Dr. Tyng, Jr.s Church, Madison Avenue, Recent York, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views” by Unknown – Original source: Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. Because of Alexander Perry Scott for assist in getting our images right.

On October 30, 1878, the “First American Bible and Prophecy Conference” commenced at 10 AM at Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Despite driving rain, a big crowd turned out for the national conference on the church on Madison Avenue, which inaugurated a pattern of Bible conferences for the subsequent 100 years.

The primary day was opened with an address from Reverend Stephen H. Tyng. Sr., celebrated rector of St. George’s Church. The theme of the conference was “Christ’s Coming: Is it Personal and Visible?” This conference marked the start of national visibility for the “prophecy movement” that united churches of all denominations. The conference included many outstanding leaders from the Episcopal, Reformed Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, and other denominations.

Rev. Tyng, Sr.’s was too in poor health on the primary day to offer his address in person, so his son, pastor of the Church of the Holy Trinity, gave his father’s opening address. He read, “The longer term glorious coming of Jesus is the very lifetime of the hopes, the inheritance of His people…Living in Christ, looking forward to the promised coming of Christ, and to an everlasting dwelling with Christ, have made up the character, the enjoyment and the hope of true believers in all ages..with equal certainty in our day.” Rev. Tyng, Sr. was in a position to attend subsequent days of the conference.

The reporter was puzzled that such a big audience paid such eager and patient attention to long, and sometimes technical presentations on the Bible and theology. The reporter exclaimed, “There was even a big attentive crowd of “ladies” listening to “the learned discussions.” He seemed slightly out of touch with the activist Christian women of his age.

There was also a big emphasis on the expectation that Israel can be re-gathered as a nation in Palestine. The Tribune reported that “the warmest expressions of approval got here in response to Bishop W.H. Nicholson of Philadelphia’s address, “The Gathering of Israel.” Nicholson said that the brand new Israel was even then being prepared under the protectorate of the English in “the Holy Land” and can be aided by further miraculous events. The bishop recounted the history of the persecutions of the Jews.

The Recent York Tribune, October 31, 1878, page 1.
“Retro Flashes” are Journey’s quick takes on moments of history which have made Recent York City what it’s, what Recent Yorkers are, and, perhaps, what it can be.

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