Evelyn MacFarlane McClusky
By Mark H. Senter III
Leah Evelyn MacFarlane McClusky (1889-1994): Founded the Miracle Book Club in January 1933. The club pioneered parachurch high school ministry in the United States and chartered as many as two thousand chapters around the world by 1939. Miracle Book Club helped shape club ministries of Young Life, Hi-C (High School Crusade), Youth for Christ, and Voice of Christian Youth. (Senter, 1991) Her writings included twenty books, more than sixty articles, and publishing The Conqueror monthly for over fifty years. The Conqueror served as a communication link among Fundamentalist Christians concerned with the youth of the nation and set the stage for the youth for Christ movement of the 1940s. She was a popular speaker at Miracle Book Club state conferences, as well as Bible and youth conferences and camps across the United States.
Early Life and Education
Born on October 10, 1889, Leah Evelyn MacFarlane was the first of four children born to John Norris and Jessie Milster MacFarlane. Her father, who was of Scottish decent, immigrated from Belfast, Ireland to become a Presbyterian minister, serving churches in Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. Her mother came from a family of Presbyterian ministers.
Evelyn flourished in the parsonage. She described her minister-father as "one of God's special jewels in my life"( Silver Cord , unpublished, 33). Little is said about her mother. While life revolved around church activities, young Evelyn enjoyed friendships in her neighborhood developing people skills and associating with affluent families especially during her high school years in Navasota, Texas. Abilities included art and tennis.
Bible memory and exposure to missionaries shaped much of her early value system. As a six year old, Evelyn distributed invitations to evangelistic meetings featuring R.A. Torrey. By age eight, she sensed a call to mission work in China. Yet at age fourteen, disillusioned at her poorly taught Sunday school class, she announced to her father than she would no longer attend. Wisely, Rev. MacFarlane suggested they talk with the Sunday school superintendent who offered her the opportunity to teach a class. She accepted. To her surprise, the class consisted of rowdy boys only a few years younger than she. Yet, this teaching experience was the beginning of a life-long passion for teaching the Bible.
College education was not common for women at the beginning of the twentieth century. Yet determined to follow in the footsteps of her maternal grandmother, Evelyn McClusky enrolled at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri. Already in her mid twenties, McClusky's formal education was limited to two years when she met and married George McClusky, the brother of a classmate. Later she would write of classes taken at Multnomah School of the Bible, but these were probably audited classes for no record exists of having been enrolled at the school.
The courtship between George McClusky and Evelyn MacFarlane was primarily a correspondence affair. Completing his seminary training at McCormick Theological Seminary, George lived in Chicago while Evelyn matriculated at Lindenwood College just north of St. Louis. Like Evelyn, George's father was a Presbyterian minister, but while Evelyn was especially close to her father, George identified more closely with his mother. Shortly after their wedding on June 4, 1918, Evelyn discovered that George was epileptic and that she was expected to become the primary care giver at a time when medication for the condition was very limited. Seizures were frequent.
To complicate matters, George graduated from seminary with only a shadow of the faith he possessed when he enrolled. Despite these two discoveries, Evelyn continued to profess her love and loyalty to her husband as he did for her. His first pastorate was in St. Paul, Minnesota; later he served in Oregon's Timberbelt Circuit. In both locations the little pastor's wife struggled to maintain a Christian witness and care for her ailing husband. Hospitalizations ended both pastorates. During these times, Evelyn returned to her family and found ways to support herself.
During her husband's first hospitalization, Evelyn returned to Texarkana where she had grown up and stayed with an aunt. To support herself she worked for the H.V. Beasley Company selling records. The owner took a special interest in Mrs. McClusky because twenty years before her persistence in inviting him to the R.A. Torrey evangelistic meetings resulted in his conversion. To increase her knowledge of the record industry, he sent her to Camden, NJ, to be trained for the educational faculty of the Victor Talking Machine Company. The experience opened a whole new world to the young pastor's wife.
From among a thousand trainees, Evelyn McClusky was chosen to travel as part of Victor's Traveling Educational Team to give lectures on how to listen to and appreciate Victor's recording artists such as Ephrim Zimbalist, John McCormick, and Enrico Caruso. For the next six months, McClusky worked to market Victor Talking Machine Company products, traveling extensively across the United States. The Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau then invited her to do a three month tour in the western United States.
It appears that these opportunities had a two fold impact on Evelyn McClusky. First they honed communication skills that went back at least to her high school Sunday school teaching and probably before. Secondly, they gave her opportunities to build communication bridges from lectures about music to sharing the love of God.
During this time, Evelyn and George stayed in communication by letter and when it appeared that the young pastor was ready to resume his pastoral duties, Evelyn joined him in Oregon. George's condition, however, deteriorated and fearing her husband to be suicidal, he was once again hospitalized. Evelyn moved to Portland to live with her parents. Her experience with the Victor Talking Machine Company opened an opportunity with Sherman, Clay and Company of San Francisco, to function as Director of Music Education and assist their eighty west coast stores to market music products.
After what appears to be less than three years, the marriage of George and Evelyn McClusky effectively ended. Later, George filed for divorce and within a couple of years passed away, apparently resulting from complications of his condition. Evelyn McClusky thereafter considered herself to be a widow.
In an effort to "gather up the broken strands" of her life following her divorce, Evelyn moved to Riverside, California, and went into partnership with Winifred Hawes selling records and musical instruments. When recording technology began changing, McClusky and Hawes sold their inventory and McClusky tried her hand at advertising in southern California. Surgery for the removal of a growth on her windpipe necessitated a return to her parent's home in Portland, Oregon. Upon regaining her health, Evelyn took a post with the Y.W.C.A. in Portland. She was in her early forties and the ministry for which she would be known across the nation had not yet begun.
In October 1933, Mrs. Farmer, a piano teacher in Portland, asked Evelyn McClusky to teach the Bible to five of her high school girls. Known in Portland from her lectures on music in the high schools and from Y.W.C.A. assignments to teach the Bible for Washington High School, McClusky consented. The class grew rapidly. Boys attended from the second week on. By January 1934, the group exceeded one hundred and had to be housed in the auditorium of the East Side Library.
A name was needed for advertising purposes. Students at Washington High School wanted their Bible club to appear along with other clubs in the yearbook. Mrs. McClusky's recent reading of B. B. Sutcliffe's booklet entitled "The Miracle Book" planted the seed of an idea. The Miracle Book Club (MBC) was born. Soon after, students requested that colors, motto, and ensign be chosen in order for the Miracle Book Club to be comparable to the other clubs in the school's annual. Later these aspects of the Miracle Book Club lore were viewed as quaint, but in 1934 they played a role in establishing MBC as a player in the high school culture.
Students from other high schools heard of the new club and soon six other Miracle Book Clubs dotted the educational landscape of Portland. Unlike Christian Endeavor or denominational youth societies, MBCs were public school based. Unlike the Y.M.C.A. or Y.W.C.A., MBCs were not especially interested in the balanced life illustrated in the organizations's triangle - body, mind and spirit. Christian spirit and mind were the primary emphasis.
Like the Sunday school and Society of Christian Endeavor before it, word of the clubs success spread by means of coverage in a national publication. An article about the Miracle Book Club appeared in a June edition of The Sunday School Times in 1935. Mrs. McClusky's storytelling skills caught the editor's eye and two articles focused on personal evangelism appeared soon after. The following May, another article about Miracle Book Club appeared with the editor's comment:
The Sunday School Times heartily commends to those in charge of young people's conferences and summer camps that they secure, if possible, the presence and message of Mrs. Evelyn McClusky, whose work among young people in our schools, through the Miracle Book Club, has been exceptionally used of God. Last summer the Times published an article about the Miracle Book Club when there were only six chapters. There are now, as a result, more than one hundred chapters. (May 9, 1936, p. 327)
The following Fall a column entitled, "Your Class of Girls" began a year long run that further increased the club's visibility. An editor's note introducing Mrs. McClusky on the first column described the rapid growth of the Club. "The Miracle Book Clubs, a movement for Bible study by young people … is now reaching most of North America and more than fifty foreign countries"(September 19, 1936, p. 617).
To link the growing network of Miracle Book Clubs (now called chapters; one club; many chapters), Mrs. McClusky began publishing a monthly periodical entitled The Conqueror , a shortened form of the club verse, "We are more than conquerors through him that loved us"(Romans 8:37). The publication started as a newsletter for the purpose of assisting chapter leaders to teach the "miracle book" in 1934 but quickly expanded into a communication organ for the fledgling movement.
The publication of Torch and Sword , a manual describing how Miracle Book Club chapters operated, further boosted the number of chapters registered with Mrs. McClusky's office. In 1937, The Sunday School Times placed the number of chapters at 1,000 though an analysis of reports in The Conqueror suggest a far more modest number. (Senter, Spring 1991) The movement peaked just before the beginning of World War II but many of those engaged in Miracle Book Club chapters went on to provide leadership in the youth for Christ movement during and following the war.
In reality the impact upon high school students of McClusky's Miracle Book Club lasted less than ten years. When Jim Rayburn and theological students at Dallas Theological Seminary discovered they could reach a wider cross section of high school students by modifying the Miracle Book Club system, making it more relational and less lecture oriented, a transition to a second generation of parachurch youth ministry began evolving. Though Mrs. McClusky felt betrayed by the process, campus based youth evangelism had begun engaging a new generation of what would come to be called "teenagers."
In Kansas City during the early 1940s, Al Metsker, founder of the local Youth for Christ rally, and Jack Hamilton, future father of the Youth for Christ International Bible Club program, led Miracle Book Club, Missouri #1. Metsker served as president while Hamilton, stationed at nearby Columbia Air Force Base, identified himself as having been vice president of McClusky's first club in Portland, Oregon, and had "stolen some of (McClusky's) stuff" to be used in Kansas City. ( The Conqueror , July 1941, p. 251; April 1942, p. 127) Metsker cast a vision of a Bible Club in every Kansas City high school. When Metsker founded Kansas City YFC in 1943, Miracle Book Club provided a formative influence for the club program that quickly followed the rallies. It was from the Kansas City model that Hamilton later established the national club program for Youth for Christ International (Senter, 1992, p. 125).
In Chicago about the same time, public school teachers associated with Christian Teachers' Fellowship wanted to start a Bible club program for their students. The Miracle Book Club was chosen and with the help of students from Wheaton College and Moody Bible Institute, chapters were begun throughout the city. By 1943 the ministry outgrew Mrs. McClusky's loosely structured organization and using an idea brought by C. Stacey Woods from Canada, founded the Hi-C (High School Crusade) in city and suburban high schools. Later, Bill Gothard, Jr. would direct the Hi C program (Senter, 1992, pp. 134-135).
Evelyn McClusky led the Miracle Book Club movement through a continuous flow of articles, primarily published in The Conqueror , and speaking engagements that used personal illustrations of God's working to illustrate passages of scripture. The organizational structure included national and state officers but the process of selecting these officers was rather informal. The international headquarters moved with Mrs. McClusky from Portland, Oregon to Oakland, California, back to Portland and finally settled in Atlanta, Georgia. Full-time staffs were rare at any level. Judging from the names of teachers and state officers cited in The Conqueror , the vast majority were women.
To many people, the Miracle Book Club appeared to be a club for girls. The columns Mrs. McClusky wrote in The Sunday School Times , her style of writing and speaking, as well as the nearly three to one ratio of women to men teachers reinforced the impression. Yet many men who would later champion parachurch club programs were either Miracle Book Club teachers or officers.
Because Mrs. McClusky was spending so much time traveling and speaking in the East, Miracle Book Club board members suggested she move from Portland to a place more central to her ministry. So in 1940, she moved the international headquarters to Atlanta in order to be closer to her strongest constituencies located along the East coast. There, in recognition of her ministry, she received the key to the city of Atlanta from Mayor Roy LeCraw.
In the years that followed, speaking and writing occupied most of her time. As Miracle Book Clubers aged, many retained their connection with Mrs. McClusky's ministry. Some continued their ministries to high school students but most preferred to benefit from the MBC founder through her speaking and writings. Mrs. McClusky modeled biblical exposition woven with well crafted stories to illustrate the truths being presented. Her visibility as a featured speaker at Bible conferences from Mt. Hermon, California to Keswick, New Jersey to Ben Lippen, North Carolina, as well as her appearances at local MBC rallies and area or state conferences, portrayed for evangelical women an acceptable channel for ministry.Eclipsed by the youth for Christ movement in the 1940s, Mrs. McClusky's ministry changed. A new contingent of women in Georgia and Tennessee adopted the little lady as their Bible teacher and spiritual mentor. Gifts from these women along with royalties from her writings and donations from loyal Miracle Book Club alumni sustained Evelyn McClusky until her death on February 10, 1994.
Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee, became a focal point of her interests and ministry in her later year as she frequently visited the campus and spoke in chapel. On February 6, 1984, an honorary membership in the Alumni Association was conferred upon their loyal friend by President Theodore C. Mercer. Just prior to her death, all of her papers and published materials were presented to Bryan College. Unfortunately, all but two books were destroyed in a fire at the college in 2000.
Contributions to Christian Education
Evelyn McClusky's contribution to Christian education in the twentieth century might appear to some to be an accident. She was the right person in the right place at the right time to begin the first national parachurch high school ministry. The Society for Christian Endeavor and its denominational counterparts were tied to mainline denominational churches whose commitment to the "miracle book" was waning. During the depression years, high schools with their extra curricular activities replaced both the church and the work place as the venue of choice for adolescents. Into this vacuum boldly moved a little lady whose training in public communication came from the same record industry that would create grief for parents later in the century. The Miracle Book Club was the first national parachurch high school youth ministry. Improving on what McClusky's organization had begun, virtually all evangelical parachurch ministries followed in her tiny shoes.
Charles G. Trumbell, editor of The Sunday School Times , championed both the speaking ministry of Mrs. McClusky and the movement she founded. The two met at "Victorious Life Conference" in Portland Oregon during the summer of 1934. Introducing an article on the impact Miracle Book Club was having on high school youth written in mid 1935, Trumbell commented editorially:
In these days when unbelief and sin are so rampant among young people, it is encouraging to read of this sound Christian movement in the West. The Miracle Book Clubs were organized under the leadership of a consecrated young woman, whom God has used in a remarkable way among high school boys and girls. She understands them and loves them … (June 29, 1935, p. 432)
A year later, The Sunday School Times updated its readership on the progress of the Miracle Book Club and Trumbell commented:
The Sunday School Times heartily commends to those in charge of young people's conferences and summer camps that they secure, if possible, the presence and message of Mrs. Evelyn M. McClusky, whose work among young people in our schools, through the Miracle Book Club, has been exceptionally used of God. (May 9, 1936, p. 327)
Trumbell respected Mrs. McClusky's writing ability. Through the following year, he published a column written by Mrs. McClusky entitled "Your Class of Girls". Then introducing a story about a Miracle Book Club chapter in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1939, Trumbell continued his praise of the movement. He speaks of:
… a remarkable story of a new branch of the Miracle Book Club, which is doing such valuable work among high school and college students in many parts of the United States. By means of the many branches of the Club, thousands of attractively printed leaflets and Scripture portions have been distributed among students, and many have been won to Christ. (July 8, 1939, p. 459)
Undoubtedly, it was Charles G. Trumbell enthusiastic support of the Miracle Book Club and Evelyn McClusky's speaking and writing that spread the word of new club movement. Other youth ministry innovations appeared in the pages of The Sunday School Times during the late 1930s but none received the consistent visibility enjoyed by Mrs. McClusky and the Miracle Book Club.
Not everyone was as enamored with Mrs. McClusky style of ministry as was Charles Trumbell. When Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life, became the Texas State Director of the Miracle Book Club, his initial response was similar to Trumbell's. In an undated prayer and fund raising letter written on Young Life Campaign stationary, James Jim" Rayburn is listed as Texas Director of the Miracle Clubs (sic). In the letter apparently written in 1940, Rayburn described his relationship to the Miracle Book Club:
On April 20th I was asked to be the (Texas) State Director of the Miracle Book Club, which in the words of its founder is "A faith mission" - to establish the Faith among high school and college young people.
For years I had been teaching chapters of the Club in and near Dallas. (Most of you know of the Gainesville work where the chapter grew from about a dozen to 170 in about six months and where God wonderfully saved many of those high school young people during that time.) He had indicated in many ways that Miracle Book Club was a great way to reach young people for Christ - the best way that I knew … In addition to this work and in close connection with it we are beginning the YOUNG LIFE CAMPAIGN this summer, - a new movement for reaching out with the Gospel of Christ. (Prayer letter from Jim Rayburn (undated); Folder 8, Box 12, Collection 20. Papers of Herbert J. Taylor (hereafter HJT Papers) (Archives of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton, Illinois)
In the months that followed, prayer letters continued to sing the praises of the Miracle Book Club chapters in Texas. Yet behind the scenes another song was being sung. Rayburn and a friend, Ted Benson, engaged in discussions about the future of Young Life with Herbert J. Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Chicago's Club Aluminum. Taylor's Christian Workers Foundation supported Rayburn's ministry. While visiting Taylor in Chicago, Rayburn and Benson raised the possibility of separating from Miracle Book Club for a number of undisclosed reasons. In a letter dated January 29, 1941, Benson put the reasons into writing.
Another nut to crack is the matter of teaching material. As we begin to use outsiders (i.e. non Dallas Theological Seminary men) many of them will not have the advantage of theological study and for them we will need lesson helps. The official MBC material is entirely out of the question. You will remember that when Jim was in Chicago we discussed this. It is prepared by a woman who has a penchant for "lillies and lace" that makes her writing not only feminine but absurd. (Letter from Ted Benson to Herbert J. Taylor; Folder 7, Box 11, Collection 20. HJT Papers.)
Herbert J. Taylor served as an advisor as well as philanthropist to many emerging evangelical ministries. Responding to Benson's letter, Herbert J. Taylor laid the options on the table as he saw them.
I do not question that it would be necessary to provide instructional material for future leaders, but as long as we are affiliated with the Miracle Book Club, it seems to me that we cannot prepare any other materials unless it can come from Miracle Book Club headquarters, or at least that it was approved by them. If we do not entirely approve of the fundamental principles under which the Miracle Book Club operates, or our ideas of methods to secure more outstanding results in the way of saving souls of high school youth for Christ … then it seems to me that we must adjust our ideas … or we must separate the work … (Letter to Ted Benson from Herbert J. Taylor; Folder 7, Box 11, Collection 20. HJT Papers)
A week later Rayburn addressed the implications of the differing approaches to ministry of Miracle Book Club and Young Life. While still referring to the clubs as Miracle Book Clubs, Rayburn admitted, "I well remember all the conversation pertaining to this matter of our contact with Miracle Book Club and I can truthfully say that after many months of earnest prayer and work, it looks very much to me as if we will be forced to leave this movement in the interest of personal freedom for our testimony." (Letter from Jim Rayburn to Herbert J. Taylor, February 6, 1941; Folder 21, Box 70, Collection 20. Papers of HJT.)
By the end of February 1941, Young Life had severed its relationship with the Miracle Book Club. The rigidity of Mrs. McClusky's approach to leadership and the style of the teaching materials for high school youth proved to be insurmountable obstacles to handle for Jim Rayburn and his bevy of theologically trained male leaders. While Young Life retained the Miracle Book Club vision of adults carrying on conversations with students on their own turf, earning a hearing for Jesus Christ, the style and content changed from that time forward.
Both Trumbell and Rayburn were justified in their appraisal of Mrs. McClusky and the movement she birthed. Looking back over a half a century of parachurch youth ministry, however, many of the McClusky innovations seem vital parts of Christian youth ministry. Six contribution are worthy of note.
The most significant contribution Evelyn McClusky made removed the location of youth ministry from the church building and located meeting places either on or near high school campuses. In effect her approach to youth ministry became parachurch. Miracle Book Clubs were neither housed in nor sponsored by local churches. While some churches did sponsor chapters in their buildings, Mrs. McClusky's intent sought to place them in religiously neutral locations. This, she discovered, appealing to students and contributed to their bringing friends to club meetings.
Nearly equal with the new location of youth ministry was The Conqueror , the monthly magazine of the Miracle Book Club. Each edition, especially between 1938 and 1942, chronicled ministry to and by young people. Fundamentalist Christian colleges and publishers advertised. Camps and conferences announced upcoming gatherings. Features told of God's moving among high school and college students. Pages of excerpts from letters reported a grassroots movement of ministry among adolescents. Evelyn McClusky's background in advertising no doubt sharpened her skills in describing her sense of God's moving among the youth of the nation. The magazine helped set the stage for the evangelical youth ministries that would explode onto the scene in the decade after World War II.
A third contribution focused on Mrs. McClusky's style of lesson presentation - lecture. Teachers performed. Students listened. While not as popular today, most large youth groups still include highly illustrated lectures similar to what Miracle Book Club leaders were coached to do, apparently in reaction to the progressive education of the era. Questions and discussion could be used by teachers in private after the meeting. This methodology very closely mirrored that of Jesus in the first century Jewish culture.
One significant implication of this third contribution rests in the idea that an adult was the missionary to the high school campus. While the Society of Christian Endeavor and denominational youth societies placed students in leadership positions, Miracle Book Club used student officers to attract their friends to meetings but the adult teacher delivered the messages.
A fourth contribution to youth ministry was that the invitation by the leader for high school students to make a Christian commitment of some type was down-played. In your face evangelism and long altar calls disappeared. No student was expected to raise his hand or come forward during the meeting. There was no sense that someone was trying to "convert" those in attendance. Students seeking counsel were urged in discreet Presbyterian form to speak to the leader after the chapter meeting. "Conversations for Christ" was the intent of the club.
A fifth contribution was that McClusky encouraged the inviting of "wild, young people" to attend chapter meetings. "MBC is essentially out after the unchurched, unsaved, restless young society folks who would like to know what God has to say," stated the founder, thus the emphasis on the Miracle Book. It was the founder's strong conviction that if these people would hear the Bible taught in a creative manner, they would find their lives fundamentally changed. Old things would pass away; everything would become new. It should be noted, however, that the founder appeared to have been much more successful in reaching unchurched youth than were all but a handful of chapter leaders across the nation.
A final contribution of Mrs. McClusky's approach to youth ministry had to do with leadership. The Bible teachers associated with the movement and the area or state coordinators were predominantly women. In 1938, 67% of the teachers mentioned in letters to the editor of The Conqueror were women. The following year the figure rose to 80% and then dipped to 73% in 1940. While no movement comes close to these figures today, there was a time when women were on the bleeding edge of youth ministry.
- McClusky, E. M. (1921). Music memory in the schools: Suggestions to teachers for correct correlation. San Francisco: Sherman, Clay and Company.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936). Supplied. Findlay, OH: Fundamental Truth Publishers.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937).Black and white. Richmond, CA: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937). Darda. Oakland, CA: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937). Torch and sword. Oakland, CA: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1939). His out-stretched arms. Oakland, CA: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (ca. 1942). Armoured. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1944). Man among the Myrtle trees. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1954). Escape. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1961). Branches of peace. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1968). Behold your God. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1971).Grapes for glory. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1973). Come home, Mrs. Peterson. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (ca. 1974). God's silver trays. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1977). Where? Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (ca. 1987). Three miraculous bodies. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1998). Silver cord. Unpublished manuscript.
- McClusky, E. M. (n.d.). Guiding lights on the airport of time. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (n.d.). Six pictures Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (n.d.). Yellow bowl. Atlanta: Miracle Book Club.
- McClusky, E. M. (1935, July 6). The Ruby of the city dump. The Sunday School Times, 447
- McClusky, E. M. (1935, July 13). The sailor boy in the Greyhound stage. The Sunday SchoolTimes, 459.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, March 28). The red lunch box. The Sunday School Times, 215.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, September 19). Your class of girls: Help! The Sunday School Times, 617.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, September 26). Your class of girls: How may I become a Christian? The Sunday School Times, 631.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, October 3). Your class of girls: How may I win others to Christ? The Sunday School Times, 647.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, October 10). Your class of girls: What Christian love is and does. The Sunday School Times, 667.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, October 17). Your class of girls: Balance is beautiful. The Sunday School Times, 688.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, October 24). Your class of girls: Our weapons. The Sunday School Times, 706.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, October 31). Your class of girls: Taking risks for Christ. The Sunday School Times, 727.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, November 7). Your class of girls: Love slaves speak. The Sunday School Times, 747.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, November 14). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 767.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, November 21). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 784.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, November 28). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 807.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, December 5). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 826.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, December 12). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 848.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, December 19). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 863.
- McClusky, E. M. (1936, December 26). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 879.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, January 2). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 11.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, January 9). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 28.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, January 16). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 44.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, January 23). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 63.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, January 30). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 84.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, February 7). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 101.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, February 14). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 120.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, February 20). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 140.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, February 27). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 155.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, March 6). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 171.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, March 13). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 194.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, March 20). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 211.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, March 27). Your Class of Girls. The Sunday School Times, 225.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, April 3). Why Sally didn't learn to play Bridge. The Sunday School Times, 236.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, April 3). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 245.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, April 10). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 272.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, April 17). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 291.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, April 24). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 307.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, May 1). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 323.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, May 8). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 340.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, May 22). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 379.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, May 29). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 399.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, June 5). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 421.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, June 12). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 435.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, June 19). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 452.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, June 26). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 467.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, July 3). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 484.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, July 10). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 500.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, July 17). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 515.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, July 24). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 532.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, July 31). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 548.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, August 7). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 565.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, August 14). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 581.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, August 21). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 596.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, August 28). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 611.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, September 4). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 627.
- McClusky, E. M. (1937, September 11). Your class of girls. The Sunday School Times, 644.
- McClusky, E. M. (1938, January 15). Patsy's dark lane. The Sunday School Times, 45.
- McClusky, E. M. (1938. January 22). The miracles worked in "Miracle Book Club." The Sunday School Times, 61.
- McClusky, E. M. (1938, February 5). Do you believe it? The Sunday School Times, 100.
- McClusky, E. M. (1938, November 26). The irrepressible Peter has a birthday. The Sunday School Times, 861.
- McClusky, E. M. (1938, December 31). Mary makes the grade. The Sunday School Times, 960.
- McClusky, E. M. (1939, June 3). Young people want victory. The Sunday School Times, 375.
- McClusky, E. M. (1941, February 22). Lost and found. The Sunday School Times, 153.
- McClusky, E. M. (1946, November 2). What would you have said? The Sunday School Times, 992.
- McClusky, E. M. (1959, August). Let's talk about him. Moody Monthly, 53.
- The Conqueror (1934-1989). Published by the Miracle Book Club.
Articles About Evelyn McClusky
- Miracle Book Clubs for Young People. (1936, May 9). The Sunday School Times, 327.
- Winning high school students for Christ. (1935, June 29). The Sunday School Times, 432.
- The Miracle Book Club, (1939, June 10). The Sunday School Times, 407.
- Whitwell, C. B. (1939, July 8). Watermelons and a clubhouse for a Miracle Book Club. The Sunday School Times, 459.
- Miracle Book Club Organization. (1939, November 26). The Sunday School Times, 859.
- Senter, M. H., III. (1990). The youth for Christ movement as an educational agency and its impact upon Protestant churches (pp. 164-180). Dissertation Information Service.
- Senter, M. H., III. (1991, Spring). Mother of the parachurch high school movement in America: A look at the Miracle Book Club and Evelyn McClusky. Christian Education Journal, 73-85.
- Senter, M. H., III. (1991, Winter). Look what you started, Mrs. McClusky. Youthworker, 66-68.
- Senter, M. H., III. (1992). The coming revolution in youth ministry (pp. 123-125). Victor Books.
- Cannister, M. W. (2001). Youth ministry's historical context: The education and evangelization of young people. In Dean, et al. Starting right (pp. 86-87). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Excerpts from Publications
McClusky, E. M. (1937). Torch and sword . Oakland, CA: Miracle Book Club.
"I am weary of the words 'Fundamentalist' and 'Modernist.' The Fundamentalist often has the correct beliefs but incorrect behavior; while the Modernist has correct behavior and incorrect beliefs. Both are to be pitied. If only individuals who wish to be balanced would be balanced in Christ!" (104)"Miracle Book Club(s) … meet in neighborhoods, in homes, either immediately after school or in the evenings. One group has a 'pot luck dinner' every Tuesday evening and then get to studying for the next day's school lessons at the regular hour. Another meets on Friday at 8 p.m., but the great majority meet immediately after school, and the most popular days are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but when you choose the day and the hour, do so in the light of the ones you hope to reach, avoiding the day they have French club or the more flourishing general clubs of the school … MBC is out after the ones who wish to be social lights and who are not interested in churches." (pp. 115-116) "There is no urging of members to attend church, because there are so many pulpits where there is poison, or mere flowery words without power. When a young person is fed with the pure Word of God that person will automatically find the place where he can be nourished on the Lord's day, if such a place is available in his town." (p. 118) "Miracle Book Club definitely invites 'wild young people' to come and hear what God has to say, and invites them to come to a place where they will not be embarrassed, not where someone will try to 'convert' them. We believe that only the Spirit of God can give new life to a sinner, and He does it through the Word of God. The reason so many are being saved, and so gloriously and thoroughly turning from the ways of the world, is because there is no personal pressure on the part of human beings." (p. 117)
McClusky, E. M. (1998). Silver cord . Unpublished manuscript.
" … Miracle Book Club is distinctive in its emphasis on CONVERSATION. Miracle Book Club has four goals with a progressive preparation for Conversation leading to Christ.Until a person has experienced deep spirituality, he is not ready to invite someone else into Christ. Conversation for Christ is not possible until one applies the four goals to a life.Goal 1 - To INVITE INTO CHRIST, the only safe place. John 5:24 … This first goal tells us that we must be aware of the fact that we already have ETERNAL LIFE right now … Goal 2 - To help Born-again ones to realize that CHRIST LIVES in them. Galatians 2:20 … Many a church member does not realize that Christ wishes to live in the Christian - comforting, advising, forgiving, and preparing that person to be on display … Goal 3 - To BE more than Conqueror THROUGH CHRIST. Romans 8:37 … Christ is the one who must do the conquering through directing and empowering us.Goal 4 - To BECOME Conversationalists FOR CHRIST. Psalm 50:23 … How marvelous it is that God not only records our words when we open our mouth in conversation, but he also makes a record of our thoughts." (pp. 168-169)
Mark H. Senter III
Mark H. Senter III, Ph.D., is chair of the Educational Ministries Department and professor of educational ministries at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.