Stelze, Charles

Stelze, Charles

(1869–1941) Protestant clergyman, reformer; born in New York City. The son of poor immigrant Germans, he grew up in tenements and took his first sweatshop job at age eight. Ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1900, he worked in inner city missions in Minneapolis, New York City, and St. Louis. From 1906 to 1913 he headed the Presbyterians' social gospel arm, the Department of Church and Labor. His book, Christianity's Storm Center: A Study of the Modern City (1907), called for aggressive evangelism in working-class districts. From 1913 until the end of his life he was a free-lance publicist for religious and social causes, including temperance.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.