Billy Graham Center

George Franklin Spotts - Collection 90

[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


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

Lists of Audio Tapes and Phonograph Records in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes
    Phonograph Records
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Container List)


Transcript 1

Brief Description.
An oral history interview, correspondence, reports and clippings relating to Spotts work as a Youth for Christ staff member in France and the United States. Subjects covered during the interview include discussion of YFC projects, the response of French youth, analysis of YFC work in France, cultural differences between the United States and France.

Collection 90
[March 7, 2001]
Spotts, George Franklin; 1944-
Papers; 1960-1979

1 Box (DC; .25 cubic feet), Audio Tape, Phonograph Records


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.



Franklin Spotts was born February 7, 1944, in Pontiac, Michigan. He attended high school in Port Huron, Michigan, graduating in May 1961. He later attended Port Huron Junior College, the University of Michigan, and Wheaton College. He was raised in a family which put great emphasis on education as his father was Director of Extension for the University of Michigan.

During his high school years Spotts became involved with Youth for Christ, which nurtured his interest and participation in the organization in the years that followed. From 1964 to 1965 he traveled to France as a one man Teen Team working with American youth overseas. Upon his return to the States, he finished his degree at Wheaton in 1967, worked as a probation officer in Michigan, and married before returning to France as a permanent full time Youth for Christ staffer in 1969.

The Spotts' worked in France helping establish YFC organizations among the French young people, setting up national leadership, and developing a camp/convention center. After four years the couple returned to the States where Mr. Spotts served as the Director of the YFC organization in St. Clair County, Michigan.

[NOTE: In the Scope and Content description, the notation "folder 2-5" means Box 2, Folder 5.]

Scope and Content

Along with an interview, Spotts gave the Center various materials regarding his YFC ministry in France and Michigan. This manuscript material contains newspaper clippings regarding Spotts' appointment and ministry and activities of YFC. Correspondence and reports also give information on assorted YFC projects and goals. Folder 1-2 contains materials in French used in France's club ministry. Materials include schedules, reports, correspondence with members, and prayer letters.

Spotts was interviewed by Mary Ann Buffington on October 4, 1979, at Wheaton College. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1960-1979. Time elapsed in minutes and seconds is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview. The index is keyed to a cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

T1 - side 1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:30 Introduction to interview
01:15 Acquaintance with Wheaton College
02:15 Family background
02:45 Early involvement with YFC in France
03:15 Ministry in France
03:45 Come to Wheaton for Christian Bible training
05:15 National work in France
08:00 Teaching French people to lead French people
09:15 Language study at Albertville, Jacques Blocher
10:15 Moved to Valence, France, and set up YFC program with Jean Jacques Weiler
11:00 Renovation of old farm for camp/convention site
12:00 French club ministry
12:45 Gradual takeover of leadership by the French, an attempt to attain the ultimate goal of complete national French rule
13:30 Set up French national YFC office
13:45 Explanation of 5-Year Plan
15:00 Return to U.S. and beginning of work in St. Clair County, Michigan
15:15 Periodic returns to France
16:15 Development of French literature, particularly song books
16:45 Programs of YFC in France
17:30 Analysis of French people regarding problems you face working with them
18:30 Development of French Christian club materials
19:15 Development of the office
19:33 Development of a French church
20:00 Coffee Bar ministry
21:00 Touring with musical groups
23:15 Obstacles to your ministry in the French Catholic Church
27:15 Beginnings of Church (Catholic), influence on lives of French
29:30 France, a bountiful area in which to carry on your ministry
30:30 Relationship to French people, breaking down cultural and social barriers
31:15 Individuality of the French people
32:00 Churches in France
32:45 Church services
35:00 Cultural differences
35:45 Best way to reach French is through their homes, a result of the trust they feel
36:45 French social customs
37:15 How they met and became friendly with their French neighbors
39:00 Response of French nationals to concept of YFC
40:00 French YFC leader Jacques Blocher
40:15 Difficulty in finding good people as leaders
43:00 Reference to Scriptures key to YFC
44:00 Stewardship of funds and talents
44:45 Problems with non-effective ministries
46:00 Build-up of YFC ministry
47:00 End of side 1

T1 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 Overlap with side 1
01:30 Evangelism needs of France
02:30 YFC work in Port Huron, Michigan
03:30 Administration of local YFC work
05:00 Involvement with other mission agencies in France
06:15 Church that was established by YFC in France
07:00 Foreign missionaries in France
08:45 Conclusion
09:45 End of tape


The materials for this collection were received by the Center in October 1979 from Franklin Spotts.

Accession 79-112
January 30, 1980
Mary Ann Buffington
S. Kouns

June 18, 1993, revised
M. L. Larson

Accession: 79-112
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the Audio Tape file.

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 56 minutes. One side. Interview with George Franklin Spotts by Mary Ann Buffington, October 4, 1979. Discussion of work with Youth for Christ in France, observations about France, and work with Youth for Christ in Michigan.


Accession: 79-112
Type of material: Phonograph Records

The following items are located in the PHONOGRAPH RECORD FILE:

P1 - now...forever. Franklin Spotts and Les Reflets perform Negro spirituals in French. 45 rpm, 7 inch, JBP Records. Side 1: Jericho, Sometimes. Side 2: Sit Down, Amen.


Box Folder Item
1 1 France Youth for Christ: Project Plans - Reports; 1974-1979
1 2 French Club Material: Pamphlets, Reports, Correspondence; 1965-1979
1 3 Ministry Brochures: Personal Spotts Materials; 1969
1 4 Miscellaneous Youth for Christ Publications; 1960-1972
1 5 Newspaper Clippings; 1971-1978, n.d.
1 6 St. Clair County, Michigan: Youth for Christ Plans - Correspondence/Reports; 1976-1979

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Last Revised: 3/08/01
Expiration: indefinite