Saturday, December 4, 2010

50 years ago: Consultation on Church Union (COCU) begins with Blake-Pike proposal

On December 4, 1960 Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, Stated Clerk of the United Presbyterian Church and one of America’s most prominent mainline Protestant clergymen, addressed an assembly of the (U.S.) National Council of Churches at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco--the church led by heretic Episcopal Bishop James A. Pike--and proposed a plan to merge four major Protestant bodies: the Methodist Church (9,815,460 members); Protestant Episcopal Church (3,126,662); United Presbyterian Church (3,145,743); and United Church of Christ (2,223,732).

Although Dr. Blake stressed that he spoke as an individual and not as an official spokesman of his church, the proposal was acclaimed by some Protestant leaders as a hopeful step toward Protestant unity. Bishop Pike offered his endorsement and commendation, and it became known as the "Blake-Pike proposal." The proposal marked the beginning of what became the Consultation on Church Union (COCU). Later in the day, Billy Graham addressed the assembly, with Bishop Pike at his side.

See my earlier post on COCU for more information.

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