Excerpt (approximately 4 minutes) from the oral history with Vernon Patterson, who was interviewed by Paul Ericksen in 1985. This excerpt came from audio tape T6 in Collection 5. The accompanying photograph detail of R.A. Torrey comes from the records of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (formerly China Inland Mission). For more information about Patterson click here. Click to play the Vernon Patterson excerpt on CN5T6

NOTE: This portion of the interview was conducted while driving in Charlotte. Automobile noises can therefore be heard as background noise throughout the excerpt. Mrs. Patterson, riding in the backseat joins the interview partway through.

PATTERSON: Of course, I knew about Torrey for years. And I believe the first time I met him [pauses] was [pauses]...the first time I remember right now was when he came to Charlotte to hold a meeting in 1927, which was the year before he died. He was... he...the...the meeting was in the first Presbyterian church and I [pauses]...let's see now, when was that? [pauses] We had just joined there. I was about to think whether I'd been elected an elder there at that time or not. I'm not quite sure. I believe it was later that I...that I was elected an elder there. But he didn't accept social engagements except one. He had moved to Asheville [North Carolina] at that time and was living about a block from where Vida's [Mrs. Patterson] mother lived and while...and so Vida's mother became a very intimate friend with Mrs. Torrey. But when Dr. Torrey....

MRS. PATTERSON: [unclear]ca. 1914 from PHOTO FILE: Overseas Missionary Fellowship: Councils


MRS. PATTERSON: Dr. didn't even realize it [?]

PATTERSON: Doctor what?

MRS. PATTERSON: They both were intimate with Mother, Dr. Torrey.

PATTERSON: Yes, well, of course. The both of us were...became intimate friends of them. So he came out and had dinner with us. Our children were babies then and we asked him to take them up and pray for them which he did. And in that...at that [pauses] time after dinner he told me about his last meeting in Liverpool. He said that he had spoken to thirty thousand people at that time. This was in 1927 he told me that. He thought...he said that the last meeting he had spoken to thirty thousand people and he thought that was almost a miracle. And he explained it this way. They had a tabernacle that would seat twelve thousand five hundred people, and twenty-five...twenty-five hundred more could be crowded in, so the tabernacle filled the first time making fifteen thousand people. And after the service they...they went out and fifteen thousand people came in again and filled it. So he spoke to thirty thousand people. Well, you can imagine what a strain that might have been on his voice with no amplifiers of any kind. So he was greatly impressed with that. But he said when he got back to this country he was asked to speak on radio. Radio was just beginning to get widespread. And he was asked to come up to Minneapolis, I believe, and speak over the radio. And after he spoke on the radio [laughs] he said the...the radio ope...the radio manager told him that he had reached five hundred thousand people and he was just astonished about that, five hundred thousand people. He was overjoyed at that. This was about a year before he died. That's the way it was then.

For more information about Patterson or Collection 5 click here.

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Last Revised: 11/29/01
Expiration: indefinite