Billy Graham Center
Archives



Collection 139 - Frances Rader Longino. T1 Transcript


Click here to listen to an audio file of this interview (67 minutes)

This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Frances Rader Longino (CN 139, T1) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing.

Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
 
  ...        Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
 
  ....       Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
 
 ( )       Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
 
 [ ]        Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.

This transcript was made by Robert Shuster and Nelson Summers and was completed in December 2011.


Collection 139, T1. Interview of Frances (Rader) Longino by Robert Shuster on September 11, 1980.

SHUSTER: This is an interview with Mrs. Frances (Rader) Longino for the Billy Graham Center. The interviewer is Robert Shuster, and the interview took place on September 11th, [1980] at two o’clock p.m. Mrs. Longino, why don’t we start with your memories of Paul Rader?

LONGINO: Uh-huh.

SHUSTER: What kind of man was he?

LONGINO: Well, my first real remembrance of him is when I went to play with the children when we were all living in Pittsburgh. And this was when I was quite a little girl. And I remember going and Pauline was near my age. That’s the oldest girl. And Wilma, and then Harriet was the baby. And....

SHUSTER: Those are his children?

LONGINO: Yeah, those are his three girls. And I went over really to play with them, but I also wanted to see my uncle. He...he interested me, even as a child that I was. I looked up to him. And when I found out that he was not available (and for the reason it made an indelible impression on me) because he was in his prayer chamber. And he was...he was never disturbed in there. It was the most important thing of his day. And he stayed in there for several hours, of course. I suppose the time varied, but I remember that Pauline said, “Oh no, you can’t see my Daddy now. We’ve gotta go outside and play.” And it did make such a....and then she explained to me that that time was...was God’s time with him. And they understood it very well. And they knew that...that it was that important. And so we went outside. [chuckles] But then later, as...as we attended the Tabernacle services after we moved back to Chicago. I was born there but....we...I actually only lived there about three years. And that was at the time a very impressionable time, when I was about eight, nine, ten years old, something like that. And we would attend the Tabernacle and the music charmed me, of course. Because we were...we were oriented toward music anyway, the whole family. But his preaching was so dynamic, and it was in a measure...something that I measured others against later too. And some people did not impress me because they didn’t have that power, you know, and dynamic back of them. And of course, I think I realized even then that...that God had a...a special place for him and had empowered him in a very special way. I knew that.

SHUSTER: When you say dynamic, what do you mean?

LONGINO: Well, he was forceful in his gestures. As you know, he wasn’t quite like Billy Sunday [evangelist who was a contemporary of Rader] but he was very forceful in his gestures. And I think young...youngsters liked them...people to move around. And I think that was part of it. We knew about his background as a boxer and as a cowboy. My dad...now, he used to kid my dad because my dad was Lyell. The oldest boy in the family, and much too heavy to be a cowboy because the ponies wouldn’t put up with it, you know. [laughs] And he used to kid him about that. But he wasn’t...he was a rancher, you know, that time of a...he came up in Colorado and Wyoming. And they...that breeziness, I think, came through in his...in his preaching. It was very natural with him. To be...to be...well, almost dramatic. Not in a staged way, but it just came natural to him to put everything he had into what he said.

SHUSTER: Did he use a...lots of slang like Billy Sunday or...?

LONGINO: He used a...I don’t think it was quite that, but he did use expressions from the boxing ring.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: I can remember that. And he would use current expressions too, all through...in fact, some of his pamphlets when he was a...when he was writing for the...I think, the Chicago Tribune. I have that book that has a number of these short articles that he did for the Chicago Tribune. And they were...they were always punched up with a modern phrase that was going around, not necessarily slangy but just something that would catch the attention of the reader, you know.

SHUSTER: He was a columnist for the Chicago Tribune?

LONGINO: Yes, uh-huh.

SHUSTER: How long was that?

LONGINO: I don’t know, but it was in the...it....I think...I think that was in the ‘20s, the late ‘20s. And um...there’s a copy of that in the book that...that I sent too. There’s...I copied that all out, that whole little book. I can’t remember what it was, but anyways, it was messages. And he did much like Billy Graham did later, in answering questions sometimes. But most of the time it was just a...an article that he got out of. A short, a very short spot article.

SHUSTER: I see. Who were...who were some of the other people who worked with him at the Tabernacle who...?

LONGINO: Well, at that time, of course, Dr. Lance Latham was his pianist and Richard Oliver Jr. And the...the association we had with Dr. Lance Latham, he was my piano teacher. And he also coached our family group - all of us played, the three brothers and myself. We formed a kind of an orchestra, and he had a lot to with the kind of encouraging and arranging for us too. So he was the pianist at that time. I didn’t get to hear Merrill Dunlop until later, because he took over after we had already moved East.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: But Richard Oliver and his father [Richard Oliver Sr.], who was the band master, were Salvation Army people. The...Richard was a...Sr....was a adjunctant in the Salvation Army. And they...they used that typically all-brass music. And it was very effective, and some of the others of that time too that were more contemporaries of my brother than myself. I was younger, and they didn’t pay me much mind at that time. [laughs] But Clarence and Harold Jones were their big musicians too, and Jimmy Neilson. And I can’t think of on...any of the others off hand, but those three were outstanding in their musicianship.

SHUSTER: You say you yourself sang there, during World War I?

LONGINO: No, I wasn’t in on the...any of the choir at that time.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: I...I went back there after I joined the Salvation Army...

SHUSTER: Oh....

LONGINO: ...and became an officer. I was back there [at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle] with a group. And...the date though, would have been.... I think I gave you the wrong date when we were talking about this morning. I’m...I’m a little hazy on dates sometimes. Uh...I didn’t join until 1926 and I think that was the year that I went there. And a...he greeted us up on the platform, we got up all four of us in uniform. And a...he reached over and, before he really introduced us, he reached over and one by one he reached over and hugged me and kissed me and all [laughs] and it kind of jolted the audience. And then he explained that I was his niece. I think he enjoyed those little moments too. But he seemed very glad for us to be ministering in that way. My older brother, who will be here for this occasion [Mrs. Longino was on campus to attend the dedication of the Billy Graham Center on September 13 and 14] too, joined at the same time. The two of us joined at the same time. And he’s also a retired lieutenant colonel, living in New Jersey and I live in Florida.

SHUSTER: Did you ever have much chance to a...to talk with your uncle?

LONGINO: Not a whole lot, no. The...our meetings...now on that occasion, we were in the back office and he talked to me. And he was bringing up things he remembered about our childhood, all the family and all. But I...I never had that much chance to...to really a....get...get close to him. Except I...I felt that I...I was on the same wavelength, you know, sort of. And a.... But he was also so...so busy and on the run. And he took a lot of tours during the time that I was growing up.

SHUSTER: Well, personally what was he like? You mentioned, you know, that you always liked to....

LONGINO: Oh, he was a....very, very jolly. Yes. Yes. Very jolly. The occasions that I remember when he would...kind of let loose, you know, and relax. We had a little hou...home on Devon Avenue [in Chicago], which was an extension of Sheridan Road. A...a....Sheridan Road bends again and goes up to Evanston. And our...we had our porch fixed up as a dining room and...we’d invite my uncle Paul, and Arthur McKee was a great singer, real stout fellow with a high tenor voice. And they sang beautiful duets together by the way, Paul and Arthur McKee. I’ll never forget some of them. “To Eternity” was one of the things that they used to sing as a duet. That was a favorite of mine, I loved to hear them sing it. But they...the two of them, and Mel Trotter and....I can’t think of a...some of the others. Usually it was some visiting evangelist [laughs] though, you know, who we’d entertain. But they’d get in the back, and Mother would cook them a real good dinner. That she thought they’d like. And they’d swap stories. And we weren’t always in on it, you know. We had to eat in the kitchen sort of thing [Shuster laughs] because it wasn’t a very big place. But we’d have six or eight out there at a time. And a...that’s when I remembered my...my uncle trading jokes and insults with Lyell [laughs] and so forth. But they were...they were close when they were coming up and then after Paul got saved, why it...it...it sort of made a breach between the two brothers. But he was the one that prayed my father into the kingdom, without a doubt. I think I remember him best for his praying, I think. I can remember him praying before his messages and all and I was so stirred by it. And when he....

SHUSTER: Why was that? How did he pray?

LONGINO: You...you just felt that he was talking to God and was right there, you know. And you had that sense of intimacy. And he would pray whenever he came to our...our home. I always called on Uncle Paul to pray. And....we’d often join hands around, you know. And it was just an electric experience to...to hear him pray. And so those are the...the times, even though we were in the back, you know, or serving or something like that. It’s just...it was great to have people like that around. And although they had such different backgrounds too, some of them. Mel Trotter, of course, had the kind of background he had. And when he first came to the house, I’d heard about his...his alcoholism and everything. They used to call it something else then. [laughs]. And I was expecting him...I don’t know what I expected. But when he came in, he was such a pleasant person, you know, and kind of soft spoken. Now when he talked out on the platform...

SHUSTER: Preached.

LONGINO: ...he would...you know, had a little bit more punch to it. But he was very...very soft-spoken and mannerly and kind. A very kind person. And so it was an experience too to...to see the result of a great change in a person like that.

SHUSTER: How was Paul Rader converted?

LONGINO: He...he was...he testified to...to being saved when he was a boy, I think. But the way my father tells it, was that he was...he was in New York, and he had been through Boston University, already had a pastorate. And he was getting away from believing the Bible. His studies had shaken his faith in the Word of God and God Himself, I think. And he was writing popular songs there, and writing secular short stories too. And one day up in his hotel room, he had just got to the end of his rope. I don’t know...I don’t know how much he got into drinking or anything like that. I don’t think either one of them, either my father or Paul were under...you know, out of control. But I imagine they did drink. I know...I know my bro...my dad did. But Paul one day just got to the end of his rope. And he got his...his mother’s Bible (that she had given to him to take with him when he left home) out of the trunk. And he just began looking at it, you know, and thinking about his life and how he had wasted it, he wasn’t going anywhere. And he’d gotten away from his original purpose and faith and all. So, just on impulse he picks it up. He was kneeling at the old trunk with it. And he...he threw it up in the air. And he said, “God, when that thing lands, I’m Your man. And I’m gonna stand on it.” And he didn’t put his feet on it, but he based his whole ministry on it from that point on. During that time, Paul went blind, too. And my dad.... Yeah, he had something happen. Some nervous trouble and he went blind. I don’t know whether that is told in any of the books, but I know that it was it so because my mother and dad have talked so much about that period, when they kind of cared for him and made sure that he was doing alright. He wasn’t broke or anything, it was just that...you know, it was such a terrible thing to happen.

SHUSTER: Sure.

LONGINO: And when his sight....

SHUSTER: This was after his conversion?

LONGINO: No. It was before. And he was healed of the blindness first. And I think that the...the impact of what had happened to him with the healing had a lot to do with his...his feeling for the Christian Missionary Alliance after that. But that was a....I...I couldn’t give you the date on that. But I know what time...it was only shortly after that that he came to Pittsburgh to do that...the meeting where my dad was converted. And my dad was sitting about midway in a row, and they had these little small folding chairs then. And he weighed...he weighed upwards of 250 or 300, you know. And when he decided to...that it was time to go to the altar, he just mowed them down on the way to the aisle. [Shuster laughs] And so...then my mother was converted a few days after that at the same meeting. And they...they...then they’d be...they all began to pray. Paul and his wife Mary, and the others in the family began praying for each member of my family, until we were all in the Kingdom, and then all of us ganged up on...on the cor...on the Tuckers. Because that was their sister’s family. And a...of those children, my three brothers were responsible for leading those three girls to the Lord. And a...they’ve had a great ministry too, of course, Scripture Press for one and...and Pacific Garden Mission for the other. But Paul’s interest in...in all of us, once in a while we’d hear from him. He was more likely to call and to wish us all well than he was to write.

SHUSTER: He didn’t write to family members?

LONGINO: No, he wasn’t much of a writer. Not to the fam...you know, on letter writing.

SHUSTER: Yeah. [unclear].

LONGINO: Yeah. He kept all of the articles and books, [chuckles] I think, because he sure put out a lot on them. That are...meant a lot to us too. The ones we had, why we got a lot out of them, of course.

SHUSTER: Did you ever listen to his radio program?

LONGINO: Oh yes. Yeah. That “Back Home Hour,” yeah. Yes, we’d listen to that in different places where we were stationed. I became an officer [in the Salvation Army] in 1928 [sic], and we would dash home to get that and all. We played on that too. At the time I mentioned, when we went to the...to the Tabernacle in Chicago on this trip with this quartet, we played over “The Back Home Hour” at that time. They...I don’t know whether they called it that same thing then. ‘Cause that would have been in 1926, but it was a radio program we played over and on. And then we went up to Muskegon, to the campground that he had there.
SHUSTER: He had a camp in Muskegon?

LONGINO: At...at Muskegon. Yes.

SHUSTER: I didn’t realize that.

LONGINO: Yeah.

SHUSTER: What was that called?

LONGINO: I don’t remember. I just remember where it was, and what it looked like. It...we were there for a week. [Lake Harbor Summer Camp in Muskegon, Michigan. It later, under different ownership, became the Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference.]

SHUSTER: And this...and this was associated, I guess, with the Tabernacle.

LONGINO: Oh yes, yes. Funny I can’t remember the name of that...of that camp.

SHUSTER: And this was a camp for everyone, or for children, or for camp [unclear]?

LONGINO: Yeah. Well, they had different group meetings. You know, very much like they do at Winona [Winona Lake, Indiana], special weeks for special ages. And we took that in for that week. And I don’t remember that it was...it was particularly young people’s week or anything. I think it was just a general evangelistic week. We just happened to furnish music there. And he was there then. And that was one of the last times I saw his mother...my grandmother too. She died shortly after that.

SHUSTER: And when was that? 1928?

LONGINO: ‘2...no, it must have been 19...no, let me see. I went into training in ‘26. It was in the summer of ‘26.

SHUSTER: ‘26. Let’s see...the Tabernacle and its leadership, of course, had the Sunday program, and the radio show, and the camp. What were some of the other outreaches of the Tabernacle?

LONGINO: Well, the missionary outreach for one thing. He was very missionary minded. And he put a lot of emphasis on that. They’d have the...the background there, you know, where their missionaries were. And a...there was a...there was always a...a...a cycle of the returnees, you know, that would come on furlough that we would hear. And that made a great impression on us too. These people that had gone out, you know. I imagine that they continued to serve, even after the Worldwide Christian Courier movement died as far as an organization was concerned [in 1933] . I think other...other groups picked them up because they were strong people.

SHUSTER: About how many missionaries were there, do you recall?

LONGINO: I...I knew about ten of them. I don’t know. I don’t think it was ever a very large field, but he...they...they concentrated their support on certain areas and teaching. They did a lot to teach the natives, that’s always a strong point with them.

SHUSTER: Teach them the Bible and...?

LONGINO: Yeah. Teach them to teach their own, you know.

SHUSTER: Nice.

LONGINO: Because the missionary can get thrown out of a country, but the...the natives have a better chance of continuing. And he believed that...in that strongly too.

SHUSTER: What areas would...did they send missionaries to?

LONGINO: Well, there were some in the Congo...the Belgian Congo. I...I remember the ones that went to India. I’d have to look at that little missionary picture on the back of that brochure to really remember the names now. But some were in China, and in India, and the islands in the Caribbean. And a...there was one couple, I think, that went to the Philippines, but I just can’t remember names. [laughs]

SHUSTER: Of course. And he traveled several times, to meet the missionaries.

LONGINO: Yes, yes, he did. And to keep up with them. My brothers ran into a couple when they did a trip to the Holy Land and Egypt and all. And they visited them too. So there were some in either a...it was either in Arabia somewhere or in Egypt where they were...were located.

SHUSTER: What...did the Tabernacle have any kind of a mis...rescue mission work?

LONGINO: Yes, after the Depression started, in 1929, he got very involved and tried to feed the whole town of Chicago, I think, that’s what...[laughs] the impression that I had because he was...they did all kinds of a...feeding programs, you know, for poor that were thrown out of work at that time. That must have been about ‘30 to ‘31 that...or ‘2...it might have been right in...in 1929. I remember when the...the stock market crashed and everything came apart. That...I remember that he was a strong supporter of Herbert Hoover and he thought Herbert Hoover was going to really rescue us, you know, out of that....

SHUSTER: How was that?

LONGINO: He...he did a whole...he did a whole pamphlet on it called “I Do!”

SHUSTER: Why did he feel so strongly about Herbert Hoover?

LONGINO: He just believed in the man thoroughly. And I suppose he thought, like a lot of us still do, that one man can make that much difference, you know. But that was just...there...it was just so many...I don’t think the people can blame Hoover altogether. Or the [Republican] Party perhaps. But he certainly did believe in Hoover. He thought that he was a...because he had done such a tremendous rescue program abroad, you know, he was in charge of that...that feeding [of Europe during and after World War I] and so he just thought that he could...he could feed the starving people all around us too.

SHUSTER: Had he ever had any personal contact with Hoover, or was it just...?

LONGINO: I think he did, yes. He was invited to the inauguration.

SHUSTER: Oh.

LONGINO: He tells about it that little pamphlet. And a...as I say, he seemed to have a great deal of confidence in him. And I don’t know whether that had anything to do with a....with his...the financial trouble that they got into because he was pouring so much into that...into the feeding program that people probably didn’t think it was as worthwhile as he did. And didn’t want to support it.

SHUSTER: So that...within the Tabernacle there was...

LONGINO: Yes.

SHUSTER: ...some conflict over the....

LONGINO: Yes, there was. Uh-huh.

SHUSTER: What did they have, soup kitchens or...?

LONGINO: Yeah, just a...just a regular feeding station that they had.

SHUSTER: So that was finally discontinued?

LONGINO: Yes. Well, it was when a....when the financial end of it just failed, you know. He had to...to give that up. But he...he went...I think he was...he felt that he had gotten away from the pure evangelism end of it. And yet, you can’t...as William Booth [founder of the Salvation Army] has always said, you can’t feed a...talk to a man about his soul on an...when he’s got an empty stomach.

SHUSTER: Empty stomach.

LONGINO: So he felt that the two should go together, but he got into it so deep that it was...it was expanding. He was expending a lot of time on it.

SHUSTER: Was a...Paul Rader a well-known figure around Chicago?

LONGINO: Very, yes. Even people that didn’t attend the Tabernacle knew about him. And I can remember when I was in school, I was in a little Episcopalian school...private school, and when I entered the...the two sisters there...they were quite impressed, you know, that they had a...niece of Paul Rader. They had somebody of that name. And I asked if they knew him. “Oh yes, we know a lot about him. We don’t go to his church, of course, you know.” But he was very well known. I’ve found people in my [Salvation] Army ministry, before I married that remembered hearing him especially on...on that Back Home Hour. And there’s another pastor, he’s in the charismatic movement, Ern Baxter, was a pastor up in Canada. And when he was....

SHUSTER: E-R-N?

LONGINO: E-R-N. Yeah. Ern Baxter. He’s an Australian. But he had a church in Canada. And he would close the service a little early if possible, you know. And they had the radio fixed up in the back room of that old church, they’d go back there and listen to the Back Home Hour. So it was a very popular program. All through the middle of the country especially we found people that knew him and felt like they were personally acquainted because of that program.

SHUSTER: Do people still come up to you when they find out that your Paul Rader’s...?

LONGINO: Yes. Yes. Of my generation or older, yes. So many of the young ones, of course, have never heard of him. Unless they’ve been in...in evangelical churches where his books might be, or where he’s quoted or something, you know.

SHUSTER: You mentioned one charismatic pastor. I was reading also a...an article by William Branham, another Pentecostal evangelist...

LONGINO: Uh-huh.

SHUSTER: ...talking about his acquaintance with Paul Rader. [Longino makes assenting noise] Did you ever meet William Branham or...?

LONGINO: I’ve heard of him. Yes. I’ve never met him. I have heard of him, yeah. There is a...there is another phase of his influence too was among college people that I had not...I had not realized so much, in the Christian colleges, particularly. And I’ve been asked for some of his writings and some of his books when they’d touch on a ...the fullness of life. Holiness is actually what he preached, in a way, although you couldn’t call him a Wesleyan Methodist or anything. But he believed in a totally, one hundred percent, dedicated and committed to Christ and to His way. And to...not only listen to His words, but do them, you know, and all. And so he’s been very acceptable as a writer to the...to the [Salvation] Army and to...to Methodist groups too for that reason.

SHUSTER: How did he come to leave Gospel Tabernacle?

LONGINO: Well, it was partly because of the...of the financial trouble. He just...he just felt that he couldn’t handle it, you know? He couldn’t cope with it. And he didn’t want to go on and see it diminsh the...the work diminish. And he felt like it was ti...it was just time to move on. He did go, you know, into the Fort Wayne...

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: ...Bible Tabernacle. And I’ve heard from the present pastor there. Because they had a bookstore in connection with the Tabernacle, and I thought they might still have more of the books and pamphlets. But they said they didn’t have a thing at that...at that time. But he went on to say how much his ministry had meant to the Tabernacle. I don’t know whether it was already started or not. I don’t know that much about it. But I...he also broadcast from there.

SHUSTER: Oh, he broadcast from Fort Wayne [in 1935]?

LONGINO: Yes, yes. And he also had a...had a band and...a woman I met just last week was so impressed with him at that time. And a...she really thought that he was...it was the Salvation Army because of the band. She didn’t remember what it was that she went to as a child. And she said it was always so...so alive and interesting, she said. Everything that went on.

SHUSTER: Who succeeded him at the Tabernac...Chicago Gospel Tabernacle?

LONGINO: Oh dear. I just read it the other...this morning too. I should remember. I can’t recall, right off. [It was Clarence Ericksen] But he stayed there for quite a while too, the next man and kept things going. I don’t know to what extent, you know, how much of them outer...part of the outreach program was carried on.

SHUSTER: Well, as you probably know the Tabernacle itself just dissolved last year.

LONGINO: It did. Oh, no I didn’t.

SHUSTER: I think it was Merrill Dunlop who said Paul Rader himself took on all the debts of the Tabernacle when he left....

LONGINO: Yes, yeah.

SHUSTER: ...so that the church could remain solid. One of the newspaper clippings we have talks about a time when Paul Rader was preaching with Aimee Semple MacPherson’s church....

LONGINO: Yes. He was...he was highly criticized for that by some segment of the Christian community. He thought he...he thought he could help. And he felt that there were excesses...in various areas of the program there. And he really thought he could help by going there.

SHUSTER: How so?

LONGINO: By preaching the Gospel without the drama background, without the emotional...too much of the emotional content. Although, actually he stirred the emotions himself, very much, but not in the same way. She was very dramatic. They actually had all kinds of sound effects and visual effects, if you know about her. And, it was...there was something a little superficial about it. And he thought that that congregation was really worth bringing back to fundamentals and to plain...plain teaching, you know, instead of just emotional preaching.

SHUSTER: Did he ever talk with you about what you thought of Aimee Semple....

LONGINO: No, I never saw him after that. He was out in California, you know, before he died. He died out there and his family settled out there too. And, so we never saw him again after he moved out of Fort Wayne, really.

SHUSTER: But you did see him in Fort Wayne?

LONGINO: Hmm?

SHUSTER: You did see him in Fort Wayne?

LONGINO: Well, I mean about that time. See, he was still out doing...evangelistic meetings even though he was centered there, he still got out. And, he came to New York on one visit about that time, and that was the last time that we saw him.

SHUSTER: Did he seem changed?

LONGINO: He seemed tired. I noticed that about him. He always had been so full of [unclear] and vigor. That it was...it was a revelation to me to see him. So, he was pretty young when he died. He was only in his fifties. And, somebody told us that the doctor...you see, he tried to keep physically fit and he would go to the Y [YMCA] and work out and he was so...he was really physically beat when he was trying to build up. And the doctor...one doctor said he had the arteries of a hundred year old man when he died. So, he just overdid on that. My Uncle Luke did too. He didn’t live to be very old, and my dad died when he was only sixty-one or two.

SHUSTER: What was the World Wide Couriers?

LONGINO: Well, that was the missionary organization.

SHUSTER: I see.

LONGINO: And, of course, it was...the paper too reflected the news from the field as well as a lot of current...current happenings.

SHUSTER: What about Luke Rader?

LONGINO: Yeah, Luke Rader had the...had the River Lake Gospel Tabernacle in Minneapolis. And that continued...and then his boy that Dr. Paul Rader that may have written to you...at least you knew about him.

SHUSTER: I knew about him.

LONGINO: He’s...he’s centered in Washington D.C.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: He took over then. It may still be running. I don’t know.

SHUSTER: But he pretty much spent all of his time then in Minneapolis?

LONGINO: Yes, yes, practically all of it was spent right at the Tabernacle there. He didn’t travel nearly as much as Paul did.
 
SHUSTER: Was his style pretty much the same as his brother’s?

LONGINO: He went in for a different line. He was...he was great on prophecy and he went very very heavily into that and exploring even the...I can’t remember that line that bases things on the pyramid?

SHUSTER: Oh, [unclear] I think it’s just called pyra...pyramidology.

LONGINO: It starts...no, no, it wasn’t anything like that. Not like the occult. But they based measurements for Christ’s return on that. What it was, was the distribution of the ten lost tribes, British Israel.

SHUSTER: Oh.

LONGINO: He did a lot of research into that. I never thought of that too well. I remember getting some books that he wrote on it. But he would get into a lot of different areas because of his interest in prophecy, exploring all of them. Some of them, he explored in order to show them up, you know? But he was a very strong, strong leader.

SHUSTER: How about in the pulpit? Did he remind you of Paul Rader?

LONGINO: I never...I never went to the Tabernacle to hear him, but he came...he came to Chicago and we heard him speak at some of the churches around there during the time that he was there, and that’s the only time I heard my Uncle Luke speak. He spoke at my dad’s funeral. And he was great. It was a victory meeting. He turned it into that. He was that kind of person, a very happy person and full of spirit and all. But I imagine he was...he was...he was kind of a dynamo too in the pulpit.

SHUSTER: You mentioned that you met Mel Trotter.

LONGINO: Yes, he was one of those that came to our home during the time when he would be in Chicago. Now, he traveled...he traveled around a little bit himself because he had had to do with beginning so many of these missions, and when we would visit one of the missions my dad was really interested in his work. He was always interested in rehabilitating the man who was so far down and he had a great heart for that, and that’s why he loved the work he did later with the Salvation Army. But Mel Trotter’s influence on...these...on these men that he would put in as superintendents. I don’t know whether he was the head of his little organization or not, but he was the spirit and the drive behind it, certainly. And one of them was in Akron and we were with him in a meeting then. That was the only time we were actually in a meeting with him. I mean to be a part of....

SHUSTER: You mean the whole family?

LONGINO: Yes, uh-huh. But we heard him several times when we would see him around New York or around Chicago, when he’d visit.

SHUSTER: Well, let me ask you about him too. Personally, what kind of man was he?

LONGINO: Well, he was the one that I was speaking about that my dad told him about...told us about his background about being a drunkard and how bad it was, and so when he came to the house I wasn’t expecting to see a very pleasant, mannerly person and to...to...to see one that was so well thought of. I don’t know what I expected to see. I suppose I expected him to reel [stagger] in or something. But he was a very pleasant person.

SHUSTER: You were just a child then.

LONGINO: I was just a child. And that’s the occasion when they would have the parties out on the porch and swap stories and we had to stay in the kitchen. [laughs]

SHUSTER: You heard him preach as well?

LONGINO: Yes, on the occasion when we were with him. I think it was Akron, a mission in Akron, but I couldn’t be sure. We visited so many that particular summer and I’m a little hazy about which one it was.

SHUSTER: Why were you visiting so many missions that summer?

LONGINO: ‘Cause my dad’s interest in it, and he thought it would be good for us to be exposed to the other side of life, too.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: We were raised in a Christian home and he wanted us to see what that could do to people, what alcohol could do to them. When we went to New York too, we visited the missions in the Bowery, too. One was in the old Chinese theater that was run by a converted Jew. We went there a lot and played our instruments and all late Sunday night, very late Sunday night. [laughs]

SHUSTER: In the missions that Mel Trotter established, how were they set up?

LONGINO: Well, very simply. He’d find a big building, I guess, or whoever was the scout, to house the people, then there was a meeting room there and there always was a soup kitchen, you know, a feeding station, too, there. It was just like any rescue mission today would be. The one, the Pacific Garden Mission, [in Chicago, where Mel Trotter was converted in 1897] of course, was started by...wasn’t that started by Harry Monroe, I believe, long before?

SHUSTER: Yes.

LONGINO: But he was...they said when he came in that he was so dead drunk, they didn’t think that anything had happened. He staggered to the altar. He was kind of heavy and they just rolled him back at the piano and when he...he woke up in the morning and he was cold sober and he knew what had happened too, to him. As far as I know, there was never a backwards step, you know. He just went on to be versed in the Bible. The kind of thing...I do remember someone saying something about him: that he always kept his testimony very simple and he would say the verse of Scripture that he would want to get across very slowly. He had been there and he knew that a lot of words fast spoken would go over their heads and so he was very careful just to accent one particular point: what Jesus could do for them.

SHUSTER: Did you hear him preach in his mission?

LONGINO: Only that once. We kind of played for him and that was the only time that we heard him.

SHUSTER: Was he married?

LONGINO: Well, he had been. I don’t know whether his...I never remember hearing about his wife. But he had been married, and it was on the funeral of his little baby that he did what was such a terrible thing. He came to the funeral parlor to see the baby, and they left him in the room with it and he took off the shoes. The neighbors had got together to buy them, the little thing to be buried in and he took them off her feet and sold them to get one more drink, and that was how low he got. That was just before he was converted. I think it might have been like almost a turning point for him when he realized he had really hit bottom.

SHUSTER: And then, I imagine, things improved after he was converted.

LONGINO: Well, I’m sure they did, but as I say I just never met his wife or knew much about her. All I remember is the fact that he was married and had this job.

SHUSTER: Who were some of the other people who worked with him?

LONGINO: I don’t remember. I was trying to think of that after your talking this morning of some of these mission leaders. There was one, Frank something, and I remember him particularly. One particular song he used to sing and he would open up every meeting we did in that particular mission he’d open up with that, “Majestic sweetness sits enthroned upon the Savior’s crown,” and he loved to sing that (off-key, I might add). It wasn’t too melodious. He’s the only one that sticks in my mind. I remember his first name was Frank, but I don’t remember his last name. It’s just too long ago. [laughs]

SHUSTER: Did you stay in contact much with Mel Trotter....

LONGINO: With Mel Trotter? No.

SHUSTER: ...after the...?

LONGINO: See, after that we went into the Army and we were up to our ears in our own rescue work. We didn’t have time hardly to visit any of the churches. I didn’t...we really didn’t get in touch with some of the evangelists that I remembered when I was a child until we got to Atlanta and we were on the territorial headquarters there in charge of the music and education work for the whole territory. By traveling around and being able to come back, though, to the home base often enough where we got to hear some of those that came to the Baptist Tabernacle, which is a great center for that. That was the only...those were the only times when we got to hear Dr. Frank Morgan again and, oh, I can’t remember how many that did come. Wilbur Smith was not exactly an evangelist but he was converted under Paul’s ministry at the Moody Bible Church [in Chicago], you know, when he was pastor there. He went on...he continued in that church, I’m almost sure, and then he went to California to Fuller Seminary and so we got to hear him a number of times. We had him at some of our own study seminars for officers and he was...he was around at that time. His father, too, had a great interest in the Tabernacle and Paul’s Tabernacle. I think he was identified too with Pacific Garden Mission. He was called the “Apple King of Chicago,” Dr...I mean, Mr. Tom, Tom Smith was his name. He lived out there in Sheridan Road too. He had an interest in any kind of evangelism around here. He was very much a part of the picture.

SHUSTER: Now did you say your father joined the Salvation Army?

LONGINO: Yes, he did, as an envoy. He didn’t become an officer or anything. But, he had...as a chemist, my dad had such an interest in taking nothing and make something out of it, you know, like so many of them do, and he was...he called himself a scavenger chemist, which isn’t the proper name for it but, it described what he did because he was inventive. He made things out of just something that was considered absolutely lost and impossible. So, he had a...he had a sermon on what they did to the garbage in New York City, and one of the Army...the old Army officers heard him give it. Because they took the garbage of New York, a whole group moved in, when it was causing an awful lot of trouble there, this was years ago. They took it and carried it into a processing plant. (I think they ought to go back to that too, by the way.) And they turned it into various chemical oils and made perfume out of it even, even some of them, and dyes because it was a basic aniline oil that was a real treasure. Of course, it had to go through a terrific process to get to that. But, he had this story and so that was his interest in the Army, that God could reach down and take someone that was hopeless and helpless and all the rest of it and, turn them into a productive citizen again. So, he enjoyed doing that. He enjoyed going around Pacific clubs for the Army, later, to give his...well, they were more like lectures because he wasn’t a trained pastor or anything. He was a layman all his life. So, that was his interest in it. Paul had a great interest in the Army because it was during that time that...during the war, the First World War, when the Salvation Army was so prominent, although, they never had more than one hundred people over on the...in the French...in the conflict with Germany. But, he saw them at work, and he backed them up and he helped them raise funds to pay for that, too. And he....

SHUSTER: He didn’t see them at work in France, did he?

LONGINO: Huh?

SHUSTER: Did he see them at work in France?

LONGINO: No, he saw them over...over here. But, their work with the dough boys [soldiers] over here, with their work over here. I don’t think he went to France, but he knew what was going on . He was responsible too for the beginning of the...of the Army’s advisory boards because someone came to him and told him he knew he was [unclear], had raised this money for the war effort over there. He told them, he said, “Well, get some money people interested in what you’re doing and don’t let them dictate what you preach but let them help you in a business sense.” There was a letter in the pile I noticed when I was going through the listing that the son of the man he advised to do that, and that was the beginning of our advisor boards. Because that’s where he worked, he worked...he had a great advisor board himself.

SHUSTER: Who was the person he advised this to?

LONGINO: His name was Agnew, he was a brigadier at that time. I knew him when I first came in the Army. But his boys were in the training college with me. Fletcher and Ernest, and it’s Fletcher that wrote the letter that’s in the Archives there about that. But he had a great sense of contacting people that didn’t have to do with religion and, I think he did a tremendous job of that in the city of Chicago because he was...he played golf with some of the outstanding citizens there that he met at the Y[MCA], probably, I don’t know. But, he was the member of a golf club. Somebody had given him a membership. So, he played golf with a lot of those...and he never failed to witness to them. There was one man he played with, I don’t know his name, but he...if he wasn’t on the links around Chicago, he was down at the...is there French Lake Springs in Indiana or something that sounds like that?  

SHUSTER: Something like that.

LONGINO: There’s...it’s a great course evidently for the golfers. He was due to play with him, and he had this fellow on his heart a long time. He would try to introduce something about salvation and the fellow would always ward it off. He wouldn’t listen to him. He would change the subject. So, Paul just, you know, bided his time. But this story he told us on his trip. It just occurred to me that the trip he made was the last time we saw him. He told that story of...of...of this fellow’s conversion. But he couldn’t locate him, he didn’t see him on the links. So, he took time to phone the man’s office and found out that, no, he wasn’t going to...he was going to do it. They didn’t know where he was. He had just taken off. Something just told him that he might be down at the links there because he knew he loved to play down there in Indiana at this particular resort...golf course. He went down, and sure enough he found him on one of the...of the holes. He began...he said, “God has been troubling me about you. I’ve got to talk to you, and you’ve got to listen this time.” And he talked to him. The man had a heart attack and never finished the round at that time. It made a terrific impression on me, because I had let some opportunities slip and I felt terrible about it. And....

SHUSTER: Did the man die then?

LONGINO: Yes, he had a fatal heart attack there. And of course, Paul was with him when it happened, so.... But, he took...I think he took every opportunity to talk to people who were serving and that kind of thing because it was always on his mind.

SHUSTER: Did you ever...you say you did not attend the ‘49 Graham Crusade [in Los Angeles, California]?

LONGINO: The forty...no, we were in Chicago. My cousins wanted us to attend the Scripture Press banquet, that was one of the earlier ones. I don’t think the thing had been going much more than twelve, fifteen years, maybe. In fact, I don’t know. I would have to compare the dates to know. It was the year, anyway, of the Hollywood Crusade. Bev Shea was there as the guest because they all knew him very well. He told a story of just how the meeting was extended beyond its time and how it...God got a hold of the whole thing, you know, and just took over. It was a very thrilling account that he gave. Of course, he sang too that night. It was an interesting...it was a very interesting program, that was the whole program by the way. They just got him up and said, “Tell them about the Hollywood meeting.” I think the...wasn’t that the one...there was one particular character that came out of that, that later wrote a song. He was....

SHUSTER: Stuart Hamblen?

LONGINO: Yeah, Stuart Hamblen. Wasn’t that the occasion?

SHUSTER: Yeah. And Jim Vaus was there as well.

LONGINO: But we first met Billy Graham...we had met his father before because his father was kind of active (I don’t know how long) but in the old Billy Sunday Clubs.

SHUSTER: Yes.

LONGINO: He was still the blood line of influence. It’s a great thing how it’s come down through these evangelistic families.

SHUSTER: How did you meet...how did you meet Frank Graham, the father?

LONGINO: Well, some of our folks attended those things, and then, we were together in a lot of city-wide evangelistic efforts, you know.

SHUSTER: In Charlotte [North Carolina].

LONGINO: And so, we met him and found out he was the father of the boy that was stirring things up in western...was he in a church in Western Springs or something [from 1943-1944]?

SHUSTER: Yes.

LONGINO: Yeah, ‘cause my folks...the boys were...oh they, they loved him, the DeCory [?] boys. They thought he was the greatest. He was in Youth for Christ, wasn’t he, too.

SHUSTER: Yes, he was a vice president.

LONGINO: That’s where they would have had a lot of contact with him. So, we understood that Mr. Graham’s son was going to come and do a Youth for Christ program. It was in the courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina. We went to play and then we met him afterward we realized that he was something extra, I’ll tell you. We only had about five hundred people there. And this was before the Hollywood meeting before he became just nationwide...nationally known, I should say.

SHUSTER: How did the Scripture Press get started?

LONGINO: The...the founders of that...Victor Cory...now for instance, he was trying to be an electrical engineer and got into the publishing business. Harry Saulnier’s book, his...not him...son-in-law, his brother-in-law, yeah, that would be his brother-in-law, tells a little bit about it. In that, there’s quite a bit of history in Harry’s book, who was the head of the Pacific Garden Mission. The...I think the main thing was they attended North Side...North Shore Congregational Church after their conversion. My mother threw...she was great on throwing parties with an ulterior motive, you know, and she invited my...her three nieces, my cousins, to the...this party, and with the boys, our three boys, it made a nice party for them. I was too young to get in on it. I just did some of the work. But, it was after that that Lyell got a hold of Bernice and talked to her. And, my middle brother Dan talked to Ruth, and then Paul was witnessing to little Jean who became Jean Zollener [?]. At the end of that party at the end of the night, and it went on quite a long time, all three of the girls made a commitment to Jesus Christ. From there, then she met and married Victor Coray. He had already met and been in touch, and had been influenced by Paul, and was particularly interested in this specific Pacific Garden Mission. They began...as they began to go deeper into Bible study they realized that the standard curriculum that they were getting in...that they saw in some of the churches was not the whole Bible at all. They expressed their feelings to Clarence [pauses], oh dear, he was the...one of their first Bible...he was the editor sort of...Clarence. I’ll think of it, maybe. But, they began that thing, calling it the All Bible...All Bible Graded Series, and they started publishing on a shoestring.

SHUSTER: Victor Cory already was a publisher?

LONGINO: He had been doing some work along that line. I don’t know whether it was a newspaper or what, but he had got into it. At this stage, he didn’t...he never thought he’d pursue that, he thought he’d get back to his engineering, I’m sure. But my dad was one that...he had the money at that time, and he gave to them. They paid it back with a lot of interest in years later. But, he gave them the money to start because he believed in what they were doing. They had the whole thing outlined on their mind and they came to different ones and got the financing for it. They started in their own home, packing it in the kitchen, you know, first, then the dining room and they outgrew the apartment and had to get a little place. They were on Wacker Drive for a while. I don’t know whether that was the first address or not. But, they were in Chicago until they moved to Wheaton. The whole thing was out of Chicago.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: And they had...I don’t know what year this is either, but I know they’ve long since celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of it. It’s in recent years too that their outreach has gone in many languages and all. They’ve had a great ministry with that. Robert Cook was the head of it for a while. And, they’ve drawn from so many of the evangelicals, either as writers or as directors of it, you know, advisors.

SHUSTER: Well, that’s been all my questions.

LONGINO: Uh-huh.

SHUSTER: Unless you have something you’d want to add about all the topics we talked about.

LONGINO: Well, the only thing is to summarize it. During the period when we were visiting whatever Bible conferences or...particularly at camp grounds, Winona Lake, and then, the one that was most closely identified with Uncle Paul was Cedar Lake in Indiana. He had his own conference grounds there.

SHUSTER: Besides the one in Muskegon?

LONGINO: Yeah, beside the one...well, I think when he bought the thing in Muskegon, the other was sold, then. I don’t think they ran concurrently. But the...they had really great speakers at their different weeks, you know, special weeks and all. And again he had...Paul had a lot of missionaries there. Then we would go to Winona Lake and some of the men even when I was...I was still about ten...about ten years old. I would get up in the morning and leave the cottage...the rented cottage where we were and go over to the Sunrise Bible Class. And this would be conducted by [G.] Campbell Morgan and by men of his caliber. I guess what they wondered, what, you know, what a little kid was doing in there. But I soaked up an awful lot of Bible during that time, and it has...it stayed with me. So, it was a great time...it was a great time to be coming up as a kid...to be growing up with that kind of influence. And I think the most sparkling conversation I’ve ever heard was when these fellows would get together and relax and...not get out of character at all, never out of character, but, they made it seem so real and so enjoyable. And those are the things I think I remember most about my contact with some of these great, great people that are being honored here, [at the Billy Graham Center Archives] and it brings back a lot of memories. I can tell you.

SHUSTER: That they made it seem natural.

LONGINO: Yes, yes. You could spot a phony. I think children are better at that than adults. We’re apt to be a little bit charitable, I think, but children can spot it right away. There was some people that I definitely didn’t go for, but these people were very real. Among the prophetic teachers, I can remember [William E.] Biederwolf, names like that, Biederwolf, [William L.] Pettengill, [H. A.] Ironside. I remember Dr. Ironsides very well. I don’t know. It’d be hard to remember all of them, but this brings back a lot of memories to go through here.

SHUSTER: What did you think of Biederwolf?

LONGINO: Well, I just remember the name. I remember reading his book as a child, and Dr. Pettengill’s books too and.... We didn’t always follow exactly their line, you know, their particular line on prophecy and.... I never got to hear some of those whose books since then. But it was a rich experience for it, and I was glad our parents exposed us to it, ‘cause it’s meant a lot to all...all four of the children and we all followed in the footsteps, sort of, you know, in full-time work for the Lord.

SHUSTER: So he...so Paul Rader would have these kind of conferences at Cedar Lake?

LONGINO: Yes.

SHUSTER: Every year?

LONGINO: Yeah. He was there most of the time too. The last...not the last time I heard Billy Grah...Billy Sunday, but I...we were there the year that they dedicated the Billy Gra...Billy Sunday Tabernacle at Winona Lake.

SHUSTER: Winona Lake.

LONGINO: Yeah, and they had...I remember they had even operatic stars come for the...some special programs, you know, concerts. They had like the great Galachurchi [?]. She was before your time I’m sure. People like that. But Billy Grah...Billy Sunday was...he was their headline star at the time.

SHUSTER: Did you hear him speak?

LONGINO: Oh yeah, yes. The last time I heard Billy Sunday, yeah, Billy Sunday, was in Lakeland, Florida. This was...this (oh dear) was in the ‘30s. He was over there at the Tabernacle that was originally built for him.

SHUSTER: Is it still standing?

LONGINO: I don’t think it is now. It wasn’t doing too good a job of standing when we were in it. No, it was pretty solidly built and it had been enclosed and all. But that was the last time we heard him.

SHUSTER: Did you ever hear Sunday when he was giving one of his great evangelistic campaigns?

LONGINO: Yes, yeah. My husband was in the middle of one of them in Spartanburg, South Carolina [January-February 1922]. He was...he was a part of the little band they got together to play for that. He got acquainted with Homer Rodeheaver [Billy Sunday’s song leader] at that time. We were...we were very well acquainted with Homer Rodeheaver, with his trombone and all that he had made for him.

SHUSTER: What did you think of Sunday as a preacher?

LONGINO: Well, I thought he didn’t make the same impact on me that others did. There was no doubt about him being sincere, but I didn’t always understand why he used...why he told certain stories and all. I can remember thinking that it was...it just didn’t fit. I didn’t know what he was driving at, if you know what I mean.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

LONGINO: He would get caught up in it, you know, and the crowd would be swayed and all. But, he had a...he made a terrific contribution. It was...we just felt like we were listening to history when we heard him that last time in the ‘30s.

SHUSTER: Of course, Sunday was very much involved in the Prohibition movement...

LONGINO: Yes.

SHUSTER: ...or Temperance. Was Paul Rader at all?

LONGINO: Oh, he was dead against it. Oh, no, he was dead against liquor of any form. I can’t remember that he had...I remember Billy Sunday had the “Demon Rum” and all those sermons. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t quite identify with him because that wasn’t one of our problems, you know, whereas Paul Rader spoke an awful lot about attitudes [laughs] and that I could identify with that, you know. But I think it was just a part of his general...everybody knew where he stood. I think that was the case with that with Paul Rader.

SHUSTER: Was he at all...have...did Paul Rader have any contact with the charismatic movement?

LONGINO: Not as far as I know. Unless it would be when he was out with Aimee Semple McPherson, because, of course, she was...she was a Pentecostal. I think he was gifted man himself, not perhaps with speaking in tongues, but he was certainly charismatic in his approach to people, his discernment, his...he had...[sound of train passing in the background] well, the outside person would call it uncanny, I call it Spirit-led knowledge of what the trouble was. He seemed to sense it so well, and in that...in that way he certainly was charismatic in the broadest sense of the word. 

SHUSTER: Well, I want to thank you very much for...for this interview.

LONGINO: Well, you’re very patient to stay and all.

SHUSTER: No, this has been fascinating to hear about some the men [unclear].

LONGINO: Well, thank you. It’s been a pleasure for me.


END OF TAPE


Send us a message.

Return to BGC Archives Home Page

Last Revised: 01/12/12
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2012