Miles Mark Fischer

There was one line in particular that stood out in this week’s readings. On page 465, as Miles Mark Fischer describes holiness and pentecostal churches, he says, “ It would seem, therefore, that some holiness and pentecostal have protested against the ‘exclusively Negro’ and the ‘primarily white’ denominations and have organized, shall I say, ‘Christian churches’?” (Sernett 465). This line reminded me of the discussion we had in class regarding W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington, and the differences in their arguments. As I flipped back to the chapters for that week, the very first line of Reverdy C. Ransom’s chapter seemed to connect to this line: “There should be no race problem in the Christian State.” (Sernett 337). While Miles Mark Fischer’s chapter contained several strongly opinionated statements regarding the alternative religious sects, this idea of non-exclusivity and upholding this important idea is a familiar one. Throughout our recent readings, we have read many accounts of churches that are either quite exclusive or significantly leaning towards one particular group, so to have another chapter that describes groups that move past this tendency is an interesting change.


Another thing that stood out, though, was the seeming incredulity with which Miles Mark Fischer describes these religious sects. For example, he says, “ It will indeed be of value to know those religious organizations which undertake to win the allegiance of Negroes by other than recognized Christian propaganda.” (Sernett 466). This line stood out not only because of the flippant use of the word ‘propaganda’, but also because of the unfeeling tone behind the statement. This same tone is used with surprising frequency throughout the chapter, with words such as ‘cults’ thrown about.

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