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Francis Edward Clark

1851-1927. Father of the Christian Endeavor* movement. Born Francis E. Symmes in Aylmer, Quebec, he was orphaned of both parents before he was eight and was adopted by an uncle, the Rev. E.W. Clark. He prepared for the Congregational ministry; his first pastorate was Williston Church, Portland, Maine, where he increased the membership in two years from fifty to 400. In February 1881 he started the first Christian Endeavor Society. In 1883 he went to Phillips Church, South Boston. By 1887 rapid expansion of Christian Endeavor led him to give it full time as president of the United Society and editor of The Christian Endeavor World. During the next forty years he made five trips around the world for this youth work.