Billy Graham Center

Ephemera of the Railroad Evangelistic Association - Collection 378

[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.]

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

Historical Background of the Railroad Evangelistic Association

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

Lists of Artifacts, Periodicals, and Photographs in This Collection (Location Records)


Brief Description.
Tax exemption correspondence, constitutions, tracts, membership application of the REA, an organization created by railroad workers for fellowship and evangelism. Only a very few items in this collection. They describe the structure of the organization, a little bit about its purpose. Tracts give the testimonies of some of the members. Vol: 1 Box (DC), Photograph CN # 378 .

Collection 378
[February 23, 2001]
Railroad Evangelistic Association; 1941-
Ephemera; 1941-1985
1 Box (DC; .23 cubic feet)


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Historical Background

The Railroad Evangelistic Association, formed in 1941, grew out of the work of L. S. Harkey. He began putting out a publication entitled The Railroad Evangelist and it was his desire to start a fellowship organization for Christians in the train industry and their families, an organization that would help arrange Sunday services for train workers who could not go to church, distribute literature, and evangelize other train workers. After a couple of years of effort, the REA was formally organized at a meeting in Sanford, FL, in January 1941. The Railroad Evangelist, with Harkey continuing as editor, became the official magazine of the group. Herman Rose, an Indiana realtor and train buff, soon became an important member of the group and for most of the REA's existance was its secretary-treasurer and editor of the magazine. His home in Indiana became the center of the organization. The main activities of the group included putting out the magazine, holding annual conventions for fellowship and Christian nurture, printing tracts and supporting field evangelists who worked among unsaved railroad men and women. Membership was open to any Protestant who could sign the statement of faith. Eventually membership was opened to Catholics as well.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a few miscellaneous items of the REA, all in folder 1-1. There is correspondence about the Association's tax exempt status, which includes information on its purpose and goals. Also in the folder are copies of the group's constitution, showing how it was revised over the years. Of special interest are the tracts put out by the REA for railroad workers.



The material in this collection was given to the Archives by Herman Rose in August 1987.

Accession #87-103
August 21, 1987
Robert Shuster
J. Nasgowitz

Accession # 87-103
Type of Material: Artifacts

The following items have been given to the BGC MUSEUM unless otherwise noted:

Two china plates, with a black and white photographic image of Luther S. Hankey in the center and the text, "Railroad Evangelistic Association/TWENTY-FIFTH Anniversary 1941-1966/Luther S. Hankey/ Railroad Engineer/Founder," 10 inches in diameter.

Accession # 87-103
Type of Material: Periodicals

The following items have been given to the BGC LIBRARY unless otherwise noted:

The Railroad Evangelist
Vol. 2, #10-12 (photocopies)
Vol. 3, #1-12
Vol. 4, #2-12
Vol. 5 - Vol. 47 (1986)
Vol. 48, #1-4 (1987)

Accession # 87-103
Type of Material: Photographs

The photos listed below are located in the PHOTO FILE:

RAILROAD EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION. Picture of the attendees of the 1985 Railroad Evangelistic Association convention in Winona Lake, IN. Included in the picture is Herman Rose, secretary-treasurer, and his wife, Thelma, bookeeper for the REA. 1 color.

Send us a message

Return to BGC Archives Home Page
Last Revised: 2/23/01
Expiration: indefinite