Billy Graham Center

Papers of Helen Elizabeth Berry - Collection 428

[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 Helen Elizabeth Berry

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

Lists of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Container List)

Brief Description.

Oral history interview by Paul Ericksen on 1/23/90 in which Berry discusses her youth, family, conversion, call to be a missionary, her education at Wheaton College, missionary work with the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society in Taiwan, church planting, evangelism, Buddhism, superstitions, idolatry, her discipling work among women and girls, national leadership of the Taiwanese churches, "prayer mountains," church and state relations, the roles of single and married women missionaries, deputation, and retirement. The collection also contains prayer letters which date from 1966 to 1990. Vol: 1 Box (DC, .4 cu. ft.), 3 Reels of Audio Tape CN # 428

Collection 428
[January 26, 2001]
Berry, Helen Elizabeth; 1924-
Papers; 1966-1990
1 Box (DC, .4 cubic feet), 3 Reels of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Full name: Helen Elizabeth Berry

Birth date: October 5, 1924

Birth place: Rangeley, Maine

Parents: Charles W. and Winifred Hinkley Berry

Siblings: Two brothers, one sister

Conversion: Around 1935

Marital status: Single

Denominational affiliation: Conservative Baptist

1942 Graduated from Rangeley High School
1942-1945 Providence Bible Institute (now Barrington College, Rhode Island)
1945-1949 Wheaton College; BA in History
1952 University of Maine--Farmington; BS in Education

Career: 1954-? Teacher at Morrison Academy, Nanto, Taiwan
1966 Church work, visitation, Tou Liu, Taiwan
1967-1971 Church work, visitation, Peikang, Taiwan
1972 Church work, visitation, Pingtung, Taiwan
1974 Church work, visitation, Tso Ying, Taiwan
1975-1985 Church work, visitation, New Life Baptist Church, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
1986-1989 Church work, visitation, Wu Chang Baptist Church, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Scope and Content

The prayer letters in this collection (folder 1-1) describe Berry's missionary work in Taiwan under the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society (CBFMS) between 1966 and 1990, except that there are no letters for the years 1972 to 1976. The topics covered in the prayer letters are much the same as those covered in the interviews described below.

Helen Elizabeth Berry was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on January 23, 1990, at the office of the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. The time period covered in the interview is roughly 1924-1990. The topics are listed in the order in which they are discussed. The "side 1" and "side 2" of this description refer to a cassette copy and not the reel-to-reel originals.

Tape T1 - Side 1
Family background
Call to be a missionary
Education at Providence Bible Institute
Course in practical nursing
Child evangelism classes
Application to Wheaton College, acceptance and attendance
Most useful course: evangelistic hymn playing
Majored in history under Earle Cairns; most influenced by Cairns and Kenneth Kantzer
Foreign Missions Fellowship, India prayer group
Conservative Baptist missions
Mission experiences in Taiwan
Experience in substitute teaching
Missionary application process
Teaching in a small school and pastoring a small church in Maine
Appointment as a missionary teacher in Taiwan
End of side 1

Tape T1 - Side 2
Overlap from side 1
Teaching first and second grade in Morrison Academy in Taiwan in 1954
House mother for girls at Morrison while learning the language
Taiwanese language
Work in Taiwanese church in Nantow? for two years before furlough
Return to Taiwan, further language study, city church work
End of tape

Tape T2 - Side 1
Chinese wedding customs
Conservative Baptist Theological College
Second missionary term
Pressure against people accepting Christ in Taiwan
Idol worship center, description of worship
Taiwanese church leadership and church service
Polynesian tribes in Taiwan
Mongolian language taught in schools
Americans in relationship to current Taiwanese politics
Opening of China to Taiwanese visits
Religious freedom in Taiwan
Communism, guns, and drugs outlawed in Taiwan
Chiang Kai-Shek's funeral service
Christian president of Taiwan, Christians in government
End of side 1

Tape T2 - Side 2
Overlap from side 1
Superstitions continued
Twelve year calendar cycle in China
Superstitions in the church
Cultural advantages for spread of gospel
Obstacles to spread of Christianity
Ancestor worship
Discipling Chinese girls
End of tape

Tape T3 - Side 1
Discipling a Taiwanese woman, Serena, who has become a Christian worker
Problems with girls who lived with Berry in Taiwan
Start of new church in store front
Work with youth, Sunday school
Native pastor takes over church but his negativity drives people away
Indigenous church administration
Personal evangelism
Weaknesses of the Taiwanese church
Affect on the church of strong desire for education among Taiwanese
Prayer mountains in Korea and Taiwan, prayer and fasting sessions
Pentecostals and charismatics in Taiwan, denominational cooperation
Personal conflict on the mission field
Changes made in the CBFMS over the years
Short-term missionary programs

Tape T3 - Side 2
Overlap from side 1
Difficulties of a single woman on the mission field
Women's roles in Taiwan
Roles of single and married women missionaries
Acceptance of women in leadership roles
Raising financial support
Differences in missionary training in recent years
Retirement, return to the U.S., deputation, plans for the future



The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Helen Berry in January and July 1990.

Accessions: 90-13, 90-81

February 21, 1996
Janyce H. Nasgowitz

Accession: 90-13
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, approximately 70 minutes, one side only. Interview with Helen Elizabeth Berry by Paul A. Ericksen on January 23, 1990, at the Billy Graham Center. Topics discussed include family background, education, call to be a missionary, appointment as a teacher to Taiwan under the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, approximately 70 minutes, one side only. Continuation of interview with Helen Berry by Paul Ericksen. Includes discussion of teaching in Taiwan, church planting, discipling girls, superstition, leadership of churches.

T3 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, approximately 70 minutes, one side only. Continuation of interview with Helen Berry by Paul Ericksen. Includes discussion of church and state in Taiwan, roles of women, "prayer mountains," and her retirement.

Box Folder Item
1 1 Prayer letters; 1966-1990

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Last Revised: 1/29/01
Expiration: indefinite