Building for the Children

Jeanne Halgren Kilde

in When Church Became Theatre

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143416
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834372 | DOI:
Building for the Children

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As middle‐class evangelicals wrestled with rapidly changing urban life, their church buildings reflected congregational negotiation between the mission of serving their own families and that of serving the broader community. The family ministry mission is readily apparent in the many programs and elaborate Sunday school facilities – including the highly innovative Akron Plan Sunday school – created for the Christian education of members’ children. At the same time, efforts to reach out to broader communities, particularly the poor, is evident in congregations’ construction of institutional church facilities that included classrooms, reading rooms, game rooms, gymnasiums, and even swimming pools intended to provide a church home for nonmembers. In some cases, however, these missions clashed, and the outreach mission was eclipsed by the family ministry mission as the use of institutional facilities was dominated by the children of members.

Keywords: Akron Plan; children; Christian; church; education; institutional; mission; outreach; Sunday school

Chapter.  11982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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