Gordon Cosby (1918-2013)

CosbyMany evangelicals are remembering the life of Gordon Cosby, longtime minister at Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C.

Here are a couple of tributes:

And here is an excerpt from Moral Minority describing Church of the Savior:

Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C., one of the most prominent urban evangelical churches in the United States, also nurtured a strong sense of social justice. Inner piety and prayer, member Elizabeth O’Connor contended, ought to spark an “outer journey” that addresses a multitude of social issues such as “alcoholism, dope addiction, the aged, the blind, the sick, the broken in mind and spirit; there are slums, with all the problems of housing and education; there are nuclear warfare and the problems of automation and leisure.” Church of the Saviour worked with the Welfare Department to restore crumbling homes in the District, befriended youth in the Lily Ponds Housing Development, established a coffee shop and arts center called The Potter’s House, and aided alcoholics and mentally handicapped persons in the Renewal Center. Many members practiced intentional poverty. In the 1960s and 1970s Church of the Saviour became a haven for evangelical government bureaucrats, social service workers, and those otherwise disillusioned with the apolitical tendencies of their tradition. The church mentored several important evangelical moderates and left-wingers—Bob McCan, a former Baptist minister who sought to establish “a polycultural college, which would be a miniature world community”; Jim Wallis, founder of the Post-Americans; Wes Michaelson, an aide to Mark Hatfield and future general secretary of the Reformed Church in America; and Richard Barnet, a leftist historian and State Department bureaucrat in the Kennedy administration. The evangelical left in turn often cited Church of the Saviour as a model of spiritual and social engagement.

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