Billy Graham Center

Interview with Harold Louis Day - Collection 273

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Harold Louis Day

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Transcript T1

Brief Description.

Interview in which Day tells about his experiences while working at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle during the pastorate of Paul Rader and his successor, Clarence Erickson.

Collection 273 [July 1, 2008]
Day, Harold Louis; 1913-2006
Interview; 1984

Audio tapes


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Harold Louis Day was born March 16, 1913, to Thomas and Mabel Day in Standard, IL, where his father was a laborer. The Day family included Harold's brother, Wilbur, and two sisters, Esther and Ruth. Harold attended elementary school at Standard School between 1920 and 1928. His parents made a decision to move to Chicago in search of better job opportunities, and Harold attended Lane Technical High School in Chicago between 1930 and 1932.

After graduation, Day began working in valve and chrome plating plants, and was employed at Vacuum Can Company betwen 1938 and 1942. Because of health problems, he transferred to plating work at Glenview Naval Air Station, and then worked briefly as a janitorial assistant at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle.

He was married on June 29, 1940, to Dorothea Finney, and they had three children: Roger, Thomas, and Juanita born between 1942 and 1946. Day began employment in 1946 as an engineering maintenance man for the American College of Surgeons, and continued in this capacity until his retirement in 1979.

Day's sister Ruth worked as a secretary at Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, then under the leadership of Paul Rader. At his sister's urging he began attending services, and subsequently was baptized by Rader. Day remained active in the work of the Tabernacle in a volunteer capacity, and continued in this work until 1978.

Day and his wife lived in Wheaton, Illinois. He died September 30, 2006.

Scope and Content

Harold Day was interviewed by Robert Shuster at the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton, IL, on May 31, 1984. Topics included in the interviews are listed below to the right of the time elapsed on the tape. The index to this tape is keyed to the cassette copy of the original reel-to-reel tape.

Tape T1 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 Introduction
00:15 Background; living near LaSalle, IL, in mining town
01:30 Birth, 1913; hopes for better job in Chicago during Depression
02:30 Jobs in Chicago with valve and plating plants; working for Glenview Air Base in a war job after 1941
05:15 Janitor work at the Tabernacle under Erickson; work at American College of Surgeons (Association). [Interruption in tape.] Work there until 1978.
06:15 Sister Ruth's employment at the Tabernacle and her encouragement to him to come; Ruth's previous involvement in Salvation Army
07:00 Ruth's secretarial duties and transcribing radio programs. Dr. Hogg's interim period before Erickson's coming
08:30 Uncertainty about why Hogg left
09:15 Rader's abilities as a speaker and powerful voice
10:15 Rader's physical abilities in sports
10:30 Rader's high energy level; preaching activities from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; vivid preaching examples used by Rader and Dr. Hogg to show importance of Christians, even though outnumbered
12:45 Rader's preaching with use of his hands, no notes; Day's job of sprinkling the sawdust in preparation for Sunday services
14:30 Size of band and quality of music
15:00 Music at the Tabernacle; Rader's brother's participation and Rader's composing of songs
15:30 Ralph Rader's visits
16:00 Groups of people and ethnic backgrounds of those who attended the Tabernacle
17:15 Small number of blacks who attended services
18:00 Rader's aims and goals for the World Wide Courier groups
19:45 Qualifications of those who attended and training for evangelizing activities
20:15 Effectiveness of Bible study and use of Courier study book
20:45 Instructions about approaching people, Rader's teaching and the use of Bible study as background
22:00 Weekly meetings of Courier groups to report successes
22:15 Area in Tabernacle with national flags for countries where missionaries had been sent
22:30 Size of Courier groups; weekly meetings of all the groups for sharing and testimonies
23:45 Cessation of Courier groups; Rader's later contacts with them
25:00 Rader's leaving the Tabernacle
26:00 Contrast of Rader and Erickson in style of preaching and leadership; selling pieces of concrete and seats in the Tabernacle to raise money
28:30 Staffing and use of the Pantry
29:30 Depression needs and the Pantry's usefulness
30:15 Missionary conventions; Rader's effective preaching and the response from Tabernacle congregation members
32:00 Activities during the conference and Rader's hopes to get many to respond
32:45 Number of missionaries sent by the Tabernacle
33:00 Day's involvement with the band and choir, visitation to homes to encourage attendance to the Tabernacle
34:30 Response to visitations
35:45 Attempt to recall name of band leader--Benson?
36:30 Playing for Sunday services
37:00 Street corner ministry and the Salvation Army
37:15 Reaction to street ministry
37:45 Memories of the spirit of those who attended and staff the Tabernacle; Merrill Dunlop's work with separate groups
39:45 Day's infrequent attendance at other churches except for revival meetings; Raymond Ritchie
40:30 Day's time of service through Erickson and Walter White's ministry at the
Tabernacle; selling the Tabernacle and the gift to Moody of proceeds; Moody's use of it
41:45 Rader's unconcern for membership; establishment of membership under Erickson
42:30 Lack of information about why Rader didn't want memberships
42:45 Independent nature of Rader's leadership
43:15 End of side one

T1 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 Recapitulation of side one
03:30 Day's baptism and ordination by Rader; memories of Dr. Hogg and Merrill Dunlop
04:00 Rader's personal qualities as a friend and counselor
04:45 Rader's spiritual help in crises
06:00 End of tape


The materials for this collection were received by the Center in May 1984 from Harold Day.

Accession #84-76
November 25, 1986
Frances L. Brocker
R. Shuster
J. Nasgowitz

Accession # 84-76
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The tapes listed below are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 7-1/2 ips (15 minutes), 3-3/4 ips (35 minutes). One side only.

Interview of Harold Day by Robert Shuster. Discussion includes Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, Paul Rader, Rev. Clarence Erickson, and Merrill Dunlop; May 31, 1984.

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