An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Bishops’ Crusade

The Commission on Evangelism, in July, 1925, made an impassioned report to the National Council concerning evangelism and the church. It called for the Episcopal Church to make evangelism its top priority. It was decided that the initial step in a program of evangelism would take the form of a nationwide effort to rouse the people of the church to a sense of their responsibilities as Christians. The commission organized a movement known as the Bishops' Crusade to emphasize the essentials of the Christian gospel. It called the membership of the church to a rededication in life and service to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Crusade began on Jan. 9, 1927. Nearly three hundred bishops, priests, and lay persons were enlisted for special involvement and leadership. Between three and four million copies of printed matter of various kinds were sent out for the Crusade. Especially notable was Evangelism in the Church: An Appeal to Christians (1927), by the Rev. Julius Augustus Schaad (1866-1938), rector of St. Paul's Church, Augusta, Georgia. The book emphasized the quiet, personal work done by people in the regular program of the church rather than preaching to mass meetings. The commission also published and distributed The Crusade Hymnal (1927), a twenty-four page hymnal which provided the convenience of evangelistic hymn texts in one volume for preaching missions in diverse circumstances and locations.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.