This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Rev. William A. Drury (CN 492, T10) 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 that 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. 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 though within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
. . . . Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of a incomplete sentence.
( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcription was made by Robert Shuster and completed in March 1998.
Collection 492, T10. Conclusion of interview of William A. Drury by Robert Shuster, June 21, 1996.
DRURY: ...that I didn't take time to arrange meetings in Scotland and Wales and the British Isles. Always then I would take off and preach and take off and go, you know. But they were thrilling, exciting times.
SHUSTER: When...I know you were, of course, very active in Philadelphia in '61 and that's when Graham...Billy Graham had a crusade there. Did you have any contact with that or...
DRURY: Oh yeah.
SHUSTER: ...memories of it?
DRURY: We were involved from the beginning. I think it was Bill Brown who was married to the English act...actress. I can't think of her....
SHUSTER: Katherine Winmill Brown. [Actually Joan Winmill Brown.]
DRURY: Yeah. He was the forerunner for the crusade and I got to know him. He was in my home, he and his wife were in my home. We had a row house in north Philadelphia. And we got to know him. We had a thing called Sailspiration where we rented the cruise ship on the....
SHUSTER: This was for Youtharama.
DRURY: Youtharama. He came and he spoke there and we had Bev Shea sing for us at a banquet. So I got to know the team and as I said before, that we were quick to lend them our mailing list, which I understand just isn't [Shuster chuckles] done. And I realize today that I wouldn't turn our mailing list, Teen Haven's mailing list, over to some Evangelical cause, you know, for fear that they might solicit them. Well, I was a novice back in those days and I...I wanted Graham to come so badly I remember going down to Ocean Grove...
SHUSTER: In New Jersey.
DRURY: ...in '59 or '60 and Billy was there was just...maybe only one day in the Ocean Grove Tabernacle. It was a big Methodist campground in those days. You couldn't drive a car on Sundays in Ocean grove. Very staid religious community. And I determined when I was a layman, up until '56...I determined that I would invite Billy Graham under the auspices of the Christian Businessmen's Committee, which I was involved in before I went with Percy in '56. So I tried to get to see him and I didn't have any luck. I wanted to see him come to...to Philadelphia so bad. I got a call from Judge Edward J. Griffiths, probably '60 or '59. They were toying with the idea of having Graham for a crusade. They didn't know how to go about it and one thing and another. So when Judge Griffiths, who's a very very dear friend of mine, was chairman of CBMC...when he told me what they were thinking, I said, "Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!" And he didn't know too much about, you know, whether this thing is for real or whatever and he was questioning it. And I said, "It's as good as gold", you know, and that's....
SHUSTER: Why were you eager for Graham to come to Philadelphia?
DRURY: Just for evangelism. I...I think I had the heart of an evangelist. From the day I got saved in the street meetings of New York...I didn't know the expression then but I had the heart of an evangelist. I wanted to go to the top of the Empire State Building and scream at the top of my lungs, "Jesus save sinners. Jesus saves sinners." And it's interesting. When...when you're a novice and you get...you get saved out of a pretty rough life, the conversion experience - it is real, it is genuine, it is exciting. And my heart goes out to people [chuckles] who are raised in Evangelical churches and it is just the status quo, business as usual. And yes, you know, they walk the aisle and went forward and there is no question...there is no question about it that they are saved. They know the plan of salvation and they know the mechanics of getting saved and they went all through that. But it cannot be the thrilling, exciting experience of an unsaved, unregenerated individual. In all the years that I have been going to this big church in Lancaster County, a church of eighteen hundred members, I can't say that I have ever seen anybody genuinely...genuinely converted. You know, somebody completely outside of the family of God. I haven't seen anybody walk the aisle. We have three worship services and logistics...logistics rule out giving an invitation which, if it were me, I would make a way. I would cut back to two services, whatever. But I wanted Billy Graham to come in the worst way, so that I could taste it. And Judge Griffiths became the chairman with Stover, Ross Stover, a born again, Lutheran pastor from...I have preached in his church since. It was up in...on Route 1, the boulevard on Broad Street. Had a nickname for that church. But anyway, it was a good sound church. And Ross Stover, when he built that church, he said, "I am going to roll up my sleeves," and he did this at a press conference or some kind of conference that was on television. He said, "I am going to roll up my sleeves and they are not coming down until the job is done." Now, people thought he was talking about getting the church off the ground and he rolled up his sleeves and they said long after the church was built if you asked Ross Stover to take off his coat, his sleeves were rolled up. [Shuster laughs] His sleeves were rolled up. And he and Billy [sic] were co-chairman. Billy was blasted by ultra fundamentalists John R. Rice, Bob Jones, Carl McIntire. Carl McIntire, after he learned that Percy was supporting the crusade, he gave it front page coverage in his newspaper, The Christian Beacon, and called [chuckles] Percy a liberal, a modernist, you know, and charlatan. He called him every name other than vulgarities.
SHUSTER: Of course, McIntire was based over in New Jersey
SHUSTER: Just over the state line.
DRURY: Is it Collingswood?
SHUSTER: Collingswood, New Jersey, yeah.
DRURY: He had this newspaper, the ultra right and ultra Fundamentalist. I call them ultra Fundamentalists. Fighting Fundamentalists. He wasn't happy if he wasn't fighting with somebody. So Percy got a hold of the newspaper. One of the women who worked in the office brought in the newspaper. And he read the article. And he said to his secretary, who sat right along side of him in this big long almost like a barracks type of thing. He couldn't be accused of anything because he sat out in the open [chuckles]. And they had these little cubicles on either side with typewriters, people doing correspondence for him and acknowledgments. And he said to Mrs. Meutchen...he said "Get Carl McIntire on the phone." And she said, "Percy, you got a bad heart." [Shuster chuckles] "Get Carl McIntire!" Sure enough he got through. She got Carl McIntire. And I...I had just walked up to the desk. We were going to have lunch that day. And I came down and walked up and I heard him say...and that's when I asked him what had transpired to.... And he said, "Carl McIntire? This is Percy B. Crawford. I read your stinking newssheet here and you got my name on the front page and I'm not left of center and I'm not a liberal and I'm not a modernist and furthermore, you are a kook and you ought to be ashamed to name men who name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And let me tell you this, too. I know that you are not supposed to sue a brother [I Corinthians 6:1-11]. But you are no brother of mine and if you ever put my name in print. again, I am going to sue you and The Christian Beacon and everybody else in your camp," and then hung up the phone. And we went out. He was...he was....
SHUSTER: McIntire didn't get a word in edgewise?
DRURY: I don't believe, I don't believe. He just stated what he had to say and hung up. He wasn't waiting for a reply. [Shuster chuckles] He wasn't waiting. He had read what the man had to say. And as I walked behind him going down this big barracks type affair that it had on the second floor of the Pinebrook bookstore, I could hear him muttering and mumbling, you know, "Communist! Liberal! He ought to be ashamed of himself. Rrh, rrh, rrh. I'll settle him. I'll settle him." And he was still muttering as he came to the stairs at the back of the Pinebrook bookstore. And we went had lunch at a place called the Statehouse. There were two restaurants there on Chestnut Street...well, three really 'cause he stayed at the Ben Franklin Hotel and we had lunch at the Ben Franklin or the Lion's Den, which is right alongside of the bookstore or the Statehouse. And he...I think I might have shared with you before that he and I would go out to lunch and this man was my Paul. I said there were people who swore at Percy Crawford and those who swore by him. And I swore by him and the very fact that this...this.... [Phone rings and tape recorder is turned off and back on]
SHUSTER: Okay. Can you hear? [unclear]
DRURY: Now what was I saying? God had privileged me to come along side and sit at the feet of Percy Crawford and I learned more things from that man then you would ever learn in a seminary or Bible college. And I had some Bible college. I think I told you I went to National Bible Institute, which Carl McIntire was involved in. He...he purged J. Oliver Buswell out of there. I probably told you that. I had prayer with J. Oliver Buswell before he died in Quarryville. But I was thrilled, I was excited to be.... And a couple of times they would call.... Percy was the founder and the president and the chairman of the board of the King's College and they'd call to Philadelphia and ask if he could speak and, of course, he was booked like Billy Graham, months and years in advance. And he would say, "Get Bill Drury. He's running the work there." So I was...I was thrilled, I was elated, you know, that they said, "We tried to get Percy Crawford and here he highly recommended you." And Percy...Percy, the only time he heard me preach that was not preaching was out at Grace Chapel, which was a Fundamental church out in Oak...Oakmont.
SHUSTER: It was what kind of church?
SHUSTER: Fundamental. Oh.
DRURY: A Bible believing church. Independent, independent Bible believing church. And he asked me...they had asked him to speak and he asked me to come and talk about the follow-up work of Youtharama, which I had initiated. Percy...Percy would give an invitation, hand out a Gospel of John and have converts or inquirers pray with him and then leave them go. And I thought, "Surely they're going to need more than that." I forget when the [Billy Graham] crusade was in New York. When...?
DRURY: '57. Okay, well they...they had the crusade and I was involved in that crusade. And I shared with you that I ran copy.... I think it was young Don Barnhouse who wrote copy for the crusade newssheet that they gave away every night. I would run that copy down to Continental Press. We were at the plate maker, they would run a plate that night and they would run it. And the next night I would take it from Philadelphia and run it back up to...bundles of these things in my car. So I was involved with the...with the, you know, with the New York Crusade.
SHUSTER: In Philadelphia, let me ask you, how did the Philadelphia pastors and Christian leaders react to the Graham organization and to their methods?
DRURY: Well, the...one...one fellow who became the pastor of Ross Stover's church years later called...called Billy Graham a carpetbagger and that made the front page. He was from a denominational church, a Lutheran church out at Broad and Popular Streets. Carter Merbriar. Carter Merbriar. You talk about a switching. He really got a turnabout in his religious experience, came to know, love and preach the Lord Jesus Christ years later. And he would have been called a liberal or a modernist, which he was in the diatribe and what he spewed out when Billy was in Philadelphia. But he went on to become Captain Noah on television, a children's program which was extremely well accepted in the Greater Philadelphia area. And he decided he was going to have a sawdust (this was the same man who called Billy Graham a carpetbagger)...decided to have a sawdust trail meeting in his church. And unbeknownst to the board or anybody else, he had them bring in sawdust and put sawdust [chuckles] down the center aisle and came dressed as an old.... I wasn't there, that's how he told it. But every newspaper, you know, picked up on that and said Carter Mer.... To answer your question, the...the denominational churches (this was thirty some odd years ago) were not very cooperative and the press was always after them, knowing they would take potshots at Billy Graham. I think after he came, after he got involved, some of your churches I think...Russ Stover who is a Lutheran pastor and a very well accepted Lutheran pastor, another guy who was an Episcopalian and I think he really knew and loved the Lord Jesus Christ. He brought his kids to Youtharama and brought some people to our Youtharama banquets. So the thing began to grow and grow and grow and grow, night after night. It was not like New York, it was not like New York.
SHUSTER: How do you mean that it was not like New York?
DRURY: New York was extended again and again and again. How that ever came about, how he ever had the time to do it, I...I still don't know, you know. But they extended it, how they got the Garden for x number of weeks to extend it....
SHUSTER: Madison Square Garden.
DRURY: Yeah. But the crusade...whatever they said they were going to do in Philadelphia, they...they did. And it may be that back in...(did you say '56 was the New York Crusade?)
DRURY: '57. ...That they were not as well booked as they were in the '61.... I thought it was '60, but you say '61. So they...they set the dates for the crusade and [some words unclear] even before the end of the crusade at Convention Hall, it was held at Convention Hall with maybe fourteen thousand, fifteen thousand capacity. Today when they have some of these crusades, they have that many involved, between the choir and all. But we went from Convention Hall to Connie Mack Stadium and I remember the crusade asking the crusade leader if Ruth Crawford could...could be on the platform. And Ruth was there and Billy was very, very gracious. Then the last day of the crusade they (and I don't know who made the arrangements, probably Billy Brown)...they had it at the old Army-Navy Municipal Stadium and to the best of my knowledge, there were ninety thousand people there, which you did not see at the more recent crusade a few years ago. I...that was not one of his best crusades, the more recent one.
SHUSTER: The one in the '90s.
DRURY: The weather worked against him. Today the crusades are shorter. they don't have the time to build as they did in the older crusades when he was there from Sunday to Sunday, something like that. Sunday afternoon and he closed on Sunday afternoon. It was probably Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and three of them was rain. It was held...it was held in Vet Stadium, the stadium. I got some VIP tickets and as I said, I was living here....
SHUSTER: Here in Lancaster.
DRURY: Yeah. And I came from a meeting or meetings and my wife was with me, and I remember driving all the way down [Route] 422, which is like two, two-and-a-half hours , and a blistering hot day [chuckles] and I remember sitting at the two hundred level at Vets Stadium. It was a scorcher, it was a scorcher and to sit there and just endure was a spiritual achievement [Shuster chuckles]. And Billy, Billy said...Billy...I think if it hadn't made the press already, he was already into Parkinson's [Disease]. And he told the Inquirer...the Philadelphia Inquirer after it was all over that it was not one of their better crusades. The weather worked against.... The acoustics the first and second night, Bob, were horrible, were horrible and they had no one to blame except the Walter F. Bennet agency I guess does all of that work, the setting up. But there are what they call "footballs" in a stadium like that which you really have to take care of before the meetings, where the sound ricochets: [indicates a continuing echo] "And another thing I want to say....and another thing I want to say...and another thing I want to say." And they call them "footballs", public address system. So....
SHUSTER: In '61, did you do any counseling.
DRURY: Oh yes, yes.
SHUSTER: What impression do you have of why people were coming forward, what kind of people were coming forward?
DRURY: Well, I...I think it has been true in most of Billy's crusades, I think they would...Charlie Riggs [longtime director of counseling for Billy Graham crusades], you know, would tell you that (and Charlie Riggs is a very dear friend of mine today)....
SHUSTER: He's quite a guy.
DRURY: Tremendous. He came to know the Lord through the Navigators and was on loan from the Navigators since about fifty years ago [laughs] and stayed with them ever since then. I was with Charlie in Louisville when they had the National Congress for Itinerant Evangelists in Louisville. But they come forward for a variety of reasons, you know. But they want desperately a change in their lives. You've got to ask yourself how do they comprehend to understand what it means to have salvation by grace through faith, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Humanly speaking, it's impossible. To come a sit through somebody's forty, forty-five minute message. (I'm not talking a whole crusade, usually that's an hour and a half.) But for people to comprehend, to grasp the totality of commitment to whatever this man is saying, you know. So they come forward for a variety of reasons. Roman Catholics...Roman Catholics who are always looking for a new experience, whether it is a Novena in the Roman Catholic church or whether it is the charismatic experience, which has swept into Catholicism over the last ten years at least. They come forward. And when you say.... [break in tape]
SHUSTER: This is a continuation of the interview with Rev. William Drury on June 21, 1996.
You were talking about the people who came forward at the Billy Graham crusade where you were counseling.
DRURY: They come forward from sincere experience but what I started to say before is except the Holy Spirit of God draw them and bring to their intellect, comprehension of the conversion experience - what does it mean to surrender all that you have, all that you ever will be, your eternal...total intellect, your personality. And Billy gets into that in his message. Mind, heart and spirit, you know. Some of them really know. Some of them have heard the gospel message. As you said a little while ago when we were changing tapes about this...this man who was brought forward [some words unclear]. And God works in a miraculous way to bring people to Jesus Christ. So they come forward for various reasons. I may have shared with you before how during the New York Crusade my brother got saved.
SHUSTER: [indicates "no"]
DRURY: I was running back and forth with the materials for the...the newssheet, the throwaway that they were giving out every night. And I went up there and went down.... I helped out as an advisor. I think that's what they called them, an advisor. When a counselor would counsel with somebody, they he would bring him to the advisor, his supervisor or whatever. And then that fellow would check out what the counselor did. So that part of follow-up was very thorough, to try and ascertain whether that individual made a real decision. And so I was down in the inquiry room in Madison Square Garden when these people started coming through. And lo and behold, there is my brother. [Shuster chuckles] Out of the millions of people in New York, thirteen million people, my brother, a barber from Long Island, found his way over to Madison Square Garden and, believe this or not, he had not heard the message. He saw these people going somewhere and he thought he'd follow them and maybe by some miracle he would find his brother, because he knew that I was running....
SHUSTER: Was this the same brother that worked at Moody?
DRURY: No, no. That's my brother John who went on to be a psychologist and dealt with me Moody when I was.... But Joe...Joe was a...a...had been raised Roman Catholic, but he had been exposed to the gospel at Winona Lake [Indiana] when my brother had worked at Winona Lake back when Winona Lake was an Evangelical [pauses]...
DRURY: ...conference ground. But he came forward. And I said, "Joseph, praise the Lord." He said, "What's that supposed to mean?" I said, "Well, you came forward tonight." "I...I did what?" [Shuster laughs] All these people were pairing off. He said, "What's going on in here?" I said, " These people have accepted the Lord and are being dealt with regarding their experience." Well, amazingly enough, he said, "What's going on?" and I explained it. I said, "Joseph, I realize you don't understand the jargon or the language, but God sent you into this room." "Oh yeah, I'm sure he did." And we talked and talked and he prayed to receive Christ in the inquiry room at a Billy Graham Crusade meeting, never having heard Billy Graham. An incredible story. And earlier we were talking about this man who had heard Sunday, Billy Sunday. I remember one time we were having street meetings in what they called the Dell, which is a meeting place for concerts on side of City Hall in Philadelphia. It's not there anymore, but it was. And they had a big concert....and we had open air meetings there. And it's kind of wild because you would pick up the police calls. [Shuster chuckles] And you could be right smack in the middle of a hellfire and brimstone message and it would say, "Furthermore, I want to say...Calling Call twenty-two, call twenty-two!" [Shuster laughs] And then go right on with what you were....jumbled thing. Well, anyhow, at one of those meetings, I dealt with this guy. And he...one of the questions...well, I thought, "I'm just going round and round with this guy."
SHUSTER: This was some guy who came forward after the meeting?
DRURY: Yeah. No, no! We...we walked the outside of the meeting and we would tell people, "Do not talk to them while they are listening, but if they start to leave the meeting, then you offer a brochure, a Gospel of John and say, 'Did you enjoy what you heard?' No, I thought it was a lot of crap.'" All sort of vulgarities and so forth. So I was talking to this guy and he said, "I'm not interested, whatever," and on and on and on. And finally a verse came to my mind, "Just wipe the dust off your feet," you know [Mark 6:11]. "Don't cast your pearls before swine [Matthew 7:6]." And we are able to find a Scripture verse...verse to prove anything we want to prove. So I finally gave up on him and I sent him on his way. Well, lo and behold and after the meetings were over and concluded and the whole thing, this guy comes up with one of our workers and he says, "Bill, I want you to meet so and so. He just accepted the Lord."
DRURY: I said, "He did not!" [Shuster chuckles] The guy said, "Yeah, I did. You just didn't hang in there long enough." [Shuster laughs] And the same guy that I thought, you know, "If Billy Drury couldn't bring a sinner to Christ, nobody could." And God said, "I'll show you bow to do it, Drury. I'll use somebody else." [Shuster laughs] And he did. That happens again and again.
SHUSTER: You'd...you'd mentioned how you had...you had really wanted Graham to come to Philadelphia...
SHUSTER: ...and to evangelize there. After the meetings, did you see an impact from the crusade? Was...were there continuing results that you were aware of?
DRURY: I think more so than the second time around. I think they would agree that that was not one of their better crusades. And...of course, I was out here [in Lancaster in 1992] so I can't pass judgement on.... But we were living in Philadelphia [phone rings, pauses] and for me, I was a lot younger Christian and it was exciting, it was thrilling. We had great anticipation as to what was going to happen. And the first night he gave an invitation, people responded. And I was not on the [executive] committee, I was not on the committee. But we were thrilled and excited. So it was everything I thought it would be. I heard Billy up in New York. He spoke to the Presbyterian laymen up in New York and I just was chafing at the bit for him to come and for God to use him. And it was just thrilling, exciting, although they didn't get the cooperation of the...either the liberal churches or the ultra Fundamentalist churches, the Carl McIntire breed, you know. They were...and they took potshots at Billy again and again. If he had anybody who was not of their ilk on the platform, they would pick up on that. But I...as far as I could ascertain, as far as I could ascertain, for me, it was a lot more thrilling and exciting for me back in '61 to see what God was doing, to see this whole thing fall together. Very impressed with the...with the organization (that's where I first met Charlie Riggs ) and the quality of people they had and the Team themselves from Tedd Smith to Bev Shea to T. W. Wilson, Grady Wilson was alive then and all these people. And how they stuck together over those many, many years. It's incredible. I could think of other situations in Evangelical circles where things just fell apart, you know...
DRURY: ...where these guys hung together. Cliff Barrows from the beginning. And I was impressed that this was genuine, the man was sincere. He was there to preach Jesus. He did not claim to be a prophet or any of the things that a lot of people thought he...he should be, that he should crucify Nixon when Nixon went down the tubes because he was buddies with Nixon. And they thought that Billy ought to say to Nixon, "Thou art the man." [Referring to the prophet Nathan's judgement on King David, told in II Samuel 12:7.] But he didn't do that. So, I was impressed, anyhow. I was impressed. I was thrilled to be a part of it. The aftermath - I think there was a spirit...and the best you can do is to ask God to bring about a spirit of evangelism, that if.... And there some guys from the beginning had a bitter attitude, that, "Well, he has all this money behind him," and that's one thing that Carter Merbriar said, that he comes and takes all this money to have a big Billy Graham this and Billy Graham that and Billy Graham the other and yet there are so many people hungry in Philadelphia and he went on with the social aspect of the gospel. But there was a spirit of evangelism, there was a spirit of evangelism. And the thing where the crusade really falls apart, and it was true of Youtharama.... That's one thing with Teen Haven - that we integrate the kids who make a commitment at camp or wherever into our Bible studies and we work with them. Somebody said anywhere from eight to ten years we're working with that convert, that inquirer. Whereas in Youtharama we were dependent upon churches to do the follow-up work and we would send a letter Monday...if we didn't do anything else on Monday...Saturday was the rally, Monday we would send out letters to churches saying that such and such a person, young person (and there were adults who came forward, but primarily young teens and older teens came forward) send that name to the church to follow-up and ask the church to follow up. And, "Yes, he did say he was going to such and such a church," or "He claims he was a Roman Catholic," but do you think those churches would follow those people up?
DRURY: We didn't want to be accused of sheep stealing [persuading people form one church to join another church], so we didn't follow them up. And I said we...we would send a letter to the inquirer, to the person who came forward. And I am sure the Billy Graham organization did the same thing, probably even better than we did it.
SHUSTER: You do not mean the Philadelphia Inquirer [a local newspaper]. You mean the person who came forward to the....
DRURY: Yes, yes. Yeah. We would send their name to the...the convert or the inquirer or whatever, send their name to a church and also send that person a letter, saying Saturday night you came forward and you made a commitment to Christ or a rededicated your life and we have asked one of the local Bible believing churches to call on you." So they were prepared for the church. But the most difficult thing, and I am sure it is true in a Billy Graham crusade, is to get the churches to do the office work, the homework of, you know, following up. And yet in the Billy Graham crusade, the...a lot...today, like in Philadelphia.... There are a handful of Fundamental churches that didn't cooperate with Leighton Ford [an associate evangelist of Graham's] was...was here in Lancaster county years ago, one of the Evangelical leaders who I thought was a terrific guy organized, he organized the Fundamentalists not to cooperate, you know, with Leighton Ford.
SHUSTER: 'Cause they didn't like who was involved in the meeting?
DRURY: Yeah, that's right.
A VISITOR COMING TO SEE REV. DRURY: Where's the bed? [laughs] [Tape turned off and on]
SHUSTER: I wanted to ask you, how do you see Teen Haven developing in the future? How do you think it needs to develop in the coming years?
DRURY: God has to raise up a leader to take over the leadership of Teen Haven. I had envisioned that by this time there would be Teen Havens in other cities. What we desperately need at Teen Haven are full-time personnel who are willing to give up whatever they are, go move into a Slum Ghetto, USA, and to be available to be available literally twenty-four hours a day, because when you live in a Teen Haven center, kids call incessantly, anytime day or night. If they are thrown out of their house or there's a brawl going on, the one place they think they can call and get help is Teen Haven. So we...we need a leader. We need somebody who is a workaholic who is willing to go. And my life story has been, and my wife would confirm this, that first and foremost was the ministry and God blessed that commitment and so God has to raise a leader, a workaholic. We have had a couple of men on staff to fulfill that role and that has not happened. When that happens, that leader has to have a new vision for Teen Haven centers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We've done exploratory work up there. I did exploratory work in Baltimore, and yet that never happened because the couple who were going to start the work...
DRURY: ...bowed out just before we were going to start the building. I'd like to go back in Washington D.C. either in the Cardoza area or down in the southeast.. But you have to get the staff who are committed, who understand what they are being called to as far as going to live in the inner city, to live in the inner city, to live in the slums, spend all kind of hours with these kids, sometimes a lot of verbal abuse. Our staff have been maimed, we have had two attempted rapes during the last thirty-three years, we have had one staff even get his nose broken, we had another guy, a big black guy in Washington D.C. punched him in the face and he turned the other cheek and he said the Bible says.... And that incident brought this big black dude to Christ. The guy came back the next day or a couple of days later, he said, "I don't believe that, what you said the other day about turning the other cheek [Luke 6:29] after I almost knocked your brains out, you know." And he was a big guy. So we need leadership. And then there are all sorts of possibilities. I spoke at Dallas Seminary years ago and they asked me to start a work in...in Dallas, Texas. I spoke at one of the Bible colleges in California and the assistant chief of police was a born again guy and he took me down into Watts and he said, "We need at least one or two or three or four or five Teen Havens down here." And again, I was chafing at the bit, every opportunity. I started to say about the island of St. Vincent when I was on the Caribbean cruises, that the cab driver was born again guy [chuckles] and showed me the poverty in the island of St. Vincent. I wanted to start a Teen Haven on St. Vincent, you know. So the opportunity's there. There are always going to...Jesus said, "The poor will always be with us [John 12:8]." And they are and we...we need those who are...who are committed not just for a year or.... Like ministries in the United States (and they are good ministries) come and do work during the summer. And I can name some of those ministries. And they do quality work. But then at the end of the summer, kids go back to college and all of that. So that's what I envision. But I just turned seventy years of age and I'm trying to wind down. And it may be that God has brought Bill Drury to a halt with major surgery that I have had. And I have been out of commission, have not been working on the office for five months, really because of the surgery. So we need a competent, qualified, Bible believing, born again leader workaholic, Bob, and if in your travels you find anybody who meets those qualifications...and a fund raiser. If Bill Drury has been anything over the last twenty, twenty-five years, it has been a gloried fund raiser.
DRURY: And I didn't know beans about fund-raising when...I learned some things from Percy Crawford. But nobody ever sits you down.... I have never heard of a school for fund raising, you know. I've heard of development, but how you actually get the money.... Same as evangelism, as I said before. You got to meet one on one, eyeball to eyeball. And so it is with fund-raising. And you have to meet with individuals and lay out the need.
SHUSTER: Make the sale.
DRURY: Percy Crawford said it. I have told our staff, who have to send out prayer letters. Percy Crawford said, "Bless the hearts of God's people. The people of God are looking for blessing, looking for reality in the Christian experience and want to hear good conversion stories." When I was at the Billy Graham meeting in Louisville, Kentucky [the North American Conference of Itinerant Evangelists in 1994], a couple of summers ago, it was brought in some of the seminars. ([chuckles] Seminars. I almost said cemeteries.) Seminars that...they said tell stories, tell stores, tell good stories of what God has.... Then ask the people for money. But bless their hearts." That's exactly what Percy said thirty-five, thirty-seven years ago. Bless the hearts of God's people and then share the need. And that's what I try to do in my correspondence with our constituency, is tell them what God is doing. I am trying to formulate a letter right now to go out to our constituency. But having been out of commission for five months, you sort of dry up.
DRURY: And we...when you're close to the situation, you have nuggets. I call them nuggets. You know, kids getting saved, kids leading other kids to Christ. And those are the things that bless the heart. And then tell them the need, the specific need, what the money's got to go for. So that's my hope and prayer for the future. But we do need that new director, probably with a new vision, as I said.
SHUSTER: Do you think Teen Haven will be using the same methods?
DRURY: I don't know. That's up to the new director, you know. We...we do street evangelism, we do door-to-door evangelism, we've done sound truck evangelism, we've got...we've got meetings planned right now for Lancaster's Seventh Ward, which is a low income blighted, high crime area. Newspapers in Lancaster are calling it...and last night on television, one of the...one of the people who live in that area referred to it as the killing zone.
SHUSTER: The killing zone.
DRURY: In dear old staid, religious, pious, separated, sanctified Lancaster Penn.... That with the origins of Lancaster, one part of it would be referred to as the killing zone. So I don't expect anybody to walk in my shoes, to do the things that Bill Drury set out to do. But as I said to all staff, to all of our staff, as long as unchurched, unsaved, inner city kids are being evangelized and being disciples, integrated into Bible studies where they can grow spiritually, I'm satisfied. And I think there are a hundred and one programs out there that have been used in different ways: Bill Bright's Inter-Varsity [sic] to Youth for Christ, Young Life. You could go on and on and on. And all of these...and some of them with a different thrust. I thought...I said back at the beginning of Youth for Christ that they used the front door approach, that Percy did also. Percy said, "You're a sinner, you're going to hell, you need the savior." And Young Life, which is a good work, uses the back door approach, soft sell, says, "You have to win them and make friends and all of that." And then present with the gospel. Well, you definitely cannot do that with inner city, ghetto kids. It's important to get to know them, love and all of that. But if they find out that you did all of that just to get the gospel to them, then they think you're a phoney. "Hey man, why didn't you tell me back six weeks ago or six months ago?" So we have.... And I have advocated to our staff a front door approach, that God loves them, you love them, Jesus loves them, but they're sinners. They need a savior.
SHUSTER: Is there anything else you want to add or mention?
DRURY: Nothing. Probably after you are gone, I'll..... I never make notes when you come and then I...I...I have to call out on my memory. Al Noah, who is sitting in the room with us while we are taping this was comptroller (I think that's was the title) with the Philadelphia Gas Works and he would have been somewhat involved with the Billy Graham crusade in 1961. A key guy. Ed Griffiths was involved, as I said, as co-chair. As a judge his yeah was yeah and his nay was nay. [II Corinthians 1:17] I thought that if anyone could have been promoted as Christian Man of the Year, it would have been Judge Edward J. Griffiths. He really loved the Lord. And there wasn't anybody.... They asked him to run for the mayor's job on the Republican ticket. He didn't want to have any part of it.
DRURY: But I never found anybody in the city of Philadelphia who could cast any aspersions upon this godly gentleman. [pauses] I guess that's all then, Robert.
SHUSTER: Okay. Thank you once again for sharing your memories and I know this is going to be a blessing to many.
DRURY: Well, I certainly hope so. I hope that some young person comes along and listens, gets some benefit, some blessing out of what God has done for this five foot six Irishman who God has done...done in and through him. Whatever.
END OF TAPE