Billy Graham Center

Papers of Carl Armerding - Collection 180

[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, Oversize Materials, Photographs, Scraspbooks in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes
    Oversize Materials
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Box List)


Audio file and written transcript for T1

Collection 180
[February 14, 2008]
Armerding, Carl; 1889-1987
Papers; 1903-1987

14 Boxes (DC), Audio Tapes, Oversize Material, Scrapbooks (5.928 cubic feet)

Brief Description
Diaries, correspondence, scrapbook, travel documents, oral history interview, sermons and other documents that describe Armerding's life, especially his work as a Bible teacher, preacher, and leader of Central American Mission.


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.



Full name

Carl Armerding


June 16, 1889, in Jersey City, New Jersey


March 28, 1987, in Hayward, California. Buried in Chapel Hill Cemetery, Elmhurst, Illinois.




Ernst A. and Gebke (Kretzmer) Armerding, German immigrants to the United States



Nine (including brother Howard and sister Marie)


Marital Status

Married to Eva Mae Taylor on June 27, 1917, in Westfield, Ontario, Canada



Hudson Taylor (1918), Evangeline Louise, nee Hermanson (1922), Helen Winifred nee Lynn (1925), Geraldine May nee McIver (1933); plus one child who died in infancy


Baptized and became a member of a Plymouth Brethren congregation at age fourteen or fifteen after hearing a sermon preached by George Mackenzie




Graduated from Public School #28, Jersey City, New Jersey


ca. 1904-1906

Attended night school in Jersey City, New Jersey



Graduated from University of New Mexico with a B.A. degree. Took courses for about a year afterwards toward a degree in Romance Languages.



Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Evangelical Theological College, which later became Dallas Theological Seminary




Worked as an office boy at the New York Switch and Crossing Company, Hoboken, New Jersey


ca. 1907-1911

Worked an a mechanical draftsman, possibly for the Empire Cream Separator Company


1912, 1914

Went to Honduras as a Brethren missionary, because of a severe attack of malaria, moved on to the Bahamas and preached at Brethren Assemblies there



Began an itinerant teaching and preaching ministry in the United States and Canada


ca. 1917-1927

Moved to New Mexico; served as a chaplain at a tuberculosis sanatarium in Albuquerque, was involved in missions to native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona, preached and taught at Brethren Assemblies in the region



Christian work in San Diego, California, with itinerant preaching and teaching ministry throughout United States and Canada



Professor of Homiletics, Evangelical Theological College (later Dallas Theological Seminary)



Christian work in San Diego, California




Brethren evangelist and Bible teacher in New Zealand, based in Wellington



Tour of Palestine, England, Western Europe



Moved to Windsor, Ontario; was an itinerant Bible teacher and evangelist in Canada and the United States



Served on the extension faculty of Moody Bible Institute



Special Bible teacher at Dallas Theological Seminary



Member of the Advisory Board of the Central American Mission; over the next quarter century went on at least six tours of churches and mission stations in Central and South America



Taught Bible as a resident member of the faculty of Moody Bible Institute



Professor of Practical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary



Member of the Board of Director of Central American Mission



Professor of Bible at Wheaton College in Wheaton Illinois; Emeritus status from 1970 (took a leave of absence 1954-1955; resigned from faculty briefly in 1955 to go on a mission trip for CAM to Europe)



Pastor of the College Church of Wheaton, Illinois. Was Pastor Emeritus from 1955 on.



President of the Executive Council of the Central American Mission



Eva May (Taylor) Armerding died



Lived in apartment near CAM headquarters in Dallas, Texas


May 1973

Tour of Guatemala, including the dedication of the Carl Armerding Buildings at the Central American Theological Seminary in Guatemala City, Guatemala on May 12



Lived in Western Assemblies Home in Claremont, California; continued an active Bible teaching ministry



Lived at Bethesda Christian Home in Hayward, California

Other significant information



Armerding also was on the North American Council of China Inland Mission, served as foreign secretary of Greater Europe Mission, sponsored the Spanish Christian Mission with headquarters in Toronto, and was a member of the German Evangelical Society in Dallas. He preached at many Bible conferences in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. Among his written works are The Fight for Palestine in the Days of Joshua: Studies in Joshua (1949), Esther for Such a Time As This (1955), Words of Hope and Cheer from the Prophet Isaiah (1957), Signs of Christ's Coming - As Son of Man (1971), and Psalms in a Minor Key (1973)

Scope and Content

[Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation "folder 2-5" means "Box 2, Folder 5"]

Series: Papers
Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title. Titles supplied by the archivist.
Date Range: 1903-1987
Volume: 5.8 cubic feet
Boxes: 1-14
Geographic coverage: United States, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Bahamas, New Zealand, Germany
Type of documents: Diaries, correspondence, postcards, passports and other travel records, articles and sermon by Armerding, miscellaneous personal records such as tax records
Subjects: Armerding’s ministry as preacher, Bible teacher and missions leader; Evangelicalism in Central America, Wheaton College
Notes: This collection consist of a rather miscellaneous collection of materials from Armerding’s life, except for his diaries which are fairly complete from his 23rd year until his death. The diaries in boxes 2-13 cover most of his adult life, although there are some gaps. The diary entries are usually rather brief, describing the day’s activities, the portion of the Bible he studied, the text from which he taught or preached. There are very occasionally references to other events. Between many of the pages in the diaries were stuck business cards, mementos of family events, business cards and miscellaneous ephemera. The diary for 1973 (folder 11-20, for example, contains his ticket to Disneyland. These diaries, besides being a good source for Armerding’s life and ministry, also reflect to some degree Fundamentalist and Evangelical attitudes and networks. Folder 3-5 contains a prayer journal he kept which goes somewhat more deeply into his thought and faith. However, he apparently stopped keeping the journal after a few pages. The Sermon Record in folder 14-6 appears to be a record of when and where he preached from particular texts. There is another notebook in the same folder with similar notes for his tour of New Zealand in the 1930s.

Armerding did a great deal of traveling, for preaching and teaching engagements, to Central and South America on behalf of CAM, and to Europe on behalf of Greater Europe Mission. These travels are documented in the passports and other travel documents in folders 14-7 through 14-29. Many documents were preserved from the Armerdings’ time in New Zealand from 1934-1938, when he preached at Brethren Assemblies throughout the country. Besides the sermon record in folder 14-6 and Armerding’s own diary entries, Eva Armerding’s diaries of the their last days in New Zealand and the journey back (which took the family through the Middle East and Europe) is in folder 4-3. Scrapbook I in this collection also contains various mementos from his preaching tours through the country and the voyage back and from the time in the country. Letters of appreciation for his 1934 tour are in folder 2-2.

Armerding’s services to CAM as a board member, president, speaker and missionary are documented in his diaries and especially in the book of remembrance the mission gave him when he retired in 1970. This book, in folder 1-5, contains dozen of letters from CAM board and staff, as well as others from family, friends and members of the faculty of Wheaton College and Dallas Theological Seminary. Among the corespondents are Hudson Taylor Armerding and the other children, A. G. Barber, Earle E. Cairns, H. C. Chrouser, Ed Coray, William B. Culbertson, Enock Dyrness, V. Raymond Edman, Charles Lee Feinerg, Horace L. Fenton, Howard Ferrin, Walter Frank, Edwin Frizen, Vergil Gerber, Clarence B. Hale, Karl Hummel, Torrey Johnson, S. R. Kamm, Sidney Langford, Lois and Mary LeBar, Harold Lindsell, R. Arthur Matthews, J. Vernon McGee, Vernon Mortenson, H. Wilbert Norton, Clarence Nystrom, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, Samuel J. Schultz, Edward Sywulka, Clyde W. Taylor, Kenneth Taylor, William Taylor, Merrill Tenney, John Walvrood, Evan Welsh, as well as many CAM missionaries. There are also in the back of the book letters and other documents about Armerding’s ministry through the years. Other material from CAM can be found in folder 1-8, which has information on the dedication of an Armerding building at CAM’s campus in Guatemala.

Armerding also played an important part in the life of Dallas Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. However, except for diary entries and the remembrance book in folder 1-7, there is little in the collection that reflects this involvement. Folder 2-3 contains some material about his teaching activities at Wheaton College, his leave of absence in 1954-1955 and his resignation in 1962 to become more involved in the work of CAM. The folder also includes some letters from college president, V. Raymond Edman. There is virtually nothing about Dallas Theological Seminary except some photos and the diplomas in folder 14-1. For Moody Bible Institute, there is the previously mentioned letter from Will Houghton about Moody’s 1945 Founder’s Week in folder 1-9 and some photos.

Among the purely personal memorabilia in the collection are copies of Armerding’s birth certificate (folder 2-4), marriage certificate (folder 14-4), diplomas (folder 14-1), and a certificate of appreciation from College Church of Wheaton in folder 1-6. Folder 1-9 contains postcards that Armerding’s father, Ernst, sent him from a trip to Europe in 1907-1908. His Christmas letters in folder 1-7 contain a yearly summary of family activities and his own ministry. Folder 14-3 contain the guest book from the apartment in which Armerding was living just before he died.

There is relatively little from Armerding’s writing, preaching and teaching in the collection, except for some late audio recordings, but folder 1-2 has a few later articles by Armerding, and folder 1-3 contains the baccalaureate sermon he preached at his own graduation in 1926. Folder 2-1 contains correspondence with Moody Press about the publication of reprinting of some of his books as well as a copy of his book, The Fight for Palestine in the Days of Joshua, with some minor textual changes penciled in, apparently in Armerding’s hand.

Series: Audio Recordings
Arrangement: Chronological
Date Range: 1970-1981
Volume: .128 cubic feet
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: Recordings of Bible studies, a testimonial dinner, an oral history interview
Subjects: Theological interpretations of the biblical books of Joshua and Hebrews, Armerding’s life and ministry, Central American Mission, Dallas Theological Seminary, Latin America Mission
Notes: These recordings are the main examples in this collection of Armerding’s abilities as a Bible teacher, for which he was well known among Fundamentalists and Evangelicals. Descriptions of individual recordings can be found in the Audio Tape Location Record in this guide.
Exceptional items: Tape T1 is an oral history interview. Carl Armerding was interviewed by Bob Shuster on June 16, 1981, at the Billy Graham Center. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1889-1981.

T1 ( 75 minutes). (Click here to link to the transcript of this tape) Childhood in New Jersey; German immigrant parents; first trip to Central America as a missionary in 1912; second visit to Honduras; marriage to Eva May Taylor and move to New Mexico; years as a student at the University of New Mexico; conversion as a teenager; expanded description of his first missionary trip to Honduras and the Bahamas; influence of Copeland Johnson; Armerding’s method of evangelistic preaching; Billy Sunday and Gypsy Smith; preaching and teaching in New Mexico; teaching at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Dallas; H. A. Ironside; memories of teaching at Moody Bible Institute; Wheaton College; William Houghton; Central American Mission (CAM) philosophy of ministry; charismatic emphasis of Latin America Mission (LAM); development of Evangelical churches in Central America; W. Cameron Townsend and Bible translation; contrast of Cameron Townsend's work with others of Brethren missions; conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Latin America; contrasts between CAM and LAM; Armerding’s first contacts with CAM and Karl Hummel; Armerding’s visits to Central America for CAM; becoming president of the executive council of CAM; CAM administrative policies; farewell trip to Latin America in 1970; Mormons in Central America; the charismatic movement in Latin America; family relationship to China Inland Mission; Howard Taylor; visit to J. Hudson Taylor’s home town; service on the China Inland Mission board; Eva May Armerding


This oral history interview was given to the Archives by Carl Armerding on June 16, 1981. The other materials were given by the Armerding family in 1987 and 1988.

Accession 81-65
December 31, 1981
Frances L. Brocker
R. Shuster
J. Nasgowitz

Accession 87-60, 87-126, 88-136
April 26, 2005
Bob Shuster
J Aernie

Accession: 81-65, 87-60
Type of material: Audio Tape
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE. Request by the Tape number at the beginning of each entry below.

Item# - Reel or cassette, speed, length, number of sides, contents (title of session, participants) according to the program, date.










3 3/4



Recording of a testimonial dinner given to Carl Armerding upon his retirement as president of the executive council of the Central American Mission. Speakers included William Seay, George Boedeker, William Taylor, Charles Ryrie, Malon Collins, Hudson Taylor Armerding, Carl Armerding, and Fred Lincoln. Hudson Armerding talks about his boyhood memories of his father and Carl Armerding talks about his early experiences in Central America in 1912.




3 3/4



Four Bible studies in the book of Joshua by Carl Armerding. All studies are 28 minutes long. Side 1: Studies in 1: 1-6 and in 1: 7-18. Side 2: Studies in chapter 2 and in chapter 3.

ca. 1970



3 3/4



Four Bible studies in the book of Joshua by Carl Armerding. All studies are 28 minutes long. Side 1: Studies in chapter 4 and in chapters 5 and 6. Side 2: Studies in chapters 7 and 8 and in chapters 9 and 12.

ca. 1970



3 3/4



Four Bible studies in the book of Joshua by Carl Armerding. All studies are 28 minutes long. Side 1: Studies in chapters 13, 14, and 15 and in chapters 16, 17, and 18. Side 2: Studies in 19, 20 and 21 and in chapters 22, 23, and 24.

ca. 1970






Bible studies in the chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, taught by Carl Armerding at a Bible conference in Oakland, California. Side 1: Study 1, based on 10:38-11:3. Side 2: Study 2, based on 11:4







Bible studies in the chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, taught by Carl Armerding at a Bible conference in Oakland, California. Side 1: Study 3, based on 11:5,6. Side 2: Study 4, based on 11:7

8/5, 8/1976






Bible studies in the chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, taught by Carl Armerding at a Bible conference in Oakland, California. Side 1: Study 5, about Noah. Side 2: Study 6.







Bible studies in the chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, taught by Carl Armerding at a Bible conference in Oakland, California. Side 1: Study 7 about Sarah, based on 11:11-12. Side 2: Study 8, based on 11:17-19.







Bible studies in the chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, taught by Carl Armerding at a Bible conference in Oakland, California. Side 1: Study 9 about Isaac based on 11:20. Side 2: Study 10 about Jacob’s blessing , based on 11:21.

8/19, 22/1976






Bible studies in the chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, taught by Carl Armerding at a Bible conference in Oakland, California. Side 1: Study 11 on Joseph, based on 11:22. Side 1 2: Study 12 on Moses, based on 11:23-28.

8/22, 26/1976






Bible studies in the chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews, taught by Carl Armerding at a Bible conference in Oakland, California. Side 1: Study 13, based on 11:29. Side 2: Study 14, based on 11:30-31.




3 3/4



Oral history interview of Carl Armerding by Bob Shuster


Accession: 87-60
Type of material: Oversize Materials
The following items are in the OVERSIZE FILE. Request by collection number and folder location (in parentheses)

MAPS, 1920-1928 (OS35). Five large color published maps of Asia, Europe, South America, African mission stations and China mission stations.

MECHANICAL DRAWINGS, 1907-1911 (OS35). Nine blueprints of various mechanical devices drawn by Armerding, mostly for the Empire Cream Separator Company.

Accession: 87-60
Type of material: Photographs
The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE; request by folder title (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.

ARMERDING, CARL. 17 b&w, 4 color. Snapshots of Armerding, his wife Eva, and other family members including his parents and siblings, as well as pictures of Armerding with others such as Wheaton College alumni, William Taylor (at the Congress on the Church’s Worldwide Mission), Louis Rasera, Dick Fenton, Will Houghton, Talmadge Bittikofer. Also pictures of hm at a Wheaton College graduation, a wedding, Montrose Bible Conference in Pennsylvania, and a Canadian Keswick conference. 1910-1976, n.d.

CENTRAL AMERICAN MISSION. 30 b&w, 1 color. Scenes from Armerding’s visits to various parts of Central America or of churches planted by CAM workers or of CAM facilities. Includes pictures of the Dallas, Texas headquarters, the chapel and congregation in Dulce Nombre de Copan, Honduras, Christians in Santa Rosa de Copaion, group shots of CAM pastors and workers, a pastors’ conference in Guatemala. 1944-1965.

DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY. 1 b&w. Group shot of the faculty of the Evangelical Theological Seminary: Carl Armerding, Karl Hummel, Fred Leach, William Anderson, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Henry Theissen, and Rollin Chafer. 1929.

GREATER EUROPE MISSION. 6 b&w. Scenes of Armerding’s visit with the staff of GEM in Bensheim, Germany; Armerding with Wilfred Zibell. 1955-1958.

HUMMEL, KARL. 1 b&w. Snapshot of Hummel and his wife. 1962.

MOODY, DWIGHT L. 6 b&w. Snapshots of Armerding and another man at the graves of Dwight L. Moody and his wife Emma in Northfield, Massachusetts. A postcard of the same grave site. N.d.

MACKENZIE, GEORGE. 1 b&w. Portrait photo. N.d,

MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE. 1 b&w. Group shot of the faculty and students of the preachers course at MBI. Armerding is fourth from the left in the front row, Will Houghton is fifth from the left. N.d.

TORREY, REUBEN ARCHER SR. 1 b&w. Torrey sitting on a bench with Arno Gaebelein, probably at Montrose, Pennsylvania.

WYRTZEN, JOHN “JACK”. 1 b&w. Snapshot of Armerding, Wyrtzen, Wendell Loveless, Dick Reed and Happy McDonald at the Word of Life Camp in Schroon Lake, New York. 1950.

Accession: 87-60
Type of material:Scrapbooks
The following items are located in the SCRAPBOOK FILE; request by Folder Titles (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.

ARMERDING I: Collection of items from the Armerding’s tour of New Zealand in 1934-1938. There are a few items explaining how he came to be invited to visit the Brethren Assemblies there and about his actual preaching activities, but most of the books contain mementoes from the trip to New Zealand and travels around that country.




First Folder/Last Folder




Address Book; n.d. / Correspondence: Miscellaneous; 1904-1987; n.d.




Correspondence: Moody Press; 1955-1979 / Diary; 1916




Diary; 1917 / Diary; 1935




Diary; 1936 / Diary; 1942




Diary; 1943 / Diary; 1947




Diary; 1948 / Diary; 1951




Diary; 1952 / Diary; 1956




Diary; 1957 / Diary; 1960




Diary; 1961 / Diary; 1965




Diary; 1966 / Diary; 1971




Diary; 1972 / Diary; 1976




Diary; 1977 / Diary; 1980




Diary; 1981 / Diary; 1985




Diplomas; 1903-1935 / Travel Documents; n.d.


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