This is a complete and accurate transcript of the first part of the oral history interview of Mr. Paul Votaw (Collection 105, #T1) in the archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words which were recorded were omitted. In a very few cases, the transcribers could not understand what was said, in which case "[unclear]' was inserted. Also, grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. Readers of this transcript should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and even rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
() Word in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
 Words in brackets are comments made by the transcriber.
This transcription was made in first half of 1987 by Fran Brocker and Robert Shuster.
Collection 105, Tape #T1. Oral history interview Paul Dean Votaw by Robert Shuster, February 9, 1980
SHUSTER: [Heavy static and distortion at the beginning of the tape. Rev. Votaw, I'd like to start with some of your family background. Where were you born?
VOTAW: I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and that has been our home most of...well, all of my younger [years], and the last twenty-two years except for the recent two years [unclear]...
SHUSTER: Was your father also in Christian work?
VOTAW: He was in Christian work. He was not a minister. He spent many years as secretary in finance in the YMCA in Kansas City, but he also for a time was a Director of Christian Education in one of the churches.
SHUSTER: And what were your parents' names?
VOTAW: My father's name was Lemoine David and my mother's Edna [?].
SHUSTER: You were converted at an evangelistic meeting in 1930?
VOTAW: Yes, about that time there was a meeting in Kansas City called by the the Moody Bible Institute [tape interference]...and that is the place where my father was [tape interference] [pauses]. In a way I did and in a way I didn't. Our...our far background was Methodist. My two grandfathers were Methodist ministers in the state of Kansas. On my mother's side he was an evangelist, but he passed away in 1911, which would be [unclear]. However, he and his family had ministered in New York state, upper New York state, around Watertown, not too far, I guess, from Lake Placid. My fat...my father's father became a minister, I think, when my dad was about eight or ten years old. I just recently discovered this in looking over some papers that I have. I had thought that he had been in the ministry for some time. But he did minister in a half a dozen, oh, six, eight, or ten churches in south Kansas in the later eighteen hundreds, early nineteen hundreds.
SHUSTER: It sounds as if you have quite a family tradition of ministers nd Christian workers.
VOTAW: Yes, naturally we were Methodists in Kansas City. And we were brought up in the Linwood Methodist Church, until my father went to work with the Presbyterian Church in music education.
SHUSTER: How did you decide to come to Wheaton? At first you had gone to a Bible school in Kansas?
VOTAW: I went to, well, I attended the Kansas City Junior College. I was there for three years because I dropped out one semester to turn professional photographer. And....but after that three years I went to Fort Worth, Texas, and worked for one year with the Rock Island Railroad. At the same time I went to Fort Worth, I was planning to go to Baldwin university at...no, Baker University at Baldwin, Kansas. That's a Methodist school, but,but my time in Fort Worth extended through a complete year which was rather a transformation period for me because of associations that just happened there. And one of these was a meeting which was held at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, a small church in the south part of town. There was an evangelistic meeting with Walter L. Wilson from Kansas City. So I went out there to hear him, and the pastor there, James Patterson, sort of took me to heart. He had four sons, the oldest of whom had...was planning to go to Wheaton College. And at the same time during the year...this was early 1938...no...well, yes...I guess...early '38 I almos...also was planning to go to Wheaton. At least I'd heard of Wheaton and became interested. So we put two and two together and I united with that church because of its Evangelical nature. And I came to Wheaton then with Don Patterson.
SHUSTER: What was it you were looking for in a college that attracted you to Wheaton?
VOTAW: I was looking for...well, it was...in Wheaton, it was the Christian element that attracted me and the Bible major. I had a sort of an innate inclination to be in missions or in the ministry. I do not remember ever not having this desire, though I had a few other ambitions along the way. But step by step it seems the Lord guided in this direction.
SHUSTER: Did you ever consider Moody Bible Institute?
VOTAW: I don't know that I considered it seriously. When my father went to work for the first church in Kansas City they sent him for three months to Moody Bible Institute. And I don't...I really don't know that I've ever honestly intended or thought of going. My sister went there for about half a year...for a year.
SHUSTER: On coming to Wheaton what was the academic atmosphere like? Was it a difficult school or a academically invigorating...?
VOTAW: For...for me, I guess I'd have to admit, at least for the first year, it was difficult. But I managed to get through the first year, and I took three years here because I was a Bible major and it required three years of Greek. And instead of taking one year in the summer, I just took the three years separately in Greek. But once I got acclimated, I think that I discovered if I did my fair share of studying it wouldn't be so difficult as it might seem. But I did notice the dropout of freshmen and sophomores, and...but I came as a junior, so I did not have three years here.
SHUSTER: Because of your credits from Kansas City?
VOTAW: Yes, I...yes, I had two years, full years, there.
SHUSTER: What was the spiritual atmosphere on campus like?
VOTAW: I've never thought of Wheaton's atmosphere as being anything but Christian and spiritual, if we can use that word. I don't know that it was overly hyperspiritual, but at least there was constantly the Christian atmosphere, which I appreciated, and which sort of held me together with the College. In those days (I don't know how it is now) but there was a prayer room on the third floor just outside of the Blanchard section of the Library, which now is a classroom, I think. But there was a prayer room and I used that room quite often, along with many others, of course, for reading and meditation and prayer. I think not everyone bothered to use this room. Maybe they didn't need to [chuckles] so much. I always appreciated the chapel. The compulsory chapel didn't bother me. I was just glad for the break in the day.
SHUSTER: Was...was that a topic...or a topic of debate on campus...that compulsory chapel?
VOTAW: I think it was, at least among some. I don't know that it was serious or that there were any so-called demonstrations relative to the problem. But, of course, some would object to going on certain days.
SHUSTER: When you say there was a strong Christian atmosphere, how do you mean that?
VOTAW: Well, I felt that the...the students, at least part of them, were of this nature, but the faculty were. And simple things like beginning each class period with prayer. And I think, as I recall, it didn't matter whether it was history, Bible, Greek, or phys ed. That's the way we began the class periods. And this, though...though it may have become redundant, or even a bit liturgical for the classroom, it nevertheless had a...an impression on a serious-minded student and Christian.
SHUSTER: Did you have any contact with President Buswell? Any personal contact?
VOTAW: I do not think that I can say yes wholeheartedly to that because I don't recall that there was any come and go between us. I think we nodded on the campus and this sort of thing. I have no recollection of any personal relationship.
SHUSTER: You never had him as a teacher?
VOTAW: I...I think not, no. My main recollection of him is as the administrator of the College, and, and his appearance and sharing and leadership in spiritual life through the chapel. And you know, you asked the question, it now seems strange to me that it's this way, in my remembrance of him. I remember his daughter Jane, and one or two of his sons, one of whom, I guess, is on campus now in anthropology. [Dr. James Oliver Buswell III]
SHUSTER: What kind of chapel speaker was he? What kind of style?
VOTAW: I would say that Dr. Buswell's style, was, well, maybe not style so much but content.... It seemed to me he always would give a...well, of course a chapel message from the Bible...but it was more of a...as I recall, of an intellectual nature. Not without the inspirational, but my remembrance of Dr. Buswell was more of the scholar. And I admired him in this way, as a scholar.
SHUSTER: How did he contrast, say, with Dr. Edman, as a chapel speaker? Or was there a contrast?
VOTAW: Well, there was a contrast. I think I was sort of a follower of Dr. Edman anyway, and maybe this is the reason that I've lost sight of Dr. Buswell. Because before President Edman became the president, he was...I did not have him as a teacher because his field was not particularly mine. But I did attend the Tabernacle down on...I think it was Wesley Street...on Sunday evenings, and I guess Sunday mornings too. And he was the speaker...he was the pastor of this group. I do not know how formally organized it was, but I just know that especially many students, as well as the older folk, would go there for church morning and evening. And with some, would choose that over and above College, what do you call it...?
SHUSTER: College Church.
VOTAW: ...College church, and the Bible church. I did. I would have to say that I often went to the Bible church, not so often to the College Church. But the Tabernacle was...was great and the reason was Dr. Edman was there.
SHUSTER: You might know that...
VOTAW: He was so down to earth.
SHUSTER: ...Billy Graham followed him there, I think a a couple years after you left.
VOTAW: I think I did know that.
SHUSTER: You say he was so down to earth. Meaning he was a very simple speaker or dynamic?
VOTAW: I would say he was simple. He was dynamic. What he had said had depth to it, but he communicated. It wasn't so simple that it lacked spiritual nature. It was of...of a spiritual nature, so much so that it was applicable to us all in a...in a simple way. And I think this is the reason he had good following.
SHUSTER: Did you have any personal contacts with Dr. Edman?
VOTAW: Well, I did. Really before I would imagine that he would be doing such a thing [microphone static] he would be calling me by name on the campus. And I don't recall that he had any reason to know who I was, you know. But he was doing this to most all of the students. Somewhere he linked faces with the names and began using these. And I learned also (I guess out of one of the books) that he and his wife would be up early in the morning praying for the students by name. I think this is in one of the books, Coach Coray's book...?
SHUSTER: Earle Cairns'?
VOTAW: And also Dr. Edman came to Kansas City once as Sunday speaker morning and evening at the Linwood Presbyterian Church. I believe, well, it was in the summertime. I don't know if it was in my school years or after I'd graduated. But we entertained the Edmans in our home for dinner that day and the afternoon. And I remember it very fondly. Our daughter (older daughter) was in chapel the day he gave his last message.
SHUSTER: In '66. Was there a noticeable change on campus in any way when the administration changed from Buswell to Edman?
VOTAW: I...I think I was not aware of any drastic changes unless.... If there had been difficulties in the previous administration, there seemed to be a sigh of relief. I maybe should hesitate to say that.
SHUSTER: You mean difficulties within the administration?
VOTAW: Well, there seemed to be rumors on campus.
SHUSTER: Was there any kind of student reaction to the change of administration?
VOTAW: Well, I thought...I think that the students felt it was a crisis moment. But as I recall there were extra rumors over the weekend that the thing took place, and when the announcement was made in chapel the following Monday...or week or whenever it was done, there seemed to be a moment or a breath of fresh air,[unclear] because Dr. Edman I think had many friends among the students. They liked him. There may have been some question at to his administrative ability at this point, or qualifications, because wasn't his field missions and history? But I think as things worked out from my distant point of view there couldn't have been any question about his qualifications at all. These are very pointed questions you're asking.
SHUSTER: Well, the best way to get information...excuse me a second [pauses to adjust microphone]. You mentioned the Tabernacle. What were services like there, aside from Edman's preaching. Was there a Sunday School there as well?
VOTAW: I think so. I think they had Sunday School. I...I'm not sure about that. But I think maybe we did go there for Sunday School and church. The church services, as I recall, we sang some of the good old hymns and then the Gospel songs. Once in a while there were maybe some solos from the students, music solos. I'm not sure but what there might have been some mission speakers along the way.
SHUSTER: Were there...I'm sorry. Go ahead.
VOTAW: There was one missionary from China who came to the College, was on the faculty a while. I don't remember his first name, but his last name was Graham, Dr. Graham of China. I had him for a Bible class, and I think that he spoke down at the Tabernacle a number of times.
SHUSTER: Did they have a program beside the Sunday service? Mission conferences?
VOTAW: You know, I really can't answer that. I don't know. I don't recall.
SHUSTER: What was...was it primarily for College personnel or did the town come also?
VOTAW: I think it was open to the town and I suppose naturally it would be. But I think the strong following was the College students with some faculty.
SHUSTER: What do you think was the main attraction at the Tabernacle?
VOTAW: Probably a certain informality that the other two churches related to the College or that the College people [knocks microphone] went to didn't have, the informality. And also I think it was just the spiritual depth, the spiritual nature of the leadership that they had there.
SHUSTER: You worked at the library while you were at Wheaton?
VOTAW: Yes, all three years.
SHUSTER: And it was located in Blanchard at that time?
VOTAW: Yes, there were two. Where the finance offices are now, I think, on the second floor east there was a library there, and also in the center section on the third floor, which is now a classroom. But I think it...well, I'm fairly sure that when I was here that the third floor went clear up to the ceil....
SHUSTER: To the ceiling.
VOTAW: To the roof top ceiling of Blanchard. And now I...isn't that cut off with the second floor?
SHUSTER: [Unclear] There's a classroom there.
VOTAW: And the north end of that area was...was the (what do you call it?) the tiers for the books. There were two or three...
SHUSTER: So there were steps going up, ladders going up. How large was the staff working at the library?
VOTAW: The library staff? Well, Miss Blanchard, Julia Blanchard, was the librarian. She had an assistant or two. One of them was Ruth Tanis and of course there were many others in the...in the office there on the third floor. And there were a number of students who worked shifts...short hours, I suppose, each day. So they managed the...the main desk, and there were some working back in the stacks. I think Art C. Holmes was one fellow at one time who...
SHUSTER: The professor of philosophy now?
VOTAW: Arthur C. Holmes? Could be.
SHUSTER: Was this an open stack library, or closed stack?
VOTAW: I think it was open stack.
SHUSTER: What recollections or impressions do you have of Miss Blanchard?
SHUSTER: I read in one of the yearbooks that she was always walking around watering the plants at the library.
VOTAW: I guess maybe she did do that. I felt like she kept things well in order. She was a very pleasant person to work for. I think it would be fair to say she was approaching the elderly side, though I think she had a number of years after that. As I remember her eyesight was poor but she didn't seem to let this deter her interest and eagerness to do what she could. I had come to the library from three years experience in the library in...the Kansas City Public Library. I worked there my last year of high school and for three more years...part of the last year of high school and three more years while I was in junior college in Kansas City. So I think this is one of the main reasons I applied in the library here, and probably is the reason thst I got the job. In fact following my work here, I went to Dallas Seminary and I was three years in the Sem...library in the library at Dallas Seminary. So nine or ten years of library work has been a good standby through the years.
SHUSTER: What kind of work did you do? What kind of library work did you do?
VOTAW: Well, ere it was mainly stacks, and it was in Kansas City. In...in Dallas it was the same, though I worked some in cataloging and this sort of thing. It was mainly working oneself through school, you know. Anything, a job.
SHUSTER: What impressions do you have of Clarence Thiessen?
VOTAW: Well, Dr. Thiessen was a great scholar, theologian, Greek student. I did not have him for Greek, but he used Greek in all classes. I think his daily devotions or using the New Testament in class work was usually with the Greek New Testament. And as I recall he said he did his own daily devotions with the Greek Testament. So he was a...a scholar from that point of view and able to put it into practical use for devotional work. He was scholarly, so much so that he expected us to be. And I felt though that he lent a real spiritual atmosphere to the classroom, because it...not of his understanding only of theology, but of his knowledge in depth of the Bible. I still have the typewritten, mimeographed book that we used for theology in those days. I think out of this typewritten book (mimeographed book) came ultimately his published book.
SHUSTER: His systematic theology?
VOTAW: His systematic theology, and Old Testament, New Testament introduction, things like that.
SHUSTER: Did you get to know him outside the classroom as well?
VOTAW: Not too well, no.
SHUSTER: What...were there other professors at Wheaton who had a strong influence on you...made a strong impression?
VOTAW: well, there were, I guess. John Leedy...I'll always remember him for Taxonomy course and the field trips. I enjoyed that. I had a great appreciation, admiration, for...oh, now come on...she taught Bible, the New Testament, the Gospels...?
SHUSTER: You might be thinking of Edith Torrey?
VOTAW: Edith Torrey, of course. I had the name on my mind and then it departed. Edith Torrey was something else, really.
SHUSTER: How so?
VOTAW: It...it sounds redundant, but she had a spiritual approach to her classes that was even unlike approaches of teachers of the same nature. I would...I always remember her devotions in the early part of the class. She took these very seriously. I think she really worked on her devotional of five to ten minutes. Relating what she had to say during that time often to the class work of the day. And she would often speak of her father and her family experiences in the classroom or during devotional period.
SHUSTER: You had a number of classmates who have since cut a figure in the evangelical world, as they say. Dr. [Hudson Taylor] Armerding. Did you know him while you were at Wheaton?
VOTAW: I knew Dr. Armerding. I...I knew him only as one of the outstanding students. I was, I would say, maybe run of the mill. I believe that Hudson and I would speak on campus, this sort of thing. He was president and active of...in one of the literary societies. I'm not sure which one it was unless it was the Aristonians. It would be terrible if he were Beltonian and that's what I was. [chuckles] I think he was not a "Belt". I had a student admiration for anyone who was in leadership level.
SHUSTER: Did you have any contact with Carl Henry who was also on campus?
VOTAW: Carl F.H. Henry? He sometimes, if I remember correctly, would substitute for Dr. Thiessen, I think, along with Tom Lindsay, who was a Greek and theology major. But Carl Henry, not too close. I could sooner say I knew Ken Taylor because he was in Wheaton at the time. And when we were...when I was in Dallas, he was there also in the...the dining room, I think. He and his wife were in charge of the dining room. And in the classroom too, Ken Taylor.... I can always see him sitting over there on the end of the row, maybe not always on the end. But it's always...it's was always in a book some way, I think Greek or the Bible, see. And what he has produced through the years is...is really the outcome of the descriptive way.... Well, I look at him from years ago. As I recall, he was in the classroom, the class with Dr. Hoffmann...Hoffman in Romans where our purpose was to do a paraphrase of Romans. And I think with Dr. Hoffmann there was no paraphrase that any of us did that was ever adequate. But that was his privilege as a professor to think that. To keep us kind of....
VOTAW: Yes. But I thought Ken Taylor did his training in that class of his.
SHUSTER: What was the Rural Bible Crusade?
VOTAW: Rural Bible Crusade? I don't...I wasn't too closely related to it, though if I remember Joe Coughlin was in charge of it, or the ringleader or something. But I did not...I was not a participant in this. And so all I know is that they were busy coming and going. I think they took Bible classes out into rural areas.
SHUSTER: But you never taught any of the classes?
VOTAW: No, no.
SHUSTER: What were the meetings of the Beltonians like?
VOTAW: I became a "Belt" my senior year. I regret now that I didn't get in sooner, that I didn't listen to people like Joe Bayley, a good friend, and get into the "Belts" sooner. I always said that I had too much to do on Friday nights. Study, work in the Library keep myself going, that I didn't have time or the money, which is a poor thing to say, but it's all right, I guess, for a poor person. [chuckles] I didn't have the time or the money for the Literary Society. But Joe Bayley persuaded me the senior year to get in and I enjoyed it. The meetings were...they were fun meetings. They were...there was the element, though, that was more serious. one day we'd be called upon to do impromptus, speeches, and the business part of the meeting. There...as I remember though, there were, like I say, the fun parts, the cut-ups and the comics and.... But I enjoyed the meetings.
SHUSTER: Was each member required to write something for each meeting or...?
VOTAW: I don't think we were for each meeting. We were called upon periodically, I guess, to do something, and there were those who were more able or capable than others. And I think they naturally were spokesman most of the time.
SHUSTER: Why do you say that you were too poor to belong to it? Was there.... You chipped in for food, or...?
VOTAW: Nowadays, you know, it would be very simple, I suppose, but when you're working through college (and that's literally what I did) my money went for tuition and books and the necessities rather than blazer jackets and tuxedos, and dinner parties and dates.
SHUSTER: And the Beltonians had their own jackets or...?
VOTAW: I think so, yes. [Pauses] It isn't that I was opposed to all of this. I just felt that this was something I wasn't able to do.
SHUSTER: Did you think belonging to Beltonian had a lasting beneficial result for you? I know one missionary we interviewed said that when he was in the Congo his...the parliamentary proceedings ability he picked up was very helpful to him in chairing various meetings with other mission organizations. And others have said that, that the associations or friendships he made were very helpful to them. Other have said that it hadn't had any lasting effect.
VOTAW: Well, I wouldn't put a great deal of emphasis as far as influence is concerned. But, like you say, some of friendships made in this kind of association are lasting. And I mentioned Joe Bayley. There were others of course, but I think Joe Bayley and I think "Belt". We were library study partners. And I imagine that the formalities that were a part of the Literary Society format had their influence on my abilities to conduct meetings in later life. I am more or less a formal person anyway [chuckles] so this kind of thing comes more natural than it is unnatural.
SHUSTER: Was Joe Bayley also a campus leader?
VOTAW: Yes, yes, I believe he was president of "Belt". I guess his senior year, half of the year. If I remember correctly there...there were two presidents the senior year, each semester.
SHUSTER: Of course when you were on campus, from '38-'41, the...World War II broke out, and there was a growing tension in the Far East. Was there much evidence of concern over these events on Wheaton campus? Did they have a notable effect on...?
VOTAW: I don't recall that there was too much effect among the students during my days here. I graduated June of '41, and Pearl Harbor was December '41. I could say, I could relate this more to Dallas Seminary and the experience there than I could to Wheaton. I think...I'm sure that there was some talk of affairs in Europe and in the [Far] East, but I don't remember that at least I and my circle of friends considered it a real threat.
SHUSTER: Were there any notable or rememberable [sic] campus events that we haven't touched on that you recall from your campus days?
VOTAW: Well, I do remember the evangelistic meetings...services...whatever they were called...at the beginning of each semester.
SHUSTER: What were they like?
VOTAW: They were held in old Pierce Chapel during chapel hour and also in the evenings. I think there may have been maybe meetings, special meetings, throughout the day for a week. There was usually a song leader...director. I believe that Al Smith might have been one of these along the way. [Telephone rings] But the speakers that were brought in just preached their sermons, as I recall. And then there was the invitation at the close of the service. This was handled in different ways. The one that I remember in particular was the one when William Rogers (I believe I have the name correct) of New York City was here in 1940. And it was at that time that...that I made a renewal of my commitment at the close of one of the services along with others of the fellows who were in the dormitory in the Owls' Nest, the old Hicks' place on Wesley street. We went up together. I think...I think it was togetherness, but each of us had our own conviction at the moment. And this was one of the several points of decision in my life which are noted in the front page of my Bible and that's the reason I should mention it.
SHUSTER: Uh huh.
VOTAW: Periodically, you know, through a young person's life, I think there has to be a moment of commitment, recommitment, and then a remembrance again of.... And so if I was brought to the Lord at the knees of my mother and father, this kind of commitment needed to be re-emphasized in Moody Bible Institute meetings, at First Church in Kansas City in '32, '33, with persons like Paul Beckwith and others, and then in Ft. Worth at the Westminster Church, and here at Wheaton College. To keep us in the straight and narrow, you know.
SHUSTER: While you were at Wheaton then had you determined then that you were called to be a missionary?
VOTAW: Not really. I had the missionary idea long, long before, even before in 1932. In the Methodist Church in Kansas City in the...in the mid-twenties...sometime in the twenties, there was a World Missionary Conference when missionaries from all over the world in costume and natives from all over the world, in costume just descended upon the city. And so the major meetings where in our church there, the Linwood Methodist Church, and there were also meetings at the great convention hall where the Republican convention was held in 1928. But this missions gathering in Kansas City in the twenties also had a...a deep impression on my life. In those days it was China. Later on it was Africa. I didn't commit myself to missions as such until I was at Princeton Seminary.
SHUSTER: So there were no courses then you took while you were at Wheaton specifically with the idea of preparing yourself for missions?
VOTAW: Not necessarily. And if I did take them...if there were such courses, it was only sort of indefinitely preparation for an ultimate goal.
SHUSTER: When you finally did reach Syria, how well do you think you had been prepared for work there by your Wheaton education? [Telephone rings]
VOTAW: Well, my preparation at Wheaton in my major, Bible, and also the skills that I learned in Greek, along with Spanish and Latin previously and then Hebrew in Seminary, these abilities and skills that were developed helped me a great deal in language...in Arabic. And then of course the Bible background, I think any Christian can always benefit, even in the lay work or in professional work from any kind of Bible background he has.
SHUSTER: Is there anything you would have done differently or courses you would have taken, or preparation that you think that you did need that you didn't have that might have been available at Wheaton?
VOTAW: If I had had at that time committed myself to mission, which I had not definitely done. It was sort of vague...mission, ministry, Christian work. But if I had at the time I was here committed myself to missions, and I knew this was what I wanted or would be doing, I think that I would not only have taken the Bible major that I did, but I might have majored or had a second...what do they call, a minor...
SHUSTER: A double major.
VOTAW: ...a double major in anthropology. And I read just recently that anthropology as a major is being dropped.
SHUSTER: That's correct.
VOTAW: And I...of course, I, and I do not know what the situation is, but I read that with great regret. Because I think this was an outstanding feature of the Wheaton curriculum. And maybe some day they can bring it back. Maybe it's not in vogue any more. I don't know. But anthropology and archaeology I might have gotten into to a little more.
SHUSTER: Now after leaving Wheaton you went to Dallas, and then on to Princeton Seminary where you studied under John McKay?
VOTAW: Yes, McKay [correcting pronunciation].
SHUSTER: McKay. I'm sorry. What impressions do you have him...have of him as a teacher, as a man?
VOTAW: Well, Dr. McKay was almost an other-worldly person. He was what some of the students called a mystic. I think that in a sense he may have been. I should say though at the outset that I had a great admiration for Dr. McKay's Christian witness. I say that because there have been some suppositions...or accusations concerning him that are otherwise. And I felt that I got close enough to Dr. McKay to discover the depth of his Christian experience. He maybe didn't think in all directions the same as I think in various directions, but he was a Christian with real depth. So much so that he earned this terminology: a...a mystic. He was a specialist in Hispanic world, missions and otherwise. He studied and taught in Spain and was a missionary in South America. And there were, at least in his teachings and writings, some references to Spanish mystics. And I think that this is the reason the word "mystic" got attached to him, because he was sometimes a little bit out of it like mystics could be, or are. But I think so far as Dr. McKay was concerned, this was an exhibition...a natural way that he showed his spiritual depth, his Christ life. One of his deep desires was to see the churches and denominations drawn together. [Clears throat] I used to think he was like the father of the ecumenical movement. I think that technically speaking perhaps he wasn't, but he was certainly a person who brought it a long way on the road. [Clears throat] He and I used to discuss the possibilities of bringing a school like Princeton together with a school like Dallas, which in some terms of reference are at complete opposite ends. But [clears throat] I felt this way that Dr. McKay's real desire was that this sort of thing might happen. I was...I've never too sure whether Dallas would ever stand the strain. But I felt a real Evangelical spiritual atmosphere at Prin...Princeton, even in the classroom. But I have felt that the reputation of Princeton doesn't really hold...the outward reputation. And one of the reasons for this was Dr. McKay himself. And another one was Christie Wilson, Sr., who was just as evangelical, or more so, even than Dr. McKay. Dr. McKay was a leader in the ecumenical movement. His classroom...you get that feeling of his spiritual depth. You got a feeling of his intellectual height, and you got a feeling of his desire for the ecumenical happening. And you got from him a sense of mission, the mission of Christ to the ends of the earth.
SHUSTER: What was the content of his course on ecumenics and missions? Was it a history of missions or techniques or...?
VOTAW: He brought in some historical aspects, relationships. But I think that his course in ecumenicity was based partially, if not mainly, on the book of Ephesians. And he has a book on Ephesians...has written a book. so the oneness that is spoken of in Ephesians four [passage in the Bible] was one of the main thrusts of the course at large. And then he would use other elements of Ephesians ... first, second chapters...and then the late chapters of Ephesians. But along with this he would bring in his wealth of knowledge from the Hispanic world for an illustration. I guess that other than that I don't have much recollec tion what the classes were as such.
SHUSTER: it was while you were at Princeton that you were interviewed by Herrick B. Young from the Mission. How did how did that interview come about? Did you request an interview?
VOTAW: No, I had not requested an interview. I was merely fulfilling a duty as an employee when it happened. I, I worked in the field work office of Dr. J. Christie Wilson, and in conjunction with Elmer Hominghausen [?] in Christian Education. I was secretary to them. In fact I followed Effie Rosser, who was a Wheaton grad, who was in that that office before I was. But the way I met Herrick B. Young was simply by going down to the train station to get him, on a Friday, I think, of a weekend to be on Wheaton campus along with...
SHUSTER: On Wheaton campus?
VOTAW: No, no, Princeton campus, (thank you), Princeton campus. He was with someone else, and I don't recall who that was. I don't know how you got his name. But...so I met them and as they got off of the train, they said, "Oh, Paul, we've been praying about you today. We've got a place in Syria for you to go." And I had been...sort of had committed myself if I went anywhere it would be Africa. And this was the...part of the main theme of my thesis at Princeton, the Nevius missionary method and its application in Cameroon mission in West Africa. But I would never come to a definite commitment to Africa, partly because my previous experience and knowledge of Africa was more Central Africa, and it was kind of a letdown when I discovered that the Presbyterian mission in Africa, the Northern Presbyterian USA church, was Cameroon, West Africa. This just didn't strike a bell with me at all. I was thinking Sudan, Tanganyika. So since I was non-committed they were praying for me to fill an empty space in Syria and Lebanon. And that was, if I'm not mistaken, about November before the December that I graduated with my Master's at Princeton. And it wasn't until February....
END OF TAPE