Friday, July 25, 2008

The Golds

An interesting piece here on the decline of mainline Protestantism, but here's the bit that caught my attention:
Early in the twentieth century, a trend toward consolidation began to take hold. Several things facilitated the trend. Those years saw, for instance, the peak of a great missionary movement in which, for two or three generations, the Protestant churches creamed off their best and brightest young people and sent them off to convert the heathen. (It is said that, as late as the 1970s, the most commonly shared characteristic among Americans in Who’s Who was “child of missionaries to the Far East.”) And out in the mission fields, a kind of practical common cause was forced on the Christians, an “ecumenism of the trenches,” which—because of the prestige of the missionaries—increasingly influenced their home churches.
Caught my eye because my aunt, Helen Harshaw Gold, was a missionary in China up to 1927(?)

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