“Monday, Jan, 12 . Mr. Benade, Frank Ballou, Walter C. Childs and myself lunched together today. Organized New Church Club by electing Mr. Benade President, W. C. Childs Secretary, and Frank Ballou Treasurer” (New Church Life 1917, 286).
The lunch described in John Pitcairn’s diary took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Atlantic Garden restaurant on Diamond Street (see photo above). During their lunchtime conversation, a suggestion was made “that those present form an organization, there and then, in order to begin a propaganda by means of the printed page, for a reformatory movement in the New Church” (New Church Life 1911, 189). In order to defray the cost of their proposed publication, John Pitcairn wrote a check for 500 dollars on January 14th, 1874 (see photo above). Their “New Church Club” formally became the Academy of the New Church on June 19th, 1876, but their historic lunch in 1874 came to be viewed as the true founding date of the Academy. (more…)