Rev. George Leonard Chaney Resigns as Southern Superintendent

The Unitarian, Volume 11
Feb 1896

At the meeting of the board held January 14 several important subjects came up for consideration. The one having precedence was the missionary work in the South. On recommendation of the Southern Committee appropriations were made as follows: Atlanta, Ga., $200; Memphis, Tenn., $350; New Orleans, La., $500; Richmond, Va., $500; Austin, Tex., $500; Rev. Henry A. Westell, Asheville, N.C., $350; and $1,250 for the salary of Mr. Chaney for six months.

Mr. Chaney offered his resignation, which, after much earnest and sympathetic consideration, was accepted. The reasons which caused Mr. Chaney to offer his resignation, and the directors to accept it, may be reduced to one; namely, the lack of money to extend the operations and justify the maintenance of a superintendent in the field.

Mr. Chaney thinks it would be possible to establish churches in every Southern State; but also he recognizes the fact that the work cannot be done without considerable appropriations long continued. The conditions being such that the amount of money needed to carry on new operations in the South cannot be appropriated at present, Mr. Chaney had conscientious scruples against the spending of so much money on his office.

No more honest, earnest, self-sacrificing, and able work has been done by any one in our missionary operations than by Mr. Chaney and his accomplished wife. The directors fully recognized this fact, and regretted the hard conditions which make the practice of economy imperative. Mr. Chaney’s plan will be during the remainder of his term of service to strengthen the churches in the South, and prepare them for the change, in the hope that they may go on steadily toward self-support. The following vote was passed:

“Voted, That, in taking this action, the board wishes to express a feeling of regret that lack of means compels such retrenchment of work in the South, and of gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Chaney for the excellent gifts of mind and heart and the spirit of self-sacrifice which they have brought to this work.”

Reports were received of the action of several State conferences in the Middle West concerning the plan of a missionary council which had been under consideration for several months. Some of these conferences have not accepted the specific plan proposed, but all have expressed a desire to work toward some general plan of co-operation. The directors therefore instructed Mr. Batchelor, the secretary of the Association, to arrange, if possible, upon his return from the Pacific Coast, to attend a meeting of delegates in Chicago, to consider with them any plans of co-operation which may seem feasible, and report the result to the directors of the American Unitarian Association at the meeting in March.

At a meeting of the Western committee Mr. Forbush made a general estimate of the appropriations necessary for the ensuing year. He then, contrasting the cost of superintendence with the amount to be expended, advised the abolition of his office at the expiration of his term of service, Oct. 1, 1896. The committee so recommended, and the board voted to accept the recommendation. The following resolution was passed:

“Voted, That the board desires to put on record its sense of appreciation of the vigor, prudence, and good judgment with which Rev. T. B. Forbush has conducted the work of church extension in the Western department for the past six years.”

The secretary, when this goes to press, will be on the Pacific Coast, hoping to greet all the missionary workers, from Southern California to Washington, and to come into sympathetic relations with those who are advancing our cause. He may be addressed, until February 17, at the Unitarian headquarters, 300 Post Street, San Francisco, Cal.

George Batchelor.

Source:  The Unitarian found in Google Books  Feb 1896, Volume 11, Page 82-83

Posted in Chaney, Ministers, The Unitarian

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