Billy Graham Center

Interviews with Sadie Custer - Collection 470

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Sadie Custer

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection


Audio File and Written Transcript for T1

Audio File and Written Transcript for T2

Audio File and Written Transcript for T3

Brief Description.
Oral history interview in which Custer discusses her childhood, conversion, education at Moody Bible Institute, joining the China Inland Mission, arrival in China in 1936, the Chinese language, work in Shensi province, Bible teaching, transition from missionary to Chinese leadership, the Three Self Movement, the Communist revolution in China and its effect on missions, the Sino-Japanese Conflict, work in Malaysia among Chinese, living in an area in Malaysia contested by the government and communist guerillas, work with the Paiwan tribe in Taiwan, retirement in 1976 and prayer ministry in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Vol.: 3 reels of audio tape

Collection 470
[December 18, 2007]
Custer, Sadie; 1911-2007
Interview; 1992

3 Reels of Audio Tape

Restrictions: None


Full name: Sadie Custer

Birth date: January 29, 1911, in Allendale, Michigan

Death date: February 18, 2007

Parents: Benjamin and Sadie Visser Custer
Siblings: Four brothers and three sisters [Custer was the sixth of the eight]
Marital Status: Single

Denominational affiliation: Christian Reformed Church, nondenominational church

Conversion: Dr. DeHaan led her to the Lord ca. 1929 in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Completed the available ten grades at community high school
1932 Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois

1936 Accepted into China Inland Mission
1936-1944 Pioneer evangelism and Bible teaching in New Market, Shensi Province
1946-1951 Evangelism and Bible teaching in Shensi Province
1955-1972 Itinerant Bible teacher in villages in Pahang State, Malaysia
1973-1976 Worked with the Paiwan tribe in Taiwan
1976 Retired to Grand Rapids area in Michigan
1987 Moved to OMF's retirement center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Scope and Content

Sadie Custer was interviewed by Robert Shuster on December, 10, 1992, at the Lammermuir Retirement Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The events described in the interview cover the time period ca.1920-1992. Tapes were originally recorded on two cassette tapes and later transferred to three reel-to-reel master tapes.

T1 (65 minutes). Growing up in a close Christian family on a farm, evaluation of her education, being led to faith in Christ by Dr. M.R. DeHaan, living and working in Grand Rapids with her sister, resisting the call to missions and then changing her mind, sister Julia's death from influenza, education at Moody Bible Institute (impact of professor Kenneth Wuest, the importance of prayer, practical ministry, enjoying evangelistic activities, spiritual development and learning to relate to God), oneness with CIM philosophy and goals, process of going to China, traveling to China with twenty-six CIM women missionaries in 1936, difficulty of but delight in learning Chinese, well suited as a farm girl to rural life in China, pioneer work in unevangelized area, testimony of carpenter Mr. Chin, Chinese evangelists (Meng Ching Wuen, Fu Yung, Chin Yu Kuoh), her Bible teaching work, typical worship service, evangelistic methods, woman preacher (Miss Liang), learning customs from Chinese Bible woman (Mrs. Wu)

T2 (65 minutes). Ten-year plan for establishing self-supporting indigenous churches and pressure from the Three Self Movement, bombings in 1940 during Sino-Japanese War, evangelistic street meetings, Bible teaching ministry, leaving China, ministry in Malaysia, testimony of a young Buddhist named Golden Lion (Tam Kim Sai) and his call to Malaysian Muslims, call to Malaysia, devoted Christian family, regular interrogation by Communists in China, Three Self Movement, missionary conferences, reports of Christianity in China flourishing, evangelistic Bible teaching ministry in rural Malaysia among Buddhists, strengths and weaknesses of the Malaysian church, living in midst of an area disputed by Communist and colonial or nationalist governments, transferring to Taiwan at age sixty-three to be a Bible teacher among the nominal Christian Paiwan people, language barriers, testimony of young soldier, [minute of tape inaudible due to recording difficulties], prayer ministry after retirement

T3 (16 minutes). Prayer group ministry for missionaries after retirement in Michigan, prayer supporters throughout her career, prayer group ministry in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, comparing missions in 1936 and 1992


The audio tapes in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Sadie Custer in December 1992.

November 24, 1997
Accession: 92-154
Paul A. Ericksen
L. Ellison

Accession: 92-154
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, 69 minutes. One side. Interview with Sadie Custer by Robert Shuster, December 10, 1992. Originally recorded on a cassette and later transferred to this master reel.

T2 - Reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, 68 minutes. One side. Continuation of interview with Sadie Custer by Robert Shuster, December 10, 1992. Originally recorded on a cassette and later transferred to this master reel.

T3 - Reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, 17 minutes. One side. Continuation of interview with Sadie Custer by Robert Shuster, December 10, 1992. Originally recorded on a cassette and later transferred to this master reel.

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Last Revised: 2/24/00
Expiration: indefinite