Bertram Goodhue (1869 - 1924) was a popular American architect who was highly praised for his mastery of the Gothic Revival style of architecture, which won him many of the finest commissions that society had to offer any architect during the high-water mark of the WASP ascendancy.
This article appeared in The Literary Digest just as his design for St. Thomas Church on New York's Fifth Avenue was nearing completion and he shared with the journalist his insights as to how he designs churches:
"Sometimes, of course, the cloistral effect is needed, in a monastery, for instance. And the church must always have solemnity, but not coldness. I have tried in my work to express this quality of invitation, together with sanctity and a degree of magnificence quite undreamed of in my craftsman days."
A short article from 1935 reporting on the near-death experience of a British gardener named John Puckering who insisted that when his heart ceased beating for four and a half minutes during the course of a complicated surgery "his soul slipped away, and joined a heavenly company..."
A second article dealing with the same subject can be read here.
A report from The Literary Digest revealed that only one man out of every nine attended Sunday services with any regularity in 1929. The article quotes one wounded clergymen who predicted doom for the American culture as a whole, and interviewed an assorted number of church-goers of the male variety who offered a number sound reasons to attend weekly services, none of them having anything to do with the Gospels. However 317 out of 320 interviewed all concurred that their participation helps them attain "a sense of the presence of God" in their lives.
Click here to read an article from 1900 about why men dislike going to church.
When W.W. II started, Americans went back to church...
The well-loved Christian author Helen Walker Homan wrote this very charming essay about Saint Peter:
"Saint Peter knows that the very fact that he, of all the Apostles, has been the most frequent subject of jokes by mankind, is only an added proof that he has been the most beloved of mankind."
This is the very succinct response from the Religion Editor at Theodore Roosevelt's magazine, The Outlook when asked for an article on the modern views of the Genesis and how the Sunday school teachers of 1901 might best address the topic. The article has been reduced to the bare bones for the sake of brevity.
"Heresy Hunters are on the war-path again, we are told, their latest attack being directed against Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick...who is charged with rejecting the four great doctrines of Christianity -the virgin birth, the inspiration of scriptures, the atonement of Jesus, and Christ's second coming..."