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Handbook, 1909
			


152                       Hand Book 1909.

are discreetly silent on the subject) and it will be found that, altho
the country has been increasing enormously in wealth, the contri-
butions to the churches have either actually fallen away or else have
crept forward at snail's pace. It will also be found that most churches
are using more in proportion of the money collected on themselves,
less on benevolences.  Here are statistics of gifts for a twelve-year
period of four great denominations (from Strong's 'Social Progress'):


  "In all the denominations named except the Methodist, the benev-
olences decreased in the twelve years between 1893 and 1905.  Even
giving for home expenses decreased in two of the four denominations,
and all this in the face of the fact that 1893 was a panic year and
that since then the wealth of the country has enormously increased.
If it were not for the fact that many of the large city churches, of
which Trinity in New York is the best type, have a steady income
from  endowments,  they  would  have  still more  difficult problems
to meet.
  "No, people are no longer giving to the churches as they once did,
and it is this, more than anything else, perhaps, which, deep down at
the bottom, is causing profound concern among church-leaders.
When money begins to turn aside, institutions tremble."


               PROSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH.
  During the years immediately following the close of the Civil War
church buildings among Negroes were centers not only of religious
life but the centers of educational, social and political life, but such
mixture of gatherings within the House of God tends toward a de-
struction of the proper reverence for the Church as a temple of wor-
ship. We have passed beyond this period in the church life of the
present day. On account of this many of our churches have re-
solved that the worship room shall be used no more for entertain-
ments, concerts and the like. The Roman Catholics preserved this
idea in their church building to so large an extent that even Prot-
estants in entering a Catholic church have a reverential feeling that
does not possess them even when they enter their own churches.




			
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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Pamphlet Collection

Handbook, 1909


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