The Niagara Bible Conference And American Fundamentalism -- By: Larry D. Pettegrew
CenQ 20:3 (Fall 1977) p. 1
The Niagara Bible Conference And American Fundamentalism
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College Owatonna, Minnesota
[Part four in a series. This article is a portion of Dr. Pettegrew’s Th.D. disstertation at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, and printed with permission. The dissertation is entitled “The Historical and Theological Contributions of the Niagara Bible Conference to American Fundamentalism.”]
III. The President Of The Niagara Bible Conference
Over the years of its existence more than one hundred men participated in the Niagara Bible Conference as teachers.1 They came from Canada, the United States, England, and other parts of the world as missionaries returned to tell about their fields. They represented almost every evangelical denomination in Protestantism. Some participated only a year or two and others returned year after year to address the Christians gathered together at Niagara.
It would not be difficult, however, to pick out the most important of these men. In the earliest years, James Inglis and George C. Needham were the actual co-founders of the Conference. Another important man, after the Conference began to be held annually, was W.J. Erdman (1834–1923), the secretary of the Conference through the years. Erdman was a graduate
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of Union Theological Seminary and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister though he served some Congregational churches. He pastored Moody’s Chicago Avenue Church, 1875–78; Jamestown, New York, 1878–85; Boston, Massachusetts, 1886–88; and Asheville, North Carolina, 1888–95.2 In addition, Erdman was one of the instigators of Moody Bible Institute3 and a consulting editor on the Scofield Reference Bible.
Another leader was Nathaniel West (1824–1907), an English born Presbyterian scholar. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1846 and 1850, and was graduated from the Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Allegheny in 1852. During 1868–69, West studied in France and Germany. He pastored churches in Cincinnati, Denver, and St. Paul, and was Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Theology in the Danville (Kentucky) Seminary from 1869 to 1874.4 He was the author of several works, the most important being The Thousand Years in Both Testaments.5
William G. Moorehead (1836–1914) was als...
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