The Wartime Consolidation of Laymen’s Evangelism

Sarah Ruth Hammond

Edited by Darren Dochuk

in God's Businessmen

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2017 | ISBN: 9780226509778
Published online May 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780226509808 | DOI:
The Wartime Consolidation of Laymen’s Evangelism

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This chapter charts the culmination of businessmen’s evangelistic efforts during and immediately following World War II. In an effort to offset the liberal programs and influence of the Federal Council of Churches, Carl McIntire and fundamentalists created the American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC). But more moderate evangelicals rejected the sectarianism of the ACCC and encouraged an irenic, civic-minded, and large-scale evangelism of the kind businessmen had been promoting for years. Out of Herbert Taylor’s vision, and the groundwork of J. Elwin Wright, emerged the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), a broad, interdenominational alliance of conservative Protestants. The NAE’s ecumenism, with a lowest-common-denominator statement of faith and a preference for collective action over theological wrangling, echoed that of the Christian businessmen’s groups. Taylor’s belief that evangelicals needed to participate in public life reflected the “service” ethos of earlier Christian business clubs, and his desire for the NAE to make a truly national impact paralleled his philanthropic Christian Workers Foundation. Besides reflecting Christian corporate sentiments, the NAE also defended its interests. One of its earliest initiatives was the Industrial Chaplaincy program, which was designed to place chaplains in the workplace as liaisons between management and labor, and prevent unrest.

Keywords: American Council of Christian Churches; Christian Business Men’s Committee International; Club Time; Commission on Industrial Chaplaincies; Federal Council of Churches; Fuller; Charles; Graham; William (Billy); Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship; LeTourneau,R.G; McIntire; Carl

Chapter.  14475 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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