EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION: An ecclesiastical body which originated as a result of the evangelistic labors of Jacob Albright (q.v.), who began
preaching in 1796 among the Germans
in Eastern Pennsylvania. The first organizations among his
converts were formed in 1800. The first general
meeting took place in 1803, which acknowledged
Albright as a minister of the Gospel, and solemnly
ordained him by the laying on of hands, in accordance with the precedent in
The Evangelical Association is Arminian in doctrine, connectional in organization, and episcopal in government. The governing bodies are: (1) The Quarterly Conference, composed of the ministers and lay officers of a charge and prided over by the presiding elder of the district. It meets four times a year, manages the affairs of the charge and recommends candidates for the ministry. (2) The Annual Conference, which has administrative jurisdiction over a prescribed territory. At its sessions a bishop presides and assigns the preachers to their charges. It licenses and ordains preachers and acts coordinately with the General Conference in the enactment of constitutional law. (3) The General Conference, meeting every four years, and consisting of the bishops, general officers, ministerial delegates chosen by the Annual Conferences upon a basis of one to every fourteen members, and lay delegates to constitute about one-third of the entire body. This is the supreme governing, legislating, and judicial body of the Church. It makes laws in concurrence with the members of the Annual Conferences, elects the bishops and general officers, and is the final court of appeal.
A controversy of several years' duration led to the secession of about 50,000 members and the organization of the Evangelical Church (q.v.) in 1891. The Evangelical Association in 1907 consisted of twenty-seven Annual Conferences, twenty-two in the United Staten, one in Canada, two in Germany, one in Switzerland, and one in Japan. It has 131,437 members; 1,58? ministers, itinerant and local; 2,232 Sunday-schools with 23,977 officers and teachers and 165,192 scholars; 1,201 Young People's Alliances with 39,143 members; 2,219 organized congregations; 1,854 church edifices with an estimated value of $6,340,966; 722' parsonages valued at $1,264,618. Its total property is valued at $7,942,740.03. Its people contributed $250,000 for missions and $1,476,771 for all purposes in 1906. It has a publishing house in Cleveland, Ohio, and a branch in Stuttgart, Germany. Ira educational institutions are North Western College, Naperville, Ill., with four buildings, an endowment of $250,000, twenty-five professors, and 450 students; Union Biblical Institute, at the same place, with an endowment of $50,000, and forty students; Schuylkill Seminary, Reading, Penn., with $50,000 endowment; the Preachers' Seminary in Reutlingen, Germany; and the Correspondence College with headquarters at Reading, Penn. It has an orphan home at Flat Rock, Ohio, taking care of 150 children, three old people's homes, one in Philadelphia, one near Buffalo, N. Y., and one in Chicago, and a deaconeesea' home and hospital it Chicago. IL has missions in Japan
and China. Der christliche Botschafter, Th Evangelical Messenger, Das evangelische Magazin, and The Living Epistle, all published in Cleveland, Ohio, are the church periodicals.
Bibliography: A. Yeskel, Jacob Albright and his Colaborera, Cleveland, Ohio, 1883; idem, History of the Evangelical Association, 2 vols., ib. 1892-94 (comes down to 1850): idem, The Life of Bishop Joseph Long, ib. 1898; W. W. Orwig, History of the Evangelical Association. ib. 1858; 8. C. Breyfogel, Landmarks of the Evangelical Association, ib. 1887; S. P. Sprang, Life and Labors of Bishop John Seybert, ib. 1888; idem, in American Church History Series, xii. 383 sqq., New York, 1894; A. Stapleton, Annals of the Evangelical Association of North America and History of the United Evangelical Church, Harrisburg, 1898; the Discipline of as Evangelical Association, editions from 1809-1903.
Calvin College. Last modified on 08/11/06. Contact the CCEL.