A Pearl Howard Welshimer Precis

Welshimer portrait, New Living Pulpit

Pearl Howard Welshimer was born in York, Ohio 6 April 1873 and died 16 August 1957 in Canton, Ohio.

Educated at Hiram College (graduated 1897) near Cleveland, Ohio, his ministerial legacy is in Canton, Ohio, where he led First Christian Church to become one of the first true megachurches in the Restoration Movement.

Claude Spencer (An Author Catalog of Disciples of Christ and Related Religious Groups. Canton: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1946. 347-348) lists the following items from P. H. Welshimer’s pen:

A Bible school vision…Cincinnati, Standard, c1909. 123p. (Training for service series)

Concerning the disciples; a brief resume of the movement to restore the New Testament church. Cincinnati, Standard, c1935. 205p.

The dissolution of the United Christian missionary society.  n.p., n.d.

Facts concerning the New Testament church.  Cincinnati, Standard, n.d. 19p. price omitted.  Large Bible on cover. [I blogged this tract some months ago; click here]

——-.  Cincinnati, Standard, n.d. 19p. price omitted. Small Bible on cover.

——-. Cincinnati, Standard, n.d. 19p. price 5c each, 75c per hundred, postpaid.  Large Bible on cover.

——-. Cincinnati, Standard, n.d. price omitted. Closed Bible on cover.

How to build up a Bible school.   Cincinnati, Standard, 1915.

The Lord’s Supper. St. Louis, U. C. M. S., n.d.  6p. folder.

The New Testament church the only community church, address delivered at Winona convention, Saturday, September 3, 1921.  [Cincinnati, Standard] n.d.  12p.

The open membership question, correspondence between A. R. Hamilton and P. H. Welshimer.  Published in the “Christian Standard”, May 31, 1919.  Cincinnati, Standard, [1919]  24p.


A restatement of an old question.  [4]p.

A sermon to quitters. [Cincinnati, Standard, n.d.] 4p. inc. cover.

What church shall I join?  Cincinnati, Christian restoration association, n.d. 7p.

“Why I did not baptize the baby.”  [4]p.

Welshimer’s sermons [with an introduction by E. W. Thornton] Cincinnati, Standard, c1927. 252p.

Among the British churches; The faith of the church in immortality.   (In International convention, 1938, pp. 104-110; 1937, pp. 307-315)

Kingdom builders.  (In Dawson, F. F. ed. The Christian man at work, 1940, v. 2, pp. 71-78)

The remission of sins. (In Meacham, E. J., comp. Training to teach, c1913, pp. 149-151)

The reproach removed. (In Thornton, E. W., ed. Lord’s day worship services, c1930, pp. 191-194)

A sermon to the moral man. (In Moore, W. T., ed. The new living pulpit of the Christian church, 1918, pp. 363-371)

Work your own garden, commencement day address. (In Thornton, E. W., ed. Special sermons for special occasions, 1921, pp. 183-197)

with  WELSHYMER, Mrs. C. C.

Supplemental work used in the junior department of the First Christian church-school, Canton, Phio.  23p.

joint author  see

McFadden, Mrs. R. H. Supplemental lessons, third primary department.

about  see

Moore, W. T. The new living pulpit.

Welshimer, Helen. One of the busiest of men.

To these we can add:

The Great Salvation, Cincinnati, Standard, 1954.

Francis M. Arant, “P. H.”–the Welshimer Story. Cincinnati: The Standard Publishing Foundation, 1958.

James B. North, “Welshimer, Pearl Howard 91873-1957),” Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, 770.

and a few others; see worldcat here: http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3AWelshimer%2C+P.+H.&fq=&dblist=638&start=11&qt=next_page

About First Christian Church where PHW preached 54 years, see the congregation’s website here.  It was was a megachurch built largely on the Sunday School Welshimer led.  For photos of the 1981 fire that destroyed the old First Christian facility pictured below, scroll down here.  During PHW’s ministry First Church became the largest congregation among Christian Churches with over 5,000 members.

Canton Ohio First Christian Church obverse

There are over six columns of entries under his name in the index to Christian Standard and another column and a half in the index to Christian-EvangelistRestoration Herald and Lookout very likely hold many dozen more items.

Last but not least, the library at Milligan College is named in his honor and holds in its archives some of his recorded sermons.


J. W. Monser, The Literature of the Disciples (1906) available online

Tolle lege!


Here we have an early, if not the earliest, attempt at bibliography among Disciples.  DeGroot and Dowling build on Monser, add to his work and supersede him in 1933. In 1946 Claude Spencer wholly surpassed them all.

F. L. Rowe, Cincinnati Publisher

Two items from the 19 December 1911 edition of The Christian Leader and The Way.  The first is an ad for a new-to-me book: Etiquette and Hell.  Of my several research interests one constant is bibliography, specifically exhaustive lists of the publications of McQuiddy Printing/Gospel Advocate Publishing Company and F. L. Rowe/Christian Leader Corp.  Though I’ve paid more attention to McQuiddy and GA than Rowe, I have not pursued either systematically.  In any case this ad gives me a new entry for my list!

Next is a nice list of Rowe’s publications.  Special offer lists like these are a window into publishing, marketing and doctrine.  Look here to see what Rowe publishes and how he incentivizes subscriptions with books and bibles and tracts.  If you subscribe to a church paper you are already a reader; so why not add a book or two to your reading table alongside the Leader and Way?  Look here to see what Fred Rowe thinks should be on his reader’s tables.


Understanding Cane Ridge: Some Suggestions for First Reads

In keeping with the spirit of this occasional series, I present here a few first-reads for inquiry concerning the revival at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in 1801.  This list is in no particular order.  I hope it is helpful; feel free to post additional suggestions in the comments.

1. Anthony L. Dunnavant, Ed. Cane Ridge in Context: Perspectives on Barton W. Stone and the Revival. Nashville: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1992.

2. Paul K. Conkin, Cane Ridge, America’s Pentecost. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.

3. John B. Boles, The Great Revival, Beginnings of the Bible Belt. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1996.   This is a paperback reissue; originally published as The Great Revival, 1787-1805: The Origins of the Southern Evangelical Mind in 1972 by the same press.

4-6. Discipliana 65:3 (Fall 2005) contains papers presented at the Kirkpatrick Seminar at Shaker Village, KY, June 2005.  It was the scholarly journal published by Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, TN, and contains these papers: Rick Nutt, “Controversy in Christ: The Background and Context of Western Frontier Presbyterian Revivalism and the Movements Which Grew Out of It”; Stephen J. Stein, “Taking up the Full Cross: The Shaker Challenge to the Western Christians”; and Thomas H. Olbricht, “Rallied Under the Standard of Heaven.”

7. Lon D. Oliver, A Guide to the Cane Ridge Revival. Lexington Theological Seminary Occasional Studies. Lexington: Lexington Theological Seminary Library 1988.  Oliver did yeoman’s work in producing here an annotated bibliography of 194 entries plus fine excerpts from selected primary sources. Paperback, 54pp.

8. D. Newell Williams, Barton Stone, A Spiritual Biography. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000.  There are earlier biographies (Ware, West…get them if you can), but this is easily accessible and includes information others lack.

9. Bernard A. Weisberger, They Gathered At the River: The Story of the Great Revivalists and Their Impact Upon Religion in America. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1958.

10. Charles A. Johnson, The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion’s Harvest Time. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1955.

11-12. Franklin Reid McGuire, “Cane Ridge Meetinghouse” and D. Newell Williams, “Cane Ridge Revival” in The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.

13. Leigh Eric Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scottish Communions and American Revivals in the Early Modern Period. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.

14. Richard C. Goode, “Floating at Random Between Liberty and Obedience? Backgrounds to the Second Great Awakening’s Emotional Exercises” Discipliana 62:3 (Fall 2002).

15. Leigh Eric Schmidt, “‘A Practical Remembrance’: Cane Ridge in Historical Memory” Discipliana 61:2 (Summer 2001).

16. D. Newell Williams, “Barton Stone in 1804: From Port Tobacco to Cane Ridge” Stone-Campbell Journal 7:2 (Fall 2004).


17. Richard McNemar, The Kentucky Revival is available on Kindle; see http://www.amazon.com/The-Kentucky-Revival-ebook/dp/B0059CJGSQ and on Google Books http://books.google.com/books?id=Vx7f0s4zLXcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false and archive.org: http://archive.org/details/kentuckyrevivalo00mcne

18. Catharine C. Cleveland, The Great Revival in the West, 1797-1805. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1916. Also available on google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=Q4VoMqJ3_dMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=mcnemar,+kentucky+revival&source=bl&ots=am7zQ6y3Nh&sig=t2dZbUaThdLqua9TIvVj397F3Ms&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LBsUUN3AN4TO9QTL9YGgBg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=mcnemar%2C%20kentucky%20revival&f=false

19. C. Leonard Allen, Distant Voice:s Discovering a Forgotten Past for a Changing Church. Abilene: ACU Press, 1993 has a chapter on Communoin Festivals in Kentucky by which he frames Cane Ridge.


TSLA Workshop Materials Available

Just added to the Spoken Word page are one presentation and three handouts from yesterday’s workshop. 


I spent a few in the reading room after the workshop.  I will post sometime this week another installment in the Dorris Research Unanswered Question series.


If you have not already heard about it, check out this article at DisciplesWorld concerning our week at DCHS (hence my absence from the blogosphere).  The article pretty well covers the bases.  Needless to say we have a mess on our hands, but a local company is taking care of it in good order.  I suspect by sometime this week we should be back at a good level of functionality.  My office on the other hand…it may take a couple weeks to get all the stacks of paper back in proper disarray.  Thankfully only a few rather unimportant working files got damp and nothing truly important was damaged at all.


I’m teaching Philippians and Colossians again this quarter at church.  The intro to Col has been up at the Spoken Word page for a few weeks.  I will add the presentation on Phil next week.

Explorations in Stone-Campbell Bibliography, #6: Elders

Several weeks ago someone came to this blog looking for a bibliography on elders.  Here is a very brief list of the major books on the subject as it has been discussed among Churches of Christ, primarily in the 20th century.   No doubt I’ve left off something important; if you think I have, I’d appreciate your comments and additions.  There is considerable periodcal literature on elders, as well as some tracts, but those will have to wait for another post.


J. W. McGarvey, A Treatise on the Eldership.  DeHoff Publications: Murfreesboro, 1962.  (a reprint of the 1870 first edition with a sketch of McGarvey’s life by L. L. Brigance)

Thomas Munnell, The Care of All the Churches. Christian Publishing Company: St. Louis, 1888.

David Lipscomb, Queries and Answers. J. W. Shepherd, ed. McQuiddy Printing Company: Nashville, 1910.

M. M. Davis, The Eldership. Standard Publishing Company: Cincinnati, 1912.

G. C. Brewer, The Model Church. McQuiddy Printing Company: Nashville, 1919. 

M. C. Kurfees, ed. Questions Answered by Lipscomb and Sewell Being a Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, [etc.]. McQuiddy Printing Company: Nashville, 1921.

C. R. Nichol and R. L. Whiteside, Sound Doctrine. vol. 3. Nichol Publishing Company: Clifton, TX, 1923.

Herbert E. Winkler, The Eldership. Williams Printing Company: Nashville, 1950.

L. R. Wilson, Congregational Development. rev. and enlarged. Gospel Advocate Company: Nashville, 1959.

H. E. Phillips, Scriptural Elders and Deacons. Cogdill Foundation Publications: Marion, IN, undated reissue. (copyright 1959).

Cleon Lyles, Bigger Men for Better Churches, rev. and enlarged. Author: Little Rock, 1971 (first edition 1962).

Guy N. Woods, Questions and Answers, Open Forum, Freed-Hardeman College Lectures. Freed-Hardeman College: Henderson, 1976.

Guy N. Woods, Questions and Answers, vol. 2. Gospel Advocate Company: Nashville, 1986.

David Fleer and Charles Siburt, eds. Like a Shepherd Lead Us: Guidance for the Gentle Art of Pastoring. Leafwood Publishers: Abilene, 2006.

David Fleer and Charles Siburt, eds. Good Shepherds: More Guidance for the Gentle Art of Pastoring. Leafwood Publishers: Abilene, 2007.


Tolle lege!