Like many mainline Protestant institutions, the National Council of Churches has had a rough couple of years. Once the public face of American Protestantism, the NCC is now just another face in the crowd. Yet with new leadership and a retooled mission, the NCC is poised to rebound from its low ebb of influence and carries a great deal of promise into the future.
National Council of Churches
For decades, the notion of mainline decline has dominated interpretation of church life. But just how mighty were the churches before?
Todd Purdum's work of journalistic history on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is ultimately a story about politicians doing the right thing.
Jill Gill has produced a remarkable account of the declining influence of mainline Protestantism and the NCC in the 1960s and 70s.
"Ecumenical leaders of the 1960s took a series of risks," says historian David Hollinger, "asking their constituency to follow them in directions that many resisted."