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Eugene Carson Blake

1906- . Ecumenical leader. Born in St. Louis and educated at Princeton and Edinburgh, he taught for a time in India, then in 1932 began a successful career as a pastor until 1951, when he was appointed stated clerk of the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA. In 1966 he became general secretary of the World Council of Churches,* which post he held until his retirement in 1972, after which he engaged in lecturing and preaching. The holder of several outstanding awards, Blake became famous for a sermon delivered in 1960 at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco, at the invitation of Bishop James Pike,* in which he suggested a union of the Methodist, United Church of Christ, Protestant Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches. Other denominations have since expressed interest in the venture, and annual meetings are held, but the movement has to date produced no genuine organic union. Blake's writings include The Church in the Next Decade (1966).