Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Moral Re-Armament, "Sing Out" and Up With People

Moral Re-Armament, "Sing Out" and Up With People

A 'Tales from the Morgue' replay

  • Updated

This article originally ran in "Tales from the Morgue" July 25, 2008.

The cultural and educational group Up With People can trace its roots to a song with the same name and a worldwide reform movement called Moral Re-Armament or MRA. The founder of MRA was a Tucson winter visitor named Dr. Frank Buchman.

Buchman was a Pennsylvania pastor who believed that God could rule the world through direct communication with men. That concept and the four absolutes of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, formed the basis of MRA which had no creed or church affiliation. It was founded in the 1938 and was an outgrowth of earlier Buchman organizations called A First Century Christian Fellowship and the Oxford Group.

In 1958, Buchman purchased Eleven Arches, a Catalina Foothills home once owned by Louise Grace. At that time, Tucson became the winter headquarters of MRA. Buchman and his organization had a cadre of well-known and influential followers and his Tucson estate saw many of them come to visit.

Included in the roster of visitors were Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; the Prime Minister of Burma; a senator and head of the Diet in Japan and the niece of the President of Viet Nam. The Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, named Buchman a commander of the Order of the Crown of Iran.

Buchman died in 1961, at the age of 83. The work of MRA continued and it had a new leader, J. Blanton Belk. He called for using the nation’s youth to shape new values. “America is in the crisis of its life,” Belk told local Optimists in 1968. “It can only be overcome in the conscience of each American.” Belk created “Sing Out” groups around the world. One of the songs the youth sang was “Up With People.”

Belk retired from MRA and he incorporated Up With People as a not for profit corporation in 1968. It moved its headquarters to Tucson in 1970. At that time, Belk declared there was no connection between Up With People and the MRA organization.

The fortunes of the two groups were headed in opposite directions. In the states, the Moral Re-Armament movement was foundering. Eleven Arches was for sale and the group’s headquarters building was sold. Up With People thrived and maintained its headquarters here until 1993, when it relocated to Denver.




Three State Trail
of Blood and Terror

$1.99
Kindle
Nook
Exclusive: Free for
Star subscribers

9/22/2017

The Greatest Manhunt in
the History of the Southwest

$1.99
Kindle
Nook
Exclusive: Free for
Star subscribers

10/3/2014







Our Forgotten Past

Exclusive: Free for
Star subscribers

8/15/2014

The Timid Soul's Guide
To Classical Music

$2.99
Kindle
Nook






Treasure Troves & Tales

Exclusive: Free for
Star subscribers

6/10/2014

Lena joins
the team

$0.99
Kindle
Nook




Mama's Santos:
An Arizona Life

$2.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

7/9/2014

Pioneer Hotel Fire

$2.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

7/6/2014




Arizona on the
Frontier of Science

$3.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

7/5/2014

Shootout at the
OK Corral

$2.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

7/7/2014




Bad Girls of Arizona:
Eva Dugan

$0.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

7/10/2014

Bad Girls of Arizona:
Louise Marshall

$0.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

7/8/2014




Bad Girls of Arizona:
Winnie Ruth Judd

$0.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

7/11/2014

Bad Girls of Arizona
All three stories

$2.99
Kindle
Nook






Bad Girls of Arizona:
Eva Dugan

$0.99
Kindle
Nook
Free for
Star subscribers

Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News