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BUREAU OF WOMAN'S WORK Thirty-one Women's State Organizations have raised $30748.53 for pledged work, a falling off of $2,641.20 over the receipts of last year; while receipts from women's societies sent direct to this treasury have reached the sum of $3,591.64, an increase of $1,259.74, making the total decrease in income to the Association from Women's Organizations $1,381.46. This means that such shortage must be met by appropriations from funds designated for other purposes which will necessarily cripple the work in other directions. While many reasons are evident for the falling off, it is hard to believe that any reason should have interfered with our purpose and endeavor to bring nearer the coming of His Kingdom here in our own land. Of the 31 State Unions, 15 have paid in full their pledges to the A.M.A., even exceeding the amount pledged. Washington and Tennessee exceeding last year's contributions by over 100%, Pennsylvania by 60%, North Dakota over 40 %. Three Southern Unions whose names do not appear on last year's list have this year contributed to the work of the Association, a testimony of both love and sacrifice in this hardest of hard years in the southern field.
ENDOWMENT CAMPAIGN In accordance with instructions of the 1914 Annual Meeting strenuous pressure for the Million Dollar Endowment was withdrawn, awaiting the action of the National Council in 1915 regarding the proposed plan of the Commission on Missions to raise a large Tercentenary fund for Congregational purposes. Efforts however, to secure the imperatively needed endowment of $150,000 for Talladega College, and a current fund of $50,000 to be raised on the basis of ten thousand dollars a year for five years, have been continued. Something like $50,000 in cash and pledges have been received during the year. This high-grade and oldest school for colored students in Alabama should be hampered no longer in its work for lack of funds, and it is earnestly hoped that the amount asked for will be immediately provided.
BIENNIAL REPORT OF THE
SECRETARY CHARLES H. RICHARDS
We are glad to report that the biennium just closed has been the best in the history of the Society. This is the seventh report to the National Council in which each period has been shown to exceed the preceding periods, marking the steps of steady upward progress.
The periods are now to be biennial instead of triennial, and the two years now reported show larger receipts and a greater volume of work done than in any previous twoyear period. The receipts of the biennium now recorded have been $600,350.44, which is $25,638 more than the receipts of the preceding biennium. The slow and steady upward climb of receipts is shown by the fact that the amount received in the last two years is $121,368 more than the receipts of the biennium (1897, 1898) in which the Stickney legacy came to us which sent the receipts of a single year to an unusual height.
This growing income has enabled us to assist churches in the crisis of their building enterprises to a greater extent than ever before. In the two years just closed we have been able to put into churches and parsonages more than half a million dollars ($502,014.69). Into the fiftyfour parsonages we put $45,475, to shelter the Heralds of the Cross. Into two hundred and thirty-two houses of worship we put $456,539.69. These 286 buildings for church use cost with the lots on which they stand more than three times as much as the amount of our aid, so that in the two years the increased assets of the denomination, represented by this property, amount to more than a million and a half of dollars.
The addition to our two Loan Funds during the biennium has been considerable, though not nearly enough to meet the greatly increased calls. They have been as follows:
Received from Legacies....
$ 50,800.02 Conditional Gifts....
44,183.68 Special Gifts for Parsonage Fund.. 14,236.12
" Church Loan Fund... 9.950.48 Total addition to our Loan Funds.. $119,170.30
CONTRIBUTIONS Although more churches than ever sent us their contributions in the last two years (3,299 in 1914), their donations to our treasury as measured by the Apportionment standard falls far short of the sum assigned to this particular work. We received in this biennium from churches and their affiliated societies $168,717.65, not quite half of our apportionment. If we add to this the special donations to our church and parsonage Loan Funds, also the donations to assist churches specially designated, and the donations to our Conditional Gift Fund, the total contributions to this work in the last two years amount to $246,684.07.
THE SOURCES OF INCOME It is well to keep in mind the three sources from which we derive the funds needed to carry on the specific work of this Society.
The first is the contributions of churches and their affiliated societies ($168,717.65).
The second source is found in the returned instalments of loans previously paid to churches for the completion of houses of worship or parsonages, which in these two years amounted to $205,812.86. These returned payments were immediately available for use, and went out again at once in new loans.
The third source is found in legacies, conditional gifts, and special gifts for church and parsonage loans ($119,170.30); interest ($36,770.67); special donations for particular churches ($9,596.14); the sale of abandoned churches '($35,544.29); the amount received from repaid grants ($20,799.11); and miscellaneous receipts ($3,939:42). The total amount received from this source of income during the last two years was $225,819.93. This is our largest source of receipts by considerable, and the one in which we may hope for the largest increase as our Loan Funds grow by gifts and legacies. It is also the source most likely to be affected disastrously by any interruption of our present work. The most fruitful field of effort, and the largest permanent gains for this work will be found in the individual gifts, conditional gifts, and legacies which will come from a wider knowledge and deeper interest in this particular branch of our denominational effort; and no source of supply can be more easily checked and dried up than this.
WHERE WE HAVE HELPED
During the two years under review we have reached out the helping-hand to all parts of the country.
In New England we have helped to complete eleven houses of worship in five states, also two parsonages.
In four North Atlantic States we helped to build twentythree churches and two parsonages.
In nine states in the South we have aided twenty-two churches on their houses of worship, and one church to build a parsonage.
In seven states of the Pacific District we aided seventy churches on fifty-nine houses of worship, and eleven parsonages.
In the Interior District (including the Middle West and Southwest) we aided one hundred and fifty-two churches, one hundred and sixteen houses of worship, and thirty-six parsonages.
Porto Rico also received our assistance, $2,000 having been put into the parsonage at Humacao where the American Missionary Association has an important church. From this Atlantic outpost to our Pacific outpost in Hawaii where our church in Wailuku is located, to which we voted an appropriation of $5,000, the distance is about 7,000 miles in a straight line.
In some of these cases the aid given has been for the reconstruction or improvement of a building previously aided.
City and country churches have fared about alike, the latter being slightly ahead. One hundred and thirty-three churches in cities, large and small, and one hundred and fifty-three churches in villages or rural communities received our aid.
We have given practical fellowship to thirty-five churches which worship in other tongues than English, having extended the helping hand to one Slovak, two Armenian, two Finnish, two Norwegian, three Swedish, three Welsh, and twenty-two German churches within this biennium.
For several years, this Society, which concerns itself with the business difficulties of the churches, has rendered very valuable service to such churches as are crippled by debt by helping them to get rid of that crushing burden. Many such churches had received aid from this Society. We helped them out of debt when they were built but later they found themselves in difficulty. Some had received loans from us whose later instalments they found great difficulty in paying. Some because of poor leadership and unfortunate conditions were staggering under an accumulation of unpaid obligations which threatened the very life of the church. We believed such churches could be shown how they themselves can raise all that is needed, and without much difficulty. For four years our Field Secretary for the Interior, Dr. W. W. Newell, has given much attention to this special work of ridding the churches of debt. He has helped more than a hundred churches to get rid of debts amounting to more than $400,000. This special effort has been of such great value, and has awakened such profound gratitude, that the Society has broadened its scope to include the entire country in the benefits of this unique service. It has made Dr. Newell its “Church Efficiency Secretary,” and set him free from his duties as Field Secretary of the Interior, so that he is