Scope and Contents
This is a small grouping of pamphlets and other material created by and/or published by the FCC/NCC since its inception, and correspondence of Sidney Gulick from the 1940s. The latter is primarily about amnesty for conscientious objectors during/after World War II, and relates to DG 048 in the SCPC.
The Federal Council held its first meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1908, but it grew out of a conference of official delegates from thirty denominations that convened in 1905. The Federal Council brought together entitites such as the Evangelical Alliance and the National Federation of Churches and Christian Workers. Its chief goal was to help denominations be united in service rather than through unity about points of theology or polity. Its constituent bodies included Baptists, Congregationalists, Disciples of Christ, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Lutherans, Mennonites, Methodists, Moravians, Presbyterians, Brethren, and other denominations. Work was carried out by state and local offices, but overseen by the national office in New York City. The National Secretary in 1908 was Rev. Charles S. Macfarland, the Associate Secretary was Rev. Henry K. Carroll, and the President of the Board was Prof. Shailer Mathews. Leaders since then include Vicken Aykazian, Arie R. Brouwer, Joan Brown Campbell, Samuel McCrea Cavert, John Foster Dulles, Bob Edgar, R.H. Edwin Espy, Sidney L. Gulick, James A. Hamilton, Dean M. Kelley, Michael Kinnamon, Walter W. Van Kirk, Herman E. Luben, Claire Randall, Roy G. Ross, and a host of others.
In the early years of its existence, the Federal Council focused much of its efforts on labor rights. The Department of Race Relations was established in 1920. By the time of World War II, it had shifted its attention to the rights of conscientious objectors and to seeking amnesty for them. However, through the years its Commissions has worked on various issues of national and international importance. Today the NCC encompasses approximately 100,000 local congregations and 45 million adherents.
The name of the organization was changed to the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America sometime in 1950 (1951?). This name was later shortened to National Council of Churches USA.
The FCC/NCC Records are held at the Presbyterian Historical Society (see http://www.history.pcusa.org/finding/index-ncc.html).