“Tempting God”

Posted by Monica Hoel
Rev. David St. Clair shares an interesting bit of insight from a former E&H alumnus that he ran across in The Christian Century.

Many of us know Rev. George R. Stuart’s name because the huge auditorium at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, is named for him. Stuart Auditorium is the spot where all the United Methodist ministers gather annually to conduct the business of Holston Annual Conference. Rev. Stuart graduated from Emory & Henry in 1882, and went on to start Centenary Female College in Cleveland, Tennessee. (You may want to read this really interesting article about Rev. Stuart and his brother Ambrose Stuart who share an interesting connection to Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.)

Another E&H alumnus, Rev. David St. Clair (E&H ’73) noticed Rev. Stuart’s name in an article recently in The Christian Century. According to Rev. St. Clair:

The Christian Century is a leading bi-weekly magazine of the religious press.  An alumnus of Emory & Henry is quoted in this past week’s edition, in a brief article, supplied by the website Patheos and entitled ‘Tempting God,’ The Christian Century records the following:

‘Using a database from the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, Chris Gehrz examined how the churches in 50 American cities responded to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. There were two waves in the spread of that flu, one in early fall and another in the winter, each leading to widespread bans on worship services and other public gatherings. Some churches sponsored outdoor gatherings for their congregations. George R. Stuart, a Methodist evangelist in Alabama, said the pandemic should convince ‘intelligent Christians to trust science’ rather than tempting God ‘to perform a miracle in the preservation of our health.’”
  • Rev. George R. Stuart, E&H Class of 1882

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