Church Unity in America

August 13, 1952

Report Outline
Organic Fusion of American Churches
Expansion of Interdenominational Associations
Universalism Versus Sectarianism
Ecumenicalism and the Communist Threat
Special Focus

Organic Fusion of American Churches

Pending Plans to Merge Leading Denominations

Notable expansion of interchurch activity in the United States in recent years has quickened hope for a united church in which all believers in God may worship without denominational barriers. Interest in the ecumenical movement will reach new heights in coming months as a number of American denominations take action on proposals to fuse separate religious bodies. At least 10 large Protestant churches are negotiating mergers or engaging in friendly discussions of religious unification. In addition, Protestant churches have before them a “Blueprint for Protestant Unity,” offering a design for a united church in the United States, which is intended to satisfy all denominations deriving from the Reformation.

Some observers see in these developments in the religious field a trend away from the sectarian pattern which has long prevailed in this country. According to A. L. Drumond, church historian: “Two world wars quickened the tendency toward integration … These unions, however, have only been achieved after years of patient courtship”.

The movement for consolidation of religious bodies has made more progress since World War II, both in the United States and abroad, than during any corresponding period of modern history. Its gains of the last half dozen years have been accompanied by substantial increases in membership for virtually all denominations.

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