Billy Graham Center

Interview with B. Sam Hart - Collection 516

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of B. Sam Hart

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)


Brief Description.
Oral history interview in which Hart discusses his childhood, his parents work as missionaries in Jamaica, church life in Jamaica, his early preaching efforts, decision to go to college, Berlyn M. Nottage

Collection 516
[July 15, 2016]
Hart, B. Sam 1931-2012
Interview; 1996

Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Full name: Berlyn Isles Samuel Hart

Birth date: April 8, 1931 in New York City, New York, USA

Death date: January 19, 2012 in Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA


    Parents: Arthur Isles Hart and Doris C. (Miller) Hart

    Siblings: Four brothers (including Arthur Jr., Donald Augustus, Charles, Scott), five sisters (Gloria Little, Muriel Fairfax King, Faith Majorie Scott, Rosali Edwards, Pauline)

    Marital Status: Married to Joyce Cushnie, June 1951

    Children: Bradley, Anthony, Robert, Sharon Thomas and Patrice Carr

Conversion: At the age of eleven


    ca 1943-1948 Jamaica College (private boarding school)

    ca 1949-1953 Gordon College, Boston, Massachusetts


    ca. 1945 Began preaching

    1959 Founded the Grand Old Gospel Fellowship

    ca. early 1950s Began a yearly tradition of lead summer camps for inner-city children, eventually founding a camp in Perkasie, Pennsylvania

    1962 Started the Grand Old Gospel Hour on radio

    1967 Founded the Arthur and Doris Hart Children's Home in Jamaica along with two of his brothers

    1978 Began broadcasting over station WYIS in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA

    1982 Nominated by President Ronald Reagan for the Civil Rights Commission, but withdrew because of criticism of his conservative stands on abortion, busing and other issues

    1988 Sold his station, WYIS to Rev. Sarrail Salva

Other significant information:

    1932-1948 Grew up in Clowmill, Jamaica

    Preached in over 50 countries

    Planted at least 17 churches, including the Roxbury Gospel Chapel in Boston and the Calvary Gospel Chapel in Germantown, Pennsylvania

    Served as vice president and on the board of National Religious Broadcasters and was elected to the NRB Hall of Fame

Scope and Content

B. Sam Hart was interviewed by Robert Shuster on June 20, 1996, at Hart's home in Ambler, Pennsylvania. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1931to about 1996. Hart is sometimes difficult to hear because of recording problems and there is a continuous, rhythmic clicking (possibly the recorder counter sticking) throughout tape and loud sounds periodically heard when one of the microphones is moved.

Tape T1 (77 minutes)
Parents' missionary work in Jamaica, being named for B.M. Nottage and the prophet Samuel, early determination to preach the gospel, family history, growing up in Jamaica, parents' missionary work, character and influence, family life and childhood in Jamaica, childhood preaching to banana trees and friends, father's and his own church planting methodology, developing and overseeing young leadership, young leader's over sensitivity and elder white missionary's racial insensitivity, more family history and childhood memories, conversion while listening to his father's preaching, first preaching and crusade, preaching philosophy, father's preaching, education focused on preparing to preach, education and life at private boarding school and Gordon College, significance and experience of preaching, comparing preaching to live and radio audiences, comparing Jamaican and U.S. congregations, shock at encountering segregation in US churches, racial attitudes in Jamaica, experience of actor Errol Flynn in Jamaica, class divisions in Jamaica, philosophy of preaching and evangelism

Tape T2 (14 minutes)
Reasons for attending college in the US and philosophy of education, being denied admission to Bob Jones College because of his race, encouragement and help to attend Gordon College, B.M. Nottage's character and influence


The materials in this collection were received by the Center in June 1996 from B. Sam Hart.

Accession: 96-56
December 13, 2000
Wayne D. Weber

Accession: 96-56
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the Audio Tape file.

Note: The original interview was recorded on a cassette tape, which was then copied onto two reels of tape.

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, 77 minutes, one side only. Interview with B. Sam Hart by Robert Shuster on June 20, 1996.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips, 14 minutes, one side only. Conclusion of interview with B. Sam Hart by Robert Shuster on June 20, 1996.

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Last Revised: 7/16/16
Expiration: indefinite