Billy Graham Center

Papers of Randolph Lee Capp - Collection 439

[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. ]

Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions


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

Lists of Audio Tapes and Photographs in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Container List)

Brief Description.
Audio tape of lunch seminar presented by Capp on obstacles to integrating Muslim converts into the church in Egypt (approximately 45 minutes.) First oral history interview by Paul Ericksen on 1/28/91 in which Capp discusses his conversion and decision to become a missionary, work as a graphic artist on a magazine for Arabic speaking young people in the Middle East with Middle East Media, work as an artist in the literature division of Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, Egyptian and Arabic culture, and interpersonal conflict. In a second interview on 2/4/91 Capp discussed his evangelistic ministry through chalk drawings, the Egyptian church in Egypt, family life and raising children on the mission field, observations about the American church and readjustment to America during furlough, etc. The collection also includes two photographs of Capp's chalk drawings, a sample book cover he designed, summary reports on his chalk drawing meetings, and prayer letters (1991-1997). There are restrictions on the use of this collection.
Vol: 5 Reels Audio Tape, 3 folders


Collection 439
Capp, Randolph Lee; 1953-
Papers; 1987-1997

1 Box (1 DC; .2 cubic feet), 5 Reels of Audio Tape


This collection may only be used in the Archives Reading Room.


Full name: Randolph Lee Capp

Birth date: October 3, 1953

Birth place: Waukegan, Illinois (raised in Zion, Illinois)

Siblings: Four brothers, one sister (Capp is the middle child)
Marital Status: Married to Nancy Elizabeth Capp (nee Williams) in August 1978
Children: Christopher (b. 6/81) and Stephanie (b. 9/85)

Denominational affiliation: Christian Catholic Church in Zion, Illinois

Conversion: Accepted Christ in August 1975 through the influences of a Bill Gothard Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts seminar and Inter-Varsity staff worker Neil Rendall

1971-1976 Northern Illinois University, Bachelor of Fine Arts
1983 Moody Bible Institute - Advanced Studies Program
1990-1991 Wheaton College Graduate School - MA in Missions/Intercultural Studies

1972-1976 Political cartoonist for the Waukegan News-Sun
1975-1976 Designer at Northern Illinois University, Publications Design Office
1976-1978 Package designer for Container Corporation of America
1978-1982 Art director for Magalla magazine, produced by Middle East Media in Cairo, Egypt
1983-1986 Art consultant to Dar El-Thaqafa in Cairo, the publishing arm of Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS)
1986-1989 Art director of Dar El-Thaqafa in Cairo
1989 Associate Director of CEOSS in Cairo

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of audio recordings, most of which are two oral history interviews. Also included are newsletters, photographs, and a brochure describing CEOSS (Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services), which together describe or illustrate Capp's ministry.

T1 - side 1 (40 minutes) Speaking during a lunchtime lecture, "The Barbed Wire Is On Our Side: Incorporating Muslim Converts into the Local Church," Capp briefly describes an experience in his chalk-drawing ministry in Egypt, and makes observations about the Egyptian church, the Islamic environment in which the Egyptian church lives and barriers the Islamic culture erects around the church, barriers which the church erects as protection, Coptic roots of Egyptian Evangelicals, racial issues, barriers caused by adopting American Evangelical's methods and attitudes, the Muslim convert's likely exclusion from marriage, the diminished potential for the institutional church to facilitate evangelism and revival. Closed to researcher use without donor permission until December 31, 2001.

Randy Capp was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on January 28 and February 4, 1991, at the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. The time period covered by the interviews is 1953-1991. The "side 1" and "side 2" of this description reflects a cassette copy and not the original, which is on reels.

T2 (64 minutes). History and religious atmosphere of Zion, Illinois; liberal influence in the church, experiences at Northern Illinois University (ignoring religion throughout college, fraternity involvement), conversion through Inter-Varsity Bible study and Bill Gothard seminar, returning to his fraternity as a Christian (leading a Bible study), work after college, Holy Spirit's work in calling him in 1977 to work as a graphic designer for an Arabic magazine in Cairo being started by John Ferwerda (while simultaneously beginning to date future wife Nancy), raising support, Middle East Media and its magazine Huwa wa Hiya (translated His and Hers, known in the US as Magalla), minimal application process and absence of orientation for Capp in joining Middle East Media, first impressions of Egypt and living conditions there, difficult production schedule left no time for language or culture study, leaving Egypt after four years because of burnout and conflict with his supervisor, call to return to Egypt, conflict with his supervisor and later resolution, graphic design in Arabic and using Egyptian critics to evaluate design, training an Egyptian artist to replace him

T3 (45 minutes). Magalla magazine (readership, growth and development), Egyptian couple which strengthened the team, doubts about his contribution but not his call during the conflict with his supervisor, wife's role in ministry, decision to leave Egypt, invitation to reinvigorate Christian Catholic Church's mission work in South Africa and struggle with future plans, invitation to return to Egypt to work with Dar El-Thaqafa publishing house, preference for working in national organization, history of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), founding Dar El-Thaqafa (CEOSS's publishing division), conflicts and office culture among Egyptians, promotion to position of Art Director as a foreigner and accompanying adjustments, disagreements in leadership and dissolution of the staff, Randy's return home, lessons learned, plans to work with Media Associates International, culturally sensitive departure from CEOSS and Dar El-Thaqafa

T4 (59 minutes) This tape should be listened to in conjunction with the photographs (See Location Record: Photographs). Chalk drawing as evangelistic method: Wheaton College art professor Karl Steele's development of the method, Capp's use of it as a culturally-relevant ministry in Egypt, making chalk and equipment, examples of method's effectiveness, plans to continue it internationally, training an Egyptian replacement to take over the ministry, format of the meeting, stories of presentations, method of preparation, humbling experiences, repertoire of pictures, policy of never giving away a picture; future plans to travel and train (especially Egyptian) graphic artists within their own culture through Media Associates International; family life in Egypt (raising children, his son's health problem)

T5 (58 minutes). Schooling options and children's education in Cairo, goal for Christopher to learn Arabic, children's struggles and perceptions moving between Egyptian and American cultures, the Capps' struggles as a result of Randy's overworking, high value placed on family time, discrimination against women (particularly as an American) in Egyptian culture, tensions in their marriage and how they have addressed them, church participation and worship in Cairo, comparison between Egyptian and American churches, strength (national leadership) and weakness (predominance of American practices which contrast with indigenous forms) of Egypt's Evangelical church, what American Evangelicals could learn from Muslims, a Muslim perspective of Western church and Egyptian Evangelical church practices and differences between mosques and Egyptian churches, church characteristics which appeal to Muslims and forms of effective outreach to them, syncretism in the Egyptian church (imported Western thought forms, superstitious elements in rural areas), desires for next term in Egypt, early prayer to be used by God and how that has already been answered


The materials for this collection were received by the Center in December 1990 and January and February 1991 from Randolph Capp. The Capps' periodic newsletters were added to Accession 91-19 as they were received; subsequent newsletters were added to the collection.

Accessions: 90-126, 91-9, 91-19, 91-20

October 30, 1997
Mark Congdon
P. Ericksen

Accession: 90-126, 91-9, 91-20
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1R - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, approximately 40 minutes. One side. Brown Bag lunch seminar featuring Randolph Capp, entitled "The Barbed Wire Is On Our Side: Incorporating Muslim Converts into the Local Church." [Recording begins with what sounds like an audio or video recording; it is uncertain whether this was part of the session. Recording also contains a slight trailing echo of previously spoken comments.] Recorded December 7, 1990, at the Billy Graham Center. Closed to researcher use without donor permission until December 31, 2001.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, 64 minutes. One side. Interview with Randolph Capp by Paul Ericksen, January 28, 1991.

T3 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, 45 minutes. One side. Continuation of interview on T2 on January 28, 1991.

T4 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, 59 minutes. One side. Interview with Randolph Capp by Paul Ericksen, February 4, 1991.

T5 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 58 minutes. One side. Continuation of interview on T4.



Accession: 91-19

Type of material: Photographs

The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE; request by Folder Titles (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.

CAPP, RANDOLPH. Two color shots of Capp with Egyptians and examples of his chalk drawings. Also an example of a book cover. 3 color.

Box Folder Description
1 1 Chalk meeting: Summary reports; 1987-1988
1 2 Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services: Brochure; 1990?
1 3 Newsletters; 1991-1997

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Last Revised: 11/21/00
Expiration: indefinite