The readers of ONWARD may be glad to have a word from Atlanta. As the church has recently held its annual meeting, received reports from the various auxiliary bodies and elected officers for the new year, it is a convenient time to note conditions and prospects.
The annual meeting, which was held on the evening of January 15th, was preceded by the parish supper. Seventy-five persons gathered round the tables. After the banquet was ended, the various reports were read.
The Finance Committee reported that about $2,100 had been raised by the church in all its departments for all purposes in the last eleven months. (The preceding annual meeting was held the middle of February.) Out of the amount named the Atlanta portion of the minister’s salary had been paid, the church painted, an organ purchased for the Sunday school, quotas paid to the General Convention both for home mission work and Japan, dues to the Woman’s National Missionary Society, contributions to the State Mission work in Georgia and the entertaining o£ the annual session of the State Convention; contributions to the Central Union, on the church debt; about $140 to local benevolences, etc.
The Woman’s Mission Circle reported 41 members and a very successful year. The financial returns from the Circle were about $400. The showing of the Young People’s Christian Union and the Sunday school are encouraging. The Y. P. C. U. in addition to its other obligations raised and paid on the minister’s salary the sum of $65.00
The pastor’s review of the year, among other things noted that he had delivered since the last annual meeting, from the Atlanta pulpit 79 sermons. Other ministers who had preached during the year were, Drs. Atwood and Shinn, Rev. F. W. Wey, Rev. Clarence J. Harris, Rev. A. G Strain, Rev. J. M. Rasnake, Rev. Sam Small. Methodist, Rev. C. A. Langston, Unitarian, and Rabbi David Marx, making the total number of discourses 108. Special addresses and sermons by the pastor for the year were delivered in Georgia, at Dahlonega before the State Agricultural College, at Americus, and Flat Woods; in Florida at Pensacola, in Alabama at Brevon, in Maine at Portland and Pembroke, and before fraternities and the Unity Club of Ministers in Atlanta; a total of 14.
Of contributions to the press there have been 11, one for each month. Among these was one on the “Faith of the Universalist Church,” printed in the Baptist Seminary Magazine at Louisville, one ‘On defense of Universalism,” in the Southern Evangelist, an organ of the Christian (Campbellite) church; one on “The New Penology,” delivered before the Unity Club of Ministers and printed by request in the Atlanta Journal. The number of funerals attended was 10, marriage ceremonies performed 7—four being church weddings. Members received during the year to full membership 19, associate membership 15, 34 in all. The total number of members at present within the city is 88, non-resident 32, total 120. Non-resident members retained on the roll are those who so desire and who in one way or another are helpful to the church. Associate members are not included in above number. It may be noted that among those received during the year have been three ministers. Rev. F. W. Wey, formerly of the Episcopal church, Rev. Clarence J. Harris, a professor in the Atlanta Congregational Seminary, Rev. J. Rasnake, who had for some years been a Baptist minister. The Atlanta Church esteemed these ministers sincere in their change of Faith and well equipped for successful work among us. This confidences seems to be justified in present results. Rev. Mr. Wey has charge of the church in Brewton, Ala., Mr. Harris at Winchester, N. H., and Mr. Rasnake is successfully rallying the forces in Harriman, Tenn., and recent reports from this first mission of the Y. P. C. U. are full of encouragement.
The above is a fair representation of the way matters were set forth at the annual meeting. A splendid body of officers were elected for the new year. Between $800 and $900 was quickly subscribed toward the current expenses and we are well started for the work of 1903.
The last six months of 1902 were marked by a large number of Universalists who for different reasons left the city. In two instances death was the occasion of the change of families, and in others business reverses or readjustments. The total number of families and parts of families that have gone is 17 and the number of individuals is nearly 40. This very unusual exodus has been partly overcome by new families and individuals who have put in an appearance, but not wholly so. It is such an exacting task to build up a strong church in a large Southern City that the departure of any number of the active forces is depressing. The report on the results of the year would have been quite different had these valued church workers and contributors remained among us. However, viewing the year as a whole, the Mission has in many ways been strengthened, and like the Apostle of old, we “thank God and take courage.” The Atlanta Constitution now prints regularly on Monday morning, an outline of one sermon preached in our pulpit the preceding day. As these “outlines” have been the cause of some newspaper articles, maybe they will accomplish a helpful mission. A pleasant incident at the annual meeting was the presentation of an elegant Morris reclining chair by the ladies of the Mission Circle, to your correspondent. It is hoped that this may not occasion the proclamation of “woe” for us. As to those “who are at ease in Zion,” but rather that it may more and more become a “seat of power” to the furtherance of our great work in the Southland.
W. H. MCGLAUFLIN.
Source: Onward found in Google Books , Vol. X, No. 7, Feb 14, 1903, Page 51