Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1878 - 1969

portrait of Harry Emerson Fosdick
Photo by Underwood & Underwood, New York City (1926)

Born: 24 May 1878, Buffalo, New York
Died: 5 October 1969, Bronxville, New York

Fosdick graduated from Colgate University in 1900, then entered Union Theological Seminary. He went to seminary as a fundamentalist, he left as a liberal. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1903 and served First Baptist Church at Montclair, New Jersey until 1915 when he returned to UTS to teach. In 1918 he was called to First Presbyterian Church in midtown New York City but his powerful preaching, including the widely circulated Shall the Fundamentalists Win?, aroused the attention of the national church and he was forced from that pulpit. John D. Rockefeller asked Fosdick to serve as pastor of Park Avenue Baptist Church but was rebuffed based on some narrow policies and the fact that the church was in too rich and comfortable an area; the policies were changed and Fosdick hired. Rockefeller funded Riverside Church at Morningside Heights, where Fosdick served until his retirement. Fosdick claimed to need a pen in his hand to think and wrote countless sermons, over thirty books, at least one great hymn, and these quotes.

Biography from Wikipedia

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