Billy Graham Center

Interview with Maxwell A. Kerr - Collection 211

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Maxwell A. Kerr

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

List Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)


Transcript 1

Brief Description.
Interview with Kerr in which he discusses his early life, conversion, C. O. Baptista (his work, personality, and family), technical problem-solving and innovations, his career after Baptista Films, and his assessment of the Christian film industry.

Collection 211
[May 25, 2004]
Kerr, Maxwell A.; 1912-1997
Interview; 1982.

1 Reel of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

A complete transcript to the interview in this collection is available.


Maxwell A. Kerr was born on January 1, 1912, in Lenawee County, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University in East Lansing. In 1937, Kerr began work for the Radio Corporation of America in Collingwood, New Jersey, where he and his wife became Christians under the ministry of Carl McIntire.

Kerr's interest in films led to his initial contact and work with C. O. Baptista Films of Chicago in 1940. In 1946, he went to work for them in Wheaton, Illinois. From 1950 to 1952, Kerr taught physics at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, after which he worked for the Navy Department Bureau of Ships and for General Electric. He and his wife then began their own business, Ada-Max Audio Visual, which they ran from their home in Jackson, Michigan. The Kerrs retired in the 1980s. Maxwell Kerr died November 30, 1997.

Scope and Content

Maxwell Kerr was interviewed at the Billy Graham Center on April 7, 1982, by Galen R. Wilson. The column to the left of the list of topics records the time elapsed since the beginning of the tape.

Tape T1 - side 1
00:00 Introduction.
00:30 Personal history.
01:25 Conversion experience under Carl McIntire.
01:50 Impressions of Carl McIntire and Bible Presbyterian denomination.
05:05 Education and Christian influences.
06:40 Early interest and experience in films.
11:00 Other Christian influences.
13:55 Reproduction of sound tracks and editing of old films.
22:00 Baptista Films: sermon films.
26:45 C. O. Baptista's personality.
28:25 Early work with Baptista Films.
30:00 Early attitudes toward Christian films.
33:40 C. O. Baptista.
35:00 Development of projectors.
40:00 Teaching experiences at Wheaton College.
42:35 Baptista Films' development of filmstrips.
46:50 C. O. Baptista and family.
50:20 Animation department of Baptista Films.
51:30 Lip-synchronization innovations.
53:40 Sound-Optics innovation.
55:00 Examples of technical problem solving at Baptista Films.
59:00 Baptista films after 1950.
60:30 End of side One.

Tape T1 - side 2
62:10 Ken Anderson's early career.
62:30 Baptista Film as training ground for many Christian film-makers.
63:30 Financial difficulties of Baptista Films.
68:30 Present status of films made by C. O. Baptista Films.
73:00 Kerr's career after Baptista Films.
81:45 Personal assessment of Christian film industry.
89:00 End of tape.


The tape in this collection was received from Maxwell A. Kerr in April 1982.

Accession 82-47
October 27, 1982
Galen R. Wilson
G. Lynch
Retyped, February 9, 1989
J. Nasgowitz

Accession 82-47
Type of Material: Audio Tape

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Interview with Maxwell Kerr by Galen R. Wilson; April 7, 1982. Reel-to- reel, 3-3/4, 89 min.

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Last Revised: 5/25/04
Expiration: indefinite