apap129
New York State Modern Political Archive
Collection ID: apap129

Capital Area Council of Churches Records, 1941-2002

Collection description

Summary

Creator:
Capital Area Council Of Churches
Abstract:
This collection contains administrative files, correspondence, newsletters, subject files and meeting minutes from the Capital Area Council of Churches, an organization designed to promote cooperation between different religious institutions in the Albany, N.Y. area.
Extent:
9 cubic ft.
Language:
English and English
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Capital Area Council of Churches Records, 1941-2002. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Terms Of Use:

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Background

Scope and Content:

The majority of records in this collection are board minutes (with organizational constitutions, Director's Reports, and some committee minutes) reports, newsletters, administrative files, subject files, and some correspondence. There is also a collection of clippings from local newspapers.

Well structured documentation, in the form of meeting minutes, of the formative period of the organization allow for a determination of the principle factors, both human and situational, for the genesis of the CACC. There are numerous sources (minutes, newsletters, annual reports) of the names of individuals and the roles they played in the organization; names, locations, size, relative prosperity and denomination of member congregations; and information pertaining to the other groups, individuals, and organizations which provided services in the Capital District.

Many of the records show the degree to which the organization was concerned and involved with issues and events of local, national and international concern including World War II, the anti-Communist fervor, the Civil Rights Movement, the Abortion debate, the evolution of the State University of New York system, urban blight, and fair housing.

Early correspondence was not usually kept or was only occasionally filed with the meeting minutes at which the subject matter was discussed. Several references are made to a city-wide survey conducted in the summer of 1946 to determine area residents' religious denomination and to which congregation (if any) they belonged. However, no results of these efforts has been located beyond a January 1947 mention that the report of the findings is not yet ready.

A mention in correspondence is made of a visit to the area of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on June 14, 1961. Regrettably, there is no further mention of the planned speaking engagement, nor a report of it in meeting minutes or subject files. There are numerous gaps in the coverage of newsletters, annual reports and meeting minutes. These sometimes occur at times when social issues (such as civil rights) were most likely occupying the efforts and energies of Council personnel. Unfortunately, it is these times when records of events and issues, as they affected this organization, would be most valuable.

Biographical / Historical:

The Capital Area Council of Churches (CACC) was founded in 1941 as the Federation of Churches of Christ in Albany, N.Y. and Vicinity. The name was changed to the CACC as part of the adoption of a new organizational constitution submitted for approval to the Annual Meeting in June 1958. The preliminary considerations for forming this organization had been discussed among four Albany area clergymen: the Rev. William H. McConaghy of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Erville Maynard of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Arthur Adams of the First Presbyterian Church and Dr. Kenneth B. Wells of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. These discussions culminated in a meeting of area congregation representatives on April 4, 1941 when a "meeting of Clergy and Laity" was held "to consider a proposal for the establishment of a City Federation of Churches in Albany, N.Y." (Minutes, April 4, 1941.) The first meeting was chaired by the Rev. M. Stephen James who summarized earlier, efforts to organize and credited Mr. Benton S. Hoit with the exploratory work of a draft constitution. Three of these organizational meetings were held in 1941 resulting in the official incorporation of the Federation of Churches of Christ in Albany, New York, and Vicinity on January 12, 1942.

The Federation was intended to encompass, absorb, coordinate and extend the community service and ministry functions of several existing organizations including the Albany Protestant Welfare Society (House of Friendship), the Albany City Council of Religious Education, the State College Christian Association, the Federation of Youth, and the Ministerial Association. These organizations continued to operate under their own names, but were brought to varying degrees under the organizational and financial umbrella of the Federation. Later additional affiliations included: the Council of Church Women of Albany in January 1944; Chapel House (Albany Collegiate Interfaith Center) on December 16, 1966, and the Seaman's Agency of Albany (the Port Ministry) in 1978.

As stated in its Constitution of 1948, "The particular objects for which this organization is formed are to develop the spirit of Christian fellowship and to promote through cooperative effort the spiritual, moral, social and civic welfare of the community." Rewording in later revisions elaborates and specifies. The CACC administration currently consists of four officers: President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary and Treasurer and a Council Assembly consisting of the clergy and two lay persons from each member congregation (previously there were additional representatives for those congregations larger than a certain size), and the director and two members of other member organizations. They are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of the four officers, committee chairs and a maximum of twelve members-at-large chosen from local laity and clergy of member congregations. Earlier constitutions included one member of each communion in place of the members-at-large. Operational responsibilities are handled by an Executive Committee consisting of the four officers (previously including division chairs and department chairs) with daily administrative responsibilities residing with an Executive Director hired by the Executive Committee.

As of the date of transition from the Federation to the Council in 1958, during the presidency of Dr. Carlyle Adams, the organization consisted of divisions based on geographic proximity; and departments which acted as administrative units or as liaisons to the semi-autonomous organizations which provide services to the community under joint auspices. These were separated into: Program Departments of Community Ministry, Hospital Ministry, Student Work, Christian Education, Social Education and Action, and Evangelism; General Departments of United Church Women, United Church Men, and Ministers' Association; and Central Departments such as Business and Finance and Public Relations. Current structure provides for standing committees which include the Executive Committee, Nominating Committee, Finance Committee and the Personnel Committee. Previously existing geographic divisions are not specified as of the 1980 Revised Constitution.

Presidents: 1941-1942 Mr. Winthrop P. Stevens 1942-1943 Rev. Brewer Burnett 1943-1945 Rev. William McConaghy 1945-1947 Rev. Hobart F. Goewey 1947-1949 Rev. Arthur M. Adams 1949-1950 Rev. Erville B. Maynard 1950-52 Rev. Arthur F. Jennings 1952-1954 Rev. Dr. Russell G. Ganzele 1954-1956 Rev. Ross Blake 1956-1958 Mr. Russel H. Broughton 1958-1960 Rev. Dr. Carlyle Adams 1960-1961 Rev. Harold Griffis 1961-1963 Rev. Dr. LeRoy C. Brandt 1963-1965 Dr. Milton C. Olson 1965-1966 Rev. Dr. Norman E. Thomas 1966-1968 Rev. Ralph M. Carmichael 1968-1969 Rev. W. Bernard Grossamn 1969-1970 Rev. Dr. Robert C. Lamar 1970-1972 Rev. Ralph H. Elliot 1972-1973 Rev. Louis Brewer 1973-1975 Rev. Robert B. Thomas 1975-1977 Rev. Bruce Miller 1977-1979 Rev. Richard B. Hunter 1979-1982 Rev. Craig Bartholomew 1982-1984 Rev. William Roland 1984-1986 Mr. Joseph Lynn, Jr. 1986-1988 Hon. Morton M. Z. Lynn 1988-1991 Mrs. Evelyn C. Stone 1991-1993 Rev. Dr. S. Albert Newman 1993-1995 Rev. Fred Shilling 1995-1997 Rev. Allan Janssen 1997 Rev. Edgar N. Kemp, Jr. 1997-1999 Marlene Shilling 2000-2001 Harold R. Howes 2001-2002 Rev. William Cotant

Acquisition information:

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives by the Capital Area Council of Churches in January 2002.

Processing information:

Processed in 2003 by Peter Runge, Christina Moustardas and Amy C. Schindler .

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Restrictions:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
Terms of Access:
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Capital Area Council of Churches Records, 1941-2002. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).