A religious order founded by Dr. Francis E. Clark in 1881 in Portland,  Maine.  Still active and on line at


The Christian Endeavor movement as we know it today began in 1881 at the Williston Church in Portland, Maine. Its founder was Dr. Francis E. Clark, D.D., LL.D. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College in 1873 and his Doctor of Devinity at Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 1876. What follows are excerpts written about Christian Endeavor 60 years after its creation.
"Although the movement began in Maine on February 2, 1881, two years later the movement had spanned the country and the first junior C.E. society was established in the First Congregational Church of Berkley, California.
"By 1886 and 1887, half a dozen years after the founding, the first societies were started across the seas in South Africa, India, England, China and Bermuda. A year later were added groups in Japan, France, Turkey, Spain, and Australia, and before 1892 Samoa, Mexico, Chile and Brazil were also on the list.
"The next seven years were filled with additional expansion and growth. Societies quickly came into being in Egypt, Germany, Siam, Guatemala, Italy, Bulgaria, Russia and the Philippines. In fact, the international scope of the movement had become so great by 1895 that the World's Christian Endeavor Union was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts, to include all the societies and members in the world.
"For the first 10 years after the turn of the century the rapid expansion continued with Denmark, Norway, Korea, the Fuji islands and Alaska added in the list. In 1909 a society was formed aboard the Duke of Edinburgh, a royal navy ship, thus beginning the navy branch which, since that time, has grown considerably. During the world war the CE joined with other church and fraternal organizations in working with the soldiers in camps in this country and at the front in France and Belgium.
"Dr. Clark retired from active leadership in the international society in 1925 and was succeeded by Dr. Poling, well known as a minister, platform speaker and leader in young people's activities. At the death of Dr. Clark two years later his mantle of leadership both in this country and abroad fell to Dr. Poling who has carried on the work from that day.
"But essentially, the leaders say, the society remains the same today as it was when it was founded, except for the size of the membership. The primary purpose of interesting young people in themselves and in the church is still the principal aim and endeavor. Although it is nondenominational in work, its principle success has been among the Protestant churches and few are the parishes that today do not have an active and flourishing society.
"One may marvel at the rapid growth of the movement, but his associates credit the untiring work of Dr. Clark and his wife for most of the success. The couple toured in the world for several years in the interest of his brain-child and nation after nation quickly embraced the movement and enlisted hundreds of ministers and church members in it."




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