Billy Graham Center

Campus revival records opened to the public

For immediate release - "I think that it was a little scary at first.... I didn't know how to feel, because these people, people that I know, people that I look at and think, They have things really together,' or that they would never come up and say anything, were getting up and making confessions of sin that I couldn't believe they were saying.... So that was pretty amazing to me that these people would get up and admit that they were not as perfect as they would like other people to believe. And it was really moving to see."

That was the comment of a student who took part in a religious revival of confession, repentance and renewal that took place on the campus of Wheaton College in 1995 and which involved hundreds of students. The staff of the Billy Graham Center campus began gathering material on the awakening while it was occurring and materials it gathered are now open to all users as BGC collection 514, announced Robert Shuster, director of the Archives.

"We wanedt to capture people's beliefs and experience of the revival while it was still fresh in their minds and hearts," said Shuster. "We wanted to document not so much a spiritual awakening as the impact it has had on people's lives."

It was on March 19, 1995, that a college worship service turned into an all-night meeting of confession and prayer. The revival continued over the next three nights and then concluded with a worship and celebration service on Thursday, March 23. The Wheaton meetings had been sparked by a revival that had occurred at Howard-Payne University in Texas and visits by Wheaton students to other colleges and churches led to similar revivals. The Archives staff, along with college student [and WCF president], over the next three months conducted interviews with some thirty-seven people about their experiences in the revival. People interviewed included undergraduate and graduate students, college faculty and administrators, pastors, and students and chaplains from other colleges.

In addition to the interviews, the collection contains e-mail messages, newspapers clippings, and video tapes about the 1995 meetings. It also contains interviews, questionnaires and other documents which the Archives has collected about previous revivals on the Wheaton campus between 1936 and 1970. A guide to the collection can be found on the Internet at this URL:

Except for six tapes which have some restrictions placed on their use by the donor, the entire collection is open and available for use. Anyone wanting more information about this collections or other holdings of the Archives should contact the Reference Archives of the Billy Graham Center Archives.

The Archives of the Billy Graham Center collects material on nondenominational North American Protestant efforts to spread the Christian Gospel. Its hundreds of collections include the records of mission agencies, evangelistic organizations and service associations; the private papers of missionaries and preachers; oral history interviews and the files of congresses and conferences. Anyone can use the processed collections of the Archives. The BGC is located on the campus of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Anyone wanting further information about the Archives can call (630) 752-5910 or contact the Archives on this e-mail address: or through its web site at:

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BGC Archives
500 College Ave., 3rd floor
Wheaton, IL 60187-5593
Telephone: (630) 752-5910

Last Revised: 9/8/01
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2005