Billy Graham Center
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Interviews with Bob Harrison - Collection 557



[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

Biography of Bob Harrison

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection


Brief Description.
Oral history interview with Harrison describing his family, grandmother's (Cornelia Jones Robertson) involvement in original Azusa Street church in Los Angeles and association with Aimee Semple McPherson, racial conditions in America and the church, influence of his mother and grandmother, his musical development and experience as a jazz vocalist, conversion, writing WHEN GOD WAS BLACK, high receptivity of Third World people to black missionaries contrasted with minimal number throughout the world, exposing black churches to missions and igniting their enthusiasm, his experience as a missionary in the Philippines, assessment of white missionaries who didn't embrace native cultural features which could have enriched the indigenous Christianity, American Christians' need to learn from Third World Christians' worship, the influence of Billy Graham, and emphasis on giving all glory to God.
Vol.: 1 Reel Audio Tape

Collection 557
[November 24, 2012]
Harrison, Bob; 1928-2012
Interview; 1998

Audio Tapes

Restrictions None


Biography

Full name: Robert Emmanuel Harrison

Birth: January 23, 1928, in San Francisco
Death: March 4, 2012

Family:
Parents: Emmanuel Augustus and Leona Schaeffer Harrison
Siblings: Younger sister
Marital Status: Married to Marilyn Miller Harrison, July 6, 1952
Children: Robert Keith (b. 1953), Carol Denese (b. 1955), Adrienne Michelle (b. 1959), David Emmanuel (b. 1960), Steven

Conversion: At an evangelistic service while a student at San Francisco State College

Education:
1951 San Francisco State College, B.A. in music
1954 Bethany Bible College

Career:
1955-1962 Pastor of Emmanuel Assembly Church, San Francisco
1959 Led evangelistic meetings in Germany
1961-1962 Joined Howard Jones under BGEA auspices in evangelistic tour to Africa (Liberia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria)
1962-1965 Worked with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as an associate evangelist
1965-1966 Evangelistic ministry in Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore
1966 Evangelistic crusade in Barbados
1967-1969 Short-term missionary assignment for Overseas Crusades in the Philippines (including eight-day crusade in Bacolod, eight-day crusade in Davao, and four five-day crusades in smaller Mindanao cities; also included ministry in Okinawa, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ceylon, Democratic Republic of Congo
1970s Did inner-city evangelism in the United States, working through the Home division of the Assemblies of God
1973-? Pastor of the Maranatha Evangelistic Center of Portland, Oregon
1990-? National Representative pf Black Ministries in the Assemblies of God

Other significant information:


Scope and Content

Bob Harrison was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on August 14, 1998, during Summit '98 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1906-1998.

T1 (65 minutes). Family members and religious background, grandmother's (Cornelia Jones Robertson) involvement in original Azusa Street church in Los Angeles and association with Aimee Semple McPherson, family character, emphasis on education, attempting to enroll at Bob Jones University and being denied, initial awareness of racism and angry response, parents' emphasis on black history for identity and encouragement to move past his frustration, adoptive grandmother, his parents' meeting, father's absence and distance, mother's encouragement and sacrifice, mother's recognition of Harrison's musical ability and facilitating his development, joining the army out of frustration over lack of opportunities through education, musical opportunities in the army, contacts with prominent jazz musicians and their fatherly encouragement to pursue his education and musical training, influence of professional jazz musicians, reconciling strict religious background with perceived character of jazz, mother's desire for his call to ministry, mother's and Spanish musician evangelist's role in his conversion, overlooking a career-making jazz audition while at an evangelistic meeting, talent scouts' pursuit and his refusal, continued usefulness of music in ministry, writing When God Was Black, immediate and recent response to the book, Assemblies of God reversal of their earlier racist position, need for integration of leadership, forthcoming book Salvaging Leftovers, changes in racial landscape in America and improved opportunities for blacks, high receptivity of Third World people to black missionaries contrasted with minimal number throughout the world, exposing black churches to missions and igniting their enthusiasm, providing mission conferences, his experience as a missionary in the Philippines, assessment of white missionaries who didn't embrace native cultural features which could have enriched the indigenous Christianity, American's need to learn from Third World Christians' worship, Harrison's training rural pastors in the Philippines, Billy Graham's influence and protecting his ministry by giving God all glory

Provenance

The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Bob Harrison in August 1998.

Accession: 98-58
September 12, 1998
Paul A. Ericksen


LOCATION RECORD
Accession: 98-58
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1- Reel, 3-3/4 ips, 65 minutes. 1 side only. Interview of Bob Harrison by Paul A. Ericksen, on August 14, 1998. The interview was originally recorded on an audio cassette and later transferred to a master reel tape for preservation.


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Expiration: indefinite