1970 AACS Niagara Conference
571 find unity in the spirit and are challenged to find a Christian third way.
The largest crowd of people to ever attend an AACS summer study conference, 571 fathers, mothers, scholars, students, and children, gathered on the grounds of Fort Erie’s Niagara Christian College Friday, July 31st to seek unity in the spirit after long months of separation from each other. The three day conference featured two addresses; by Professor C. T. McIntire of Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, entitled, “The New American Revolution” and “The Coming of Christ’s Kingdom in Politics”; and by Dr. James Olthuis of the Institute for Christian Studies, who gave three lectures on “The Old Morality”, “The New Morality” and “Toward a New Christian Life Style.” Both encouraged their brothers to find a Christian Third way in the contemporary world’s deep divisions.
On Sunday, August 2, three worship services were held. Spontaneous declarations of faith, unity in the Spirit, and the joy of celebration of the Lord’s day were prevalent, as well as communal songfests. Christian hymns and psalms and spiritual songs were on the lips of everyone, and people were holding hands and dancing out of holy exultation. The sonorous rhythms of “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord” and “Amen” continued late into the night. People prayed, cried together, and laughed and were freely “God’s kids,” as one fellow put it.
Responding to a lesson in “faith economics” given by Mr. John Olthuis, Dr. Peter Steen, Dr. Bill Kamphuis, Rev. Aren Geisterfer, Mr. Gerry Vandezande, and Dr. Arnold DeGraaff, $10,752 was donated and pledged by students, many of whom had patches on their clothes, and by parents who were struggling to make ends meet. 26 people decided to become members of the Association. $1,200 in books were purchased from Tomorrow’s Book Club and Wedge Publishing Foundation. John Olthuis: “This is the best conference we ever had; the response is overwhelming, the spirit is tremendous, and the lectures are incisive.”
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