Episode 2 - Good Will

RIchard and his friends from MAPC, forming a pyramid on the beach.
Richard and his friends from Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, having fun on the beach

People popped up in Richard’s life along the way and gave him direction. Call this vocation, good will, or “breaking the spell”—it altered the course of his life. When Mrs. Masek, a neighbor in the tenement building where Richard lived, recommended Good Will Sunday School, little did Richard or his mother Henrietta know it would open up the world to him.

Good Will Sunday School was part of the outreach mission of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church to the families living in the tenements on Manhattan’s East Side. The archivists at the Presbyterian Historical Society located the church bulletin from May 19, 1939, when Richard was nine years old. It includes a sermon by the pastor, Dr. George Buttrick, recounting 100 years of history of the church. Several of the people who figured largely in Richard’s childhood are noted:

“When Dr. Coffin came, the railroad tracks still ruled Park Avenue. He and Miss Weir and Mr. W.W. Hall, the latter still serving devotedly in our Goodwill Branch as well as on the Session, followed moving vans around this neighborhood in quest of new members. Mr. R.E. Lewis came as a lay leader in 1911 serving this church loyally until his death last fall. Miss Harriet Andrus came about the same time: As we watch her present energy we find ourselves trying to recon how fast she traveled when she first joined our staff.”


Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church history https://www.mapc.com/about-mapc/history/

Presbyterian Historical Society https://www.history.pcusa.org/

Music Credit

“Savanna” by Xylo-Ziko https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Xylo-Ziko/


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