Fire and Blackstone Author:John R Fry The Reverend John Fry has been accused of acts that make Fagan sound like an amateur. This is his side of the story, told in print for the first time. Senator McClellan won't like it; nor will Mayor Daley and the Chicago police. — Fry, a white Presbyterian minister, who came to national attention in 1968 when he was attacked before a Senate com... more »mittee investigating the use of OEO funds to 'pay off' street gang leaders, charges that his efforts to bring peace and progress to Chicago's black ghetto have been shattered by official stupidity, public apathy, and the spiritual poverty that pervades the church today. His accusers in turn claim that Fry encouraged lawlessness, permitted sex and pot parties and the storage of guns on church premises.
By the time the public furor hit TV screens, Fry was already known for his work with a 4,000 memeber black gang, the 'Blackstone Rangers'. They had been terrorizing the neighborhood. Fry befriended them, and helped them - so he argues - to become a force for peace.
This collection of non-semons-uncompromising in vision and restless in style - presents a blow by blow description of the kind of battle for survival that any inner city congregation worth its salt must fight these days against an uncomprehending and even hostile environment.
John Fry attended Colgate University and Union Theological Seminary. He has served churches in Spring Valley, New York and Cincinnati, Ohio. Fry was editor of Crossroads and Presbyterian Life, and is the author of a Hard Look at the Christian Education of Adults and the The Immobilized Christian.« less