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Title: Six Thousand Country Churches
Author: Gill, Charles Otis
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Six Thousand Country Churches" ***

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    INTRODUCTION                                                      xiii


       I. HOW THE FACTS WERE GATHERED                                    3

      II. THE RURAL CHURCH MAPS OF OHIO                                  5

     III. SUMMARY OF RESULTS                                             8

          Oversupply of Churches--The churches small and weak--
          Attendance--An absentee ministry--Divided effort of the
          ministry--Short term of minister's service--Defective
          overhead organization--Ministers' salaries--Educational
          equipment of the minister.

      IV. WHERE CHURCH EFFICIENCY IS LOWEST                             12

       V. THE CHURCH IN THE EIGHTEEN COUNTIES                           19

      VI. A POLICY AND PROGRAM                                          40

          1. A better program--2. A better ministry--3. Better
          support--4. Better acquaintance--5. Re-arrangement of
          circuits--6. More resident ministers--7. Interchurch
          coöperation--8. Community churches--9. Non-sectarian

     VII. FEDERATED CHURCHES                                            59

          1. Greene Township--2. Aurora--3. Garrettsville--4.
          Northfield--5. Federated churches in other states.

    VIII. OTHER PROGRESSIVE CHURCHES                                    75

          1. A church federation--2. Coöperation with other social
          forces--3. Community service and Christian unity--4.
          Christian unity by necessity--5. The church as a force
          for righteousness--(a) Old Fort--(b) Lakeville.

      IX. AGRICULTURAL COÖPERATION                                      88



      II. TABULAR SUMMARIES FOR THE STATE                              110

          Table I.--Population, average number of Persons and
          Churches, and average number of Persons to a Church,
          by Townships                                                 111

          Table II.--Churches classified according to the number
          of their members                                             112

          Table III.--Amount of Ministerial Service by Townships,
          Villages, and Churches                                       114

          Table IV.--Number of Churches in Villages and in the
          Open Country                                                 115

          Table V.--Resident Ministers in Strictly Rural Townships
          in the Open Country and in Villages                          118

          Table VI.--Terms of Service of Methodist Episcopal
          Country Ministers, 1917                                      119

          Table VII.--Average number of Persons to a Church in
          1170 Rural Townships                                         121

          Table VIII.--Average number of Persons to a Church in
          Rural Townships, Suburban Townships, and Cities              122

          Table IX.--Salaries of Methodist Episcopal Country
          Ministers, 1917                                              123

          Table X.--Salaries of Country Ministers, United Brethren
          in Christ, 1917                                              123

     III. TABULAR SUMMARIES BY COUNTIES                                124


    EXPLANATORY NOTE                                                   145



    RURAL LIFE ASSOCIATION                                             235


  The Country Churches of Ohio                _Frontispiece_


  Map A. Where Conditions Demand Missionary Aid           26

  Map 1. High Death Rates from Tuberculosis               27

  Map 2. High Rates of Illegitimacy                       28

  Map 3. Where Illiteracy Abounds                         29

  Map 4. Distribution of Foreign Born Whites              30

  Map 5. Excessive Over-Churching                         31

  Map 6. Churches many but Ministers Few                  32

  Map 7. Number of Persons to a Resident Minister         33

  Map 8. Value of Farm Property in the Year 1910          34

  Map 9. Increase in Value of Farm Property               35

  Map 10. Rich Land and Poor Land                         36

  Map 11. Showing that in 317 or 27 per cent of
  the Strictly Rural Townships no Church has a
  Resident Minister                                       49

  Map 12. Farms Operated by Tenants                       84

  Map 13. Farms Operated by Tenants                       85

  Map 14. Methodist Episcopal                             96

  Map 15. United Brethren in Christ                       97

  Map 16. Presbyterian                                    98

  Map 17. Baptist                                         99

  Map 18. Disciples of Christ                            100

  Map 19. Lutheran                                       101

  Map 20. Catholic                                       102

  Map 21. Christian                                      103

  Map 22. Methodist Protestant                           104

  Map 23. Reformed                                       105

  Map 24. Congregational                                 106

  Map 25. Evangelical Association                        107

  Map 26. Villages and Cities                            117

  County Maps:
    Adams                                                147
    Allen                                                148
    Ashland                                              149
    Ashtabula                                            150
    Athens                                               151
    Auglaize                                             152
    Belmont                                              153
    Brown                                                154
    Butler                                               155
    Carroll                                              156
    Champaign                                            157
    Clark                                                158
    Clermont                                             159
    Clinton                                              160
    Columbiana                                           161
    Coshocton                                            162
    Crawford                                             163
    Cuyahoga                                             164
    Darke                                                165
    Defiance                                             166
    Delaware                                             167
    Erie                                                 168
    Fairfield                                            169
    Fayette                                              170
    Franklin                                             171
    Fulton                                               172
    Gallia                                               173
    Geauga                                               174
    Greene                                               175
    Guernsey                                             176
    Hamilton                                             177
    Hancock                                              178
    Hardin                                               179
    Harrison                                             180
    Henry                                                181
    Highland                                             182
    Hocking                                              183
    Holmes                                               184
    Huron                                                185
    Jackson                                              186
    Jefferson                                            187
    Knox                                                 188
    Lake                                                 189
    Lawrence                                             190
    Licking                                              191
    Logan                                                192
    Lorain                                               193
    Lucas                                                194
    Madison                                              195
    Mahoning                                             196
    Marion                                               197
    Medina                                               198
    Meigs                                                199
    Mercer                                               200
    Miami                                                201
    Monroe                                               202
    Montgomery                                           203
    Morgan                                               204
    Morrow                                               205
    Muskingum                                            206
    Noble                                                207
    Ottawa                                               208
    Paulding                                             209
    Perry                                                210
    Pickaway                                             211
    Pike                                                 212
    Portage                                              213
    Preble                                               214
    Putnam                                               215
    Richland                                             216
    Ross                                                 217
    Sandusky                                             218
    Scioto                                               219
    Seneca                                               220
    Shelby                                               221
    Stark                                                222
    Summit                                               223
    Trumbull                                             224
    Tuscarawas                                           225
    Union                                                226
    Van Wert                                             227
    Vinton                                               228
    Warren                                               229
    Washington                                           230
    Wayne                                                231
    Williams                                             232
    Wood                                                 233
    Wyandot                                              234


In 1913 Mr. Gill and I published, under the authority of the Federal
Council of the Churches of Christ in America, the results of an inquiry
into the condition of the country church in two typical counties--Windsor
County, Vermont, and Tompkins County, New York. The disclosure of the
conditions in these two counties and the conclusions to which they pointed
led to the creation of the Commission on Church and Country Life of the
Federal Council. Under the direction of the Commission, it was resolved to
extend the investigation of the country church to an entire State. For the
reasons given hereafter, the choice fell upon Ohio.

For the plan whose execution and results are here set forth, Mr. Gill and
I are jointly responsible. It was submitted to, and revised and approved
by, the Commission on Church and Country Life, in whose name and under
whose direct supervision it was carried out. The field work was done
entirely by Mr. Gill or under his immediate direction as Secretary of the
Commission, and he also worked up in the office the result of his work in
the field. As in the case of "The Country Church," I am responsible for
the final revision of the manuscript for the press. It is now published
with the approval of the Commission on Church and Country Life, and as a
report of its work.

In the introduction to "The Country Church," I said and I desire to
repeat,--"Mr. Gill's peculiar fitness for the work of this investigation
arises in part from his long and intimate personal acquaintance with the
problem of country life. For fifteen years he has been a country minister.
One of his tasks was to establish a church in a country community in
Vermont which had been without one for more than twenty years. When Mr.
Gill came to it, the moral and social laxity of the whole community was
flagrant. Disbelief in the existence of goodness appeared to be common,
public disapproval of indecency was timid or lacking, and religion was in
general disrepute. Not only was there no day of worship, but also no day
of rest. Life was mean, hard, small, selfish, and covetous. Land belonging
to the town was openly pillaged by the public officers who held it in
trust; real estate values were low; and among the respectable families
there was a general desire to sell their property and move away.

Then a church was organized. The change which followed was swift,
striking, thorough, and enduring. The public property of the town, once a
source of graft and demoralization, became a public asset. The value of
real estate increased beyond all proportion to the general rise of land
values elsewhere. In the decade and a half which has elapsed since the
church began its work, boys and girls of a new type have been brought up.
The reputation of the village has been changed from bad to good, public
order has greatly improved, and the growth of the place as a summer resort
has begun. It is fair to say that the establishment of the church under
Mr. Gill began a new era in the history of the town."

It was with this record of practical success in the country church,
supplemented by the very unusual experience as an investigator which he
acquired in collecting and analyzing the material for "The Country
Church," that Mr. Gill approached the task whose results are here set
down. The task of ascertaining with accuracy the conditions of the country
church in other portions of the United States still remains. The remedies
are yet to be applied.


  Milford, Penna.
  Aug. 26, 1918.







The Commission on Church and Country Life of the Federal Council of the
Churches of Christ in America conducted the work whose results are
summarized in this book. Several thousand persons assisted in collecting
the data here given. Lists of churches were obtained from correspondents
in every township in Ohio, and township maps were sent to them for marking
the location of the churches. Ministers, clerks, and other officers of
churches, district superintendents, and other denominational leaders gave
indispensable information.

The very important material gathered by the Ohio Rural Life Survey,
including country church maps of twelve counties and many data for
seventeen other counties, was placed at the disposal of the Commission.

Invaluable assistance has been rendered by State, County, and Township
Sunday School Associations. In about half of the townships, officers of
the township associations supplied needed information. Miss Clara E.
Clemmer, Secretary of the County Association, gathered nearly all the data
for Preble County. The Rev. C. A. Spriggs, a Missionary of the American
Sunday School Union, furnished most of the facts used in making the map of
Pike County.

In a few counties, superintendents of public schools either gave desired
information themselves, or supplied the names of others who did, and in
some cases the agricultural agents lent a hand.

County atlases were consulted, and verifications and corrections were
obtained from many sources. The topographical maps issued by the United
States Geological Survey gave the locations of certain churches. The Year
Books of the various denominational bodies were in constant use for
verification and reference, as were the United States Census, the Ohio
Statistical Reports, and other Government documents.

In the different sections of Ohio Mr. Gill made extensive investigations
on the ground, while large numbers of country ministers and church members
were consulted personally. Specific information has thus been collected in
nearly every township, while at country church institutes and conferences
in various parts of the State, many facts were secured from the
discussions on rural church conditions. Not only has information,
therefore, been received from very many people intimately associated with
the churches of rural Ohio, but also, and very widely, from personal
observation on the field itself.

In spite of all the care that could be taken, after the work on the
township maps was thought to be finished, a few other churches were
discovered. If, in the future, still other churches should be found which
are not on the maps, the number of them will be insignificant. Their
discovery will doubtless in no wise affect the conclusions which have been
drawn as to the country church situation in Ohio, nor their omission
impair the general usefulness of the maps.

In the constructive work of the Commission and of the Ohio Rural Life
Association for rural church betterment, as well as in the survey, the
Ohio State University, under Dr. Thompson, has always given free and
valuable coöperation.

For all this kind assistance the Commission and the Association are deeply
grateful, and here express their hearty thanks.



In Part III of this volume are 88 country church maps, one for each county
in the State of Ohio. The making of these maps was part of a program
adopted in 1914 by the Commission on Church and Country Life of the
Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America. It seemed to the
Commission that an attempt ought to be made to test the possibilities of
rural church improvement through interdenominational coöperation in some
one State. Ohio was chosen because of its geographical location, because
of the variety of its church conditions, and because in a number of its
counties a country church survey had already been made. This survey had
indicated a widespread need for the readjustment of church life to
community welfare in rural Ohio.

It was therefore determined, if possible, to complete a series of maps for
the entire State which would summarize the facts. In dealing with so many
churches in so large an area, it was of course feasible to collect only a
very small number of facts concerning each church. Accordingly the facts
to be gathered were limited to the location of every rural church, its
denomination, its present membership, whether it is gaining or losing in
membership, whether it ordinarily has a resident pastor, and if not, what
part of a minister's service it receives.

The collection of such facts was necessary, first, to impress upon the
church officials and others the actual urgency of the situation, and
second, to provide a basis for a workable policy of interchurch
coöperation and reciprocity in influencing or directing the redistribution
of ministers and churches.

While the making of the church maps appeared to be the least amount of
preliminary work that would open the way for effective action, it was
evident that nothing adequate could be done for rural church betterment
without interdenominational, or undenominational, organization. Therefore,
when the branch office of the Commission on Church and Country Life was
opened in Columbus, Ohio, in August, 1914, at the same time the Ohio Rural
Life Association was formed to coöperate with the Commission in its work
in the State. Soon afterward a Committee on Interchurch Coöperation,
consisting of executives in charge of the country churches of eleven
denominations, was organized. The principles which it adopted to govern
its action mark a forward step of real importance. (See page 235.)

The chief burden of making the church maps has rested upon the Commission
on Church and Country Life. Its paid executive and office force have done
the main part of the work, but valuable assistance has been rendered by
the Ohio Rural Life Association. Much of the work was done in its name.

Incidentally, the coöperative work of these bodies has by no means been
confined to the making of surveys. Country Life Institutes have been held,
and an educational propaganda in the interest of the rural church has been
continuously carried on, with the result that in Ohio more than in any
other State has the country church gained ground in its command of public
interest. As a subject for addresses and discussion the country church has
a place in a large number of farmers' institutes, and in nearly all Sunday
school conventions, while during Farmers' Week at the State Agricultural
College, conferences on no other subject have attracted more people or
provoked more animated discussion.

Inasmuch as the collecting of the data extended over a period of more than
three years, the maps do not all represent the exact situation at the same
moment. While they were being made some of the churches were being
redistributed in different circuits, and membership rolls were increasing
or decreasing. Since the map for their county was completed some churches
have federated, or their members have all united in a denominational
union church. But while the maps do not constitute a snap shot of the
entire State, the changes which have taken place are too few in any way to
invalidate the conclusions drawn. The total situation is indicated with
sufficient correctness.

These maps should supply the indispensable basis for the readjustment that
is obviously required. We hope that the publishing of them will not only
register a stage of progress in the State of Ohio, but that in other
States also similar work will be undertaken, and that the forward movement
in rural church life will be strengthened and accelerated throughout the



Ohio contains in its area of 41,060 square miles, some 1,388 townships. If
we exclude the townships in which the population is urban, those in which
there are villages of more than 2,500 inhabitants (the number set by the
United States Census as separating the country from the town), those which
contain parts of, or border on, large town or city parishes, there remain
1,170 townships which may be classed as strictly rural. These rural
townships have in all 6,060 churches and nearly 1,700,000 persons. Each of
them has on an average a population of 1,448 persons, with five churches,
or one church to every 280 persons. If we include with the strictly rural
townships the rural sections of townships not exclusively rural, there are
in Ohio no less than 6,642 country churches.

As these facts would indicate, the country churches of Ohio for the most
part are small and weak. According to data gathered by the earlier survey
made under the direction of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, the
churches whose membership is less than 100 as a rule do not prosper, and
the smaller the membership the greater the proportion of the churches
which are on the decline. In Ohio more than 4,500, or 66 per cent, of the
rural churches have a membership of 100 or less; more than 3,600, or 55
per cent, have a membership of 75 or less; more than 2,400, or 37 per
cent, a membership of 50 or less.

The membership in these country churches is distressingly small, but the
attendance is smaller still. The data available indicate that ordinarily
it is less than half the membership.

In six churches taken at random, it was found that the figures ran as

  _Membership_    _Average attendance_
      125                   34
      300                  136
      173             30 to 40
      150         Less than 30
      300                 - 40
    -----                -----
    1,048                  270

In one township it is reported that the average attendance in each of its
eight churches is less than 25.

One of the most striking facts is the shortage of resident ministers.
While a reasonable degree of interchurch coöperation should result in the
maintenance of a resident pastor in nearly every township, yet in 317, or
27 per cent, of the strictly rural townships, no church has a resident
pastor. (See Map 11, page 49.) More than 4,400, or about two-thirds, of
the churches in rural Ohio, and 39 per cent of the villages are without
resident ministers, while in the open country only 360, or 13 per cent, of
the 2,807 churches have resident pastors.

The efforts of the ministers are so scattered over fields more or less
widely separated that much of their effectiveness is lost. (Consult the
county maps, pages 147-234.) More than 5,500 of the 6,642 country churches
are without the full time service of a minister; 3,755 have only one-third
or less of a minister's services; 2,500 have one-fourth or less; while
more than 750 have no regular service of a minister at all. A large number
of ministers have other occupations than the ministry.

Moreover it is a rule of nearly universal application that ministers of
country churches in Ohio do not remain long enough in their parishes to
make effective service possible. According to the official records of the
conferences of the largest and doubtless one of the most efficient of the
denominations, in the fall of 1917, 48 per cent of its rural ministers
were about to begin their first year, and 74 per cent either their first
or second year of service in the fields to which they were appointed. Only
26 per cent had had a two years' acquaintance with their parishes, while
only 8 ministers, or scarcely more than 1 per cent, had served as long as
five years. This condition is no better in nearly all the other

Because of this, and also because the effort of the ministry is divided
among various and widely separated churches, the people who live in the
rural districts in Ohio receive too little pastoral service. The short
term also discourages the ministers from attempting to discover and meet
the needs of their communities and from formulating and carrying out any
adequate plans of community service. The churches, as a rule, are not
trained to expect such service, nor the ministers to render it.

In certain extensive areas in Ohio the country church seems to have broken
down. (See Chapters IV and V.) In regions where it has been active for a
century it has failed and is now failing to dispel ignorance and
superstition, to prevent the spread of vice and disease, and to check the
increasing production of undeveloped and abnormal individuals. Because of
the lack of an organization to coördinate the work of the denominations,
and to study the field as a whole, no one has been conscious of
responsibility for such failure. The conditions have not even been known
by many of the church officials who were responsible, and a situation has
been permitted to develop which threatens the welfare of the whole State
and demands the immediate redirection of the Church's missionary

The pay of the country ministers in Ohio is small, the support of the
church meager. According to the records of the Conferences held in the
fall of 1917 the majority of the ministers (58 per cent) of the largest
denomination received less than $1,100 each, three-fourths (74.6 per cent)
less than $1,200, while the average amount was $857 and free use of
parsonage. In the denomination with the second largest number of country
churches the average salary was only $787, or $680 and free use of

Over considerable areas a large proportion of the ministers are
uneducated. Often they are illiterate and entirely unfitted to render
service acceptable to the more intelligent part of their people. In most
of the State, the standard of education for ministers is low. It is in
part due to the failure of an insufficiently educated ministry to
stimulate the intellectual life of the people, that from 1,500,000 to
2,000,000 people in the State have no public libraries.

Unless a larger and stronger social and religious institution is created
in the country districts than is now found in the country church, the more
vigorous young people will for the most part leave the country, and an
inferior class will take their places on the farm. A process of reverse
selection will therefore set in which must result in the general
debasement of our rural population and ultimately of our nation as a
whole. As is well known, this process of decadence is already taking place
over very large areas in rural America.



The facts summarized in the previous chapter show that in rural Ohio the
church as a whole is not adequately performing its great and difficult
task. It is equally evident that no institution could hope for a high
degree of success unless more progressive in method and administration.
Furthermore, unless the urban officials or directors in charge of rural
churches come to appreciate the fundamental importance of the country
church problem, address themselves more seriously to the task in hand, and
make really effective use of improved organization and available human and
material resources, the country church will continue to decline. While
there are very many successful churches, and many rural communities
socially, morally, and economically prosperous, failures occur in equally
large numbers.

A most striking illustration of the churches' inefficiency may be found in
southern and southeastern Ohio. Here, in a region covering at least
eighteen counties, the failure of the churches may fairly be called
pathetic. These counties are Adams, Athens, Brown, Clermont, Gallia,
Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Pike,
Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington. In this area, after more than a
hundred years of the work of the churches, the religious, social, and
economic welfare of the people are going down. Although the churches have
been here for more than a century, no normal type of organized religion is
really flourishing, while the only kind which, during the past fifteen
years, has been gaining ground, the cult of the Holy Rollers, is scarcely
better than that of a Dervish. The churches have failed and are failing to
dispel ignorance and superstition, to prevent the increase of vice, the
spread of disease, and the general moral and spiritual decadence of the

Most of the information concerning the Eighteen Counties, as for
convenience, this region is hereafter called, was derived from personal
investigation on the ground by Mr. Gill, from the testimony of two trained
investigators, and from interviews and correspondence with local
merchants, physicians, clergymen, school teachers, superintendents of
schools and churches, farmers, and Sunday school workers. Information
confirming what had already been received was found in the statistical
reports of the national and state governments. Some of the results of a
study of the reports of the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics and the United
States Census are given in Table A and in Maps A, and Maps 1 to 10, on
pages 26 to 36.

In Map A the heavily shaded area indicates the Eighteen Counties included
in this region. Ten other counties bordering upon them are shaded more
lightly. Many communities in these ten bordering counties are influenced
by the migration of population from the Eighteen Counties.

In no less than twelve out of the Eighteen Counties, the death rate from
tuberculosis is excessive. (See Map 1 and Table A, column 1.) Reports of
the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics for the years 1909, 1910, and 1911
(the latest we could secure on this subject), give the average annual
deaths from this disease for 100,000 persons, as 125 for the whole State.
On Map 1, all counties are shaded whose rate exceeds not 125 only, but
145. Of the seventeen counties in the State whose death rate from
tuberculosis is 145 or over, all but five are in this region, and of the
five one is a bordering county.

Outside this area and the bordering counties, the highest rate is in
Franklin, of which the city of Columbus is the county seat; but of the
Eighteen Counties, seven have a higher rate than Franklin. In Clermont
County it is 164, in Scioto 169, in Lawrence 172, in Ross 175, in Gallia
184, while in Pike it is no less than 216,--far larger than for any other
rural county in the State. In Hamilton County, in which is the city of
Cincinnati, and which is adjacent to Clermont County, the rate of 217 is
probably due to the large colored population.

It will be observed, therefore, that in no less than two-thirds of the
Eighteen Counties the rate of death from this preventable disease is
excessively and indefensibly high.

The number of illegitimate births in the Eighteen Counties is likewise
excessive. (See Map 2 and Table A, column 2, pages 28 and 37.) The rate
per 100,000 population for the State is 43.9. Of the 28 counties whose
rate is above the average, 19, or 68 per cent, are either in the Eighteen
Counties or the counties bordering upon them. No less than thirteen, or
more than two-thirds, of the Eighteen Counties have an excessive number of
illegitimate births. Outside this area and the bordering counties the
highest rate for any county is 61, but in ten of the Eighteen Counties it
is greater than this. Whereas the rate for the State is less than 44, in
Athens County it is 65, in Noble 67, in Scioto 73, in Gallia 76, in
Hocking and Monroe 78, in Ross 87, in Pike 89, in Lawrence no less than
113, while in Jackson it is 123, or the highest rate in the State.

It will be noted that these figures cover the counties in which are the
large cities as well as the rural counties. But in Hamilton, containing
the city of Cincinnati, the rate is only 66, in Franklin, containing the
city of Columbus, it is 56, and in Cuyahoga, containing the city of
Cleveland, it is only 50.

Illiteracy also, in the Eighteen Counties, is excessive. (See Map 3 and
column 3 of Table A.) The per cent of illiterate males of voting age for
the State in 1910 was 4.2. There are 29 counties in which that number was
exceeded. Of these, fourteen are among the Eighteen Counties, and five
border upon them. In Brown County, the percentage is 4.3, in Washington
and Noble 4.5, in Monroe 5.4, in Adams 6.9, in Athens and Ross 7.4, in
Scioto 7.7, in Gallia 8.1, in Vinton 8.4, in Hocking 8.6, while in Pike it
is 10.7, and in Lawrence 11.6.

Among the remaining ten counties whose percentage of illiteracy is above
the average it appears (see Map 4, page 30) that in all but three, the
percentage of foreign-born persons is large, and that among counties where
the foreign born are few, there are, outside the Eighteen Counties, only
six for which the percentage of illiteracy is greater than 4.2, and three
of these are included in the counties which border upon them.

It will be noted that in this region the number of foreign-born persons is
very small. The percentage for the State is 12.5, whereas in the Eighteen
Counties it is only 2.3. No less than 53 counties out of the 70 outside of
the Eighteen Counties, have a foreign population of more than 2.3 per

In this region, therefore, where there is so high a percentage of
illiteracy, of illegitimacy, and of deaths from preventable disease, the
people are more nearly pure Americans than in the rest of the State. They
compare unfavorably with the people of counties where a large proportion
are foreigners. It is true that the cause does not lie in the origin of
the population. But the fact that these things are true in the most
American parts of Ohio, where we should naturally expect to find the best
situation, greatly emphasizes the significance of the conditions

It is an additional indictment against those who are responsible that in
Mahoning County more than 28 per cent and in Cuyahoga County more than 33
per cent of the population in 1910 were foreign born, yet in these
counties, containing the large cities of Youngstown and Cleveland, the
moral and social conditions are better than in the Eighteen Counties--a
rural section inhabited by our purest American stock.

Such statistical data as are here presented are but as smoke indicating
fire. They do not overstate the urgency of the appeal from the unfortunate
over-churched and under-ministered communities of this section. Here gross
superstition exercises strong control over the thought and action of a
large proportion of the people. Syphilitic and other venereal diseases are
common and increasing over whole counties, while in some communities
nearly every family is afflicted with inherited or infectious disease.
Many cases of incest are known, inbreeding is rife. Imbeciles,
feeble-minded, and delinquents are numerous, politics is corrupt, the
selling of votes is common, petty crimes abound, the schools have been
badly managed and poorly attended. Cases of rape, assault, and robbery are
of almost weekly occurrence within five minutes' walk of the corporation
limits of one of the county seats, while in another county political
control is held by a self-confessed criminal. Alcoholic intemperence is
excessive. Gross immorality and its evil results are by no means confined
to the hill districts, but are extreme also in the towns.

Adams County was made notorious because in the 1910 election nearly 2,000
persons were disenfranchised for selling their votes, and there is
convincing evidence that it does not stand alone. Of course there are many
communities in this region where conditions are better, such as the area
immediately affected by the admirable and effective work of Rio Grande
College. But there is just as little question that the general deplorable
condition of the Eighteen Counties, ascertained through the personal
investigations of Mr. Gill, and confirmed by wide correspondence and the
statistical data here summarized, is true.

The bad economic, as distinguished from the moral, conditions in the
Eighteen Counties are largely due to sterility of soil, and to the fact
that many of its hillsides are too steep for profitable cultivation. It is
often contended that economic conditions affect religion and morals, and
there is much truth in that contention. But it cannot be held that steep
hillsides and sterile soil of themselves produce conditions such as are
here described. Merely to state such a proposition is to refute it. Moral
and religious poverty must bear at least as much of the blame as poverty
of the soil. (See Maps 8, 9, and 10, and Table A, columns 8 and 9.)

The total value of farm property falls below 15 million dollars in but 21
of the 88 counties of Ohio. Of the 21, all but 6 are among the Eighteen
Counties. (See Map 8, and Table A, column 8.) In Adams, Athens, and Monroe
Counties, the value of farm property is only 10 million dollars each; in
Morgan 9, in Meigs and Scioto 8, in Gallia 7, in Hocking and Pike 6, in
Jackson and Lawrence 5, and in Vinton only 4.

According to the United States Census the value of farm property in Ohio
increased nearly 60 per cent from 1900 to 1910. There were only ten
counties in the State in which farm property had not increased more than
25 per cent during that period. Eight of these are among the Eighteen
Counties. (See Map 9, and Table A, column 9.)

According to the Census of 1910, there were only 13 counties in Ohio whose
land was valued at not more than $25.00 per acre. All of them are in the
Eighteen Counties. (See Map 10.) In the remaining five the land is valued
at not more than $50.00 per acre. It becomes impossible, therefore, to
avoid the question whether the character of the soil determines the
character and destiny of the people who are born upon it.

Attention should be directed in passing to the fact that the low value of
the land is due in part to the failure of the people who live upon it to
develop and use the natural resources which are available. In some of the
poorest regions in the Eighteen Counties an occasional farmer is making a
good living from the soil, although his land by nature is no better than
that of his poor neighbors. As a rule the agricultural opportunities of
the region are neglected. For example, little fruit is grown, although
both climate and soil in much of the region are very favorable to fruit

But it remains true that the natural conditions as a whole are not as
favorable for agriculture, as they are to the north and northwest; and it
is an unquestionable fact that the character and condition of the earth's
surface has a relation to the physical, intellectual, social, and moral
conditions of the people who live upon it. Undoubtedly this is as true in
southeastern Ohio as it is elsewhere. Poor soil, as a rule, does not hold
upon itself the most enterprising families so tenaciously as good soil,
and for that reason we might fairly expect the people of these districts
to have less vigor and less initiative. On such soil it is therefore more
difficult to sustain thriving churches, and so the moral and religious
life may be more prone to decline.

But soil conditions by themselves cannot demoralize a people. They can do
so only where the church is failing to do its work. The natural conditions
of soil and climate are by no means worse in the Eighteen Counties than in
many other areas where fairly good moral conditions are found. They are no
worse than they were in the parish of John Frederick Oberlin, nor in many
fairly prosperous New England communities of to-day. Even where moral,
economic, and other conditions are bad, communities usually respond
quickly to the work of a well-equipped resident pastor, as the experience
of home missionaries abundantly proves.

In the first parish served as pastor by Mr. Gill, the soil and the people
were very poor. The moral conditions, because of a church situation very
similar to that of the neglected communities of southeastern Ohio, were
bad. But the response to the work of a church which gave good service was
all that could have been anticipated. Even the economic conditions were
notably improved as a result of the church's work, while the moral change
in the community was striking, rapid, and enduring. Men familiar with home
missionary work regard such results as normal.

Where the conditions are as unfavorable as they are in the Eighteen
Counties, it is unquestionably the duty of the church as a whole, and
especially of the churches of the prosperous districts, to assist the
weaker churches not only with supervision and advice, but also by helping
to provide well-trained and well-equipped ministers, thus guarding against
the ravages of an ignorant and untrained or unworthy and insincere

The people of southeastern Ohio will undoubtedly be as responsive to good
church work and as ready to follow good religious leadership as the people
of similar regions elsewhere. Such work and leadership for many years, at
least, they have not had. (See the next chapter.) Their ecclesiastical and
religious conditions are such as afford no ground for expecting better
social, moral, and physical conditions than those actually found to exist.
Surely we cannot accept these conditions as inevitable until the church
shall at least have made a serious effort to test the possibilities and
learn the results of carrying out a live and modern program.



In the Eighteen Counties of Southeastern Ohio some of the older and
stronger denominations are well represented, as Table C shows. (See page
39.) No less than 526, or more than one-third, of the total number of
churches are Methodist Episcopal. Nearly one-tenth are United Brethren in
Christ, another tenth Baptist, one-fifteenth Christian, and one-fifteenth
Presbyterian; while other powerful denominations are also present. It is
evident that the failure of the churches in this area cannot be laid to
the weakness or poverty of the denominations represented, for they are for
the most part neither weak nor poor. Ohio, moreover, is a wealthy State,
and its churches make large contributions for church work and church
extension both in America and abroad.

It has been too commonly held in the past that missionary effort should
consist largely in organizing and building churches. We do not believe
that proposition is sound. In rural Ohio the worst moral and religious
conditions are found where there are the largest number of churches in
proportion to the number of inhabitants.

In 39 counties out of a total of 88 in the State, there is one country
church for each 275 people or less. (See Map 5 and Table A, column 5.) Of
these 39 counties, 17 are among the Eighteen Counties under our special
consideration. Outside these Eighteen Counties and the counties contiguous
to them, no county has an average of less than 228 persons to a church,
but it appears that Washington has one church for 226 persons, Monroe one
for 214, Pike one for 211, Gallia one for 197, Morgan one for 194, Jackson
one for 193, while Vinton has one for 182, and Meigs one church for 178.
In the rural sections of these Eighteen Counties there are 1,542 churches
and 248 townships, or more than 6 churches to a township.

While the fact that this region is more difficult to travel, because more
hilly, than many other parts of the State might constitute a reason for
having many churches, it certainly cannot be held that the bad moral and
religious conditions which exist are due to lack of a sufficient number of
them. Nor is support here to be found for the contention sometimes made
that religious work thrives best under competition.

The larger the number of churches in proportion to the population, the
more difficult it obviously becomes to secure, support, and retain
resident pastors. In proportion to the number of churches, the Eighteen
Counties have a comparatively small number of ministers. (See Map 6 and
Table A, column 6.) In the State as a whole, about one-third, or 34 per
cent, of the churches have resident ministers. In only three counties
outside the Eighteen is it true that less than one-fourth of the churches
have them. These are Delaware, Coshocton, and Pickaway, and the latter is
one of the bordering counties. But in 13 of the Eighteen Counties less
than one-fourth of the churches have resident ministers. It will be noted
that less than one-fifth of the churches in Scioto, Pike, Lawrence, and
Meigs Counties have resident ministers, one-sixth in Morgan County, and
less than one-sixth in Jackson, Hocking, and Gallia.

In the Eighteen Counties the number of resident ministers in proportion to
the population, as well as in proportion to the number of churches, is
small. (See Map 7 and Table A, column 7.) There are 24 counties in Ohio in
which there are more than 1,000 persons for each resident minister, of
which 13 are among the Eighteen Counties under consideration, and three
among the bordering counties. Noble County has a resident minister to
every 1,240 persons, Gallia to every 1,396, Lawrence to every 1,450,
Pickaway to every 1,458, while Hocking has only one to 1,693, or nearly
1,700 persons. Here, as in most rural sections, an absentee ministry is
necessarily ineffective. (See pages 50-51.)

The foregoing facts afford convincing evidence that the church in this
region is rendering poor service--how poor the reader may judge from the
following description of the religious and ecclesiastical conditions found
by Mr. Gill in his personal investigation on the ground.

For the most part the farm people of these Eighteen Counties are very
religious. This is attested not merely by the large number of churches,
but also by the frequency of well-attended revival services, held in
spring, summer, autumn, and winter. (In Pike County, for example, no less
than 1,500 revival services were held in thirty years, or an average of 50
each year.) Yet a normal, wholesome religion, bearing as its fruit better
living and all-round human development, and cherished and propagated by
sane and sober-minded people, is rarely known. The main function of a
church, according to the popular conception, is to hold these protracted
meetings, to stir up religious emotion, and, under its influence, to bring
to pass certain psychological experiences. The idea seems to be dominant
in nearly all the denominations and churches that the presence of the
Deity is made known mainly, if not solely, through states of intense
emotion which may be stimulated in religious assemblies. Such emotion is
held to be not only a manifestation of the Deity's presence, but also a
proof of His existence. No man is held to be religious or saved from evil
destiny unless he has had such experience. It becomes, therefore, the
business of the preacher of the church to create conditions favorable to
the experiencing of these emotions.

Officials of denominations to which more than two-thirds of the churches
belong encourage or permit the promotion of a religion of the excessively
emotional type, which encourages rolling upon the floor by men, women, and
children, and going into trances, while some things which have happened in
the regular services of a church in one of the largest denominations
cannot properly be described in print. The leaders of a religious cult
commonly called Holy Rollers seem to be most efficient in this direction.
The character of their services and activities produce the results
desired, according to the traditions accepted and proclaimed for
generations by ignorant preachers to a nonprogressive people.

A Holy Roller movement was started in Pike County in the year 1902. It has
steadily been gaining ground ever since, and has never been more
flourishing than now. It is the livest sect in this and neighboring
counties. Its meetings are large and full of enthusiasm. Except the
churches of this cult, very few are now left in the western half of Pike
County which show any activity whatever. In one district of 150 square
miles (in which there are 1,200 children enrolled in the schools and in
all 1,600 young people from the ages of six to twenty) no churches were
holding services in 1917 except those of the Holy Rollers.

The seasons of protracted Holy Roller meetings often last for several
weeks. Frequently they begin each day at 10.00 A. M. and continue until
2.00 A. M. the next day, with intermissions for meals. These meetings are
characterized by much singing, with music well adapted to rythmic motions
of the body, by dancing and clapping the hands, sometimes by shouting and
joyous screaming, rolling upon the floor, tumbling together of men and
women in heaps, trances, while at least one of their preachers has
exercised hypnotic power over some of his followers and has put them
through stunts in no way differing from those of the professional
hypnotist showman who, in times past, for the price of admission, has
amused and astonished his audience with exhibitions of his skill.

In one village where Mr. Gill attended a church belonging to this
movement, it was the only religious organization holding services or
showing any signs of life. Although at this service the building was full
to its capacity, as is usual with meetings of this kind, the church not
only had no Sunday school, but its leaders kept the children away from one
which a missionary of the American Sunday School Union was trying to start
in the neighborhood. Three-fourths of the parents of the fifty pupils in
the local school were adherents of this cult, yet its leaders opposed
having better day schools. The school principal, under the direction of
the County School Superintendent, tried to hold literary meetings for
intellectual and social improvement, but under the influence of the Holy
Roller leaders, the parents refused to let their children attend, and the
enterprise was defeated. Apparently no meeting for any purpose is to be
tolerated except the Holy Roller meetings themselves. These theoretically
and in fact take the place of all other gatherings.

The Holy Roller church in this community, as elsewhere, in its total
influence promotes immorality. It has a tendency to break up families and
destroy the peace and harmony of the neighborhood. In the judgment of the
more sober-minded people, the Holy Roller movement spoils the life of the
community wherever it goes.

Although the Holy Roller cult apparently was not started in this region
until a few years ago, it would seem that the religious activities of the
older denominational churches were but a good preparation for it. In fact,
good soil is found for sprouting the seed of Holy Rollerism in many
sections of the State. The difference in religious beliefs and ideals
between the Holy Rollers and the preachers of other denominations in the
Eighteen Counties too often is not easily detected. Denominations to which
at least two-thirds of the churches belong employ many men and women as
preachers who are extremely ignorant.

In one of its districts, nearly half of the twenty or thirty ministers of
the largest denomination in the State did not have a common school
education. It is usual to find ministers intellectually inferior to a
number of families whom they are supposed to lead and teach. In some
districts a considerable proportion of the preachers have had no more than
three or four grades of common school instruction. Some cannot write their
own names correctly. Accordingly religious education is neglected. The
people apparently have been untouched by the general advance in religious
knowledge during the past century.

Many intelligent people in the Eighteen Counties deplore these conditions
and would be glad to have churches of a different type. But it is also
very common to find among the more prosperous, especially in the fertile
river valleys, a spirit of utter indifference towards religion, and often
of gross materialism. Under such circumstances it is not surprising to
find that in several sections much hostility to institutional religion
exists. It is given expression by rural hoodlums who cut to pieces
harnesses and slash tires belonging to ministers or laymen who attend
religious gatherings, while in some communities stones are thrown through
the windows of buildings where public worship is being held.

While it is true that out of the poorest and most unfortunate districts
bright boys and girls frequently emerge, escape their surroundings, and
become good citizens, it is none the less true that a large proportion of
those who remain have no reasonable chance for wholesome development.

The bad influence of the Eighteen Counties extends far beyond their
borders. Out of them many farm laborers have gone to communities to the
north and northwest, often with deplorable results to the social,
religious, and moral conditions of the communities where they are
employed. (See Table B.) It is calculated that no less than 61,000 persons
emigrated in the ten-year period from 1900 to 1910 from the strictly rural
districts of _sixteen_ of the Eighteen Counties.

In Madison, a fertile county near the center of the State, in an area
sixteen miles long and from seven to eleven miles wide, there are three
closed and no active churches. One of the causes of this condition is the
fact that the farm laborers imported by the owners of large tracts of
lands were never made familiar, before they came, with a normal type of
religion. These men come from the Eighteen Counties or from sections
across the Ohio River where the conditions are very much the same. In
parts of several other counties the situation brought about by similar
immigration is extremely bad.

The Eighteen Counties demand missionary activity on the part of the church
as a whole, not only for the sake of the unfortunate people who live in
them, but also for the sake of the other regions whose welfare is
threatened by the transfer of low standards of all kinds, which, like a
forest fire, are creeping away from the region where they originated.

Among the large number of intelligent persons who know and deplore the
situation in typical communities of southeastern Ohio, very few seem to
cherish hope of improvement. Such pessimism appears to be unjustified.
Good work is now being done by missionaries of the American Sunday School
Union. What is more important, there is much promise that the trouble can
be reached and cured by the modern country church movement, which is
already making real progress in Ohio. As a result of this movement, for
example, the Board of Home Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church has,
for the first time, appropriated missionary funds to be used in this
section, while one of the District Superintendents of the same
denomination is carrying out a radically changed program for the churches
under his supervision.











[Illustration: MAP 10 RICH LAND AND POOR LAND]



  1 _Average annual rate of deaths from tuberculosis of the lungs per
    100,000 persons, 1909, 1910, 1911_
  2 _Average annual rate per 100,000 population of illegitimate births
    for 1909, 1910_
  3 _Per cent of illiterate males of voting age, 1910_
  4 _Per cent of total population who were foreign born white, 1910_
  5 _Number of persons to a church_
  6 _Per cent of churches which have resident ministers_
  7 _Number of persons to each resident minister_
  8 _Number of millions of dollars at which farm property is valued_
  9 _Per cent increase in value of farm property 1900-1910_

                  1      2       3      4     5     6     7     8    9
  For State,
   88 counties   125    43.9    4.2   12.5   279   34    825        59
  Adams          147            6.9    0.5   266        1031   10   16
  Athens         155    65      7.4    5.3   229   21   1086   10   16
  Brown          193            4.3    1.9              1129   15
  Clermont       164                         249               14
  Gallia         184    76      8.1    1.2   197   14   1396    7   13
  Highland       145                         252
  Hocking               78      8.6    3.5   235   14   1693    6
  Jackson        147   123      9.5    2     193   16   1222    5
  Lawrence       172   113     11.6    1.8   267   18   1450    5   19
  Meigs          158                         178   18   1010    8
  Monroe                78      5.4    2.4   214   24          10   19
  Morgan                50                   194   17   1150    9   25
  Noble                 67      4.5    3.2   248   20   1240   11
  Pike           216    89     10.7    1.4   211   18   1209    6
  Ross           175    87      7.4    2.2   252
  Scioto         169    73      7.7    3     233   19   1211    8
  Vinton                49      8.4     .8   182   22           4   12
  Washington            58      4.5    2.5   226   21   1087   14   25
  Average for 18 counties              2.3
  Belmont               55      7.1   15.1              1107
  Fairfield                                  222
  Fayette               55      6.2     .7   257        1234
  Guernsey              55      7.8    9.2   269               13
  Hamilton       217    66            14.3
  Muskingum             48                   224
  Perry                         4.6    7.3                      9
  Pickaway       130    61      5.7    1.8         22   1458
  Warren                                     271



  1 _Population of strictly rural townships, 1910_
  2 _Excess of birth rate over death rate_
  3 _Population of strictly rural townships, 1900_
  4 _Calculated total population in 1910 had there been no migration_
  5 _Calculated no. persons who migrated 1900-1910_

                   1          2         3          4         5
  Total                                                    61,418
  Adams          24,775     12.15     26,328     29,432     4,677
  Brown          24,832      4.93     28,237     30,241     5,409
  Clermont       29,551      3.81     31,610     33,377     3,826
  Gallia         19,546      2.73     20,973     21,527     1,981
  Highland       17,382      4.22     19,504     20,283     2,901
  Hocking        16,934     12.72     19,183     21,380     4,446
  Jackson        10,996     12.47     12,009     13,444     2,448
  Lawrence       23,202     14.83     24,644     28,192     4,990
  Meigs          16,162      1.96     18,961     19,306     3,144
  Monroe         19,940     13.73     23,373     26,347     6,407
  Morgan         16,097      8.07     17,905     20,777     4,680
  Noble          18,601     11.28     19,466     21,613     3,012
  Pike           15,723     11.48     18,172     20,118     4,395
  Ross           22,460      5.6      25,758     25,893     3,433
  Vinton         13,096      9.4      15,330     15,464     2,368
  Washington     29,409      7.4      32,481     32,710     3,301



  1 _Churches in 248 strictly rural townships_
  2 _Other rural churches_
  3 _All rural churches_

                              1       2       3
  Total                     1,542    593    2,135
  Methodist Episcopal         526    216      742
  United Brethren             138     43      181
  Baptist                     124     26      150
  Christian                    97     13      110
  Presbyterian                 96     40      136
  Disciples                    87     39      126
  Methodist Protestant         63     25       88
  Christian Union              46      5       51
  Catholic                     43     22       65
  Non-Progressive Disciples    28      3       31
  Radical United Brethren      26      4       30
  Lutheran                     21     28       49
  Congregational               17      1       18
  Reformed                     14     16       30
  German Evangelical           14      1       15
  United Presbyterian          10     23       33
  Friends                      10     21       31
  All others                  182     67      249



The roots of the religious and moral life of the Nation are chiefly in the
country church. As in southeastern Ohio, so in any area where the church
fails, degeneracy begins. The low and sordid moral atmosphere found in so
many rural villages and communities, not only among the Eighteen Counties,
but throughout the State (and far beyond the boundaries of Ohio) is
altogether unnecessary. It constitutes a challenge to the church which can
no longer go unheeded. Obviously, whatever reforms in methods and policies
may be required to enable it efficiently to perform its task must be made.

(1) _A Better Program_

One of the chief underlying causes of the present condition of the
churches is an imperfect conception of their function. We recognize the
fact that the effective proclaiming of the Gospel is the essential if not
the greatest and most important task of the churches, but the impression
is still very widespread in the Ohio churches that to preach it from
pulpit and platform is almost their only task. That this is not enough to
bring the churches to their full effectiveness has been conclusively
proved by the experience of foreign missionaries during the past hundred
years. In proportion to the number of their missionaries, the missionary
societies which have believed that proclaiming the Christian message is
the only function of the church, have not made as many converts nor built
up as strong churches as those which engage also in the work of healing
the sick and teaching. The most successful missionary organizations teach
not only Christian life and theology, but all that makes for what is best
in our Christian civilization.

The welfare of a man's soul may be increased by promoting the welfare of
the rest of him, and the aim of the church should be to bring every man to
the highest possible development of all his powers. In seeking to do so it
will not only be more effective in creating a higher manhood and
womanhood, but will also make its message better understood and secure a
greater number of church members and adherents.

For our city churches also this is as true as for the foreign missionary
field, although perhaps less obviously so. The equipment of so large a
number of modern city churches for various forms of social service is a
strong indication that those who control their policies recognize the
necessity of a more diversified field of work.

The success and growth of the Y. M. C. A. is another indication of the
truth for which we are contending. This institution which is a branch or
arm of the Christian church has declared its aim to be the development of
"soul, mind, and body." As a result of this policy it is now engaged in
many kinds of work which should also be done more widely and generally and
so on a greater scale throughout the church. It receives large
contributions of money from members of the churches, and it rightly
undertakes and successfully carries out large enterprises where other
church organizations fail to see their duties and opportunities and lag
behind or remain idle.

Still another reason for believing in a larger function and mission of the
church is found in the fact that every strikingly successful country
church is found to be deeply concerned with the needs of the community,
and is carrying out a broad and comprehensive program of service. This is
true not only in the State of Ohio, but throughout the Nation.

Finally and conclusively, it may be added that the broader program was
instituted and carried out by the Founder of the Christian religion, and
was by Him enjoined upon His followers.

What the new program for the local country church should be is no longer
a matter of conjecture. Country ministers in very many widely separated
parishes of the United States have worked it out independently in trying
to meet the needs of their communities, and have everywhere reached
substantially the same conclusion. The program is essentially the same in
all places where the most successful country church work is done. It has
found an embodiment in the mass of country church literature which has
been published during the past eight years, and it has been studied,
tried, and proved to meet the need of large numbers of country pastors in
Ohio and in many of the other States. How it has been carried out in some
Ohio parishes is described in Chapter VIII, pages 75-87.

(2) _A Better Ministry_

To carry out the better program for the local country church requires an
educated ministry. Ohio has suffered greatly from ministerial quackery.
Very imperfectly equipped ministers, such as are found in nearly every
county of the State, and unsound ignorant men, such as are so common in
the Eighteen Counties, cannot meet the requirements of the new program.
Doubtless the educational requirements of the discipline of many of the
denominations are set too low, but even so, if the rules of the discipline
were strictly obeyed, a large proportion of the present ministers would be
eliminated. The new program requires trained men.

To get better men, better opportunity and better pay must be supplied.
Fields of service must be created large enough, yet sufficiently compact
and free from competing rivals, to make good work possible. The farmers
must be convinced that better support of the ministry is essential, in
their own interest. At the same time the best young men of the churches
must be assured that the new program offers a field so promising as to
make it worth their while to enter the ministry. The churches are wise
enough and strong enough to do all this if they will address themselves to
the situation and take it seriously.

(3) _Better Support_

In a large part of Ohio the farmers are able and ready to multiply the
amount of money they now contribute for the support of the churches. When
it is made clear to them that better pay will bring a better minister,
increased support will cheerfully be given. But the farmers will not give
more money either for the support of an inferior minister, or to carry out
the old program. They will demand their money's worth, and this the
present methods do not, in general, supply. The increased prosperity and
consequent ability of the farmers to support the church more liberally is
indicated by the fact that the total value of farm property in Ohio
increased nearly 60 per cent during the ten-year period from 1900 to 1910.

But it must be remembered that increased support will not be given by the
farmers unless the need for it, and what it will bring, is brought
forcefully to their attention. This the individual minister cannot do, for
to attempt it lays him open to the charge of feathering his own nest. It
should be done by a State Federation of Churches or by such organizations
as The Ohio Rural Life Association, acting through its own institutes and
the farmers' institutes, through the circulation of its literature, and
through the formation of organizations for this purpose in the churches of
the different counties. No matter how good work a minister may do,
ordinarily he will not be adequately supported unless some special agency
does this work.

(4) _Better Acquaintance_

The present system of circuits entails upon the country minister an
enormous waste of time. If a man tries to do the pastoral work which is
strictly necessary, he must spend a very large proportion of his working
hours in driving to the widely separated points of his various parishes,
crossing and recrossing as he goes the lines of travel of other ministers
engaged in the same territory upon the same work. That the country
minister should be called upon to waste so large a part of his life in
this way is shameful because it is bad and inefficient organization, and
carries with it an utterly needless loss.

To understand the significance of pastoral calling in a rural community it
must be remembered that isolation is as characteristic of the country as
congestion is of the cities. A large proportion of rural families look
upon a minister who calls frequently as a personal asset of great value.
He supplies opportunities not otherwise available for the discussion of
matters of general interest or of deep personal concern. He calls
attention to the things otherwise forgotten, and brings, or should bring
with him, the inestimable advantage of intimate contact with a wise and
well-trained mind. Moreover, a man full of good will to all going from
house to house, sympathetically trying to help and understand, will
inevitably modify the uncharitable and unjust public opinion which either
exists or is believed to exist in most rural communities.

Equally effective are the incidental contacts of a minister engaged in
community service, such as work with boys, or the promotion of welfare
enterprises. Thus engaged he will inevitably get in touch with his
parishioners, and supply the needs of individuals and of the community, at
least as fully as the minister who devotes most of his working hours to
pastoral calls. In such work less time is spent in the long drives or
walks between houses which are necessary in systematic calling, while the
minister gets to know the men better and bothers them less.

Without pastoral calling and community welfare work, the country
minister's service is sure to be ineffective. But as a matter of fact the
country ministers of Ohio for the most part do very little of either. The
country people as a rule, receive very few pastoral calls, according to
the almost universal testimony of the country ministers themselves as well
as that of other persons who live in the country. In Delaware County, for
example, a prosperous county in the center of the State, there is an area
of 82 square miles, with more than 2,100 people, in which only one
minister makes any pastoral calls, and he makes very few. Half the
townships of this county have no resident ministers.

Mr. Gill found one township in the north-central section of the State in
which the farmers' families probably had not been called on once in five
years. One woman had not received a call from a minister in twelve years.
When finally called upon she became a regular and happy church attendant,
though she had not been to church since her childhood. Another family was
found in the same region whose house no minister had entered for nineteen
years. In an Ohio River township, the members of a family testified that a
minister had not called on them for twenty-five years, and still others
asserted that no minister had ever entered their homes. From the reports
of eighteen pastors in one denominational district it appeared that on an
average each one made only six calls a year upon non-church members,
although these were more than 60 per cent of the people. "Our minister
does not know the people of this community" is common testimony everywhere
in the country parishes.

The country minister's influence is still further reduced because his term
of service is short--usually but a year or two, rarely three years.
Moreover, his efforts are commonly divided among several communities and
thus are spread too thin to produce results. Add to that the fact that in
each community the people whom he serves are intermingled with the
parishioners of ministers of other denominations. Under these
circumstances how can he become efficient in community service, and how
can he get to know the people of his charge? Ordinarily he does not even
attempt it. Under present conditions the country minister who does,
generally accomplishes little and wears himself into discouragement.

(5) _Rearrangement of Circuits_

The old circuit system under which many of the denominations developed
their work and which is now the system employed in nearly all the larger
denominations in the State, was of undoubted value in the beginning of
their work in pioneer days. But like many other efficient methods of
early times it has ceased to be the best method for present needs, in the
form in which we now find it at work. This is true except in a few
instances where it appears in such a modified form as to be adaptable to
present conditions.

Under the circuit system it has often been accepted as a policy by church
officials that every church must have a minister and every minister a
church. The advantages accruing both to the churches and ministers from a
reasonably cautious and not too consistent application of such a rule are
obvious. But failure to use such caution and too great insistence on its
universal application too often have resulted in the employment of
unequipped and uneducated ministers and sometimes even of men whose
character was questionable, which in turn, has helped to bring about a low
standard of pay for the minister. The pay of the skilled has fallen to
that of the unskilled, and the total result has been to cheapen the
ministry. The standard among farmers for the support of both church and
minister, therefore, has fallen low. We must have a greatly modified
system or a better system before the ministry can be better paid.

Under the circuit system as now applied in Ohio the churches too often
provide for but little else than preaching. Even the Sunday school, one of
the most hopeful and valuable kinds of church work, is hampered by it, for
this work needs the leadership of a trained ministry, which the present
circuit system tends to prevent. The minister with a circuit can rarely
attend the services of his Sunday schools, and the task of promoting the
Sunday school work during the week in the several communities of his
charge is usually too arduous for him.

In times past it has been held commendable for a denomination to establish
one of its churches in every community, regardless of the number of
churches already there. By making use of the present circuit system, it
has been possible to establish and after a fashion to maintain a church
almost anywhere. Hence the present unfortunate multiplication of churches.

When rural communities are overchurched, as under the working of this
plan in Ohio most of them are, competition between them necessarily
results not in the survival of the fit, but in the continued existence of
an excessive number of bloodless, moribund churches, whose energies are
almost entirely exhausted in the mere effort to keep alive.

When the circuit system is adopted by more than one competing denomination
in a field as it is in Ohio it helps to perpetuate interchurch
competition. When one adopts it all others must, or retire from the field.
It cannot be held that the resulting competition helps to make more
Christians, or that it tends to develop character or community life. On
the contrary, it reduces both the power of the church as a whole and the
influence of the individual churches for personal righteousness and
community welfare. Then, as the churches under the competitive system grow
weaker, they must be yoked in larger circuits. So far has the practice
gone that in one circuit in Ohio there are actually ten churches.

A variation of this system is found in certain Holy Roller churches where
an undefined number of churches together depend for their leadership on a
group of itinerant revivalists. Frequent or occasional seasons of revival
services often constitute the sole activity of these churches, yet because
of the weakness of the latter they are succeeding or have succeeded in
crowding out many churches of the older denominations. There is a clear
instance of this in the western half of Pike County, where nearly all the
churches are abandoned excepting those of the Holy Rollers--a striking
example of reverse selection or the survival of the unfit.

The movement for the conservation and improvement of rural life has no
greater enemy than the misused circuit system. Not only does it weaken the
churches, but it necessarily discourages the development of the community
and of community life. With his efforts divided among three or more
different communities, his parishioners mingled with members of competing
churches, the country minister cannot hope for the coöperation necessary
to effective leadership. His success in any work for the community,
because it would add prestige to his church, as a rule is not desired by
the members of other denominations. The entire circuit situation as it
works to-day in the region here under investigation whatever may be its
value elsewhere tends to make the modern program of successful churches
entirely impracticable.

Escape from the deadening environment of the country church circuit is the
ardent desire of most country ministers who have had any reasonable degree
of equipment for their vocation, and self-improvement as a preacher seems
to be the only way out. The circuit minister of such equipment naturally
regards his present work as temporary. He looks forward to leaving the
country through promotion to a town church. The city, where he hopes to
be, and not the country, where he is, becomes for him the only field for
success in the ministry.

It is evident, therefore, that country parishes to be successful must be
more compact. As a substitute for the circuit, churches in a small
community where there are too many should be united in the support of one
resident minister. If they cannot support him, then other adjacent
churches should join with them in a federated circuit under a single
pastor. Such is the right use of the circuit in the country.

The territory thus placed under one minister may be so large as to make it
desirable to employ a paid assistant to the pastor. Freed from the
necessity of long drives to other communities, the pastor can make many
calls nearer home. Community enterprises, under this system made possible,
will bring the pastor into personal touch with the people. He will become
their friend and they will wish him a long term of service among them. And
only when a minister has been two or three years in a community can he
begin to render his most effective service. The enlarged and unified
parish, such as that of Benzonia, Michigan, or Hanover, New Jersey, should
be carefully distinguished from the misused circuit, which now plays so
significant a part in the church life of Ohio. Parishes like these afford
all the benefits of the circuit with none of its defects.


(6) _More Resident Ministers_

While the preaching of a good pastor is an indispensable factor in the
individual development of his parishioners and in the progress of
community life, that of the non-resident is by comparison of little value.
It is shooting in the air without seeing the target, like the fire of
artillery without the aid of air scouts. There is no greater force for
righteousness in a country community than a church with a resident
minister, well educated, well equipped, wisely selected, whose term of
service is not too short. The church is the only institution which can
hope to employ a man of this type to give his whole time, as a minister
can, to the service of his community.

The right kind of resident minister will have a strong and intelligent
desire to secure opportunities for the best development of his children
and to create a favorable environment for them. He will therefore take a
keen interest in the schools, in the establishing of libraries, in play
and social life, in keeping out evil influences and promoting general
decency. He may fairly expect to see the fruits of his labor, and will be
all the more likely on that account to become interested in the economic
betterment of the community. Such a man will stimulate it and help it to
make use of all available means to further the general welfare. A church
with such a pastor is community insurance against degeneracy and decay.

One of the most striking examples of the service of a resident minister
during a long pastorate is found in the life of the well-known John
Frederick Oberlin, a free biography of whom has recently been made
available to all country ministers. Large numbers of modern examples may
also readily be found. One is given on pages 77-80 of this report.

There are few more deplorable wastes than that of the church in the use of
its rural ministry. This waste alone is enough to account for much of the
decline in country life, because under the present system only a small
fraction of the normal influence of the ministry can be exerted. And it
is a needless waste, for it is fully within the power of the churches
through their officials to correct it. The minister must be given a field
of such a character that it is possible for him to do his work, and he
must be given that adequate support which proper church administration can
most assuredly secure for him. Only when these readjustments have been
made will it be fair and right to appeal to the young men of education and
ability to enter the rural ministry, and stay in it.

The thing can be done. We have in mind a rural township with less than
2,000 inhabitants, lying in a hill country, which has six resident
ministers in its five villages, while the term of service of the minister
of each of the parishes is nearly always long. To establish at least one
resident minister in every township is not too high an aim. The people can
and should be brought to understand that the value of a successful
minister rises in increasing proportion with his knowledge of the
community and the length of his service.

(7) _Interchurch Coöperation_

To substitute coöperation for competition is an essential condition of
rural church progress, at least in Ohio. Whenever the new program is
adopted by a community it will discover that interchurch competition is
hostile to community prosperity. Many rural communities already know that
interchurch coöperation is desirable. But the great question is how to
secure it. Nearly every community is aware that it has too many churches,
but the task of reducing the number or securing interchurch comity is a
problem beset with difficulties. These difficulties, however, are by no
means insuperable. Many communities have already found ways to overcome

In every community which really requires more than one church or pastor,
there should be a federation of churches; that is, a joint committee of
pastors and delegates officially appointed by the several churches to
learn and meet the needs, religious, or social, which require concerted
action. While such federations, which are carefully to be distinguished
from federated churches, are common in our cities, comparatively few are
found in the country. One of these is in Shiloh, Ohio, a description of
which may be found on page 75. There appear to be no very great
difficulties in the way of bringing such federations about.

In communities whose compactness permits, and whose population and
resources require, that there should be only one congregation and pastor,
but where two or more churches already exist, the churches clearly should
either be united organically in a single denominational church, or a
federated church should be formed. Descriptions of federated churches may
be found on pages 59-69.

In a township or community where population and resources are inadequate
to support more than one pastor, but where the population is so
distributed that more than one place of worship and organized church are
required, a federated circuit may well be formed and a common pastor be
employed. In such case the several churches should be officially
represented by a joint committee which would act for the circuit not only
in employing the common pastor, but also in learning and meeting all the
religious and social needs which require concerted church action.

In securing pastors and in other matters where assistance is needed, the
local federated churches and federated circuits should be aided by the
State Federation of Churches if there is one, and if not by such bodies as
the Committee of Interchurch Coöperation of the Ohio Rural Life
Association. Both Federation and Association are necessary for other
purposes, and therefore no ground whatever exists for the objection
sometimes made that federated churches will require the formation of new
organizations to supervise them.

While it is true that an uneducated minister ordinarily cannot satisfy the
people of various denominations, and that usually he is sectarian in his
thinking and point of view, it is equally true that where a well-educated
man is pastor, the needs of the people of various denominations can easily
be met and church unity be made possible.

(8) _Community Churches_

The most successful rural church is the community church. Its members work
chiefly not for the church itself, but for the community. Its ambition is
to serve every person in its neighborhood, to create an environment
favorable to the highest possible development of every person in the
neighborhood, and to stimulate other organizations and persons to serve
the community in every possible way. It is conceivable that there might be
more than one such church in a neighborhood, but in this discussion it is
assumed that a community church is the only church in the community, for
by far the larger number of rural communities in Ohio should have but one
church. Since, on an average, there are five churches in a township and
only 1,448 persons, the formation of community churches is evidently both
advisable and important.

The community church may be a denominational church or a federated church.
It is the judgment of most of the denominational officials who are members
of the Committee of Interchurch Coöperation of the Ohio Rural Life
Association that wherever possible churches should be united in one
denominational church through the reciprocal exchange and elimination of
small churches by the denominational organizations. In such an exchange
church members of denomination A would unite with the church of
denomination B in community M, while members of denomination B would unite
with the church of denomination A in community N, and so on. A number of
such exchanges have been made, and so far as can be learned, they have
worked well. But the members of the small churches frequently refuse to
carry out this plan. They often care more for their local church than for
their denomination, and are not willing that their own church organization
should be destroyed. While such exchanges will doubtless continue to be
made from time to time, it is unlikely that rapid progress will be
achieved by this method alone.

On the other hand, the members of a local community are usually ready to
form a federated church when they understand it. This has been done in
Northfield, Aurora, Wayland, Olmstead Falls, Milford Centre and
Huntington, in Greene Township, Trumbull County, and in many other
communities. A description of some of them may be found on pages 60-69. If
the officials and superintendents of the church should become as favorable
to the formation of federated churches as they are to exchange between
denominations, and should actively further the movement, they could
without question bring about the unification of the churches in very large
numbers of communities which stand greatly in need of it.

Here then we have two possible methods of uniting the Christian people in
the rural communities. One of them--denominational exchange--is favored by
the officials but often opposed by the people in the churches. The
other--the federated church--is favored by the people in the churches and
opposed by many of the officials.

It is our contention that in the majority of cases the method preferred by
the people is more desirable than that preferred by the officials. For a
man to leave his own denomination and unite with another often involves
action against the conscience. In some of the denominations, for example,
the members have been trained to think it undesirable to subscribe to a
creed. But creed subscription is required by the churches of many of the
denominations as a condition of membership. In such cases the church
officials may properly hesitate to urge a part of the people to do what
they believe is not right.

Another reason which often makes it impossible for the church member of
one denomination to unite with the church of another is a temperamental
distaste for the idea of submission to some special system of discipline.
To all Protestants this is clear so far as the Catholic Church is
concerned. To many it is just as clear in relation to some of the
Protestant bodies.

The official objections to the formation of federated churches involve no
questions of moral principle, but merely those of expediency and the
smooth running of existing ecclesiastical machinery. It is held by
certain officials that the federated church tends to promote autonomy in
the local congregations, and that it will impair the authority of the
denomination. But this increase of autonomy has already taken place in the
city churches, which, as a matter of practice, whatever the denominational
theory may be, manage their own affairs. There is here no loss to the
denomination, nor is there likely to be when the country churches are
strengthened by federation.

In the long run the officials who now entertain objections to the
federated church will doubtless not permit them to stand in the way of
rural church progress. Particularly will this be true when a minister of
their own denomination is to be made pastor of the federated church. It
would seem wise, therefore, for the denominational authorities to agree
that when federated churches are formed the choice of pastors should be
made, so far as possible, on the basis of interdenominational reciprocity.

In view of the urgent needs of the rural communities, as a rule, those
methods should be adopted which are most acceptable to the local people
whose interests are involved. When the people of a community come to
desire united Christian action in promoting community welfare, their zeal
will usually be strong enough to overcome the difficulties in the way. But
this desirable consummation is greatly retarded where opposition is made
by the denomination or its officials. Until the church officials and
denominations are able to propose some other practicable plan for the
readjustment of church life to community welfare, a plan which can be
carried out, the demands of the situation certainly require them to help
rather than hinder the movement for the formation of federated churches.
In any event they will not be able to stop it.

In the investigation striking cases were found of denominational officials
opposing Christian unity in the mistaken belief that they were acting in
accord with the sentiment of their denominations.

It has been reported to us that a certain denominational official has
tried in ten different communities to prevent interchurch coöperation,
although the local churches and the local people were for it. It might in
charity be contended that in nine of these it was not Christian
coöperation itself that was opposed, but rather the form of coöperation
embodied in a federated church. But in the tenth community it was clearly
Christian coöperation and not the form of it to which this official was
hostile, for the people of the two local churches were merely meeting
together, in union services on Sunday evenings, and for an occasional
communion service. No federation or organic union was contemplated. But
the old minister was removed, and a new minister was sent to the field
with definite instructions to break up what unity there was. These
instructions he carried out so thoroughly that the Christian forces in the
community were greatly reduced in effectiveness.

In another community an official persistently tried to prevent the
formation of a federated church, although himself acknowledging that he
sincerely believed it was the very best thing that could be done for the
local people. From two other communities it was reported that this same
official was the only obstacle in the way of Christian unity. It is
entirely probable that in many other communities these denominational
officials have opposed Christian coöperation, for only incidentally did
the authors hear of the cases reported.

(9) _Nonsectarian Support_

To give strength to the movement for interchurch coöperation, a strong
interdenominational or undenominational backing is needed. On the part of
the higher leaders and officials there is no lack of genuine desire to
further interchurch coöperation. The same desire is shared by very large
numbers of the younger ministers who are properly trained for their
calling, and by many older ministers also. The movement, however, is often
halted because of a feeling that somewhere in the denomination there is a
strong sentiment against it.

Faintheartedness is the greatest obstacle to coöperation between churches
at the present time. Numbers of actual instances could be given if it
were proper to do so. What is needed, therefore, is an active movement
between or outside of the denominations, to strengthen those officials who
hesitate to promote interchurch coöperation. Such a movement would finally
reveal the fact that the prevailing sentiment in the denominations is
really in favor of coöperation and not against it, and many who now oppose
it or refuse to help would become most valuable agents in promoting it.

It must not be assumed that the day of denominations is past. Although, as
between most of the denominations, theological differences no longer
exist, and other differences between many of them are small,
denominational feeling is still dominant. The slight differences loom
large. Denominational officials for the most part feel that their chief
duty is to their denomination, from which they hold their official power;
and this duty is very absorbing. Hence it is often most difficult to gain
support from denominational authorities and churches for
interdenominational projects.

Moreover, the direction of interdenominational organization, at the
present time, is largely in the hands of men who are responsible for
denominational interests, or the interests of other organizations which
require their wholehearted and undivided support. While the coöperation
and combined judgment of such men is invaluable in the wise direction of
interdenominational projects, in Ohio they fail as a driving force. This
is now the chief cause of weakness in the interdenominational movement for
church and country life in the State.

Both the work for the country church and for the promoting of rural
business are rendered ineffective by lack of pecuniary support. In spite
of this, however, plans for progressive work both for rural business and
rural church are well developed, and have been tested; and moreover, the
feasibility of progress in both these lines of endeavor has been
thoroughly proved. Two things, then, are now required. These are funds and
federated or independent direction of their use.

We may well expect that adequate funds will be given for carrying on this
work in the years immediately following the war. After the sacrifices of
war those of peace by comparison will not seem large--while the sacrifices
of both peace and war are equally necessary for the realization of the
high ideals which as Americans we cherish.

This war as nothing else has done, has caused men in general to realize
that there are tasks for all other than the commercial enterprises of the
day, and that each of us must accept his share of the responsibility for
their performance. What is worth fighting for during the war is worth
working for after the war.



There are many rural communities in Ohio where the churches exert a vital
influence in community life, and where farm life succeeds in holding
families of moral, intellectual, and physical vigor. In some instances the
communities and their churches have not been seriously affected by the
modern conditions and tendencies which elsewhere are acting unfavorably
upon the country church and country life. In other instances, intelligent
leadership on the part of the ministers has overcome these conditions.
Many of these ministers highly appreciate the help they have received from
the modern country church movement, while not a few have testified that
without it they would have failed.

In a very large part of rural Ohio the need of interchurch coöperation is
keenly realized. In the divided communities the people, for the most part,
want to get together, but they do not know how. But in many communities
practical methods have been found and tested, and by these methods
Christian coöperation has been brought to pass and the rural church
conditions have been greatly improved. For that reason descriptions of
actual successful cases of interchurch coöperation are here supplied.
These examples are intended to include federated churches, church
federations, and denominational union churches, as well as certain
striking cases of the work of the church in community service. The uniting
of Christian forces will not by itself alone insure rural church progress.
The new country church program must be added. In its absence, a real
advance appears to be impossible.

_Greene Township_

Greene Township, Trumbull County, is situated in northeastern Ohio, in the
Western Reserve. In 1900 it had a population of about 800 persons, in 1910
about 100 less. Some of its residents are descended from the early
settlers from New England, others have recently moved in from western
sections of Ohio, while possibly 10 per cent are of foreign birth. That
its people have been somewhat progressive is indicated by the fact that it
was among the first three townships in the State to establish a
centralized school.

Greene is not a rich township. It has no railroad. About 40 of its houses
are now vacant. Fields which formerly were producing good crops of wheat,
corn, and oats are now growing up to brush. The young men between 25 and
30 years of age who were going into farming before the war can be counted
on the fingers of one hand. It is probable, however, that a new era in
agriculture has begun. Quite recently drainage, and in some cases the
application of lime, have reclaimed much waste land. Still other land will
be treated in the same way and with equally good results. Doubtless, as
elsewhere, progressive country church work will greatly assist a general
movement in the township to secure abundant prosperity.

In the geographical center of the township are two churches, Methodist
Episcopal and Disciples of Christ. These two are about equal in strength,
while in the northwestern part is a Baptist church with but three or four
families in its membership. The latter, however, supports a Sunday school
of 30 or 40 attendants.

Formerly, three resident ministers lived in the community, but for twelve
years there had been none. The Baptist Church holds only occasional
preaching services, the Disciples have depended for their preaching upon
student supplies from a neighboring theological school, while the
ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church have lived outside the
township at North Bloomfield, five miles away, where there are Methodist
Episcopal, Disciples, and Congregational churches. The Methodist Episcopal
Church at Greene, therefore, was part of a circuit of two churches.

As is usually the case among farming people of Ohio where there are no
resident ministers the people of Greene Township received very few
pastoral calls. Several families in the southeastern section of the
township have had little or no association with any ministers or churches.
Mr. Gill recently visited the township on a pleasant Sunday, and learned
that less than 30 of its 700 people that day went to church.

As an indication that the churches of Greene Township have been losing
their hold on the people, it may be noted that an increasing number of
families do not ask clergymen to officiate at funerals. The undertaker
sometimes conducts a short service at the grave, or his wife reads a
prayer and passage of scripture. In view of immemorial custom, the absence
of a clergyman on such occasions is significant.

The total amount of money contributed annually to the support of the
ministry in Greene Township has been not more than $600. Of this the
Methodist Episcopal Church paid its minister $300. The North Bloomfield
Church in an adjacent township paid him $500, so that the total salary of
the Methodist minister who gave part of his time to Greene Township was
$800. Obviously this is not enough to support a family and enable the
minister to keep a motor car or a horse. A large part of his time and
energy, therefore, was spent in walking from parish to parish and from
house to house through an area of 50 square miles.

In January of 1917 a joint committee was appointed by the churches of
Greene Township to consider the questions of securing a resident pastor,
increasing the size of the Sunday school and congregation, and rendering
all other forms of service needed in the community. It was decided by this
committee that a federated church should be formed in which each
constituent ecclesiastical body would preserve its own identity. Each
church would independently meet its obligations to its own denomination in
all matters outside of the community, while all the members of the
churches would unite in local activities, including the support of a
resident minister. A country life institute was held to stimulate the
desire for community improvement, and the plan of church betterment was
set forth and adopted.

To secure support for a minister, a thorough canvass was made by a
committee of six representing the three churches. As a result of its work
no less than $1,500 was subscribed. "Our results," wrote the chairman of
this committee, "have surpassed our brightest hopes. It is a genuine
pleasure to work for something that is going to help the whole community
and not just a part. I believe the interests of the Kingdom will be
advanced most where effort is united in rural communities. In our canvass
for funds we were surprised to find that the non-church people were not
willing that the churches should close their doors. In addition we found
they had a deeper interest in the church than we could possibly expect.
One old man, probably sixty-five, said that this was the first time he had
ever been asked to give to the support of a church. He added that he often
felt he would like to give. Many a man said he would double the amount of
his gift if it was necessary."

A well-educated minister who has rendered nine successive years of
effective service in one community has been secured as pastor, and there
is now a most encouraging prospect of improvement in religious, moral,
social, and economic life. The increased giving in Greene Township has
also influenced the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in North
Bloomfield. They have pledged $800, instead of the former $500, for the
support of their minister, and expect to raise $1,000. Bloomfield Township
also hereafter will have the undivided service of a minister.

As a result of this movement in Greene Township, therefore, four of the
churches of these two townships will hereafter pay from $2,300 to $2,500
for the support of the ministry instead of $1,100 as hitherto, while two
communities will each have the full time service of a resident pastor. The
significance of this increase in the money support of the church will be
apparent to those who have studied modern rural church problems. The
failure of the rural churches to give a living wage, much less a working
salary, to their ministers has been one of the most discouraging facts in
the rural church situation.

If the three churches of North Bloomfield should federate as those of
Greene Township have done, doubtless their people could raise $1,500 for
the support of the ministry. Again, if all the churches of both North
Bloomfield and Greene should federate it would be possible to employ a
single pastor of even higher grade with an assistant. An automobile could
be used effectively to cover both townships. In some cases, as in
Benzonia, Michigan, one minister with one or more assistants has been able
to get better results at less expense. The plan is worth trying.


In the year 1913 in the village of Aurora, Portage County, there were two
churches, the Congregational and Disciples of Christ. They were small in
attendance and membership, and it was hard to get adequate support for the
ministers. The usual results of underpaying the ministry were not wanting.
As a preliminary step in the improvement of this situation an organization
of the men of the churches was formed to promote the general community
welfare. As in so many other cases, to bring the churches together in
coöperative service to the community was seen to be the only way to secure
a vigorous church life for Aurora. That led to the decision to form a
federated church under the leadership of one pastor. Under the plan
adopted, each church was to keep its denominational relations, contribute
to its denominational benevolences, and fulfill all denominational
obligations. But in Aurora, as in Greene Township, the people were to work
together as in one church.

Owing to circumstances which were purely accidental, for the first year or
two the church was not very prosperous and the federation was only
partially successful. But after awhile the church began to take on life.
While at the beginning it was mutually understood that the arrangement was
to be tried for but two years, at the end of that time the desirability
of going back to the old way was not even discussed. So far as Mr. Gill
could learn in a visit to the community, the one and only one person who
still preferred the old way was a woman who had opposed the movement from
the start and had always held aloof from it. The opinion of the people is
now practically unanimous that both the community and the churches were
greatly benefited by the change. The first pastor of this church was of
the Disciples, the second a Presbyterian.


Garrettsville is a prosperous community on the Erie Railroad between
Youngstown and Cleveland. Its thousand inhabitants are engaged partly in
farming, partly in manufacturing, and partly in supplying the various
daily needs of the people. Its good houses, electric lights, paved
streets, and trim sidewalks indicate progressiveness and community spirit.
Being progressive, the people not merely recognized the undesirability of
interchurch competition, but they were able to work out a plan whereby
they have largely avoided it.

In April, 1916, there were four churches in the community, or on an
average one to 250 persons. The highest salary paid to its minister by any
of the churches was $800. Two of the other churches paid much smaller sums
and shared the service of their ministers with the churches of other
towns, while one of the pastors was the Educational Secretary of a Y. M.
C. A. in a town thirty miles away. The spirit of denominational rivalry
was in no respect different from that commonly found where there are too
many churches. When the pastor of the Congregational Church attempted to
organize a branch of the Boy Scouts of America for all the boys in the
community, he found that the members of the other churches feared he was
attempting to win the boys over to his church. For this reason he thought
it best to give up the enterprise.

In 1914, an unsuccessful attempt was made to unite the Congregational
Church and the Disciples, and another to unite the Baptist and
Congregational churches. In 1916, however, under the influence of the
country church movement in Ohio, a successful effort was made to unite all
three of them. In the spring of that year these three churches were all
without pastors. They decided to hold union services and a Union Sunday
school during the summer.

Upon trial the advantages of this arrangement became manifest. Not only
was the church attendance larger than the aggregate attendance in the
separate churches had ever been, but the Sunday school, formerly with
separate attendances of 65, 20, and 12, now had an attendance of 130.
Besides the added enthusiasm of greater numbers, it had better teachers,
better music, and a better Christian spirit.

In September, 1916, it was decided by separate vote of each church to form
a permanent organization, which was incorporated with the name of "The
United Church," and included all who were members of any of the three
churches. No member was asked to alter any of his beliefs, and any
candidate for admission might choose his own mode of being received,
provided it was one used in some Evangelical church. Contributions for
missionary work were sent to denominational bodies indicated by the givers
or determined by a joint committee. For all local work the members were to
act as one body. A committee of the United Church chose as pastor a young
man of rural experience, a graduate of an eastern university and seminary,
whose denominational affiliation was regarded as of so little importance
that it was not even announced.

The United Church of Garrettsville, after two years of experience, affords
religious opportunities and renders service to the people far beyond
anything the town could supply before the federation was made.

While the three original churches remain intact, the main part of the
business of the church is done by the committee of the United Church. The
officials of the denominations of the three churches interested heartily
encourage the project. The united force of church workers from three
denominations has made a very efficient church.

The United Church is the result of a desire of the people to be as
closely joined in their new church as they were in their different
denominational churches. Its motto is "In essentials, unity, in
non-essentials, liberty, in diversities, charity, in all things, Christ
first." It accepts the Scriptures as its sufficient rule of faith and
practice, interpreted in the light of fundamental agreements in
evangelical teaching, and in the spirit of its motto. Forms of ritual for
the sacrament, for the public services, and for admission into the church
are left to the decision of the minister, and are not provided for in the
regulations. It was desired to keep the forms of sectarianism too feeble
to be able to keep the people apart. Persons may join the United Church
without joining any of the three denominations represented by the original
constituent bodies.

The Sunday school is well organized, and is testing its work by the
highest standard of Christian education. Its relation to the church is
very close. The young people have a Christian Endeavor Society. The
women's work is carried on by a most flourishing society under the name of
"The Community Circle," whose form of organization provides for taking
care of both local and missionary needs. At the first meeting of each
month, half of the time is given to local opportunities for service. The
general social life of the church is largely cared for by this society.

The United Church has leased all the property of the old churches for a
term of years and cares for the church buildings. It has decided to build
a new community house for promoting the social life of the community and
general community interests, but has postponed it until after the war. In
the Articles of Incorporation one of the objects is regarded as the
support of such enterprises as tend to the more perfect development of the
children and young people spiritually, physically, morally, and socially.

Representatives of the old churches usually go to the meetings of their
respective denominations, and are accompanied by such members of the
United Church as may wish to attend as visitors. Reports of the meetings
are made at meetings of the United Church. The pastor of the United Church
is also pastor of each of the three denominational churches and so far as
possible attends the district meetings of the denominational bodies in a
representative capacity and cares for the local denominational interests.
Public services and meetings are held in the Congregational Church
building because it is the largest and best equipped. A baptistry is now
being installed, and various uses are being found for the other buildings.

It will be noted that the United Church of Garrettsville differs in some
respects from the ordinary federated church.


In Northfield, Summit County, the Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal
churches united by verbal agreement in a federated church on December 1,
1914. Written articles were adopted several months later. The pastor of
the federated church, Rev. J. M. Keck, has kindly given us the following
brief account:

"The consent of the higher officials of each denomination was first
secured. Then the members of the local churches agreed to the following

"The Presbyterians remain in the Cleveland Presbytery and the Methodists
in the Northeast Ohio Conference as before. The legal organization of each
local church continues intact. Each set of trustees has charge of its
property. The Presbyterian Church being the better located, is used for
worship, and the Methodist for dinners, etc. When a building needs
repairs, funds are raised from the entire congregation by voluntary

"The only additional organization is an Executive Committee, half
Presbyterians and half Methodists, which has charge of current expenses
and all matters relating to the congregation as a whole. An every-member
canvass for the local budget is made in which no account is taken of
church relations, no one but the treasurer knowing how much is contributed
by each denomination. Benevolent contributions are equally divided
between the denominational boards or applied to the Presbyterian or
Methodist funds as indicated on envelopes.

"Persons desiring to unite with the church elect whether they are to be
Presbyterians or Methodists and are received accordingly. No one seems to
care in which they are enrolled, since they work in the same congregation
and contribute to the same funds. The order of public worship is a
modification of each of those formerly in use but retains the essential
features of both.

"So far there has not been the slightest friction between the
denominations. No one seems to think of ever going back to the old way.


"1. A church was saved for the denomination which in time would probably
have been forced to disband.

"2. Several hundred dollars of home missionary money was saved annually
which had been expended in Northfield to keep the church open and alive.
Under the federation it is not needed.

"3. Offerings are made to the various boards and interests of


"1. A church was saved that doubtless would have been closed in a few
years for want of support.

"2. The salary of the pastor has been increased and also the stipends of
the district superintendent, the bishops, conferences, and claimants.

"3. The contributions to all boards and benevolences have been increased.


"1. Federation saves paying two pastors and keeping two church buildings
when one is sufficient. It makes the public more willing to aid.

"2. The congregation being more than doubled, there is more enthusiasm and
willingness to work.

"3. It has silenced the criticism that the churches are competing instead
of coöperating.

"4. The economic and fraternal features of federation appeal to the public
and bring into line people who did not patronize either church before."

_Federated Churches in Other States_

More churches have been federated in New England than in any other section
of the United States. Familiarity with the success or failure of these
churches is therefore necessary to a reasonably full discussion of
interchurch coöperation. Accordingly information blanks were sent to a
number of these federated churches. The inquiries were expressed as

1. Date of Federation?

2. Denominations of constituent bodies?

3. Membership of each church at the time of federation?

4. Denomination of the first minister and of succeeding ministers?

5. Do the people like the present arrangement better than the old?

6. Do many people want to go back to the old way?

7. Have church benevolences declined or increased?

8. How has the pecuniary support of the ministry been affected?

9. How have other expenditures of the church been affected?

10. Has attendance declined or increased?

11. Has church membership declined or increased?

12. What effect, if any, has the formation of the federated church had
upon the social life of the community?

13. Kindly express frankly your opinion of the federated church as a means
of securing Christian unity and church efficiency.

Fifteen churches replied. In these fifteen federated churches were
thirteen Congregational churches, nine Methodist Episcopal, seven
Baptist, and one Universalist. The Universalist was federated with a
Congregational church, two federated churches were made up of Baptist and
Methodist, five of Baptist and Congregational, seven of Methodist
Episcopal and Congregational.

The first ministers of four of the federated churches were Baptists, of
five, Methodist Episcopal, and of five, Congregational.

One of the churches had had an experience of sixteen years, one of eleven,
two of eight, two of six, two of five, two of four, two of three, three of
two, making the average experience of the fifteen federated churches more
than five years.

Of the fifteen answers to question 5, thirteen said that the people liked
the present arrangement better than the old, while the other two said
there were not many people who wanted to go back to the old way.

In reply to question 7, eight declared that the benevolences had
increased, three that they had remained the same, one said benevolences
varied in different years, while in three the benevolences had declined.
In one of these the decline was very slight and there was a prospect of an
increase in the future.

In thirteen the support of the ministry has been favorably affected by the
federation. From one the answer is ambiguous. In the case of Truro,
Massachusetts, where one church had a membership of three and the other of
eight, at the time of federation, the answer indicates a decrease in the
amount given to the salary.

The answers to question 9 indicate that the running expenditures of the
churches are often less and that the money is more easily raised to meet

To question 10, nine of the answers denoted an increased attendance, five
no noticeable change. No church reported a decrease. In one case the
answer was obscure.

The answers to question 11 report that eight have increased in membership,
five have remained stationary, one reports normal additions, and one a
slight decrease.

In answer to question 12, twelve churches reported a favorable effect upon
the social life of the community, two recently formed reported that there
was no marked effect yet, while one gave no answer. All but one of the
correspondents cherish a strong opinion that the federated church is the
best arrangement when a community is overchurched and the churches are
small. One pastor of a federation had nothing to say.

The following are the replies to the request made at the end of the
questionnaire, "Kindly express frankly your opinion of the federated
church as a means of securing Christian unity and church efficiency":

1. "Nothing to say."

2. "I do not see any reasons why two or more churches of Congregational
form of government should not federate, but it would be difficult to
federate with Episcopal form of church government."

3. "The efficiency here has been greater since these churches federated
than it was before. No church could support a pastor. The Baptist Church
had been pastorless for three and a half years. The Congregational Church
was supplied by students from Hartford Theological Seminary. Now they pay
a fair salary and give free use of parsonage. Federation is the best
solution of overchurched communities."

4. "The federated church should be adopted in rural communities and in
many small cities. I see no other way to bring the church into its place
as a social and religious power."

5. "It is my opinion that for a community that is like this one a
federated church is a great means to secure Christian unity and
efficiency. At our last meeting there were but two who were not
enthusiastic for its continuance. Our field here would be much better if
there were not another church in the community outside the federation.
There is still the Unitarian Church outside the federation which
necessarily makes a divided leadership in the small community. Our
federated church has grown from two small churches to the position of
dominance in the community. Our decrease in benevolences is largely
explainable and excusable perhaps in that it occurred during the time when
there were so many other things to take care of, relative to the
federation. It will not happen again, but for a part of the time we were
without a pastor and during the rest of the time exceedingly busy getting
things adjusted."

6. "We are thoroughly satisfied. Each church in denominational
relationship (the Methodist Episcopal and Congregational) is as
independent and well organized as before federation. Each church is
stronger than before federation. We look forward to the day when
federation will be the rule in overchurched communities for the sake of
the good of church and community rather than from pecuniary necessity."
This opinion was expressed after an experience of sixteen years of the
federated church.

7. "Having been pastor of the federated church in Somerset for three years
I am glad to be able to say that I unqualifiedly recommend federation as a
solution of the overchurched problem in country and village. Wherever
there are genuine Christian members, federation will work perfectly."

8. "It is a great help in small places."

9. "Our federation has been a great success. Perfect harmony seems to

10. "A strong church can do better work alone, but two or more weak
churches should unite in the support of one minister. A federated church
gives opportunity for denominational loyalty and connections. This is

11. "This is a small town, only about 435 population, but it is a summer
resort and during the months of July and August a great many city people
attend church. I am pastor of this church and North Thetford, another
federated church about five miles south. It is about the only way these
churches could be run, for both are small places."

12. "This federated church is in a flourishing condition. During the
present pastorate since May, 1914, 31 have been received into the church.
The building has been remodeled at a cost of about $3,500, all paid but

13. "It is the most efficient means of securing Christian unity and church
efficiency ever discovered. It is the ideal way."

14. "I am convinced of the sincerity of Christian unity and of the
possibility of church efficiency, but it has not really approached that
reality any more than some denominational churches have in rural centers.
But it is a wholesome and generally satisfactory plan of religious service
in a community of changing personnel. In the community is quite a large
Catholic element and also a very progressive and influential Universalist
element. This remains in our midst practically unassimilated as yet, after
a dozen years with no services in their church. The children are coming
into the Sunday school pretty well and time will overcome some of these

15. "It is the reasonable and only possible means in this and many other
communities in Cape Cod, but it needs energy and aggressive effort to

In the face of the fact that a very large proportion of denominational
rural churches are on the decline, the experience of these fifteen
churches constitutes very strong evidence that the federated church is a
practical means of securing Christian unity and increased church
efficiency in small overchurched communities.

In order to learn whether or not it is true that only the more successful
churches replied to the questionnaire, we have by other means secured
information in regard to certain churches which did not reply. Some of
them were found to be as successful as those which did. For example, the
federated church of North Wilbraham, Massachusetts, the constituent bodies
of which are Methodist Episcopal and Congregational churches, has greatly
increased in membership, attendance, and in the influence it exerts for
various kinds of progress in its community. It would be very difficult to
find any country church, either denominational or federated, whose record
for service is better.

In two cases in New England where the federated church has failed, it was
reported that the pastors regarded the federated church as a temporary
expedient and tried hard to change it into a denominational church. Such
action would necessarily be regarded as a breach of faith on the part of
one of the churches, and disaster might well be expected to follow. The
authors know of no experience which indicates any inherent weakness in the
federated church, nor so far as they are aware is there any evidence that
a federated church has injured the denomination of any component church.
On the contrary, a very large majority of the small churches which have
united with others in such federation have gained rather than lost, with a
resulting benefit to each denomination concerned.



1. _A Church Federation_

In the village of Shiloh in Richland County are two churches, Lutheran and
Methodist Episcopal, each supporting a resident pastor. Each seems to be
strong enough to sustain alone its ordinary activities. For this and other
reasons there has been no desire to unite the churches into one
congregation. But they had both neglected to provide means of meeting many
of the community's needs, such as opportunities for social life,
recreation, and athletics, or to stimulate others to make provision for
them. As usual under such conditions, gambling and other amusements of a
questionable sort became more or less common. In order the better to look
after the needs of the young people and to strengthen the moral life of
the community, a committee representing both of the churches was appointed
to provide and carry out a program for the community welfare.

One of the features of this program is a successful movement for the
promotion of the social, athletic, and play life of this and neighboring
communities. The life of the neighborhood has been made more attractive,
especially for the young people, while some of the forms of petty vice
have disappeared. Union services are frequently held by the two churches.
In every way their work is becoming more effective.

This form of coöperative organization may be called a church federation,
but it should be distinguished from the federated church, which is the
union of two or more churches into a single congregation. In every rural
community where it is neither feasible nor desirable to unite all the
churches under the leadership of one pastor, a church federation should
be formed to create conditions favorable to the development of Christian
character, to hold community religious services and social gatherings, and
to render all forms of social service which are needed in the community,
but are not rendered by other institutions.

2. _Coöperation with Other Social Forces_

Where there are social organizations other than school and church it often
happens that the churches can get better results by working with them. An
example of this kind of coöperation may be found in White Cottage, Newton
Township, Muskingum County. Here the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal
Church made a thorough survey of the community in an area which included
four churches. He then prepared a sermon on the much needed country life
movement, and sent a personal letter to every family in the area covered
by the survey, inviting its members to come and hear his sermon. Large
numbers responded. Then a mass meeting was called to discuss the
situation, and the results of the survey were set forth. A committee was
appointed to draw up a constitution for a community betterment
organization. At a second mass meeting it was adopted. Under it every
member of the community became a member of the association. Every social
organization in the community was given equal representation on the
Executive Committee, which has standing committees on programs and
publicity, on religion and social service, on education, on recreation and
physical culture, and on finance.

A general cleaning up of the community followed. An unsightly square was
transferred into an attractive playground, where every Saturday afternoon
there was basket ball, volley ball, croquet, tennis, track athletics, or
baseball. A library and public reading room was opened, a temperance
program was adopted, farmers' institutes were established, and lectures on
agriculture and home economics were given, together with a Chautauqua
course of lectures for winter and summer, and a series of home talent
plays. There were three holiday picnics each summer, and field day
exercises with a parade, platform meetings, and a community dinner.

Other results of this movement are a fine new school building with a large
auditorium, and greatly improved roads. Moreover, a favorable reaction has
been felt in the churches. Whereas, formerly but 37-1/2 per cent of the
population were church attendants, now there are 58 per cent; where
formerly 40 per cent of the people went to Sunday school, now there are 52
per cent. The whole community shows a higher moral tone.

While the churches at White Cottage were not united in any organic way,
yet a spirit of Christian unity was brought about. The very best of
feeling exists among the different churches, and their members work
together gladly in community improvement. As the result of such an
atmosphere the evils of overchurching are reduced to a minimum, and it
becomes easier to bring about such reorganization as may be for the best
religious and social welfare of the community.

Organizations of coöperating rural social forces, like that at White
Cottage, for many years have been doing good work in other states, both
East and West. In large numbers of communities, particularly where the
churches cannot be federated, or where bitter feeling has resulted from
interchurch competition, the best method of progress is often to bring
about such a coördination of forces in the service of the community

3. _Community Service and Christian Unity_

Ashley, in Delaware County, is a town of about 600 inhabitants. Here a
resident pastor's desire to serve his community resulted in Christian
unity. Twelve years ago there were four competing churches, poorly
attended and struggling for existence. Camp meetings of a fanatical sect
were often held in the neighborhood. In the churches of the town seasons
of protracted meetings were characterized by excessive emotion at the
time, but by few permanent good results. While respect for religion is
necessary to a high degree of moral and social life in any country
community, a large proportion of the people in Ashley no longer respected
the church because of the character of its religious activities. Many of
the most influential citizens even doubted whether the church was good for
the community or not. High ideals were conspicuously lacking among the
young people, and disorderly conduct was beginning to appear.

In the year 1907 the Methodist Episcopal Church acquired a pastor who by
nature and training was well equipped for his work. Fortunately he was the
only resident minister in the town, where he remained for nearly ten
years. As the result of his leadership the whole community now has a high
regard for religion and the church, while a practical Christian unity has
been brought about and interchurch competition has disappeared. The moral
and religious atmosphere of the place has become wholesome.

Community life has been made attractive through special instruction and
entertainment, social gatherings, athletics, and all kinds of healthy

There still are two churches, but one of them meets not oftener than once
a month, is attended by only two or three families, and has ceased to be a
factor in the life of the community. The other church is well attended and
is generally recognized as the community church. The members of the two
churches which have dropped out have, for the most part, united with it,
while the building of one of them has become the gymnasium of the
community church.

Though the work of this successful pastor was begun before the modern
country life and country church movement had been developed, his program
and methods of work in no way differ from those which are common to the
nation-wide movement. In fact large numbers of country pastors, widely
scattered over the United States, entirely independent of one another or
of the literature of any special movement, have made and carried out
programs for church and community betterment which in their essentials are
substantially alike. The pastors have all studied the needs of their
communities and have tried to meet them. Similarity of needs in the
different communities has naturally resulted in the adoption of similar

The pastor who did at Ashley the work just described began by making a
thorough study of his parish. He then led the young people into active
work for their community, and later on stimulated the older men to do
their part also, until finally it became recognized in Ashley that the
duty of the Christian and the church is not to work mainly for the church,
but mainly for the common welfare and the development of all the people.

This minister never emphasized any form of sectarianism. He thought of
himself as pastor of the whole town and countryside rather than of his
church alone, so that whatever he did was entirely free from the spirit of
competition. The people did not fail to recognize his aims, and, in
consequence, were satisfied with his leadership. Thus it became possible
for him and his church to work to satisfy the needs of all the people. The
Presbyterians and Friends, therefore, willingly joined his church and gave
up their own. But if in speech or deed he had attempted to build up his
own church at the expense of the others, there would undoubtedly be four
churches in Ashley to-day.

The Ashley community church secured the creation of a community library,
itself provided a community reading room, gave special attention to the
day school and its teachers, held each year free university extension
lectures on agriculture and home economics, lectures on sanitation and
prevention of diseases, gave socials and festivals, promoted athletics,
maintained a church gymnasium, and formed farmers' clubs and helped them
in their work. Though there were lodges in Ashley which held occasional
gatherings, still the church was generally recognized as the institution
which supplied the opportunities for social life for the whole community.
The church became preëminently the most democratic and most popular
institution in the town.

Simplicity of organization was the aim of the pastor. Sunday school
classes, including a men's Bible class, were organized, and were
stimulated to do their best to meet the social and other needs of the
community. So well did they do their work that other organizations were
found to be unnecessary. One unusual feature of the pastor's work was the
combining of the Bible school session on Sunday morning with the service
of the church, making one service of worship, at which communion is
administered and members are received.

No collections are taken up in the church, but a budget is made at the
beginning of the year and the money is raised through a church committee.
Contributions for benevolences have been greatly increased during this
pastorate, and large sums have been spent for building and improvements.
Yet nevertheless the community did not furnish adequate support for its
pastor, undoubtedly because as in the case of nearly all pastors, he
refused to work for an increase in his own salary, while, as in nearly all
small communities, no one else took the matter up. In this respect,
therefore, the people acted unjustly towards their minister.

It should be noted that the minister was well trained and of high
character; that he lived in the community he served; that he was given a
long term of service; and that he cherished a right conception of the work
of minister and church.

Such work as this is badly needed in multitudes of communities in Ohio. It
is the only thing that can preserve or restore their wholesomeness and
make them suitable places for the rearing of children. The church, as a
whole, should spare no effort in providing large numbers of such men to do
this kind of work, for the total result of so doing would be an increase
of untold value in the strength of the very foundations of Christian
civilization in America.

4. _Christian Unity by Necessity_

In Ontario, Springfield Township, Richland County, there were three
churches,--Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, and Methodist Episcopal.
Because many of the best families had left, the Presbyterian churches have
held no regular services since the year 1900. For a time the Methodist
Episcopal Church shared a resident minister with three or four other
churches, but from 1912 Springfield Township was left without a resident
minister for three years. Under these circumstances it was inevitable that
social and moral decline should begin, for the modern community's needs
cannot be met by the old-fashioned circuit system. More and more the
better families moved away or relapsed into the background, and the less
moral elements became conspicuous. A dance hall became the haunt of
disorderly people from neighboring towns. Drunkenness grew apace, while
bad language on the streets was altogether too common. Pilfering the
property of the railroad was more or less open. It was high time to act.

Accordingly, the people of all the denominations and the non-church people
who lived in the township, realizing that it was going from bad to worse,
joined in deciding that a resident minister was necessary. Money was
raised, and the future support of a minister was promised if the Methodist
Episcopal Conference would send them a good man.

The new minister began his work in the autumn of 1915. The total budget of
the church had been about $500, of which less than $250 went to the
minister's salary. During his first year, $1,540 was raised, $900 of which
went for the support of the minister. In the second year no less than
$7,500 was raised, $1,000 for the minister's salary, $540 for ordinary
expenses, while the rest went to the permanent repairs on the church

As in Ashley, so in Springfield Township; the pastor regarded his church
as a community church and thought of himself as a Christian rather than as
a sectarian. The attendance more than doubled both at the church services
and at the Sunday school, while the real membership increased from less
than 100 to 315. When the Presbyterians saw the manifest good that could
be brought by united Christian action, they became members of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, while later on they made a Christmas present
of their building to the Methodist community church. It is now used as the
house of worship, while the Methodist Church has become a gymnasium and
parish house.

Under the leadership of the new resident minister a genuine cleaning up of
the gross indecency was made, some of the most harmful characters left,
and the place became comparatively orderly. The village has been
transformed from a rural slum to a very decent community,--a safe place to
bring up children. This better state of things will undoubtedly continue
as long as the present system of church work prevails.

The plan of this church's work did not differ from that of many other
modern country churches. It included Sunday school classes organized for
social service, athletics, including basket ball, a full program of social
activities, lectures to promote an intelligent interest in agriculture,
and active interest on the part of the minister in coöperating with the
day schools and providing opportunities for intellectual advancement.

The pastor declares that the work in Springfield Township was made
possible only because he could live in the community, because he could
give his whole time to this field, and because of the program of country
church service with which, through the Conference of the Commission on
Church and Country Life which was held in Columbus in 1915 and through
modern country church literature, he had become familiar. He asserts that
without the modern program and conception of the function of the country
church, success would have been impossible.

5. _The Church as a Force for Righteousness_

In the work at Ashley and Ontario we have seen the adoption of a good
program accompanied by improvement in the moral tone and religious
atmosphere of the communities. There are many other communities where a
similar program has been carried out, with the same results. These cases
constitute a fairly conclusive demonstration that the varied community
life which is stimulated and made possible by the modern country church
program is the normal one, and that without these various activities
general moral and religious health is impossible.

The leadership of a modern country church minister brought about just
such an improvement in the community life of Old Fort. This pastor came to
realize the needs of his community by taking part in the Ohio Rural Life
Survey. One direct result of his work is a centralized agricultural high
school, which will become the means of keeping the best families on the
land instead of letting them move to the larger towns in search of better
schools for the children. Once gone they rarely return.

The young men of Old Fort, who formerly had little to do with the church,
are now active in its work. Special attention has been given, in a
neighboring parish served by the same minister, to the farm laborers and
tenants. Whereas formerly these people rarely went to church, now as large
a proportion of them take part in the activities of the church as of any
other class. This is an achievement of real importance. It appears from
Map 12, which is based on data from the United States Census, that, in no
less than 54 of the 88 counties of Ohio, more than 25 per cent of the
farms in the year 1910 were operated by tenants. On Map 13 it appears that
in no less than 50 counties the number of farms operated by tenants is
increasing. Here is one of the great obstacles in the way of church
progress in the State, for it is well known that farm tenants usually take
little interest in the community where they live, while only a small
proportion of them are members of the church. Until reform in the system
of land tenure can be brought to pass through legislation, it is most
important that the church shall give special attention to the tenant



Success in this parish, according to the testimony of the minister, is due
to the program brought to light by the modern country church movement.
Indeed, we have observed no notably progressive country churches in small
communities where the new country church program has not been an essential
factor of success. Lakeville is a case in point.

In the village of Lakeville, as in a large proportion of Ohio rural
communities, opportunities for wholesome recreation were few. The church
not only felt no responsibility for providing a better environment for the
young people, but looked upon matters which have to do with recreation,
entertainment, and physical development as foreign to it. To give them
attention was regarded as beneath its dignity. This attitude, both here
and in a large proportion of the rural churches, has been responsible in
no small degree for a general moral laxness in communities, and often for
the separation of the young people from the church.

The moral and social conditions in Lakeville have been revolutionized by a
resident minister in three years. His conception of his work and the
methods he used did not differ materially from those of the pastors of
Ashley, Ontario, and Old Fort. Every wholesome feature of community life
was regarded by him as a matter of interest to the church. Thus, to
promote a deeper interest in agriculture, lecturers and demonstrators upon
various phases of it were invited into the community.

Under the leadership of this minister a wholesome, normal, interesting
life, leading to the high development of the young people, and a marked
increase in the general happiness of the community, has been brought to
pass. The excellent auditorium of the consolidated school was made the
social center of the community. The pastor and the members of his church
were the initiators and chief supporters of the program of recreation,
instruction, and entertainment which was carried out largely in this
building. Although in Lakeville the church wisely kept itself in the
background in much of its work, its activities were none the less
effective, while this policy also reacted favorably upon the church

Although there were two churches yoked together in this field, they were
but a mile and a half apart, and the parish was therefore compact.
Consequently the pastor could and did make much of his pastoral work. The
close touch of the minister with the members of his church and community
greatly added to the effectiveness of the evangelistic services which he
held, for he befriended those who had need of friends. Hence there was not
only a large increase in membership, but the results of it promised to be
of a durable character.

It will be noted that the minister was pastor of all the churches in the
community and so encountered none of the difficulties which come from
interchurch competition.

The kind of community service which is illustrated at Ashley, Ontario, Old
Fort, White Cottage, and Lakeville offers abundant opportunity to a young
man of good equipment for using his knowledge and native ability, and
should therefore attract a better type of man to the rural ministry. The
church as a whole should be active in presenting it to young men, for the
purpose of getting the best of them to enlist in it. The conservation of
the high character of our rural population depends on just such work.



No program for the conservation and improvement of rural life will succeed
unless it provides for the successful promotion of coöperative
agricultural business organization. Even if all the reforms we have
suggested are made, the need to stimulate, assist, and guide the business
organization of farmers will still remain. Strong modern country churches
will not flourish in unprogressive communities whose business is not

Rural business must be effectively organized to enable the farmers to get
a just money return for the service they give. A sound economic basis for
a more attractive rural life can be provided in no other way. Through
training and experience in successful coöperative enterprises, farmers may
achieve a greater degree of solidarity, and acquire a larger share in the
direction and control of industrial, political, and economic life of the
Nation. With it will come larger respect for rural occupations, an added
prestige and attractiveness to agricultural life, and the chance of real
success for the modern country church.

The field of agricultural coöperation cannot be filled by any government
agency. However excellent the provisions of the Smith-Lever bill, under
which an agricultural adviser will be placed in every county in the United
States, however valuable the instruction and advice of the State
Agricultural Colleges, when the Government and the churches have done all
that can reasonably be expected of them, the task of organizing rural
business will remain undone until it is accomplished by the farmers
themselves, acting through associations of their own which are formally
allied with neither church nor government.

Conclusive evidence on this point is supplied by more than fifty years of
experience in Europe, and by somewhat less in the United States. Within
the past five years an attempt to promote coöperative agricultural
business organization has been made by the National Government. It failed,
in general, because the Government cannot successfully undertake such
work, and in particular because special interests which were making large
profits by the exploitation of farmers had laws passed which effectually
defeated the attempt. Within the past three years agricultural agents of
the Government in Ohio who attempted to promote a coöperative movement
among farmers were forced by similar interests to abandon the work or
leave the county where they were employed. It is well known that the
faculties of certain State Agricultural colleges, though fully aware of
the need for sound coöperative agricultural business, do not attempt to
give instructions in its principles because of the effective opposition
they anticipate from persons and corporations whose business makes their
interests hostile to those of the farmer.

If the Government cannot meet the whole need, no more can the churches.
Business coöperation, which they should encourage but cannot supply, is
indispensable. For more than fifty years churches and clergymen in Europe
have been rendering most effective service in the promotion of coöperative
agricultural organization in business. In America likewise they can and
should be of essential help in the same good work, for the principles of
successful agricultural business are in close harmony with Christian
ethics. Moreover, the social and moral effects of coöperative business on
communities and individuals are of a most favorable character. In the year
1913 Mr. Gill was present at a meeting of representatives of government
agricultural departments of fifteen nations, where it was asserted that
agricultural coöperation was the application of Christianity to the
business of the farm.

Rural business, however, should not be organically allied with the church
any more than it should be with the State. While the ministers and
churches may do much to educate the farmers in regard to coöperation, to
interpret it, to increase the good results of it, and in many ways give
valuable assistance to it, the movement for coöperation can only be made
successful when promoted by voluntary secular organizations entirely
independent both of church and state.

Coöperation is most needed where the people are poorest. In such districts
it is easiest to inaugurate it, and then by demonstration to show the high
and important character of its benefits. From the poorer regions it tends
to spread into the richer ones and in this way to diffuse itself widely.

Not long ago it was found that farmers in Pike County were selling their
eggs to merchants for 16 cents a dozen when in the towns nearby the market
price was 25 cents. Almost the entire potato crop of this county in 1916
was handled by middlemen at a profit of more than 100 per cent. Fruit
raising could be made most profitable in large parts of Ohio which at
present are not prosperous, but without coöperative organization the
difficulty of marketing fruit is very great. In the purchase of farm
implements, fertilizers, and other supplies, great savings to the farmers
are undoubtedly possible.

There are few regions where coöperative organization is more needed, and
would be more likely to succeed, if properly directed, than in
southeastern Ohio. It would not only increase the economic prosperity of
this region, but it would exert also a most wholesome moral and social
effect, whereby the work of the church would be accelerated. The constant
application of the principles of brotherhood in everyday business is an
influence of the highest value, and it cannot safely be neglected as a
means for the Christianizing of rural society.





It appears that of the 6,060 churches in the 1,170 strictly rural
townships of Ohio no less than 1,793, or nearly 30 per cent, are of the
Methodist Episcopal denomination (see Table D and Maps 14-25); 521 are of
the United Brethren in Christ; 396 are Presbyterian; 379 are Baptist,
including Free Will, Free, and Missionary; 367 Disciples; 362 Lutheran;
248 Roman Catholic; 228 Christian; 211 Methodist Protestant; 175 Reformed;
135 Congregational; 129 Evangelical Association; 113 Brethren or German
Baptists; 95 Radical United Brethren; 92 Christian Union; 84 Societies of
Friends; and 77 United Presbyterian. None of the other denominations has
more than 1 per cent of the total number.

The denominations are represented in about the same proportion in the
suburban rural districts.



  1 _Strictly rural townships_
  2 _Per cent_
  3 _Other rural sections_
  4 _Per cent_
  5 _All rural churches_
  6 _Per cent_

     Denomination                  1      2      3     4        5      6

  Total                          6060   100     582   100     6642   100
  Methodist Episcopal            1793    29.6   171    29.4   1964    29.6
  United Brethren in Christ       521     8.6    81    13.9    602     9.1
  Presbyterian                    396     6.5    29     5.     425     6.4
  Baptist (Including Free, Free
    Will and Missionary)          379     6.2    26     4.4    405     6.1
  Disciples of Christ             367     6.     20     3.4    387     5.9
  Lutheran                        362     6.     49     8.4    411     6.2
  Catholic (Roman)                248     4.1    17     2.9    265     4.
  Christian                       228     3.8    20     3.4    248     3.7
  Methodist Protestant            211     3.5    19     3.3    230     3.5
  Reformed (Including
    German Reformed)              175     2.9    26     4.4    201     3.
  Congregational                  135     2.2    12     2.1    147     2.2
  Evangelical Association         129     2.6    14     2.4    143     2.2
  Brethren (German Baptist)       113     1.9    14     2.4    127     1.9
  Radical United Brethren          95     1.6     9     1.5    104     1.6
  Christian Union                  92     1.5     4    Less     96     1.4
                                                      than 1
  Friends                          84     1.4     8     1.4     92     1.4
  United Presbyterian              77     1.3     9     1.5     86     1.3
  Mennonite                        56    Less     9     1.5     65    Less
                                        than 1                       than 1
  Church of God                    54      "      8     1.4     62      "
  German Evangelical               48      "      1    Less     49      "
                                                      than 1
  African and all Colored
    Methodist Episcopal            40      "      2      "      42      "
  Union                            40      "     10     1.7     50      "
  Protestant Episcopal             39      "      2    Less     41      "
                                                      than 1
  Universalist                     39      "      0      "      39      "
  Colored Baptist                  38      "      3      "      41      "
  Disciples Non-Progressive        32      "      1      "      33      "
  Free Methodist                   27      "      5      "      32      "
  German Methodist Episcopal       27      "      0      "      27      "
  United Evangelical               27      "      2      "      29      "
  Holiness                         25      "      6      1      31      "
           { Old Order
  Brethren { Progressive           21      "      3      "      24      "
           { River
  Primitive Baptist                21      "      0      "      21      "
  Wesleyan Methodist               18      "      0      "      18      "
  Seventh Day Advent               13      "      0      "      13      "
  Advent-Christian                 12      "      0      "      12      "
  Calvinist Methodist              12      "      1      "      13      "
  Reformed Presbyterian             8      "      0      "       8      "
  Latter Day Saints                 6      "      0      "       6      "
  Nazarene                          5      "      0      "       5      "
  Saints                            5      "      0      "       5      "
  United Baptist                    5      "      0      "       5      "
  Christian Missionary Alliance     4      "      0      "       4      "
  Greek Catholic                    4      "      0      "       4      "
  Moravian                          4      "      0      "       4      "
  Christian Science                 3      "      0      "       3      "
  International Bible
    Students, Association           3      "      0      "       3      "
  Federated                         3      "      0      "       3      "
  Missionary Church Association     2      "      0      "       2      "
  Pietist                           1      "      0      "       1      "
  Primitive Methodist               1      "      0      "       1      "
  Russian Catholic                  1      "      0      "       1      "
  Seven Sleepers                    1      "      0      "       1      "
  Seventh Day Baptist               1      "      0      "       1      "
  Slavic Lutheran                   1      "      0      "       1      "
  Wengerite                         1      "      0      "       1      "
  Brothers Society of America       0      "      1      "       1      "
  Denomination not reported         7      "      0      "       7      "



[Illustration: MAP 16 PRESBYTERIAN]

[Illustration: MAP 17 BAPTIST]

[Illustration: MAP 18 DISCIPLES OF CHRIST]

[Illustration: MAP 19 LUTHERAN]

[Illustration: MAP 20 CATHOLIC]

[Illustration: MAP 21 CHRISTIAN]


[Illustration: MAP 23 REFORMED]

[Illustration: MAP 24 CONGREGATIONAL]


In Table E the Protestant churches are grouped according to their polity.
It will be seen that about 1,600 have a Congregational form of government,
in which authority rests in the local church; that in nearly 1,200
churches the polity is Presbyterian, in which authority is largely in the
local church, but partly in a representative body of several churches
grouped in districts. Under the title of "Episcopal Bodies" are grouped
denominations comprising 2,721 churches, or more than the total number of
the Presbyterian and Congregational combined.

The Methodist Protestant Churches are not placed in either of these groups
because their polity resembles, in some respects, that of the
Congregational and in others that of the Episcopal churches. Authority
with them rests largely in the local church, which owns its property and
has authority to receive and dismiss its own members, but in other
respects resembles closely the churches of the Episcopal order. In the
fourth group are 82 other churches or religious organizations which we
have failed to classify. The Catholic bodies, including Greek and Russian,
number 253.

Differences as to church polity are not sufficiently great to constitute a
dangerous obstacle to the progress of church unity among the Protestant
rural churches of Ohio. Our system of universities and public schools,
together with the custom of reading religious articles, books, and other
literature without regard to the denomination of the author, is tending to
remove theological differences as between denominations. It may be said it
has already removed them in the eleven denominations represented in the
Committee of Interchurch Coöperation. This is true whatever differences
may still exist between individuals.




      Total                                            1,601
  Baptist, including Free, Free Will and Missionary      379
  Disciples                                              367
  Christian                                              228
  Congregational                                         135
  Christian Union                                         92
  Friends                                                 84
  Mennonite                                               56
  Church of God                                           54
  Union                                                   40
  Universalist                                            39
  Colored Baptist                                         38
  Disciples, Non-Progressive                              32
  Primitive Baptist                                       21
  Seventh Day Advent                                      13
  Advent Christian                                        12
  United Baptist                                           5
  Nazarene                                                 5
  Seventh Day Baptist                                      1


      Total                                            1,192
  Presbyterian                                           396
  Lutheran                                               362
  Reformed, including German Reformed                    175
  Brethren (German Baptist)                              113
  United Presbyterian                                     77
  German Evangelical                                      48
  Calvinist Methodist                                     12
  Reformed Presbyterian                                    8
  Slavic Lutheran                                          1


      Total                                            2,721
  Methodist Episcopal                                  1,793
  United Brethren                                        521
  Evangelical Association                                129
  Radical United Brethren                                 95
  African Methodist Episcopal                             40
  Protestant Episcopal                                    39
  United Evangelical                                      27
  German Methodist Episcopal                              27
  Free Methodist                                          27
  Wesleyan Methodist                                      27
  Moravian                                                 4
  Primitive Methodist                                      1


      Total                                              253
  Catholic (Roman)                                       248
  Greek Catholic                                           4
  Russian Catholic                                         1


      Total                                              293
  Methodist Protestant                                   211
  Holiness                                                25
  Brethren (O. O., Prog. and River)                       21
  Latter Day Saints                                        6
  Saints                                                   5
  Christian Missionary Alliance                            4
  Christian Science                                        3
  International Bible Students Association                 3
  Federated                                                3
  Missionary Church Association                            2
  Pietist                                                  1
  Wengerite                                                1
  Seven Sleepers                                           1
  Denomination not reported                                7



There are in Ohio 1,343 townships (see Table I) which are wholly or partly
made up of open country or villages of less than 2,500 inhabitants. (This
number of inhabitants having been selected by the United States Census as
marking the line between urban and rural, we have necessarily followed.)
In the strictly rural townships and the rural sections of townships which
are partly urban or suburban, there is altogether a population of more
than two million persons, and 6,642 churches. These figures give us, on an
average, 1,516 persons and five rural churches to a township, and 307
persons to a church.

Of townships which border on cities and towns of more than 2,500 persons,
there are 173. In townships of this class there are 342,077 persons and
582 churches, while for each township there are 1,977 persons and three
churches, or 587 persons to a church. It is presumable that many persons
in these suburban townships attend the churches in the neighboring cities
or large towns.

If we subtract the suburban townships from the 1,343 mentioned above,
there remain 1,170 townships which are strictly rural. Unless otherwise
stated all deductions have been drawn exclusively from these rural
townships. The 1,170 strictly rural townships contain nearly 1,700,000
persons and 6,060 churches. They have, on an average, 1,448 persons and
five churches to a township and 280 persons to a church.

Although there are 6,060 churches in the 1,170 strictly rural townships,
their membership records are so often incomplete that satisfactory figures
were found for only 4,941 churches. The membership of 3,351 of these
churches, or 68 per cent, is not more than 100; in 2,704, or 55 per cent,
the membership is not more than 75; while in 1,817, or 37 per cent, the
membership is not more than 50. (See Table II.)



  1 _Strictly rural townships_
  2 _Other rural sections_
  3 _All rural sections_

                                         1              2            3
  Number of townships                  1,170           173         1,343
  Population of rural townships    1,693,951       342,077     2,036,028
  Number persons per township          1,448         1,977         1,516
  Number churches per township             5             3             5
  Number of churches                   6,060           582         6,642
  Number persons per church              280           587           307

In the suburban rural townships and rural sections of townships containing
cities and large towns, 72 per cent of the churches have a membership of
not more than 100, 56 per cent of not more than 75, and 34 per cent of not
more than 50. Altogether, in rural townships and rural sections of other
townships, there are 5,392 churches out of 6,642 for which membership data
are available. Of these 3,776, or 68 per cent, have a membership of not
more than 100; 2,956, or 55 per cent, a membership of not more than 75;
and 1,860, or 36 per cent, have a membership of not more than 50.

The number of churches in rural townships whose membership records are not
available is 6,060 less 4,941, or 1,119. If we apply to these also the
percentages just given for the churches with available membership records,
we find that of the total of 6,060 churches in the strictly rural
townships, 4,110 have a membership of not more than 100; 3,316 have a
membership of not more than 75; while 2,227 have a membership of not more
than 50. Since the larger churches as a rule are more careful in keeping
their records than the smaller ones, the conclusions drawn from these
calculations are well within the limits of truth.

By the same method we find that in the suburban rural townships and rural
sections of townships containing cities and towns of more than 2,500
inhabitants, 419 of the 582 churches have a membership of 100 or less; 325
of 75 or less; while 198 churches have a membership of 50 or less. We
therefore calculate that of 6,642, or all the rural churches, 4,529 or 68
per cent have a membership of not more than 100; 3,641, or 55 per cent, a
membership of not more than 75; and 2,425 or 37 per cent a membership of
not more than 50.



  1 _Rural townships_
  2 _Per cent_
  3 _Other rural sections_
  4 _Per cent_
  5 _All sections_
  6 _Per cent_

                                    1        2      3      4      5      6
  No. churches whose membership
    is reported                   4,941    100     451    100   5,392   100
  No. of these whose membership
    is less than 101              3,351     67.8   325     72   3,676    68
  No. of these whose membership
    is less than 76               2,704     54.7   252     56   2,956    55
  No. of these whose membership
    is less than 51               1,817     36.7   153     34   1,860    36
  No. churches whose membership
    data are not available        1,119     18     131     23   1,250    19
  Calculated minimum number of
    churches whose membership
    is less than 101              4,110*    68     419*    72   4,529    68
  Calculated minimum number of
    churches whose membership
    is less than 76               3,316*    55     325*    56   3,641    55
  Calculated minimum number of
    churches whose membership
    is less than 51               2,227*    37     198*    34   2,425    37
  No. churches reporting whose
    membership is from 1 to 25      651     13      45     10     696    13
  No. churches reporting whose
    membership is from 26-50      1,116     23     108     24   1,274    24
  No. churches reporting whose
    membership is from 51-75        887     18      99     22     986    18

  *Note: Reckoned as follows: 3351 + .678 × 1119 = 4110
                              2704 + .547 × 1119 = 3316
                              1817 + .367 × 1119 = 2227

                               325 + .72 × 131 = 419
                               252 + .56 × 131 = 325
                               153 + .34 × 131 = 198

  No. churches reporting whose
    membership is from 76-100       647     13      73     16     720    13
  No. churches reporting whose
    membership is 101-150           757     15      62     14     819    15
  No. churches reporting whose
    membership is from 151-200      375      8      32      7     407     8
  No. churches reporting whose
    membership is more than 200     458      9      32      7     490     9
  Calculated number of churches
    whose membership is more
    than 200                        561      9      40      7     601     9

In 313, or 27 per cent, of the strictly rural townships, no church has a
resident minister (see Table III); in 575, or 39 per cent of the villages,
no church has a resident minister; and in 4,007, or 66 per cent, of the
churches, there is no resident minister. Only 982 churches, or 16 per
cent, have the full time service of a minister; 1,581 churches, or 26 per
cent, have one-half the service of a minister; 5,026, or 83 per cent, have
one-half time service or less; 3,445, or 57 per cent, have one-third time
service or less; 2,320, or 39 per cent, have one-fourth time service or
less; while 721, or 12 per cent of the 6,060 churches in the strictly
rural townships have no regular service of a minister at all.

The percentages do not materially differ in the suburban townships. In the
combined total of 1,343 rural townships and suburban townships which
contain sections of open country and villages of less than 2,500
inhabitants, we find that 335, or 25 per cent, of the townships have no
churches served by a resident minister; that in 634, or 40 per cent, of
the villages there is no resident minister; that 4,431, or 67 per cent, of
the churches have no resident minister; that only 1,065 churches, or 16
per cent, have the full time service of a minister; that 1,766, or 27 per
cent, have one-half the service of a minister; that 5,521, or 84 per cent,
have one-half time service or less; that 3,755, or 57 per cent, have
one-third time service or less; that 2,518, or 38 per cent, have
one-fourth time service or less; while 755, or 11 per cent, of the 6,642
country churches of Ohio, have no regular service of a minister at all.



  1 _Rural townships_
  2 _Per cent_
  3 _Other rural sections_
  4 _Per cent_
  5 _All rural sections_
  6 _Per cent_

                                      1      2    3      4      5     6
  No. townships whose churches are
    without resident ministers        313   27    22     12     335   25
  No. villages which have a
    resident minister                 901   61    54     48     955   60
  No. villages without a resident
    minister                          575   39    58.5   52     634   40
  No. churches with resident
    minister                        2,053   34   158     28   2,211   33
  No. churches without resident
    minister                        4,007   66   424     74   4,431   67
  No. churches with full time
    service of a minister             982   16    83     14   1,065   16
  No. churches with 1/2 time
    service of a minister           1,581   26   185     32   1,766   27
  No. churches with 1/2 time
    service of a minister or less   5,026   83   495     85   5,521   84
  No. churches with 1/3 time
    service of a minister or less   3,445   57   310     53   3,755   56.5
  No. churches with 1/4 time
    service of a minister or less   2,320   39   198     34   2,518   38
  No. churches with no regular
    service of a minister             721   12    62     11     755   11
  No. churches with 1/3 time
    service of a minister           1,125   19   112     19   1,237   19
  No. churches with 1/4 time
    service of a minister             970   16    96     16   1,066   16
  No. churches for which data are
    not available                      52    1     4      1      56    1

Of the 6,060 churches in the wholly rural townships, 3,253, or 54 per
cent, are in villages whose inhabitants number from 51 to 2,500 persons,
while 2,807, or 46 per cent, are in the open country. (See Table IV.) In
the suburban rural townships 198, or 34 per cent, of the churches are in
villages containing from 51 to 2,500 persons, while 384, or 66 per cent,
are in the open country.

Of the 6,642 country churches in Ohio, therefore, 3,451, or 52 per cent,
are in villages containing from 51 to 2,500 inhabitants, and 3,191, or 48
per cent, in the open country.

In the strictly rural districts, 1,207, or 20 per cent, of the churches
are in villages or towns of moderate size, having from 501 to 2,500
inhabitants, while 2,046, or 34 per cent, are in small villages of from 51
to 500. No less than 4,853, or 80 per cent, of the churches in the
strictly rural districts are either in the open country or in the small
villages of 500 inhabitants or less. In addressing ourselves to the rural
church problem, therefore, we are almost exclusively concerned with the
smaller villages and the open country.



  1 _Rural townships_
  2 _Per cent_
  3 _Other rural sections_
  4 _Per cent_
  5 _All rural sections_
  6 _Per cent_

                                          1     2     3    4      5     6
  No. churches in villages containing
    from 51 to 2,500 persons            3,253   54   198   34   3,451   52
  No. churches in open country          2,807   46   384   66   3,191   48
  No. churches in villages or towns
    having from 501 to 2,500
    inhabitants                         1,207   20    76   13   1,283   19
  No. churches in villages having
    from 51 to 500 inhabitants          2,046   34   122   21   2,168   33
  No. churches in open country and
    in villages having less than
    501 inhabitants                     4,853   80   506   87   5,359   81

We have assumed 50 persons as the line which separates a small village
from the open country, just as the United States Census has assumed 2,500
persons as the lower limit of the town. In rural Ohio there are 1,477
villages whose inhabitants number 51 to 2,500 persons. (See Table V.) Of
these, 673, or 46 per cent, have from 51 to 200 inhabitants; 487, or 33
per cent, have from 201 to 500 inhabitants; while 317, or 21 per cent,
have more than 500 persons.

Of the smallest villages, or those of 51 to 200 persons, 234, or 35 per
cent, have one or more ministers living near the church he serves and 270
ministers in all; while 440, or 65 per cent, have no resident ministers

In the 487 country villages whose inhabitants number from 201 to 500
persons, 360, or 74 per cent, have one or more ministers and 527 ministers
in all, while there are 127, or 26 per cent, without resident ministers.
Of the 317 villages whose inhabitants number more than 500 persons, 308,
or 97 per cent, have one or more resident pastors and altogether 896
ministers--(which is 53 per cent of the whole number of ministers living
in villages), while only 9, or 3 per cent, are without any ministers at

Of the 1,477 country villages of all sizes, 901, or 61 per cent, have one
or more resident ministers and in all 1,693 ministers, while 576, or 39
per cent, of the villages have no minister living in them.

These 1,477 villages have only 3,253, or 54 per cent, of the churches, but
they have 1,693, or 82 per cent, of the ministers; while the open country,
with 2,807, or 46 per cent, of the churches, has only 360, or 18 per cent,
of the resident ministers. More than 87 per cent of the open country
churches, or 2,447 of them, are without a resident minister.

In addition to the ministers here included, there are about 350 who do not
live near any one of their churches, but for the most part in the cities
and towns. This number includes many student preachers.

On Map 26, page 117, the distribution of the villages is represented

[Illustration: MAP 26 VILLAGES AND CITIES]



   1 _Villages of 51-2500 persons_
   2 _Per cent_
   3 _Villages of 51-200 persons_
   4 _Per cent_
   5 _Villages of 201-500 persons_
   6 _Per cent_
   7 _Villages of 501-2500 persons_
   8 _Per cent_
   9 _Villages of 201-2500 persons_
  10 _Per cent_
  11 _Open country_
  12 _Per cent_

                           1       2       3      4       5    6
  No. of villages       1,476.5   100     673     46     487   33
  No. of villages
    with ministers        901      61     233.5   35     360   74
  No. of ministers      1,693     (31)    270     16     527   31
  No. of villages
    without ministers     575.5    39     439.5   65     127   26
  No. of churches       3,253      54     984     16   1,062   18

                           7       8       9      10     11    12
  No. of villages         316.5    21     803.5   54
  No. of villages
    with ministers        307.5    97     667.5   83
  No. of ministers        896      53   1,423    (69)    360    8
  No. of villages
    without ministers       9       3     136      9
  No. of churches       1,207      20   2,269     37   2,807   46

It has not been possible to collect full data as to the length of the
rural minister's service. But the Conference Records give these data for
the ministers of the Methodist Episcopal churches. The terms of service of
these ministers are not more brief than those in most of the other

In the Methodist Episcopal Church in Ohio there were, at the time of the
Annual Conference in the autumn of 1917, 664 pastors of country churches
(see Table VI); 490, or 74 per cent of them, were about to begin their
first or second year's service in their charges; only 174, or 26 per cent,
had had two years' acquaintance with their parishes; 318, or 48 per cent,
were beginning their first year of service in their charges; 172, or 26
per cent, were beginning their second year; 110, or 16 per cent, were
beginning their third year; while there were only 64, or less than 10 per
cent, who had been as long as three years in the parishes they were
serving. Only 8, or a little more than 1 per cent, had served as long as
five years in their parishes, while only one man had served more than
seven years.



  1 _State of Ohio_
  2 _Per cent_
  3 _Ohio Conference_
  4 _West Ohio Conference_
  5 _Northeast Ohio Conference_

                                    1     2     3     4     5
  Total number of ministers        664   100   144   226   294
  No. beginning 1st or 2nd year
    of service in their charges    490    74   115   161   214
  No. beginning their 1st year
    of service in their charges    318    48    78    97   143
  No. beginning their 2nd year
    of service in their charges    172    26    37    64    71
  No. beginning their 3rd year
    of service in their charges    110    16    20    37    53
  No. who have been two years
    or more in their charges       174    26    29    65    80
  No. who had served three
    years or more in their
    present charges                 64    10     9    28    27
  No. who had served four years
    or more in their present
    charges                         18     3     3     2    13
  No. who had served five years
    or more in their present
    charges                          8     1     2     1     5
  No. who had served six years
    or more in their present              Less
    charges                          3    than   0     0     3
  No. who had served seven
    years or more in their
    present charges                  1      "    0     0     1
  No. who had served eight
    years or more in their
    present charges                  1      "    0     0     1

In Table VII it appears that in 2 of the 1,170 strictly rural townships
there is a church for each 99 persons or less; that in 227 townships there
are from 100 to 199 persons to a church; that in 446 there are from 200 to
299 persons; that in 270 townships there are from 300 to 399; that in 122
townships there are from 400 to 499; that in 53 townships there are from
500 to 599; and that in 45 townships there are 600 persons or more to a

In other words, in 675, or 58 per cent, of the townships, there are less
than 300 persons, men, women, and children, to a church; in 945, or 81 per
cent, of the townships, there are less than 400; in 1,067, or 91 per cent,
there are less than 500; while in 103, or only 9 per cent, there are more
than 500 persons to a church.



  Average No. of persons         No. of      Per cent
        to a church            townships
  1-99                                 2    Less than 1
  100-199                            227        19
  200-299                            446        38
  300-399                            270        23
  400-499                            122        10
  500-599                             53         5
  More than 599                       45         4
  Townships without any church         5    Less than 1
  Less than 300 to a church          675        58
  Less than 400 to a church          945        81
  Less than 500 to a church        1,067        91
  More than 500 to a church          103         9

In Table VIII a comparison is made between city and country. According to
the United States Census of 1910 the population of Ohio numbered
4,767,121, the churches 9,890, or 482 persons to a church. According to
the data gathered in this survey in the 1,170 strictly rural townships the
churches number 6,060. In 1910 the population in these townships numbered
1,693,894. Assuming that there has been no change in the population since
1910, there is now one church for each 280 persons. But from 1900 to 1910
there was a decline of more than 3 per cent in the population of these
townships. If we assume that this decline has continued since 1910 there
are to-day on the average less than 280 men, women, and children, church
people and non-church people, to give and do all that must be given and
done for each country church in Ohio. In such a state of facts, poverty
and weakness are inevitable.

Upon the same assumption of no change in population or number of churches
since 1910, there are in the 173 suburban townships 342,077 persons and
582 churches, or 587 persons to a church, while in the large towns and
cities there are 2,731,150 persons and only 3,248 churches, or 841 persons
to a church.

As compared with the city church the country church obviously has a very
much smaller opportunity to enlarge its attendance and increase its
support and membership until some method of combining country churches
shall have been put into successful operation.



  1 _State of Ohio_
  2 _1,170 strictly rural townships_
  3 _173 suburban townships_
  4 _Large towns and cities_

                               1           2         3           4
  Population              4,767,121   1,693,894   342,077   2,731,150
  No. of churches             9,890       6,060       582       3,248
  No. of persons to a church    482         280       587         841

Complete data for ministers' salaries are not available, but the amount of
the minister's pay is indicated by the figures in the official records of
the two denominations which have the largest number of rural churches.
There were in 1917, 688 pastors of rural churches of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. (See Table IX.) These received, on an average, $993 per
year, or $857 and free use of parsonage. Six hundred and sixty-two
ministers, or 96 per cent, received less than $1,500 per year; 513, or 75
per cent, received less than $1,200 per year; while 303, or 44 per cent,
received less than $1,000.

In the United Brethren Church, according to the records of its
Conferences, in 1917 there were 188 pastors of rural churches. (See Table
X.) Their average salary was $787, or $680 and free use of parsonage; not
one received as much as $1,500 salary; 171, or all but 17, received less
than $1,200; while 135, or 72 per cent, received less than $1,000.

Not only are ministers given inadequate pay, but the rate of its increase
in relation to the increase in the cost of living gives no promise of its
becoming adequate.

In the Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church the average
salary of the country minister in 1905 was $733, including the estimated
rental value of parsonage, while in 1915 it was $915, making an increase
of $182, or 25 per cent, in ten years. During the same period, however,
according to data supplied by the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics, the retail prices of food consumed by the ordinary
workingman's family in the nation increased no less than 37 per cent.

It is probable, on the other hand, that the farmers have a constantly
increasing ability to pay, for in the ten-year period from 1900 to 1910
there was, according to the United States Census reports, an increase in
the total value of farm property in the State of nearly 60 per cent.



  1 _No. of ministers_
  2 _Average salary (including estimated rental value of parsonage)_
  3 _No. of charges giving salaries less than $1,500_
  4 _Per cent_
  5 _No. of charges giving salaries less than $1,200_
  6 _Per cent_
  7 _No. of charges giving salaries less than $1,000_
  8 _Per cent_

                          1       2      3    4     5    6     7    8
  State                  688     $993   662   96   513   75   303   44
  Ohio Conference        151     $972   145   96   110   73    79   52
  West Ohio Conference   237   $1,004   230   97   184   78    87   37
  Northeast Ohio
    Conference           300     $995   287   96   219   73   137   46



  1 _No. of ministers_
  2 _Average salaries (including estimated rental value of parsonage)_
  3 _Salaries less than $1,500_
  4 _Per cent_
  5 _Salaries less than $1,200_
  6 _Per cent_
  7 _Salaries less than $1,000_
  8 _Per cent_

                          1       2      3     4     5    6     7    8
  State                  188     $787   188   100   171   91   135   72
  Sandusky Conference     63     $866    63   100    58   92    39   62
  Southeast Ohio
    Conference            47     $687    47   100    43   91    37   79
  Miami Conference        42     $779    42   100    37   88    30   71
  East Ohio Conference    36     $787    36   100    33   92    29   80



Table F is a summary of the principal facts disclosed by this
investigation. These facts are given for the strictly rural townships in
each of the different counties. They do not include the urban or suburban
townships. Being intended to present the facts only as to the rural part
of each county, they should not be used as representing entire counties or
the State as a whole.

In the ten-year period from 1900 to 1910 there was a decline in the
population of the strictly rural townships of 3.6 per cent. In only 21
counties out of the total of 88 did the rural townships increase in
population, and most of these are in mining and manufacturing regions. In
the strictly agricultural parts of Franklin, Fairfield, Miami and Licking
Counties there was an increase of from 2 to 5 per cent, in Medina and
Wayne of less than 1 per cent. In the other 67 counties there was a
decline, ranging all the way from 1 per cent in Erie, Geauga, and Hamilton
to 17 per cent in Paulding. The average population of the strictly rural
townships varies from 904 in Knox County to 2,743 in Miami, and averages
1,448 for the State.

The number of rural churches for a county varies from 32 in Sandusky and
Lake Counties to 130 in Washington. The number of churches to a township
is five for the State, but varies from 3 in Portage, Huron, Delaware,
Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Ashtabula Counties to 9 in Allen and Stark. The
average number of persons to each country church is 280 for the State, but
varies from 182 in Vinton County to 433 in Cuyahoga. The number of open
country churches varies from 5 in Butler County to 82 in Washington.

The number of churches with a resident minister varies from 9 in Jackson
County to 45 in Wood. The number of churches without a resident minister
varies from 17 in Lake County to 103 in Washington. Those with full time
service of a minister vary in number from 1 in Pickaway, Noble, and
Jackson Counties to 25 in Columbiana and Wayne. In one county, Wyandot,
there are no churches without some part of a minister's time. In Clermont
County there are no less than 30 of them.



(Excluding townships in which the population is urban, in which are
villages of more than 2,500 inhabitants or in which are parts of large
town or city parishes, and those which border on cities and large towns.)

   1. Population for 1910.
   2. Population for 1900.
   3. Per cent increase (+) or decrease (-).

   4. No. of strictly rural townships.
   5. Average No. of persons to a township.
   6. No. of churches.
   7. Average No. of churches to a township.
   8. Average No. of persons to a church.

   9. No. of churches with a resident minister.
  10. No. of churches without a resident minister.
  11. No. of churches with full time service of a minister.
  12. No. of churches with 1/2 of a minister's service.
  13. No. of churches with 1/3 of a minister's service.
  14. No. of churches with 1/4 of a minister's service.
  15. No. of churches with less than 1/4 of a minister's service.
  16. No. of churches with no regular service of a minister.
  17. No. of churches for which ministerial service data are not

  18. No. of churches with from 1 to 25 members.
  19. No. of churches with from 26 to 50 members.
  20. No. of churches with from 51 to 75 members.
  21. No. of churches with from 76 to 100 members.
  22. No. of churches with from 101 to 150 members.
  23. No. of churches with from 151 to 200 members.
  24. No. of churches with more than 200 members.
  25. No. of churches whose membership is not reported.

  26. No. of churches in villages containing from 51 to 2,500 inhabitants.
  27. No. of churches in the open country (including villages of less than
      51 inhabitants).

  28. No. of townships from 1 to 100 persons to a church.
  29. No. of townships with from 101 to 200 persons to a church.
  30. No. of townships with from 201 to 300 persons to a church.
  31. No. of townships with from 301 to 400 persons to a church.
  32. No. of townships with from 401 to 500 persons to a church.
  33. No. of townships with from 501 to 600 persons to a church.
  34. No. of townships with more than 600 persons to a church.

  35. No. of villages containing from 51 to 200 inhabitants.
  36. No. of villages containing from 51 to 200 inhabitants having a
      resident minister.
  37. No. of ministers resident in villages containing from 51 to 200
  38. No. of villages containing from 201 to 500 inhabitants.
  39. No. of villages containing from 201 to 500 inhabitants having a
      resident minister.
  40. No. of ministers resident in villages containing from 201 to 500

  41. No. of villages of more than 500 inhabitants.
  42. No. of villages of more than 500 inhabitants having a resident
  43. No. of ministers resident in villages of more than 500 inhabitants.

  44. No. of villages of 201 to 2,500 inhabitants without a church.
  45. No. of villages of 51 to 200 inhabitants without a church.

  A _State_
  B _Adams_
  C _Allen_
  D _Ashland_
  E _Ashtabula_
  F _Athens_
  G _Auglaize_
  H _Belmont_

             A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H
   (1)  1,693,951  24,755  14,820  15,046  24,420  17,372  15,803  33,216
   (2)  1,752,934  26,328  15,252  15,860  23,617  16,353  16,971  26,003
   (3)       -3.3      -8      -5      -5    +3.3      +6      -7   +27.5

   (4)      1,170      14       7      14      24      11      11      13
   (5)      1,448   1,768   2,117   1,075   1,018   1,579   1,437   2,555
   (6)      6,060      93      62      65      78      76      44      96
   (7)          5       7       9       5       3       7       4       7
   (8)        280     266     237     231     313     229     359     352

   (9)      2,053      24      25      35      36      16      14      30
  (10)      4,007      69      37      30      42      60      30      66

  (11)        982      11      11      18      24       2      10      14
  (12)      1,581      15      21      24      19       2      10      27
  (13)      1,125      28      17      14      16      10       7      15
  (14)        970      10       9       4       8      18      12      10
  (15)        629      12       1       0       0      30       2      14
  (16)        721      17       3       5      11      14       1      16
  (17)         52       0       0       0       0       0       2       0

  (18)        651      12       6       5      15      19       0       7
  (19)      1,166      24      17       4      18      23      16      17
  (20)        887      16       9      14      16      17       5      14
  (21)        647       5       7       9       6       9       4      16
  (22)        757      11       9      12      11       4       3       8
  (23)        375       4       8       6       3       0       2       8
  (24)        458       7       6       5       5       0       5      13
  (25)      1,119      14       0      10       4       4       9      13

  (26)      3,253      37      32      38      50      36      25      61
  (27)      2,807      56      30      27      28      41      19      35

  (28)          2       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)        227       1       2       3       4       7       0       2
  (30)        446       8       4       6       6       3       6       4
  (31)        270       4       1       3       8       0       2       1
  (32)        122       0       0       2       3       0       1       5
  (33)         53       1       0       0       1       1       1       0
  (34)         45       0       0       0       2       0       1       1

  (35)        677       9       2       5    15.5       9       5      13
  (36)      233.5       1       1       3     6.5       2       1       4
  (37)        271       1       1       5       8       2       1       4
  (38)        488       5       5       6      11       9       5       8
  (39)        360       2       5       5       8       6       3       7
  (40)        536       4      10      13      13      11       4       8

  (41)      317.5       4       2       2       4       2       3       8
  (42)      307.5       4       2       2       4       2       3       7
  (43)        896      14       9      10      11       4       6      18

  (44)          4       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (45)        115       2       0       1       0       0       1       1

  A _Brown_
  B _Butler_
  C _Carroll_
  D _Champaign_
  E _Clark_
  F _Clermont_
  G _Clinton_
  H _Columbiana_

             A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H
   (1)     24,832  11,045  15,761  17,428  16,435  29,551  17,465  19,890
   (2)     28,237  12,436  11,854  18,626  17,078  31,610  18,779  20,260
   (3)        -12     -11     +33    -6.4    -3.5    -6.7    -6.9      -2

   (4)         16       7      14      11       9      14      12      12
   (5)      1,552   1,578   1,126   1,584   1,826   2,111   1,455   1,657
   (6)         79      36      58      60      56     119      52      69
   (7)          5       5       4       5       6       8       4       6
   (8)        314     307     272     290     293     249     336     288

   (9)         22      16      21      23      22      32      26      32
  (10)         57      20      37      37      34      87      26      37
  (11)         10       9       5      12      14      13      22      25
  (12)         23      13      19      20      11      31       9      19
  (13)         14       8      13      11      15      16       5       9
  (14)         14       0      12       6      10      14       6       6
  (15)         10       2       5       4       1      15       6       0
  (16)          8       3       4       7       5      30       4      10
  (17)          0       1       0       0       0       0       0       0

  (18)         10       4       2       3       3       25      1       5
  (19)         15       3      11       7       8       36      6       7
  (20)          9       4       7       8       6       23      8      13
  (21)         12       5       4       4       9        5      2       9
  (22)         13       6      10      11       8        6      8      16
  (23)          4       2       8       2       2        8      4       5
  (24)          7       3       3       5       6        9      6      10
  (25)          9       9      13      20      14        7     17       4

  (26)         41      31      37      35      36       83     40      43
  (27)         38       5      21      25      20       36     12      26

  (28)          0       0       0       0       0        0      0       0
  (29)          1       0       3       0       1        6      0       0
  (30)          8       4       5       7       4        4      3       7
  (31)          5       2       3       3       2        3      6       4
  (32)          1       1       1       1       1        0      0       0
  (33)          1       0       1       0       1        1      2       1
  (34)          0       0       1       0       0        0      1       0
  (35)          8       6       6      10       7       24     10       8
  (36)          4       2       2       4       3        4      3       5
  (37)          4       2       2       5       3        5      3       6
  (38)          5       7       4       4     8.5        8    6.5       8
  (39)          4       5       3       4       6        6    5.5       5
  (40)          6       7       7       6      10        7      8       7

  (41)          5       1     3.5       3       2        7      3       2
  (42)          5       1       3       3       2        7      3       2
  (43)         10       5      11       9       7       17     11       9

  (44)          0       0       0       0       0        0      0       0
  (45)          1       3       1       0       2        3      0       5

  A _Coshocton_
  B _Crawford_
  C _Cuyahoga_
  D _Darke_
  E _Defiance_
  F _Delaware_
  G _Erie_
  H _Fairfield_

             A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H
   (1)     19,324  12,749  19,928  30,702  15,618  17,110  14,804  17,193
   (2)     20,998  14,225  17,466  31,293  17,081  17,461  14,923  16,756
   (3)         -8   -10.5     +14    -1.8    -8.5      -2      -1      +2

   (4)         21      13      14      18      10      17       9       9
   (5)        920     981   1,423   1,706   1,562   1,006   1,645   1,821
   (6)         81      51      46      96      62      59      41      74
   (7)          4       4       3       5       6       3       5       8
   (8)        239     250     433     320     252     290     361     222

   (9)         17      18      23      36      16      14      25      22
  (10)         64      33      23      60      46      45      16      52
  (11)          5      13      15      22      11       6      15       4
  (12)         22      12      23      26       9      24      20      18
  (13)          9      13       2      14      14      14       2      16
  (14)         27       6       0      17       9       7       0      29
  (15)         10       5       0       5      13       0       0       6
  (16)          7       1       5      11       5       8       4       1
  (17)          1       1       1       1       1       0       0       0

  (18)          6       1       4       3      13       9       5       7
  (19)         10      12      12      18      17      10       7      14
  (20)         11       7       3      18       6       9       1      12
  (21)         10       7       7      13       5      12       3       9
  (22)         11       8       5      16       5       9       9      16
  (23)          3       2       2       7       0       2       1       6
  (24)          4       5       4      10       5       3       3       4
  (25)         26       9       9      11      11       5      12       6

  (26)         47      21      30      51      23      30      33      37
  (27)         34      30      16      45      39      29       8      37

  (28)          0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)          6       5       0       1       2       4       0       2
  (30)          6       4       4       5       5       3       3       7
  (31)          8       3       3       8       3       5       3       0
  (32)          1       1       3       4       0       2       2       0
  (33)          0       0       1       0       0       2       0       0
  (34)          0       0       3       0       0       1       1       0

  (35)       20.5       8       5      14       2       9       6       5
  (36)          7       4       3       6       1       1       2       2
  (37)          9       4       4       8       1       1       2       2
  (38)        5.5       3       6     8.5       4       7       0       7
  (39)          2       2       5       4       0       6       0       6
  (40)          3       3       7       5       0       9       0      11

  (41)          2       1       3     4.5       2       2       6       3
  (42)          2       1       3     4.5       2       2       6       3
  (43)          5       4       6      10       8       3      21       8

  (44)          0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (45)          0       2       0       4       0       0       4       1

  A _Fayette_
  B _Franklin_
  C _Fulton_
  D _Gallia_
  E _Geauga_
  F _Greene_
  G _Guernsey_
  H _Hamilton_

             A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H
   (1)     12,342  25,246  19,531  19,546  14,670  17,724  21,701  13,487
   (2)     13,357  24,023  18,777  20,973  14,744  19,284  21,369  13,644
   (3)         -8      +5      +4      -7      -1      -8      +2      -1

   (4)          9      14      11      14      16      11      17       6
   (5)      1,371   1,803   1,776   1,396     917   1,611   1,277   2,248
   (6)         48      73      56      99      40      64      81      40
   (7)          5       5       5       7       3       6       5       7
   (8)        257     346     349     197     367     277     268     337

   (9)         10      26      24      14      19      28      26      18
  (10)         38      47      32      85      21      36      55      22
  (11)          3      13      13       3      11      17       8      12
  (12)          8      12      15       7       9      19      22       7
  (13)          7      24       9      14      10      16      16       6
  (14)         10      18      10      13       0       5      21       6
  (15)         19       0       2      48       0       3       5       3
  (16)          1       5       4      14      10       4       8       6
  (17)          0       1       3       0       0       0       1       0

  (18)          7       1      11       8       4       4       7       1
  (19)         13       8       7      29      12       9      14       5
  (20)          9       8       8      17       6      12      16       7
  (21)          6      10       6      12       2       8      15       1
  (22)          5      18       6       5       7      16      12       3
  (23)          2       2       4       2       3       3       9       4
  (24)          2       9       4       3       1       7       6       6
  (25)          4      17      10      23       5       5       2      13

  (26)         23      44      26      29      26      39      41      24
  (27)         25      29      30      70      14      25      40      16

  (28)          0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)          2       0       1       7       1       2       5       1
  (30)          3       4       3       6       4       4       6       1
  (31)          3       6       3       1       4       4       2       2
  (32)          1       1       2       0       3       0       3       2
  (33)          0       2       0       0       1       1       0       0
  (34)          0       0       2       0       3       0       1       0

  (35)          7       6       1      13       5       5       7       4
  (36)          2       2       0       4       2       3       1       2
  (37)          2       2       0       4       3       3       1       2
  (38)          4       8       4       5       4     4.5       6       2
  (39)          2       5       3       4       4       3       6       1
  (40)          2       7       4       5       5       6      11       1

  (41)          2       5       4       0       3       4       6     4.5
  (42)          2       5       4       0       3       4       6     4.5
  (43)          4      14      17       0       8      16      13      11

  (44)          0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (45)          4       1       3       1       0       0       0       0

  A _Hancock_
  B _Hardin_
  C _Harrison_
  D _Henry_
  E _Highland_
  F _Hocking_
  G _Holmes_
  H _Huron_

             A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H
   (1)     17,782  20,863  19,076  19,988  17,382  16,934  17,909  15,532
   (2)     18,988  21,847  20,486  22,368  19,504  19,183  19,511  14,144
   (3)         -7      -4      -6     -11     -11     -12      -8     +10

   (4)         14      13      15      12      15      10      14      15
   (5)      1,270   1,605   1,272   1,666   1,159   1,693   1,279   1,035
   (6)         78      66      73      63      69      72      62      49
   (7)          6       5       5       5       5       7       4       3
   (8)        228     316     261     317     252     235     289     317

   (9)         23      20      30      26      19      10      29      21
  (10)         55      46      43      37      50      62      33      28
  (11)          9       9       8      10       7       2      10      12
  (12)         22      14      26      18      11       6      35      23
  (13)         16      17      17      23      12      12       8       7
  (14)         26       8      20       6      15       7       1       3
  (15)          0       8       0       1       9      33       0       0
  (16)          5       8       2       4      12      10       8       4
  (17)          0       2       0       1       3       2       0       0

  (18)          8       1       5       8       4       5      10       7
  (19)         15       7       8      11      15      11       8       8
  (20)         15      10      14      10      10       7       5       7
  (21)         12      10      12       8       5       3       7       9
  (22)         17       5      16       7       7       2      11       7
  (23)          5       5       7       2       7       3      11       4
  (24)          4       6       9       8       4       1       9       2
  (25)          2      22       2       9      17      40       1       5

  (26)         30      30      49      39      36      22      29      35
  (27)         48      36      24      24      33      50      33      14

  (28)          0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)          5       1       3       1       2       7       2       2
  (30)          7       4       6       5       8       1       7       4
  (31)          1       7       4       3       5       1       2       4
  (32)          0       1       1       1       0       0       2       2
  (33)          0       0       1       1       0       1       0       2
  (34)          1       0       0       1       0       0       1       1
  (35)          5       3       7       6      11       1     5.5       6
  (36)          0       1       3       0       3       0     3.5       1
  (37)          0       1       4       0       3       0       4       1
  (38)          7       4       6       4       6       6     7.5       2
  (39)          7       3       4       2       6       2       7       1
  (40)         13       4       8       3       8       3      10       1

  (41)          2       5       6       5       2       3       1       5
  (42)          2       5       6       5       2       1       1       5
  (43)          7      13      17      17       5       3       5      17

  (44)          0       0       0       0       0       1       0       0
  (45)          0       2       1       4       3       0       0       1

  A _Jackson_
  B _Jefferson_
  C _Knox_
  D _Lake_
  E _Lawrence_
  F _Licking_
  G _Logan_
  H _Lorain_
  I _Lucas_

         A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H       I
   (1) 10,996  29,262  18,989  13,326  23,202  28,573  20,331  22,167  14,230
   (2) 12,009  18,959  19,957  12,398  24,644  27,715  22,418  21,328  13,496
   (3)     -8     +55      -5      +7      -6      +3     -10      +4      +5

   (4)      9      11      21       7      13      25      15      16      10
   (5)  1,222   2,660     904   1,904   1,785   1,143   1,355   1,385   1,423
   (6)     57      77      80      32      87     113      71      56      41
   (7)      6       7       4       5       7       5       5       4       4
   (8)    193     380     237     416     267     253     286     396     347

   (9)      9      33      25      15      16      34      32      31      16
  (10)     48      44      55      17      71      79      39      25      25
  (11)      1      11      10       9       5      17      19      22       6
  (12)      7      26      26      10      12      22      24      21      12
  (13)      6      11      18       9      12      24      11       6      16
  (14)     10      19      17       3      19      10      10       0       2
  (15)     12       3       0       0      30      14       0       0       0
  (16)     21       7       9       1       9      26       5       7       2
  (17)      0       0       0       0       0       0       2       0       3

  (18)      5       4       6       5      15      14       3       4      11
  (19)     10      15       6      10      28      26      17       9       8
  (20)      3      12      26       2      15      14       3      10       6
  (21)      0       4      12       2      13      18       7       4       1
  (22)      2       6      11       6       7       9       8       8       3
  (23)      1       8       8       1       3       5       6       2       2
  (24)      0       8       4       4       2      13       9       4       2
  (25)     36      20       7       2       4      14      18      15       8

  (26)     14      53      48      19      25      63      46      37      23
  (27)     43      24      32      13      62      50      25      19      18

  (28)      0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)      6       3       9       0       2       8       2       1       0
  (30)      1       2       6       0       7       9       6       4       4
  (31)      1       2       2       5       1       6       5       3       1
  (32)      1       0       2       1       1       2       1       4       4
  (33)      0       2       1       0       1       0       1       3       1
  (34)      0       2       1       1       1       0       0       1       0

  (35)      6       7      11     2.5       8      11     6.5       6       5
  (36)      4       2       5       0       2       4       0       3       4
  (37)      4       2       5       0       2       4       0       4       4
  (38)      0       6       7       2       4     8.5       5       3       1
  (39)      0       5       5       2       0       6       4       3       1
  (40)      0       6       9       2       0      10       7       5       1

  (41)      1       8       3       3       3       6       7       4       4
  (42)      1       8       3       3       3       6       7       4       4
  (43)      4      23       9       6       3      13      21      13       9

  (44)      0       1       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (45)      0       3       0       0       2       3       0       2       0

  A _Madison_
  B _Mahoning_
  C _Marion_
  D _Medina_
  E _Meigs_
  F _Mercer_
  G _Miami_
  H _Monroe_
  I _Montgomery_

         A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H       I
   (1) 15,363  19,007  13,758  15,158  16,162  22,852  20,654  19,940  18,642
   (2) 15,911  16,860  15,456  15,107  18,961  23,739  20,143  23,373  18,116
   (3)     -3     +13     -11     +.3     -15      -4      +3     -15      +3

   (4)     13      12      14      14      11      13       8      17       8
   (5)  1,182   1,584     983   1,083   1,469   1,758   2,743   1,173   2,330
   (6)     46      66      56      52      91      82      69      93      62
   (7)      4       6       4       4       8       6       8       5       8
   (8)    334     288     246     292     178     279     318     214     301

   (9)     14      33      15      28      16      39      33      22      23
  (10)     32      33      41      24      75      43      36      71      39
  (11)      5      21       4      20       2      26      27       6      12
  (12)     12      25      13      19      10      21      23      15      26
  (13)     10      11      21       9      10      13       7      12       9
  (14)     13       4      11       0      19      14       5      25       7
  (15)      0       0       0       0      31       3       0      11       0
  (16)      5       5       6       4      19       2       7      24       8
  (17)      1       0       1       0       0       3       0       0       0

  (18)     10       3       5       6      21       6       5      18       2
  (19)      5      10      10      13      35      12       5      23       9
  (20)      2      11       9       7      11       8       6      24       5
  (21)     10      13       7       6       6      10      10       8       9
  (22)      5      11       7       7       5      12      12       9      10
  (23)      0       5       2       5       1       5       3       4       6
  (24)      7       5       3       4       0      17      10       2       6
  (25)      7       8      13       4      12      12      18       5      15

  (26)     30      42      23      27      50      35      47      40      37
  (27)     16      24      33      25      40      47      23      53      25

  (28)      0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)      1       3       2       2       8       1       1       7       1
  (30)      2       2       8       7       2       9       4       6       3
  (31)      6       3       3       2       1       1       2       4       0
  (32)      1       2       0       2       0       1       1       0       3
  (33)      0       1       1       1       0       1       0       0       1
  (34)      2       1       0       0       0       0       0       0       0

  (35)      6       8       2       6      20       9       7      13       4
  (36)      1       4       0       5       4       3       2       6       1
  (37)      1       5       0       6       4       7       2       8       1
  (38)      3       6       4       5       6     2.5       6       3       8
  (39)      3       5       3       4       4     2.5       5       1       7
  (40)      4       9       4       8       6       4       8       2      11

  (41)      3     4.5       3       3       3       6     3.5       4       2
  (42)      3     4.5       3       3       2       6     3.5       3       2
  (43)      8      14       9       7       5      16      11       7       6

  (44)      0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (45)      0       1       1       1       0       3       1       4       1

  A _Morgan_
  B _Morrow_
  C _Muskingum_
  D _Noble_
  E _Ottawa_
  F _Paulding_
  G _Perry_
  H _Pickaway_
  I _Pike_

         A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H       I
   (1) 16,097  16,815  22,643  18,601  18,319  22,730  25,177  18,951  15,723
   (2) 17,905  17,879  23,853  19,466  18,880  27,528  25,877  19,573  18,172
   (3)    -10      -6      -5      -4      -3     -17      -3      -3     -13

   (4)     14      16      21      15      11      12      12      14      14
   (5)  1,150   1,051   1,078   1,240   1,665   1,894   2,098   1,354   1,123
   (6)     83      70     101      75      50      75      88      58      74
   (7)      6       4       5       5       5       6       7       4       5
   (8)    194     240     224     248     366     303     286     327     211

   (9)     14      27      33      15      26      24      28      13      13
  (10)     69      43      68      60      24      51      60      45      61
  (11)      5      11       9       1      17      12      13       1       4
  (12)     10      25      26      14      17      19      21       6       3
  (13)     11      17      12       7       4      14      12      21       3
  (14)     17       8      29      21       6      18       6      24       6
  (15)     21       2      10      17       0       5      23       4      29
  (16)     19       7      13      15       6       5      12       2      27
  (17)      0       0       2       0       0       2       1       0       2

  (18)     12      12       4       8       4       7       5       6      14
  (19)     30       9       6      10       4      20      20      14      13
  (20)     19      13      15       7       8       4       9      17       4
  (21)      6       7       7       5       5       5       8       4       1
  (22)      6      12      13      11       6       3      10       8       2
  (23)      0       2       6       2       6       4       5       4       2
  (24)      2       4       5       2       2       7       9       4       1
  (25)      8      11      45      30      15      25      22       1      37

  (26)     31      32      50      33      42      44      46      23      20
  (27)     52      38      51      42       8      31      42      35      54

  (28)      1       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)      5       3      10       4       1       0       3       2       5
  (30)      7      10       6       6       4       6       4       3       6
  (31)      1       2       4       4       1       4       3       2       3
  (32)      0       1       1       1       3       2       1       3       0
  (33)      0       0       0       0       1       0       1       2       0
  (34)      0       0       0       0       0       0       0       2       0
  (35)     12       5    12.5       6       6       5       7       4       7
  (36)      1       3       6       2       4       0       2       0       2
  (37)      1       5       9       2       5       0       2       0       2
  (38)      4       5       5       8       7     5.5       5       6       3
  (39)      4       4       3       5       4     3.5       4       5       3
  (40)      5       7       3       6       6       5       7       5       3

  (41)      2       2     4.5       2       4       4       6       3       2
  (42)      2       2     4.5       2       4       4       6       3       2
  (43)      7       9      18       5      15      17      16       7       5

  (44)      0       0       0       0       0       0       1       0       0
  (45)      0       0       2       0       2       2       0       3       1

  A _Portage_
  B _Preble_
  C _Putnam_
  D _Richland_
  E _Ross_
  F _Sandusky_
  G _Scioto_
  H _Seneca_
  I _Shelby_

         A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H       I
   (1) 18,379  18,921  29,972  17,760  22,460  13,398  19,380  16,796  16,648
   (2) 18,827  18,838  32,525  18,517  25,758  15,039  20,078  18,087  17,788
   (3)     -2     +.5      -8      -4     -13     -11      -3      -7      -6

   (4)     19      11      15      16      14       8      14      11      13
   (5)  1,967   1,680   1,998   1,110   1,604   1,675   1,384   1,527   1,281
   (6)     48      56      82      66      89      32      83      63      50
   (7)      3       5       5       4       6       4       6       6       4
   (8)    383     341     366     269     252     419     233     267     333

   (9)     18      27      34      20      25      11      16      27      24
  (10)     30      29      48      46      64      21      67      36      26
  (11)     12      17      24       9       8       7       3      12      12
  (12)     19      23      19      23      12       7      17      21      14
  (13)      5       8       4      13      13       8       8      13       7
  (14)      4       3      20      13      16       2      14      13       9
  (15)      0       1       5       0      27       3      25       0       5
  (16)      8       4       9       8      11       5      14       4       3
  (17)      0       0       1       0       2       0       2       0       0

  (18)      2       1      12       7      12       4       7       3       4
  (19)      8       3      10      13      11       6      21      13      11
  (20)      8       8       8      11       4       3       4      11       5
  (21)      4       9       3      14      12       5       4       4       4
  (22)     12      17      10       8       2       3       2       8       6
  (23)      4       5       6       7       1       1       2       5       7
  (24)      4       6      17       0       3       1       4       7       3
  (25)      6       7      16       6      44       9      39      12      10

  (26)     35      36      53      29      37      21      36      36      28
  (27)     13      20      29      37      52      11      47      27      22

  (28)      0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (29)      0       0       0       3       3       1       4       1       1
  (30)      3       5       7       8       6       1       6       6       5
  (31)      8       2       2       2       4       2       3       3       2
  (32)      4       2       0       0       1       1       1       1       4
  (33)      2       0       2       0       0       1       0       0       0
  (34)      2       2       3       2       0       2       0       0       1

  (35)     11       6       5       7      11       4      12       8       7
  (36)      7       1       1       3       4       2       2       3       3
  (37)      9       1       1       3       5       2       2       3       4
  (38)      7       5       9       1       6       3       7       6       7
  (39)      6       4       8       1       5       3       5       4       6
  (40)      7       6      11       2       7       3       7       6       7

  (41)      2       4       6     4.5       4       3       1     2.5       2
  (42)      2       4       6     4.5       4       2       1     2.5       2
  (43)      3      14      20      12       8       6       2      11       5

  (44)      0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0
  (45)      2       1       2       0       2       4       0       2       2

  A _Stark_
  B _Summit_
  C _Trumbull_
  D _Tuscarawas_
  E _Union_
  F _Van Wert_
  G _Vinton_
  H _Warren_

             A       B       C       D       E       F       G       H
   (1)     30,984  11,686  23,449  22,387  17,183  14,982  13,096  15,188
   (2)     31,641  11,431  22,030  22,997  18,076  16,682  15,330  15,861
   (3)         -2      +2      +6      -3      -5     -10     -15      -4

   (4)         13      10      21      18      13       9      12       9
   (5)      2,383   1,169   1,117   1,244   1,322   1,665   1,091   1,688
   (6)        112      42      74      83      63      63      72      56
   (7)          9       4       4       5       5       7       6       6
   (8)        277     378     317     270     273     239     182     271
   (9)         43      17      26      25      17      16      16      18
  (10)         69      25      48      58      46      47      56      38
  (11)         18       7      18       8       7       3       9       8
  (12)         51      17      35      20      17      17       9      19
  (13)         22      10      12      24      12      18       7      12
  (14)         12       5       0      20      15      18      16       5
  (15)          0       0       0       4       1       2      25       7
  (16)          9       3       9       7       9       4       6       5
  (17)          0       0       0       0       2       1       0       0

  (18)         10      11      13       5       7       5      21       6
  (19)         16       8       5      15      16       4      27      15
  (20)         11       9      21      16      10      10       9       9
  (21)         17       6       6       6       4       8       4      11
  (22)         25       2       8       6       8       7       8       3
  (23)         13       1       6       8       5       3       1       5
  (24)          8       1       9       8       3       5       1       1
  (25)         11       4       6      19      10      21       1       6

  (26)         74      30      47      48      37      22      29      35
  (27)         38      12      27      35      26      41      43      21

  (28)          0       0       0       1       0       0       0       0
  (29)          0       1       2       4       2       2       9       1
  (30)          7       5       8       4       8       5       1       4
  (31)          5       1       6       4       1       2       2       3
  (32)          1       3       4       4       1       0       0       0
  (33)          0       0       1       0       1       0       0       1
  (34)          0       0       0       1       0       0       0       0

  (35)          7       5      13       7      10       6      10       8
  (36)          2       4       4       1       7       2       4       0
  (37)          3       6       4       1       7       2       4       0
  (38)         15       5       6      11       4     3.5       3       5
  (39)         12       2       2       6       2     3.5       2       5
  (40)         13       3       3      10       2       5       4       7

  (41)          7       2       5       4     2.5       3       2       4
  (42)          7       2       5       4       1       3       2       4
  (43)         21       5      12       8       5       6       6       9
  (44)          0       0       0       1       0       0       0       0
  (45)          1       2       2       1       1       2       0       0

  A _Washington_
  B _Wayne_
  C _Williams_
  D _Wood_
  E _Wyandot_

             A       B       C       D       E
   (1)     29,409  24,079  16,384  32,951  15,811
   (2)     32,481  23,895  17,440  37,378  16,508
   (3)         -9     +.7      -6     -12      -4

   (4)         21      13      10      16      12
   (5)      1,400   1,852   1,638   2,059   1,318
   (6)        130      84      66     105      50
   (7)          6       6       7       7       4
   (8)        226     299     248     314     316

   (9)         27      42      22      45      22
  (10)        103      42      44      60      28
  (11)          6      25       7      23       5
  (12)         19      33      18      22      13
  (13)         34      12      19      29      23
  (14)         21       8      15       6       9
  (15)         22       0       4      11       0
  (16)         28       6       3       8       0
  (17)          0       0       0       6       0

  (18)         26       2       8      10       4
  (19)         36      15      16      20       8
  (20)         17      19       9      11       7
  (21)         18       7       4       8       3
  (22)          6      19       4      14      11
  (23)          3      10       5      12       5
  (24)          3      11       4       6       8
  (25)         21       1      16      24       4

  (26)         48      50      33      78      25
  (27)         82      34      33      27      25

  (28)          0       0       0       0       0
  (29)          6       1       2       1       1
  (30)         12       5       6       5       6
  (31)          1       5       2       6       0
  (32)          2       2       0       2       3
  (33)          0       0       0       2       2
  (34)          0       0       0       0       0

  (35)         14       9       4       7       5
  (36)          4       4       2       2       2
  (37)          4       6       3       2       2
  (38)         10     5.5       2      14       4
  (39)          8     5.5       0      11       4
  (40)         10       9       0      14       7

  (41)          3       6       5       9       3
  (42)          3       6       5       9       3
  (43)          7      18      17      25      10

  (44)          0       0       0       0       0
  (45)          2       1       0       4       0




On the maps the location of each rural church is indicated by a square and
the residence of each minister by a cross. Lines connect each church with
the residence of its pastor. Therefore the maps show for each church
whether it receives the whole or a part of a minister's service, and for
each minister how many churches he serves and the distances he must go to
reach them and the various parts of his parish.

The capital letters adjacent to each square indicate the denomination of
the church. The figures in parentheses and next to the square indicate the
enrolled membership. The figures not so enclosed indicate the resident
membership. The abbreviations, Inc., Sta., and Dec. indicate whether the
membership is increasing, stationary, or declining. Increase or decline in
membership, however, is only indicated where it was possible to find the
membership of ten or five years ago. When the figures for ten years ago
are available, these are taken as a basis for comparison with the
membership at the present time. Often the records of the churches are so
kept as to make it impossible or very difficult to find the membership of
either five or ten years ago.

Shaded squares indicate closed churches. These have no minister and hold
no regular services.

Abandoned churches are indicated by black squares. It is believed that
large numbers of them were not reported.

Churches marked "Not Organized" do not appear in the tabulations.

In the northwest corner of each township is given its name, while
underneath are figures indicating its population. The large circles in the
township indicate cities or towns of more than 2,500 inhabitants. Figures
in parentheses indicate the number of their population, which number is
included in the figures for the township. But in each case where they are
not in parentheses the town or city is itself a township. Figures in an
oval indicate the number of persons living in the adjacent village or
small town.

A key to the maps is here given.


  X            Minister's Residence
  [open box]   Church without resident minister
  [solid box]  Church abandoned
  [x'd box]    Church with resident minister
  [lined box]  Church closed
  [circle]     Sunday School or Mission

  Resident membership is indicated by numerals, enrolled membership by
  numerals in parentheses. Inc. denotes increasing membership; Dec.,
  decreasing, and Sta., stationary membership.

  [oval] Numerals in an oval indicate the population of a village.

  AC         Advent Christian
  AME        African Methodist Episcopal
  Br         Brethren (German Baptist)
  Br (OO)    Old Order Brethren
  Br (Prog.) Progressive Brethren
  B          Baptist
  B (Miss.)  Missionary Baptist
  B (Col.)   Colored Baptist
  B (United) United Baptist
  BSA        Brothers' Society of America
  C          Christian
  Ca         Catholic
  CM         Calvin Methodist
  CMA        Christian Missionary Alliance
  CNJ        Church of New Jerusalem
  CS         Christian Science
  CU         Christian Union
  D          Disciples
  DNP        Disciples, Non-Progressive
  E          Protestant Episcopal
  EvA        Evangelical Association
  F          Friends
  FM         Free Methodist
  FWB        Free Will Baptist
  G          Church of God
  GEv        German Evangelical
  GME        German Methodist Episcopal
  H          Holiness
  IBA        International Bible Students Association
  L          Lutheran
  LDS        Latter-Day Saints
  M          Mennonite
  Mor        Moravian
  ME         Methodist Episcopal
  MP         Methodist Protestant
  Naz        Nazarene
  P          Presbyterian
  PB         Primitive Baptist
  R          Reformed
  RUB        Radical United Brethren
  S          Saints
  SDA        Seventh Day Advent
  SDB        Seventh Day Baptist
  U          Union
  UB         United Brethren
  UP         United Presbyterian
  UEv        United Evangelical
  Uv         Universalist
  USS        Union Sunday School
  WM         Wesleyan Methodist

[Illustration: ADAMS COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: ALLEN COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: ASHLAND COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: ATHENS COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: BELMONT COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: BROWN COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: BUTLER COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: CARROLL COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: CLARK COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: CLINTON COUNTY, OHIO]





[Illustration: DARKE COUNTY, OHIO]



[Illustration: ERIE COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: FAYETTE COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: FULTON COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: GALLIA COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: GEAUGA COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: GREENE COUNTY, OHIO]



[Illustration: HANCOCK COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: HARDIN COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: HENRY COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: HOCKING COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: HOLMES COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: HURON COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: JACKSON COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: KNOX COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: LAKE COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: LICKING COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: LOGAN COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: LORAIN COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: LUCAS COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: MADISON COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: MARION COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: MEDINA COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: MEIGS COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: MERCER COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: MIAMI COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: MONROE COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: MORGAN COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: MORROW COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: NOBLE COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: OTTAWA COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: PERRY COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: PIKE COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: PORTAGE COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: PREBLE COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: PUTNAM COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: ROSS COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: SCIOTO COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: SENECA COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: SHELBY COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: STARK COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO]



[Illustration: UNION COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: VAN WERT COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: VINTON COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: WARREN COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: WAYNE COUNTY, OHIO]


[Illustration: WOOD COUNTY, OHIO]

[Illustration: WYANDOT COUNTY, OHIO]



On June 14 and 15, 1916, a meeting was held of the Committee on
Interchurch Coöperation of the Ohio Rural Life Association at Columbus.
This Committee is composed largely of superintendents and representatives
of several of the leading denominations of the State. They met for the
purpose of making a thorough study of country church conditions and were
determined, if possible, to devise a remedy. The following were among
those present: Bishop Wm. F. Anderson of the Methodist Episcopal Church;
the Rt. Rev. Theodore Irving Reese of the Protestant Episcopal Church;
Superintendents, I. J. Cahill, W. J. Grimes, A. W. Jamieson, Robert E.
Pugh, E. S. Rothrock and Omer S. Thomas of the Disciples of Christ, the
United Presbyterian, the Presbyterian, the Congregational and Christian
churches; Dr. Washington Gladden, officially representing the
Congregational churches; Rev. C. W. Brugh, representing the Reformed
Church, and Rev. E. L. Averitt, representing Rev. Tileston F. Chambers,
Superintendent of the Baptist churches. Superintendent Rev. C. W. Kurtz of
the United Brethren, and Superintendent C. S. Beck of the Methodist
Protestant Church have also endorsed the action of the meeting.

After a thorough discussion of rural church conditions, the following
measures were agreed upon as remedies:

Interchurch coöperation in every locality to create conditions favorable
to the development of Christian character, to build a strong, wholesome,
attractive community, to hold community religious services and social
gatherings and to render all forms of social service needed in the
community but not rendered by other institutions.

Where there is now no resident pastor in a township the combining of all
churches so far as possible either in one church or in one circuit or
federated church under one pastor who should be held responsible for
rendering social and religious service in the township.

To bring this to pass all ministers now visiting and preaching in a
community should by their preaching exalt christian unity and the Kingdom
of God, and in preaching and personal work try to prepare the people for
acceptance of a policy of community service.

To secure coöperation of ministers:

Preparation and sending of bulletins to every pastor, containing program
and making clear reasons for adopting it.

Preparation and sending of letters from this Committee to every rural
pastor, urging acceptance of higher ideals of service as here set forth.

Preparation and sending to country pastors of frequent bulletins
containing information and description of notable examples of good country
church work.

Appointment of sub-committees to secure action by denominational bodies
approving program of Committee.

The following statements of policy and methods were also adopted:

In a township or community requiring more than one church or pastor there
should be a "federation of churches," that is, a joint committee of
pastors and delegates officially appointed by the several churches to
learn and meet all needs, religious or social, which require coöperation
or concerted action.

In communities whose compactness permits and whose population and
resources require there should be only one congregation and pastor, but
where two or more churches exist, churches should be united organically in
a single denominational church, the denomination to be determined on the
give and take plan. If organic union in a denominational church is not
feasible, a federated church should be formed.

In a township or community where population and resources are inadequate
to support more than one pastor, but where the population is so
distributed that more than one place of worship and organized church are
necessary, a federated circuit should be formed and a common pastor
employed. The several churches should be officially represented on a joint
committee who shall act for the circuit not only in employing the common
pastor, but also in learning and meeting all needs, religious and social,
which require coöperation and concerted action.

In the forming or re-forming of circuits it should be brought to pass that
the various fields served by one pastor should be as close together as
possible. To make the minister's field as compact as possible,
interdenominational circuits should be formed.

The rural ministry should, it possible, be so distributed that in each
township there shall be a resident pastor.

Measures to prevent the recurrence of over-churched conditions should be
taken by every branch of the church. Each should determine not to organize
churches where they are not needed or certain to be needed. In a new
community needing but one church, an expression of the people should be
obtained as to the choice of the church to be established. The desires of
the largest number should be followed.

Where several little churches exist in a sparsely settled community and a
union or federation is not possible or advisable, consideration should be
given to the plan of having all these withdraw, and inviting a branch of
the church not represented locally to come in and organize a single

In the exchange or withdrawal of churches reciprocity should be at least
State-wide in its extent.

Where a denomination is given control or dominance in a community by
withdrawal of other denominations, the continuance of that control or
dominance should be conditional on the church and minister maintaining in
their service a high degree of efficiency--the standard of efficiency to
be determined by the denominational leaders who should formulate a few
simple principles by which the usefulness of a church can be measured. The
denomination holding a field should, for a reasonable length of time,
report to those withdrawing as to progress.

Printed in the United States of America

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  GENESIS, by PROFESSOR H. G. MITCHELL                     $.90
  DEUTERONOMY, by PROFESSOR W. G. JORDAN                    .75
  JUDGES, by PROFESSOR EDWARD L. CURTIS                     .75
  JOB, by PROFESSOR GEORGE A. BARTON                        .90
  ISAIAH, by PROFESSOR JOHN E. MCFADYEN                     .90
  MATTHEW, by PROFESSOR A. T. ROBERTSON                     .60
  MARK, by PROFESSOR M. W. JACOBUS                          .75
  ACTS, by PROFESSOR GEORGE H. GILBERT                      .75
  GALATIANS, by PROFESSOR B. W. BACON                       .50
  HEBREWS, by PROFESSOR E. J. GOODSPEED                     .50


  PSALMS                   BY REVEREND J. P. PETERS

  Publishers   64-66 Fifth Avenue   New York

Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Many tables have been split and keys have been added to enhance
readability in this text version.

In the key to the maps on page 146, each symbol has been replaced with a
[description] in brackets.

Punctuation has been corrected without note.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "Surburban" corrected to "Suburban" (Table of Contents)
  "opportunites" corrected to "opportunities" (page 75)
  "surburban" corrected to "suburban" (page 111)
  "representin" corrected to "representing" (page 235)

Other than the corrections listed above, inconsistencies in spelling and
hyphenation have been retained from the original.

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