Billy Graham Center

Records of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches - Collection 676

[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.]

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Table of Contents

Title Page and Restrictions

Brief Description of This Collection

Historical Background

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

List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Box List)

Collection 676                                                                                                         
[June 13, 2014]
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches; 1932-
Records; 1950-1982, n.d.
Digital (PDF copies are 788 MB)

Restrictions: None

Brief Description. Digital copies of a small subset of GARBC archives. Those are the files of the National Representative relating to Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. They deal almost entirely with criticism of the theology and methods of Graham and the BGEA in general in relation to evangelism, spiritual counseling and separation from the world and nonFundamentalist churches. Besides correspondence with Graham, other members of the BGEA, and GARBC leaders, pastors and members, there is also material from non-GARBC Fundamentalist leaders and pastors such as Bob Jones Sr., Carl McIntire, John R. Rice, and G. Archer Weniger. The original documents are at the GARBC national office.

Historical Background



May 15-18, 1932, at Belden Avenue Church in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Headquarters location


Ashland Building, 155 North Clark Street, Room 1112



Manhattan Building, 431 South Dearborn Chicago, Ill., Suite 1205-8



Transportation Building, 608 S Dearborn, Chicago, Ill., Suite 848



1800 Oakton Blvd., Des Plaines, IL Des Plaines



1300 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, Ill. 60173


Leaders (the Association had a President until1938 and then had a National Representative)


Harry G. Hamilton



Earl Griffeth 



Robert T. Ketcham



H. O. Van Gilder



Robert T. Ketcham

 (after 1960, Ketcham served for a couple of years as National Consultant)



Paul R. Jackson



Joseph M. Stowell II



Paul N. Tassell



Mark Jackson (interim)



John Greening


Ministry emphasis


The GARBC (commonly referred to as GARB) was not a denomination as such, but a volunteering partnership of independent Baptist churches. There was a national Resource Center provided advice and other help as needed and also published a monthly magazine, Sunday school materials and similar items. The theological stand of the group was Protestant Fundamentalism.

Scope and Content

Arrangement: Alphabetically by folder title. The folder titles are the originals ones from the GARBC filing system. In some cases, where two or more folders have the same title, the archivist added a number in brackets to distinguish one folder from another, as in “Graham [1]”. The folder numbers were added by the archivist for ease in description.
Date Range: 1950-1982
Volume: The pdf copies occupy 788 MB
Geographic coverage: USA
Type of documents: All documents are digital copies. Correspondence, notes, pamphlets, newspaper and magazine clippings, reports
Correspondents: Jerry Beavan, Billy Graham, Paul Jackson, Robert Ketcham, John M. Stowell II, Paul Tassell, G. Archer Weniger, George Wilson, Grady Wilson

Notes: This collection consists of digital copies, made from originals that were loaned to the Archives by the GARBC and paper copies made from the digital copies. Researchers should use the paper copies. They are files kept by the National Representative relating to Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In the very early days of Graham’s ministry, Fundamentalist churches, such as those of the GARBC, were among his most enthusiastic supporters. However, as it became his policy to have as broad a range of Christian churches as possible invite him to a city and support his campaign (provided no restrictions were placed on the evangelistic Christian message he proclaimed), many GARBC pastors and leaders, as well as other Fundamentalists, began to question his methods and theology, culminating in an open split between Graham and many Fundamentalists during the 1957 New York Crusade. These tensions and debates are reflected in the documents in this collection. There are letters from GARBC leaders such as Robert Ketcham, Paul Jackson, Joseph M. Stowell II, and Paul Tassell to Graham and his associates asking for explanations or defenses of their actions, as well as correspondence from various pastors of the Association to the main office complaining about Graham or about attacks on him in the GARBC’s magazine (Baptist Bulletin) and elsewhere. Graham’s growing friendliness with the Catholic church in America and elsewhere was also a recurring topic. After the 1950s and 1960s, the files consist not of pro and con debate, but mainly of clippings and other records about actions of Graham which people in the GARBC disapproved of. Besides materials directly concerned with GARBC pastors and congregations, there are many letters, pamphlets, and clippings by other Fundamentalist leaders laying out at great length why Fundamentalists could not support Graham. There are particularly many articles relating to the 1957 New York City, 1958 San Francisco Bay Cities and 1962 Chicago Billy Graham Crusades. Many folders also contain correspondence or articles about the supposed relationship between Graham and Methodist bishop Gerald Kennedy during the 1963 Los Angeles Crusade (see folder 1-21 among others) and with Henry Van Deusen of Union Theological Seminary (see folders 1-21 and 1-22)

Exceptional items:

Folder #



Paul Jackson’s 1958 statement on biblical separation; correspondence between Graham and Jackson and other BGEA staff about Jackson’s critique of Graham’s evangelistic methods and theology (only the second page of Graham’s March 12, 1962 letter was in the file); 1965 protest of Rev. Alfred Pontius of Newton, Kansas over the use of rock and roll music in the crusade of BGEA associate evangelist John Wesley White; 1962 letter from Paul Johnson to Carl McIntire on BGEA policies; correspondence complaining about Graham speaking at Catholic institutions; letters from Fundamentalist groups in Chicago protesting Graham’s 1962 meetings in that city. Other correspondents include Joseph M. Stowell II, George Wilson, Grady Wilson.


Several letters and reports by New York attorney James E. Bennett criticizing Graham’s 1957 New York City Crusade and also Jack Wyrtzen for his cooperation with the meetings.


Transcripts of Graham’s remarks at the National Council of Churches’ 1966 study group on evangelism; the Catholic priest Cuthbert Allan on Graham’s appeal to Catholics; article by Graham in the Pentecostal Full Gospel Businessmen’s Voice; 1957 statement by William Ward Ayer on the 1957 Billy Graham crusade in New York City.


1964 article about Graham’s meeting with Cardinal Richard Cushing; Graham’s comments in 1963 about the death of Pope John XXIII. Correspondents include G. Archer Weniger; article in the newsletter of the American Council of Christian Churches on the fleeting impact of Graham crusades.


1956 letters between Billy Graham and John R. Rice; 1961 statement by Graham spokesman about baptism (see also folders 1-8 and 1-20); letters about Graham’s meeting with the Siberian Seven in Moscow in 1982; material about Graham’s 1956 visit to Japan; correspondence between Graham and Carl McIntire; correspondents include V. Raymond Edman, George Wilson.


1950-1951 correspondence between Robert Ketcham and Billy Graham and Graham aide Jerry Beavan about Graham’s ministry; 1951 report on audience response to Graham’s appearance on the radio program America’s Town Meeting; long 1958 letter from Graham to David Johnson defending his ministry and methods and an even longer draft of a 1958 generic letter from Graham on the same topic; 1959 article by John R. Rice on Graham’s crusade in Wheaton, Illinois; corespondents include Herbert J. Taylor.


1955 correspondence between Robert Ketcham and BGEA business manager George Wilson on Graham’s ministry.


Several letters from readers of the Baptist Bulletin responding negatively to the publication’s criticism of Graham and Ketcham’s responses. Among the corespondents: George Wilson.


Several letters from Joseph M. Stowell II warning about the effects of Graham’s 1971 Chicago crusade; attack on the Key 73 national evangelism effort and Graham’s participation.


1974 article attacking the International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne as a consortium of compromise.


Long 1957 letter by Bob Jones Sr. critiquing Graham’s theology and methods; 1965 chapel talk by Bob Jones Jr. concerning the 1965 Billy Graham Grenville, South Carolina Crusade.


Corespondents include Jack Wyrtzen.


The materials in this collection are digital copies of original documents loaned to the BGC Archives by the GARBC by Kevin Mungons, Editorial Director-Publications in March 2014 and returned to him in April 2014.

Accession: 14-12 
June 13, 2014
Bob Shuster
M. Matthews
P. Bartow
T. Gulasekharam








[No Name]



Bennett’s Report on New York Crusade



Billy Graham #1



Billy Graham #2



Graham & Catholics



Graham [1]



Graham [2]

1950-1982, nd


Graham [3]



Graham [4]

1957-1966, nd


Graham File 1 Book 1

1950-1961, nd


Graham File 1 Book 2



Graham File 1 Book 3



Graham File 1 Book 4



Graham Letters - Billy and the Bishops

1963-1964, nd


Graham Letters

1951-1963, nd


Graham MSC

1956-1971, nd


Graham Questions and Answers

1954-1974, nd


Graham, Billy [1]



Graham, Billy [2]



Lutheran Standard - Graham

1961, nd


Material on Billy Graham

1951-1966, nd


No. 2 Van Deusen

1957, nd


No. 3 New York Crusade 

1950-1961, nd


No. 5 Charles Fuller



No. 6 Catholic Persecution


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