Billy Graham Center

Ephemera of Merrill Dunlop - Collection 50

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. ]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Merrill Dunlop

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

Lists of Audio Tapes, Books, Photographs, and Video Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes
    Video Tapes


Transcript T1 Transcript includes a link to an audio file of the entire interview

Click to visit the exhibit Web page featuring this and other excerpts with transcripts, visuals and audio links.

Transcript T2 Transcript includes a link to an audio file of the entire interview

Transcript T3 Transcript includes a link to an audio file of the entire interview

Brief Description.
Two oral history interviews with Dunlop in which he talks about his association with evangelist Paul Rader, early religious radio programming in Chicago, the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, Youth for Christ, evangelism, and other topics. Interviews were recorded in 1978 and 1978. There are also phonograph records of his music and a video tape of a television program about him.

Collection 50 [April 20, 2007]
Dunlop, Merrill; 1905-2002
Ephemera; 1978-1988
Audio Tapes, Photographs, Video Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.



Merrill Dunlop was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1905. From his teenage years, he had a deep interest in music, both performance and composition. He served as pianist for the churches he attended--Madison Street Bible Church and Moody Tabernacle. After graduating from the Moody Bible Institute, he became director of music at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, then under the leadership of Paul Rader. He worked closely with Rader and Rader's successor, Clarence Erickson, both during the Tabernacle service and on the many radio broadcasts the Tabernacle sponsored in the 1920s and 1930s. It was during his stay at the Tabernacle that Dunlop married his wife Lenore. They had three children: Wayne Leonard, Donna, and David.

Dunlop gradually became involved in crusade evangelism. Besides the nine years he spent with Youth for Christ traveling to South America, Europe, and other continents, he also preached independently and in association with evangelists such as Jimmie Johnson, John Haggai, and Ford Philpot. He was also featured on many Bible conference programs and became staff organist of the Bibletown Conference Center in Florida. He published more than nine volumes of his hymns. Mr. Dunlop died at his home in Oak Park, Illinois on June 15, 2002.

Scope and Content

Photographs contained in this collection include ones of Dunlop, Billy Graham, Luke Rader, Homer Rodeheaver, and T. W. Wilson. The interviews in this collection were recorded on November 21, 1978, and June 1, 1979, at Dunlop's home in Oak Park, Illinois. The topics covered are described in the following indexes. The tapes of the first interview that were used to make the index were played on a Wollansak tape recorder, which makes roughly twelve revolutions per minute at 3-3/4 speed.

Tape T1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape, click to link to the audio file of this tape
00:00 000 Beginning of tape
00:05 001 Introduction
01:50 015 Family background
03:05 027 Education
03:50 034 Beginning of interest in music
04:40 041 Composition of first song
05:25 047 Pianist at Madison Street Bible Church
08:05 071 Conversion
11:40 104 Founding of the Moody Tabernacle
13:10 119 Interior of the Moody Tabernacle
14:55 135 Billy Sunday Campaign of 1918
16:15 148 Sunday's preaching style
17:45 161 Entry into full-time Christian service
20:10 184 Founding of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle
22:25 207 Success of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle
23:35 218 First time meeting with Paul Rader
24:30 227 Admiration for Paul Rader
24:50 230 Rader's reasons for leaving the Moody Tabernacle
26:00 242 Interior of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle
27:40 260 Philosophy of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle; activities at the Tabernacle
28:40 269 Some of the Tabernacle staff members
28:50 270 Richard J. Oliver
29:00 272 Richard W. Oliver
29:45 279 James Nielson
30:15 285 Beginning of the radio ministry on station WHT
32:30 309 Move from WHT to WBBM
33:15 317 Sunday broadcasts
36:05 345 Origins of the call letters WJBT
37:35 361 Weekday broadcasts
38:30 370 Program of the radio broadcasts
40:35 393 Aid to WMBI
41:15 400 Schedule of Sunday broadcasts
42:15 411 Reveille Hour radio program
43:25 424 Financing of the radio programs
44:00 434 Audience response
44:25 436 Size of staff
45:30 447 Memories of the Depression
48:19 480 Effect of the Depression on the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle
49:00 487 Paul Rader's bankruptcy and departure from the Tabernacle
51:35 517 Cost-cutting measures at the Tabernacle
52:35 530 Raising the pastor's salary
53:55 545 Changes in the radio broadcasts
55:20 562 Size of the WJBT audience
57:05 583 Paul Rader at the 1933 Century of Progress Fair
58:35 603 Paul Rader's move to Fort Wayne, Indiana
59:15 611 Paul Rader's subsequent career
60:35 626 Paul Rader's final illness and death
61:40 640 Dunlop's last meetings with Rader
69:30 745 Paul Rader's funeral
70:35 763 Paul Rader's style of preaching
72:15 785 Annual missionary conventions
73:00 796 Formats of the missionary conventions
74:45 824 Rader and Oswald Smith
76:00 844 Locations of the Tabernacle's missionaries
77:00 835 Founding of HCJB in Quito, Ecuador
77:45 869 The Tabernacle's mission board
78:40 882 Beginnings of Paul Rader's missionary journeys
79:15 892 Difficulties of the journeys
79:40 898 Care of the Tabernacle during Rader's absence
79:50 903 Ministry of W. B. Hogg
81:10 924 Length of the missionary journeys
82:25 943 Countries visited during the missionary journeys
82:35 948 R. A. Jaffree and Paul Rader
85:25 996 Paul Rader's food pantry
86:00 1006 Distribution of food to the poor
88:20 1050 Criticism of social work of the Tabernacle
88:40 1055 End of food distribution
89:00 1062 The Tabernacle and the rescue missions
90:00 1081 The Heaven and Home Hour radio program
90:55 1098 Outgrowths of Rader's ministry
91:30 1109 Later history of the Tabernacle
94:19 1171 End of interview

Tape T2 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape, click to link to the audio file of this tape)
00:00 000 Introduction
00:55 012 Albert M. Johnson and Paul Rader
02:40 029 Mrs. Bessie Johnson's Radio Bible Class
04:10 041 Other ministries supported by Johnson
05:25 050 Death Valley Castle and Scotty
07:48 073 Albert Johnson, Paul Rader, and Aimee Semple McPherson
09:00 085 Impressions of McPherson
12:10 115 Comparison of McPherson's and Rader's preaching styles
13:30 128 Tabernacles affiliated with Paul Rader
15:25 145 Datsun Rader
17:15 163 List of tabernacles affiliated with paul Rader
19:00 180 Preaching in Angelus Temple; World War I
21:00 201 Beginning of association with Youth for Christ; Torrey Johnson and Paul Rader
24:50 229 Atmosphere at early YFC meetings
26:00 250 Early YFC workers
26:50 259 Orchestral Hall Rally in Chicago in 1944
28:10 273 YFC music
29:00 281 Financial supporters of YFC
29:35 287 Elements of a YFC program
32:30 318 Length of sermons
33:30 327 Philosophy of YFC; criticisms of YFC
35:40 341 Press coverage of YFC meetings; meetings at Chicago Stadium and Soldier Field
36:00 355 Organizational meeting of YFC
37:45 375 Mrs. Billy Sunday; Winona Lake Rally
39:15 392 Leadership qualities of Torrey Johnson
40:20 405 Preaching style of Torrey Johnson
42:45 420 Reason for Torrey Johnson being first president of YFC
44:10 448 Overseas tours for YFC; aborted trip to Greece with Robert Evans in 1947
47:15 482 Trip around the world in 1948
48:50 501 Format of meetings; meetings in the Philippines, Japan, India; losing a briefcase in the Philippines
60:50 654 Response to meetings in the Philippines
61:30 674 Response to meetings in India
63:30 686 Meetings in China; signs of the Civil War
64:45 707 Extreme coldness of meetings in China
66:00 723 Make-up of audiences in China meetings
67:10 742 Meetings in Japan; General William Harrison
69:25 775 Influence of Paul Rader on missions
71:50 810 Douglas MacArthur and Youth for Christ
73:20 832 Trip with Wally White in 1949 to South America; HCJB
75:25 855 Terminology of evangelism in South America
76:40 886 Staff at HCJB
78:00 900 Meetings in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay, Columbia, and Brazil
80:45 951 Response to meetings
81:45 972 One evidence of Anti-Americanism in Yau-Yau
82:30 983 Financing of overseas trips
83:40 1008 General William Harrison
84:35 1024 Transportation in Japan
86:45 1063 End of T2

Tape T3 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape, , click to link to the audio file of this tape)
00:07 001 Continuation of interview
00:33 005 Orphanage work in China; the Raetzes
01:45 016 First meeting with evangelist Jimmie Johnson
02:43 026 Preaching of Johnson; assistance to Billy Graham; preaching style
05:20 049 Itineraries of Johnson's meeetings
06:30 060 Workers with Johnson; Clyde Taylor, John Duff, Edward Lyman
09:00 082 Caribbean tours
10:10 090 Children's services
11:25 105 Sponsors of meetings; setting up meetings
13:35 126 Size of crowds
14:00 129 Preparation for counseling and follow-up
14:55 138 Audiences in southern states
15:30 143 Association with John Haggai
16:40 153 Johnstown, Pennsylvania, meeting of Haggai; Felix Snipes
18:15 173 Preaching style of Haggai
19:40 182 Cedar Rapids, Iowa, meeting; divisions; problems of evangelistic meeting
22:20 213 Temperament of Haggai
25:40 245 Format of Haggai meetings
26:30 254 Haggai's overseas work
27:07 259 Association with Ford Philpot
27:50 264 Types of meetings, locations of meetings with Philpot
28:45 277 Members of Philpot evangelistic teams; Miss America in the meetings; Vonda Van Dyke
30:25 294 Distinguishing features of Philpot's meetings, preaching style
32:43 319 Work with Ken Campbell and Renaissance; work for reform of education system
34:20 338 Work of Bibletown Conference Center in Florida; its history and Torrey Johnson's involvement
42:10 427 Staff members at Bibletown
47:35 485 Dunlop's first musical compositions; Paul Rader's music programs
49:55 513 Influences on Dunlop's song writing
53:40 557 Evaluation of Dunlop's works
56:00 589 Place of music in evangelism
59:20 631 Christian appreciation of art
61:25 660 Paul Rader and Pentecostalism
63:30 687 End of interview



Materials in this collection were received by the Center in November 1978, June 1979 and October 1983.

Accession 78-45, 79-58, 79-59, 83-118, 88-56
November 27, 1978
Robert Shuster

Revised, January 8, 1980

Revised, May 12, 1987
J. Nasgowitz

Reformatted, March 15, 1989
J. Nasgowitz

Accession 78-45, 79-59
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Interview with Merrill Dunlop recorded on November 21, 1978. 94 minutes.

T2 - Interview with Merrill Dunlop recorded on June 1, 1979. 86 minutes.

T3 - Interview with Merrill Dunlop recorded on June 1, 1979. 63 minutes.


Accession 79-58, 83-118
Type of Material: Books
The following items have been given to the EVANGELISM & MISSIONS COLLECTION (formerly BGC Library)

Dunlop, Merrill. MERRILL DUNLOP FAVORITES (Grand Rapids, MI: Singspiration, 1972).

_____. MERRILL DUNLOP FAVORITES: VOLUME 2. (Grand Rapids, MI: Singspiration, 1974).

_____. MERRILL DUNLOP'S NEW GOSPEL SONGS: VOLUME 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Singspiration, 1956).

_____. MERRILL DUNLOP'S NEW GOSPEL SONGS: VOLUME 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Singspiration, 1959).

_____. MERRILL DUNLOP ORGAN SPECIALS (Grand Rapids, MI: Singspiration, 1975).


_____. SONGS OF A CHRISTIAN: A COMPILATION OF ORIGINAL SONG COMPOSITIONS New, enl. ed. (Chicago: Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, 1941).

_____. SONGS OF A CHRISTIAN: A COMPILATION OF ORIGINAL SONG COMPOSITIONS New, rev. ed. (Chicago: Van Kampen Press, 1946).



Accession 83-118
Type of Material: Photographs
The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE in indicated folder:

DUNLOP, MERRILL. Two portrait photos of Merrill Dunlop, ca. 1940s, one print of two copies of the same image of Dunlop at piano in the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, ca. 1920's (3).

GRAHAM, WILLIAM F., JR. Portrait photo of Billy Graham, ca. 1947 (1).

RADER, LUKE. Portrait photo of Luke Rader, n.d. (1).

RODEHEAVER, HOMER. Photographs of Homer Rodeheaver in various poses, four with trumpets. 1935, n.d. (7).

WILSON, THOMAS WALTER, JR. Photograph of Thomas Walter Wilson Jr., ca. late 1941 (1).


Accession 88-56
Type of Material: Video Tapes
The following item(s) are located in the VIDEO TAPE FILE:

V1 - 3/4" u-matic cassette, color. Produced ca. 1988. A program produced by television channel WCFC in Chicago. Merrill Dunlop: A Man and His Music. Dunlop plays some of his compositions and describes his early experiences in Christian music; work with Paul Rader, Homer Hammontree, Clarence Jones and others; memories of Moody Church and the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle; early Christian radio; his musical compositions; the mission conferences of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle; the end of the Tabernacle. Interviewed by David Oselund. 58 minutes.

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Last Revised: 6/22/06
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