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Photo Friday: “Evangelicals Unashamed”

The opening rally of the 1964 convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, held in Chicago. Several Brethren in Christ delegates attended the convention. (Courtesy of the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives)

This past Wednesday, I turned in the first (and very rough) draft of an essay I’m writing on the changing identity of the Brethren in Christ during the age of the “new evangelicals.”

To celebrate, this week’s Photo Friday installment shows the opening rally of the 1964 convention of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), an umbrella organization comprised of like-minded Protestant denominations and institutions.

Established in 1942, the NAE came to represent in the minds of many Americans (and certainly in the minds of scholars who later studied them) a new movement within American Christianity: the so-called “new evangelicals,” or moderate fundamentalists dissatisfied with the isolationism of traditional fundamentalism but likewise frustrated with what they perceived as the doctrinal concessions of so-called liberals (or modernists).

The Brethren in Christ joined this confederation in 1949. By 1964, the year this picture was taken, one of their own had taken the helm: Arthur Climenhaga, the former bishop of the Brethren in Christ Church in Africa and later a bishop in the North American church, that year assumed the position of executive director.

For more on the Brethren in Christ and American Evangelicalism, see Carlton O. Wittlinger, Quest for Piety and Obedience (Nappanee, Ind: Evangel Press, 1978), pp. 476-481, and David L. Zercher, “Opting for the Mainstream: The Brethren in Christ Join the National Association of Evangelicals,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 10 (April 1987), pp. 48-70.