Religion: Triumphant Campaign

Some 2,000 church members crowded into the church. The photographers poised their flashlight bulbs. The parson's wife stepped to an oil lamp and held the mortgage contract over the chimney. In less than a minute, one of the tidiest church mortgages in the country (from a banker's viewpoint) was a crisp char of expensive ashes. The First Congregational Church of Los Angeles was free of debt, and the banks and other mortgagors owned $750,000 less of the more than $500,000,000 they now hold in U.S. church mortgages.

The man behind this mortgage burning is the First Congregational's minister, the Rev. James W....

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