King's domestic and global activities are mutually intertwined quite visibly in his close cooperation with church leader Eugene Carson Blake
, first in Blake's function as stated clerk (general secretary) of the United Presbyterian Church USA, and later as general secretary of the WCC.
An outstanding board was formed, including Eugene Carson Blake
, who had recently retired as General Secretary of the World Council of Churches.
Visser't Hooft, from the Netherlands (1948-1966); Eugene Carson Blake
, from the United States (1966-1972); Philip Potter, from Dominica, West Indies (1972-1984); Emilio Castro, from Uruguay (1985-1992); and Konrad Raiser, from Germany (1993 to 2003).
To what extent was the WCC's anti-racism programme an expression of the many years of involvement in the civil rights movement, alongside King, by the WCC's second general secretary, Eugene Carson Blake
? The articles also offer insights on the role of the assembly in the host country of Sweden, and the leadership of women in political liturgy at a time when they were largely relegated to a supporting role within the student protest movements.
In October 1967, Eugene Carson Blake, a Presbyterian church leader from the United States who served as the WCC's second general secretary (from 1966 to 1972), had written to King asking him to preach the opening sermon on the assembly theme, "Behold, I make all things new." Blake stressed that the invitation was based not only on King's role as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, but because of King's experiences with racial strife, poverty, and war, in which God's purpose through the church is fully realized.
Both Martin Luther King Jr and Eugene Carson Blake were first and foremost Christians and churchmen who became politicized over time.
Eugene Carson Blake shared much of King's Christian ethics but not his southern roots.
Visser 't Hooft (1948-66); Eugene Carson Blake
(1966-1972); Philip Potter (1972-1984); Emilio Castro (1985-1992); Konrad Raiser (1993-2003); Samuel Kobia (2004-2009); and Olav Fykse Tveit (2010-).
The 4th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC)--held in Uppsala, Sweden, in the culturally charged context of July 1968--was the sole assembly during the 1966 to 1972 tenure of Eugene Carson Blake as its general secretary.
In the end, Eugene Carson Blake emerged as the compromise candidate and was elected in early 1966 to succeed the first general secretary later that year.
In August 1972, the WCC Central Committee elected him to succeed Eugene Carson Blake
as general secretary.
Visser 't Hooft, Eugene Carson Blake
, Philip Potter and Emilio Castro.