Twilight Time for the NCC by Parker T. Williamson

Twilight Time for the NCC

by Parker T. Williamson

Cleveland, Ohio, November 1999

Sinking $764,500 into its “50th Anniversary Fete,” the National Council of Churches (NCC) tried to be jovial. But the mood here proved more somber than celebratory.

Scrambling to meet a $4 million budget deficit with less than $2 million in unrestricted reserves, council members pinned their hopes on two salvation scenarios: member churches might bail them out, and they might lay claim to funds that were given for other purposes.

The first solution resembles one drowning swimmer trying to save another. Mainline denominations—seven of them supply 90 percent of the NCC’s . . .