THE MINISTER by Charles Mercer


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A hymnal of hosannahs here for the Protestant dis-Establishment. For this is about the new breed of minister who fights for the right by leaning Left, exchanges philosophy for pulpit polemics and who usually ends up in jail somewhere en route to the New Jerusalem. Martin Judson, once ""the preacher's crafty son,"" is now the congregation's delight, until he starts hanging out with the Rabbi down the block and suggests that Negroes ought to be allowed official membership. Disgusted he quits the ministry and goes to work for a Foundation that lands him in Korea during the war where, after a series of adventures, he ends up co-heading a relief program with a Catholic priest. Back in the States he resumes preaching in a monstrous slum area church; in the meantime his daughter Kathy is beaten up as a freedom rider down South along with her future fiance, a very hip young reverend. And this goes into their later life together with husband Dave eventually rebelling against the organized Church. Replete with hypocritical deacons and a syndrome that has exchanged prophet for profit, this will come as a not-so-startling revelation for, presumably, a wide audience.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1969
Publisher: Putnam