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Negroes, newly emancipated, migrated to Kansas from the South, and were helped in adjusting themselves to their new home by Presbyterian and Congregationalist ministers. In addition to the missions and churches organized by these workers, the Negroes independently established Methodist and Baptist churches.

The temperance issue and the fight for prohibition profoundly affected the Kansas churches from the close of the Civil War to the present day. Church organizations, especially those affiliated with the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian faiths, had joined forces with temperance workers, shortly after the Territory was opened for settlement. At its first meeting, in 1861, the members of the Christian Temperance Union resolved:

"That we look to the churches of our State for earnest cooperation in the work of temperance.

"That we invite and expect all ministers of the gospel to actively support our cause and hope that in every part of the State they will take immediate steps to organize auxiliary societies."

Kansas churches accepted the invitation, and many were active in the campaign for a prohibition amendment to the State constitution. In 1879, when the amendment passed both houses of the legislature, a great mass meeting was held in Topeka at which, according to contemporary accounts, "pastors of the various churches were present and took active part in the discussion of the best means of bringing prohibition to the State." The amendment was ratified in the general election of 1880, with great rejoicing in the churches throughout the State.

Temperance was the opening wedge for a general cleaning up of the boisterous, wide-open "cow towns" of the period. Church members especially women were the shock troops that drove out gamblers and other undesirable elements, and intemperance was only one of the evils against which the crusade was waged.

Since then the churches have been the leaders in prohibition activities. When the State legislature submitted a repeal amendment to the voters at the general election of 1934, it was due to church efforts that the dry organizations succeeded in stemming the tide of anti-prohibition sentiment in Kansas.

According to the United States Census (Religious Bodies: 1926) there were 4,530 church organizations in Kansas. Of these, 1,242 were urban and 3,288 rural. Church membership totaled 747,078, divided almost equally between urban and rural organizations. The three leading denominations with their membership were Methodist Episcopal, 177,165 (all Methodist bodies, 190,894; Roman Catholic, 171,178; Disciples of Christ, 77,409. Membership in Baptist bodies numbered 70,838, in Presbyterian, 56,667 and in Lutheran, 53,751. Membership in Protestant Episcopal churches numbered 9,623, and in Jewish congregations approximately 5,000. Of the total church membership, 28,292 were Negro communicants, including 15,357 Baptists and 10,069 Methodists, with the remainder divided among a score of other denominations. The Negroes supported 328 churches, of which 213 were urban and 115 rural.

The number of church organizations decreased between 1906 and 1926. This was due, probably, to the abandonment of some rural churches when roads improved and the automobile came into general use, and also to the tendency toward consolidation of churches. During the same twenty year period there was an increase of 272,442 in total church membership.