Grand Rapids Junior Chamber's Creed

The Creed has prevailed through the years and continues to be the covenant that holds the organization together.

We Believe

That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the Brotherhood of Man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That earth’s great treasure lies in human personality;
And that service to humanity is the best work of life.
– C.W. Brownfield

History of the Creed

The Junior Chamber’s Creed was written by C. William Brownfield in 1946 in Milwaukee, WI, the site of that year’s United States Chamber National Convention. Attendees that year came from the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, and the Phillipine Islands. The Creed was later adopted by both the United States Junior Chamber and Junior Chamber International. This simple statement of beliefs unites Junior Chambers around the world in a bond of friendship and purpose, and these 65 words have become the third most important document in the lives of many, many people worldwide.

C.W. Brownfield

Past President of the Ohio Junior Chamber and National Vice President of the United States Junior Chamber C. William Brownfield realized at this convention in 1946 that the organization did not have a Creed. He was inspired by the devotion of Junior Chamber members, “to the purpose of serving mankind in a thousand different ways, right down at the grass roots where freedom lives or dies.” Brownfield saw the Junior Chamber as “the potential for a new force in the world, one capable of changing the balance between victory or defeat for our chosen way of life in a time of crisis.”

The actual writing of the Creed took place in July 1946 during a drive from Brownfield’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio, to his coal mine in New Lexington, a journey of about 75 minutes. He started that journey with a firm conviction in his mind to work on the Creed. It was during that trip that the following words came to mind and were put on paper:

That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations.
Economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise. Government should be of laws, rather than of men. Earth’s great treasure lies in human personality. Service to humanity is the best work of life.

In 1950 the first line, “We believe that faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life,” was added.

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