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Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar SouthWhite Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie$
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Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039034

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039034.001.0001

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Ministering in Communities of Struggle

Ministering in Communities of Struggle

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter 6 Ministering in Communities of Struggle
Source:
Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South
Author(s):

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf

Ken Fones-Wolf

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039034.003.0007

This chapter examines how ministers understood their responsibility and conveyed that to their congregations. For hundreds of southern preachers, a choice had to be made when the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) arrived. Some had no difficulty. Most, however, struggled with their consciences and religious values, used their own life experiences, read their denominational newspapers, took the pulse of their congregations, and weighed the relative merits of arguments they heard from factory and union representatives. They also thought about the consequences their pronouncements might have on their communities, their flocks, their families, and themselves, but they did not contemplate what was morally right in a neutral environment. One side had an enormous advantage in resources that they could, and would, bring to bear on southern ministers. Ultimately, the decisions ministers made and the influence they had cannot be reduced to a formula.

Keywords:   congregations, southern preachers, CIO, religious values, denominational newspapers, neutral environment, southern ministers

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