This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Ray Harvey Schulenberg (CN 270, 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 Paul Ericksen and Timothy Gulsvig, and was completed in February 2007.
Collection 270, T1. Interview of Ray Schulenberg by Bob Shuster, March 29, 1984.
SHUSTER: This is an interview with Reverend Ray Schulenberg by Bob Shuster for the Archives of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. This interview took place on March 29th at 2 p.m. at the Billy Graham Center. Reverend Schulenberg why don’t we start out with a little bit of your family background. Were your parents native Chicagoans?
SCHULENBERG: Yes, Bob, my parents were born and reared in the city. And it was fit for children [?]. My parents were not Christians early in life, not until sometime after they were married, and they became Christians through the instrumentality and...and their oldest..and their firstborn son, who was then about seven or eight years old, who went to a nearby Sunday school.
SHUSTER: What church was that in?
SCHULENBERG: Well, it was [pauses] called...in the area it was what’s called a Grant Works [neighborhood of Cicero, a suburb of Chicago], the west side of Chicago, near Roosevelt Road and Cicero. And he came home. He said, “Mother, I want you to go to church with me some Sunday.” And she was reared in another religion and hadn’t gone to church for years, not even on Christmas or Easter. And she said, “Yes, I will.” He went back again another week or two and came home again, and asked her and she went and she was converted. And she came home and she said to her husband, who later became...soon...a couple of years became my father, “John, I want you to go to church with me. I heard something today that I think would be good for our home.” And my father never went to church. He...he was one of these cold hard fellows from the west side of Chicago, and cares little or nothing about any of them. But he did. He went and he was converted, and the home was changed. Anything and everything that resembled worldliness went out. I won’t go into the whole story, but.... Then, I came along.
SHUSTER: What was the name of the church again?
SCHULENBERG: Well, it was in the area, the Grant Works. But then we went as a church...as a family to the Humboldt Park Gospel Tabernacle, which was near Humboldt Park in Chicago. And it had a rather close affiliation with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the group, though not officially a part of it. But it was a good church, and we saw conversions there, I think, every Sunday.
SCHULENBERG: I can’t think of a Sunday when folks did not respond to the pastor’s invitation (Pastor Wester [?]) and so forth. So we were built into that church, Sunday school and young people. I remember as a small boy, somebody said, “No, I still got up to attend church on Sunday mornings,” right, which I did, and met some fine folks there in the part...the life of the church. But Chicago’s our home. And then we knew of Paul Rader at the Moody Church, of course. And we would go there, special occasions especially to hear Paul Rader. I was taken there as a small boy, and anyone and everyone who heard Paul Rader, and who came under the influence of his ministry, had to be deeply moved, not only impressed, but deeply stirred here in heart, even as a young boy.
SHUSTER: Why was that?
SCHULENBERG: Bob, you’ll have to ask the Lord someday. God anoints certain men, and Paul Rader was a God-anointed preacher of the gospel. I heard a lot of preachers in my time, being in Chicago here, graduating from the Moody Bible Institute, heard some of the finest preachers in all the world, English-speaking world, the Founder’s Week conferences [an annual preaching event at Moody Church in Chicago] conferences, the great churches that we’ve had and still do have in Chicago, the Moody Church and other good strong churches, where Billy McCarrell was for so many years: the Cicero Bible Church. And Harry Hager, the Christian Reformed Church out in Roseland [neighborhood on Chicago’s far south side]. Oh, and our own church, we had Oswald J. Smith [pastor of the People’s Church in Toronto], and, oh, I don’t know, one right after another, but strong preachers. And then the Bible conference areas around Cedar Lake [Indiana], Winona Lake [Indiana]. But Paul Rader, I honestly have to say...must say, is in a class by himself.
SHUSTER: When you think about his preaching, of his preaching style, what kind of words come to mind to describe it?
SCHULENBERG: Power, whole-heartedness. He was sincere. He was a big man, big in stature, big in vision, Bob. And he would step the platform of that big five thousand seat auditorium at Barry and Clark, the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, and there was a strength about him. And he opened his mouth, and you would stop, and you...you’d have to listen. Every sermon that I (and I heard him preach for years)...I suppose every sermon I heard him preach was at least an hour in length, and the people didn’t want to go home even after that.
SCHULENBERG: The...the...there was a...there was a depth...there was a spiritual depth. God did something in the life of Paul Rader, and God does that from time to time. He touches certain lives. “He gives gifts to men,” [Ephesians 4:8] Paul wrote to one of the churches, the church at Ephesus, the church at Rome. And God gave Paul Rader an unusual gift, and he could command the attention and hold the attention of thousands of people service after service.
SHUSTER: Can you think of some examples from your experience about his ability to command an attention?
SCHULENBERG: Well, the fact that he...he would...would...would preach for one hour and hold the people spellbound, really, would tell me that he had their attention, or they would be restless. Then he’d give an invitation, and very moving and touching, and people would respond. And I...I hate to say this, but in all truthfulness we don’t see much of that today. I saw one Sunday evening as a boy in my teens now, probably seventeen years of age, I saw a young woman, and I was sitting near the rear of the large tabernacle. I saw her. Others were standing all over the place and moving forward down the long gravel aisles. She stood to her feet, and she literally ran down the aisle, just like you’re running for a bus or a street car, just to get down and...down to the front and get saved. In the midst of Rader’s preaching, very often he would lift his hands and burst forth in the song, “Oh, now I see the cleansing stream. It cleanseth me, it cleanseth me.” He’d have a white handkerchief in his hand very often, black bow tie with a contrasting white shirt, dark suit, tall man. He had been a fighter out in the West and drew a lot of his illustrations from that life. But he would preach with that burden, with that anointing, for that’s what it was. And the people felt it [laughs]. There was...there was no question about it. They felt a power about him. You wonder what the secret of his power was? Well, I heard him on several occasions, hearing him over a period of years. He would remind audiences from time to time of an experience he had in New York City. There had been a lot of doubts and questions concerning life, and the reality of God, the truthfulness of the Scriptures in his mind as a young man. And that’s true of so many young men, even Christians and so forth. And a lot of them have gone off to secular schools, and because they weren’t really established, they lost their faith and so forth. Paul Rader found himself in sort of quagmire of doubt, despair, despondency. And he closed himself in a room in New York, New York City. And he says, “God I’m not going to leave this room until you...you...you do something with me and give me the answers to life.” He says, “And I shut that door and I prayed and I fasted for three days. And something happened.” Just what that something was, only God knows what he did in the heart and life of Paul Rader. But, you know, Peter had an experience. Jesus said to Peter on one occasion, as you’ll recall, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” And Peter said, “Ha, ha, ha, [?] thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And you remember Peter’s reply...the Lord’s reply, “Peter, flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father, which is in heaven.” [Matthew 16:13, 16-17] And I think the Lord revealed something to Paul Rader and touched the heart and life of Paul Rader, and he was never the same again, and his ministry was never the same again.
SHUSTER: Did...you mentioned that your family first started coming to Moody Tabernacle when you were going to Humboldt....
SCHULENBERG: Humboldt Park Gospel Tabernacle.
SHUSTER: Did you family then transfer to Moody or...
SCHULENBERG: No, no, no.
SHUSTER: ...attend both?
SCHULENBERG: No, we...we remained faithful to our own church. But we had services in the morning at our church, as most churches do, and also in the evening. Paul Rader...the Tabernacle had no morning services, see. They had a Sunday school at two o’clock, and I sat under the teaching ministry of Lance Latham, who was the secretary of Paul Rader for many years. He came out of the Moody Church with Rader and established the work on the north side at Barry and Clark with Paul Rader, along with others: Richie [Richard] Oliver, Jr. and Sr., and Merrill Dunlop, and the Jones brothers, Clarence and Howard Jones, and Peter Deyneka, and so forth. But they had an afternoon program, so at two o’clock, from two to three, there was a large Sunday school. And then the afternoon service at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle began at three o’clock.
SHUSTER: Now, we were talking about the Moody Tabernacle though.
SCHULENBERG: It wasn’t called the Moody Tabernacle then. Are you thinking of the Moody Church prior to the time they moved up north?
SHUSTER: Well, I was asking of when you were going to Humboldt Park, and you started coming to the Moody Tabernacle.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah. I [pauses]...well, this was the way it was. We, as a family, would attend on occasion, especially special occasions at the Moody Church when Paul.... See, Paul Rader was pastor at the Moody Church for about six years. And, in fact, I think it was our pastor at the Humboldt Park Gospel Tabernacle that brought Paul Rader to Chicago for the very first time, before the Moody Church had ever heard of Paul Rader. It was Paul Rader who buried my pastor, Pastor J. O. Wester [?], and so forth. But he then became known to the Moody Church people, and they’d been without a pastor for four years I believe, if I’m not mistaken, and he preached one Sunday morning at the Moody Church, which was then that...sort of that tabernacle-style building. And the leaders got together and said this is our man. And he preached with power and with unction, and...and people responded. And so they called him. And he was pastor then of...of the Moody Church, which was at the direct corner of Clark and North, for about six years as I recall, six or seven years. And then he moved from there up north. The Moody Church retained its name, the Moody Church, but then up north it became the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, and Rader became the leader pastor there.
SHUSTER: Well, what was the reason for him leaving Moody?
SCHULENBERG: Well, we don’t like to talk about [laughs] those things. But he...he was a strong leader, and he was active with the Christian and Missionary Alliance organization, and he was being made president of the organization. And that meant that the church, as I understand it (I was a young man at that time)...the church would have had to become an Alliance work. And the elders and leaders of the church said, “No, we’re...we’re an independent work, and it wouldn’t be well for us to become affiliated with any one organization.” And I think they were right. As I see it (I was not a part of it officially or formally, but as an observer)...and they just parted ways. Rader...Rader had a broad vision. He was the first man to...to...to bring a...a Christian prog...to broadcast a Christian program coast to coast. R. R. Brown, an Alliance man of Omaha, they called him Radio Brown, conducted the first religious or Christian broadcast in America.
SHUSTER: When was that?
SCHULENBERG: Oh, I don’t recall the exact date, but I suppose around 1920, thereabouts. I’m somewhat guessing now, but I think it would be right about that time. And then, when Paul Rader became established, speaking of radio, on the North Side, and was becoming known now because of the power of his witness, the...the mayor of the City of the Chicago, William Hale Thompson, had a radio station, WHT, William Hale Thompson, and said, “Rader, how would you like to...to use our radio facilities?” And Rader grabbed the opportunity and said, “Great!” And so he broadcast for a time over this Chicago station, WHT. He saw the possibilities of radio, and soon after he bought time from WJBT, and he called that “Where Jesus Blesses Thousands,” WJBT [laughs]. He let the call letters could read that way. So, he then became rather strong in radio.
SHUSTER: Did you used to listen to him on the radio?
SCHULENBERG: Oh, sure. For a while, Bob, he was on all day Sunday from morning to midnight, the afternoon broadcast and the evening from the Tabernacle proper. And then they had a very popular...very popular late Sunday night program called the Back Home Hour from eleven to twelve o’clock at night, that is after all the church people were back home. They were relaxing. He would be there in the studio, right in the Tabernacle by the way. In one corner of the Tabernacle, they had built a studio, and there was an organ and a piano, and...and what music came out of that...that place. And Rader would be there at the microphone. Beautiful singing: the Radaker brothers every Sunday night. They would repeat certain songs by special request: “The Pearly White City,” and “There’s No Disappointment in Heaven,”and “The Nighty and Nine.” They tried to get off a bit and sing other songs, but people would keep requesting, “Oh, sing, ‘The Pearly White City’.” And they sang it so ni.... There were three brothers, and I knew them all very well. And Mother’s Day, they would sing a very nice song:When the evening shadows kiss the West,
They sang it with su...such effect, Bob. And then Rader would get to the microphone. And then he had what was called dramas. Lance Latham would be at the organ, and Rader would depict certain stories.
SHUSTER: Bible stories?
SCHULENBERG: Bible stories with organ background, and Rader would make it live...excuse me, Latham at the organ would make it live. You’d hear the hoofs of the horses. They had a big organ had came from New York City. It was used over the Blue Network [previous name of ABC or American Broadcasting Company]. And one of the strong leaders of the church saw to it that it was purchased for the Tabernacle. And Rader would play that beautifully. Oh, what music...and Richie [Richard] Oliver and so...so forth. But Rader would s...would stand at the microphone, and I heard this often. He’d reach for a hymnbook [rubs hands together or rubs hand on paper] and he’d move his hand over the page next to the microphone, so you could sort of hear, shall I say, the movement of the sand as Jesus would...would draw...excuse me, as Rader would draw the picture of that fallen women with those critics standing around [John 8:1-11]. “What are you going to do now? Here, she’s been caught in the act. Moses says this.” Was Jesus going to break the law of Moses and excuse her? And he was the prophet of love. Would he say, “Well, stone her”? And they thought they had Jesus, no matter what his answer would be. But he was above all that. He says, “Okay, smarties. [laughs] You who are without sin come on over here. You cast the first stone.” And I wish you would have heard the way Rader described that: “There they go. There they go. One by one. Where you going? The law cannot save. The law says kill her. You’re guilty. You’re guilty. But Jesus says, ‘Go thy way and sin no more,’” and so forth. [The Archives has a tape of this sermon by Rader in Collection 38, audio tape T2; see http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/docs/rader1a.html for an audio version along with written transcript.] He was a master in every way, and Chicago lost...lost a great man when he passed away at a rather young age. He had a heart condition, and so forth.
SHUSTER: As a long-time residence in Chicago, maybe you could describe a little bit of Rader’s impact on the city, I mean, not just the Tabernacle, but was he well known in...
SCHULENBERG: I’m not so sure...
SHUSTER: ...among the general population?
SCHULENBERG: ...that he was involved in politics, even local, or national, or international.
SHUSTER: Well, I’m not thinking about necessarily in politics, but was he...in the general population of the city, was he somebody that people would recognize? It’s...well...
SCHULENBERG: I don’t think that he....
SHUSTER: ...an extreme example might be to say Mike Royko [well-known Chicago newspaper columnist] is a name that most people in Chicago would recognize.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah. Of course, he’s in the paper every day writing columns, you see.
SHUSTER: That’s true.
SCHULENBERG: But Rader was on the radio, and I can...I can say this at least: Rader was known. He...just like D.L. Moody [American evangelist and founder of Moody Church] was known. Was D.L. Moody known in Chicago? He sure was. And Rader was known. You see God touches certain men, and they stand out [claps hands]. Billy Graham. Was Billy Graham [laughs]? Well, you know, and Jerry Falwell? Some of these other men, they stand out. And thank God that he does touch certain lives. And that was so with Paul Rader. Yes, I think this city...this city knew Paul Rader. You see, the Tabernacle sat between four and five thousand . It was filled every Sunday afternoon. It was filled every Sunday night. The evening service started at seven o’clock. The band concert, under the direction of Oliver...Richard Oliver Sr., started at 6:30. And you would have to get there by 6:30 to get a seat. The band played until 7:00, for thirty minutes. And then the evening service started with a song service, a big choir of, oh, I don’t know, a hundred voices, maybe more, and then a big band of thirty or thirty-five pieces, and a good band, with the two ten-foot grand pianos, and the players facing each other as they played, with a big organ, and five thousand people, [laughs] and away they were [?]. They just...it was revival. Wherever Rader went, Bob, people...people felt the breath of God. They felt...they felt a moving of the Holy Spirit. They felt the...a fire of revival. There was that about his ministry.
SHUSTER: Who made up the congregation? Who...how would you describe the people? Where were they from?
SCHULENBERG: Well, I can quickly say this: they were from all over Chicago. I have friends out in Roseland [neighborhood in Chicago’s far South Side]. Now I live in the far northwest side. And I have friends in pretty near Roseland. They would come Sunday afternoons from way out, 111th and 1100 South. They would come in from the suburbs. So...and that went on not only for a little period, a month or two, but that went on for year...years...year after year. There was never a time when that tabernacle wasn’t jam-packed that I could recall.
SHUSTER: Was it [pauses] mainly middle-class, rich, poor, was there...?
SCHULENBERG: I don’t know that much. I was in my teens, but I presume middle-class. I don’t think they were poor, and I don’t think they were wealthy. I think they were middle-class. But I presume there were a lot of wealthy folks that sent in their money, especially for missions, you see, [pauses] because it was a big program they were carrying on, and that radio expense, and the expense of the staff, and there were quite a few members in the staff, and all of the rest, so they...they had a big budget, whatever that was. There was no membership there either, see.
SHUSTER: Why was that?
SCHULENBERG: While, it was just a...an evangelistic center. It wasn’t a church, per se, but an evangelistic center. The people came and went at will. They came. [laughs] They didn’t want to leave.
SHUSTER: So, there were no baptisms at the Tabernacle?
SCHULENBERG: No, not that I recall. They went back to their respective churches then, I suppose, these people. I presume many of them or most of them were from other churches, not that he was looking to take members away from their own churches. He wasn’t. [sound of train passing in background] He and I imagine too that a good portion of his audiences were of his own converts, because there was such a host of them Sunday after Sunday that you hardly needed anyone else, but they were there.
SHUSTER: Was the audience mixed black and white, was it a completely white audience, or...?
SCHULENBERG: Principally white. I suppose there were a few blacks. But remember this, this was sixty years ago, and you didn’t have near...near the blacks in our big cities as you do now, see. And there were small segments of blacks living on the South Side of Chicago, and the near South Side of Chicago, for some of the nice areas of Chicago are around 22nd St., and Michigan, and Wabash. Some of the old mansions along the west side of Michigan Ave. That was high-class; that was all white, see. So the changes have come about in the last...well, shall I say fifty years. So, that...that was not a situation. It was principally white, but they certainly would have been welcome.
SHUSTER: As you think about the Tabernacle, what are the names that come to mind as principal leaders of the congregation?
SCHULENBERG: While the principal leader, of course, was the pastor, Paul Rader. Every....
SHUSTER: Well, I mean apart from the staff.
SCHULENBERG: Yes, I understand.
SHUSTER: Some of the lay people.
SCHULENBERG: Well, Lance Latham. He was...he was the...the...the secretary and the right arm, shall I say, of Paul Rader. And an unusual man. I loved Lance B. Latham. He was ninety years old last week, by the way. I don’t know if you know that. I talked to him about two weeks ago.
SHUSTER: Unusual how?
SCHULENBERG: What’s that?
SHUSTER: You said unusual man. Unusual...?
SCHULENBERG: Oh, in every way. When he was seven years old, he knew the book of Romans from memory and the book of James from memory, and then he learned the Gospel of John, and then First Corinthians. And then he memorized the book of Hebrews, and then Ephesians. That’s the way it went on. His father, who was a Presbyterian minister in Chester, Pennsylvania, said on one occasion, “We’re going on vacation now, and while we’re away I think we’ll memorize the book of Revelation. [laughs] You know. And that’s the way he...he...he...it went. His father was the founder of the...of the Daily Vacation Bible School Movement, by the way, Dr. Latham. And those were vacation Bible schools, different from what we have now. They began at 9:00 in the morning and continued to 3:00 in the afternoon for about eight weeks all summer. A regular Bible institute, which he conducted for about eight weeks. The Messianic Psalms and the book of Hebrews, and they studied, those children. Lance Latham, as you probably know, is the founder of the AWANA movement, and that is reaching thousands of boys and girls for Christ every week. And Latham was such an accomplished pianist, and so humble. In fact, years ago I said, and I’ve never changed my mind, “The most unforgettable man I’ve ever known is Lance B. Latham,” so humble.
SHUSTER: Who were some of the lay people who were leaders in the church?
SCHULENBERG: Well, Mr. [Albert] Johnson, who was an insurance man who lived next door to Mr. Rader, up where Loyola University is. And I’ve been Rader’s home and so forth. And...but Mr. Johnson lived right next door, big, beautiful home. The backyard was Lake Michigan. Rader’s backyard was the lake also. Mr. Johnson’s home. He was a strong leader in the church. Christian Eicher, who had been a missionary, was another one of the strong leaders. And he prayed so nice every Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. I wasn’t always there Sunday evenings, but I’d be there Sunday afternoons. And then I’d go to usually my own church Sunday nights.
SHUSTER: He prayed every service?
SCHULENBERG: It seemed that he...he would pray at most every service. He prayed so deeply, spiritually, sincer...there was no monkey business. There was no entertainment. They didn’t perform their love. You understand what I mean? They weren’t there to perform. Rader...Rader made much of certain truths. He made much of the cross, much of Calvary. Oh my, he could talk on the blood. “Oh, the blood,” as I said a moment ago, he would lift his hands. “Oh, now I see the cleansing stream, it cleanseth me, it cleanseth me.” And you could feel it. You knew he meant it. He preached much on faith: “Believe, believe.” And he wrote that song, you know: “Only believe, only believe.” “Fear not, little flock,” and so forth. “All things are possible.” I had thought through the years that he probably wrote the words, and maybe gave Lance B. Latham, because he was an accomplished musician, Lance was, wrote a lot of songs. I don’t know if any of them were published, or few were, but he was quite a musician. And I said to Lance, “I imagine you...you wrote the music of these...really, of these Rader songs that bear his name here, words and music.” He said to me, “No, Ray, no. Rader wrote the music too, as well as the words.” So he wrote some songs, “Harvest Time” and...oh, other songs too that would tie in with certain truths [sound of passing train in background] that he would...he would preach. In the wilderness wandering are the children of Israel.... In their ultimate entrance, Bob, into the land of promise, Rader saw a picture of the child of God moving out of the wilderness of doubt, and despair, despondency, and fear, and hopelessness, and unbelief to the place of spiritual victory and the place of blessedness. And he found many of the songs that he wrote from such a passages from Scripture. “I’ve entered the land.” Remember how we used to sing this, “I’ve entered the land dearly bought by his blood....” Rader was great on the blood of Jesus. “Dearly bought by his blood. Passed over Jordan, surrender to God. I found his sufficiency here in the land. Glory to Jesus forever. Far, far on the other side, I’m living across the river. Burned are the bridges twixt me and the world. Glory to Jesus forever.” Rader made much of heaven, Bob, in his preaching. Someone said of Paul Rader that, when he preached on heaven, you just wanted to go there.
SHUSTER: Did...I...when you went to Tabernacle, did you get to know Rader personally?
SCHULENBERG: I can’t say I did. I’ve met him on several occasions. Fact is, I was out with his daughter, [laughs] and [unclear] But we...we Tabernacle young people, we were...we were thrown together, you know. We were a big...big family. And there was no monkey business. We just...we just loved the Lord, and after the five o’clo...after the 3:30 to five o’clock meeting on Sundays, the young people’s service would begin. That would go on for a while, and then they....
SHUSTER: Who led that?
SCHULENBERG: Oh, leaders there, youth leaders. I don’t recall now if they had youth leaders, but we had nice meetings.
SHUSTER: What was it...what happened at a typical meeting?
SCHULENBERG: [coughs] Well, testimonies. I can recall testimonies of some of the young people of the church, what Christ means to them, their desire, goals of their lives. I remember one Sunday, a certain Mildred [?], I don’t recall her name, but she was one of the young people of the church. And it was very, very, very touching, and she just told what Jesus meant to her, you know. And there were songs and special numbers and a brief message...message. The young people’s meeting was not long in time, because we had to get into the cafeteria. They had a cafeteria there too, right on the...in the one corner of the church. So we ran in there and got a bite to eat. And then the band concert started at 7:30, see, so there wasn’t much time. I remember one time with the young people’s meeting, Richie Oliver, Jr., was at the big organ in the auditorium, and, oh, he played beautifully. He played for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when he was a...a boy, he was so accomplished. His playing was so clean. Nothing sloppy about it whatever. And he was playing a song that he himself composed, “After awhile, after awhile, after awhile, I’ll see my Savior. After the battle’s over, after the victory’s won, by and by in the sky, where he has prepared a place, with Jesus I shall be, or he’ll soon return to me. After awhile, I’ll see his face.” And we were listening to a missionary at this time. We often heard missionaries in our young people’s meetings. We were listening to a meeting...a missionary, and giving a challenge to the young people. And with that background out there, I will never forget it, Bob. Rader left an impression on, I would like to say, everyone who heard him. And, he left a trail of souls behind him. He was a...he was a...a soul winner. He was in touch with God. He had the touch. And as a result, well, as I’m sure you know, Charles E. Fuller was won to the Lord through the ministry of Paul Rader. [Richard] Nixon came under his influence for a time. He attended a meeting or two of th...of Rader’s out in Los Angeles. And they say that Henrietta Mears, who founded Gospel Light, was converted under his ministry. And oh, the preachers that went forth from the Tabernacle [unclear].
SHUSTER: Do you know that Torrey Johnson attended Tabernacle?
SCHULENBERG: Not much. Torrey and I started in the Gospel work together. I don’t know if you know that. He...he..we’re about the same age. He’s older than I, though. He’s four days older than I. He used to remind me that I was a younger one, and I’d remind him that he’s the older one. Torrey and I have been friends since we were kids, shall I say. We were born and reared in practically the same street. Lived in the same street in Austin, in Chicago, and so forth. He...he attended the Salem Evangelical Free Church, Torrey.
SHUSTER: So, he’s not coming to the Tabernacle often?
SCHULENBERG: On occasion. Not often. But, Rader influenced his ministry tremendously, and if you want to know, Torrey parroted his preaching much after Paul Rader.
SHUSTER: In what way?
SCHULENBERG: Well, just...just utter abandonment, if you know what I mean. Torrey is a great preacher, has been through the years. He’s...he’s left his mark upon...on Chicago here. Founder of the Midwest Bible Church, as I’m sure you know. And down at Boca Raton [Florida] for fifteen, seventeen years. He’s down there now, due home very shortly. And he’s in meetings. He can get here and there, most everywhere. And, yes, Paul Rader influenced him a lot. Of course, people would listen to Paul Rader over the radio, too. You didn’t have to go to the Tabernacle to hear Paul Rader [laughs]. He was heard just like WMBI [Chicago Christian radio station] is heard now, you know, and Mr. [Donald] Cole and others. And, that’s the way, Rader.... Rader was a household word in Chicago. You asked me about that a few minutes ago, especially amongst church-going people.
SHUSTER: You say that he copied, or that he was influenced by Rader’s utter abandonment in his preaching. Can you think of examples?
SCHULENBERG: Well, I don’t know about examples, Bob, but Torrey through the years.... See, I spent some time with him at the Messiah Baptist Church. Torrey was the preacher, Bob Cook was the choir leader, and I was the song leader [laughs]. And Bob and I sang together a bit. Bob played the violin, nicely. I tried to play the trumpet a bit. And we worked with the young people at the Messiah Baptist Church, and then Torrey and I went the event...out the evangelistic work together. And Torrey would...he wouldn’t be confined to his notes. He would preach not just on inspiration, but we would pray, Bob. We’d come home from meetings, evangelistic crusades.... They were small crusades: five, eight churches or so in certain towns and so forth. But they were big in those days. We’d rent the Civic Auditorium, or the churches would, and municipal auditoriums, and...and so forth. But, we’d come home. Maybe we’d have a snack to eat, and then we’d go to our room. And we would often pray from maybe 10:00, 10:30 at night until two o’clock in the morning on our knees [with emphasis]. We would seek God and trust God for success and for souls. That was just as common as drinking water, you know. We just...that was part of our daily routine. And Torrey just preached. He just preached from his heart. And “Here, here it goes. [laughs] You don’t like God’s Word, get out of the way. [laughs] Here it comes.” [laughs] And that was Rader. Rader used no notes in his preaching. I should say...I shouldn’t say no notes. But I know on one occasion he said, “A minister came to me [microphone bumped] a week or two ago right after a Sunday service, and said, ‘Rader, I want to see those notes. Let me...let me see if you don’t mind. I want to...I want to see...see what you have here.’” He says, “I handed him my little slip of paper. It was like a three-by-five card: ‘blood, grace, forgiveness.’ And the preacher said, ‘Is this it?’ He said, ‘That’s it.’” And he was...he was as effective, I think, over the radio, I would like to think he was, as he was in public. I worked for five years in a rescue mission.
SHUSTER: Which mission was that?
SCHULENBERG: The Chicago Gospel Mission, Paul Rader’s mission, 1340 West Madison Street. Every Saturday night, I’d be...I was there for about five years. I was working then in a brokerage house on LaSalle Street, and active in young people’s work and so forth. And I [sound momentarily drops out] wanted to...I wanted to get some experience and...and serve the Lord as best as I could. So, I became a helper down there with the...with the superintendent. And the superintendent was Russell McNamara, and his wife worked with him. They were from Dardenelle, Arkansas. And he had murdered a man down there. And they were...the...the...the city was out to lynch him. Those were the days when they...they’d lynch people they didn’t like. [laughs] And he had to sleep in a cemetery a night or two. And....
SHUSTER: He slept in the cemetery to...?
SCHULENBERG: ...To avoid being caught by the lynchers. And the law caught up with him, and he spent some time in jail. And he got a pardon by the governor ultimately after a few years. And he and his wife, to get away from that crowd and that life down there, came up to Chicago. They rented a little apartment on the North Side of Chicago, and according to Mrs. McNamara, “Just to throw all the strength to the winds and live it up.” She later in her testimony would say, “I know what hell is, men.” She’d say this in the mission. “We know what hell is. We had it in our home for thirteen months after Russell was pardoned by the governor, after we...we...we were out and came here to Chicago.” But one Sunday night, one Sunday night, they were home, and Mrs. McNamara was listening to the radio in the kitchen. Her husband Russell, a big fellow, was in the living room, I guess, reading or something, and he got up from his chair and walked in the kitchen and his wife was crying. And he heard a voice over the radio. And he said to her, “What’s the matter?” She says, “I’ve...I’ve been listening to something here.” And she says, “Russell, you should hear this.” And the service was just coming to a close. It was Paul Rader, the evening service. And he said...or they said, “The following Sunday night we decided to stay home and get in on that whole meeting. We knew it was some sort of a gospel service. We didn’t know who or where it came from.” And we were there. And Russell McNamara was converted. And they went to the Tabernacle then, just a mile or two, I suppose, away. And they became known around there, who they were and the life they lived before. And Russell...and Paul Rader said, “How would you like to become a superintendent of a rescue mission on West Madison Street?” And he said, “We’d love it.” And so Rader rented a store, got chairs, and set it up like a rescue mission, you know. And Russell McNamara and his wife started. And they carried on there for some years, and I had the privilege of helping them, praying with souls and so forth. But that was the influence...part of the influence of Paul Rader. Peter Deyneka was saved under Paul Rader’s ministry, you know.
SHUSTER: Let me ask you, do you think that Rader in any way indirectly influenced Youth for Christ, because of those...Chicago was one of the places where Youth for Christ started, not too long after [unclear].
SCHULENBERG: I don’t think...I don’t think Rader had anything to do with that, except....
SHUSTER: Well, I don’t mean...I know that he didn’t have anything to do with the organization...
SHUSTER: ...but if through his....
SCHULENBERG: ...indirectly through leadership, like Torrey, for example.
SHUSTER: Were the early Youth for Christ meetings in any way like programs at the Tabernacle?
SCHULENBERG: Well, some of them were pretty close, I suppose, you know: evangelistic fervor, which we miss regretfully, at least in my opinion, in many of our churches today. They’re Evangelical, but that evangelistic thrust is missing in so many of our churches. And in the early Youth for Christ years, we...we saw it. I happened to have been a leader myself for seven years in the Mississippi Valley Youth for Christ, and so forth. And we saw souls, every rally, just come forward. My! And we would get preachers in that knew how to bring evangelistic messages and that knew how to give invitations. Now not every preacher knows how to give an invitation [laughs]. That’s...that’s a gift in itself, to make people comfortable in responding to the call of God, that’s a gift. But there were a lot of men that had it and, I trust, still have it. And early Youth for Christ saw that. Jack Wyrtzen, and he had a youth program going long before Youth for Christ started, you know. And Percy Crawford, he called it, Youth on the March. And I had both of those men in our rally. They stayed overnight in our home, by the way, and so forth. And they knew how to bring evangelistic messages, and they could appeal to the lost and let the lost see that they were lost without Christ. Too many of these unsaved people are religious and made to feel comfortable, but they’re unsaved, I’m afraid. I’m not judging. God knows the heart. But I’m afraid that unless you come Jesus’ way, unless you trust Christ, unless you’re born again.... I led a man to the Lord, oh, not...not too far back. I said, “But are you a Christian?” “Oh, I’m a Christian.” “But have you been born again?” “Oh, I’ve never been born again.” You see. And people aren’t made to see the difference between being religious and therefore Christian in their thinking, and really, as they say down South “borned again.” [laughs] Oh, we had Jack Schuler, we had Merv Rosell in our...in our Youth for Christ meetings, and so forth. One right after another. Bob Cook a number of times. And Torrey a number of times. Billy Graham a number of times. And Bev Shea, and the King’s Carolers in those days.
SHUSTER: How many...how many of those men had been...had any kind of involvement with the Tabernacle?
SCHULENBERG: Not many, no.
SHUSTER: Bob Cook, for example, in any way?
SCHULENBERG: No. He was from Philadelphia, his home. He came to Wheaton College here, Moody Institute and Wheaton College, but that was after Paul Rader’s day. Paul Rader died, what was it? 1940, I don’t recall.
SHUSTER: ‘38 [softly]
SCHULENBERG: What’s that?
SCHULENBERG: ‘38. Yeah, I thought it was some time around then. And so, these men came a little bit...a little bit after that, I think.
SHUSTER: What activities at the Tabernacle were you involved in? You mentioned the mission and youth work. Were there any other...?
SCHULENBERG: Well, I...I was not personally involved in too much. I had my own church to attend. But a big program that they had was the summer conference grounds, first at Cedar Lake [Indiana]. The Moody Church purchased that property. It’s the Cedar Lake Conference Grounds, and Rader would preach there, you know, and hold forth, great conferences. I would hear about that. I did not attend any of those. I was rather...quite young at the time. And...but the young lady who led me to the Lord when I was only nine was in the choir, Paul Rader’s choir. And she would attend those meetings, and she would tell us about the meetings at the Tabernacle. After one meeting Richie Oliver Jr., with such musical talent, piano-wise (played for the Chicago Symphony as a guest pianist), he went forward on Rader’s call for missions, volunteer for foreign missions. And Richie Oliver says, “Lord, you can have my life.” Lance Latham, mature, tremendous man as he was and is, kneeled with Richie Oliver, and he heard Richie Oliver pray. And I think, wisely so, Lance said, “Richie, God is wanting to use you with the talent that he’s given you, and that talent is the piano. And, I don’t think he’ll send you out on the mission field, where you’ll never see a piano again. He’s going to use you in that field.” I knew Richie Ear...Richie Oliver quite well. I used to go to the studio with him Sunday noons in the Wrigley Building. Before they had a big organ at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, they would broadcast from say 12:00 on till 1:00 or more, and Richard Oliver Jr. would be at the big organ in the Wrigley Building. And then when the light would come on, Richard would play. Rader would say, “Now we’re going to have an organ selection from Richard Oliver. He’ll play for us now the song...” ...whatever it might have been.
SHUSTER: Did you assist him in some way?
SCHULENBERG: No, but I...I got to know him, and everyone who knew him, Bob, had to not only like him, but love him. So I would ride in his foreign car from the Tabernacle to the Wrigley Building, and then go back with him for the afternoon program. And he was tragically killed, you know. He went to...out east to the Dudley Bible Institute [later named Barrington College] to head up the music department. Then they moved to Providence, Rhode Island. It became the Providence Bible School. And after a Sunday evening service, or some of...some meeting, I think, as word was around the Tabernacle in those days, he played during the evening the song “There is a Shepherd Who Cares For His Own, and He is Mine.” And he played it with such feeling on the piano or organ, whatever it was, that the pastor got up (he could hardly talk he was so moved). He says, “I feel constrained to give an invitation.” And people responded to the call of God just through the playing of that song “He is Mine.” Richard Oliver and one or two others left the meeting. Their car was hit by another car, and he was killed [door closes in background] at I think thirty years of age. Never married. Nice-looking fellow. Graduate of Northwestern University, Chicago Conservatory of Music, and so forth and so on.
SHUSTER: Now, of course, the head of Providence Institute was...
SCHULENBERG: Howard Ferrin.
SHUSTER: ...Howard Ferrin. Did you know him at all when he was....
SCHULENBERG: I met him, but I can’t say I knew him. In fact, I was to have had lunch with him about two years ago with Lance Latham, but things came up that he had to get back to Providence. And so I...I missed being with him at that time, but he was a lovely man. He came under the influence of Paul Rader too. There were quite a number. Oswald J. Smith. He was encouraged to begin his church up there in Toronto, which became the People’s Church with that tremendous missionary program. See the...the influence of Rader’s like waves, ripples on...on a lake. It just goes on and on and on. Clarence and Howard Jones sitting under the missionary vision and call and impetus of Rader, just felt, “Here, we’ve got to do something about this!” Then he volunteered to go down to Quito, Equador. And he and Reuben Larson, I think it was, went down there and founded the...the HCJB [missionary radio station], CJB: Clarence J...Clarence B. Jones. H-....
SHUSTER: Another...another...I think I’ve heard was Howard and Clarence Jones Brothers.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, yeah, I used to play tennis with Howard [laughs]. He used to beat me every time. [laughs] But oh, could they play their instruments: Clarence on the trombone and Howard on the...on the trumpet. Oh! When Howard graduated from, I think, Lakeview High School on the North Side of Chicago, at graduation, he played “The Stars and Stripes Forever” on his trumpet as a solo. And I guess he’s still playing. He’s going to challenge Gabriel some day. [both laugh]
SHUSTER: Were you a...did you belong to World-Wide Christian Courier?
SCHULENBERG: No, that was the missionary arm. See, Paul Rader was very much involved with the Christian and Missionary Alliance Organization. And...but he was...may I say, he was too big for any one organization. His big arms and heart extended out beyond all restrictions and bounds, and he started his own missionary board. That’s really what it was. He called it the World-Wide Christian Couriers, I think. And, he would hold...missions was one of the...one of the strong points of his ministry. He had a burden, Bob, for missions, for the lo...lost souls, the regions beyond. He made trips overseas, oh, a number of mission fields, and he’d come home with a broken heart. And he’d share that burden and that broken-heartedness with his peoples [sic], and they would respond. And Sunday evenings he would sometimes call for pledges over the radio. And people would call in, “I’ll pledge a hundred dollars.” “I’ll pledge so and so.” “I’ll pledge so and so.” And so they sent out missionaries, and some of my good friends, some of my closest friends went out under the World-Wide Christian Courier.
SHUSTER: Who were some of them?
SCHULENBERG: Well, Herb Burke. He was one of my buddies that I was with almost every day. He went to India. And Pauline Rader [daughter of Paul Rader] went out, and fellow by the name of (what was it?) Cooper. But there were different ones that went out whom I knew, that went out under...under the Couriers. And then, regretfully, the Depression hit, you know, ‘29, ‘30, ‘31. And in ‘31 things got awfully tight, and monies did not come in, and he...Rader had to pull back, pull back, pull back, and missionaries had to come home, and that he wasn’t a well man. Even when he was in his fifties, they say he had a heart of a man of seventy...seventy-two, and so forth. And, that is, that heart condition took him finally, but it was a strong movement for a time. Just like Youth for Christ was a strong movement. I say this, considering the work they’re doing today, which is a good work, but for a time it was a very strong movement with about a thousand rallies across the country with.... Did you attend any of those rallies where you were?
SHUSTER: Well, they’d have been a little...I think they were a little before my time.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, yeah.
SHUSTER: But...no. We’ve read about them in the Archives. I’ve been to YFC...most of YFC meetings that I was aware of were like high school clubs.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, yeah. Well, there were big meetings out...out in Moline [Illinois]. We...we met in the Scottish Rite Cathedral. That was the largest auditorium we had there. And the services were scheduled to begin at 7:30. And very often we closed the doors at 7:00 because it was so filled, all it...the balconies and all. There was no use waiting ‘til 7:30 with the people already there, so we started the meetings at seven o’clock, soon as we...we were filled. That was...we met every other Saturday, and that was on...on...on all the Saturdays for a long period of time, depending much on the talent, you know. Certain talent drew a little bit better than other talent they wouldn’t...didn’t know quite as well. But we had a lot of strong preachers there, from Minneapolis, Arley Bragg and Henry Prince [also known as H.B. Prince]. And oh, of the Mission Convent Church, Baptists. Had some strong Baptist preachers, and so forth. Others, Bible church men.
SHUSTER: At the...at the Tabernacle, you were talking about the missionary conventions that were held. What were they like?
SCHULENBERG: Rader had flags representing nations, the various nations of the world, all around the Tabernacle. That Tabernacle was deep; it was long. The building, you know, was put up as a temporary affair. [sound of train passing in background] They didn’t intend to stay there. And the floors were gravel, as you might have heard. The seats were most uncomfortable. They were boards about twelve feet long and two by twelve inches, resting on two by fours which were dug into the ground. And we rest...our.... But the backs were two by twelve boards. And very often you couldn’t [laughs] lean in the back. See, you’d be in the lap of people behind you. [both laugh] The two by fours were broken, and they came out of the ground in front of you, and so forth. And then, oil furnaces about every fifty, sixty feet all around the Tabernacle. So it was not very aesthetic as far as the...the...the ornateness was concerned. There was no ornateness. But there was a presence there of the Holy Spirit. And these flags would be all around the auditorium. And then, missionary music, missions. “Go Ye Into All the World,” “The Regions Beyond,” “Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow.” One Sunday night, I recall, at the close of a missionary conference, and oh, did Rader preach on missions, he took about twenty minutes at every service just to take the offering. And I wish I had some tapes now of the sermons he brought during offering time. He would plead with the people, “Give. Look at the need. We must...we must give.” It wasn’t for the immediate work there. It was...was for worldwide missions. The people knew that, and they responded. But all those...those missionary appeals and offering time. And then, more music and singing, and beautiful singing, and all of that, then his message. And then, this particular Sunday night he extended an invitation to young people. I guess he did this every...at every conference...missionary conference. Though again, I wasn’t there a lot Sunday nights, but I was there this particular Sunday night. And young people responded by the hundreds. And they lined up all the way around the walls of that big tabernacle, about a block long you know, and they took hands as the choir and as the audience sang, “Speak, my Lord, speak my Lord, speak and I will be quick to answer Thee. Speak my Lord,” and so forth. And these young people said, “Lord where you lead, we’ll follow. If its your will, we’ll go to the regions beyond with the message of Christ.” He left a trail of preachers and missionaries behind him too. “And he being dead, yet speaketh.” [Hebrews 11:4] Rader is alive today in the lives of many men and women.
SHUSTER: Do you recall some of the people who became missionaries? You mentioned a few. But I was wondering of some others who might have gone into other [unclear]....
SCHULENBERG: I don’t recall. I wasn’t that close to the work. First of all, I was still in my teens, around eighteen and twenty, and you.... But there was a good response, and they had a good group that went out under the World-Wide Christian Couriers. A good group that went out. They would come home from time to time and bring testimonies on their furlough, you know. And we’d hear them, and so forth. Stan Belland was one, a preacher, and oh, could he preach.
SCHULENBERG: Belland. B-E-L-L-A-N-D. He was the pas...became the pastor of the Jefferson Park Bible Church. What a preacher, deep and profound, and clear, and...and he later went to California, and I think he’s still out there. But he was very much affected by Paul Rader’s ministry. I knew Stan Belland quite well, too.
SHUSTER: What...you mentioned a little earlier that Rader really wasn’t involved in politics in Chicago.
SCHULENBERG: Not that I know of, no. Although, Will Thompson, now, the mayor, allowed him to use his radio station, so he must have known the mayor. But I don’t think he got involved in politics.
SHUSTER: But what about reform movements, or any kind of...?
SCHULENBERG: Of what?
SHUSTER: Reform movements or any activities like that.
SCHULENBERG: Well, during the Depression years...you know, I said he was there the latter ‘20s and early ‘30s, and Depression hit on October 29, the stock crash, and then on into the ‘30s. He opened some [paper rustles]...some...some social centers where people could come for food and clothes. He would ask people over the radio, “Farmers.., ” he says, “now you farmers have a lot of food out there. You’re not getting a lot for it these days, cause” you know, eggs were seven cents a dozen and so forth and so on. And if you could get that much for them, “Maybe you’d be willing to bring some of this food in so that we can distribute it to poor people who have no food.” And so, a lot of that was done by Rader. And clothes were brought, so much that in that field. And poor people would come. He had a couple stores, and just where they were...I suppose something like on Madison Street. Maybe they used the mission for some of this, I don’t recall.
SHUSTER: Now was this just for people who were members or who went to the Tabernacle?
SCHULENBERG: Oh, no, no, no. That was open to the city, anyone in the city of Chicago, so his influence was felt that way too through...through his...the goodness of people through Rader in giving [unidentified noise] food and clo...clothing to...to unfortunate folks that were unemployed. That was the...the deep Depression, you know, in...in the ‘30s, the Big Depression as it’s called. This is nothing like that. Here, ninety percent of our people are working, or more, ninety-two percent, depending on the area. Then, it was [laughs] quite different. Stock market then went down to practically nothing. Sears & Roebuck, I think, about two dollars a share, and so forth. So those were Depression years, and Rader tried to do something to help the unfortunate. So in that sense, he was involved in...in the city that way, see.
SHUSTER: Is that the same as Paul Rader’s Pantry?
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, yeah, I guess some call it Paul Rader’s Pantry. I don...don’t recall where it was.
SHUSTER: What was the reaction of the people at the Tabernacle to...?
SCHULENBERG: Oh, I don’t recall any objection. No. I don’t recall. I suppose, you know, if you’re...if you’re facing...if you’re leading the band, you have to face the music [laughs]...as the old saying is. And I don’t care. Billy Graham gets it, you know, and everyone else. They...they find fault. They even crucified our Lord, didn’t they? And they...they took Paul’s head off. And they crucified Peter upside down. They threw John in a vat of boiling oil and so forth and so, the world is hostile to...to...to Christian work, so I’m sure there were those who found fault with Ra...with Rader, and with what he was doing. But he did what he thought was the need of the time, and I won’t fight it. [laughs] If people are hungry, I would do...do what I could to feed them, clothe them. This is what Jesus talks about in the book of James. Clothe them if they’re naked [paraphrase of James 2:15] , and so forth.
SHUSTER: How did you come to know Christ?
SCHULENBERG: Well, Bob, that’s rather interesting. I was...I lived in the far northwest side of Chicago: 5700 West and 1400 North. And we moved there from closer into the city, farther into the city, when I was about seven. And I went to the grammar school in our district, and I met kids, shall I say. And some of the boys and girls in the next block, I got to know them. And they went to church, and we were now a church-going family, so we were kind of drawn to each other. And we were out playing one night as kids, out in the street. You could do that in those days, where were very few homes in this particular neighborhood. I think you’d have to have a look about two, two, three blocks for...for the next home. When we first moved out there, this...all wilderness. Father bought property way out, knowing that Chicago would moving that way, which it did of, course. We were out there playing in the street one night, and the sister of one of the boys that I played with, about my age, called us. She was in the choir at Moody Church, and I referred to her a little while ago.
SHUSTER: And her name was?
SCHULENBERG: Lozetta Montrochet [?], Canadian. She was the oldest of nine children. The father had deserted the family and went back to Canada and joined the army and left the family of all these children with the mother. So, the oldest child had to go to work, and she was a wonderful Christian. She just beamed. She called us in one night, and she said, “How would you like to sing some choruses?” There must have been six, eight, ten of us. We sat in the living room, and she sat at the piano, and she started playing and singing. “Yeah, alright, why don’t you join...join me?” So we did, as children. And then another, and then she ga...told us a little Bible story, as I recall. Then she said, “I think we ought to pray.” And we all went to our knees. I remember this so vividly. And we prayed, and we got up in our chairs. And she said, “How many would like to come back next Monday night?” We said, “Sure.” You know, we wanted something to do. And so we met again in the living room, and she had things a little better arranged. Then she said, “Why don’t we meet again next Monday, and I’m going to ask Joe,” which was her brother, “and Ray here,” that’s me, “to go down and clean out that room in the basement. We have a room down there that’s filled with junk. “If you clean it all out, we can meet in there.” And so, Joe and I went down there, dragged out the boxes and swept it out the next Monday night we came. There was nothing to sit on [laughs], so we had to drag the boxes back again. One was this high. One was this high. “Well, do we have any prayer requests?” Well, we children didn’t know much about prayer requests, and she said, “I think we ought to pray for some chairs.” We thought it was a [laughs] pretty good idea. And you know, we began praying, and we prayed for chairs. And she came back next Monday night. She said, “You know what? I didn’t say a word to anyone, but I got a call from the Moody Church this week, asking us if we could use some chairs. They are replacing some of their....” Not the Moody Church, Paul Rader’s Tabernacle. “...Asked if we could replace some of...they were replacing some of their chairs, asked if we could use some.” And, no, I take that all back. That was...that was the Moody Church. She was still there in the choir. I want that straight. So, they brought chairs out. And we had chairs to si...folding chairs. So, we brought the boxes out [laughs], and Joe and I.... And she started teaching us Bible verses and choruses and so forth, Bible stories. “Now we need prayer requests” Well, we didn’t think of any ourselves. And she said, “Don’t you think we ought to pray for a piano or an organ?” And we thought again that was a pretty good idea. So we prayed for an instrument of some kind that she could play and help us singing. And sure enough, in a week or two, someone called, “Could you folks use an organ?” And it was a pump organ. “We sure could.” So she played the pump organ [laughs]. And the class began to grow. And she got a blackboard, and she began putting down the references of Bible verses. And we had columns. She...she printed very small. She had a stick, and she would point to this reference and this and this and this. She’d jump all over on the board. [coughs] And we learned a verse or two or a passage every week. And then we decided to meet every Monday and Wednesday at seven o’clock. That went...went on to 8:30, or quarter-to-nine, or nine o’clock. And that went on for four, five, six, seven years, and I learned hundreds of Bible verses there. And when I went to the Moody Bible Institute, they gave me a lot of verses to learn, I looked at them all. I said, “I know all of these.” [laughs] I was saved through that class when I was nine years of age, Bob. That’s a long way in answering your question, I know.
SCHULENBERG: But...and then...then she went on as a missionary a few years later, and she was married out in the field: a Lester Hueber [?], one of the members of the Moody Church. And then they retired after some years. I’d lost all track of her. I mean, wow. And I don’t know how it came about, but I learned where she was or she learned where I was. And we began exchanging Christmas cards three or four years ago. And she’s down in Houston. And it’s interesting that you should ask about that because in just a couple of weeks my wife and I are going to drive that way. I want to attend a morning service and hear...oh, First Baptist Church of Dallas, what’s his name?
SCHULENBERG: Dr. [W.A.] Criswell. I want to hear him in his own pulpit, for I appreciate that man so much. Then we’re going to Houston and I’m going to surprise Mrs. Hueber. [laughs] But I’ll call her before I...but after I’m there, and so forth. I haven’t seen her for I don’t know how many years, but she led me to Christ. And she was, of cour...came under the ministry of Rader for years, so I’m a...kind of related to...to Rader, a spiritual son of his, that way.
SHUSTER: So after attending a class, you just felt your need for Christ?
SCHULENBERG: Well, no, right away. Oh, she...she had a burden just like Rader did, and she would lead the children to the Lord. And a number of them.... One of the girls there, in that class, went out as a missionary later on. At least....
SHUSTER: Who’s that?
SCHULENBERG: Her name was Opal Ketz, K-E-T-Z. And my sister went out as a missionary, perhaps somewhat because of the influence of Lozetta Montrochet [?], and so forth. But she led us to Christ as we were...when we were...when we first came, she showed us the plan of salvation, and we prayed and asked Jesus to come into our hearts, and so forth.
SHUSTER: When did you receive your call to be a preacher?
SCHULENBERG: Well, I then went to s...continued in school, and I worked at the LaSalle Street. While there (I was still at the Humboldt Park Gospel Tabernacle) a friend of mine, Oren Swaback [?] and I decided to go to.... In the meanwhile I became a song leader for Torrey Johnson at the Messiah Baptist Church, where Bob Cook was also a...a leader, a choir director. And some of the people had come from Kentucky. They spoke of the need down there in certain areas, and how they need the gospel in certain areas of Kentucky. I was looking forward to my summer vacation, while still working at the Board of Trade, and I got thinking, “You know, that would be interesting if Oren and I...Oren Swaback [?] and I could go down here in Central City, Kentucky.” We played guitars in those days and sang together, and we both played trumpets and coronets. And we decided to look into it, and someone there at the church says, “Oh, we’ll write to Mr. Smith.” He was the chief of police of Central City. “He’s a fine Christian man.” So we heard back. He says, “Come on.” So Oren Swaback [?] and I rode down, and we took a shopping bag, a brown shopping bag, filled with gospel tracts. We were to start at Sunday morning in this particular church, but we went on the street corner down in town, and everybody in the whole surrounding area went to town on Saturday nights. You know how they do in these small towns? or how they did at least in those days. And we got our trumpets out and we started playing, and immediately it was...[laughs], you know [laughs], people, they just came and swarmed...it was something to hear, something to do, you know. They had nothing to do but stand around and talk and, “Who are these fellas? And what are they doing here?” And then with the guitar we sang and then we announced our meetings. “We’re beginning tomorrow afternoon,” I guess it was, not to conflict with the Sunday morning services in town. “The church on the hill, a white church.” Well, there were hardly anyone up there. We could hardly get in because of all the people. They were...of course, they had filled all the seats. It wasn’t a big church. It was a little frame church. It sat maybe a hundred and twenty-five, hundred and fifty maybe. But the windows were open. It was the month of June. It was warm. And groups of folks were standing at each one of the open windows. Oren would preach at one service and I would lead the singing. He would...he would preach it the next. We’d alternate. I would preach it one and he, and so forth. That’s the way we alternated. And Mr. Smith immediately said, “Boys, we need a bigger place for you. This isn’t big enough.” He said, “I’ve arranged with the lumber company to set up an outdoor tabernacle, downtown between two buildings that will be all ready for you tomorrow night.” So we announced that. There was a platform. There were lights strung up be the electrician. That sat about seven hundred people. And we continued there the rest of the time. I had a two-week vacation, so we continued there for say another week or so. And again, we prayed with a lot of souls. And we drove home and the Lord started speaking to me. And I went back to my job at the Board of Trade, picked up my pen, and started with the figures again, thinking, “Oh, what am I doing here when there’s such a need out there?” And I had been at evening school, Moody evening school, for three, four, five years and gotten practically all the Bible that they offered, almost...well, much of the Bible which they offered. And I’d been at the mission for about five years, as I told you, and had a little experience in preaching, not much, but in Christian work as such, but felt the burden of it. But this was Depression, Bob, and nobody gave up jobs in Depression. They were paying money for jobs if they could get them. And that was kind of a...a struggle for a bit. And I got thinking more and more. And about that time, Torrey and I started talking about things, the evangelistic work. [sound of train passing in background] He said, “Ray, I need you as a song leader,” and so forth. So I prayed about it. And I said, “Okay, let’s go.” So I told my boss that I would be leaving. He looked at me and he said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Exactly that.” “What are you going to do?” And I told him. He couldn’t understand it. He was of another faith, and so forth. He couldn’t understand how someone could giv...give up a job in those days, and go into a business, shall I say, with an uncertain income, and it was. But we went out, [laughs] and again we prayed with souls wherever we went. One cozy night up in Iron Mountain, Michigan, I think about fifty people came forward to straighten things out between them and God and to accept Christ as Savior. Torrey and I still talk about it. And we’re thinking about going up there, just for old-times sake and have an old-time meeting again, you know, and so forth. So...but I felt the call while I was there in those meetings down in Kentucky, driving home and going back to my job at the Board of Trade, trying to push a pen, and thinking with my heart in mind in Christian work, and I thought, “This isn’t for me. Anyone can do this,” you know. So, “In shady green pastures, so rich and so sweet, God leads his dear people along. Where the water’s cool flow, bathes the weary ones’ feet, God leads his dear children along. Some through the waters, some through the flood, some through the waters, and all through the blood. Some through gr...great sorrow, but God gives us song, all the night season, and all the day long.” And I witnessed that.
SHUSTER: How...how did Rader come to leave the Tabernacle?
SCHULENBERG: I’m not too well-acquainted with the details here. I know it was Depression, and things were not working out. And he was not there too well because of a lack of funds. And he was not a well man now. And then he had a call to other churches to hold big meetings. Fort Wayne Tabernacle. I forget who the preacher was in those days, but I know he used to speak at Fort Wayne Tabernacle. And different places. Oswald J. Smith, he would preach for him up in Toronto. And in California he would hold meetings. And so he was used, and he was active in that type of ministry thing.
SHUSTER: I’ve heard from some folks that when he left he assumed some of the Tabernacle’s debts. Do you know anything about that?
SCHULENBERG: No, just what I heard. But I...I...I know very little about that. The Tabernacle evidently was in debt when he left. I don’t know just where the debts were, who they were indebted to. But...and I don’t think Rader had a lot of money either. He was a type of man who would give it away, give it to missions. I have another friend like that, a brilliant man, tremendous man. I think I’d just as soon hear him preach as any other man in the world. Head of the Bible and Philosophy Department of a Bible school and college. Tremendous man. Has only one coat to his name. Gives everything to missions, missions. Some of us are going to look pretty small when we get to heaven. Some of these other folks, their...their names are going to shine quite brightly, and I think Paul Rader’s name will.
SHUSTER: Was there some kind of farewell service for Rader?
SCHULENBERG: I don’t know of any. No, I think it just kind of folded itself [laughs] if I may use that word. Maybe that’s not the right word, but it kind of...just...just seemed to...to have served its day.
SHUSTER: I meant some farewell service when Rader left.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, I understand. Not that I know of, though there could have been. Now if Lance Latham were here, you know, he could give you all of these details, because he and Lance we’re...well, may I use the word “buddies.” And he [pauses]...there was nothing that Rader did that Lance didn’t know something about, and planned much of Rader’s schedules and so forth. [sound of train passing in background]
SHUSTER: What...how did Clarence Erickson come to replace him?
SCHULENBERG: Well, he replaced him after Rader left. I presume the Tabernacle was practically dissolved with a few people there. And Clarence Erickson...I think he came from Milwaukee, I’m not sure. I could be wrong on that, too. Anyway, he came with a nice message. He was a nice man. And he had a...he had a radio program in the morning. Heaven and Home Hour I think it was called.
SHUSTER: It’s still on.
SCHULENBERG: I think it is out west, yeah. Well again, the influence of Rader continues, see. And he carried on for a few years, and then Wally White took over. And then I guess it dissolved completely under his ministry and closed. I think they sold it to some...some store of some kind.
SHUSTER: Did you continue coming after Rader left?
SCHULENBERG: No, no, no, no. Then I...by that time I was in the ministry, or preparing for the ministry. I re-entered the Moody Institute day school and went to Northern Seminary, and so forth, after that.
SHUSTER: There seems to have been an awful lot of musical activity at the Tabernacle: bands and choruses. Why was that?
SCHULENBERG: Well, I guess Rader felt that music was a big part of...of a service and of the Christian life. “He giveth songs,” Bob, we read in the book of Job [Job 35:10]. “He giveth songs even in the night.” And even after the Last Supper when the Lord was being betrayed...he had the Last Supper up in his room, and they went out, and they sung a hymn [Mark 14:10]. And the Apostle Paul and Silas, and at midnight they sang [Acts 16:25]. And God gives us song, and people like to sing, and they like to hear good singing. God’s given us, all of us, a song. Some of it, it’s a joyful noise, but others [laughs] a joyful song. And Rader had a way of building around himself a strong leadership in whatever field, like Christian Eicher in the field of missions. And music: Lance Latham, Merrill Dunlop, and Richie Oliver, Sr., and Jr. Richie Oliver was the director of the choir and of the band, and then Jr., the pianist and organist and so forth. Then there was Jimmy Nielson, and could he play that trumpet, ohhh. I used to go and listen to Philip Sousa [John Philip Sousa, American composer and band leader] down in Orchestra Hall, [papers rustled] and that’s an experience which I covet. [papers rustled, table or recorder bumped] But really, I came away...when I had listened to Rader’s band up there [papers rustled, microphone moved], I would say to myself, “Well, I think...I think this band, they’re greater, they’re just as good as Phillip Sousa.” It wasn’t, but I felt that way. They were good. And Jimmy Nielson could play that trumpet, and Howard Jones the trumpet, and Clarence Jones the trombone, and Clifford Benson, I think his name was, the trombone. And then, other, you know, percussion instruments, and right down the line. It was beautiful. And then these two big grand pianos and this big organ and a big choir. And then the Raedeke [?] brothers, they sang so meaningfully. And then the Three Graces. They were from other churches. And a lot of this music was quite loud. There was no public address system, by the way, in Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, at least as we know such today. They had a big sounding board over the pulpit, a big sounding board. And, well, the music was loud and beautiful and nice. And the Three Graces would get up there and sing just above a whisper. They had soft voices. And you’d think it was two o’clock in the morning, it was so still in that place. [sound of train passing in background] “Since Christ my soul from sin set free,” [pauses] Oh, ‘tis heaven below” and so forth. “Where Jesus is ‘tis heaven.” They would sing lovely songs, and...and then the White Shirt.... It wasn’t the White Shirt Brigade, but it was the Pioneer Chorus. And I was in that chorus, a group of boys, maybe fifteen or so boys would sing Sunday afternoons. And Rader would arrange all of the music, and he would be the leader, and he would play the piano. And we’d get up there, and boy we’d sing, you know. [laughs] And other music. But the music was good. And the organ solos and the piano duets, all of that. And vocal solos, and the congregational singing, and so forth. It was...I’ve never heard the like of it since, and don’t expect to until I get to heaven, hear the “Hallelujah Chorus” up there.
SHUSTER: There was a...we’ve got some copies in the Archives of a publication that...The Courier which came out. Who...
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, it was a missionary publication.
SHUSTER: ...Who was the editor? Who was in charge of that?
SCHULENBERG: I suppose Rader was the head of everything. And then Lance Latham would work with him. I remember seeing those, but I don’t have any copies of that. I...I was....
SHUSTER: You might want to come sometime and browse through ours. We’ve got a....
SCHULENBER: Well, but I think if you would look, or maybe the name is isn’t [unclear].... Latham was a very humble man. He’s been offered doctors’s degrees for many, many years by different schools and organizations, music organizations. But he’s turned them all down. He’s just Lance. [laughs] Humble man. He could back up to a piano keyboard and look the other way and play backwards beautiful songs up and down the scale. [laughs] He was uncanny.
SHUSTER: Did you ever go up to Lake Harbor?
SCHULENBERG: No, I was going to say I worked all summer long. That was our busy season at the Board of Trade. That was one of the regrettable things. I would go from my home on the Grand Avenue streetcar down to Wells Street and then over to Jackson and so forth. [sound of train passing in background] And I would see these young people on the Grand Avenue streetcar going to the end to catch a boat to Lake Harbor, next stop. And I’d have to go to work, and it killed me. [laughs] No. I...I’ve been there since. Maranatha, you know, is an outgrowth of Lake Harbor. And my friends and I have snapped some pictures that friends of mine took.
SHUSTER: Which you very kindly lent to us for our exhibit.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, I saw a lot more last night that I didn’t give you. I went through my album for another rea...albums through another reason, and so forth. But anyhow, they had a summer long conference grounds for children and for young people. So, he was busy. That was after they were at Cedar Lake, you know. He had the Cedar Lake conference grounds first. That was owned by the Moody Church. Now this was owned by the Tabernacle, and so forth. So he had a lot of investments, that building, you know, where they met, the tabernacle proper, and so forth. Big radio budget, missionary budget, Lake Harbor. So Depression came and they couldn’t hold it all, you know. You spread yourself a little bit thin.... Yet, it served its purpose.
SHUSTER: What...when you think about those years of the Tabernacle and Paul Rader, what memory stands out most in your mind?
SCHULENBERG: The memory that stands out is the preaching of Paul Rader. How he preached, and how he just couldn’t contain himself. He wiped the tears from his eyes. Then there was another song that he would sing in the middle of his sermon: “There’s one who can comfort when all else fails. Jesus, blessed Jesus. Once he wand...once he traveled the way we go, the way we go. Felt the pangs of deceit and woe. Who more tenderly than can know that Jesus, blessed Jesus? Arms outstretched.” [extended pause, voice breaks] That left an impression, Bob. And I...I never want to get over it. Thank the Lord for that man, meant a lot to me.
SHUSTER: He...I can just see from the....
SCHULENBERG: And the souls that would respond to the invitations. And I miss it today. I get around to a lot of churches, Bob, preaching almost every Sunday. And I don’t have a church of my own now. Twenty-five years ago, they thought I was too old, some of the churches. But be that as it may, I’m preaching just about every Sunday. I get into many churches, and I visit a lot of churches, and seldom to hear even invitations given, let alone see people respond. We’re lacking something. The gospel is the same. That hasn’t changed. And God is the same. The Holy Spirit’s the same. [voice breaks] But there’s...there’s a lack somewhere. We don’t have the power. We are in the entertaining business to a great extent. I know people will take exception with me here, but I cannot accept this contemporary music. Not that I’m a bit older that I want the old-fashioned music. I like...I like these songs of the Gaithers, and that’s right up to date, but it’s not contemporary. “He Touched Me” and “There’s Something About That Name” and “The Family of God” and so forth. So we...we miss...we miss that old-fashioned preaching. I sat under [H.A.] Ironside, too.... He’s been in our home, and I’ve preached for him at the church. And [P.W.] Philpott, who proceeded Dr. Ironside [as pastor of Moody Church]. I love those men. I love the [Moody Bible] Institute. Philpott’s been in our home. I had him for a week of meetings in the church of mine in Moline, where Jane Nelson has come from. Sweet men. They gave invitations. They expected people to respond. Speaking to Mr. Criswell, I heard him, and I have that tape on the fullness of the Holy Spirit. I made a copy. I...I stayed home the evening of Founder’s Week Conference when he spoke there about three, four years ago, and I wanted to get his message on tape. And he spoke on the fullness...actually it was...he called it the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit,” Dr. Criswell. And he said, “La...,” among other things. “Last Sunday night,” he says, “a hundred-fifty people came forward after our service.” So there are some men in touch, who.... This is what it is. It’s not by might, nor by power, but it’s by God’s Spirit. [Zechariah 4:6] There are certain things that we can’t do. We didn’t make the oak trees [knocks on table] from which this wood came from, this hard wood here. We can’t do that. We can’t throw those suns, those constellations, the stars up there. But he did all that by the breath of his mouth, the book of Psalms says. But God did that. He just breathed and it came to be. We try to do God’s work with human means, and we can’t. Someone has said, “You take the Holy Spirit out of our churches and ninety-give percent of the work would go on just the same.” And that’s regrettable. Paul Rader, he...he made much, as I say, of the blood, of faith, of missions, of the Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t call him a Pentecostal. I never...I don’t recall ever his mentioning that it was necessary to speak in tongues as an evidence, for example, that you’re saved. Nothing like that. And I know a number of men who...who have known different men who have...who have felt the touch of God and have had the power of God upon their ministry. But we’re not Pentecostal. I talk to Jerry Rose, whom I appreciate over at Channel 38. A couple of years ago, I was with him briefly, and I said, “Jerry, you folks emphasize and stress the work of the Holy Spirit, and I’m afraid some of us who are not Pentecostals, have stressed the work...the person and work of our Lord, Calvary and the cross. The two truths are there, Jerry.” I says, “I’m not handing the ministry of the Holy Spirit over to you and walking away from it. This is what it takes. God is a...is a triune God. We need to remember God the Father, the gift of his Son, the Giver. We need to remember the Son, who died for us. We need to remember the Holy Spirit, who makes active the work of Christ in our lives and empowers us for service, and so forth. So, but Rader seemed to have all this. He was a man of prayer. Did I mention that when he was in New York...?
SCHULENBERG: Yes, how he would not leave that room until something happened, and something must have happened, because he wasn’t the same again. He knew it, and people who heard him knew it. And that was true with D.L. Moody, remember?
SHUSTER: Well that might be a good point for us to end here.
SHUSTER: I want to thank you again for your [unclear].
SCHULENBERG: Okay, Bob. Nice to have been here. These have been kind of a few rambling comments [unclear].
SHUSTER: Oh, not at all.
SCHULENBERG: Yeah, I don’t know if they’ll mean anything to you or the hearers, but at least I hope it will mean something to someone.
SHUSTER: I know it will. Thank you.
END OF TAPE