Billy Graham Center

Interview of Itchaya Sitterley - Collection 383

[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. ]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Itchaya Sitterley

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

Lists of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes


Brief Description.

Oral history interview in which Itchaya describes her family, life in Thailand, education, career in television and radio, conversion, the evangelistic use of folk drama, the Thai church and comparisons between it and the American church, and Buddhism. For more information, please see guide.
Vol.: 2 Reels of Audio Tape

[February 8, 2010]
Collection 383
Sitterley, Itchaya ; 1958-
Interview; 1987

2 Reels of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Itchaya was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on August 6, 1958 [this is based on later, more accurate, information than she had at the time of the interview, so the date and place is different from that in the interview]. Her surname during her childhood was Supasri. She studied at Praruthai Catholic School from the fifth to the tenth grade and there began to develop a belief in God. However, her foster parents were Buddhist and were opposed to her belief. After graduation with a junior college degree from Chiang Mai Teachers College, she taught at the Regina Catholic School for one year.

In 1977, Itchaya began work as an announcer for the Thai Government Television Station in Lampang. Shortly after, she also became an announcer for the associated radio station. After a year, she moved back to Chiang Mai to work as an announcer for the Thai Army Radio Station. In addition to working many hours at the radio station, she began work for a B.A. from Payap University. During her last year of studies, Rev. Allan and Joan Eubanks came to a class and answered questions about Christianity, at which point she remembered her early faith. It was two years, however, before she sought out the Eubanks and committed herself to Christ. She began to study the Bible, was baptized, and became a member of the First Church of Chiang Mai.

In 1983, she began work with the Christian Communications Institute of Payap University, where she worked in folk drama, television, music, and evangelism, and also initiated the radio department and worked as Public Relations Officer. At the beginning of her work with the C.C.I., she met Manop Suriyakam, musician and evangelist on the C.C.I. team, and they were married three months later. They were later divorced.

Itchaya came to the United States in 1987 to work on an M.A. degree from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. She received her degree in 1989 and then returned to Thailand to continue work for Payap University where she founded the new communications department. She eventually became Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University. She took two years off (1996-1998) to go to the Philippines to earn a doctorate in Development Communications from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos. Also in 1998 she married Rev. William Sitterley, who was on the staff of Habitat for Humanity International. Itchaya also served on the National Board in Thailand of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and hosted on the network television shows. She also served on the board of the Voice of Peace, a Thai Christian radio program.

Scope and Content

Itchaya was interviewed by Robert Shuster at 10:00 a.m. on November 13, 1987, at the Billy Graham Center Archives. The approximate dates of the events covered by the interview were 1957-1987. The boldfaced entries are intended to highlight the topics covered in the interview. Time elapsed in minutes and seconds is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview. The index is keyed to the cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

Tape T1 - side 1

00:00 Beginning of Tape
02:15 Introduction
02:45 Family background; childhood; attending a Catholic school in Chiang Mai, Thailand; influence of Christian teacher
07:00 Christian schooling; Buddhist parents; parents' attitude toward Christianity
11:45 Difficulty choosing between Buddhism and Christianity; many Buddhists go to temple for cultural, not religious, purposes
14:45 Attending teacher's college after high school; feeling far way from God at college; teaching at Regina Catholic School after graduation
18:15 Selection as television and radio announcer at age 19; work as announcer at a station in Chiang Mai so as to continue at Payap University there
22:45 Starting own studio and business and buying own home at age 21 or 22; busy but lonely; graduating from the university; looking for love; meeting Allan and Joan Eubanks, who testified about their faith
28:30 Praying to God for rest, help in 1984; distrust of men and fear of being courted because of her position and career; job offer from Christian radio and turning it down; conversion; meeting future husband
34:00 Reasons for auditioning for radio position; reasons for her success in radio and television; popularity of her programs; surface happiness
38:45 Changes in her life after conversion; quitting jobs in order to study for job with Christian Communications Institute (CCI); traveling with CCI; marriage; rest and happiness in serving God
42:00 Reaction of fellow workers to her conversion; reaction of family to her husband and her conversion
44:30 End of side 1

Tl - side 2

00:00 Beginning of tape
00:15 Overlap from side 1
02:00 Coming to study at Wheaton College; need for Christians to mix with secular world; favorite Bible passages
04:45 Description of traditional Thai drama; use of it in scenes from the Bible for evangelizing; use in schools; reaction of people to the Bible drama; difference between music used for evangelism in the city as opposed to the villages
08:00 Methods of using the drama and music; ages of people converting to Christ as result of drama; greater ability of Christians to handle problems compared with non-Christians
15:45 Main denominations of the church in Thailand; programs available; Bible study; special holidays for the church
21:00 Seminaries in Thailand; disappointment at various churches competing against one another
19:30 End of side 2

T2 - side 1

00:00 Start of tape
01:15 Introduction
01:30 Competition among the churches in Thailand; reasons for becoming a Christian; disagreements between preachers over various issues; longing for peace and happiness in a church
04:45 Disagreements between Christians in a Chicago; personal beliefs; asking God for unity
07:15 Buddhist opinion of Christianity and their disagreement with the notion of God creating the world; comparison of Buddhist and Christian doctrine; Buddhists' emphasis on individuality as opposed to family or community
12:45 Buddhists forbidden to kill animals; private fear of killing animals; differences between churches in Thailand and the United States; care given to handicapped in the United States compared to Thailand
17:30 Appreciation for Christian radio and television ministries in Chicago; desire to use mass media for Christianity in Thailand
20:45 Programs previously produced in Thailand; talking to people about their problems on radio show; need to witness to friends and listeners through her lifestyle; seeking a sponsor and time slot for Christian television show; desire to get Master's Degree
26:30 Possible methods or programs to use on Christian radio and television in Thailand; husband's work on Christian program in Thailand; asking for prayer for Thailand
28:40 End of Tape T2


The tapes in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in November 1987.

Accession 87-140

October 15, 1993
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
B. Phillips

April 12, 2000, Revised
Robert Shuster

Accession: 87-140
Type of Material: Audio Tape

The following items are filed in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, approximately 65 minutes, one side. Interview of Itchaya by Robert Shuster. Topics discussed include family background in Thailand, attending a Christian school, college, working in television and radio, conversion, work with Christian Communications Institute, marriage, Thai drama and its use in evangelizing, main denominations and seminaries in Thailand, coming to Wheaton to study; November 13, 1987.
T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, approximately 30 minutes, one side. Continuation of interview of Itchaya by Robert Shuster. Topics include coming to Wheaton to study, competition among churches in Thailand, difference between Buddhism and Christianity, use of media for Christianity in Thailand, programs produced in Thailand; November 13, 1987.

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Last Revised: 9/09/02
Expiration: indefinite