A Little More About Christian Endeavor

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, February 4, 1914:  Was up to service and practice this evening.


I’m not sure where the Christian Endeavor services were held, but in 1912, a Christian Endeavor Convention was held at the Reformed Church (today called St. John’s United Church of Christ).

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The Christian Endeavor Union was holding a week of services in McEwensville. On Sunday, February 1 Grandma wrote:

I went up to attend some kind of C.E. Union, any way that is my definition of it. Said services are to be held every night this week. Thurs. night is when we girls take part.

Grandma apparently was going to give a speech at the service the following night—and needed to practice it. She wrote about going to a practice on January 28, and about learning the speech on January 29. Maybe Grandma and “the girls” were also singing or doing a skit since several practices were required.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Christian Endeavor is an interdenominational Protestant youth organization that was founded in 1881. The encyclopedia says that:

The purpose of the International Society of Christian Endeavor is “to promote an earnest Christian life among its members, to increase their mutual acquaintance, to train them for work in the church, and in every way to make them useful in the service of God and their fellow men.”

9 Responses

  1. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=NZH18950906.2.52 This is an item from the New Zealand Herald 1895 about the Christian Endeavour Union. In 1895 there were 6000 members in New Zealand.

  2. I’ve never heard of Christian Endeavor. Wikipedia says it’s still around . . .

  3. I hope Helena’s speech went off without a hitch!

  4. Cute little church!

  5. I hadn’t heard of Christian Endeavor. Sounds like a great group for youth.

  6. It’s interesting to me to read the word “useful” in the group’s purpose. My grandmother — born in 1903, her father a minister and her mother from a long line of ministers — used that word as the ultimate virtue. To be of use was IT. :) Thanks as usual for your wonderful blog.

    • Interesting. . . I hadn’t keyed in on the word “useful”. Your comment helps we better understand how people saw their role in life back then.

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