This volume of correspondence contains exchanges written between Lloyd Cline Sears (1895-1986) and Pattie Hathaway Armstrong (1899-1977), two influential leaders in early educational efforts of the Churches of Christ. Spanning the years 1915 to 1921, the letters document their writers' romance, but they are more than simply love letters. They also express an educational philosophy and an understanding of Christian purpose as inspired by the Stone-Campbell Movement and held in tension with the intellectual and social ferment of the times. Posts from family members J. N. and Ida Woodson (Harding) Armstrong as well as from Pattie Cobb Harding, wife of James A. Harding, augment those of the principle authors. Their correspondence allows rare access to privately expressed thoughts of men and women attempting to live as Christian educators at the outset of an uncertain and rapidly changing twentieth century. The letters also offer lessons for contemporary American Christians in these even more volatile times. ""This book is a marvelous glimpse into perceptions on Christian liberal arts education in the correspondence of a young couple whose past and future weigh heavily in churches of Christ higher education. Their granddaughter, Elizabeth Parsons the editor, has indefatigably searched to establish the backgrounds for these letters and supply information on all the persons mentioned. The outcome is remarkable."" --Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor emeritus of Religion, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA ""There are few occasions when a book comes along that completely catches you by surprise. Such is the case with The Greatest Work in the World, edited by Elizabeth C. Parsons. . . . What prompted a religious tradition like the contemporary churches of Christ, known for its sectarianism, its sectionalism, and its bias against the labors of the intellect, to engage in a frenzy of educational effort in the first decades of the 20th century? These efforts left remnants of genuine but short-lived schools across the midwest and southwest. These schools valued holiness and liberal education and were known for their counter-cultural embrace of the kingdom of God as lived out in hard scrabble outposts such as Cordell, Oklahoma. What they stood for will surprise you."" --Robert M. Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA ""The letters Elizabeth Parsons has collected and edited reveal much about the relatively unknown worldview of the churches of Christ in the early twentieth century on matters of gender, education, and theology. The Sears's correspondence provides a unique and valuable window into what mattered to a group of people wrestling with the heritage of their faith as they confronted the challenges of the rapidly changing world around them."" --Loretta Hunnicutt, Professor of History, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA ""This volume provides rare insight into the inseparability of religious beliefs and the formation of educational institutions among theologically conservative white southerners a century ago. These fascinating letters, ably edited by Elizabeth Parsons, reveal hidden dimensions of the early churches of Christ--a kingdom-centered mission ethic, countercultural pacifism, support for marital partnership, and commitment to liberal arts education. I recommend this fine book with great enthusiasm."" --Dana L. Robert, Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission, Boston University, Boston, MA Elizabeth C. Parsons is Lecturer in Religion, Culture, and Development at Boston University School of Theology. A direct descendant of the letter writers, she is also author of What Price for Privatization? Cultural Encounter with Development Policy on the Zambian Copperbelt (2010).