« PreviousContinue »
settlements pioneer in respect to their need of new institutions and the aid which makes them possible. The country church of a generation ago has almost ceased to be. The population in rural regions has entirely changed in character. The church needs of the village and rural community call for a new type of minister, for a new equipment, and for a new program of work and administration. The need of the country today is for a church which shall give soul and spirit to the present day movement for reclaiming the rural regions.
(c) The New City. Nevertheless, the most striking and the most urgent needs of the present day from the missionary standpoint, are connected with the modern American city. The city frontier grows more rapidly than the country frontier, the dangers which threaten it are more perilous and the results in influence and power of effective evangelization of the new city community are naturally much larger. The rapid changes of a modern city are killing off the stronger churches of the past generation with alarming rapidity. The strategy associated with the harmlessness of doves and the wisdom of serpents insists that the new city community shall produce a series of churches which shall replace the loss from the old guard. If this is to be done, adequate assistance must be afforded at the beginning; and adequate assistance means large outlay, both in plant and in the support of the ministry. In view of these facts the Home Missionary Society has given. not a little attention to planning city advances and to fostering local movements looking to the mastery of city situations. At present there are more than thirty city missionary societies under various names associated more directly with the Home Missionary Society or its constituent state bodies. Several of these are doing strategic work and are developing a science of church work in the large cities. They report the expenditure for aid on pastor's salaries of $75,000 in the two years under review. (d) The New Citizen. - The most obvious need for d
Home Missionary work is not the new frontier, nor the new country, nor the new city, but the new citizen. He is in evidence everywhere. Contact with him forces home
upon us the consciousness of his need. Contemplation of his future convinces us of the opportunity which his presence affords for advancing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ both in America and to the ends of the earth. Congregationalists have not been backward in recognizing these needs and these opportunities. Four hundred and twentyfour missionaries preaching the Gospel in twenty-five languages other than the English in America, tells only the smaller part of the story. For the large work for the new American must be done, not in the language of his old home, but in the language of his new home; and the planting, fostering and maintaining of English-speaking churches where the children of parents born abroad may be spiritually Americanized is the large service which we are trying to render to the new citizen.
The Home Missionary Society has been listening carefully for the voice of the churches on the question of the realignment of our missionary forces in the homeland. Since the publication of the report of the Commission on Missions there has been no opportunity for the Society or its Board of Directors to formulate an expression of the attitude of the Society to the proposed changes. The nearest approach to this is in the action of the Executive Committee in voicing its opinions directly to the Commission on Missions. While this expression bears no weight other than that of the Committee itself, it doubtless conveys the judgment of those who are closest to the work of the Home Missionary Society, both in state and nation. In this word the conviction was expressed that the principle enunciated by the Commission that common work should be under common administrative control is a sound principle and applicable in the premises. The Committee expressed its opinion that economy, efficiency, and increase of receipts would result from the proposed closer association of the Home Missionary Society, the Church Building Society, and the Sunday School and Publishing Society. The Committee differed from the Commission on some points,
notably as to the advisability of separating the educational work of the Sunday Schools from the extension and promotion work, the conviction being that this work is one, and should be under common administration. Finally the Committee felt no reluctance in voicing its opinion that the entire home missionary constituency could be depended upon to heartily co-operate under any plans which the churches formulate through the wisdom of their National Council.
REPORT OF THE AMERICAN MISSIONARY
EARLY in the year it appeared that large deficits would result from the ordinary policy of receiving many students desiring to work their way, and of assisting worthy students whose resources became exhausted during the school year. Presidents and principals were instructed to receive only such pupils as resources justified. Appeals to the churches for special aid in behalf of the rest met limited, but inadequate response. By rigorous retrenchment the treasury has been saved from considerable debt. Tuition has been closely collected from the remaining pupils; three-fourths as many as last year have paid eleven-twelfths as much tuition as last year. The committee did not feel that the churches would tolerate a large deficit, but it cannot be fully proud of the human cost at which this has been provided.
THE SOUTH: EDUCATIONAL MISSIONS
187 College. .
262 28 Secondary a.
3,040 625 Elementary
4,724 583 Special.
436 Night School..
8,795 1,385 Boarders....
1,445 398 Decrease from 1913–14.
2,987 232 1 Including correspondence students. 2 Grades VII and VIII are classified in the secondary department.
The Southern colleges, as a group, have made decided recent gains in real collegiate character. Much remains to be done in this direction. . The past year, however, has seen notable revisions of courses of study and important internal adjustments. Thus, for example, the college women of Talladega are now to have a separate dormitory and be under a freer discipline than are the younger pupils. Similar measures have been taken for the boys at most of the larger schools. The initiative in these matters arises largely from the co-operative thinking of the Boards and Foundations doing educational work for Negroes, as well as in the direct co-operation of the colleges themselves. Much time has been · given to them and they weigh heavily in the service of the year, although their results cannot be statistically expressed.
Fisk University has a new president, Dr. F. A. McKenzie, recently of the University of Ohio, whose administration opens most auspiciously. Talladega College has made substantial progress with its endowment campaign. Tillotson College has just occupied a beautiful and modernly constructed administration building, largely made possible by the generosity of one of its Southern trustees. Tougaloo University and Straight University have each changed their name to the more modest one of “College." It is felt that this good example of academic modesty might be followed by some other than Negro institutions. Far-reaching plans involving the Methodist and Baptist schools in New Orleans have been under joint consideration by the respective missionary boards for some time, and seem likely to eventuate in a free field for Straight College in this largest of Southern cities. One of the other institutions has just closed its doors preparatory to removal. We regret to report, however, that the recent hurricane at New Orleans very seriously damaged the property at Straight College, and badly handicapped the work of the new year. Piedmont College was never more effectively organized nor in better financial condition, and reports an overflowing enrollment, with large gains in the college department.
Never before has the contribution of Talladega Theological Seminary to the colored churches and of Atlanta Theological Seminary to the white ones been more marked and