The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on September 23, 1955 · Page 7
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 7

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Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Friday, September 23, 1955
Page:
Page 7
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VMDAT, SEPTEMBER M, 1MI BLYTHEVILLK , (ARK.)' COURIER JCEW8 PAGE SEVEN-, Faith Answers th« Phon«: Dial-a-Prayer Religion. Is Spreading Across Nation By WAED CANNEL NEA tUII Cormpondent NEW YORK — (NBA) — Fragment,for philosophers: in time of crisis Americans are reaching for the telephone. In major cities across the nation you can dial a number and hear a brief prayer or in- tpirational message any time. And Americans are dialing the numbers and listening. In New York, a Scarsdale number l> iniwered by the hollow, solemn voice of the Rev. Dr. Robert W. Youngi of the Hitchcock Memorial Preabyterian Church. Hi« 36-second. meiuft answer* 1,900 calls each day. In Cleveland, the voice you hear belond* to the Rev. Earle C-. Hochwald of the East Cleveland congregational Church, in a two-day period, his message of faith answered 10,000 calls. • • • In Baltimore, the number if MT71- berry S-3MO. And the voice is F. W. Stahl, associate general secretary of the YMCA. His phones ring 4,000 times a day. There are other voices, other ci- Uw. The number of dial-a-prayer exchange* is growing. It's a method of ministering old-time religion by automation and it works this way: The telephone company will in- itall an answering machine on any phone . for an extra charge. You limply record your message and place the recording in the machine. You go on about your buslne« and your callers hear your voice and your message. • • • ' TW» to the way y° u nave been hearing weather report*, time signals, ball scores, movie timetables by dialing a listed number. (In Boston, for example, the Audibon Society has long been giving recorded up-to-the-minute news of the bird world to interested callers.) But while calls for time and weather Indicate the busy signals of everyday lift, faith-by-phone sounds a different kind of dial tone. "IW a wistful yearning." accord- Ing to Dr. Youngs of Scarsdale, "for the bread of life." The need It filli in people's lives costa hli church an extra 133 per month. The church will keep on pay- Ing it " long u people keep calling, and Dr. Youngs will record a new meaMge each day. When he started the dlsl-a-pray- CLEVELAND'S REV. HOCHWALD: "Exceeds imagination." SCARSDALE'S DR. YOUNGS: "It's a wistful yearning ..." er system in his area last June his The phone answered 6,000 calls phone Deceived far more calls than I and turned away 16,350 with a busy it does today. But once the curious and the jocular had taken their fun Collie Dog 1$ Catcher LOCUST VALLEY, H. Y. I* — ike many a dog, Rusty, a Collie, fetches her master's evening paper. She does it by sticking her bead out a second-floor window. The paper, neatly rolled and tied with i string, is tossed up to Rusty by a trainman of a passing Long Island Railroad train. She never misses. Rusty's master Henry S. Whitney is a block signal operator. "One time,'! he said, "a. mean trainman threw an entire Sunday paper up. Busty caught It and 500,000th and interviewed the caller. She was a housewife. who called every day for the message. In Cleveland, the Rev. Hochwald's dial-a-prayer system got a bigger response ;thah he had imagined or than the phone company could handle. Emergency crews had to install hew lines, new phones and pair overworked equipment. Said .the Rev. Hochwald: "We know there has been a return to religion but this exceeds what we expected in : our .wildest imagination." with it, the wistful and yearning were left to take it seriously. They number 1,200 on an average day. The dial-for-faith system came to Baltimore last February. In April. P W. Stahl of the YMOA, tooK a 24- hour check of the people who called to hear his voice and messaege. It worked out this way: signal. Between midnight and 8 the morning 2,300 persons called. Within weeks the calls totaled a half-million. 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