The American Church that Might Have Been
A History of the Consultation on Church Union
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"This book is an important contribution to continuing efforts to heal a broken church, that it may be a more effective healing presence in a broken world. More than a historical record of churches engaged for four decades seeking organic unity, it identifies the challenges that continue to divide and cites tangible ways churches can give greater visibility of the church's inherent unity flowing from the baptism all Christians share in common."
--Harold M. Daniels, Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque, NM
"The title of Keith Watkins's important history of COCU not only alludes to the disappointments, resistance, and failures that left the original vision unfulfilled, it also hints at the almost certain impoverishment of the American church that would have ensued if this bold ecumenical journey had never been undertaken."
--John H. Thomas, Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
"Keith Watkins has superbly captured the history of the attempt by the COCU churches to unite in organic union. Although the drafted 'Plan of Union' was not approved by the member denominations, Watkins gives a detailed account of the process that led to the ultimate decision. This book is one of the best in the ecumenical movement."
--W. Clyde Williams, former Associate General Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union, Atlanta, GA
"Today we can hardly remember that as COCU launched, Protestant church members could not share communion. Watkins describes how eagerly COCU partners moved toward union and how surprisingly quick was the movement on long-standing, intractable matters of faith, worship, and the sacraments. Then came the Gordian knot of ministry, the difficulty of organizational issues, and the American original sin of racism. What went right, what went wrong with COCU, and what still cries out to be done. A must-read for all who long for visible unity among Christians."
--Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Indianapolis, IN