Billy Graham Center

Interview with Wayne G. Bragg - Collection 96

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Wayne G. Bragg

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

Audio file and written transcript for T1

Audio file and written transcript for T2

Brief Description.
Two interviews with Bragg. Highlights include his mission experiences in Brazil and the Caribbean working with university students, his student days at Wheaton College, and his experience at Wheaton as a faculty member. The interviews were recorded in February and May, 1980. Interview transcripts are available. These tapes are part of the Missionary Sources Collection.

Collection 96
[May 8, 2017]
Bragg, Wayne G.; 1931-2009
Interviews; 1980
2 Audio Tapes

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.



Wayne G. Bragg was born in Madison Country, Georgia on January 17, 1931. He grew up in Kannapolis, North Carolina where his father was a weaver in one of the local textile mills. After receiving his early education in the public schools, he attended Wingate Junior College, Wheaton College (B.A., 1953; M.A., 1957), Fuller Seminary, Appalachian State (M.A.), and the University of Texas, Austin (Ph.D., 1973).

In 1956 Bragg and his wife Ann left Wheaton to do student work in the Caribbean. They did not go out under a mission board but were supported by a group of individuals concerned about Latin American missions. The International Fellowship Evangelical Students asked Bragg to join their staff and so he began 10 years of work in Puerto Rico, haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. Brazil needed a general secretary to supervise the work there so in 1966 the Bragg's moved to South America. The work with IFES involved conducting camps, holding leadership training conferences, staff recruitment, literature publication, relations, pioneering and establishing national Christian student work. During his 15 years with student work, Bragg established national student groups in six countries.

The Braggs returned to the United States in 1970 with their five children Richard Wayne, Sandra Lynn, Susan Annette, Deborah Kay, and Eric John. Bragg began directing the HNGR program at Wheaton in 1976 while continuing his interest and involvement with Latin American Missions. He died September 30, 2009 in Watauga, North Carolina.

Scope and Content

Dr. Bragg was interviewed at Wheaton College on February 15 and May 9, 1980 by Mary Ann Buffington. The interview topics are listed below next to one column containing elapsed time of the interview in minutes and seconds and another column containing the readings from the tape recorder's digital counter.

Tape 1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Beginning of tape.
00:22 Introduction
00:32 Family background
00:50 Reasons for coming to Wheaton
03:04 Arrival in Wheaton
03:47 Early childhood experiences
04:37 Family to move to North Carolina
04:58 Harold J. Smith revival (his conversion)
05:49 Influence of Charles Fuller's Old Fashioned Revival Hour
07:00 Family members
07:09 Wheaton activities
08:28 Campus friends and associates
09:18 Description of daily prayer meeting with group of close friends
10:26 Group activities, discussion topics
11:05 Car pooling trips to North Carolina with Jean Graham and others
12:06 Teachers at Wheaton while he was a student
14:10 Administration
14:50 Special campus events
16:53 Building new dining hall
17:47 Off campus housing
19:11 General campus memories
19:25 Korean Conflict influence
20:03 Attended Fuller Seminary after leaving Wheaton
20:15 Philanthropy of John G. Moffett
24:40 Attended Fuller one year
25:14 Met Abe Vander Puy and visited Ecuador as part of a Basic Gospel Team
26:52 Began to feel call to this area and student work
27:46 On returning to Wheaton started with Rene Padilla a group interested in Latin America 27:54 Married - Ann Kay
28:16 Latin American group activities
29:43 Need for missions to upper class - Mission for Education in Latin America (MELA)
30:39 Left for Costa Rica for language study
32:06 No specific board support - Heard of Bob Young and International Fellowship of Evangelical Students
34:44 Activities at Language School and the University of Costa Rica
35:34 Bought house and opened Youth Hostel - Began Bible Study 1956-1957
36:43 IFES contact with Stacey Woods and joined staff
38:15 Decision to go to Caribbean, 1957 - San Juan, Puerto Rico at the University: Student in national studies
40:00 MELA held group of Latin American students and then disbanded
42:09 How he conducted his ministry: Costa Rica - student group
43:27 Current situation (1980): Puerto Rico - World Student Christian Federation
45:41 Billy Graham Crusade in Puerto Rico and follow-up work
47:16 Comments on Caribbean work 9 years total
48:28 Cuba work - 1958
50:18 Dominican Republic - 1957
52:32 Haiti
55:06 Equipment he used (books and publications in Spanish)
56:57 Social class he worked with
57:40 Problems with evangelizing the intellijentsia
59:21 Other activities in his ministry - concerts, speakers, conferences, retreats, camps
61:06 All Caribbean University Conference (Dominican Republic)
64:00 Analysis of work efforts
65:03 Receptivity of the students
65:26 End of tape.

Tape 2 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Beginning of tape.
00:01 Introduction
00:17 Student receptivity to work in Caribbean
02:35 Racial attitudes
06:53 Economic class strata
07:05 Years of service on each field
07:40 Characteristics of Dominican Republic experience
13:27 Dominican Relief Project
14:21 Economy of Caribbean countries
15:25 Literacy in the countries
15:40 Health conditions
16:05 Average income and employment
18:05 Means of exchange
18:25 Haiti economy
19:11 Educational system
21:28 Relationship with government officials and social concerns
30:22 Relationship with other churches and youth groups
35:46 Relationship with the Catholic church
38:20 Relationship with other missionaries
41:08 Acculturation in the various countries
43:03 Customs and cultural patterns
43:50 Results of his particular actions to his ministry
46:57 Current effect of mission experience on his Wheaton ministry
47:53 Family adjustments to international service
51:35 Interesting cultural activities food, subculture groups, entertainment
54:50 Conversational techniques
55:58 Relationship of men and women
56:54 South American experience - reasons for going there
59:54 Status of work when Bragg arrived
61:09 Activities while in Brazil - learning language, history
61:27 Leadership training conference (Institute for the Preparation of Leaders)
63:18 Status of Brazilian work when Bragg left
64:42 Formation of Executive Committee
65:18 Leadership of Student Movement
65:40 Budget resources and activities when Bragg left
67:21 Present condition of Brazilian student work
70:10 Location of mission base in Brazil
71:07 Brazilian attitudes and culture
74:00 Brazilian churches
74:11 Spiritism in Brazil
75:06 Encounters with indigenous religious practices
76:01 Work in other nations such as Colombia and Venezuela
77:19 Political situation in Brazil
80:35 Brazil's relations with the United States
81:11 Decisions to leave Brazil
84:13 Analysis of how the student work has developed through the years -- Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti
87:40 Return to U.S. in 1970
87:50 Return to Wheaton, 1976
89:05 Possibility of future foreign service
90:14 Current status of group that originally shared Latin American interest
92:39 Comment on future of mission techniques, attitudes and experiences
99:54 Hopes for Graham Center programs and projects with international students
101:45 Conclusion
105:36 End of tape.


The materials in this collection were received by the Center from Wayne Bragg in February and May, 1980.

Acc. #: 80-23, 80-66
May 22, 1980
Mary Ann Buffington
S. Kouns

January 17, 1990, revised
P. Ericksen
L. Beloz

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Last Revised: 10/06/09
Expiration: indefinite