billy graham center archives
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Collections Processed in 2008
Paper Records and Mixed Media
(15 collections and a special project:
4 new, 11 updated, 1 test; not all shown here)

"New" means a collection being processed and described for the first time. An "updated" collection is having more material added to it, sometimes few items, sometimes many cubic feet of files or other items.

"BGEA" means a collection of records of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

New Collections

CN #

Brief Description

599 Ephemera of the “Auca Incident.” Documents from a variety of sources about the murder of five American missionaries in 1956 when they were attempting to introduce the Christian faith to the Waorani people of Ecuador, the impact of the event on Evangelicals in the United States and the events that followed.
628 Carl F. H. Henry. Henry was probably the most influential American Evangelical theologian of the twentieth century. This small collection contains mainly documents from his years teaching at Wheaton College (1945-1947) and his leadership of the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies (1979-1984).
632 William Henry Nowack. Prayer letters, publications, sermons notes of Nowack documenting his work as an independent Christian missionary in the United States (Tennessee) and China (Honan) for a period of four decades (1903-1945).

Updated Collections (Descriptions below summarize the materials that were added to existing collections)

16 BGEA: Crusade Books. Addition of dozens of books to the collection, each book containing publicity materials, forms, minutes and other documents from evangelistic campaigns by Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, and Ralph Bell for the BGEA in various parts of the world. 1989-2006
55 Otto Schoerner. Documents about his work as a worker with China Inland Mission in Siniang, Honan and Kansu provinces from 1931-1951, including his 51 page autobiography. 1950-1997
74 Ephemera of Billy Graham. Film of Billy Graham speaking in Beverly Hills, California on the Christian faith and materialism at a dinner to raise support for the Motion Picture Relief Fund County Home. September 1963.
136 Mission Aviation Fellowship. Dozens of boxes of files, as well as audio and video recordings about MAF’s activities providing transportation for people and supplies to remote locations in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. 1945-2002.
214 BGEA: World Wide Pictures. Several additional films added, including one rare production from the 1954 Greater London Crusade, the first BGEA evangelistic campaign outside the United States.
360 BGEA: Newspaper and Magazine Clippings. One hundred and fifty-one large scrapbooks added about the ministry of Billy Graham and the BGEA worldwide, including multiple scrapbooks on Graham’s sermon in the National Cathedral after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. 1968-70, 1974, 1982-2003.
455 Champions for Life. Formerly Bill Glass Ministries. Many boxes and audio tapes about the organization’s ministry in prisons around the United States. 1962-1995.
624 Ephemera of the Zamzam Incident. Scrapbooks, books, correspondence and other materials relating to the sinking of an Egyptian vessel carrying mostly American and British missionaries by a German warship in 1941 and the story of the survivors lives afterwards. 1941- 2008.

Oral History Interviews Indexed and Described
(7 collections: 14 tapes, 12.25 hours; not all shown here)

CN #

Brief Description

252 Robert Wesley & Joan Gordon Brain. Update. Indexes prepared for the last three tapes of oral history interviews in the collection. The Brains were missionaries to Angola and Zambia from 1953 to 1987. The three tapes added describe their expulsion from Zambia in 1987.
521 Nancy Duarte-Gomez. New. Describes her childhood and youth in Chile; conversion and spiritual development; the church in Chile; training with Youth With A Mission (YWAM); ministry among students; the country's political and social climate and its impact on the church; attending Grad School at Wheaton College; her experience of American churches; Wheaton College Revival in 1995. Time period covered: 1961-1995.
522 Joel Martínez Hernandez. New. Discusses childhood in Cuba; conversion to Christianity; being son of missionaries; bi-culturalism; missionary work in Spain with Christian & Missionary Alliance; education at Wheaton College Graduate school; importance of holistic living for missionaries. Time period covered: 1949-1995.
564 Felix Onwukanjo W. Erondu. New. Discusses his family background in Aba, Nigeria; upbringing in the Anglican church; education; participation in the Biafran civil war; committing his life to Jesus Christ; the development of his faith and ministry; the origins of Traveling Light Ministries; evangelistic work in rural and urban areas of southern Nigeria; strengths and weaknesses of the church in Nigeria; comparison of Anglican and Pentecostal traditions in Nigeria; comparison of worship services in Nigeria and the United States. Time period covered: 1960-1999.
585 John B. Lutembeka. New. Discusses: his family and childhood in Tanzania; education in Uganda during the Idi Amin regime; conversion to the Christian faith; the founding and growth of Big November Crusade Ministries; the characteristics of the Tanzanian church; his education at the Wheaton College Graduate School; comparison of the church in Tanzania and the United States. Time period covered: 1969-2001.
604 Dan Duvall Crawford. Discusses his parents, Percy and Ruth (Duvall) Crawford, and especially about Percy’s evangelistic ministry at meetings, on radio and television, and at the camps he founded. Time period covered: 1920s-1960s.

Transcription of Oral History Interviews Already Processed (12 collections: 18 tapes, 16.25 hours; not all shown here)

CN #


Brief Description

122 T1, T2

Gladys Fleckles. Describes her experiences as a short term missionary in Japan in the 1970s.

    INTERVIEWER: When you would have opportunities to share your faith, or when you would observe...observed other missionaries presenting the gospel to Japanese, what were their...what were the Japanese typical reactions?

    FLECKLES: Well, the Japanese had trouble grasping who God is, first, because they have one word for God, “Kami,”and it means any god, and so when you talk about God, it’s just another god, and so the reaction is, “Well, what kind of god is yours, you know, we’ll just add it to our gods.” And that was one reaction. The concepts of love and sin...unconditional love and sin are difficult for Japanese to grasp, and so their response to that was usually questioning or just not understanding what it meant. And you had to kind of understand that they weren’t going to understand that, and try and anticipate explaining it. In terms of [pauses] response to the core of the gospel in the sense that some organizations use a formula leading to a decision within a short period of time, the Japanese response to that would usually be an assent to it, consent to it, mainly because the Japanese do not like to say “no,” because it would be disappointing you, and causing you to be embarrassed or lose face, and so they would say, “Yes, I’ll pray to receive Jesus.” But they don’t really mean the commitment and sacrifice part of it. In the same way, if we had a typewriter repair, we could call up the man three days in a row and ask him if he’s coming today, and he’d say yes. Well, he may or may not come, but he doesn’t want to say no, because the integrity of his business is at stake, and he doesn’t want to lose face, and he doesn’t want us to be disappointed. It’s very interesting.

284 T1, T2

Gladys Lyle Wright. Describes her family background, education, and work in Belgian Congo as a teacher for the Africa Inland Mission, 1929-1934.

    [Describing how African graduates (from the evangelism school where she taught) went back home to start churches.] They were sent out...usually two young men who were graduates would be sent out together. Sometimes they would be of two different tribes...tribal areas, but they’d be sent to work together to show that people of a different tribe loved each other and worked together. They would be out for a month, and one of those fellows then, at the beginning of the new month, would have to come into the main station and report his work. About the time that I arrived on the field, the home office people had decided that no money should be sent out from American people to pay for churches and pay for schools—that the Africans should be taught to be self-supporting. And it was just about that time they were beginning to teach these fellows who were out, “Make your people out there, where you’re in your school...they’re supposed to give the Lord some of their chicken or their grain or something like that or they may began to get little coins.” Well, when they came in and they’d hear that this school maybe had a blackboard or his school had contributed so much money, you know his church was doing so much, they began to take real pride in it. And it began to develop them into good, strong church groups. Then the next month the other fellow would be the one that came in instead. There was no church organization that was taught.
293 T1

David Suttie. Describes his missionary work in China from 1940-1950.

    [Describing his voyage to China in 1940.] And then that we had.... Well, I suppose we had a few weeks. I can ’t remember. That must have been in July that we finished that. Then we went home and began assembling our outfits and speaking to church groups as we had opportunity. We were...we left home in...sometime in September, so we didn’t have too long a period, maybe six weeks or so, seven weeks. Went up to Vancouver. We were going to sail on the Empress of Japan, I think was the name of that boat. But it was in early September that the European war broke out. We were to have sailed in the end of September, but because Canada was involved as part of the empire, their ship had to be armored, put on some guns and mounted. So our departure was delayed for two or three weeks; so we spent that time in the CIM home in Vancouver and then sailed in early October for my first awful seasick experience.... Oh, I’m a great sailor – on a pond. No, I had my share of it. I never really enjoyed crossing the big oceans. When we came home from China, finally, we skirted along the...through Singapore, along there, it was much smoother for us and I enjoyed those rides. But the Pacific and Atlantic didn’t...were not fond of me.... I think it was two weeks, as I remember, or very close to it. We stopped at Hawaii for a few hours, stopped at Japan few hours, otherwise went straight through.
298 T1, T2

Howard E. Thomas. Discussing his work among lepers among the Tai-Lu people on the China- Burma border, 1937-1942.

    [Talking about making Christian sacraments understandable to the Tai-Lu.] Another thing is how do you get people who are so abhorrent about...with respect to the use of blood or with respect to eating the flesh of certain animals. And they...these aboriginal people had certain, very rigid, dietary beliefs and practices. And how do you tell a person who is going to drink the blood of Christ and eat the body of Christ, boy that was, I am telling you, that...that used to turn my head grey every time I...I did that. But I had two men who were fairly ([Chinese name] who I was talking to you about) who were very sensitive these innuendoes and these things like...who would help me a lot. And when we would come to the meaning of communion we would translate the meaning of the blood and the body of Christ in such a way so as to help them, we thought, get the significance of these acts and...and what this meant. [pauses] I am not sure we succeeded.
303 T1, T2

Erma Horton Stevens Walker. Discusses attending Wheaton College in the 1930s and joining Central American Mission.

    INTERVIEWER: What did your folks think about you going to Wheaton?

    WALKER: Well, they were, of course, agreed [sic]. But when I came to the Lord as my Savior, I brother called me “fanatical sis” and that’s been...that was my name for a long, long time, “fanatical sis”. But when I came to Wheaton and I was saved in my junior year, I immediately started praying for my family, not only with Catherine Walker but also myself. I prayed for my whole family, that they would be saved. And I can remember the first time in the cafeteria that I...I decided I was going to say a blessing and I thought everybody was looking at me. And I said, “I'm just going to start saying blessing”. I don’t think anyone told me but I just felt we ought to be thankful for our food so I prayed. And that was the beginning of praying as I ate...blessing on my food. And then I decided I was going to pray for my family, every time I asked God to bless my food, I was going to pray for my family and for their salvation. And I would do it at school and I did it at home and when I did it at home and my brother was at the table, he’d say, “Oh, there’s fanatical sis, preachin’ a sermon to herself.”

357 T15, T16

Ruth Crawford Porter, interviewed by William Drury. Talking about her first husband, Percy Crawford, and their evangelistic ministries.

    DRURY: And what year would you...would you have gone on television?

    PORTER: And then we started television the fall of ‘49. [October 9, 1949]

    DRURY: Is that Sunday nights was it?

    PORTER: Yes, it was WFIL. We went down there to the studio and I know it was ‘49 because Donna was born in December of ‘49 and I just played behind the organ. They didn’t [laughs] show anything but my face and [pauses] I know, they would when I played the piano and the organ and so forth. And then she was born December 10, 1949, and then probably a couple of weeks after that or (oh, I don’t know when) a short time after that, well, Percy, of course, showed her picture on TV but I don’t know exactly when she came on live [laughs]. But the children [door closes], they...they would have started out on TV, right in the beginning, the four boys singing, I’m sure and then when she was able, she would sit there and wave her hands and lead the boys while they sang.... I thought we were on coast-to-coast and I know we had a station in Chicago and [pauses] that...(was it Dumont Network or something?).... It was kinescopes that we have those....

    DRURY: They used film back in those days, sixteen millimeter film.

    PORTER: But he was...I thought he was the pioneer on television.

    DRURY: Some people have said that. How far do you travel in your ministry?

    PORTER: Well in those early years we always traveled about forty thousand miles a year..that’s what it.... We were out every night. And there weren’t any turnpikes or thruways or anything in those days. We’d be in Baltimore one night and way out in Long Island the next night or Binghamton, New York. It was really, I don’t know. Of course I’m older now and I couldn’t now I guess but I don’t.... I wonder how we did it then. It was just...we’d sleep in the car, you know. But...we really put on the miles. Percy was a good driver.

481 T3, T4

Laura Isabelle Barr.

    INTERVIEWER: Interesting. Another thing you mentioned was that at the time when you was it thought by the mission that you were being held, that there was some discussion about whether or not to pay a ransom. Can you talk about that?

    BARR: Well...well, I think the mission had to make...make the...a rule then. They...they were faced with this possibility, and they had to make the decision that their...the...that it be known that they would not pay ransom for hostages. Yeah. But, in 197...87...77, we had to get out of Uganda. We were sent a message, a cryptic sort of a message to get out without saying anything to anybody or anything. It was at the time of a Commonwealth conference [held in London, England, June 1977]. And the Queen [Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations] didn’t want Amin to come to it, and he was going to crash the conference. And they thought that if Americans were in there, then something would happen to them. So we had to...we had to sneak out in the morning. It was very hard without telling the Africans why or anything, you know. And go to...and drive to Kenya. And...and we had...we spent three months down there, and then...then we started coming back in, you know. And the McClures and...and Joy Grindy and I came in on the seventh of July ‘77. Easy to remember. 7/7/77. And we got there about...the McClures got in there about seven o’clock, I think, too, [interviewer laughs] that night. And when we got back to our tee...our...our training center there, the welcome we received, you know. And the people just came out and sort of, “Oh, God is!’re back again,” you know, and so forth. It was quite wonderful. And then...see, that was one time. And then when...when Tanzania came in to sweep Amin out of the see, he tried to take some of Tanzanian land. And that was too much for [Julius Kambarage] Nyerere [first president of Tanzania], so he brought in an army [in 1978]. And it was the first time it ever happened, I guess, that one country came in to chase out the government of another. And while they were sweeping up, we were afraid that they would be defeated, may.... We’d heard such great things about our army, but it turned out that our army was very good at riding in vehicles, but not much at ambush, you know. And they just chased them up and out through our place. And the...the church...neither Seaton [McClure] nor the church would let me stay alone there at that time. And so I had to get out for about three months into...and it was a terrific experience.

486 T1

Helen Ruth Supplee Jongewaard. Talks about attending Wheaton College 1939-1943.
[Describing her memories of her classmate, Billy Graham] And that summer, he performed his first wedding.

    INTERVIEWER: Billy Graham did?

    JONGEWAARD: Yes.... So Billy was to...he was to perform the ceremony. I was to sing. My brother Bill, who is two years younger than I, was to play. And it was a first for all of us, and we were so nervous. [laughs] And we went out to....the home of the bride. She came from a well-to-do family in Mishawaka [Indiana]. Johnny Thorne came from the opposite the econo...economic level.... His folks had to come all the way from Milwaukee (and that was before the days of freeways), all the way around through Chicago [laughs] and around to Mishawaka. And they were an hour late. So we sat there and got more and more and more nervous, and my brother was playing. He played everything he ’d planned to play. [interviewer laughs] This was a wedding a home. And I kept leafing through the hymnal, and finally we got to the wedding. And Billy has recalled that many times, that his first wedding [laughs] was...was rather a terrifying experience [both laugh], but we got through it alright.

534 T1

Marguerite Elizabeth Goodner Owen. Describing her childhood and education at Moody Bible Institute.

    INTERVIEWER: When you were growing up as a girl in Texas [ca. 1920] and later in California, what was your relationship with God? How close was your walk?

    OWEN: I don ’t think it was close, it could’ve been. Although I didn’t know at the time it wasn’t. I mean I hadn’t begun to realize how you could be much closer. I mean I never thought of going to bed without praying or with.... And I read my Bible and I was in a Bible club when I was in teens you know. And read my “Today’s” everyday. And I talked about the Lord to a lot of people but I don’t remember feeling the closeness as I do now. I mean I didn’t appreciate all of was there, but it was just something that was there. It was not really until I was on the.... I think I was a little bit of a pious prig. I mean I just...I mean, I knew all the answers, I knew what I was gonna do, I knew what I was gonna be, I knew what you were supposed to do. And I did know that I loved the Lord. There were times...I had moments where I felt very, very closely that the Lord was with me, you know, at special places, at times. This is an instance of how our whole family reacted: we drove when I was eleven years old, we drove from Texas to California in an open touring car with Eisenglass windows we had to put up every time it rained and it was one of those rainy years. And we stopped at night the hotels. There were no motels then, there were no paved roads then, there were no.... I marvel how we got through, but we did. But there was one time when we came to a place where we couldn’t see the road at all, just water. We could see the people on the other side so we knew about where it was. And so we stopped and Daddy said, “I will keep my eye on the road but Mother, you pray.” And we in the backseat, “Not this way, it’s a matter of time....” [singing a hymn]

    INTERVIEWER: [chuckles] You were singing.

    OWEN: We sang, we sang through the whole, that whole.... And I mean we were conscious and when we got on the other side, the man looked at us, he had a horse right in there. He said, “You’re the first person I haven’t had to pull out.” And my father said, “My wife was praying and my children were singing.” That was the kind of family we had. And, I mean, there were lots of instances, some of them I sort of remember, some I don’t, where it was very conscious that the Lord had kept me, that the Lord was with me. But, to walk with him in the fellowship that I learned as I grew older was something that was still unknown to me. I mean, He was there and I loved Him and I trusted Him. Actually, in some ways, I felt in 1935, that maybe I had my first real experience of being saved.

609 T1

Frederick George Ferris. Minister and director of evangelism for the LeTourneau Foundation in Liberia, 1952-1957.

    INTERVIEWER: So, while you were with Mr. LeTourneau, did he share his vision with...?

    FERRIS: Many times, many times. He was a real man of God.

    INTERVIEWER: And what was his vision for Liberia?

    FERRIS: He...his first...his initial purpose in going to Liberia of course, he wanted to evangelize, to plant the church. But, at the same time, he wanted to help the people to bring them out of their impoverished condition. They were rainforest dwellers, most of them. And we weren't going to be located in Monrovia, we were down a hundred and fifty miles south of Monrovia, in the rainforest. But, his.... For the country at large, he wanted to evangelize, he wanted to educate and he wanted to develop the country with roads and agricultural development. This is basically what he wanted to do, that was his vision for the whole thing. And, of course, that’s what we worked on as much as we could.... We didn’t get very far with opening up the country with roads and the agricultural aspects of it. We showed them a lot of things to do to modernize and to grow rice crops and things like that which was part of the mission project. But I was chairman of the evangelizing aspect, the mission aspect, the planting of churches. That was my job there.... We were in what you call, Baffu Bay, hundred and fifty miles south of Monrovia. And, we were right on the coast. And of course, LeTourneau.... “The Ark” as they called the boat, could ram right up on the beach and unload there, which we did, unloaded things on the beach. And we built our base right there but there was a little native village of Baffu. And the bay was called “Baffu Bay” from the Portuguese which means “beautiful bay”. And this is where we set up camp, permanent camp, we put up permanent buildings. We built a church and we built a school because we were determined we were going to start in with the people right where we lived and operate a school and do our evangelizing right there. From there, we would go trekking through the rainforest and evangelize to other villages and plant churches. But that was the evan...his...his dream.

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