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Edifice work has been a department of their Home Missionary Society. Their two permanent funds expressly held for this work amount to $415,556. Their contributions for this particular work are very small, yet from interest on their funds, and money taken from the treasury of the Home Missionary Society they put $67,688 last year into eighty-eight houses of worship. This is in somewhat marked contrast with the one hundred and sixty-seven churches and parsonages into which our Society last year put more than $285,000, though we have far fewer churches and members.
Other denominations with a combined Board are doing still less in this line of work, counting it of value, but making no great effort to sustain or increase it. They rely quite largely upon the income from comparatively small invested funds. They built altogether about a hundred churches last year.
A FUTURE ADVANCE
One cannot read the stimulating story of the development of this specific work in our sister denominations without recognizing the tremendous impetus it has given to their larger Christian service in all lines of missionary endeavor. The last half-century has shown a great awakening on the part of the churches to the value of this particular form of work. They testify to this by
. their splendid gifts to it. They see how it contributes to the increase of church-power; how it accelerates the progress of the group of churches heartily engaged in it; how it equips them for the larger work of the Kingdom which they desire to do. Individuals as well as churches, seeing clearly the importance of this work, have opened their purses and given munificent donations to place shrines of worship in the neediest corners of the land, and to make the temple of God a greater power than ever to save the Republic and to save the world.
What has already been done in this work can be done again, and more successfully than ever, if this specific form of beneficence is kept definitely before the minds of men. There are many other stewards of the grace of God who are holding in trust the money he has given into their care, who will make even greater gifts to this cause when they get a clear vision of its helpfulness. Many individuals have given their thousands, some their millions, to this work. Others will follow their example if this special form of Christian service is kept distinctly before their minds as of vital importance. Safeguarding with jealous care the popular favor, the accumulated funds, and the experience which have now brought the work of this Society to the highest point it has ever known, we may push forward with justified hope to a greater work in the future, expecting greater gifts from churches and individuals to match the greater opportunities before us. REPORT OF CONGREGATIONAL EDUCATION
In June, 1815, eight young men gathered in a house in Boston to consider what might be done to increase the ranks of the Christian ministry. So that with June of this year the Society really passed its one hundredth milestone. Inasmuch, however, as the Society did not receive its charter from the Massachusetts Legislature until 1816 the centenary will be observed next year.
The Education Society was the first National Congregational Home Missionary Society, and was founded in the belief that an educated leadership was essential to the permanent growth of the Christian church. Men before institutions, has been the order of human development; Jesus before Christianity, Apostles before the Church.
A brief survey of the Society's work for two years shows that 435 students in theological seminaries and colleges preparing for the Gospel ministry have received $21,180 in scholarships.
In awarding these scholarships the Society is obliged to rely largely upon the endorsement of local examining committees at colleges and seminaries, who are personally acquainted with the fitness and scholarship of applicants.
It is a fact worthy of thoughtful consideration that the graduates from theological seminaries do not supply the demand for Congregational ministers. Two hundred and ninety-three pastors now serving our churches belong to other denominations, 119 of whom are Methodists, 62 Presbyterians, 51 Baptists, 6 Free Baptists, 1 Unitarian, 1 Universalist, 1 Lutheran.
If the denomination is not supplying its own leaders, missionary work in establishing of new churches in the South and West and missions in foreign lands is seriously hindered if not prevented.
The unwillingness of our youth to enter the ministry cripples home and foreign missionary activities.
The home, church and college should face this unfortunate situation and bring about a change, if the denomination is not to lose its place among other religious bodies.'
COLLEGES AND ACADEMIES
During the period just closed, the Society has given $32,707 to seven colleges and $48,818 to eight academies located in ten states: South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri.
Some of these colleges received direct appropriations from the Society and others have been assisted by applying certain amounts from the churches of the state for these schools on the church apportionment.
Mr. John W. Hansel is president of Fargo College in place of Dr. C. C. Creegan; Rev. Walter H. Rollins, succeeded Dr. Thayer as president of Fairmount College, Wichita, Kansas; Kingfisher College in Oklahoma is seeking a president.
The small college labors under the disadvantage of insufficient endowment. Here then is a field of giving for persons of wealth in the denomination. Inasmuch as efforts are now being made in other denominations to strengthen their colleges, it would seem that Congregationalists might well find a worthy opportunity for liberal gifts to the growing colleges of our order in the West.
A movement has recently started to place at Christian colleges a man who shall take charge of religious instruction and act as college pastor. He is to have the oversight of the religious life of the students, acting as their spiritual adviser, instructor in the Bible and ethical and social subjects.
Each state should have at least one amply endowed highgrade Christian academy, as a fitting school for the religious college in that state and as a feeder to newly formed churches. Educated laymen are valuable in contributing to the strength. efficiency and permanence of frontier churches.
STATE UNIVERSITIES The Society has paid $7,771 in salaries for Congregational pastors. Their exclusive mission is to the 4,000 Congregational students in the following ten state universities: California State University, Illinois State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, Wisconsin State University, Washington State University, Nebraska State University, Iowa State Agricultural College, Kansas State Agricultural College. These thousands of Congregational youth constitute an inviting field for the church to cultivate. Missionaries, ministers, teachers, and writers and Christian statesmen are the rich finds to be discovered here and set to life's highest tasks. Too long have they been neglected.
MISSION SCHOOLS The Society has appropriated $52,741 to the maintenance of fifteen schools in Utah, New Mexico, Florida and Texas. Two of these schools in Utah are academies, Proctor Academy and Willcox Academy, and their graduates, many of them, become teachers in the public schools of Utah. This is significant when it is remembered that the public schools of Utah, for the most part, are under the care of the Mormons.
Sunday Schools are also a part of the work of these missions — except in one instance only where the teachers are workers in the local church.
Among the Latin peoples in New Mexico, Florida and Texas this religious work is meeting with gratifying success.
In the Rio Grande Industrial School at Albuquerque, the Mexican students have become deeply interested in the fundamental principles of Christianity and have shown by their changed lives the fruits of the genuine work of the Holy Spirit.
The Cubans in West Tampa, Florida, are eager to have their children have our instruction week-days and Sundays.
In El Paso, Texas, there are 30,000 refugees from Old Mexico, and our mission school is greatly overcrowded because of insufficient accommodations. The small buildings of the Spanish Congregational Church has been used week