Historic Documents in American Presbyterianism

The Grand Rapids Conference
by W.A.H. Zoerner

The League of Evangelical Students was given the great impetus, which promises to make it a very real factor in the lives of American students, at its First Annual Conference held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 20-24, 1925. At this conference nineteen schools were represented, eleven theological seminaries and eight Bible schools, and these represented student bodies from Texas to Canada and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Advocates of Christian Unity can take comfort in the fact that these schools represented at least eight of the prominent protestant denominations. One of the outstanding facts of the Conference was the splendid spirit of harmony and Christian unity manifested. The true joy of Christian fellowship was an admitted blessing to every delegate.

The Conference was the guest of Calvin Theological Seminary whose generous hospitality and helpful cooperation added greatly to its successful issue.

Preparations for the Conference were made by the Conference Committee appointed at Pittsburgh in April 1925. The chairman was John L. Schaver (Calvin Seminary) and the secretary of the committee Walter Laetsch (Northern Baptist Seminary). Too much credit cannot be given to these men for the Conference preparations, especially Mr. Schaver who gave a great deal of time and energy in handling the details. Mr. Schaver was elected chairman of the Conference and Mr. Laetsch secretary.

The importance of the League in the estimation of prominent conservative Christian leaders is evidenced by the presence at the Conference of such a representative group as the following list discloses. These men came as delegates, or upon invitation, to lend their judgment and to give addresses. Their presence was a proof of the need and place of an evangelical witness among students today. Dr. J. Gresham Machen, Princeton Seminary, Presbyterian U.S.A., spoke on the theme, "The Church's Historic Fight against Modernism from Within." Dr. Leander S. Keyser, Hamma Divinity School, Lutheran, gave two addresses on "Christianity and Liberalism," and "The Origin of Man and Woman." Rev. Harold Paul Sloan, Haddonfield, N.J., spoke on "What Modernism denies." Dr. J.E. Kuizenga, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Mich., Reformed A., spoke on the theme, "The Supernaturalness of Christianity." Rev. Joseph A. Schofield, Hobart, N.Y., gave a history of the movement. To these may be added the addresses of Dr. Melvin G. Kyle, Xenia Seminary, United Presbyterian, and Prof. S. Volbeda, Calvin Seminary, Christian Reformed, which are reported in other parts of this paper.

The Conference had also as visitors, Philip Mauro, Framingham, Mass., Prof. A.B. Winchester, Evangelical Theological College, Dallas, Tex., and J.E. Krebs, McCormick Seminary, Chicago, Ill.

The keynote of the Conference was unswerving loyalty to the Bible as the only authoritative rule of faith and practice.

About one hundred and fifty persons were elected honorary members of the League, including all the above-named speakers and such other representative names as:

G.M. Sleeth, Litt.D. J.M. Keese, M.D.
Jesse Johnson, D.D. W.W. Chipman, M.A.
J.H. Webster, D.D. W.A. Gere
R.M. Kerr, D.D. A.A. Wylie
G.B. McCreary, D.D., Ph.D. J.W. Stephens
E.C. Sanderson, B.S.T., D.D., LL.D. J.N. Woodcock
M.J. Wyngaarden, B.D., Ph.D. F.Z. Browne, Ph.B., A.M.
J.T. Reeve, D.D. C. Bouma, Th.D.
J.M. MacInnes, D.D. H. Benton, B.S.L., D.D.
F.D. Whitesell, B.D., Th.M. J.E. Brown
C.E. Macartney, M.A., D.D. H.F. Lutz, Ph.D., B.D. (deceased)
W.O. Johnson, Jr., M.A., Th. B. C.C. Ellis, Ph.D., D.D.
C.W. Hodge, Jr., Ph.D. Philip Mauro
W.B. Greene, Jr., D.D. H.A. Ironsides
R.D. Wilson, D.D., Ph.D., LL.D. R.C. Wylie, D.D.
O.T. Allis, Ph.D. W.C. Robinson, D.D.
G. Vos, Ph.D., D.D. J.A. Schofield, Jr., Th.B..
W.P. Armstrong, A.M., D.D. H. Colebrook, D.D.
F.D. Jenkins, A.M., B.D. L.R. Starborough, D.D.
A.T. Robertson, D.D., LL.D., Litt.D. G.W. McDaniel, D.D.
Lewis Sperry Chafer W.B. Hinson, D.D.
G.W. Taft, D.D. M.E. Dodd, D.D.
W.M. Anderson, Jr., D.D. F.Y. Pressly, D.D.
A.H. Perpetuo, A.M., Th.M. V.E. Hoven, M.A., D.D.
J.T. Spangler, A.M., D.D. E.M. Patterson, B.D.
J.R. Gauss, D.D. W.L. Myers, B.D.
T.T. Myers, Ph.D., D.D. F.T. Allinson
A.B. Winchester Franklin P. Manhart, A.M., D.D.
J.C. Massee, D.D. M.E. Becker, D.D.
G.E. Schlbrede J.S. Lowe, D.D., Ph.D.
W.B. Riley, D.D. G.H. Caohiaras, M.A., B.D.
R.J. McKnight, D.D., Ph.D. F. DeVona, A.M., Ph.D.
H.E. Anderson, Th.M. B.L. Osborne
G.G. Johnson, D.D. R.C. Wylie, D.D.
T.P. Stafford, D.D. I.D. Vennard, D.D.
G.W. Truett, D.D. E. Tink, A.B., B.D.
J.M. Dean, D.D. Thos. W. Currie, M.A., D.D.
H.W. Virgin, D.D. Walter W. Moore, M.A., D.D., LL.D.
J.T. Christian, D.D.

 

 

 

 

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