Centenary Celebration of American Methodist Missions: The 1919 World's Fair of Evangelical Americanism

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The Centenary Celebration of American Methodist Missions examines early twentieth century American Protestant missions and demonstrates how the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Epsicopal Church, South, used the exposition as a staging ground to sell foreign and domestic missions as a means to civilize and Christianize the world. Inside the pavilions of the fair Americans viewed "the world" through hundreds of exhibits containing international peoples converted to Christianity, representations of their indigenous homes, and curios of material objects. The fair functioned as an arena to educate U.S. Protestants on the global reach of mission organizations and missionaries busy at work converting the world to Christ.


“An important addition to the historiography of the Civil War to World War II era as it was a formative time in the creation of what is now the United Methodist Church. This richly textured account of a singular event introduces the reader to the post-World War I experience of Methodists and their commitment to missions.”

-Dr. Robert J. Williams,
United Methodist Church

“Gives a careful and complete description with analysis of an event that is hard to imagine today.”
-Dr. Gerald. H. Anderson,
Overseas Ministries Study Center

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Foreword by Robert J. Williams
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Centenary Celebration
Chapter 1: Mapping the Missionary World: The Exposition and Memory
Bringing “the World” to Columbus, Ohio
British and U.S. Missionary Fairs
The $160,000,000 Centenary Fund Drive
Methodist Memory: Pageantry and Pilgrimages
Early Twentieth Century American Pageantry
The Wayfarer: Methodist Missionary Theater
Staging Domestic and Foreign Missions
Pilgrimages to Methodist Shrines
Visiting the Shrine of John Stewart
Chapter 2: Missionary Cinema: A Kaleidoscope of the World
Modern Methodist Technologies
Silent Film and the Methodist Episcopal Church
Big Screen Films, the War, and Methodist Missions
Ethnographic Films and Methodist Missionaries
Chapter 3: Creating World Patriots: Methodist Women and Missions
Methodist Missionary Societies for Women
Methodist Women as Homemakers for Jesus
Viewing Homes and Homemakers
Raising “Custodians of the Future”
Displaying Ideal Methodist Women
World Patriots for Foreign Missions
Viewing Temperance and the WCTU
Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party
Methodist Women and the Foreign Home
Displaying Jennie: A “Converted Alaskan Girl:
Displaying Foreign Homes at the Fair
Chapter 4: The Great Christian Army of the World: Methodist Men, Masculinity, and World Missions
The Origins of Protestant Muscular Christianity
American Methodist Men and Gender Anxieties
Fraternal Societies: Calling More Methodist Men
The Minute Men of American Methodism
The Centenary Cadets
Concluding Reflections: After the Fair

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