Billy Graham Center

Ephemera of Donald England McDowell -
Collection 110

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent.]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Donald England McDowell

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List of Slides in This Collection (Location Records)

Brief Description.
Collection of 643 slides which document mission work and activity in Paraguay. Scenic views, native flora, mission personnel, mission facilities, national churchmen and pastors are some of the subjects illustrated by the collection.

Collection 110 [February 12, 2001]
McDowell, Donald England; 1924-
Ephemera; 1951-1973


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Donald England McDowell was the oldest of three children born to Helen England and Harry C. McDowell on October 23, 1924, in Zion, Maryland. He grew up and attended school in Calvert, Maryland, where he finished first in his class at the age of sixteen. He entered Wheaton College in the fall and by December 1943 had completed one hundred semester-hours of work. He was drafted and sent by the Army to medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Before leaving Wheaton, McDowell met his first wife May Christine Vanderpoel. The couple soon married with Mrs. McDowell completing her undergraduate degree at Temple. During the spring and summer of 1946 the McDowells returned to Wheaton to allow him to complete credits for his bachelor's degree. McDowell then returned to the East for his internship at the U.S. Marine Hospital and residency in surgery at the Halloran Veterans Administration Hospital, both in Staten Island, New York.

In 1951 the U.S. Public Health Service sent McDowell and his family to Paraguay for two years as administrator of a two hundred-bed tuberculosis hospital, five health centers, and a central laboratory. After the director of the U.S. Health Mission left the country, McDowell assumed these responsibilities including nursing, sanitation engineering, and nursing education sections. He also became the first foreign physician to be licensed in Paraguay in the previous twenty years. The examination was oral, conducted in Spanish, and covered thirty-six different courses. McDowell also became involved with the Southern Baptist Mission work in the country, volunteering in the Baptist Hospital the last six months of his tour of military duty.

Upon their return to the United States Mcdowell attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and served as campus physician. In October 1954 the McDowells were appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia, as missionaries to Paraguay. The appointees arrived in Asuncion, Paraguay, in April 1955 with their four children Duncan, Clyde, Glenn, and Heather. Two more children were born on the mission field, Bruce and Melody. The couple returned to the States in 1973 and settled in West Virginia.

In 1972 McDowell was honored by the Wheaton Alumni Association for his distinguished service to society as a surgeon, missionary, and humanitarian. He later was Professor of Surgery at the West Virginia University School of medicine and Chief of the surgical service at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Donald and May were divorced after their return to the United States. Dr. McDowell lives in Clarksburg with his second wife, Amada Paredes, and daughters Joy and Bonnie.

Scope and Content

The McDowell collection consists of 643 slides of mission activities in Paraguay. When the collection was received by the Archives, the slides were arranged in sets and were accompanied by an attached description and date for each picture. The original order of the slides was maintained. Three unidentified slides were found in the slide cases and were placed at the end of the collection. Descriptions of the slides can be found in the Location Record in this guide.



The materials for this collection were received by the archives in July 1979 from Dr. Donald McDowell.

Accession 79-77
April 9, 1980
Mary Ann Buffington
S. Kouns

Accession 79-77
Type of material: Slides
The following items are located in the SLIDE FILE. All of the slides are in color, unless otherwise noted.

643 slides, subdivided into 17 series, consisting primarily of scenes from Paraguay, many in Asuncion, including church buildings and congregations (most of them Baptist) in urban and rural locations, and church events such as baptisms, Sunday schools, vacation Bible schools, and celebrations, Christian literature sales and distribution, missionaries and their activities including McDowell (S4:24, S5:3, S7:21 S8:26, S9:16,25, S10:30, S12:26, S13:6,31), William Hickman (S1:7,18,54, S:2,16-17,31, S12:14) and Sidney Goldfinch (S1:8, S3:34), medical facilities and missionaries, health care including that of leprosy patients, Catholic Church buildings and events, evangelistic rallies, radio evangelism, theological institutions, Paraguayan Moro and Maka Indians, traditional customs, local industries, government offices, Mennonite facilities and programs, and national sites and Asuncion scenes. Also included are two shots (S1:2,3) of the 1960 Billy Graham Crusade in Rio de Janeiro, Billy Graham in Asuncion in 1960 (S8:23), Brazil, several scenes from Uruguay, medical facilities and everyday life in Honduras and a street scene in Rio de Janeiro. 1951-1973. An item list with details about each image is available by request.




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Last Revised: 2/12/01
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