement, if for 
no other reason than that, outside of our 
cosmopolitan centers almost 100 per cent of 
the citizens of all communities are either 
Christians or accept the Christian ideal of 
life and service as the right one. And the 
community church, being the organized ex- 
pression of the actively religious people of the 
community in which it is operative, is bound 

to reflect in its organization this Christian 
ideal of life. 

21 



CHAPTER III 
COMMUNITY CHURCH ORGANIZATION 

Methods of organization of community 
churches vary considerably within the various 
classifications given in the preceding chapter. 
We shall attempt here to give, by means of 
specimen constitutions, by-laws, and cove- 
nants, with added notes, examples which are 
typical of the more usual methods employed. 
Each example given represents the tested 
work of a successful community church. 

I. 

The Denominational Community Church 

A denominational church belonging to a 
democratic communion may become a com- 
munity church merely by having its congre- 
gation or its official board with the approval 
of the congregation provide community mem- 
bership privileges. A church of an undemo- 
cratic denomination must, of course, first 
have the action or approval of its district 
superintendent or of the proper overseeing 
official. 

A church in Missouri became a denomina- 
tional community church by having its of- 
ficial board take the following action, by 
means of a motion duly recorded in the of- 
ficial minutes: 

22 



"It was moved and carried by unanimous 
vote that this Church change its name to The 

Community Presbyterian Church of ; 

and that it add to its regular membership a 
community membership with the following 
provisions : 

"1. Persons residing within the bounds of 
the community may, upon giving evidence of 
their present membership in good standing 
in any evangelical denomination and pledging 
themselves to seek the spiritual welfare of 
this community and the peace and purity of 
this church, be enrolled as members of the 
Community Presbyterian Church. Such mem- 
bership does not change their present de- 
nominational connections, but merely unites 
them for worship and service with this con- 
gregation. 

"2. All persons desiring to take upon them- 
selves the obligations of the Christian life, 
but not wishing to unite with the Presbyter- 
ian denominaton, may be received also upon 
confession of their personal faith in Jesus 
Christ and loyalty to His ideals of life and 
service by whatever mode of baptism they 
shall choose; and, when dismissed, may be 
given letters to any church of their choice. 

"3. Provided, that all such persons of both 
classifications shall be enrolled on a commun- 
ity membership roll, and known as associate 
members. 

"4. Associate members have full voting 
rights in the congregation except in such 
matters as may affect the relation of the 
Presbyterian society proper to its denomina- 
tion. For every ten associate members the 
congregation shall elect one such member to 
serve with the session as an official board 
for the management of all congregational af- 
fairs. The term of office of such board mem- 

23 



hers shall be one year, subject to election in 
regular annual meeting of the congregation." 

This provision is broad enough to permit 
all Christian persons of the community to join 
the church. It also permits all persons to re- 
tain their membership and fulfill their obli- 
gations to any denomination to which they 
owe allegiance. At the same time it permits 
the group forming the nucleus for the com- 
munity organization to continue their group 
loyalty to that denomination. 

An even simpler form is the following, pre- 
pared for the Constitution of the First Con- 
gregational Community Church of Seneca, 
Kansas : 

ARTICLE I. NAME AND FELLOWSHIP 

This church shall be called the First Con- 
gregational Church of Seneca, Kansas. While 
holding fellowship with the Congregational 
Churches, it maintains its absolute independ- 
ence, and in the framing of this constitution, 
fixing the basis of its membership, determin- 
ing its teaching, its form of worship, and in 
the control of its property, it recognizes no 
higher authority than itself save the teach- 
ings of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. 

ARTICLE II. COVENANT AND MEMBER- 
SHIP 

Section 1. Confessing that Jesus is the 
Christ, believing in our hearts He is our 
Redeemer, purposing to walk in His ways as 
they may be made known unto us, pledging 
the support of our service, our prayers, and 
our resources, and seeking the guidance of 
His Spirit, we unite in this church for the 
worship of God and the service of humanity. 

24 



Section. 2 Persons desiring to unite with 
this church, shall, on the recommendation of 
the pastor or the Board of Deacons, have 
their names presented at a business session 
of the church and upon a majority vote, they 
shall be received into the fellowship of the 
church on acceptance of the foregoing cove- 
nant. Members may be received either on con- 
fession or by letter. In matters of creed we 
recognize the right of individual judgement. 
The basis of our fellowship is purpose rather 
than opinion. Baptism shall be administered 
in such manner as shall satisfy the conscience 
of the candidate. 

In the denominational community church 
the entire congregation participates in the 
selection of a pastor and other workers, if 

the nucleus-group belongs to a democratic de- 
nomination. But if some higher church body 
has appointive power, the pastor is appointed 
as before. This is, in such cases, a most un- 
desirable feature of the plan from, the point 
of view of community autonomy. Moreover, 
the success of the community organization is 
frequently dependent upon the utter fairness 
with which it is treated by the higher ec- 
clesiastical powers controlling the pastor. 

This plan is adaptable to communities hav- 
ing only one Protestant church, which desires 
to broaden its usefulness by extending church 

privileges to the whole Christian community. 
In such instances the church, and not the 
people of the community as a Avhole, take the 
initiatory steps. 

on 



There are also many denominational com- 
munity churches formed' from the fusion of 
two or more sectarian groups, in communities 
where the people, wishing to unite, prefer to 
have a denominational connection rather than 
organize as a union or independent church. 
The churches existing in the community 
usually vote in congregational meeting to 
amalgamate, and by ballot or motion choose 
the denomination to which they will attach 
themselves, which is generally a denomina- 
tion not represented in the community. Thus, 
at Chase, Kansas, three churches, Christian, 
Congregational, and Methodist, united and 
affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, U. 
S. A. It is customary in such instances, also, 
to add a community or associate membership 
roll. 

II. 
The Federated Church 

The federated community church is adapted 
to overchurched communities, where the de- 
sire and need is for unity of local action, but 
where denominational ties are strong and de- 
nominational missionary obligations are also 
felt to be binding. 

Attention is called to the fact that in form- 
ing such a federated organization, property 
considerations must be taken into considera- 
tion, and it is always best as well to examine 
deeds to property for possible clauses as to 

26 



reversion of title should any change be made 
in the use of buildings or grounds. 

As a rule federations are entered into at 
first tentatively, with provision for their 
continuance if satisfactory or their orderly 
discontinuance if unsatisfactory. In this con- 
nection note the sixth article of the simple 
Articles of Federation of the Federated 
Church of Ottawa, Kansas, given below. These 
Articles of Federation are here given as an 
example because of their simplicity, and of the 
inclusiveness with which they deal with all 
the problems arising. In the by-laws it will 
be noted that provision is made for a "fed- 
erated membership" for those who do not 
wish to join either denomination represented 
in the federated church. This makes the or- 
ganization a true community church, offering 
fellowship to all persons without regard to 
theological differences of opinion. The by- 
laws of this church also contain (Article V) 
a covenant which stresses Christ-like purpose, 
rather than dogma, as "a condition of member- 
ship : 

ARTICLES OF FEDERATION OF THE 
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH AND THE 
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF 
THE CITY OF OTTAWA, KANSAS, FED- 
ERATED OCT. 1, 1914. 

First: The two churches will unite in 
(a) the regular Sunday services; prayer 
meeting; any special or protracted meetings 
that may be held: (b) The Young Peoples' 
Meetings; (c) Sunday School. 

27 



Second : The various ladies' societies of 
the two churches to use their own judgement 
and discretion as to whether they unite or 
not. (Ladies' Aid Societies formed Federated 
Women's Association in 1915. The Women's 
Missionary Societies federated in 1919.) 

Third: Each church shall maintain its 
own organization and officers, and shall elect 
five trustees upon the board of federated 
trustees, which shall be composed of ten mem- 
bers, and shall discharge the duties of trust- 
ees of the federated church, electing one of 
their members President, one Treasurer and 
one Secretary. They shall hold their offices 
for one year and until their successors are 
elected. 

Fourth : Each church shall elect five mem- 
bers upon the board of federated deacons, 
which shall be composed of ten members, and 
shall discharge the duties of deacons of the 
federated church, electing one of their mem- 
bers President or Moderator. They shall hold 
their offices for one year and until their 
successors are elected. 

Fifth: The expenses of the federated 
church including the pastor's salary, fuel, 
light, janitor's services and what is paid to 
musicians, and incidentals and other ex- 
penses that may become necessary in main- 
taining the services of the federated church 
shall be borne by the federated church ; but 
each church in this federation may keep 
separate and contribute to its own boards 
and institutions its benevolent contributions 
as heretofore. 

Sixth: This federation shall take effect 
upon the adoption of these articles by the 
two churches, and shall continue for a period 
of two years or more, and from and after 
the expiration of such term either of said 
churches may withdraw from the federation 

28 



ninety days after the service of notice upon 
the other church of its intention to withdraw. 

Seventh : The care of the property and of 
the buildings in which services are held shall 
be in the hands of the trustees of the federat- 
ed church, but they shall not make any ex- 
pensive and permanent repairs and additions 
without the consent of the church owning 
the property. 

Eighth: The board of deacons shall con- 
stitute a pulpit committee to assist the 
church in securing a pastor, and to take up 
with pastors the question of the needs of 
the. church and whatever is necessary in 
that behalf. The final decision in calling a 
pastor shall be left to the combined members 
of the federated church present and voting at 
a duly called and properly advertised meeting 
for such purposes. 

Ninth: The name of this organization 
shall' be "The Federated Church of Ottawa, 
Kansas." 

Tenth: These articles shall take effect 
upon being signed by the proper officers of 
the respective churches. 

BY-LAWS FEDERATED CHURCH 

Article 1. Faith and Purpose. 

We believe in God the Father, whose Will 
is the perfect law of life, which obeyed will 
insure the coming of the true social order 
the kingdom of justice, righteousness and 
peace. 

We believe that the deepest need of this 
age is the realization in all human relation- 
ships of this Will as revealed in the word, 
life, death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Finn in this belief, and seeking through 
Jesus that faith and love adequate to sustain 
us in doing the Father's Will, we unite our 
efforts under the inspiration and the guidance 

29 



of the Divine Spirit to the bringing of the 
Kingdom of God on earth, and we invite and 
welcome to our fellowship of service all who 
are in sympathy with these aims. 

Article 2. Membership Application for ; 
Duties. 

The membership of this church shall be 
composed of the members of the Congrega- 
tional and Presbyterian Churches of Ottawa, 
Kansas, and such other persons as shall be 
admitted in harmony with these articles. 

Application for membership shall be refer- 
red to the Board of Deacons. When favor- 
ably reported to the church admission shall 
be at a regular service of the church and 
by publicly joining in the covenant of reception 
for members. Any person may become a fed^ 
erated member of this church by furnishing 
the Board of Deacons satisfactory evidence 
that he or she is a member of some other 
Christian church in good and regular stand- 
ing. After recommendation by the Board of 
Deacons, the process of admission and recep- 
tion will be the same as the reception of 
other members. Federated members shall 
have all rights, privileges and duties of 
other members. 

Members are expected to be faithful in all 
the spiritual duties essential to the Christian 
life, attend the services of the church as 
regularly as possible, give regularly to its 
support and share in its organized work. 

Article III. Letters of Dismission. 

Requests for letters of dismission may be 
acted upon by the Board of Deacons and 
when granted a certificate of dismission shall 
be issued to another church. 

Article IV. Release from Covenant. 

Any member, upon his or her application, 
may be released by the Church, in its discre- 
tion, from covenant obligations to it. 

30 



Article V. Service for the Reception of 
Members. 

Dearly beloved, you are come hither to 
declare your faith in God the Father Al- 
mighty, whose spirit ever tiwelleth in our 
hearts, and in Jesus Christ, His Son, through 
whose life and love we have new access unto 
the Father. By this declaration of your faith 
you heartily enter into fellowship with all 
who seek to do the Will of God, to know His 
Truth, and to walk in His Way. You declare 
your purpose to live and labor in the spirit 
of Christ, in faith, hope and love; to seek 
the things that are true and pure, honorable 
and of good report ; and to bear toward one 
another the spirit of good will and brotherly 
kindness. You therefore enter into this Cove- 
nant with this Church to maintain the wor- 
ship of God, to proclaim the gospel of Christ, 
to seek for yourselves and one another the 
love of truth, the bond of brotherhood and 
the spirit of service to the community. 

Candidate will answer ; "I do." 

(The members of the church should rise.) 

Response of the Church : We welcome you 
into our fellowship. We promise to watch over 
you with Christian love. God grant that, lov- 
ing and being loved, serving and being serv- 
ed, blessing and being blessed, we may be 
prepared while we dwell together on earth 
for the perfect communion of the saints of 
heaven. 

Article VI. Communion. 

The times of observing communion shall be 
determined by the Pastor and Board of 
Deacons. 

Article VII. Moderator. 

The Pastor by virtue of his position may be 
moderator of the Board of Deacons. 

Article VIII. Superintendent. 

A superintendent and two associate super- 
31 



intendents of Sunday School shall be elected 
by the Church at its annual meeting each 
year. All other officers and teachers shall be 
chosen by the superintendent and his associ- 
ates. The Pastor shall be a member of the 
superintendent body. 

Article IX. Meetings. 

The annual congregational meeting of the 
Federated Church shall be held on the first 
day of January each year. Special meetings 
may be held at any time on the call of the 
trustees. 

Article X. Chairman meetings. 

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees 
shall be Chairman of all congregational meet- 
ings and the secretary of that board shall be 
secretary of such meetings. In the- event of 
the absence of these persons,, the meeting 
assembled shall elect a Chairman and secre- 
tary protein. 

Article XI. Use of property. 

All requests for the use of the Church 
buildings for purposes other than the regular 
services and meetings customary in a Prot- 
estant congregation shall be referred to the 
Church owning the property. 

Article XII. Amendment. 

These by-laws may be changed or amended 
by a three-fourths vote of members present 
and voting at any regularly called meeting 
of the congregation, the substance of any 
such amendment having been presented to 
the congregation at a previous regularly call- 
ed meeeting. 

When the federating churches have en- 
dowments or incomes from other property or 
invested funds, it is well to add to the con- 
stitution some provision for the legal handling 
of these. In this connection a clause from the 

32 



"Agreement for United Work and Worship 
between the Congregational Church and 
is given as an example: 

"The income from permanent funds 
belonging to either of the churches enter- 
ing into this agreement shall be received 
by the legal organization of the church 
to which it belongs and shall, in turn, 
be transferred by said organization to 
the treasurer of the United Church for 
maintaining its worship and work." 

In the example above given, provision is 
made for separate canvasses of the two con- 
stituent denominational groups for benevo- 
lences. The methods of handling benevolences 
vary greatly among the federated churches. 
Some take a united canvass, dividing the en- 
tire benevolence budget equally between the 
denominations entering into the federation ; 
others divide the budget pro rata, or accord- 
ing to the membership strength of each de- 
nomination ; yet others, while having a budget 
of one of these sorts, add a provision permit- 
ting each member to specially designate the 
destination of his gifts. Some contribute a 
certain percentage of their benevolence budget 
thru denominational and the remainder 
thru interdenominational channels, as voted 
by the congregation, either in annual meet- 
ing or from time to time as special needs 
arise. 

33 



Ill 

The Union or Independent Church 

This type of community church shows the 
greatest possible variation in provisions of its 
organizations. This is inevitable, inasmuch as 
this type of church more infallibly reflects 
the composite sentiment of its community 
than either of the types heretofore discussed 
in this chapter ; and communities vary great- 
ly in their composition and ideals of organi- 
zation. The specimens of constitutions, by- 
laws, and covenants given here are not typi- 
cal, therefore, so much as representative of 
what the compilers of this Handbook regard 
as the best examples of organization in com- 
munities having broadly divergent needs. The 
first one cited is a plan of organization work- 
ed out by Dr. Latshaw of the International 
Committee, Y. M. C. A., in cooperation with 
Association workers, coal miners, and mine 
officials, and used in the formation of com- 
munity churches in three mining towns in 
the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company's field. 
It provides for a close cooperation between 
the Y. M. C. A. and the community church, 
and in this respect is admirable as an ex- 
ample for other community churches in any 
community having social or recreational or- 
ganizations of a high type. The plan follows : 

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED PROT- 
ESTANT CHURCH OF PRIMERO, COL. 

PREAMBLE 

Believing that the Kingdom of Christ can 



be more speedily advanced in this community 
by uniting all Protestant Christian believers 
in their worship, fellowship and Christian 
work, we who subscribe our names to the 
following Constitution thereby become mem- 
bers of the United Protestant Church of 
Primero. 

ARTICLE ONE 

Section 1. Members in good standing in 
any Evangelical Church may upon signing 
the constitution become members of this 
Church. 

Section 2. In becoming a member of this 
organization it shall not be necessary for any 
person to sever his connection with the 
Church in which he already holds a member- 
ship. 

Section 3. Any person not a member of 
an Evangelical Church may become a member 
of this Church by affirming publicly his ac- 
ceptance of Jesus Christ, his determination 
to live the Christian life and his lovalty to 
and support of the purposes of this Church. 
He shall also publicly acknowledge his ac- 
ceptance of the statement of Christian faith 
known in the Church as the Apostle's Creed. 

Section 4. Before being received into mem- 
bership, any person not previously baptized 
shall receive Christian baptism, by sprinkling, 
pouring or immersion as he may elect. If a 
Pastor has conscientious scruples against any 
one of these modes of baptism, he may call in 
a brother Pastor to perform this service. 

Section 5. Upon removal from these com- 
munities members of the Church may receive 
from the Church Council letters of recommen- 
dation to any Church to which they may de- 
sire to transfer their membership. 
ARTICLE TWO 

Section 1. Annual Meeting. The annual 

Meeting of the Church shall be held 

35 



, at the call of the 

Secretary of the Church Council. Special 
meetings may be called by the Secretary or 
Pastor. 

Section 2. At the annual meetings reports 
for the year shall be made by the Pastor, 
Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, 
President of the Young Peoples Organization 
and the President of the Ladies Organization. 
Report may also be made by the Secretary of 
the Y. M. C. A. 

Section 3. At this meeting three members 
of the Church shall be elected by ballot to 
serve for one year on the Church Council. 

Section 4. All members of the Church shall 
have a vote at the Annual Meeting and at 
all other meetings of the Church. 

Section 5. The Chairman of the Church 

Council shall act as chairman of the Annual 

Meeting and the Secretary of the Council 

shall act as Secretary of the Annual Meeting. 

ARTICLE THREE 

Section 1. Church Council. The three mem- 
bers elected at the Annual Meeting together 
with the Pastor (chairman), Sunday School 
Superintendent, the local Young Men's 
Christian Association Secretary, President of 
the Young Peoples Organization and the Pres- 
ident of the Ladies Organization shall be 
known as the Church Council. 

Section 2. The Pastor will act as 
chairman of the Council. The Secretary-Treas- 
urer elected by the Council will also act as 
Secretary-Treasurer of the Church. 

Section 3. No person shall hold office in 
the Church who is not a member of the same. 

Section 4. The Sunday School Superintend- 
ent, President of the Young Peoples Organi- 
zation and President of the Ladies Organiza- 
tion shall be elected by their respective organ- 
izations and by virtue of their positions they 

36 



will be members of the Church Council. The 
Secretary of the Y. M. C. A., as a religious 
leader in the Community shall be a member 
of the Church Council. 

Section 5. The duties of the Council shall 
be those of the governing body of the Church, 

(a) The engaging of a pastor after he has 
been approved by a two-thirds vote of all 
the members of the Church present at the 
Annual Meeting or at a Special Meeting call- 
ed for this purpose. This vote shall be final 
provided the Soprus-Fredrick Church shall 
agree upon the same Pastor. 

(b) The Church Council shall determine 
upon a yearly budget ', see to the collection of 
the amounts necessary and expend the same 
through the Treasurer in the interest of the 
Church work and proper maintenance of the 
Church property. 

(c) The Council shall determine the amount 
and authorize the payment of the pastor's 
salary. 

(d) The Treasurer shall be responsible 
for all church funds and shall make a month- 
ly report to the Church Council and a yearly 
report to the Annual Church Meeting. 

(e) Meetings of the Church Council shall 
J>e held each month at a time to be determin- 
ed at the first meeting. 

(f) The Church Council shall be respon- 
sible for the Spiritual upbuilding of the 
Church and the Community. 

ARTICLE FOUR 

.Section 1. The Pastor. The pastor shall 
preferably be an ordained minister in good 
standing in a generally recognized Evangel- 
ical Church. The Church is not competing 
with the denominational Church nor is it 
attempting to establish a new denomination. 
It is simply making an honest effort to meet 
the problems of the community in what seems 

37 



to be the most practical manner and therefore 
deserves the help of the denominations 
through the ordained ministers who may be 
called to serve it. 

Section 2. The pastor's term of service 
shall be for one year but may be continued 
from year to year by a two-thirds vote of the 
members present at the Annual Meeting. In 
case the relation of the Pastor and Church 
is terminated the Pastor's year will end 
thirty days after the vote terminating his re- 
lation shall have been taken. In case the 
Pastor desires to terminate his relation to the 
Church he will notify the Church Council 
thirty days in advance. 

ARTICLE FOUR 

Section 3. The Pastor as Chairman shall 
not have a vote in the Church Council. Except 
in case of a tie vote. He shall not have a 
vote upon questions concerning his tenure of 
office. 

ARTICLE FIVE 

Section 1. Seven members shall constitute 
a quorum at the Annual Church Meeting or at 
any called meeting of the Church. 

ARTICLE SIX 

Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution. 

Amendments to the Constitution may be 
presented in writing at any Annual or called 
meeting of the Church. If they receive a two- 
thirds vote by ballot of the members present 
they shall become a part of the Constitution. 

The next example is one taken as suited 
to a village community where little or no 
social organization except that created by 
the church exists, and where the population 
is fairly homogeneous, as in the average agri- 
cultural community. The example given is 



the constitution of the Comnninity Church of 
Conesus, New York. It details the committee 
organization, which, of course, would vary 
according to the need in various communities, 
and also be subject to change with changes in 
the development of the community. For the 
latter reason, it might often be preferable to 
embody the committee organization in the 
by-laws and make them more readily amend- 
able than the constitution. Among other 
matters, attention is particularly called to 
the first Section of Article VII of this con- 
stitution which provides, as a true community 
church should, not only for making the mode 
of baptism optional with the candidate for 
membership, but also the rite itself. This 
permits of the reception of Friends and others 
who do not believe water baptism to be ei- 
joined upon them. The covenant of this 
church (Article VIII) does not so thoroly 
stress the service side of Christian life as 
does the covenant of some other community 
churches, but probably it accurately reflects 
the simpler social consciousness of a com- 
munity having little social organization and 
confronted by few social problems: 

CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMUNITY 
CHURCH AT CONESUS, NEW YORK 

ARTICLE I NAME 
The name of this organization shall be The 
Community Church of Conesus. 

ARTICLE II MEMBERSHIP 
Those persons may become members of this 
organization who sign its covenant and who 

39 



are accepted by a two-thirds rote of the 
Church. 

Members of the congregation have the right 
to vote on all questions except those pertain- 
ing to the reception and dismissal of members. 
The officers and committees of this organiza- 
tion may be chosen from the congregation. 

It is hereby understood that all persons 
taking part in. business meetings or who are 
elected to office shall abide by the constitu- 
tion as adopted by this organization. 

ARTICLE III OFFICERS 
The officers of this organization shall be a 
pastor, a clerk, a treasurer of current ex- 
penses, a treasurer of benevolences, a board 
of three trustees, a superintendent of the 
church school, and four ushers . 

ARTICLE IV DUTIES OF OFFICERS 

1. The pastor, the clerk, and the two treas- 
urers shall perform the duties usually per- 
taining to those offices. 

2. The board of trustees shall have charge 
of the church property, shall keep it in re- 
pair, shall provide the janitor service, shall 
audit the books of the two treasurers, but 
shall not have thfe power to buy, sell, mort- 
gage, or convey any property without a spe- 
cific vote of authority from the church. 

3. The ushers shall perform the duties 
usually pertaining to that office, and in addi- 
tion shall assist the pastor in the administra- 
tion of the ordinances. 

ARTICLE V COMMITTEES AND THEIR 

DUTIES 

1. There shall be a finance committee of 
three. The chairman of the board of Trustees 
shall be the chairman of the finance com- 
mittee. The treasurer of current expense shall 
be a member of the finance committee and 
the third member shall be appointed by the 
Cabinet. 

40 



2. There shall be a music committee of 
three the chairman of which shall be the 
Chorister of the Church. It shall be the duty 
of this committee to provide the music for 
the public services. 

3. There shall be an entertainment com- 
mittee of five which shall be responsible for 
such entertainments and socials as seem 
wise and feasible. 

4. There shall be a welfare committee of 
five whose duty it shall be to investigate any 
cases of need in the community and report 
same to the church, to assist in cases of 
emergency and to cooperate with the pastor 
in the visitation of the sick and the solieia- 
tion of the interest of the community at 
large in the services and activities of the 
church. 

5. There shall be a publicity committee of 
three whose duty it shall be to assist the 
pastor in advertising the church services and 
programs. 

6. There shall be a Cabinet composed of 
the pastor, the clerk, the two treasurers, the 
chairman of the board of trustees, the chair- 
man of the ushers, the president of the Ladies 
Auxiliary, the president of the Young People's 
organization, and the chairman of the various 
other committees. 

Clause a : As soon as possible after the an- 
nual election the Cabinet shall meet and elect 
from among its number a chairman who shall 
preside at the meetings of the Cabinet and 
of the Church. In his absence the chairman 
of the welfare committee shall preside. 

Clause b: The Cabinet shall meet once 
every three (3) months at such an hour as 
shall be most convenient for the members. 

Clause c : The Cabinet shall have authority 
to make recommendations to the Church, and 

41 



to transact all details of business not cared 
for by the church as a body. 

Clause d: The Cabinet shall appoint the 
members of the committees except the chair- 
men, said appointment to be subject to the 
approval of the church. 

ARTICLE VI MEETINGS 

1. The annual business meeting of the 
church shall be held on the first Saturday 
evening of December. At this meeting the re- 
tiring officers shall make their annual re- 
ports, but they shall hold office until the 
first of the calendar year when they shall 
be replaced by the newly elected officers. The 
church at this meeting shall elect new of- 
ficers and shall also elect the chairmen of 
the various committees, except as herein pro- 
vided. 

2. Other business meetings shall be held 
011 the first Saturday evening of March, June 
and September. 

3. The Church shall hold such other meet- 
ings for worship and study as shall seem 
best 

ARTICLE VII ORDINANCES 

1. The ordinance of baptism shall be admin- 
istered as desired. It shall be optional with 
the candidate both as to requirement and as 
to mode. 

2. The Lord's Supper shall be celebrated 
on the first Sunday in January, April, July 
and October. 

ARTICLE VIII COVENANT 
Those persons wishing membership in this 
.^organization shall be required to make written 
application for same by signing the following 
Covenant. 

Affirming our belief in the Fatherhood of 
God and the Brotherhood of man, and ac- 
cepting the will of God as revealed in Jesus 
Christ and in the Holy Scriptures, and in the 

42 



freedom of the Truth and the spirit of Jesus 
Christ, we do now solemnly covenant and 
agree to associate ourselves together as a 
Church, for the worship of God and the 
service of man. 

ARTICLE IX DENOMINATIONAL AF- 
FILIATION 

1. It is understood that anyone uniting with 
this organization does not sever his connec- 
tion with the denomination of his choice. 

2. Persons who are members of other 
churches may become members of this or- 
ganization by presenting a letter from their 
church and complying with the other require- 
ments of membership. 

3. Persons may be released from member- 
ship in this church at any time on request. 
Those wishing letters to other churches of 
whatever denomination shall be granted them 
by not less than a two-thirds vote of the 
church, such letters to be issued by the clerk. 

ARTICLE X AMENDMENTS 
This constitution and by-laws may be 
amended at any time by a two-thirds vote of 
the members present, provided notice of the 
same shall have been given at least one week 
prior to the date of the meeting. 

BY-LAWS 

Quorum. One third of the membership of 
the. church shall constitute a quorum for the 
transaction of business. 

2. The pastor, clerk, or ten members of the 
church may call a meeting at any time that 
it seems necessary. 

3. A special session of the Cabinet may be 
called by the Pastor, clerk, or three members 
of the Cabinet at any time that it may seem 
necessary. 

A third type of community is the suburban 
community or small city community with a 

43 



resident constituency composed of workers 
and store and office people. It is felt to be 
unnecessary to give in full a specimen con- 
stitution for such a church. The chief di- 
vergences from those already given will be 
in the expression of the purpose of the or- 
ganization, and the recognition therein or in 
the covenant of a larger social obligation to 
voice the more developed social consciousness 
and meet the social need. The following 
Article is an excellent example of this feature, 
and is taken from the Constitution of the 
Mill Plain, (Conn.) Union Church, Mill 
Plain being a suburban section of Waterbury, 
Conn. : 

III. PURPOSE 

The church is organized to bring all man- 
kind into communion with God and to pro- 
mote universal good will on earth. Tins 
church invites all who believe in Jesus Christ 
and desire to promote this purpose to share 
in its definite program: 

1. For public and private worship. 

2. For religious education and the building 
of Christian character. 

3. For the enlistment of individuals as 
followers of Christ. 

4. For benevolences and social service. 

5. For physical recreation and wholesome 
social life. It seeks to give practical ex- 
pression to the purpose of the Master 
suggested by His words: "I came that 

11 



they may have life, and may have it 
abundantly." 

There is yet a fourth general type of com- 
munity, which may be described as the eco- 
nomically well-organized community made up 
largely of people of very diverse religious 
traditions and training, but all of a high ord- 
er of social purpose. Particularly suited to 
such a community is the constitution devised 
by Henry B. Jackson of the National Com- 
munity Board, Washington, D. C., and adopt- 
ed by the Community Church of Yakima, 
Washington, as follows : 

THE CONSTITUTION 
I. 

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES 

The Community Church of Yakima, Wash- 
ington, recognizes religion as a universal 
human fact as an attitude to life instead of 
a dogma, and as an indispensable common 
need like love and sunshine. It aims to unite 
all citizens of this community for mutual 
aid in self -development through the discovery 
and practice of universal spiritual ideals em- 
bodied in the real religion of Jesus and other 
teachers. It imposes on its members no con- 
fession of faith, but stimulates them to form 
their own personal and carefully considered 
convictions through untrammeled investiga- 
tion and public discussion. It sets for itself 
the task of creating a social order more in 
harmony with the manifest purposes of God 
and with the conscience and intelligence of the 
people. It regards the community as the field 
of its labor and itself as a society of friends 
to be used as a force for the common welfare. 
It treats religion, not as a separate business 



set up apart from life, but as a divine spirit 
pervading every activity of life. Its message 
is a challenge, not a truce; its ultimate 
authority in religion is the Inner Light; its 
only sanction in religion is the universal 
conscience ; its working motto is each for all 
and all for each. 

II. 

SPIRITUAL AND MORAL STANDARDS 
THE DECALOGUE 

(a) Moral Principles. 

1. A useful knowledge of God. 

"Thou shalt have no other Gods before 
Me." 

2. A common-sense treatment of God. 

"Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven 

image." 
8. Practicing what we profess. 

"Thou shalt not take the name of Je- 
hovah in vain." 

4. Leisure for personal growth. 
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it 

holy." 

(h) A bill of particulars. 

5. Respect for parenthood. 

"Honor thy father and thy mother." 

6. Regard for the rights of person. 
"Thou shalt do no murder." 

7. Regard for the rights of family. 
"Thou shalt not commit adultery." 

8. Regard for the rights of property. 
"Thou shalt not steal." 

9. Regard for the rights of reputation. 
"Thou shalt not bear false witness." 

(e) The Nation's safeguard. 

10. Enjoyment without possession. 
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's 

house." 



III. 

SPIRITUAL AND MORAL IDEALS THE 
BEATITUDES 

(a) Personal Qualities. 

1. Mental hospitality. 
"Happy the poor in spirit! 

For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven," 

2. Internal resources. 
"Happy the meek ! 

For they shall inherit the earth." 

3. Self-controL 

"Happy they who mourn! 
For they shall be comforted." 

4. Healthy dissatisfaction. 

"Happy they who hunger and thirst for 

righteousness ! 
For they shall be satisfied." 

(b) Social qualities. 

5. Intelligent sympathy. 
"Happy the merciful ! 

For they shall obtain mercy." 

6. Respect for persons. 
"Happy the pure in heart! 

For they shall see God." 

7. Capacity for cooperation. 
"Happy the peacemakers! 

For they shall be called the sons of God." 

8. Public-mindedness. 

"Happy they who have been persecuted 

on account of righteousness! 
For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." 

9. A passion for justice. 

"Happier they who give than they who 
receive ! 

For their Father in Heaven shall recom- 
pense them." 

THE BY-LAWS 

ARTICLE I. 

MEMBERS 

Section 1. Members become such by sign- 
ing the Constitution and By-Laws. 

47 



MEETINGS 

Section 1. The annual meeting shall be held 
i the second Monday of January of each 
iar, at 7 :80 p. m., to elect officers, hear re- 
>rts from all committees and departments 
: work, and transact such other business as 
ay be necessary. 

Section 2. In all elections the Preferential 
allot shall be used. Each member over 21 
jars of age shall have the right to vote. 
ARTICLE III. 

OFFICERS 

Section 1. The officers of the church shall 
j a Board of Trustees, consisting of fifteen, 
ho shall be over 21 years of age, members 
: the church and residents of the commun- 
y. The trustees shall have charge of the 
anagement of all the property and assets 
: the corporation, and be the custodians of 
LI records, books and papers of the corpora- 
on. 

Section 2. The Minister, the trustees, and 
iperintendents of all departments, shall com- 
3se a Board of Managers, who shall direct 
le varioiis activities of the corporation. The 
oard of Managers shall meet on the first 
[onday of each month at the offices of the 
lurch. 

The activities of the church shall be divid- 
1 into such departments as the Board of 
[anagers may decide. 

Section 3. The trustees shall hold office 
>r three years except that the original of- 
.cers shall be divided numerically, as nearly 
3 may be, into three classes, the first class 
) hold office for one year, the second class 
>r two years, and the third class for three 
ears. In every case they shall hold office 
ntil their successors shall be chosen and 
ave assumed their duties. 

Section 4. As soon after the annual meet- 

. 48 



ings as may be convenient the trustees shall 

meet to organize and shall elect from their 

own number a President, Vice-President, a 

Secretary and Treasurer, who shall perform 

the duties usually performed by such officers. 

ARTICLE IV 

FINANCES 

Section 1. It is the policy of the church 
that the salary it offers its ministers shall 
correspond favorably with the remuneration 
of similar professional services in the com- 
munity. 

Section 2. This church bases its support on 
the free and voluntary offerings of its mem- 
bers and friends, believing the services it 
shall render in and out of the community 
sufficient to prompt liberal support. 

Section 3. Benevolent, charitable and mis- 
sionary enterprises of this church shall be 
under the direction of Departments, organiz- 
ed for this purpose. 

ARTICLE V 
TENURE OF OFFICE 

Section 1. It is the policy of this church 
that the minister's tenure of office shall rest 
on a dependable foundation rather than the 
personal wishes of a few persons, and to 
this end it adopts the principle embodied in 
the civil service laws of the Federal Govern- 
ment, and it agress that the minister shall 
not be dismissed unless the complaints 
against him are put into writing and that he 
be given the opportunity to answer them be- 
fore an open meeting of the church if he so 
desires. 

Section 2. This church grants to its minister 
complete freedom to teach the principles and 
ideals of the Kingdom of God as he is given 
the light to interpret them in order that the 
church may enjoy with him the new discover- 



ies into which Jesus said the spirit of 
Truth would guide his friends, and because 
it believes that teachers of a free people must 
themselves be free. 

ARTICLE VI 
COOPERATION 

Section 1. Members of the church belong- 
ing to various sects may, if they so desire, 
retain their sectarian formation and be re- 
garded as departments of the church, without 
any suggestion of inferiority or superiority 
among them, and may make separate contri- 
butions to their own missionary enterprises. 

Section 2. The relation of this church to 
the public school community center is in no 
sense offical, but it is vital. It shall be the 
policy of the church to undertake no activity 
which can be conducted more efficiently by 
the community center. In order to prevent 
waste through duplication and to serve a 
larger number of people, the church will turn 
over to the school any activity it may have 
inaugurated as soon as the community as- 
sociation of citizens is ready to assume re- 
sponsibility, for it. 

ARTICLE VII 
AMENDMENTS 

This Constitution and these By-Laws may 
be amended by a two-thirds vote of the mem- 
bers present, at any meeting called for the 
purpose on thirty days public notice. 

THE CONDITION OF MEMBERSHIP 

"I do solemnly affirm that it is my purpose 
to exercise the courage necessary to help put 
into effective operation the Kingdom of God, 
and that to the best of my ability I will 
strive to understand and practice, to teach 
and defend the Constitution of this church 
and the Constitution of the United States." 

50 



IV. 
The "LatitucKnarian" Community Church 

The type of independent community church 
last described is on the borderland between 
the evangelical community church and the 
so-called "latitudinarian" church. It omits 
entirely any definite requirement of personal 
acceptance of Christ as Savior, but acknowl- 
edges the supremacy of the Ten Command- 
ments and of Christ's teachings as a guide, 
and bases its organization upon these. 

The type of church described and advocated 
by John Haynes Holmes, however, is yet 
different, and while, as stated in a previous 
chapter, no such church actually exists, the 
nearest approximations to it are probably the 
Community Church of New York City and 
the Community Church of Boston. The latter 
has issued a "Statement of Purpose" which 
takes the place of a creed and a "Bond of 
Union" to which members subscribe, as fol- 
lows : 

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE OF THE COM- 
MUNITY CHURCH OF BOSTON 

NAME 

This organization shall be called the Com- 
munity Church of Boston. 

PURPOSE 

The Community Church shall be a free 
fellowship of men and women, dedicated, not 
to the propagation of theological beliefs, but 
to the fulfillment of social idealism through 
common service for the common good. It 
.seeks to cultivate the open mind, the aspiring 

51 



spirit, the passion for justice, and the appli- 
cation of the co-operative principle to all 
forms of social and economic life. 

We declare that true religion should be 
universal, not sectarian ; that it should draw 
men together, not hold them apart; that 
rational truths from all religious systems 
should be accepted as a basis of progress ; 
that superstitutions chain men, truth emanci- 
pates them ; and that the chief purpose of 
religion should be the search for those univer- 
sal truths which will make men free. 

We believe that equal opportunity for phy- 
sical, moral and intellectual development is 
the right of every human being, and that 
such opportunity is denied under our present 
economic system. We therefore stand for the 
building of a social order which shall be bas- 
ed on co-operation and -which shall substitute 
the service for the profit motive in eco- 
nomic life. 

We affirm our faith in the law of Love as 
the supreme law both of the individual and of 
society ; in that Love which is not merely a 
sentimental emotion, but the active expres- 
sion of the spirit of mutual understanding 
and good will, and which alone can promote 
peace and establish harmony between na- 
tions, individuals and classes. 

MEMBERSHIP 

Persons signing the following Bond of 
Union are accepted as members of the 
Church : 

"We, the undersigned, accepting the stated 
purpose of this Church, do join ourselves to- 
gether that we may help one another, may 
multiply the power of each through mutual 
fellowship, and may thereby promote most 
effectively the cause of truth, righteousness 
and love in the world." 



V. 
The "Bui-banked" Church 

This type, as to manner of organization, 
needs but brief consideration in addition to 
the description given in a preceding chapter. 
As there explained, the competing congrega- 
tions of an overchurched community, desiring 
to get together into a single community 
church organization, but finding legal or 
denominational obstacles, under this plan 
leave their denominational societies intact. 
The members as individuals merely sign: a 
covenant in which they agree to work together 
in a community church society. Such a cove- 
nant .as that adopted by the "Burbanked" 
community church of Revere, Mo., will serve 
as an example : 

In order to form a more perfect union for 
worship and service, we, the undersigned 
residents of Revere community, having ac- 
cepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal 
Savior, do covenant together to form The 
Community Church of Revere (interdenom- 
inational) ; and we do pledge our loyalty to 
Christ's Kingdom, our united efforts to the 
spiritual service of Revere community, and 
ourselves to seek the harmony of all God's 
people. We do hereby subscribe our names 
as members of the Community Church of 
Revere (interdenominational) with the un- 
derstanding that we do not thereby sever any 
denominational affiliations which we may 
have assumed nor surrender any private con- 
victions in matters of religious belief and 
practice. 

This new religious society then adopts a 
constitution, similar to that of an independ- 



ent community church of the ordinary type, 
making provision for the handling of all 
funds from denominational property affected, 
by the proper officials of the respective con- 
gregations whose machinery of organization 
has not been disturbed, and for the turning 
over of the funds so acquired for the use of 
the community church; also making provis- 
ions thru the trustees of the denominational 
property for the use of the property as 
needed for community church purposes. 

This is really a special type of independent 
community church, in effect, though not in 
the manner of effecting its organization. 



54 



CHAPTER IV 

SERVICE ACTIVITIES OF COMMUNITY 
CHURCHES 

The local service activities of community 
churches vary as widely as the needs of 
their communities. The aim is always to 
cooperate with other agencies and to sup- 
plement them either directly or indirectly as 
needed. There is, and can be, no standard 
ized program of service for such churches. 
They are of, by and for the community in 
which they exist. Their activities are de- 
termined by observation, survey, experience 
and expressed desire of the people. This 
chapter, therefore, does not attempt to be 
statistical, but informative only, and the 
activities mentioned are those which are 
more common and typical of various classes 
of communities. 

Isolated instances (such, for example, as 
that one community church has encouraged 
the establishment of a health organization 
which has hired a community physician on 
a regular salary) in which peculiar needs 
are met, are left unmentioned. 

55 



The various forms of service work may 
be roughly classified under the heads of 
evangelism, religious education, mental cult- 
ure, social culture, physical recreation, 
Americanization, "relief, and outstation or 
larger parish work. 

The situation in Olmsted Falls, O., is typi- 
cal of many others in rural communities. 
Here the centralized school and strong 
(.range care for the social needs of the com- 
munity very adequately. With these the 
church cooperates actively, devoting itself 
intensively to religious activities and sup- 
plementing the work of the other organiza- 
tions by boys' and girls' scout organizations 
and basket ball teams. A Men's Club also 
does aggressive work in community service 
wherever special needs arise. Churches in 
rural centers usually foster and sometimes 
directly maintain farm club organizations, 
hold country life institutes, rural field days, 
and annual celebrations in the form of relig- 
ious festivals. In other rural fields', music 
is much used to unite the people socially, by 
means of community choruses, children's 
choirs, etc. An Illinois rural church secured 
a teacherage for the school. The church at 
Grimes California, was instrumental in 
organizing a chamber of commerce: Forest 
Street Union Church of Methuen, Mass., 
brought a weekly circulating library to its 
rural community. At Stow, Vermont, the 
community church secured a children's play- 
ground. Grass Lake, Michigan Federated 
Church started a farmer's Live Stock Ship- 
ping Association and a Cooperative Elevator ; 
it also provides much free legal advice to 
farmers. In Ridgefield, Washington, a night 
school is conducted under auspices of the 
Community Church, with classes in what- 

56 



ever subjects are desired, so far as compe- 
tent instructors can be found to teach them. 
The majority of churches in towns of 
1,000 or more have parish houses which they 
conduct directly or thru a community club 
sometimes a men's club. The community 
church of Winnetka, Illinois, handles the 
matter in a different and for some com- 
munities, a better way. The community 

house is under control of the community 
itself and open to all organizations and 
groups desiring to use it. The educational 
secretary of the church gives his time freely 
as director of the social activities of the 
community centering in the community 
house, and the church raises the budget in 
the community and guarantees the deficit, 
which in a recent year amounted to more 
than $9.000. But the only rights reserved 
by the church for this service are the privi- 
lege of using the community house on Sun- 
day mornings for religious education. 

Activities centering about community 
houses include indoor athletics, socials for all 
ages and for age groups ; social study, mission 
study, and other mental and spiritual culture 
classes ; reading rooms, loan libraries, dra- 
matics, home-talent plays, recitals and every 
conceivable feature expressing the higher 
social feelings of the. various groups in the 
community. 

Open forums are increasingly coming into 
vogue in the community churches for the dis- 
cussion of. community problems, moral ques- 
tions, and the whole category of modern 
issues in their social and religious aspects. 
At least ono church (Sun Dimas, California,) 
has a Junior Forum in which high school 
students participate. It is widely believed 

57 



that the forum, fostered directly or indirectly 
by the church, will become one of the most 
potent means of community betterment, and 
one of the chief factors in developing com- 
munity consciousness and solving problems 
of community life. In the larger industrial 
centers, the forum is sometimes conducted 
on Sunday afternoon. In the smaller centers 
it is generally scheduled among the week- 
night activities. 

Motion pictures are largely used for educa- 
tion and diversion in community churches. 
Usually these are screened in the church or 
its community house. But sometimes a rec- 
reation commission, under auspices of the 
church, controls the local motion picture 
theatre. 

Extension or outstation work is conducted 
chiefly by churches in villages surrounded by 
sparsely settled rural sections or otherwise 
neglected areas. Much outstation work is 
being done in Colorado, also in Southern 
California. This work consists in maintain- 
ing Bible Schools, giving home-talent enter- 
tainments, motion-pictures, religious services, 
personal calling among the sick and needy, 
and the fostering of community life and 
community spirit. Americanization work 
among the Mexicans is a feature of some of 
the outstation work in California. 

Some of the community churches located 
in cities and city suburbs also conduct a 



strong work of evangelization and American- 
ization among foreigners. 

The religious service of community 
clmrclies to their communities is not greatly 
different from that of other churches, ex- 
cept in the stronger stress upon the great 
verities and comparative if not complete 
neglect of the small shibboleths, and the 
greater freedom and fearlessness in utter- 
ance. The work of community evangelism in 
many churches is often much better systeni- 
ized and more thoroughly undertaken among 
all classes of people than in the denomina- 
tional church. Notable examples of this are 
to be found in the Federated Church of 
Somerset, Mass., where the entire church 
membership has been divided into groups, 
instructed in personal work, and has taken 
active part in visiting and "talking religion" 
to the people of the" community, with good 
definite results in additions to the active 
membership. At Imperial, California, also, 
the Community Church has developed per- 
sonal evangelism to a high point of couse- 
c-rated efficiency. 

The tendency in religious education in 
community churches is toward the scientific 
method of Bible study and interpretation. 
The forum or class discussion method is 
al.so apparently more popular than the lect- 
ure method in class and group work. Di- 
rectors of religious education are employed 
in most of the larger community churches. 

59 



One of the best examples of efficient religi- 
ous education work among the community 
churches is that being done by Northbrae 
Community Church of Berkeley, California, 
which is said to have the largest and most 
efficient Bible School in the Bay Region, in- 
cluding San Francisco. 



60 



CHAPTER V 

THE GROWTH OF THE COMMUNITY 
CHURCH MOVEMENT 

The development of the community, church 
as a self-conscious movement in American 
religious life is a new phenomenon. For 
years we have had "union" churches, not- 
ably in New England. For years also inde- 
pendent churches have occasionally sprung 
up in new settlements of the West. But their 
number was not great, and they were re- 
garded as dubious experiments or as tempo- 
rary expedients to meet abnormal conditions. 
It now appears, however, that such churches 
represented the sporadic stages of what in the 
past three or four years has developed into 
a definite, country-wide movement of big 
significance, and is widely believed to consti- 
tute the next step in the evolution or relig- 
ious organization. 

Since 1915 strong trends towards the com- 
munity organization of religion have been 
developing in the Central and Western States. 
These trends have been felt also in the East, 
And in the past two years it is said that the 
interest in the community church has been 



greater in the South, in proportion to popula- 
tion, than in any other section of the 
country. 

The movement is therefore unrestricted as 
to geographical area. It is also unrestricted 
as to the character of the community it 
enters. Although the community church 
seems best adapted to the overchurched vil- 
lage, it is found successfully operating among 
almost every conceivable class of people in 
the open country, in towns made up largely 
of retired farmers, and in mining districts, 
city suburbs, among the mountaineers, and 
even among foreigners. 

The actual number of community churches 
now operating is not known, but exceeds 800. 
In May 1921, Dr. Edmund de S. Brunner, of 
the Committee on Social and Religious Sur- 
veys, by combining data gathered by the 
writer with that of the Interchurch Surveys, 
estimated that there were between five and 
six hundred such churches in America. 
Since that time the writer's investigations 
have been continued, and on June 1, 1922, 
the list included the names of 713 community 
churches. At least 118 other churches are 
known, whose exact addresses are thus far 
not listed, and the list is believed to be at 
least 50 per cent incomplete. New churches 
are at present being organized at the rate 
of six per month that is, an average of six 
newly organized churches per month is be- 
ing reported to the news editor of The Com- 



munity Churchman. Inasmuch as this pub- 
lication has no systematic news gathering 
service covering the entire country, the act- 
ual number of new churches being organized 
must be much in excess of these figures. 

Of the 713 churches listed, 328 are union 
or independent, 255 are federated, 102 are 
denominational, and 28 are as yet unclassi- 
fied. The most incomplete classification is 
that of the denominational community 
church. This is due in part to the fact that 
until more recently the compiler was not in- 
terested in gathering statistics of this type 
of church. Also, at the very outset, great 
-difficulty was met in determining what "com- 
munity churches" with denominational 
affiliations were such in reality and what 
were only living under that name. For ex- 
ample one pastor wrote in response to the 
questionnaire he received: "This is not a 
community church. But it is the only church 
thus far established in this community, and 
we have adopted the name "community 
church" in order to discourage competition." 
In other words, a denominational church 
with a purely sectarian basis of membership 
and making no special attempt to serve the 
entire community, was making use of the 
community name only for its own protection 
in exploiting the community. 

On the basis of the best figures available 
it is estimated that there are not more than 
210 real denominational community churches 

63 



in the United States. Perhaps it should be 
explained here that by a community church 
we mean one organized on the basis of the 
community rather than the sect as its pri- 
mary unit of integration, and one which 
makes Christian life and Christ-like purpose 
the bond of unity rather than any dogma or 
denominational creed. A denominational 
church may be a real community church only 
if it receives members on their own baptism 
and their simple confession of Christian 
faith and purpose, and if it makes the entire 
community its parish. It must be nonsectar- 
ian, nonexclusive, community-serving. 

The denominational type is, judged T>y 
statistics, the least popular form of commun- 
ity church in every section of the country. 
In most States also, the independent or union 
churches exceed in number the federated 
churches. Oregon, Kansas, Illinois and Ver- 
mont are the only exceptions. The pre- 
dominance of the federated church in Ver- 
mont is due to the "Vermont Plan" under 
which the Congregational, Baptist, and 
Methodist Episcopal State organizations are 
working together for the correction of the 
evil of overchurching. 

Statistically, the movement is weakest in 
the South, as is to be expected. Our lists 
show a total of only 52 community churches 
in all the Southern States combined, and 20 
of these are in Missouri, which is not a full- 
fledged Southern State. It should be said 

64 



however, that there exist in parts of the 
South considerable numbers of federated 
churches which are not listed, because they 
consist of federations of congregations of the 
same "family;" for instance, the Presbyter- 
ian U. S. A. and Presbyterian U. S. churches 
have federated in many communities in 
Arkansas. They remain denominational, 

however, and compete in the usual manner 
with other sectarian churches in the same 
community. Even in the South the independ- 
ent or union church is the predominant type, 
33 of the 52 listed being of that type, as com- 
pared with 5 federated, 11 denominational, 
and 3 unclassified. 

In the West Arizona, California, Neveda, 
New Mexico. Utah, and Colorado are 75 
community churches, 44 of which are inde- 
pendent. The movement has been fostered 
in Colorado by The Colorado Association of 
Community Churches, which for three years 
has been exerting its influence thru semi- 
annual meetings, one of which each year is 
held in connection with a rural minister*' 
conference at the State College of Agri- 
culture. One of the most remarkable rural 
churches of this type in the United States 
is Sargent Community Church located eight 
miles from Monte Vista, Colorado. The 
movement in Colorado is undergoing a tem- 
porary set-back however, owing to the finan- 
cial difficulties resulting from the slump 

65 



in the mining industry, many of the churches 
being located in mining settlements. 

New Mexico and Utah are the most barren 
fields of the West as yet. But there are 
hopeful awakenings in New Mexico, and 
favorable developments are confidently ex- 
pected there in the near future. One of the 
most conspicuous denominational community 
church in the West is the Kirkpatrick 
Memorial Community Church of Parma. 
Idaho, which has a splendid equipment for 
religious education, recreation, and worship, 
and is doing large community service under 
a community-minded pastor. 

At the present moment California presents 
the most aggressive field in the West. There 
are numbers of really remarkable churches 
among the 45 listed, and the community idea 
has taken hold most strongly in the fruit- 
growing sections, helped on, no doubt, by the 
high degree of industrial cooperation practic- 
ed there. The movement is spreading most 
rapidly in the Imperial Valley, under the 
leadership of Rev. J. A. McGaughey, pastor 
of the church at Imperial. This church, less 
than three years old, has developed a remark- 
able outstation work, including evangeliza- 
tion, Americanization, Bible teaching, and 
other features. It now employs two ordain- 
ed ministers as assistants to the pastor, and 
makes large use of volunteers among its lay- 
men. It went right on, with its work un- 
diminished, during a serious financial de- 

66 



pression in the town which wrecked the 
Bank of Imperial. The success .of this 
church has already led to the establishment 
of other churches in the Valley, and to wide- 
spread agitation and desire for such churches 
at other points. 

But the most hopeful situation of all thus 
far mentioned is to be found in the North- 
west. There we have a number of very 

strong leaders: Boddy of Hood River, Ore- 
gon; McClure of Ridgefield, Washington; 
Nourse of Portland; Rucker of Malta, Mon- 
tana ; Ineson of Yakima ; and others. In 
January 1922 the first community church 
conference of the Northwest met at the T. 
M. C. A. building in Portland, Oregon, in a 
two-days' session. An organization was ef- 
fected known as the Northwest Community 
Church Association, committed to a policy of 
helping all communities desiring advice or 
assistance in establishing community 
churches, and of using its influence to per- 
suade the denominations to adopt more co- 
operative tactics in their work in the North- 
west. This conference received an unusual 
amount of publicity and many community 
churches hitherto unheard from as well as 
many, interested individuals asked for a 
second conference, which was held in June 
1922. Thus fostered, the movement is grow- 
ing in prestige and in the number of churches. 
The entire Northwest with the possible ex- 
ception of the Dakotas is developing rapidly. 

67 



A number of new churches have recently 
sprung up in the Dakotas also, and one of 
the most notable denominational community 
churches of the Northwest is the American 
Church of Mayville, North Dakota, where a 
unique work was developed by Rev. L. A. 
Lippitt by the simple practice of the spirit 
of Christian unity and service, and in the 
face of the most strenuous (and most futile) 
opposition on the part of denominational 
officials. 

Our list includes 85 churches in the North- 
west, and we have information of 1-3 others 
whose full names and locations are not yet 
listed. Of the 85, 31 are independent, 27 
federated, 24 denominational, and 3 are un- 
classified. Thus, in the Northwest, the three 
types are running a neck-and-neck race for 
favor. 

In the Central States group in which are 
included Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, 
and Wisconsin are 137 churches. Iowa 
ranks first among these States with 46 
churches listed ; and the list is very incom- 
plete. In November 1921 a State association 
of community churches was formed in Iowa, 
whose aims are fellowship and cooperation, 
and whose chief work thus far has been to 
assist churches in finding pastors. Perhaps 
the strongest community church in Iowa is 
the "Urbandale Federated Church" of Des 
Moines, which is really an independent 
church and not a federation, as its name 

6S 



seems to imply. In this church the first 
community church conference of the Middle 
West was held May 9-10, 1922, and during the 
course of the conference a Midwest Associa- 
tion for the Advancement of the Community 
Church was organized, with Mr. Charles E. 
Coleman of Chicago, a prominent business 
man, as President, Newton B. Ashby of Des 
Moines, vice-president, and P. O. Ortt, of 
The Community Churchman, Excelsior 
Springs, Mo., as secretary-treasurer. . 

Illinois ranks second among the States of 
the Middle West in number of community 
churches, there being 43 on the list. Many 
of these are to be found in the suburbs of 
Chicago and in towns and cities near Chicago, 
notable among them are, St. Paul's Union 
Church and Bethany Union Church of Bev- 
erly Hills, Chicago both noted for their mis- 
sionary zeal; Community Church of Park 
Ridge; and the Congregational Community 
Church of Winnetka. 

We have classed Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, 
Pennsylvania, and West Virginia together in 
an East Central group, for statistical pur- 
poses. The list locates 103 community 
churches in this group, 52 of which are in- 
dependent churches, and 59 of which are in 
Ohio. The movement is growing rapidly in 
Michigan under the aggressive influence of 
men like Livingston of Grant, Cutler of Grass 
Lake, McCurie and Behrens of East Lansing, 
and Magdanz of Fremont to name a few. 

69 



Economic conditions seem to favor the com- 
munity church especially in the cut-over 
timber lands of this State. 

Although the movement appears to be 
comparatively <veak in Pennsylvania, yet one 
of the few nationally known community 
churches is to be found near Philadelphia 
a church whose magnificent record of service 
and whose tireless pastor have advertised the 
community church idea thru the press and 
by correspondence in practically every State 
in the Union. This is Grace Chapel, Inc., at 
Oakmont, and the pastor is J. H. Feely. 

Statistically the movement is strongest in 
the East, by which is 'meant New England, 
New York, and New Jersey. Here the work 
is strongly helped by the active cooperation 
of the secretaries of the State Federations 
of Connecticut and Massachuetts, as well as 
by the denominational comity practiced in 
Vermont and alluded to above. The total 
number of churches listed in this region is 
250, 111 of which are independent, 119 feder- 
ated, 16 denominational, and 4 unclassified. 
This does not include a multitude of denomi- 
national churches which are the only 
religious organizations in their com- 
munities and some of which are doubtless 
entitled to be classed as community churches, 
by reason of their broad membership basis and 
the community-wide reach of their service. 
There are 143 such churches in Massachuetts 

70 



alone, but only 7 of these are included in the 
statistics, because of insufficient data as 
yet to classify others with certainty. 

The first community church conference in 
the East was held in The Community Church 
of New York, of which John Haynes Holmes 
is pastor, in April 1921. Though small in 
the number of churches represented, it 
attracted large audiences of New Yorkers. 
A second conference met at Buffalo, April 
30-May 2, 1922. The movement shows great- 
est present vigor in the Bast in New Jersey 
and New York. 

The mere detailing of statistics, however, 
cannot begin to measure the real spread of 
the movement. This is indicated in the 
country-wide interest manifested in the com- 
munity church idea, and particularly in the 
spontaneity with which new churches arise 
in remote sections. Three years ago the very 
term "community church" was unknown in 
hundreds of towns. Today there is hardly 
a village large enough to harbor a general 
store equipped with a tobacco-box cuspidor 
and a cracker-box scorners' bench, which 
does not also harbor persons who advocate 
the community church. There are commun- 
ity churches in the Tennessee mountains and 
in the Ozarks. Recently, while on a scout- 
ing trip to find a secluded spot in which to 
spend a summer's vacation, the writer jogged 
out eleven miles from the railroad over a 
trail which was but the bed of a hill creek 

71 



for a part of the way, boated across the un- 
bridged river, and nighted in a log-cabin, 
with an old couple bred in the hills "Hill 
Billies" they are sometimes disrespectfully 
called. But they believe in the community 
church! The same thing is true of the ex- 
clusive suburbs of our cities. Community 
churches are spreading in the newer sub- 
urbs and in some of the older ones. 

The community church movement has 
reached every part of the country. It has 
a propaganda. The Community Churchman, 
now more than a year old, circulates in 
every part of the United States and in several 
foreign countries. Its bookshelf is growing, be- 
ginning with Henry E. Jackson's pioneer vol- 
ume, "A Community Church," down to "New 
Churches for Old," by John Haynes Holmes, 
including extended mention in other volumes 
not wholly devoted to the theme of the com- 
munity church. 

The growth of this movement is certain to 
continue. For, as William T. Manning has 
said in the opening sentence of "The Call to 
Unity :" "The whole world is moved today by 
the thought of fellowship." Christian union 
is devoutly desired everywhere and the com- 
munity church movement is Christian union 
by local option. It is the expression of the 
people themselves, moreover, of a demand for 
a church dealing in life rather than dogma, 
loyal to its neighborhood, expressing the high- 
est religious faith and purpose of its own 

72 



people rather than proclaiming truth in the 
terms and language of the men and women 
of yesterday. The community church meets 
the need for this vital religion, it belongs to 
the people themselves. Economic conditions 
moreover, are now and for years to comje 
will continue to be right for the thinning out 
of the surplus churches and for the program 
of making one church live where before a 
bakers' dozen were dying. 

The growth of the community church move- 
ment will continue. The only question is as 
to its rapidity. And the chief needs are 
publicity and leadership. Both these needs 
are being met today much better than they 
were a year ago. We have spoken of the 
growing book literature. There is also a 
growing magazine and newspaper literature. 
The leaders, too, are coming. Men of in- 
fluence, men of great ability, including min- 
isters who have served on the chautauqua 
platform, including a former Bishop of one 
of the larger denominations, and pastors of 
denominational churches of more than 1,000 
members have entered the movement or ex- 
pressed themselves as ready to enter it at 
the first opportunity. The Service Bureau 
of The Midwest Association for the Advance- 
ment of the Community Church, which oper- 
ates in connection with The Community 
Churchman, now has a waiting list of men 
of big caliber ready to accept community 
church pastorates. 

73 



When we consider all these facts, we may 
say with modesty that the community church 
movement appears to be at the beginning of 
a period of steady normal permanent 
growth which will make it one of the most 
important religious movements of the pres- 
ent day in America. 

(NOTE: For statistical purposes it is 
found impracticable to follow the five-fold 
classification given in an earlier chapter, for- 
the reason that data on many independent 
churches is insufficient to classify them with 
exactness, as "Latitudinarian," or "Bur- 
banked." It is estimated that there are only 
about eight "Burbanked" churches and not 
more than 28 "Latitudinarian" at the "out- 
side," in the list. These are classed with in- 
dependent churches, of which they are a sub- 
class. 



74 



STATISTICAL SUMMARY 

( Showing numbers of various kinds of com- 
munity churches known to exist in the Unit- 
ed States (data corrected to June 1, 1922.) 

Number 

Union or Independent Churches listed 328 

Federated Churches, listed 255 

Denominational Community Churches list- 
ed -. .'. 102 

Churches listed but not classified with 

certainty 28 

Churches known to exist, but not Iisted....ll8 

Total community churches known to exist 831 

Number of Community Churches as listed 
by States, by the Service Bureau of The 
Community Churchman : 

NOTE: Statistics for all except four 
States are regarded as incomplete. Asterisks 
are placed after names of States for which 
statistics are regarded as 40 per cent or more 
incomplete. 

Number 

* Alabama 2 

*Arizona 3 

Arkansas 

California 47 

75 



Colorado 23 

Connecticut 24 

Delaware . 

District of Col .... 1 

* Florida 4 

Georgia 

Idaho 7 

Illinois 43 

* Indiana ". 3 

Iowa 46 

Kansas 20 

*Kentucky 1 , 2 

""Louisiana 2 

Maine 20 

Maryland 4 

Massachusetts 90 

Michigan 27 

Minnesota , 25 

Mississippi 3 

Missouri 20 

Montana 9 

Nebraska 15 

*Nevada 1 

*New Hampshire 6 

New Jersey _ 9 

New Mexico 2 

New York 41 

"North Carolina 4 

*North Dakota . 5 

Ohio 59 

Oklahoma 4 

*Oregon 15 

"Pennsylvania 10 

76 



Rhode Island 1 

South Carolina . 1 

South Dakota 6 

"Tennessee ...... , 3 

"Texas 1 

Utah 1 

Vermont 61 

"Virginia 3 

"Washington 18 

West Virginia 4 

Wisconsin 13 

Wyoming 1 

Hawaii 1 

Panama 2 

Porto Rico 1 

Total 713 



A PARTIAL LIST OF SUCCESSFUL COM- 
MUNITY CHURCHES 

Edgewood Community Church, Birmingham, 
Ala. 

Community Church, Miami, Arizona. 

Community Church, Atascadero, Calif. 

Northbrae Community Church, Berkeley, Cal. 

Union Protestant Church, Dixon, Calif. 

Federated Church, Fairoaks, Calif. 

Community Church, Imperial, Calif. 

Union Church, San Jacinto, Calif. 

Presbyterian Community Church, Weed, Cal. 

Federated Church, Gunnison, Colo. 

Community Church, Congregational, Mani- 
tou, Colo. 

Sargent Community Church, Monte Vista, 
Colo. 

Community Church, Telluride, Colo. 

Community Church, Wellington, Colo. 

Federated Church, Guilford, Conn. 

Mill Plain Union Church, Waterbury, Conn. 

Federated Church, Willington, Conn. 

Kirkpatriek Memorial Community Church, 
Parma, Idaho. 

Bethany Union Church, Beverly Hills, Chi- 
cago. 

78 



Kenwood Evangelical Church, Chicago. 

St. Paul's Union Church, Beverly Hills, Chi- 
cago. 

Seminary Avenue Federated Church, Chicago. 

Congregational Community Church, Hins- 

dale, 111. 

Federated Church, Morris, 111. 
United Churches, Oneida, 111. 
Federated Church, Oswego, I1L 
Community Church, Park Ridge, 111. 
Federated Church, Pleasant Plains, HI. 
Federated Church, Sandwich, 111. 
Rock Creek Presbyterian Church, Tallula, 

111. R. F. D. 
Congregational Community Church, Winnet- 

ka, 111. 

Community Church, near Franklin, Ind. 
Federated Church, Corning, Iowa. 
Federated Church, Farley, Iowa. 
Associated Churches, Hawarden, Iowa. 
Community Church, Exira, Iowa. 
Federated Church, Lansing, Iowa. 
Federated Church, Lyons (Clinton) Iowa. 
Union Protestant Church, Quasqueton, Iowa. 
Urbandale Federated Church, Des Moines, 

Iowa. 
Newburn Federated Church, Lacona, Iowa, 

R. F. D. 

Federated Church, Blue Mound, Kansas. 
Community Presbyterian Church, Chase, 

Kansas. 

Federated Churches, Marion, Kansas. 
Federated Church, Ottawa, Kansas. 

79 



Community Church, Garnett, Kansas. 
Community Church, Rexford, Kansas. 
Federated Church, Bonami, La. 

Union Evangelical Church, Greenville, Maine. 
North Deering Community Church, Portland, 

Maine. 

Federated Church, Ashland, Mass. 
Federated Church, Charlemont, Mass. 
United Church of Chester, Mass. 
Federated Church, Danvers, Mass. 
Union Church, Greenwood, town of Wake- 

tield, Mass. 

Federated Church, Hyannis, Mass. ,,, ! 

Federated Church, Lanesboro, Mass. ! 

Federated Church, Millbury, Mass. j 

Community Church, Pepperell, Mass. | 

Woronoco Union Church, Rusell, Mass. ! 

Federated Church, Somerset, Mass. 
Union Church, Tyringhain, Mass. 
Union Church in Waban, Mass. 
Forest Street Union Church, West Methuen, 

Mass. 

Union Church, West Springfield, Mass. 
United Church, Wilbraham, Mass. 
Union Church, Woronoco, Mass. 
United Churches, Dexter, Mich. 
Federated Church, Dowagiac, Mich. 
People's Church, East Lansing, Mich. 
Community Church, Grant, Mich. " 

Federated Church, Ontonagon, Mich. 
Community Church, Baudette, Minn. 
Morgan Park Union Protestant Church, Du- * 

luth, Minn. 

80 



Federated Church, Eden Prairie, Minn. 
Federated Church, Fergus Falls, Minn. 

Community Congregational Church, Wayzata, 

Minn. 
Community Church, Chilhowee, Mo. 

Union Church, Jennings, Mo. 
Harmony M. P. Church, Ravenswood, Mo. 
Community Church, Rush Hill, Mo. 
Community Church, Revere, Mo. 
Presbyterian Community Church, Ismay, 

Mont. 

Grace Chapel, Inc., Malta, Mont. 
Federated Church, Columbus, Neb. 
Community Presbyterian Church, Creston, 

Neb. 

Federated Churches, Mitchell, Neb. 
Community Church (Presby), Steele City, 

Neb. 

Federated Church, Greenville, New Hamp. 
Federated Church, Newmarket, New Hamp. 
Community Congregational Church, Newiag- 

ton, New Hamp. 

Union Church of Ridgefield Park, N. J. 
Community Church (Congregational), Vent- 

nor City, N. J. 
Edgehill Community Church, Bronxboro, New 

York. 

Oakgrove Community Church, Buffalo, N. Y. 
Union Church, Canaseraga, N. Y. 
Community Church, Conesus, N. Y. 
Jerusalem Corners Community Church, near 

Derby, N. Y. 
Federated Church, Fayetteville, N. Y. 

81- 



Community Church, Great Neck, L. I., New 
York. 

Community Church of New York City. 
Union Church, Pierrepont Manor, N. Y. 
Union Church of Pocantico Hills, New York. 
Community Church, Sherman, New York. 
Amherst Community Church, Snyder, N. Y. 
Immanuel Church, Westerleigh, New York. 
Community Church, White Plains, New York. 

Federated Church, Wyoming, N. Y. 

American Church (Congregational), May- 
ville, N. D. 

Federated Church, Amherst, Ohio. 

Federated Church, Aurora, O. 

Federated Church, Chagrin Falls, O. 

Independent Protestant Church, Columbus, O. 

First Community Church, Columbus, Ohio: 

Stowe Community Church, Cuyahoga Falls, 
Ohio. 

United Church, Garrettsville, O. 

First Church of Grandview Heights, Colum- 
bus, O. 

M. E. Community Church, Macedonia, O. 

Federated Church, Northfield, O. 

Community Church, Olmsted Falls, O. 

Valley Chapel Interdenominational Church, 
Stockton, O. 

Community Church, Helena, Okla. 

Community Congregational Church, Hills- 
dale. Okla. 

Federated Church, Freewater, Ore. 

Community Church, Hood River, Ore. 

82 



Federated Church, Oakland, Ore. 
United Church, Parkdale, Ore. 
Federated Church, East Smithfield, Pa. 
Federated Church, McConnelsburg, Pa. 

Grace Chapel, Inc., Oakmont, Pa. (Upper 

Darby Br. P. O., Philadelphia.) 
Federated Church, Custer, S. D. 
Federated Church, Tyndall, S. D. 

Congregational Community Church, Win- 
f red, S. D. 

Highland Chapel, Hilltop, Tenn. 

Federated Church, Castleton, Vt. 

United Church, Derby, Vt. 

Independent Community Church, Glover, Vt. 

United Church, Hinesburg, Vt. 

M. B. Community Church, Irasburg, Vt-. 

Federated Church, Lowell, Vt. 

Community Church, Montgomery Center, Vt. 

Federated Church, Panton, Vt. 

Federated Church, Pawlet, Vt. 

Federated Church, Hazen, Vt. 

Federated Church, Stowe, Vt. 

Federated Church, Whiting, Vt. 

Federated Church, Williston, Vt 

United Churches, Olympia, Wash. 

Community Church, Ridgefield, Wash. 

Community Church, Sprague, Wash. 

Community Church, Yakima, Wash. 

Presbyterian Community Church, Clinton, 

Wis. 

Community Church, Mazomanie, Wis. 
Union Church, Monroe, Wis. 

83 



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