The Triple Tradition - Chapter 4 -- By: Ross Howlett McLaren
EmJ 6:1 (Sum 97) p. 129
The Triple Tradition - Chapter 4
The Origin and Development of the Open Brethren in North America
The Interfacing Process Concludes
Cooperation and Construction
The changed alliances were everywhere reflected by the 1930s. Alfred Mace, the man who forced the Grant division and who was himself by 1906 outside the Exclusive circles, was ministering freely in the Open Assemblies in the United States since at least 1916. It was then that Thomas Bruce Gilbert, the founder of a number of assemblies and of the Annual Workers’ Conference, entered the ministry under his preaching.2 By 1933 Mace, Harold St. John, and some Open Brethren were holding conferences together on the subject of church truth.3 It
EmJ 6:1 (Sum 97) p. 130
was clear that Mace, while having changed camps, always cherished his early association with Darby, Kelly, and Mackintosh, speaking often of them.4
Harold St. John also had been raised in the Exclusive Assemblies. During the period of the ‘20s and ‘30s he, too, moved freely in the Open Assemblies.5 Toward the end of his life in 1957, he wrote that he had moved in and out among the various groups of Brethren for sixty-three years, “never recognizing any difference of doctrine of any importance between ‘open’ or ‘exclusive.’”6
When Alfred P. Gibbs wrote his popular Scriptural Principles Of Gathering: Or, Why I Meet Among Those Known As Brethren, John Bloore penned the 1935 preface and Walterick published it. And when John Smart wrote his Following The Pattern Through The Centuries in 1939, Alfred Mace wrote the foreword for it.
August Van Ryn, who had been laboring for years as a missionary in the Bahamas for the Grant Brethren, returned to settle in Michigan in the early 1930s. In February 1932 he began sending out an expository newsletter to five hundred people. These letters were printed together in two volumes and issued by Walterick Publishing Company.7
Bloore, McCandless, the Loizeauxes, and other Grants joined with Open Brethren in ministering at various Bible conferences from the early 1930s onward. Greenwood Hills Bible Conference was one of those,8 as was the Guelph Summer Bible School.
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