Churches and Charities of Brooklyn 1912
 

by Rev. L. Ward Brigham, D.D.
 
 
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Churches and Charities of Brooklyn

The early architecture of the church buildings was not especially commanding, but in recent years this matter has been deemed of more importance, so that in every section impressive and attractive buildings are being erected. Not only has devotion thus been aided but the diverse phases of modern religious life and activity have had adequate means provided for their expression. From the early days the leaders of the churches have been strong men of pronounced ideas, who have inspired the moral and civic life of the people. Here are the churches of Beecher, Storrs, Bethune, Behrens, Talmage, Cuyler, Little-john and Loughlin. These and many others, together with their successors, have mightily moved American life, and have sounded the call for a vigorous rectitude and a true devotion.

While religion is one, and the ministering spirit is one, still its organization may be as varied as the temperaments of the people shall require. The devotees of every religion and creed have their "House of Prayer." Thus the composite people satisfy their religious instinct. In the face of a constantly changing population and of unsettled conditions of life, the churches have kept abreast of the needs both in the matter of their growth and of helpful service to the community. The emphasis may have been changed from theology to religion, but the essential spirit has never been more strong nor more of a formative influence in the community life. Back of this efficiency has lain the ability to organize. There are "Captains of Religion," as there are of Industry. These men have so built their modern organizations as to reach all classes of persons and so as to have a place for every member to do some part in the great work. These many clubs and societies and associations of men and women and of young people are a power for good. They have helped to meet the perplexing issues of our complex society. Brooklyn calls her preachers from every direction, insisting upon large ability and deep consecration in its leaders. The services of Sunday are marked by deep devotion and are inspiringly attractive. Soloists and choruses praise God and educate a love for the music of the masters. The religious instruction of the young is being modernized and rapidly reaching high efficiency. In the outward expression of religion perhaps the most marked features of the church in Brooklyn, are the prominence of inter-denominational work, and an intense interest in social service work.

Charities

The problem of poverty and misfortune still remains to be solved by civilization. Indeed the city has but accentuated the problem. While in Brooklyn these adverse conditions have appeared rather suddenly, the Borough has not been unmindful of them, nor of their serious character. It has indeed been quick to respond, and many relief movements characterize our community life. One who is not familiar with this activity, would be amazed at the multiplicity of such organizations. The old days of individual relief are passing because its futility and waste are becoming apparent. In its place associations are employed as more safe and effective. The churches of all faiths are to the fore in this work and the good they do is inestimable. Jewish, Catholic and Protestant societies are earnest in giving adequate relief to a condition that is unbearable to all alike. But everywhere is appearing the need of federation. In this direction the Brooklyn Department of Charities is more and more being trusted, as its scope of work and the amount of its service increases. The shadow of poverty becomes doubly dark when associated with sickness or disability. In these, rich and poor alike feel the burden. For the public comfort and cure, many fine hospitals receive the support of our generous spirited citizens. Dispensaries in every necessitous community open their doors to the sick and offer medicines and the services of our best physicians free to those in need. These relief institutions are most efficient. The aim of modern charity is correction. If childhood is properly cared for crime will in large measure disappear. The "Big Brothers" of Brooklyn, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and many like associations of earnest men and women are doing much in a curative way.

Retreats for women and children have been established wherein hope and courage may have rebirth. The conservation forces of society have also been earnestly fostered by Brooklyn. We have a Bureau of Charities and an Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor. There are many large and well supported homes in which the old live in comfort and security. Large provision has been made for the orphaned and for infants, while the blind and the crippled are cared for, and trained to be self supportive. The city care of its insane is well-administered.

 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Churches and Charities of Brooklyn
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

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BIBLIOGRAPHY: Brooklyn, the home borough of New York City : its family life, educational advantages, civic virtues, physical attractions and varied industries Brooklyn: unknown, 1912.
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