Name given at beginning of 20th c. to Am. Prot. ch. which undertook a program of recreation and soc. service besides functions of worship and soul-care. Theologically it was a product of the Social* Gospel and socially of pop. shifts. As ch. plants came to be surrounded by underprivileged, transient, and foreign-born groups, emphasis shifted to an approach to physical need and provision for leisure time. The designation has largely fallen into disuse for various reasons.
G. Hodges and J. Reichert, The Administration of an Institutional Church (New York, 1906); H. P. Douglass, Protestant Cooperation in American Cities (New York, 1930); H. P. Douglass and E. de S. Brunner, The Protestant Church as a Social Institution (New York, 1935); M. H. Leiffer, City and Church in Transition (Chicago, 1938).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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