Billy Graham Center
Archives

BGEA: Telephone Counseling Ministry - Collection 575


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In cases where an individual document (paper record, photo, audio recording, moving image recording, etc.) is online at the Archives’ Website, either the description of a specific item is underlined, or this symbol -- -- appears next to a general description to indicate that an item covered by that description is online. Clicking on the symbol or the underlining will link to the item. If there are two or more of these symbols -- -- that appear by a description, the number of symbols indicates the number of items covered by the description that are online, such as several different photos from a photo file.]
 

Table of Contents

Title Page and Restrictions

Brief Description of This Collection

General Historical Background of Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Historical Background

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)
    I. Paper Records
      A. Statistics
      B. Correspondence, Samples and Instructional Materials
      C. Counseling Letters
    II. Audio-Visual Materials
Lists of Audio Tapes, Slides, and Video Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

    Audio Tapes
    Slides
    Video tapes
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Box List)
    I. Paper Records
      A. Statistics
      B. Correspondence, Samples and Instructional Materials
      C. Counseling Letters



*****

Collection 575                                                                                                   [February 22, 2006]

BGEA: Telephone Counseling Ministry; 1982-
Records; 1978-1990
Volume: 37 Boxes (DC), Audio Tape, Slides, Video (15.04 cubic feet)

Brief Description. Correspondence, memos, minutes, statistics, audio tapes, videos and slides relating to the BGEA’s telephone counseling ministry, which recruited and trained volunteer counselors to answer phone calls from inquirers at several centers around the country after broadcasts of BGEA evangelistic programs on television. This collection documents the early history and development of the program.

Restrictions: All materials in this collection are on deposit from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and may not be copied without written permission from the authorized representative of the BGEA. Any researcher who wishes to request permission must get the required form from the Archives staff. It is the responsibility of the researcher to fill out the form and send it to the BGEA.

Anyone using the following folders until December 31 of the year seventy-five (75) years from the oldest document in the folder indicated must sign an agreement that he or she will maintain the confidentiality of these folders. No material in these folders may be copied.

Folders 28-6, 28-7, 28-8, 29-1, 29-2, 29-3, 30-1, 30-2, 30-3, 30-4, 30-5, 30-6, 31-1, 31-2, 31-3, 31-4, 31-5, 31-6,32-1, 32-2, 32-3, 32-4, 32-5, 32-6, 32-7, 32-8, 33-1, 33-2, 33-3, 33-4, 33-5, 33-6, 33-7, 33-8,34-1, 34-2, 34-3, 34-4, 34-5, 34-6, 34-7, 34-8, 35-1, 35-2, 35-3, 35-4, 35-5, 35-6, 35-7, 36-1, 36-2, 36-3, 36-4, 36-5, 37-1

 




Historical Background

 

Significant events

 

1957

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association began broadcasting evangelistic services live during the New York City Crusade. By the mid 1960s, a method had developed of broadcasting three to five services from a particular crusade over local TV stations, all of the stations broadcasting at roughly the same time, although the actual nights of the broadcast differed from city to city. From the earliest broadcasts, there had been numbers that viewers of the program could call to commit their lives to Jesus Christ or to ask spiritual questions. When people did called, material was mailed to them.

 

1975

During the West Texas Crusade in Lubbock, Texas, BGEA staff experimented with counseling inquirers directly over the phone, but were only able to take a few calls. Over the next few years, the staff, especially Charlie Riggs, Tom Phillips, and Charles Ward, continued to try different kinds of phone equipment and procedures.

 

1980

During the Indianapolis Crusade, the staff achieved satisfactory results, operating out of Youth for Christ’s local headquarters, with rotating telephone call equipment and thirty-four phone lines. The center received over 500 calls and 1300 attempts. The staff then began developing methods of recruiting and training counselors. During a live broadcast of the Reno crusade the first year, the Minneapolis telephone counseling center was inaugurated with volunteers from the BGEA office in that city.

 

1981

In March 1981, 200 phone lines were installed in the Minneapolis center. Over five nights, 7,600 people were counseled and 72,000 received a busy signal. During the Baltimore and Southern Alberta Crusades, centers in other cities were begun. The television telephone counseling (TVTC) department was initially under the direction of Terry Wilken, who was followed by Charles Ward, ca. 1985. Centers, besides the one in Minneapolis, were started in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Burbank, California; San Jose, California, Wheaton, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Seattle, Washington. Counselors were recruited from local churches and lists of BGEA supporters in the area. Shortly before each broadcast (there were usually three or four sets of broadcasts a year), new volunteers would be trained in how to lead people to Christ over the phone and how to answer various kinds of questions. Much of the paperwork was handled out of the BGEA headquarters, although there were local coordinators in each city.




Scope and Content

[Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation "folder 2-5" means "Box 2, Folder 5"]

Series: I. Paper Records
Subseries: A. Statistics; B. Correspondence, Samples and Instructional Materials; C. Counseling Letters
Date Range: 1978-1990
Volume: 14.6 cubic feet
Boxes: 1-37
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: Statistics, reports, correspondence, instructional manuals
Subjects: The development of procedures for telephone counseling centers in several parts of the country, development of instruction materials for volunteer counselors, the response to crusade broadcasts in the United States; the type of requests people send to Billy Graham and the BGEA
Notes: The documents in the series tell the story of the development of procedures and staff for the telephone counseling centers in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Burbank, California; Wheaton, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Seattle, Washington. There are also a few samples of crusade sermons, comments from the people calling in and the response of the counselors, and testimonies. There are also several boxes of questions and responses to Billy Graham’s newspaper column, “My Answer.”

***** 

Subseries: I.A. Statistics
Arrangement: Rough chronological order, according to dates of BGEA crusade television broadcasts
Date Range: 1980-1986
Volume: 6.6 cubic feet
Boxes: 1-17
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: Narrative and statistical reports, memos, letters
Correspondents: Sterling Huston, Stan Jackson, Arlene Myrlie, Charlie Riggs, Charles Ward, Terry Wilken, George Wilson
Subjects: Materials are concerned almost entirely with the dates, times, and syndicated stations of crusade broadcasts, arrangements for telephone counseling in the several centers around the country and the operation of those centers, and the statistics of the different types of responses received at these centers.
Notes: The subseries, although labeled statistics, also includes a good deal on other aspects of the counseling centers’ operation and overall administration. Among the types of statistics gathered are the number of listeners to a particular broadcast, the number of telephone inquires, the potential audience of various television stations, the number of inquires received by the various counseling centers, broken down by types of inquiry (conversion, assurance). There are some statistics for the early years breaking down inquirers by age and sex, but apparently the staff soon stopped keeping this kind of data.

 *****

Subseries: I.B. Correspondence, Samples and Instructional Materials
Arrangement: Alphabetical by significant word in folder title
Date Range: 1978-1990
Volume: 4.4 cubic feet
Boxes: 17-28
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: Correspondence, manuals, sermons, statistics, minutes, printed summaries of testimonies of counselors and of inquirers, notebooks of information on the various centers
Correspondents: Fred Durston, Sterling Huston, Jim Mathis, Arlene Myrlie, Tom Phillips, Charlie Riggs, Steve Scholle, Charles Ward, Terry Wilken
Subjects: The development and operation of telephone counseling centers, responses to evangelistic broadcasts
Notes: The materials in this subseries overlap to a large degree in information and types of documents with subseries 1A. This subseries also has information on the planning meetings (see folders 25-5 to 25-7, as well as elsewhere in this subseries) that discussed the development of the centers and the various manuals, slide/tape programs and other instructional materials developed for volunteers

Exceptional items: Folder 25-2 contains many examples of the form letters sent out by the BGEA to recruit counselors and for other aspects of the telephone counseling work. Folder 25-9 contains fairly detailed organization charts from the late 1970s for most aspects of the BGEA’s operations. Folder 26-5 contains excerpts from some of the Billy Graham sermons which had been broadcast and to which the telephone inquirers were responding. These were apparently given to telephone counselors for reference.

***** 

Subseries: I.C. Counseling letters
Arrangement: Alphabetically, by letter codes assigned by the BGEA staff. These codes do not correspond to the names of the inquirer. The letters are also in rough chronological order.
Date Range: 1978-1989
Volume: 3.6 cubic feet
Boxes: 28-37
Geographic coverage: United States
Type of documents: Photocopies of letters, counselor forms summarizing inquiry and response (very few of these)
Subjects: Wide range of spiritual and moral problems and theological questions, as well as questions about Billy Graham and the BGEA. Also many comments on Billy Graham and his ministry.
Notes: There is one folder (28-2) with forms filled out by telephone counselors, describing inquiries they received and their responses in a very summary form. All the rest of this subseries consists of copies of letters sent to Billy Graham, asking for spiritual or theological help. These letters were apparently sent to the BGEA’s counseling department, although none of them indicate what kind of reply, if any, was sent. Apparently these were letters which were considered for use in Graham’s newspaper advice column, “My Answer.” Whether they were indeed used and when is unknown. Perhaps these materials were gathered together reference materials for those preparing sample questions and responses for the use of volunteer counselors.

***** 

Series: II. Audio-Visual materials
Arrangement: Type of material, then by date
Date Range: 1980-1987
Volume: .44 cubic feet
Type of documents: Instructional materials, including slides, audio tapes, video cassettes
Subjects: Purpose and methods of BGEA’s telephone counseling system
Notes: The documents in this series consist mostly of training materials developed for the telephone counseling program. The changes and continuities in the program over time can be seen by listening to/viewing earlier and later tapes.

Exceptional items: The parts of the slide and tape program Just a Phone Call Away, meant to recruit telephone counselors, can be found on tape T7 and Slides S1-S86. The script of the program is in folder 25-3. Audio tape T1 contains comments by Tom Phillips on the early history of the program.
 

Provenance

The materials in this collection were deposited in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1991-1992.

Accession: 91-52, 92-10 
February 22, 2006
Bob Shuster
K. Hayward


LOCATION RECORD
Accession: 92-10
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file.
Item# - Reel or cassette, speed, length, number of sides, contents (title of session, participants) according to the program, date.

 #

R/C

length

Sides

Contents

Dates

T1

R

70

1

Talk by Tom Philips on the history and methods of the BGEA telephone counseling ministry. His audience was apparently members of the BGEA office staff who had volunteered to serve as counselors at the Minneapolis center the live broadcast of the Reno Crusade

11/3/1980

T2

C

60

2

Telephone counselor training, session II for Minneapolis office staff. Led by Tom Phillips.

11/3/80

T3

C

20

1

Telephone counselor training, session II, concluded. Led by Tom Phillips.

11/3/80

T4

C

30

1

Stories by telephone counselors about their experiences. These were apparently recorded by the BGEA as a resource for training.

9/4/1981

T5

C

30

1

Stories by telephone counselors about their experiences. These were apparently recorded by the BGEA as a resource for training.

9/11/1981

T6

C

60

2

Talk on the Christian life by Charlie Riggs to, apparently, the Minneapolis staff who had volunteered to serve as telephone counselors

3/5/1983

T7

R

11

1

Just a Phone Call Away Tape portion of a slide/tape presentation to recruit counselors for the telephone counseling program. Slides S1-S86 contain the visual portion of the program and the script is in folder 25-3.

ca. 10/1983

 *****
LOCATION RECORD
Accession: 92-10
Type of material: Slides
The following items are located in the SLIDE FILE. All of the slides are in color, unless otherwise noted

S1-S86. Slide portion of a slide and tape presentation, Just a Phone Call Away that was mean to recruit volunteer telephone counselors. The slides include various scenes of the counselors at work. 1983. The audio portion of the is on tape T7 and the script is in folder 25-3.

 *****
LOCATION RECORD
Type of material: Videos
Accession: 92-10
The Archives has one copy of each video, unless otherwise noted. The following items are in the Video FILE:

#

Type

C or B&W

Length in min.

Title

Description

Date

V1

VHS

c

16.5

--

Scenes showing BGEA telephone counselors at work, probably during the Reno Crusade. Soundtrack is very low.

11/16/ 1980

V2

VHS

c

90

--

Training tape for BGEA telephone counselors. There is an introduction by Cliff Barrows, then lessons ed by Charlie Riggs and Charles Ward. Topics discussed include how to lead a person to Christ, forms and procedures the counselors should be aware of, handling problems.

Ca. 1980

V3

VHS

c

5.5

--

Greeting, description of the purpose of telephone counseling, and message of encouragement by Cliff Barrows to telephone counselors. Filmed on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the student mission the BGEA held on that campus. The video was apparently shown to the telephone counselors recruited to help during the broadcast of that mission. 2 copies.

10/1/1982

V4

VHS

c

61

--

Charlie Riggs of the BGEA leading a training tape for BGEA telephone counselors. He describes how to lead a person to Christ and outlines procedures counselors should follow. 2 copies.

5/17/1983

V5

VHS

c

58

--

Charles Ward of the BGEA on a training tape for BGEA telephone counselors, outlining procedures they should follow. 2 copies.

5/17/1985

V6

VHS

c

2.25

--

Christmas greeting and message of encouragement by Billy Graham to telephone counselors.

11/11/1986

V7

VHS

c

38

--

Charles Ward of the BGEA leading a training tape for BGEA telephone counselors. He talks about how to counsel people on the phone, how to lead a person to Christ and what happens afterwards (invitation and follow-up) and how to deal with special situations, such as questions about assurance of salvation, cults, or reports of child abuse. 2 copies.

1/22/1987

V8

VHS

 

36.5

Briefing for New Counselors

Charles Ward of the BGEA leading a training tape for BGEA telephone counselors. He describes the various procedures to follow and the forms that need to be filled out. He also shows how to use the counselors handbook to deal with various situations that might arise. Directed by Greenlee.

5/7/1987

V9

VHS

c

33.5

--

Charles Ward of the BGEA leading a training tape for BGEA telephone counselors. He talks about how to counsel people on the phone (spiritual discernment), how to lead a person to Christ and what happens afterwards (invitation and follow-up), and how to handle special situations, such as assurance of salvation, talking to members of cults, and reports of child abuse. Directed by Greenlee.

5/7/1987

V10

VHS

c

8.5

--

Christmas greeting and message of encouragement by Cliff Barrows to telephone counselors.

10 /1987

V11

VHS

c

19

Witnessing to the Roman Catholic

Training tape led by Alan Street

1988

V12

VHS

c

50

Preliminary Witness Training, Part I

Training tape for BGEA telephone counselors led by Charles Ward. 2 copies.

1989

V13

VHS

c

30

Preliminary Witness Training, Part II

Training tape for BGEA telephone counselors led by Charles Ward. 2 copies.

1989

 





BOX LIST

Box

Folders

First Folder/Last Folder

Dates

Series I: Paper Records

Subseries: I.A. Statistics

1

19

November 1980 / Testimonies

1980- 1981

2

15

March 1981 Charts & Graphs

1981-1982

3

14

Statistics / Telephone Activity

1981

4

23

Originals / Seattle

1981

5

14

December 1981 / March 1982

1981-1982

6

9

Copies / Telephone Activity

1982

7

7

Dec. 1982 / Crusade Results

1982-1983

8

6

Stat Originals / Telephone Counseling

1983

9

11

Arlene’s Copies / Originals

1983-1984

10

15

Telephone Counseling / Originals

1981-1984

11

11

Charts & Graphs / Final Draft

1984-1985

12

10

Charts And Graphs / June 1985

1981-1985

13

9

Cumulative State Report Form / Counselor Survey

1985

14

12

December 1985 / Originals

1985-1986

15

13

Telecasts / Charts & Graphs

1984-1986

16

14

September 1986 schedule (BA) / December 1986 schedule (BA)

1986

17

8

TVTC Schedule / Originals

1986

Subseries: I.B. Correspondence, Samples and Instructional Materials

17

3

Articles-TVTC / Computer Program

1981-1984

18

4

Canadian Telecast / Correspondence

1981-1984

19

3

Correspondence / Correspondence

1983-1984

20

4

Correspondence/ Correspondence

1984-1986

21

2

Correspondence / Counseling Center Notebook

1981-1986

22

2

Counseling Manual / Counseling Manual

1981

23

4

Counseling Statistics Notebook /Counseling Summary Notebook

1981-1982

24

5

Follow-Up Manual / Telephone Counseling (Lowell Jackson)

1981-1990

25

9

TV House Parties / Organization Charts

1978-1986

26

7

Regional Committee Manual / Training

1982-1989

27

4

Pink TVTC Survey Copies / Wilken, Terry

1981-1989

28

5

Wilken, Terry / Workshop Materials

1980-1987

Subseries: I.C. Counseling letters

28

2

TV Telephone Counseling Forms / A

1982-1989

29

3

A / A

1988-1989

30

6

A / DL

1978-1989

31

6

DA / DT

1981-1984

32

8

EC / FB

1983-1986

33

8

FC / GB

1985-1986

34

8

GC / HB

1986

35

7

HC / HH

1986-1987

36

5

HI / HO

1976-1987

37

1

Unlabeled

1987-1988




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