Billy Graham Center

Interview with L. C. Robie - Collection 229

[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. ]

Since we are migrating our website to a new platform, we will no longer be updating this earlier version our site. Please visit our Archon database for online guide descriptions. In early 2018, look for our new site, currently under construction, linked in the BGC Archives section on the Library and Archives page. (12/11/2017)

Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of L. C. Robie

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Brief Description.
Two tapes of an interview with Robie in which he discusses his experiences during his forty-two years as an evangelist in California, New York,and Pennsylvania, beginning ca. 1920.

Collection 229 [March 24, 2000]
Robie, L. C.; 1892-
Interviews; 1979

2 Reels of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


L. C. Robie and his twin sister, Leola, were born August 3, 1892, part of a family which included a sister, Grace, and younger brother, Howard. His parents, C. H. and Emma Robie, lived in Olean, New York, where the senior Robie was a jeweler and optician. After studying at Wesleyan Preparatory School, Robie was employed as an auto mechanic and then in tool engineering with firms in Utica and Rochester, New York. His activities included playing semi-professional baseball.

Experiencing a call to a revival ministry after conversion in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Robie began preaching in the early 1920s in factories, hospitals, and rest homes. He subsequently became an official evangelist for the Assemblies of God, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, and also published a monthly magazine. He was also associated for several years with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Trained as an airplane pilot, he flew his own plane for a ten-year period, ministering in airport rallies as part of his evangelistic activities.

In 1983, he was retired and living in Union Springs, New York, after a forty-two-year career in the United States and Canada conducting noon-time rallies in factories and crusades and revivals featuring his instrumental music and songs. Robie took as his life verse Zechariah 4:6: "Then he said to me, 'This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel. Not by might, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.'"

Scope and Content

L. C. Robie was interviewed by Scott E. Webber in 1979 for approximately two hours. Time elapsed in minutes and seconds since the beginning of the interview is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview.

T1 - side 1
00:00 Introduction (unintelligible)
01:30 Robie's early ministry about time of end of Billy Sunday era; doors closed at first
02:30 Luke 5 as text for revival ministry
06:45 Experience in desert near Los Angeles
08:15 First convert becomes Sunday school superintendent; return to east coast, 1920; doors still closed; renewal of promise from God
10:15 Sent to Finney's "Old Sodom," now New Hope; first breakthrough
11:30 More open doors, Union Springs, New York; meetings for five weeks
13:15 Success with local high school group
14:15 Request of Methodist pastor to assist with his young people and subsequent conversions
18:45 Careful instructions following altar calls and their necessity
19:30 Successful witness of high school group to their congregation; subsequent invitation to Robie
21:00 Four-week revival with thirty-five thousand in attendance, 350 converts; spread to other area churches
22:15 Campaign in Utica area; hostile community response of bootlegging citizens; provision of protection by friends; life threatened
27:15 Tent burned; Robie's reaction; subsequent disappearance of bootlegging
28:30 Prayer requirements for effective evangelism
29:45 Invitation from Cornhill Methodist Church, Rochester; breakthrough on third Sunday
30:45 End of tape

T1 - side 2
00:00 Partial repeat of Rochester segment
03:45 Robie's response to visit of dissenting group of "aristocrats;" major breakthrough
06:30 Called to White Lake, Michigan, where six former attempts at revival were unsuccessful; persistence in prayer and sudden collapse of resistance
10:15 Victory requires work in prayer; dedication needed from Christians for successful revival
14:00 Request from Stony Point, New York, from Methodist minister; tent empty except for small faithful gatherings; prayers for breakthrough
22:15 Robie's breakdown at table; retirement to room for anguished prayer and answer from Revelation 11:12
28:00 Resultant success; discard of prepared text and preaching from John to packed tent; need for more space in future weeks
31:15 End of tape

T2 - side 1
00:00 Revival in New City, New York; overview of forty-two years as full-time evangelist
01:30 Successful revival dependant on humility and prayer, persistence
05:15 Early ill health; healing and promise of success in revival
10:15 Prayer time schedule needed; one hour daily for Robie
11:45 Conversion of fellow factory worker in Los Angeles, 1919
17:30 Revival in factory from this conversion
18:45 Story of Finney's "Old Sodom"
24:00 Invitation to Finney by Father Nash; meetings in formerly closed church
29:45 Renaming to New Hope after successful revival
30:00 Robie's invitation twenty-five years later
31:00 End of tape

T2 - side 2
01:42 Pennsylvania Crusade in Dansville, Assembly of God church; terrible storms and small response
06:45 Vision of serpent during the night; special sense of God's presence and sleep of peace afterward
12:45 Experiences of others in the house; black cloud, open heavens
15:30 Necessity to trust to time of visitation of power and spirit; time span secondary
18:15 Similar vision experience in Hagemen, New York; Christ's promise
23:30 Spread of Hagemen revival around the area
28:30 Revival can come without person or theology; needs only Christ
30:00 Biblical roots in Exodus and John
32:00 End of tape


Materials for this collection were received at the Center in December 1979 from Scott E. Webber.

Accession 79-145
May 19, 1983
Frances L. Brocker
J. Nasgowitz

Accession 79-145
Type of material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE. Request by the T# at the beginning of each entry below.

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 60 minutes. One side. Interview with L. C. Robie by Scott E. Webber, 1979. Discussion of early ministry, experiences in New York state churches, successes and hostilities, importance of prayer, work in Michigan.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 60 minutes. One side. Continuation of interview on T1. Discussion of healing from youthful ill health, first conversion of factory worker and spread of faith to others, New Hope revival, visions, power of revival and spirit of Christ, overview of forty-two years.

Send us a message

Return to BGC Archives Home Page
Last Revised: 9/05/02
Expiration: indefinite