Billy Graham Center

Ephemera of the Chapel of the Air, United States Air Force - Collection 241

[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.

Since we are migrating our website to a new platform, we will no longer be updating this earlier version our site. Please visit our Archon database for online guide descriptions. In early 2018, look for our new site, currently under construction, linked in the BGC Archives section on the Library and Archives page. (12/11/2017)

Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Historical Background

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

List of Films in This Collection (Location Record)

Brief Description.
Thirty-minute black-and-white film of a telecast service held January 14, 1962, conducted by Chaplain Carl W. McGeehon; it includes a sermon by Chaplain Major Ralph R. Pace on the subject "The Living Word of God."

Collection 241
[January 9, 2001]
Chapel of the Air, United States Air Force
Ephemera; 1962



There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Historical Background

Chapel of the Air was a service of the United States Air Force provided as a ministry of worship through its staff of chaplains. Services were broadcast from Washington, DC, as a public service of WTOP-TV in cooperation with the Protestant Chaplains of the United States Air Force. Supervision of the programs was under the direction of the Chief of Air Force Chaplains. Chapel services were prepared in Studio 12, Broadcast House, Washington, DC, to which studio audiences were invited. Kinescope recordings of the services were made available over Armed Forces stations, which included Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, Puerto Rico, Okinawa, Korea, the Philippines, and the Azores.

In 1962, the Chapel of the Air staff consisted of: Robert P. Taylor, deputy chief; Chaplain Carl W. McGeehon, permanent minister; Robert H. Harmon, director of music; James Smiley, organist; Master Sergeant Estelle Kauffman, head usher; Leo Pitts, television producer; and William Linden, television director. All offerings were used for special projects of the ministry.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of one film of a television broadcast on January 14, 1962. The order of service included a choral prelude to the Chapel Choir, "Lord, Guard and Guide the Men Who Fly," and an invitation to worship, followed by the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." A prayer hymn, prayer, and choral response were next in order of service. After a greeting from the Chaplain, Carl W. McGeehon, presentation of offerings an offertory anthem, "Onward Ye Peoples," the morning message was delivered by Chaplain Ralph R. Pace, a major assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. Pace was a clergyman of the Baptist Church who, in 1978 after retirement from the Air Force, became a special assistant in the Office of Development for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Pace's sermon was titled "The Living Word of God," in which he preached about the uniqueness of the biblical record, which needs no apology or apologetics. Its unity, its answers to basic questions of life, and its introduction to the person of Christ all provide the power to overcome the darkness of the world, which he likens to that of the Carlsbad Caverns.

The service is approximately thirty minutes in length and has been filmed in black and white. The collection includes a printed order of service.


This film was received at the Billy Graham Center Archives from Colonel Ralph R. Pace in November 1980.

Accession 80-152
May 13, 1983
Frances L. Brocker
J. Nasgowitz

Accession: 80-152
Type of Material: Films

The following items are located in the FILM FILE:

F1 - Chapel of the Air, United States Air Force; film of a telecast chapel service, including a sermon by Chaplain Major Ralph R. Pace, Baptist clergyman, titled "The Living Word of God." January 14, 1962. Black and white, sound, 30 minutes.

Send us a message

Return to BGC Archives Home Page
Last Revised: 6/27/01
Expiration: indefinite