thumbnail of Riverside's Past; 2; Where The New Began
Hide -
This transcript was received from a third party and/or generated by a computer. Its accuracy has not been verified. If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+.
I've been asked to invite anyone who would like to to come down further forward. I think you won't have any difficulty hearing tonight, but if you find that you are having any difficulty, will you just move forward? There are plenty of seats down front. Last week, we talked about foundation stones, the building and the people who made possible our being here tonight in this very comfortable theater, and in the type of program that we have an ongoing program. And we hinted at the challenge of the church in its early beginnings of this church. Tonight's panel picks up the challenge in reminiscences of where the new begins or where the new began. If you notice significant gaps in the exhibit out in the south hall lobby, know that it is not from lack of appreciation of the women of
the church and their role in the new beginnings. Perhaps the lack of pictures is because the women were so busy doing that they didn't have time to stop and have their pictures taken. I think that is not quite the explanation, however, the committee has had some difficulty in getting pictures that date back to the early days, and this is a continuing exhibit and pictures will be added to it. Some pictures will be taken down as the days pass. This is one advantage of a preliminary look at our past in preparation for our 125th anniversary which will be celebrated next year. It lets us know what is missing and what we had better seek out. Dr. Tibbets who chairs the panel this evening needs no introduction. But as
I listened to the rehearsal last week, I had to chuckle because I recalled an evening that perhaps Dr. Tibbets has forgotten, but it was a meeting of the Business and Professional Women's Club and Dr. Tibbets was seated on the day as next to me. And as he looked out over a crowded assembly hall, he said to me, do you suppose I'll ever know all of the people out there? I don't know whether he ever got to know every single one of us, but I certainly know that he got to know the church and that he was a wonderful resource for our reminiscences throughout this whole series. Dr. Tibbets will introduce the other people who are resources and who are authorities in where the new began. Dr. Tibbets. Thank you very much, Ms. Sally. I don't remember that incident, but I know that the bees and
bees and many, many other people in this church did their best to make it possible for me to know you individually and personally. And looking back over the years, I think one of the most delightful experiences of them all has been that year by year that a circle of friendship and acquaintance was extended. And we felt that we were part of a Christian community, the like of which it would be hard to find anywhere else. I was chairman of this meeting, I shall begin with the pleasure of introducing to you those who are taking part in the evening's conversation. I will take them in the order in which they are seated at the table. First of all, I will present Mr. Betis Garcide who served as chairman of the Board of Deacons and the member of the Board of Deacons. His membership on the board was returned over the last 25 years that I have known the board and he has rendered a distinctive service in the church in many ways as member of the Board and this chairman
of various important church committees. Next to him is Mr. James Farmer who also has been a member of the Board of Deacons on repeated occasions and has been chairman of the Board and chairman of important committees in the church. Next to him is Mrs. James Farmer who is currently the chairman of the Arts and Crafts Committee. On my left is Mary Tibbitt's best wife or minister could ever hope to have. I don't venture to become personal in this respect. I just make what I must tell you my son wrote us a letter. He was married on the 23rd of December and perhaps he takes his cue from his father. He wrote and said that while he didn't want to generalize he thought that matrimony was a good experience. Well I can be both general and specific. Next to him is Mrs. Lays who with her husband Mr. Lays just beyond her have long been in the church and have taken important part in
its life. Mr. Lays as a member of the Board of Deacons and both of them identified with the church school with the parents of children who have seriatim I think you would say and collectively been active in the life of the church school. Now here we are we are going to begin to talk about where the new began. On a transatlantic line there are two important locations. One is in the bow of the ship which is pointed toward a hidden destination and the other is in the stern which is in line with the port of departure. Tonight we shall be concerned both with the future and with the past of the Riverside Church. Remembering that Dr. Fosdick has said that everyone should have a past tense and remembering also that what is familiar and accepted for its true worth was once new and a real venture of faith. From its earliest days the Riverside Church made known the conviction expressed by Dr.
Fosdick that people are important. This was constantly reflected in his preaching and in the way in which the church is seven day a week program developed. The question was what do people need and as the community replied the program took shape so that the Riverside Church has been here in this great city as one who serves one's fellow man. We might begin to hear about this process of important beginnings by learning something about Riverside's church school. Now the church school is the living representation of the Christian conviction that Christian education is important. And Mr. Lays you know how important Christian education is in a family because you and Mrs. Lays have been here with your children over the years. Tell us something about the early days of the church school that opened here even before the name was completed and ready for worship.
Mr. Lays had prepared to introduce this part about the opening of the school and I will add my comment. That's all right let the lady do the work. Well perhaps I became familiar with the church school a little sooner than Herbert dead because we came here our first child entered the church school about 1937 and by that time things were pretty well along. I would say that synonymous with the history of the church school was the name of Dr. Helstrom and it was about seven years after this school opened that I first made my acquaintance. The thing that I found to be very unique about
this church school was that they had such a well-trained staff in the nursery kindergarten department where our first child entered at the age of two. The program lasted for three hours and it was quite an experience not only for the child but for the parents because we seemed to be drawn in almost as completely as the children and it seemed that parents were considered just as important. Now I was quite surprised at how well prepared and how well trained the staff was but it wasn't long before I discovered that this staff was so well-trained because they were employed in the weekday nursery school and later on inquiry I learned that the weekday nursery school had been the brainchild of Mrs.
Faustick. Very early and before the church school here was really started in this building Mrs. Faustick had found that many missionaries and their families came to New York for brief periods and the wives of these missionaries felt that their year was a great disappointment because so much of the year was spent in looking after their small children and the cultural advantages that they might have gained were to a great extent lost and it was through this experience and the need for the people that attended the church at that time that the weekday nursery school was planned and was very soon installed on the second and third floors of the tower of the building. The program of the church was different from
what I had known or ever heard of. We always had pamphlets distributed each Sunday and this was what was taught but there was no such thing in the church school that Dr. Helstrom led. The program was built and experimented with to fit the needs of the people that came here and it was completely wrapped up in the idea that the people who attended it as the years went on would have a very well-rounded idea of the main person that they were concerned about and that was the life of Jesus and I always remembered that when our children came along as far as eighth grade each one of them had to take an examination on the
life of Jesus. Dr. Helstrom considered this very important and if this test was not passed he saw to it that the people who did not pass it got very special help and instruction in this area. I got acquainted with the nursery kindergarten very closely after our children and after all our children, our first three children got into the nursery school and I was able to spend two years working in the nursery kindergarten as an assistant and this was a very thrilling experience. Through this I got in on the wonderful staff meetings which were held up in West Park every September. This was a thrilling experience to meet all the staff members of the church school and something that will always be remembered by
everybody who experienced it was the wonderful heavy teas that the Helstroms held in their apartment several times every year and the programs that they had after this tea, actually it was a supper but it was always called a heavy tea. It was a thrilling experience and some of the people whose names I want to mention that were very active at this time of the early church school where Miss Ruth Perry who was director of the nursery kindergarten when I first got acquainted with it. Later I had the privilege of spending one year in the primary department under Jeanette Perkins Brown who was heading the primary department
at that time. There was an intermediate department which had been led by Mrs. Faw's but she left the year I got into that department and I spent three years in the intermediate department. The high school department up to that time had been led by Mrs. Helstrom and by the time I got acquainted in that area Mrs. Lykins had taken over in the high school department and these are some of the names that I particularly wanted to mention to others I might mention that seemed to have a very great and important part in the church school and many of you may remember some of these people. One of them was El Sabano who spent quite a long time in the nursery kindergarten and another one was Elizabeth Allstrom who worked in the primary
department and later succeeded Mrs. Brown when she retired. I think that's about all I'll say about that but all this time that I spent in the church school I was not able to participate in the programs of the parents fellowship which I missed very much and my husband is more experienced with what was going on there. He's a very well-educated church mother I'd say. Herbert, you take over now and we'll hear a word from you. We always thought that the parent organizations were a very important part of the church school. We are one of the families that never lived near the church. We always came from Long Island we're really closer to the church now than we were because roads have improved. It took an hour and a half to get in here and we started to come and if it had not been for such a magnificent
church school as fine as the church was and the preaching was I don't think that we would have continued over all these years coming to Riverside and these parent organizations were something new to me. I had grown up under conditions where pop sent the kids to school or Sunday school and maybe went to church later with them but here for the first time was an organization set up where parents didn't send their children to Sunday school they went with them and I was struck by the fact that in every grade level there were parent groups and we started in parent groups in the nursery kindergarten group and worked on up through the senior high and Jim Farmer I think used to kid me are you still in there? Would you ever graduate and but I had a lot of kids so the purpose of this parent
of the parents groups was not just to learn what they're doing in the Sunday school what the teachers were doing but it was a attempt to help parents to build a Christian home. One of the most inspiring things that I think that happened in those groups was to go on the ninth floor around the end of September and join in the litany of the home the dedication of parents we call it and minister usually read this litany of the home which Dr. Faustic I believe had written and there are two lines in there it seems to me that express the purpose of the parents groups at least it seems so to me. Oh God who set us to solitary and families we lift before thee the dear and sacred interests of our homes make our families
radiant centers of joy and schools of character and this seems to me to be what the parents groups were trying to do and what the Sunday school was trying to do in the weekday nursery school to help build a Christian home without talking too piously about religion. I remember at Dr. Helstrom's home one night he was sort of kidding Jeanette Brown about some experiment she was telling about and she said he said and what is all of this have to do with the teaching of religion. He said if she said if I may quote an eminent authority a man of the name of Dr. Helstrom he once said the best teaching of religion sometimes is done
without ever mentioning religion or God and this seemed to me to be what the church school and what the parents groups were trying to do. They were trying to get to the spirit of religion without merely talking about it. I think you had a beautiful illustration of how the Christian education program here could permeate the lives of parents and the lives of their children and this is a basic element in the life of a church and now we'll go on from there to some of the other things that have been happening here because adults have their needs as well as children. Now I'm going to ask Mrs. Farmer to tell something about the Arts and Crafts program where people found opportunity for self-fulfillment and expression in the life of this big city. Well you know Dr. Tibbetts the Arts and Crafts program actually started back in 1930 in
the church school too. This was when Dr. Helstrom was the head of the religious education department. That very remarkable lady Mrs. Alma Gillett started an interest group of about 30 boys making hand puppets and marionettes and they met on Friday nights and put on shows and had a wonderful time. Well some of the other organizations in the church or some of the organizations in the church got interested and the bees and peas decided that they wanted to have a class or an interest group in read basket weaving and the women's society wanted something an interior decorating and home furnishings and the men's class got interested in etching and the guild had an interest group on Thursday nights and Mrs. Gillett found teachers for these groups and she and Mr. Gillett did some teaching themselves. In fact the
whole program was on a volunteer basis. Well this went on into the depression. Do you mean that the volunteer teaching went on into the depression? No and well yes on this basis on this volunteer basis it went on into the depression and as the depression got deeper the need deepened also and these groups that started out as interest groups became regular classes with a more serious purpose behind them. People needed something to do and many people didn't have the money to spend on leisure activities and actually many people had no jobs at all so that this this filled a real need. The program as it is now was open to non members of the church as well as church members and people came
from the area and began coming from around the city to this very unique program. Instead of it's being something within the organizations it began to be an organization in itself. Well in this crowded church there was no it was hard to find a place for it but they found a place on the ninth floor attic above the nave for it was so many years and this group of people working together five days a week mornings, afternoons and evenings in an atmosphere of happy, happy bedlam. But also as this during this period they offered many new courses and crafts that had were threatened to die out were introduced such as weaving and bookbinding. The bookbinding was particularly appealing to some of the men who enjoyed doing it and I think this was a time when many musicians were out of work. At one time there were a
number of unemployed musicians who were taking that course and they were binding one of the things they were doing was binding music scores. I'm sure you everybody here will remember Dr. LaFave, our career nurse for so many years. Dr. LaFave became quite an expert etcher and I'm as good many of the people here or some of the people here at least did become expert in other crafts during that time. We had jewelry making, jewelry making was the number one interest course at that time just as painting is today and a number of several as a matter of fact unemployed students at that time became so expert in it that they went on and did this professionally and so their products. Several of the students went on to become teachers in the program and this continued over a period over during
the whole period of the program and we have two teachers right now as a matter of fact who started as students in the program some years ago. Well to get back however to the chronological part of this about 1948, Marjorie Bondi who, Mrs. James Bondi, became chairman of the Arts and Crafts Committee and she proceeded to shape this big Morphus program into something which more resembles the program as it is today. Mary Helstrom became the executive secretary and these two people created order out of this happy chaos on the ninth floor. Through their efforts it achieved additional breadth as well as depth and became becoming a part of and a resource for the church. Eve Beach succeeded Mary Helstrom in 1957 as executive secretary and under her regime with the building of the new South Wing the
Arts and Crafts program moved up into the tower into the beautiful rooms which they occupy now and here the program really came of age as part of the church family. Well we now offer four different courses in about 22 subjects. We have 21 teachers and 350 students working five days a week. It's an entirely adult program now and has been for many many years and our teachers instead of being volunteers are all professionals or freelance craftsmen and are all paid. We have an exhibit twice a year in the fall and in the winter time at the start of each semester and have 1,000, 1,500 visitors each time and twice a year we
have a guest night programs which are on some aspect of the arts which are attended by friends and neighbors on the hill as well as members of the church. Excuse me in the eruption Mrs. Farmy I want to pick something up you said that they used to be volunteers and now the teachers are paid how are they how are the funds supplied to pay them. Oh well I'm glad you asked that question Dr. Tibbets they are paid out of our own program that is we don't we don't take money from the church budget for running the arts and crafts program it is run entirely from the fees which are paid by students and very modest fees they are too I would like to add they are not you won't find anything of this as reasonable as this of this type in the rest of the city. We changed a lot since those
early days when Mrs. Gillett said it all in motion but our basic aims are still the same we offer fellowship and an opportunity to develop latent artistic ability I think everyone has an inner need for self expression and to be creative in some area anyone can do it but few people feel they can without some help we're always thrilled with the lovely things that we see that come out of our classrooms but people are our primary concern and now as always Dr. Tibbets our emphasis is on the needs of the individual in the program. Are you come full circle around to the point where we're going to hear more about the church's effort to meet the needs of persons as individuals apart from a group because we have had in this church from years back a social service committee about which not
very much is said but it's highly important and Mary Tibbets is going to tell us something about that aspect of the church she was on the social service committee for a number of years and she speaks out of her personal experience as well as with the aid of Mrs. Hazard's information as Mrs. Hazard has been with it for many years or so as the executive of the minister as assistant in the church. We are told that a city that is set on a hill cannot be heard Riverside Church is set on a hill and is like such a city and Dr. Fazdick preaching in the Riverside pulpit was a magnet to people many who have disturbed mentally and emotionally came to him with their problems and soon he found that he had problems of his own for some of the troubles that were brought to him were of economic origin as well as mental and emotional and it wasn't long before he saw that they were beyond his ability and his province.
Now we must remember that at this time we must remember the background was the depression. Dr. Fazdick felt that it was important to get something set up and organized to cope with this vast stream of people who were down and out many of them or in any rate deeply disturbed and he summoned to his aid Mary Downs who had been working with the charity organization society highly skilled in social work she came to Riverside to be headed the social service committee under her served women of the church carefully chosen. And always one of the ministers wives or a wife or one of the ministers I should say was always on. I'm glad I'm glad such an old joke will still get a laugh. Some of the earliest members of this committee were women such as Mrs. Colgate, Mrs. Ballett
and of course Mrs. Fazdick. Naturally this was a highly confidential committee its emphasis was always on reaching the person in need each studied as an individual. One of the most important projects instituted was the emergency work bureau. This was a sewing project for needy women, privately financed and it was run by volunteers. At this time organized public welfare as we have it now did not exist. This bureau, this emergency work bureau grew to an enormous size during the depression and maybe said to be the father or one of the fathers of such projects as the WPA. War came and the refugee committee was quickly organized. Individual members of the church sponsored the coming of families from abroad taking responsibility not only for finding a job for the breadwinner but a place for them to live until they could be on their own. This meant firm financial backing and a certain amount of daring. Members of the committee met families at the peers, the trains, put them on
trains took them off if they were leaving the city. Also many of us remember meeting children coming in groups from Canada and going home to England. At all times a social service committee met problems of the church membership itself. Many of our own children were sent to camp or other vacations were arranged. Doctors bills were paid, closed supplied where needed. Money for this came from the benevolence committee. The used closed department was started as a byproduct and has been highly successful. As in the past this committee worked with people to prepare them for possible referral to public agencies, tides them over emotionally and often financially. Today our loved Edwinna has it is in charge of the social service work because she has been for years. And Dr. Jesse Lyons is the liaison minister in charge of channeling needs to the other ministers or appropriate departments in the church.
My wife says that's very brief and it's all too brief for what this department has meant in the lives of people in this church and this city and there's one of the ministers who was most closely associated with it. In the period of my ministry here I can tell you many an astonishing story of what that department have done but it's confidential and it cannot be repeated. I wish we had more time for all these things but we have to move along and this time I'm going to move into the area of Christian fellowship and brotherhood as the background for events that took place here in the Riverside Church within the last ten years or so. And Betis Garcine is going to tell us about that because he was at the heart of this movement which expanded the ecumenical relationships of the church. All right I think that the first long stride in the direction of interdenominationalism in Riverside Church took place just 40 years ago when Harry
Emerson Phosdick became the minister of the Park Avenue Baptist Church. And while at that time the Park Avenue Baptist Church continued to have a relationship only to the Northern Baptist Convention it did become a church with an open membership so that men and women coming from all denominations were welcomed a membership in Riverside Church. First was the Park Avenue Church of Carson and Riverside and as they left the congregation and went to other parts of the country they took their church letter to denominations of every type. Then the second long step in the direction of becoming interdenominational was when the first non-baptist minister was brought into the collegium. That was the gentleman you've heard much about already this evening Dr. C. Evar Helstrom who had brought in just at the time the Park Avenue Baptist Church was beginning
its move here to Mourningside Heights. I can proudly say that I knew him when because my wife and I knew him when he was over in New Jersey. He started New Jersey on the staff of the Mount Avenue Presbyterian Church. He himself was a congregationist but was making an outstanding record there in a Presbyterian Church and it was he that contacted us through the Presbyterian Board and arranged for our going out to China as missionaries under the Mount Avenue Presbyterian Church. I remember very distinctly how impressed my wife was by this handsome dashing at that time bachelor minister and how she commented to me on how all the young feminine hearts in the vicinity fluttered whenever Evar came around. So that was the second step. Then for about 20 years after we came up here Riverside continued to have only a denominational tie with the
Baptist. Although we were becoming more and more interdenominational both in our membership and our spirit and our program and in the outreach through our benevolence committee to all parts of the world then in 1948 Francis Harmon who's has been the leader in many of the fine ideas that progress in this church got the idea that we should make a serious study of how Riverside might officially while retaining its Baptist membership establish also a formal connection with at least one other Protestant denomination and so he took the lead in appointing a committee on ecumenical relations that was made up of representatives of the deacons the trustees and the congregation at large and put that committee to work. Now some of the leaders in that in that committee there were these there was there was Earl Brandenburg there was John Bennett there Bob Fuller
of John Morgan Cliff Pettit and several others and of course together with the three ministers Dr. McCrack and Dr. Tibbetts and Dr. Helstrom together with the chairman of the board of deacons who at first was Francis Harmon and then as we proceeded to Jim Farmer with the chairman of the board and for the next three years this committee on ecumenical relations conferred with the Methodist the Presbyterians a congregation list and a number of other denominations together with the leaders of the community churches some of which had denominational ties others not we layman on the committee learned a lot of things we didn't know before about the legal and ecclesiastical complexities involved in any formal association with the denomination control of the church's property they appoint one of our ministers the credes to which we expected to subscribe the financial contributions we would be expected to make to the denomination's local national missionary activities the denomination gatherings on all levels which Riverside representatives would be expected to attend but it first seemed like a very simple step of
inter denomination cooperation soon began to seem very much more complicated and in all our ventures of course into these deeply ecclesiastical waters we were led constantly by our ministers and dr. McCrack and dr. Helstrom and dr. Tibbet then eventually the committee decided after conferring not only with the collegium the deacons and the trustees but also the law committee of the church at the most desirable and least complicated denominational tie we might assume would be a relationship with the congregation Christian churches with either a Helstrom leading in our conference and negotiating with the congregation listen with Norris Tibbetts is our tower of strength in keeping our bases of friendship and understanding with the Baptist while the law committee nervously checked on every possible point of unintentional commitment or involvement specific plans of procedure were formulated and eventually after an extended period of informing all members of the congregation is what proposed were being considered the deacons
of trustees and the law committee jointly submitted the following resolution for action by the congregation of the church of the special meeting held on May 14th 1952 this is a resolution resolved at the Riverside Church without in any way altering its present relationship to the American Baptist Convention also seek membership in the New York City Congregational Church Association and that the proper offer of the church be in here by our authorize to take the steps necessary to consummate such a relationship and during the summer of 1952 the necessary formalities were carried out by the Riverside and by the the New York City Congregational Association and the deacons and the trustees and the law committee cooperated and finally I think it is on November 6th yes is on November 6th 1952 we had a meeting at the Broadway Tabernacle on Broadway on 56th Street and there we were officially welcome in the membership and the
Congregational Christian Church and then you remember that a few years later the Congregational Christian Church merged with a number of other denominations to form the United Church of Christ and again the Congregational Riverside voted officially that it would join in that even wider membership and so we now continue as an inter-denominational church in actuality as well as in spirit and in program just one point that I want to make that we sometimes forget some people think of Riverside as being undenominational that is not true we are thoroughly inter-denominational everyone in this room is a good Baptist I'm sure everyone in this room is a good member of the United Church of Christ and all the denominations that that involves at the same time and have us have our backgrounds of as Presbyterians Methodist or Episcopalians or some even with
Jewish or Catholic background and whatever we had we still retain and anytime we leave Riverside if we want to go back to the nomination of that same faith we go back to it while we are here we are thoroughly inter-denominational we have to be responsible for all of the obligations that any Baptist Church would have we have to be responsible for all the obligations of any Congregation the United Church of Christ would have we have representatives attending all their meetings we contribute to all their financial support and so that Norris is a quick hurry over the way we have become inter-denominational and a very clear one too I just want you to know I really think I automate this statement so there won't be any misunderstanding the Baptist are too conservative for you all to be Baptists and that's one reason why we're ex-inter-denominational because the Baptist wouldn't let you be a delegate to the American Baptist Convention if you
haven't been immersed that's called a standing resolution and I wrote an article saying it was a standing resolution that ought to fall and Norris had explained something I once after I joined Riverside Church I said to one of my Baptist friends I'm now a good Baptist he wouldn't agree with me I didn't know much because he's a conservative I had to make that correction for the record because I don't want anybody to be surprised if they go to the American Baptist Convention and haven't been immersed out in Kansas one summer years ago and later inquired whether I was a Baptist night's plane the situation she said oh that time oh we have so much we could talk about so many things now so much fun here but we must hurry on the church communicates within the walls of this church this there has been in
exciting and stirring communication of the Christian gospel from the pulpit of this church from the classrooms in the lecture series but now the church is communicating over the ale and Jim farmers going to tell us about that the radio well fundamentally I think the reason we have an FM station at Riverside is because of our experience and long identification with radio for nearly five years before Riverside moved up here Dr. Faustick was the minister for the National Vespers Hour every Sunday afternoon and I think that none of us ever missed that hour and after he came up here he continued with that he continued with it until 1946 it was the most listened to hour on the air Dr. McCracken came and he again was well known on the air and we had the experience of knowing that this projected the voice of Riverside the spirit of
Riverside far beyond our four walls and into the homes of millions of people and I think this is basically why the survey of 1956 contained a recommendation that we look into establishing a radio station here at Riverside and a special committee was then appointed under Francis Harman for the purpose of looking into the possibility of that it worked for eight months and really worked and it came up with the recommendation that we proceed with establishing a station here now this is no small task what is involved in establishing a radio station first most difficult you must get a frequency from the Federal Communications Commission this is no easy matter next you must have offices studios expensive elaborate equipment
again no easy matter finally you must have an experienced qualified staff we undertook all of these steps first how do you get a frequency well there were no AM frequencies available in New York one would have to be purchased at a price which just resulted the question but there was still available one FM frequency we made application for that in 1957 we were not alone in trying to get that frequency a commercial station wanted it it's in the commercial spectrum and it carried the matter right to the courts and it was until May 1960 was in May 1960 the FCC held that we should have the frequency now while we were applying for this frequency the south wing was being planned an under construction and a space was left
so that it could be the home of a radio station if we got the we were successful in our application to the FCC and when we were successful plans were carried out immediately to convert the space that is now the the FM stations office and studios and by the generosity of Mr. Rockefeller not only was this space converted into an ideal station but we were given the very best of equipment so that technically you have here at WRVR one of the best radio stations in the country if you haven't seen the facilities you should see them and this was due to the very great generosity of the donor of the south wing next is the problem of staff and there we were particularly fortunate
we were able to obtain as the manager of the station Jack Summerfield a man with a real expert with ten years of experience in the educational radio field he put together a staff and we were on the air at the beginning of 1961 we have been there ever since from ten minutes to nine in the morning until half past midnight with a quality cultural program now that's a lot of hours and you might wonder how do you ever fill all of those broadcasting hours but we told the FCC we were granted this frequency that this station would be the voice of Riverside and it is that our stations are our sermons are on the air our lectures are on the air our music programs and other programs of outstanding merit are on the air we also said that this would be the voice of the
hill here and our next largest contributor of programs is the Jewish theological seminary then union Columbia Barnard uh julieard others all contribute now when a program is put on the air here that is not the end of it our programs are made available to other educational and cultural stations across the country at the present time there are about four thousand five hundred rebroadcast of programs a year produced at this station 125 stations use our tapes without charge except for the cost of tape in addition to the programs we originate here of course there is music and uh other thing you can't have just constant serious matter uh on radio this station as I said is a quality station it has one nine major national awards the
uh the uh the honors that have been given jack summer field I think are quite astonishing he's at the present time the chairman of the board of directors of the national educational radio which comprises a nationwide network of 23 educational stations he's the vice chairman of the board of directors of the national association of educational broadcasters and he's the chairman of the advisory committee to the educational communication system created by uh the United States office of education we are very proud of WRVR and what it has uh done uh and means no portion of the support of WRVR comes from the everyman precandes it has come from endowments largely given uh for a purpose such as this and special gifts and we as I say we believe this is the projection of the spirit and voice of Riverside Church into very far places
farther than this country many of our programs get into foreign countries I've been excited and I'm sure you have been too see once we have come from the new beginnings in Christian education in the fulfillment of life through arts and crafts in service to persons individually in the social service department in the growth of brotherhood in the Christian community and in the world and in communication that has taken what this church has to offer to the far thest corners of the world the beginnings menu the growth has been phenomenal the future lies before us I want to announce next week's meeting it will be here in this room on the theme the small town church in the big city and Mrs. Helstrom will chair that meeting and you will hear some more
about this church in another aspect of its life I thank the members of this panel group I wish we had another hour so that you all could participate with questions you've been a wonderful group together on this snowy evening we thank you and the lecture will begin in about Dr. Laubach's lecture will begin in about eight or ten minutes many things be it Norris I thought you you had a good we learned a lot from the last week people heard us we're I will now take a look at the
the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the 3 a the the the the the the the the the the Before we begin our worship service this evening, I would like to make a couple remarks for
those of you who are starting with us for the first time, and to clarify a few things that have been said to those of you who were here before, I understand that a lot of you have already been browsing in one way or another in the last temptations of Christ, and I have had a number of you say to me why in the world did you ever suggest that book? And I would like, I think, to make a statement about it, I'm talking about the novel for those of you who are starting a new tonight, I'm talking about a novel, a pocket book, by Nikos Konsonzakis called The Last Temptation of Christ, and I chose it mostly because it presents a portrait of Christ that is so different from anything that we are accustomed to seeing that it seemed to me it would make most of us stop and at least for a little
bit try to reconcile what this man sees in the man Jesus Christ with the sweet, the pure, the holy, the lovely image which we as a church so often have tried to hold up as our image of the master, and I think it might make us think for just a little bit whether we have tended to be too much on the sweet, the pure, the lovely, and too little related to the kind of world where people actually live, and I'm sorry if this book is disturbing some of you, but I think perhaps I'm more happy than I am sorry, so if you can get it and browse in it, I think it will pay its own way for you in terms of what thinking it might stimulate you to do.
Riverside's Past
Episode Number
Where The New Began
Producing Organization
WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
The Riverside Church (New York, New York)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-528-t72794277f).
Episode Description
This episode is a discussion of where the new began.
Series Description
A series of programs exploring the past of Riverside Church.
Recorded at Riverside Theatre.
Created Date
Asset type
Event Coverage
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Moderator: Tibbetts, Norris L.
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Publisher: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Speaker: Laubach, Eugene E.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Riverside Church
Identifier: cpb-aacip-eff8a7a8122 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:00:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Riverside's Past; 2; Where The New Began,” 1965-03-17, The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Riverside's Past; 2; Where The New Began.” 1965-03-17. The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Riverside's Past; 2; Where The New Began. Boston, MA: The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from