Navigation Menu


Austin and Evanston

Austin. Joseph Wesley Mathews ( JWM) was a graduate of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and, from 1952–1956, a professor of Sociology of Religion at Perkins. In 1956 he and his wife Lyn, joined the Christian Faith and Life Community (CFLC) in Austin, TX, where he served as Director of Studies.*

(Doris Hahn, September 2014.)


Research and development was done on practices in the arena of worship and a Contemporary Form of the Daily Office, used at the CFLC in Austin, was adapted and used. Experimentation was done with the use of contemporary poetry and secular language in worship.


Evanston. The concept for an Institute for Ecumenical Studies was established at the meeting of the World Council of Churches in 1954. In 1956, Christian businessmen in Chicago founded the Evanston Institute for Ecumenical Studies and invited Dr. Walter Leibrecht to come from Germany to be the director. “When Dr. Leibrecht returned to Germany in 1962 the Church Federation of Greater Chicago took responsibility for the centre and reorganised it under the name of ‘the Ecumenical Institute’” (History).


* See Mathews, Bishop James K. (2006). Brother Joe; A 20th Century Apostle. Resurgence