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Francis Edward Clark Edit Profile


Francis Edward Clark was an American clergyman.


He was born on September 12, 1851 in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada.

He was the son of Charles C. Symmes, but took the name of an uncle, the Rev. W.

Clark, by whom he was adopted after his father's death in 1853.


He received his higher education at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1873, and Andover Theological Seminary, where he completed his training three years later.


On 2 February 1881, he founded in Portland, the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, which, beginning as a small society in a single New England church, developed into a great interdenominational organization, which in 1908 had 70, 761 societies and more than 3, 500, 000 members scattered throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, India, Japan and China. After 1887, he devoted his time entirely to the extension of this work, and was president of the United Societies of Christian Endeavor and of the World's Christian Endeavor Union, and editor of the Christian Endeavor World (originally The Golden Rule).

Also, he famously visited the Arcot Mission in India.

His home at 379 Central Street in Auburndale, Massachusetts is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Accompanied by his young wife, Harriet Abbott, he then accepted the pastorate of Williston Congregational Church in Portland, Me. , where on Feb. 2, 1881, he organized his group of young people into the first society of Christian Endeavor, in the belief that young people should be trained in Christian living in an organization which could observe their special problems. Many other societies worldwide were soon organized after the Williston pattern, and Dr. Clark was persuaded to give his entire time to youth work.