Saturday, August 27, 2011

Confirmed: Morton Smith Couldn't Have Attended the Academy of the New Church at Bryn Athyn As a Boy if His Parents Were Not Swedenborgian

The name (Morton Smith) does not ring any bells with me personally, nor with my older brother who happened to be visiting this weekend and attended the Academy of the New Church about that time (40's and 50's). However, I have access to some records and I'm willing to poke around a bit and ask some of the older members if they remember anything.

A complicating factor is that the Swedenborgian church in the US has three distinct organizations. The two largest are the "General Convention" and the "General Church." The Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn is run by the General Church, and while it is true that in the 40's and 50's it was rare to have non-members attend, the policies did allow for members of sister organizations to attend. So, if M. Smith was a member of, or associated with General Convention it would be
quite likely that he would be interested in and able to enrol at the Academy.

I have access to the official baptism records of the General Church, but not of the General Convention. If I do not find any records at least you will have narrowed the search.

Jim Cooper
Bishop's Representative to Canada
Pastor, Olivet Church
Principal, Olivet New Church School

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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