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8 CURRENT BIOGRAPHY BLAKE, REV. DR. E.C. - Continued his A.B. degree, with honors in philosophy, in 1928, Blake was sent by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions as a teacher at Forman Christian College, Lahore (now in Pakistan). The next year (1929-1930) he spent studying at New College, Edinburgh University, the theological college of the Church of Scotland. Returning to the United States, he entered Princeton Theological Seminary to prepare for the ministry. He was awarded his Th.B. degree in 1932. His first pastorate was an assistantship at St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, New York City, from 1932 to 1935. Blake next accepted a call as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Albany, New York, where he remained five years. He also was a visiting lecturer in religion at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1938-1940. Called to the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, Pasadena, California in 1940, he served for a period of ten years. Under his ministry the church became one of the largest and strongest of its denomination in the country. He also served as pastor of the church's radio station, from which he broadcast regularly. Occidental College in Los Angeles awarded him the D.D. degree in 1941. When the World Council of Churches was established in 1948, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Dr. Blake was a delegate and became a member of the United States conference for the World Council of Churches. The World Council fosters cooperation between 163 different Protestant and Orthodox traditions. Blake also became active in 1950 in the newly created National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., the successor to the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America. He preached at the closing service of consecration of the council's constituting convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and asked for an end of religious competition and denominational rivalries. He later served on several of the council's committees. The Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. elected Dr. Blake on May 29, 1951 as the stated clerk of its General Assembly to succeed the late Doctor William Barrow Pugh. Blake, who is serving a five-year term, was unanimously elected at the General Assembly's 163d meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the meeting the General Assembly also voted against mercy killing as violating the Sixth Commandment and recommended amending its 222-year-old Confession of Faith to allow remarriage by the church of divorced persons "when sufficient penitence for sin and failure is evidenced" (Pathfinder, June 13, 1951). This recommendation was later approved by 259 presbyteries, more than the required number necessary for adoption. As the representative of over 2,500,000 Presbyterians in this country, Dr. Blake sent a letter in November 1951 to Roman Catholic Archbishop Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York City, pledging cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church and people "in our common fight against the inroads of humanistic secularism and the attacks of atheistic communism" (New York Times, November 22, 1951). The next month, in reaction to an investigation of officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, he appealed for a unity of effort by members of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths against widespread "moral collapse" (New York Herald Tribune, December 8, 1951). Upon his return from a round-the-world tour of distress areas in 1952, he described a "sweep toward Christianity" among North Korean prisoners of war. He termed the 9,000,000 refugees an "explosive problem" in West Germany, called the situation of refugees "complicated" in Pakistan and India by political difficulties over Kashmir, and suggested that Israel withdraw to the border lines established by the United Nations partition plan, in order to create peace with the Arabs (New York Times, January 18, 1952). In defense of a controversial letter sent in November 1953 by the General Council of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to its 8,000 congregations, protesting "assaults on basic human rights" in the United States, Dr. Blake declared that among the serious threats to the life and work of Protestantism in this country are a wave of "anti-intellectualism . . . which tends to blur all distinctions except that of white and black," and "the forces of totalitarianism, Communist and fascist, which hate the church which holds God, not man, is sovereight" (Time, December 28, 1953). At a meeting of the World Presbyterian Alliance, an organization made up of sixty-five self-governing bodies in forty-six countries, held in Princeton, New Jersey on July 28, 1954, Dr. Blake defined the five "basic" tenets of religious freedom as: "freedom to worship God, freedom to obey God, freedom to learn and to teach the Christian faith, freedom to witness to the Gospel, freedom to determine the internal government and conditions of a church body" (New York Times, July 29, 1954). In March 1954 Blake was chairman of the subcommittee of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. which drew up the statement which the council adopted, urging eight procedural reforms in Congressional investigating committees and a single joint committee to investigate subversive activities, to insure maintenance of American freedom. Dr. Blake was elected and installed as president of the National council in December 1954. The council, which is composed of denominations ranging from the Five Years Meeting of Friends (Quakers) to the Greek Orthodox Church, influences its members by its interpretative pronunciamentos on practical problems, although these declarations are not binding on its members. After his election Dr. Blake flew to the Far East to take Christmas greetings to GI's and chaplains. He talked with President Syngman Rhee of South Korea, and also visited Honolulu, Manila, Okinawa and Tokyo. Discussing the problems of occupation forces, he advised American churches to develop chaplains, train young people on what to expect in service,
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