Eugene Carson Blake bigraphy, stories - Americna presbyterian minister

Eugene Carson Blake : biography

November 7, 1906 - July 31, 1985

Eugene Carson Blake (November 7, 1906 – July 31, 1985) was an American Protestant Church leader in the 1950s and 1960s, and President of the National Council of Churches in the United States, 1954—1957. He was General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, 1966—1974.


He is buried in Stamford's Long Ridge Union Cemetery.

Life and career

Blake was a powerful Protestant leader in the 1950s and 1960s. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1932 with a Bachelor of Theology. He taught at a Christian missionary school in Lahore, India (now Pakistan), held pastorates at churches in New York City and Albany, and served as the pastor of the Pasadena Church in Pasadena for eleven years. In 1951, he was elected Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the UPCUSA, a post he held until 1966. Blake demonstrated against segregation and was in the vanguard of the ecumenical movement. He served as the president of the National Council of Churches from 1954–1957 and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches in 1966. Blake retired from the World Council of Churches in 1972.Finding Aid for Eugene Carson Blake Papers. Blake became a trustee of Princeton Seminary in 1954.

Blake's sermon is considered to be the impetus for the 40-year Consultation on Church Union ecumenical effort to unite ten mainline denominations. Blake was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 7, 1906. He was educated at Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh. From 1928 to 1929, he taught at the Forman Christian College in Lahore; from 1935 to 1951, he was the minister of Presbyterian churches in America; and from 1951 to 1958, he was stated clerk of the General Assembly of the PCUSA, and of the United Presbyterian Church until 1966.

Dr. Blake once said that he was "the first white clergyman to be arrested in the civil rights movement."Personal communication at Rye Presbyterian Church (NY) in 1983. At the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August 28, 1963) he spoke following A. Phillip Randolph and before John Lewis.

Education and work

High School: Lawrenceville School University: BA, Princeton University (1928) Theological: ThB, Princeton Theological Seminary (1932) Teacher: Forman Christian College, Lahore (1928–1929) University: New College, University of Edinburgh

World Council of Churches General Secretary (1966–1974) National Council of Churches President (1954–1957) United Presbyterian Church Stated Clerk, General Assembly (1958–1966) Presbyterian Church USA Stated Clerk, General Assembly (1951–1958)

Archival collections

There are multiple collections of Eugene Carson Blake's papers at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They include papers , , and .

Living octopus

Living octopus

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