"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" Southern Baptist and Roman Catholic Relief Efforts During the Great Depression
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in History - Thesis (MA)
Great Depression, Charity, Relief, Southern Baptist, Roman Catholic, New Deal
Fagan, Alyson Marie, ""Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" Southern Baptist and Roman Catholic Relief Efforts During the Great Depression" (2021). Masters Theses. 794.
Before the Depression commenced, the Church’s role in society was beginning to teeter as various criticisms surfaced in their bodies, as well as from secular America. The churches then began reassessing their interpretation of Scripture in a changing environment, as well as their application of Gospel principles. Within these principles, the idea of providing for the needs of the “least of these” and being the Good Samaritan took on different attributes depending on their denomination as well as their location in America. In providing Christian charity, churches had to determine their ability, and willingness in some cases, to provide tangible needs versus a revival. Southern Baptist Convention saw themselves lacking in the basics to tangibly provide for their congregations, as their groups were predominantly farmers. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church increased exponentially in size as a result of immigration, resulting in an increase in their budget. Their relationship amongst themselves, as well as their ability to win favor with the government to secure funding and support, will quantitatively display their ability to fulfill their Gospel mission.