Billy Graham Center

Interview with Erma Horton Stevens Walker - Collection 303

[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.]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Erma Horton Stevens Walker

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)


Transcript 1

Transcript 2

Brief Description.

Interview about Walker's conversion, background in Christian Science, education at Wheaton College, husband Bill Walker, church planting in Texas, and acceptance to Central AmericanMission.

Collection 303 [May 9, 2017]
Walker, Erma Horton Stevens; 1913-2001
Interview; 1985

2 Reels of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Full name: Erma Horton Stevens Walker
Birth date: July 30, 1913
Birth place: Brooklyn, NY; moved to Chicago as an infant
Death: January 25, 2001 in Waukesha, Wisconsin
Siblings: Brothers Steven and Harold (Harold died of diphtheria in 1923)
Conversion: Accepted Christ at a service by Don Hillis in 1934
Marital Status: Married Rev. William H. Walker II in 1938
Education: Wheaton Community High School
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL--B.A. in journalism, 1935
Northwestern University--1935-1936 (?)
Columbia Bible College, Columbia, SC--1936/37 (?)
Career: 1935-1937 Taught journalism at Wheaton College
1939 Joined Central American Mission

Scope and Content

Erma Horton Stevens Walker was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on May 4, 1985, at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, IL. The time period covered by the interviews is 1913-19(40). Time elapsed in minutes and seconds is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview. The index is keyed to a cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

T1 - side 1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Beginning of tape
01:15 Introduction to interview on May 4, 1985
01:45 Childhood memories, move from Brooklyn to Chicago
06:00 Raised in Christian Science cult, death of brother Harold in 1923, how this challenged Christian Science beliefs, response of Christian Scientists, parents
15:45 Move to Wheaton in 1922, reputation of Wheaton College
18:30 Christian friends in high school, never told the gospel, involvement in drama, writing
22:00 Father fired because of Harold's death, difficult winter, neighbor told her gospel stories but to no effect
26:45 The Depression, Methodist people sent food, Methodist evangelist Dr. [Charles] Massey, family joined the Methodist church
30:30 Attendance at Wheaton College while still unsaved, many moving experiences but no belief, confession of Jesus Christ at church service led by Don Hillis, effect of her decision on family and their salvation
40:00 Friendly atmosphere at Wheaton, praying for her family
44:30 End of tape

T1 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:15 Overlap with side 1
01:00 Continuation of side 1
01:15 Effect of Depression on family and Wheaton College, selling Christmas cards to earn money for school, cover-up of Christian Science beliefs
05:30 Memories of President Buswell, favorite faculty and classes, membership in Oratorical Society and Debate Society, speech major
08:30 End of tape

T2 - side 1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:45 Continuation of interview on T1
01:15 Positive impact of Theism class with Dr. Dan Weyer
03:00 Missionary emphasis services, dedicated life to serve as a missionary at a meeting of Dr. [Robert Crawford] McQuilkin
06:00 Meeting future husband, Bill Walker, through campus prayer meeting leadership, Senior Sneak, friendship by correspondence leading to marriage in 1938
14:30 Husband became Presbyterian minister, city mission and church planting in small towns in Texas, brother Steve's first sermon
18:45 Teaching journalism at Wheaton, communist teacher at Northwestern University, boldness toward antagonists of Christianity
26:00 Desire to be a missionary, rejection by Presbyterian mission board because of Dallas Theological Seminary attendance, application and acceptance by Central American Mission (CAM)
32:45 Bill's work as a pastor before going to mission field, enjoyment as a pastor's wife, rugged living as preparation for mission work
39:30 Influence of personal study in Psalms, time spent at Columbia Bible College
42:15 End of tape


The materials for this collection were received by the Center in May 1985 from Erma Walker on the occasion of the interview.

Accession 85-64
March 21, 1995
Mark Congdon

Accession 85-64
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 52 minutes. One side. Interview with Erma Horton Stevens Walker by Paul Ericksen, May 4, 1985. Discussion of childhood, Christian Science cult, effects of the Depression, Wheaton College, personal conversion.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 42 minutes. One side. Continuation of interview on T1. Discussion of husband Bill Walker, city mission and church planting in Texas, application and acceptance to Central American Mission.

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Last Revised: 9/09/02
Expiration: indefinite