Billy Graham Center

Do you have material on the African American Church?

The Archives has many collections on ministry by or among African Americans, and their role in and contribution to the American church. Much of this material is recorded oral history interviews. Among these are Black Christian leaders such as John Perkins, Spencer Perkins, Tom Skinner, Bill Pannell, Crawford Loritts, Matthew Parker, Consuella York, Lem Tucker, and Michael Flowers; also included are interviews with individuals with involvement in black Plymouth Brethren congregations, such as Beverly Yates, Michael Flowers and B. Sam Hart.

Several of Billy Graham's associate evangelists were African Americans (Ralph Bell, Howard Jones), and documents about their ministries within the BGEA are available; the BGEA made a concerted effort during the 1980s to involve Black Christians in its crusades and the BGEA's oral history project (CN 141) documents this.

The Archives also has the records from two National Summits on Black Church Development (including audio and video recorded formal sessions and informal deliberations) and the Atlanta '88 Congress on Evangelizing Black America (which also includes recordings of sessions), both of which feature discussions among African American Evangelical leaders. There is material relevant to this subject in many other collections, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. If you would like to read short descriptions of these and many other collections on this subject, click here.

Please be aware that the purpose of this page is to provide information on some of the most relevant Archives holdings relating to this often-asked question. Because of staff and time limitations, the BGC archivists can spend no more than a half-hour helping an individual researcher; we have to focus our efforts on gathering the material and making it available. In order to find all the materials in the Archives on this particular topic, you will need to personally go through the guides to the various Archives collections available at this Web site and in the Archives Reading Room in the Billy Graham Center building in Wheaton, Illinois. If your request will take longer than the half hour we can provide, you will either need to come to the Archives yourself to do the necessary research in our collections, arrange for someone to come and do the research for you, or pay to use the Archives' research services.

You can also do further independent searching of the online database to explore what the Archives has on a wide variety of subjects. You will find only a very small sampling of the Archives actual documents on this Web site. Most of our Web pages only describe what is at the Archives in Wheaton. In most cases you must visit the Archives to use our collections, unless a collection (or portion of it) is available through inter-library loan or as a short-term loan for a fee. You may also find it helpful to visit Wheaton College's online catalog to its libraries and archives (including the Billy Graham Center Archives).

Send us a message
Return to BGC Archives Home Page
Last Revised: 10/20/17
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2017