The Billy Graham Center Archives

2017 Annual Report
March 1, 2018



Public Service

Reading Room

Researcher Reports

Research Grant Reports



Year in Pictures

Archival Harvest




Student using primary sources during an orientation session for a Trinity Evangelical Divinity School doctoral class

The past year was another occasion to serve the people who come to us for our resources: scholars and genealogists in the Reading Room, Wheaton College faculty and their classes for orientations, remote inquirers and web visitors seeking answers to questions, and a group of guests hosted by the BGEA. We opened newly processed collections for the public to use and learn from. Archivists conducted oral history interviews with missionaries and Christian workers, adding their first-hand accounts to our collections. We made digital copies of documents, photographs, and audio and video recordings, both to fulfill requests from researchers and to create easier access on our web site. We also served other archives and Christian organizations in preserving their record of ministry.   Highlights of newly opened collections include” hundreds of cartoons drawn by E.J. Pace; the papers of Billy Graham’s close associates T.W. Wilson, and Robert and Lois Ferm; and Olive Liefeld’s papers documenting the ministry of her and her husband Peter Fleming in Ecuador. Seven oral history interviews were also described and made available. We featured Dr. Kathryn Long in our 10th Archival Research Lecture on “Picture with a Thousand Pieces: Archival Research on Missionaries and the Waorani.” Several significant acquisitions entered our collection, including the papers of J. Edwin Orr, statistical data compiled by Global Mapping Initiative, and audio recordings of George Beverly Shea’s 1940s radio programs. The team added twelve more online displays to its 22-year series of monthly Bulletin Boards (now totaling 237) accessible online. Katherine Graber led the effort to begin populating the Archon full-searchable database with BGC Archives collection descriptions.   The following pages detail the record of our 2017 stewardship of the BGC Archives.


Paul Ericksen introduces students from a doctoral missions historiography class to the BGC Archive collections and research methods

Orientation Sessions

Every year, Archives staff collaborate with Wheaton faculty to acquaint students with the treasures of the BGC Archives through orientation sessions. These class sessions introduce students, both undergraduate and graduate, to archival research methods and give them hands‑on experience working with a wide range of primary sources related to their course material.

In 2017, Archives staff offered orientation sessions across several disciplines including:

·         ANTH 360 South Asian Church and Culture
·         BITH 577 Modern World Christianity
·         BITH 585 History of Christianity in North America
·         BITH 677 History of Evangelicalism
·         HIST 295 Historical Inquiry (multiple sections)
·         HIST 334 Modern East Asia (multiple sections)
·         HIST 391 Bible in American Culture
·         INTR 572 Cross-Cultural Research
·         PSYC 241 Social Psychology
·    Missions Historiography (visiting class from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

2017 Archival Research Lecture


Dr. Kathryn Long presents the 2017 Archival Research Lecture to a packed room in October
In October, the BGC Archives sponsored its 10th annual Archival Research Lecture. This year’s lecture featured Wheaton Professor Emeritus Dr. Kathryn Long whose lecture, “Picture with a Thousand Pieces: Archival Research on Missionaries and the Waorani,” explored the deaths of five missionaries in Ecuador in 1956, the defining missionary martyr story for American Evangelicals during the second half of the twentieth century. In her talk, Dr. Long reconstructed the part of this story that was largely untold, while describing the joys and challenges of using archival research to create a historical narrative.


In 2017, the Archives continued to create monthly Bulletin Board features, each showcasing a unique and interesting object, document, event, or individual from the collections. Highlights from 2017 include the religious cartoons of E.J. Pace, Wheaton President V. Raymond Edman’s memorial service, and Tom Skinner’s 1970 Harlem Crusade. At the end of the calendar year, the web site was frozen as the staff built the new site on Wheaton College’s new platform, due to be unveiled in the spring of 2018.

Walking Tours of Billy Graham’s Wheaton  


Bob Shuster leading a group of guests of the Billy Graham Evan-gelistic Association on a walking tour of Billy Graham’s Wheaton in June, exploring sites around the Wheaton campus and greater community connected to Graham’s student days (1940-1943) and later ministry

Every year, the BGC Archives offers periodic walking tours—three during 2017—of Billy Graham’s Wheaton, highlighting sites on the Wheaton College campus and greater community where Billy Graham lived, studied, socialized, and preached during his undergraduate education at Wheaton College from 1940-1943. Open to the Wheaton College community and general public, the tour offers a glimpse into Wheaton’s wartime campus, where Graham majored in anthropology, served as president of the Christian Council, honed his preaching skills, and met his future wife, Ruth Bell. The walking tour also emphasizes Graham’s long association with Wheaton College over his ministry, including the Wheaton-area evangelistic crusade in 1959 and the Billy Graham Center dedicated to evangelism training on Wheaton’s campus.

Public Service Statistics

Throughout the year, Archives staff receive hundreds of requests for information or services from scholars, students, Christian workers, publishing houses, journalists, and the general public, among many others. In 2017, Archives staff members responded to 480 separate requests, fulfilling photograph and audio/visual orders, interlibrary loan requests, requests for information and documents, as well as instruction sessions.






Last 5 years avg.

Totals, 1984-2017

























Interlibrary Loan








































A/V Orders
















Totals and averages are based on the number of years for which that particular statistic has been gathered. For example, BGEA statistics have been gathered for 38 years, so the total is divided by 38; email statistics have been gathered for 26 years, so that figure is divided by 26. No statistic has been gathered for less than 26 years. All categories above are exclusive (if a phone caller asks for an interlibrary loan, the request is counted under "Interlibrary Loan" or Phone" but not under both).


BGEA: Requests for information from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Class: Session prepared for a group in the Reading Room. (Starting in 2006, sessions were held in the Archival Seminar Room, no classes were held in the Reading Room.)

Interlibrary Loan: Material loaned to another institution for the use by their patrons.

One-on-one: Assistance given by staff to a patron on a one-to-one basis outside the Reading Room. (Figures were revised in 2015 to include only those from 1998 and later. Before that, if a class of 30 came to the Archives, it was counted as 30 personal contacts, which totaled 5,452 contacts.)

Presentations: Session prepared for a group outside of the Reading Room. (Starting in 2006, all sessions were held outside the Reading Room. Many were held next door in the Archival Seminar Room.)

Organizations Assisted in 2017

American Society of Missiology

Baldwin Wallace University
Bible Society of Singapore
Billy Graham Center for Evangelism
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Billy Graham Library

Charlotte Observer
Church of the Resurrection, Wheaton, IL
City University of New York

Daviess County Public Library

Evangelical Fellowship of India

Forsyth County Public Library
Fuller Theological Seminary

Global Mapping International
The Gospel Coalition

The History Channel

International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES)
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Canada
Israeli Embassy

Lausanne Movement
Leighton Ford Ministries

McGraw Hill Global Education Holdings
Missio Nexus
Morris Cerrullo Ministries

New Republic

Overseas Missionary Fellowship, USA

Pittsburg Post-Gazette

Romanian Missionary Society

Smithsonian Institute
Sommer Filmworks, LLC
Steve Green Ministries

Washington University
Western Springs Baptist Church
Wheaton College Special Collections
Wheaton College
World Magazine

Youth for Christ


Reading Room_Wackers and Mareike

Researchers in the Manuscripts Reading Room use materials from the collections of Elisabeth Elliot and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s telephone counseling ministry
The BGC Archives had another busy year in 2017. Over 240 researchers traveled from six different countries and 27 states to visit the Manuscripts Reading Room, where they accessed over 150 unique collections. Over half of these visitors were affiliated with Wheaton College, many who were students working on class assignments and thesis papers. However, a significant number of students and faculty from other universities also visited the Archives, as well as various Christian workers, independent scholars, and members of the Wheaton community and general public. Seven of these visiting scholars received the Torrey M. Johnson Research Grant, which provides financial support to researchers whose work intersects with the history of non-denominational North American evangelism. During their visits, patrons logged over 1,500 hours of research on a diverse range of topics, including Billy Graham’s Crusade music, Evangelical attitudes towards mass incarceration, evangelism in Germany after World War II, and medical missions in the Philippines from 1900-1960, among many others. This diverse research was used to complete theses/dissertations, scholarly articles, documentaries, class assignments, genealogies, as well as for ministry training. 

Reading Room Statistics, 1984-2017







Last 5 yrs

Last 10 yrs avg

Last 38 yrs avg

Last 38 yrs











Research Visits










Research Hours










Visits per Researcher








no data


Hours per Researcher








no data


Wheaton College Researchers










Non-Wheaton College Researchers










Topics Studied in 2017

Billy Graham and the BGEA

BGEA Crusade Music

Billy Graham and pastoral care

Billy Graham’s influence in South Africa

Billy Graham and the 1973 Seoul Crusade

Relationship between Billy Graham and Oral Roberts

Billy Graham’s visits to China

American Evangelicalism

National Association of Evangelicals and its relationship to Pentecostals

Evangelical views on personalized providence in the post-World War era

Life and influence of Homer Rodeheaver

Twentieth-century Evangelicals and mass incarceration

Life and legacy of L. Nelson Bell

Evangelical attitudes toward rock music

American Evangelicals and Israel

Postwar Evangelicals and politics

Tom Skinner and race relations in the United States

Evangelicals and the Space Race

Christianity and abolition of slavery in United States

Life of William E. Blackstone

Attitudes towards race in white Evangelical institutions

American Evangelicals during the Watergate era of the Nixon White House

Paul Little and the InterVarsity Movement

Donald McGavran/Church Growth Movement and the rise of American Evangelical mega churches

Evangelical attitudes towards Muslins, post 9/11

Christian cartoons of E. J. Pace

Use of religion in early Cold War to fight communism

Origins of the Evangelical Women’s Caucus

Evangelist Billy Sunday’s baseball career

Federal government’s religious broadcasting policy

National Religious Broadcasters 75th Anniversary commemoration

Evangelicals and political engagement through the National Prayer Breakfasts

World Christianity

Armenian Christians inside the Ottoman Empire

History of the Africa Inland Mission and the Africa Inland Church, 1942-1975

Twentieth-century American evangelism in Africa and Middle East

Role of John Chapman in the development of Australian Evangelicalism  

Post-1945 Evangelism in Germany

International Theological Education in Austria

ABCFM missionaries and the Bulgarian Bible translation

Religious broadcasting to China

Holistic ministries in the Lausanne movement

Global Missions

“Operation Auca”

China Inland Mission withdrawal from China in 1951

Twentieth-century Evangelical missions in Latin America

History of Mission Aviation Fellowship

History of EFMA (more recently merged with IFMA into Missio Nexus)

Islam and evangelism in global contexts

Legacy of CIM missionaries in Chinese communities in the US

Missionaries in Thailand during WWII

Charlotte White Rowe and the appointment of women missionaries in BMS

Life and ministry of Victor Plymire in Tibet

Missions in Southeast Asia

Medical missions in the Philippines, 1900-1960

Life of Jim Elliot

Kalenjin (or Nandi subgroup) people of Kenya

LAM missionaries and orphanage ministry in Costa Rica

20 Most Used Collections in 2017

Collection Number

Collection Name

Times Used

* indicates collection consists entirely of or includes microfilm


Records of Africa Inland Mission



Papers of Elisabeth Elliot



Records of the Wheaton College Revivals



Records of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization



Papers of Chuck Colson



Records of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies



Records of the Fellowship Foundation



Records of Latin America Mission



Papers of L. Nelson Bell



Records of Christianity Today



Papers of Donald and Mary McGavran



Records of the BGEA: Clippings File



Records of the BGEA: Crusade Activities



Papers of Herbert J. Taylor



Papers of Olive L. Fleming



Papers of Cliff Barrows



Records of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions



Records of the BGEA: Australia Affiliate



Records of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship



Records of Youth For Christ


20 Most Used Collections, 1984-2017

Collection Number

Collection Name


* indicates collection consists entirely of or includes microfilm


Records of Africa Inland Mission



Records of the Kathryn Kuhlman Foundation



Records of Overseas Missionary Fellowship



Records of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies


188 *

Papers of Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth


74 *

Ephemera of Billy Graham



Records of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization



Papers of L. Nelson Bell



Records of Christianity Today



Records of the Fellowship Foundation



Papers of Herbert J. Taylor



Records of Moody Memorial Church



Papers of James and Winnifred Kane



Records of the Wheaton College Revivals



Records of Youth For Christ



Records of the BGEA: Oral History Project



Papers of Eleanor R. Elliott



Papers of Jessie McDonald



Records of the Woman's Union Missionary Society



Records of the BGEA: Films and Videos



Rev. Gus Peters with the baptism certificate of Corrie ten Boom (see Rev. Rick Pierson’s comments below)

Selah Helms

I am a pastor's wife and author working on a youth biography (of about 25K-30K words) about the life of Elisabeth Elliot. I am under contract with Christian Focus Publications to add to a series of Christian biographies they publish for teenagers. I came to the Billy Graham Center Archives, hoping to find information and letters on Elisabeth's life after her time on the mission field, beginning about 1963, as the majority of books she wrote that include personal information relate her experiences in Ecuador.

The Archives gave a depth to the project I had not anticipated. In addition to gleaning more precise information on her years in the States, her marriage to Add Leitch, her mothering of Valerie, her speaking and writing experiences, and her marriage to Lars Gren, I also gained a fuller appreciation for the impact on American culture made by the martyrdom of the five young men. This was made possible by the plethora of newspaper and magazine clippings from the time. It was also enlightening to find more information on this in her weekly correspondence with her parents, many details of which are not included in her books.

As well, the letters to her parents yielded a rich and more intimate glimpse of her life in the States, and gave me confidence in working out the timeline for major events in her life post-missions. The letters and the tape T2 transcribed interview [Collection 278] helped flesh out details of the life events listed above and will comprise many of my citations.

The time spent at the Archives studying Elisabeth's life was a great spiritual encouragement to me. Thanks for your part in making these documents available!

Dr. Mark Hutchinson
Western Sydney University and Alphacrucis College

I have been a regular visitor to the Billy Graham Centre collections for many years. My main work is in global Evangelicalism, but I have a particular interest in agitation for religious liberty in post-Fascist Italy. Not only does this demonstrate the diversity and assumptions of the neo-Evangelical view of the world after the war, but it demonstrates how active Evangelicals were in spreading some concern for human rights around the world. In particular, I find the Clyde Taylor [Collection 597] and the EFMA papers [Collection 165] to be particularly rich in this regard. I have in the past published a number of papers directly out of the Billy Graham Centre Archives collection: “The Forgotten Front”, exploring the adventures in mission of the Palermo brothers [Collection 329] immediately after the war, being the most recent. EFMA collection content was particularly helpful also in questioning the standard heuristics about the growth of Pentecostalism in Italy. The current project relates to a number of papers I am writing this year for presentations at a conference on the “varieties of Evangelicalism” organized by the Australian College of Theology (on Clyde W. Taylor as Evangelical statesman) at the Universita’ degli Studi di Milano (on patterns in the historiography of Pentecostalism), and at the SISSCO conference in Padova in September (on “La ‘diplomazia protestante’ e la questione della libertà religiosa nelle relazioni italo-americane degli anni Quaranta”). All of these have committed publication points.

I chose the BGCA because it is such a rich, well-organized, and accessible collection. Many other collections are obscurantist or difficult to use, and don’t in any case have the range of materials available at BGCA….

I never come expecting to find anything particular, except, of course, that I know there will be a complete run of materials, which will enable one to dive deep into the sources. What I found was that there was more than I could readily handle in the time available to me. I will need to return so as to be complete in the coverage of the source range.

I did find everything I hoped for, including some letters over the tense issue of Evangelical/ Masonic cooperation/division which, because of the debates over the Gelli/P2 issue, and a certain public paranoia in some Italian nationalist circles, is a continuing issue in populist Italian historiography. The Taylor correspondence in particular demonstrates that Freemasonry was one group of actors among others in a general anti-Catholic front, continuing to press for religious liberty even when the U.S. government had (in a failure of defascistization) shifted to attempting to mobilize conservative forces (fascist or not) against resurgent Italo-Communism.

There was nothing about current BGCA Archives which hindered my work – as I think I noted when I was there. I wish other archives were as enlightened and helpful!

The BGCA is a real engine supporting the historiography of Evangelicalism, for which Wheaton (through Mark Noll, Edith Blumhofer, and Tim Larsen) has become internationally known. It is always a great pleasure to be able to come back and work in this world-leading collection.

Rev. Rick Pierson
Executive Director of Compass Global, CompassCare
Campus Pastor, Wheaton (The Compass Church)

I visited the BGC Archives with my guest Dr. Gus Peters, former pastor of the Carey Baptist Church in Kolkata, India. Dr. Peters currently serves on the staff of ReachGlobal, the missions arm of the Evangelical Free Church of America. The Compass Church partners with ReachGlobal to establish churches in the greater Kolkata area. During a visit to Kolkata in March 2017, Dr. Peters mentioned to me that he was writing a history of Carey Baptist Church and had discovered that Corrie Ten Boom was baptized at the church on 20 March, 1958. An associate from New Zealand had told him that the BGC Archives held the baptism certificate of Corrie Ten Boom at Carey Baptist [in Collection 78]. Upon my return from India, I visited the Archives and reviewed the file, which contained the baptism certificate, her U.S. residency card, and her death certificate. Dr. Peters visited Wheaton in May 2017 and was able to see the documents for himself. While the reason and occasion for her baptism at the historic Carey Baptist Church needs to be researched, I and Dr. Peters are very grateful to the BGC Archives for holding such precious documents.

Dr. Daniel Silliman
Lilly Fellow, Valparaiso University

I am writing an article about the early part of Billy Sunday's career, when he was still doing the "kerosene circuit" of revivals in Iowa and Illinois. I'm specifically curious about the class of people attending the revivals: were they respectable middle class farmers, shopkeepers, and

businessmen, or was Sunday's early 20th century revivalism associated more with the poor? One part of this is how the revivals connected to or were associated with popular entertainment, like baseball and the circus. I came to the BGCA to look at the Billy Sunday collection [Collection 61 and Collection 29]. Though most of the collection involves the later part of his career, when Sunday really was a national celebrity, I found some letters that were very helpful, and some other documentation that helped me understand how the revivals operated and how they related to those little Midwest towns.

One particularly interesting thing I found was an invitation Sunday received to join a circus. I had read about the offer, but the Archives also includes both Sunday's public and private response. That was a great find!

The staff was extremely welcoming and helpful and I will most certainly come again.

Katherine Graber assisting Rev. Baden Stace (see Stace’s comments that follow)
Rev. Baden Stace
Ph.D. candidate, Charles Sturt University Australia

My research, entitled “The Contribution of Canon John Charles Chapman to Anglican Evangelicalism and Australian Religious Life,” is an historical-biographical study of one of Australia’s most prolific preachers, evangelists, apologists and Evangelical churchmen. Chapman, affectionately named the “Billy Graham of Australia,” preached extensively across five continents over a 40-year period, making a highly significant contribution to Evangelical preaching and evangelistic thought and practice in the latter half of the twentieth-century in Australia and, in pockets of the international Evangelical world. In assessing Chapman’s influence, the research also examines the wider context of twentieth century missiology and Evangelicalism during this same period, including the key influence of the Billy Graham movement and several of the historic BGEA missions and congresses on the Australian churches and society (between 1959 and 1983). After reading the work of leading scholars of Evangelicalism, such as Brian Stanley, who reference material from the BGC Archives in their work and, on the advice of a fellow researcher about material available, a visit was arranged. I was not disappointed. I found the staff at the Billy Graham Archives incredibly helpful. The staff were friendly, informed and eager to enable my research visit to be as fruitful as possible. I was able to uncover material in the BGC Archives that is not accessible anywhere else in the world, including some important correspondence between certain key leaders within Australian Evangelicalism and the international Evangelical movement, which is highly relevant to my research. The wealth of source documentation (including letters, clippings, crusade manuals, statistics) for researchers held by the Archives is simply outstanding. I enjoyed my visit a great deal, and am thankful indeed for the assistance of the BGC staff.


Each year a gift from the family of Torrey Johnson Sr. allows the Archives to provide some assistance to researchers coming to Wheaton to use our collections. Listed below are the reports of five people who received grants in 2017. These grant recipient reports, like the researcher reports elsewhere in this annual report, give an idea of the variety of different studies done in our holdings each year.. Find out more about the Torrey M. Johnson Sr. Research Grants.

Click on a link below to view a grant recipient's report or scroll beyond the links to each of the reports.

Krysta Beam – The Latin America Mission’s Roblealto (A Biblical Home for Children) as a case study given of Protestant child-saving campaigns within the emerging Costa Rican welfare state.

Jesse Curtis – The origins and influence of the Church Growth Movement outside of Fuller Theological Seminary, especially among black Evangelicals.

Kari Edwards – The religious history of the Space Race of the 1950s through the 1970s, particularly its relationship to Billy Graham.

Esperanza Lee – The activities of China Inland Mission (CIM) personnel who resettled in America after evacuating from Communist China during the 1940s and ’50s.

Ian Van Dyke – The efforts of members of the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelism to create a multinational and multicultural Evangelical identity by working with fellow believers in Africa and the Middle East.

Krysta Beam

Ph.D. candidate, University of Pittsburgh

By the mid-nineteenth century, nation-states around the world were experimenting with new child-centered discourses for defining citizenship and civic tradition. A common moral framework buttressed this discourse, one that placed the burden of moral citizenship and the formation of civic tradition on the child and the burden of national poverty on the mother. This moral framework was at once Protestant and nationalist, focused on the redemption of citizens. At the turn of the twentieth century, Evangelical missionaries from the North Atlantic began initiating international child-saving campaigns throughout the Global South, intent on the salvation of nations through the redemption of its children. Child-saving campaigns aimed to extract and civilize children perceived to be at-risk of deviancy due to poverty, single-parent families, or an unstable family life due to alcoholism or domestic violence. Though these campaigns manifested in a variety of ways, their common goal was to prevent juvenile deviancy and to prepare a new generation of citizens for the nation-state.

Many missionaries found themselves in countries with newly established or bourgeoning welfare states. Such was the case of Susan Beamish Strachan, co-founder of Latin America Mission and founder of Roblealto, “A Biblical home for children,” in the outskirts of the capital city San José, Costa Rica. By 1880, Costa Rica had entered into what is historically referred to as the Liberal Period, characterized in part by a series of social reforms and an increasing focus on “the social question.” Influenced by these same global discursive trends that centered children in the national imaginary, child-saving and hygiene campaigns paralleled educational reforms aimed at shaping “future citizens” during the early twentieth century.

Costa Rican historiography typically conceives of these reforms as the product of anti-imperialist organic intellectuals on the left and their negotiation with the socially conservative Catholic Church. However, my research has uncovered an impactful international Protestant presence simultaneously funding significant social welfare projects, from constructing new schools and hospitals to rural outreach programs and child-saving campaigns. Focusing my research on Roblealto, I understand these child-saving campaigns as both an important social benefit on the local scale and a strategic manifestation of social control on the global scale. Roblealto is a practical site for this case study given both the transnational and the national context, international networks of protestant child-saving campaigns settled within the successful construction of Costa Rica’s welfare state.

While at the Billy Graham Center Archives, I explored the relationship between Latin America Mission and the local nationals, focused specifically on documents related to Roblealto. I found sources that speak to and answer several of my guiding questions for research. I have found records of children and their sponsors, the economics of the sponsorship, and evidence of tangible benefits for the sponsored children. I found evidence of a well-organized committee committed to improving their relationship with local nationals. This endeavor was well documented throughout the collection, and elucidates important dynamics of this complicated history. I found meeting notes to be particularly helpful in tracing administrative and quotidian change at the Bible Home. Some particularly unique but valuable sources I found were books written for children in English to teach them about the children in Costa Rica and their everyday lives. I found significant evidence that not only was Latin America Mission spiritually evangelistic, but also incredibly important in building real, tangible relational ties between Costa Ricans and North Americans.

I plan to continue research into this project. In May, I will travel to Costa Rica and spend some time in their Archives looking at documentary evidence from local newspapers and governmental institutions. I also hope to have the chance to return to the Billy Graham Center Archives to continue exploring related projects. By August 2018, I will have the first draft of my M.A. thesis finished and by April 2019, I will have completed my M.A. Thanks to the generous gift from the Billy Graham Archive Center, I am well prepared to take on the rest of this journey.

Jesse Curtis

Ph.D. candidate, Temple University

My intention in undertaking this research was to better understand the origins and influence of the Church Growth Movement and to more clearly comprehend the implications of its more controversial aspects, such as the Homogeneous Unit Principle. I wanted to know more about how Evangelicals beyond the orbit of Fuller Theological Seminary felt about church growth ideas, and I especially wanted to know how black Evangelicals interacted with the movement.

The generous grant enabled me to spend a day longer in the Archives than I had originally planned, and I had the pleasure of bringing my spouse and kids along for the trip. My findings in the Archives exceeded my expectations. In the McGavran collection I gained a much more nuanced understanding of his thought and was able to begin to trace connections between him and other Evangelical leaders and institutions. The Lausanne collection allowed me to broaden my exploration of the Church Growth Movement and place it in the larger context of controversy and theological debate in which it participated: the relationship between evangelism and social action.

The Lausanne, John Stott, and C. Peter Wagner collections allowed me to begin to track how church growth ideas were present at the 1974 conference and then worked their way into subsequent Lausanne activities. In particular, the records on the 1977 consultation on the Homogenous Unit Principle were extremely valuable. This well-documented debate among leading Evangelicals will likely serve as a centerpiece of a chapter in my dissertation. It will enable me to show that leading Evangelicals at the time were already thinking about the racial and social implications of church growth ideas and had formidable arguments against Wagner, McGavran, and the rest of the Fuller contingent. The Wagner collection was also especially noteworthy for its extensive records of the 1985 Houston conference on evangelizing ethnic America. These documents reveal important conflicts between white and black Evangelicals. Another collection of special note is the oral history interviews with William Pannell, a leading black Evangelical and longtime Fuller faculty member.

Because of my time in the Archives, I'm now going to be able to write about the Church Growth Movement with more context and understanding. Here are a few early thoughts. It may seem paradoxical that a movement that was born in opposition to the individualistic assumptions of western missionaries overseas became known to its critics as an enabler of American-centric, racially segregated Christianity. Many church growth advocates thought this charge was unfair. From their perspective, prioritizing evangelism over social action was merely the logical fruit of Evangelical commitment. If Christ really was risen and eternal judgment or reward for every human being was in the offing, what could be more important than the proclamation of this message? Many white Evangelicals wanted to have this debate without implicating race, but many black Evangelicals insisted that was impossible. Black Evangelicals like William Pannell claimed that many white Evangelicals maintained a harmful dichotomy between soul and body, a dichotomy enabled by their privileged social position. When they insisted on the priority of proclamation over deeds, some black Evangelicals believed it was another way of saying the present suffering of black people just didn't matter much. These tensions contributed to ongoing division and misunderstanding between black and white Evangelicals in the 1980s and beyond. Ultimately, the Church Growth Movement had implications not only for evangelism and church planting, but for the unity and nature of the American church in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement.

Kari Edwards

Ph.D. candidate, University of Mississippi

In May I had the opportunity to visit Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center Archives in order to conduct research for my History Ph.D. dissertation, entitled Godspeed: A Religious History of the Space Race. Thanks to the generous support of the Billy Graham Center’s Evangelism Research Grant, I was able to make significant progress on the research for several of the chapters in which Graham and those affiliated with his ministries will be featured.

Of specific interest to me were numerous episodes of the Hour of Decision radio broadcast in which Graham and others spoke directly about the impact of space exploration, the faith of astronauts, the national days of prayer instituted in the wake of several Apollo missions, and other important space-related current events. Because of the nature of the Space Race with the Soviet Union, religious anti-communism is also a major component of my project, and several collections at the Archives assisted me in this regard. I also discovered some previously unknown materials that will factor heavily into my work, particularly the “Project Look-Up” satellite television launch during the 1970s, a project for which other archival materials are next-to-impossible to find elsewhere.

I am extremely grateful for being given the chance to visit the Billy Graham Center Archives and for the financial assistance offered to me. I am confident that the materials I viewed while at Wheaton will make a tangible impact on the quality of my finished work. While I was initially expecting to find a relatively small amount of us
eable materials, I was pleasantly surprised by the resources I located, so much so that I will now be incorporating my findings into nearly every chapter of my dissertation.

Esperanza Lee
High school student

My purpose in coming to the Billy Graham Center Archives was to examine the activities of post-China China Inland Mission (CIM) personnel who resettled in America during the 1940s and ‘50s. I have been researching how these missionaries impacted Chinese communities in the United States. The personnel I studied left China due to political instability and were not redeployed to other Asian countries under CIM or as it was known after it left China, the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF).

Through exploring the archived materials, I gathered more information regarding CIM personnel outside of China. Many personnel continued reaching out to the Chinese, bringing Chinese communities around the world to Christ. Several post-China missionaries, including David Adeney, interacted with overseas Chinese university students. In 1986, Adeney spoke at the Twin City Chinese Christian Church’s annual conference (Collection 215). He had been fundamental in starting the church after introducing a CIM missionary couple to a Bible study group of Chinese students, which was led by fellow retired CIM missionary Valborg Torjesen. The three missionaries supported the Bible study group during its expansion and development into the Twin City Chinese Christian Church. In California, George Kraft, another post-China CIM missionary, supported the Chinese for Christ Church in San Jose, offering input regarding leadership.

After looking through these files, I can better appreciate the legacy of CIM workers who continued even in North America to follow their passion of ministering to Chinese people. I plan to submit my research to the Minnesota Department of Education, and hope that [by] my case study church and sending organization OMF will be blessed through this research.

I am thankful for the Torrey M. Johnson Sr. Grant because it enhanced my knowledge of the China Inland Mission and allowed me to conclude my research. I was impressed with the variety of archival material found in Collections 215 and 300. Also, having access to the records of multiple different organizations at one repository was valuable to my research. Thanks to BGC Archives for holding so much information regarding Christian organizations in North America. I will share this resource with people interested in my research.

Ian Van Dyke

Ph.D. candidate, Notre Dame University

With funding from the Torrey M. Johnson, Sr. Research Grant, I visited the Billy Graham Center Archives from July 24 to 26, 2017, as a follow-up to my first visit on January 11. Before I arrived last month, I wanted to learn more about the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelism (LCWE)—and in particular, its members’ efforts to reinvigorate Christian evangelism and create a multinational and multicultural Evangelical identity by working with fellow believers in Africa and the Middle East. Due to time constraints (and at the suggestion of Bob Shuster), I concentrated on the records of the LCWE (Collection 46) and the papers of John R. W. Stott (Collection 590), one of the movement’s key leaders. Despite not being able to fully examine all the materials I had originally requested, my time at the BGC Archives was immensely helpful. I was able to see how individuals within the Lausanne movement grappled with various ideas and challenges—such as the best way to reach groups like Jews, Muslims, youth, or women; the ways North American and European culture might help or hinder Christian evangelism in a global context; and the need for dialogue with other believers like the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt or Messianic Jews in Israel.

The picture that emerges from the records of the LCWE, as well as the John Stott papers, is one of a self-consciously global Evangelical movement. The Lausanne movement not only involved evangelists from around the world, but actively sought to connect Western missionaries, church leaders, and Christian scholars with their counterparts in the “Two-Thirds World.” Besides having labored “on the ground” for many years with little financial or institutional support, some of these Lausanne-affiliated Christians in Africa and the Middle East also endured great personal hardships during the course of their work. One particularly compelling case was that of Antoine Deeb, a Lebanese evangelist who in 1977 was forced to flee to Jordan after his home and office in Beirut were destroyed during Lebanon’s disastrous civil war. Sustained by his faith, Deeb continued his ministry from a one-room apartment in Amman for several years and remained an active participant in subsequent LCWE conferences.

Lausanne’s leaders and participants were united in their goal of sharing the Gospel with peoples around the world, but building an Evangelical network that spanned continents and cultures was hardly without its difficulties. One prevailing point of contention seems to have been the proper role of Western (and especially American) culture within the movement. This was perhaps most evident in Peruvian evangelist Samuel Escobar’s searing indictment of the conservative American Evangelical “establishment” at the 1974 Lausanne Conference, but others shared Escobar’s fears and frustrations as well. One missionary wrote to John Stott that “we [missionaries] are under pressure to export another USA commodity.” Similarly, Jack Dain, an Anglican bishop and chairman of Lausanne’s post-1974 Continuation Committee, expressed his “very real concern over the problem of the attitude of some of our American brethren.” “There seems to be,” complained Dain to Stott, “a total inability to see behind the cultural and political outlook of the typical well-to-do American Christian.” For their part, some American delegates to the LCWE’s 1980 Thailand Consultation worried that the Lausanne movement was becoming too distracted by “social action and political restructuring” and suggested, “LCWE can select one function of the church, namely evangelism, and focus on that.”

One fascinating set of documents is that of the North American Conference on Muslim Evangelization, held at the Glen Eyrie resort in Colorado Springs in 1978. Although the official conference papers were collected and published as an edited volume (MARC, 1979) the records preserved in the BGC Archives provide an invaluable behind-the-scenes glimpse into the worldwide network of Evangelicals active in missions to Muslims. Particularly interesting are the handwritten, post-conference questionnaires, in which participants were asked to provide feedback on the conference’s effectiveness and invited to make suggestions for future changes. Some of the responses could be quite colorful—one attendee complained that a few speakers “gave the same talk they would have given to laymen back at 1st Pres[byterian] in Overcoat, Nebraska.” Others once again raised the perennial issue of U.S. leadership. One respondent asked rhetorically, “Do we still think that really Americans have the final and best answers?”

It is hard to overstate the wealth of material contained in the LCWE and Stott papers. One final, quite interesting aspect of the correspondence I examined was the dialogue Lausanne participants carried on with Christians around the world, including members of non-Evangelical churches. For example, after writing an article on Egyptian Christianity for the journal Missiology, Lausanne Committee Deputy Executive Director John Howell wrote to Coptic Bishop Antonious Markos for his reactions. Markos responded that despite some differences of opinion, he supported publication of the article without revisions: “If it is published as it is, debate and discussion will arise. Why not? Dialogue in love and Christian spirit will bring understanding and insights as to how reconciliation can be achieved.”

Like any large international organization, the LCWE brought together people with various (and at times quite divergent) points of view. The result was sometimes contentious, but LCWE participants were united in their pursuit of a truly global Christian movement—one that would unite believers from around the world and help win souls for Christ from the U.S. to Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. Today, the center of gravity of Evangelical Christianity lies in the “Global South”—and the LCWE was instrumental in transforming Evangelicalism from a primarily Western movement into a worldwide phenomenon whose national, ethnic, and cultural diversity is reflected in its leadership. Although I have provided here some snapshots of LCWE members’ ideas about and interactions with Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle East and Africa, similar dynamics of cross-cultural evangelism were at work elsewhere as well. The material I examined thanks to the Torrey M. Johnson, Sr. Grant has helped me focus my research and also suggested other potential sources, such as the papers of John Stott held at the Lambeth Palace Library in London. As I move toward a dissertation topic, I continue to be captivated by the story of the LCWE and the transformation of global Evangelical Christianity. The BGC Archives are a seemingly inexhaustible resource with a gracious and knowledgeable staff, and I look forward to returning in the future.



(Left) Carolyn Booth (daughter of J. Edwin Orr) with David Guzik (friend of the Orr family) in California with some of the voluminous papers of J. Edwin Orr that his family donated to the Archives. (Right) Bob Shuster inventorying and packing Orr’s papers.

The staff accessioned many interesting materials throughout the year. These included everything from scripts for the 1930s radio program The Country Church of Hollywood to the maps and statistical data gathered in the 20th and 21st centuries by Global Mapping Initiative to support worldwide missions. Particularly prized among these were the papers of J. Edwin Orr, documenting his more than half a century of ministry and an evangelist, teacher, and historian of evangelism. Among the others, naturally, were many documents related to the life and ministry of Billy Graham, such as the transcript of his interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1981, audio recordings of George Beverly Shea’s radio recordings from the 1940s, and the files of Henry Holley, who did the advance work for most of Graham’s Asian evangelistic meetings.

In addition, Paul Ericksen recorded almost nine hours of oral history interviews with Jean Blumhagen about the her medical work with her husband in Afghanistan in the 1950s and ‘60s. The Blumhagens also donated their papers to the Archives.

See a more complete list of our 2017 accessions below.

Acquisitions Stats










BGEA accessions









Non-BGEA acc.



















BGEA volume









Non-BGEA vol.



















  • BGEA is an abbreviation for Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
  • Acc or Accs is an abbreviation for accession
  • Average for accessions shows the average number of accessions per year, rounded off to the nearest whole number
  • Average for accession volume shows the average volume of accessions in cubic feet per year, rounded off to the nearest whole number

The average volume of an accession in 2017 was 2.67 cubic feet. The average volume of a BGEA accession was 4 cubic feet. The average volume of a non-BGEA accession was 2.45 cubic feet.

Select List of Acquisitions

Bob Shuster with the boxes of maps, reports, and other documents donated by Global Mapping Imitative (GMI)

Billy Graham

Transcript of Graham’s 1981 address to National Association of Evangelicals/National Religious Broadcasters

Papers of Henry Holley, the advance man for most of the BGEA meetings in Asia , 1954-2016

Transcript of dialogue between Graham and the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1981

Papers of Cliff Barrows, 1947-2016

Recordings of George Beverly Shea’s ClubTime radio programs, 1945-1949

Scrapbook of clippings about Graham in the United Kingdom, 1987

The BGEA’s Media Office files, 1969-1982


Country Church of Hollywood radio program memorabilia, 1933

Digital copies of the LCJE Bulletin, concerned with Jewish Evangelism

Papers of evangelist Leighton Ford, 1996-2016

Papers of evangelist and historian J. Edwin Orr, 1932-1990

Notebooks and letters of InterVarsity staff member and missionary to Latin America Charles Troutman, 1933-1991

Records of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, 1991-1998

Recordings of evangelist Percy Crawford’s radio program, Young People’s Church of the Air, 1944-1947

Newspaper scrapbook from evangelist Billy Sunday's 1912 McKeesport, PA campaign


Papers of Tom and Ruth Collins relating to Bible translation work with Africa Inland Mission, 1939-1991

Papers of missionary to Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya Margaret Hughell, 1950-2016

Papers of Franklin Spotts about his ministry in French speaking Africa, 1974-2016

Records of OMF-USA concerning mission work in China and East Asia, 1914-2016

Multi-generational records of the work the Downing family missionaries in East Africa, 1876-2015

Records of Global Mapping Initiative (GMI), 1980-2017

Papers of Rex and Jean Blumhagen who worked in Afghanistan, 1960-2003



Two of the cartoons of E. J. Pace (1879-1946), showing how he used con-temporary manners and events to make biblical points. These cartoons make up the bulk of the newly processed Collection 702.

Throughout 2017, the staff was busy processing materials–that is they were arranging, describing, conserving, and digitizing materials in the holdings of the BGC Archives. Accessions of materials were turned into finished collections, with the staff providing context and background information for use, as well as putting the materials in a format where users could study them, either in the Reading Room or online.

We made hours of oral history interviews available. Some described evangelistic ministries in the United States, including the work of Percy Crawford; others described ministries in Spain and Russia. Among the largely paper records opened were those of three of Billy Graham’s long-time aides (T.W. Wilson, Robert Ferm, Lois Ferm), as well as of Jim Vaus, who after being converted at Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles meetings, spent a lifetime in youth evangelism. Olive Liefeld’s papers gave valuable insights into the ministries of her and her husband Peter Fleming in Ecuador and the worldwide impact of Peter’s death along with four other American missionaries in 1956. Dozens of slides, audio tapes, videos, and DVDs illustrating the work of Africa Inland Mission in east and southern Africa are also now open to the public.

The cartoons of E. J. Pace made up another very engaging collection. There are hundreds of cartoons as a Christian artist, showing his use of contemporary scenes and characters to illustrate biblical principles.

Processing continued on a large collection containing hundreds of boxes of the files of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. When processing is completed on these materials, researchers will have an invaluable source for the study of Protestant Evangelical Christianity worldwide.

Transcribing was another important part of the Archives’ work. Throughout 2017, 38 hours of oral history interviews were transcribed, comprising 646 pages. Almost all these transcripts are now available online.

The staff is also committed to use digitization to make materials more easily available. During the year, 231 audio tapes were digitized in-house and 19 films were converted by a local production company.

New and Updated Collections

New indicates a collection being processed and described for the first time. A collection Update has had more material added to it and described in the guide, sometimes just a few items, and sometimes many cubic feet. BGEA means a collection of records of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Collection 6 UPDATE
John Charles Pollock
Papers, 2005

Previously this collection consisted of Pollock’s handwritten/typed manuscript of his 1966 authorized biography of Graham. The new addition to the collection consists of a printed manuscript of a revised and updated version of the book, which he was working on in 2005. This new manuscript, apparently never published, tracks Graham’s life up to the 1957 New York City Crusade.

Collection 19 UPDATE
BGEA: Ferm, Robert O.
Records, 1946-1988

Added: .73 cubic feet. Ferm was a special assistant to Billy Graham. New materials added to collection include decades of Ferm’s correspondence with Billy Graham, his dissertation and research notes, articles, and miscellaneous items.

Collection 81 UPDATE
Africa Inland Mission – United States Branch

Added: Hundreds of audio and video recordings and slides. These materials show mission activity, church life, and everyday scenes in Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Chad, Mozambique, Sudan, and the Comoro Islands. They also contain many references to the AIDS epidemic, political and social events, and military conflicts in the region for the period from roughly 1970 through 2012. The formats of these materials include DVDs, CDs, videos, audio recordings, and slide/tape programs. 

Collection 515 NEW
Ernie Wilson
Papers, 1995

Oral history interview (1 hour, 6 minutes) and papers. In the interview, Wilson talks about his parents, his childhood in Panama, the evangelistic work of his father, his conversion as a young man, the experience of preaching as an African-American evangelist, and his education at the Philadelphia Bible Institute and the Reformed Episcopal Seminary. The papers document his evangelistic work in the United States and other parts of the world.

Collection 519 NEW
International Renewal Ministries
Interviews, 1995

Oral history interviews (3 hours, 36 minutes) with Joseph C. Aldrich and Terry Dirks, leaders of International Renewal Ministries, in which they talk about their personal backgrounds and the origins, purpose, and impact of the prayer summits for pastors sponsored by IRM. They also discuss the revival on the campus of Multnomah Bible School that occurred on April 14, 1995.

Collection 526 NEW
Jose Pablo Sánchez-Nuñez
Interviews, 1995

Oral history interviews (3 hours, 49 minutes) with Sánchez-Nuñez, a Spanish Protestant pastor and evangelist. In the interviews, he describes his family, childhood in Spain, Protestant Evangelicalism in a predominantly Catholic country, his conversion and spiritual development, training for ministry, work with Decisión, theological education by extension in Spain, American missionaries and their impact in Spain, attempts to unify Spanish Protestants, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Global Mission (of which he was the director in Madrid), his father-in- law John Blake, and pastoral experiences in Madrid.

Collection 536 NEW
Sorokina, Valeria Borisovna
Interviews, 1996

Oral history interview (1 hour, 36 minutes) in which Sorokina talks about her childhood in Russia, her conversion to Christianity while a university student, the work of Campus Crusade for Christ and Mission Europe in Russia, the Mission Volga project, and her time as a graduate student at Wheaton College.

Collection 556 NEW
Blue, Lloyd C.
Interviews, 1998

Interviews (3 hours 35 minutes) with Dr. Lloyd C. Blue, in which he describes the turmoil in his early history, alcoholism, racial attitudes, military service, conversion, attending Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Los Angeles, E.V. Hill, working with Campus Crusade, impact of Bill Bright’s “Being Filled With the Holy Spirit” sermon, developing church-based program to disciple men, pastoral work, philosophy of evangelism/discipleship, discipling pastors, E.K. Bailey, Church Growth Unlimited to develop pastors, moving to Mendenhall, Mississippi, Matthew Parker and Lee June, pastoring in Ohio, his stepfather James Blue, change in his life after his conversion. Covers the time period 1933-1998. Blue’s interview will be of particular interest to those studying the African American church, African-American evangelism and church planting, the place of African Americans in the Evangelical movement, the life and influence of Rev. E.V. Hill of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Los Angeles, and the development and mentoring of pastors.

Collection 566 NEW
Snezek, P. Paul
Interview, 2000

Oral history interview (31 minutes) in which Snezek talks about his time as a student at the King’s College in Briarcliff, New York, his memories of evangelist Percy Crawford, and his experiences singing as part of the ensemble on Crawford’s television program, Youth on the March.

Collection 588 NEW
Richard C. Rung
Interview, 2003

Oral history interview (1 hour) in which Rung talks about his memories of Percy Crawford and King’s College from the time he (Rung) was on the faculty there, 1955-1963.

Collection 693 NEW
Jim Vaus
Papers, 1950-2001
2 boxes (DC), Audio Tapes, Films, Negatives, Phonograph Records, Photo Albums, Photographs, Slides, Films (3.924 cubic ft.)

Newsletters, oral history transcripts, manuscripts, correspondence, slides, photographs, audio recordings, and films relating to Jim Vaus’ youth ministry work in East Harlem, NY and later youth camp ministries in New York and California and internationally with the Missionary Communication Service. The collection also contains material on Jim Vaus’ work as a wire tapper for the Los Angeles mob prior to his conversion to Christianity at the 1949 Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade, and the 1955 film Wiretapper produced by Great Commission Films that tells the story of Vaus’ conversion.

Collection 698 UPDATE
BGEA: Records of Lois Roughan Ferm

For more than thirty years, Ferm was an assistant to Billy Graham and in charge of his personal library. She was also Resources Coordinator of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in charge of preserving its historical files and transferring many of them to the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. Finally, she began and for decades was the main interviewer for the BGEA’s oral history project, during which she taped sessions with hundreds of people –

Graham’s family friends and coworkers as well as local leaders in almost of his evangelistic campaigns. This collection includes extensive correspondence between her and Graham and other BGEA leaders, as well as many documents on the origins and development of the Billy Graham Center.

Collection 699 NEW
Wilson, T. W.
BGEA: Records; 1950-1954, 1961-1998, n.d.
5 boxes (DC, 2.2 cubic feet), Photographs

Correspondence, memos, reports and other material relating to Wilson’s work as Billy Graham’s executive assistant. The documents illustrate his involvement in the management of particular BGEA evangelistic campaigns, as well as his functioning as a kind of chief of staff for Graham and leader of the BGEA’s radio stations. There are also a couple of folders, not related to Wilson, that document Willis Haymaker’s work as BGEA crusade director in the early 1950s.

Collection 701 NEW
Papers of Olive Ainslie Fleming Liefeld
2 boxes, photo albums, photographs, slides

Letters, reports, transcripts, photographs, photo albums, and other materials from the papers of Liefeld that relate to her first husband, Peter Fleming, their work as missionaries in Ecuador among the Quichua people, his death along with four other missionaries at the hands of Waorani tribesmen in 1956, the continuing development of that story in terms of the impact of the men’s deaths on American Evangelicalism and the growth of a Christian community among the Waorani, and the friendship between the widows of the five men.

Collection 702 NEW
Ephemera of E. J. Pace
1920-1961, n.d.

Copies of hundreds of Pace’s cartoons, which applied a Protestant Fundamentalist theology to living the Christian life, the nature of God, and moral issues in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States. The collection consists mainly of lantern slides meant to be used in conjunction with prepared sermons, but there are also tracts and cartoons.



Bob Shuster digitizing hundreds of hours of audio tape



Students from the HIST 295 Historical Inquiry using original documents



A busy day in the Manuscripts Reading Room



Family of home school students doing research on missions and evangelism history



Bob Shuster with Jeanne Dougherty of OMF during her visit to the Archives, holding two old missionary letters the mission recently donated to the Archives



Katherine Graber preparing an exhibit of documents for a group of guests from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association



Bob Shuster donating a flash drive to the Western Springs Baptist Church containing copies of audio files of Songs in the Night radio programs with George Beverly Shea, recorded at the church in the 1940s



Bob Shuster with James Johnson of Facilities Operations and student worker after storing files, maps, and digital data received from GMI



Paul Ericksen leading Historical Inquiry students through an overview of the BGC Archives and the use of primary sources



Dr. Kathryn Long (left) with Paul Ericksen, Bob Shuster, and Katherine Graber on the occasion of her presentation for the Archives’ 10th Archival Research Lecture



Paul Ericksen and Grace Gardziella preparing the records of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) for researcher use



Staff, family, and guests enjoying the Archives’ annual Christmas party


Selected Published Books, Dissertations, and Other Products Based on Recent Research in the Archives

Colyer, Corey. “Constructing Christianity’s ‘Clear Voice’: The Creation of Christianity Today Magazine,” Sociological Focus, June 2017. Available online.

Finstuen, Andrew; Wacker, Grant; Wills, Anna, eds. Billy Graham: American Pilgrim. Oxford University Press (New York, 2017). 

Hutchinson, Mark, “Developing Post-War Evangelical ‘Statecraft’: Clyde W. Taylor and the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies, 1942-1955.” Paper read at Trajectories: Boundaries and Diversity in Evangelicalism Symposium, Australian College of Theology, Sydney, Australia, September 5-6, 2017. Available online.

“Praying a global liturgy: Italian Historiography and the debate over Pentecostal origins.” Text of a lecture given to the Graduate Seminar, Dipartimento di Studi Storici, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, September 12, 2017. Available online. ---. “La ‘diplomazia protestante’ e la questione della libertà religiosa nelle relazioni italo-americane degli anni Quaranta” Paper read at SISSCO (Società italiana per lo studio della storia contemporanea) Conference September 13-15, 2017, Padova, Italy, September 13-15, 2017. Available online.

Krabbendam, Hans, “Full members of the TEAM? Evangelical Women in the European Mission, 1945-1980,” Journal of American Studies, Volume 51, Issue 4, November 2017, pp. 1095-1116. Available online.

Rosell, Garth. "Reflections on the Future of Evangelism," Africanus Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, April 2017, pp. 5-11. Available online.

Taylor, Justin. "60 Years Ago: Billy Graham's Madison Square Garden Crusade: An Interview with Grant Wacker," Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America website, posted May 17, 2017. Available online.

Young, Lionel. “The Transition from Africa Inland Mission to Africa Inland Church in Kenya, 1939-1975,” Ph.D. dissertation. University of Stirling, Scotland. March 2017

Zapp, Marieke. "The Role of Foreign Missions in Translation and Knowledge Dissemination in the Western Hemisphere." Presentation at the Found in Translation conference at the Università Degli Studi Bergamo, Itaky, September 2017.

---. "The Function of Form, Fiction, and Faith in Elisabeth Elliot's Life Writing," COPAS: Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, Issue 18.1 (2017). Available online.

Ziebell, Donn G. Gorky, Russia; First Man In. Self-published (2017).



“I have received your e-mail. And the archives you sent to me are so helpful to me! Thank you very much! Because it is not easy in mainland China to use Gmail. I am so sorry that I replied your mail this late. Thank you for taking the time to organize these archives. Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. The archives you sent me is the best New Year gift for me! I'm so happy! May God bless you!”

e-mail from a distance patron in China


“It is a blessing to hear Mr. Graham's classis sermons and then read his notes as he is preaching. Thanks too for all the hard work your staff did in placing these online. I never thought I would see that done even by the BGEA for some very good reasons.”

e-mail from a researcher who visited the BGC
Archives’ database of Billy Graham Sermons


“Thank you for all your efforts in making Mom's collection available. And thank you for sending this picture. It is wonderful to see their engagement, and to know there have been others already that are finding her memories meaningful.”

e-mail from Olive Liefeld’s daughter, whose
papers are now preserved in
Collection 701


“I visited the Archives for several days in September of 2015, working on a study of Christianity Today magazine. One piece of that project has finally been published…. Thanks to Mr. Shuster and Ms. Graber for the assistance and hospitality. The Archives are a wonderful resource and I am thankful for the opportunity to use them. I particularly appreciated Mr. Shuster’s willingness to stay late a couple of nights allowing me to consult additional files.”

e-mail from a former researcher


“I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for your assistance in the Archives. I was able to document some very interesting artifacts and even solve a mystery or two. The staff there were welcoming and very helpful. Thank you again.”

e-mail from a researcher studying
Billy Graham’s visits to China


“I cannot express emphatically enough how much I appreciate the work that you have done to make these valuable records available to me. This has given me so much more knowledge and understanding about my parents and their lives long before I was born than I could have ever hoped for or even imagined! My husband is a university archivist (and records manager) and he has informed me that you have gone way, way above and beyond what can be expected of any archivist or institution in getting me all of this information, and, especially, that you got it to me so quickly after my inquiry. I am already on my way toward getting my anniversary project completed as a result of your diligence.”

e-mail from a researcher inquiring
about her parents’ missionary
service with Africa Inland Mission


“Thank you so much for all your help this week. Your kind assistance with my research has made my visit to Wheaton an absolute delight. You have made me feel extremely welcome. Thanks again for making my thesis project possible. I will be sure to send you a copy once it is finished.”

e-mail from a visiting graduate student


“Just wanted to send a note and say thank you for all your help on Monday with the Vera Thiessen letters and also thanks for being so responsive over the past month.”

message from a researcher using
Thiessen’s collection


(Above, left to right): Robyn McKenzie, Bob Shuster, Hannah Ting, Katherine Graber, Grace Gardziella, and Paul Ericksen, gathered for the BGC Archives’ Christmas party

Paul Ericksen, Director
Katherine Graber, Public Services Archivist
Robyn McKenzie, Archives Coordinator
Bob Shuster, Archivist

Loren Dowdy, Student worker
Grace Gardziella, Student worker
Kaitlyn Jennings, Student worker
Lydia Stucki, Student worker
Hannah Ting, Student worker


© 2018. The Billy Graham Center Archives. All rights reserved. This transcript
may be reused with the following publication credit: Used by permission of the 
Billy Graham Center Archives, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.