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Eugene Carson Blake 1906-1985

Eugene Carson Blake 1906-1985

Blake speaking at an open-air worship service during the WCC's 4th Assembly in Uppsala, Sweden, 1968.

09 November 2006

The second general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Eugene Carson Blake, would have been 100 years old on November 7, 2006.

Remembered for his dual commitment to ecumenism and to social progress, especially in race relations, Blake early on manifested a keen interest in the ecumenical movement, and attended the first assembly of the WCC in 1948.

A pastor of the Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCUSA), he was appointed head of his church in 1951, and also served as president of the NCCCUSA, and as a member of the WCC's central and executive committees before succeeding Willem A. Visser 't Hooft as WCC general secretary in 1966.

An ardent supporter of the US civil rights movement during the 1950s and 60s, Blake continued to defend the struggle for justice and peace in the world as an intrinsic part of the churches' quest for unity throughout his years (1966-72) with the WCC.

A biography of Eugene Carson Blake by WCC senior editor Theodore Gill is available on the PCUSA website