A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 05, 2015
“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian; sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car”

WIlliam Ashley “Billy Sunday (1862-1935) was a baseball player who became a popular American evangelist in the early 1900s. He said at least as early as 1905:

“Going to church won’t save a man any more than going to a stable makes a man a horse.”

The saying has been popular in many churches, meaning that merely sitting on church on a Sunday does not make one a Christian. “Going to church doesn’t any more make you a Christian than gong to a stable makes you a horse or going to a garage makes you an automobile” was cited in 1915. The “horse/stable” part is now historical and has been replaced by “car/garage.”


Wikiquote: Billy Sunday
William Ashley “Billy” Sunday (November 19, 1862 – November 6, 1935) was an American athlete who, after being a popular outfielder in baseball’s National League during the 1880s, became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Sourced
Going to church on Sunday does not make you a Christian any more than going into a garage makes you an automobile!
. in Press, Radio, Television, Periodicals, Public Relations, and Advertising, As Seen through Institutes and Special Occasions of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism (1967) edited by John Eldridge Drewry.

Going to church don’t make anybody a Christian Any more than taking a wheelbarrow into a garage make it an automobile.
. in: Roger Biles, The human tradition in urban America (2002), p. 128.

29 November 1905, The Evening Gazette (Burlington, IA), “Twenty Nine Confess Their Sins in Public,” pg. 4, col. 4:
Going to church won’t save a man any more than going to a stable makes a man a horse.

Chronicling America
24 January 1906 Mower County Transcript (Lansing, MN), “Sunday at Rochester,” pg. 2, col. 2:
“Going to church doesn;t make a man a Christian any more than going to a stable makes a man a horse.”

15 August 1907, Pela (IA) Chronicle “The Young People” by Rev. Chas. A. Tenny, pg. 7, col. 2:
It may sound a little coarse but the remark bt Evangelist Sunday contains a great truth, “Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going to the barn makes you a horse.”

10 December 1907, Waterloo (IA) Daily Courier, “Spirit of the Iowa Press,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Beyond Dispute.
Oskaloosa Herald: Evangelist Sunday says that “coming into a church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going into a stable makes you a horse.”

8 January 1912, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Evangelist Greeted by Record Crowds,” pg. 8, col. 3:
Going to church will not make you a Christian, any more than going to a stable will make you a horse.
("Hart’s hits” at a Hart-Magann revival meeting.—ed.)

17 September 1914, Fresno (CA) Morning Republican, “Big Meeting Is Well Attended,” pg. 5, col. 4:
“Just being a church member does not make you a Christian any more than being in a barn makes you a horse,” was the statement of the Rev. Mr. Allen at the Evangelistic services last night, being conducted at the corner of Home and Van Ness streets.

15 January 1915, Fort Wayne (IN) Sentinel, “Sme Flashes From Dr. Lyon’s Sermons,” pg. 1, col. 7:
Going to church doesn’t any more make you a Christian than gong to a stable makes you a horse or going to a garage makes you an automobile.
(Dr. Milford H. Lyon—ed.)

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
23 November 1966, Walker County Messenger (LaFayette, GA), “LaFayette High School” by Teresa Thomas, pg, 5-A, col. 4:
Going to church doesnt make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you aa car.

13 June 1970, Seattle (WA) Times, “Night Beat” by John Hinterberger, pg. 1, col. 1:
“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, just like sleeping in a garage doesn’t make you a car.”
(Graffiti.—ed.)

14 January 1978, The Saturday Herald and Leader (Lexington, KY), “Letters,” pg. A8, col. 3:
And going to church doesn;t make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.
(...)
JOHN CRUMP
Lexington

Google Books
Start your trip with a full tank, and other spiritual jump starts
By Ronald Hutchcraft
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books
1996
Pg. 149:
We might say, “Well, I spent years in the church.” Billy Sunday said years ago, “Being in church will not make you a Christian anymore than being in a garage will make you a car.”

Google Books
Knockin’ at Heaven’s Door
By Stephen Hill
Ventura, CA: Regal Books
1999
Pg. 41:
Every Sunday morning, churches from coast to coast are full. But sitting in a church won’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage will make you a car.

Googel Books
More Than a Sunday Faith
By Chris Suitt
Xulon Press (XulonPress.com)
2012
Pg. 24:
There is a common joke that says, “Just because you park yourself in the garage, that doesn’t make you a car!” Just because you go to church, that doesn’t make you a Christian

Google Books
The Art of God:
Reflections on Music, Diversity, and the Beauty in You

By Jimi Calhoun
Eugene, OR: Cascade Books
2015
Pg. 118:
A saying in evangelical circles goes like this: “Attending church will not make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage will make you a car.”

Twitter
Book Quotes
‏@bookqts
“Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car”- Garrison Keillor
11:26 PM - 1 Dec 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, December 05, 2015 • Permalink