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Interview with Chester Terpstra - Collection 491


[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. All of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan.]

Table of Contents

Title Page and Restrictions

Brief Description of This Collection

Biography

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


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

*****

Collection 491 [February 14, 2008]
Chester Terpstra; 1917-2007
Interview; 1993
1 reel of tape (.02 cubic feet)

Restrictions: None


Brief Description: Oral history interview in which Terpstra discusses briefly his years as a student at Wheaton College (1939-1943), his friendship with Billy Graham, and his later ministry in Micronesia and Hawaii.



Biography

Full name

Chester Terpstra

Birth

September 4, 1917 in Allegan County, Michigan, USA

Death April 12, 2007 in Sequim, Washington, USA

Family

 

Parents

George and Lizzie (Lugtiheid) Terpstra

 

Siblings

Aleta, Hilda, Janet, Gerald

 

Marital Status

Margery Shirley Williams, August 10, 1945

 

Children

Michael, Merrill, Marshall

Ordination

In the Congregational Church (later was a minister in the United Church of Christ)

Education

 

1943

BA, Wheaton College

 

1945

MA, Wheaton College

 

1959

DD, University of Edinburgh

Career

 

1945-1948?

Assigned by the Hawaiian Board of Missions to Kawaiahao Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

 

1948-1949

Served as pastor to English-speaking congregation of Makiki Congregational Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

 

1948-1959?

The Terpstras were missionaries under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia

 

1954

Established a Pastors and Teachers Training School in Pohnpei to train Christian workers for Micronesia

 

1963-1969

Served as pastor to English-speaking congregation of Makiki Congregational Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He was instrumental in the formation of the Central Honolulu Community Association, encompassing the Makiki, Sheridan Tract and Kakaako districts.

 

1969-1976

Conference minister of the Hawaii Conference - United Church of Christ

 

1989-1990

Served as Interim Senior Pastor of Makiki Congregational Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

 

1993

Served as Interim Senior Pastor of Makiki Congregational Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Other significant information

 

2004

Moved to the state of Washington to be near their children




Scope and Content

Rev. Terpstra was interviewed by Larry Thompson on May 7, 1993, on the campus of Wheaton College. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1939-1993.

T1 (53 minutes). Preparing for helping to lead the Wheaton in the Holy Lands program in 1982 with Drs. Alfred Hoerth and Morris Inch; reasons for coming to Wheaton in 1939; studies (undergraduate and graduate at Wheaton, and doctorate at Edinborough, 1953-1954, 1958-1959); missionary in Micronesia; impressions of Dr. Henry C. Thiessen; rivalry between the class of 1943 and the class of 1942; disrupting the senior sneak of 1942; Wheaton literary societies; memories of Dr. V. Raymond Edman; James Oliver Buswell III (son of president); decision to pursue missions under the influence of Evan Welsh; religious situation in Hawaii during World War II; ministry role in Hawaii; Honolulu Christian College (later Hawaii Pacific College); ministry role in Micronesia; work as a church leader in Hawaii; participating with Billy Graham in evangelistic services while they were college students; Graham’s courtship of Ruth Bell; pre-millenialism at Wheaton College and in missions; cosmopolitan atmosphere of Hawaii and solidarity of Christians as a minority of the population; Enock C. Dyrness; more on solidarity among Christians; influence of Rev. Takie Okumura [he is described but not mentioned by name in interview], founder of the Makiki Christian Church in Hawaii; effects of World War II on Wheaton; isolation of life at Wheaton; the 1943 revival at Wheaton College; Grady Wilson; work as a butcher during his college days; contacts with Wheaton alumni in Hawaii; letters from Dr. Edman and others about Wheaton that Terpstra planned to give to the College archives; disrupting the senior sneak with Billy Graham; importance of being true to Evangelical convictions; importance of not being judgmental of Christians of other beliefs; Charles Colson at the Honolulu mayor’s prayer breakfast; Jimmy Carter; early mission comity agreements which gave Alaska to the Presbyterians and Hawaii to the Congregationalists

Provenance

The materials in this collection were given to the Wheaton College Special Collections and Archives by Chester Terpstra in May 1993. The WC Archives gave a copy of the interview to the Billy Graham Center Archives, since the BGC Archives staff had set up the interview.

Accession: 93-67
May 18, 2007
Bob Shuster
B. Brollier


LOCATION RECORD
Accession: 93-67
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file.

 #

R/C

Speed

Length

Sides

Contents

Dates

T1

R

3 3/4

53

1

Oral history interview of Chester Terpstra by Lawrence Thompson.

5/7/1993



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