Billy Graham Center

The Archives Bulletin Board

Every month, this Bulletin Board will highlight a new document or set of documents that are available in the Archives. These are intended solely for the edification of our viewers and cannot be copied or otherwise reused without permission.
To view items previously featured on the Bulletin Board, click

Now Showing

January 2010: "To Brother Virgil and and All the Saints in Williams": The Letters of Jim and Betty Elliot

Photos of the students and teacher at the school in Puyupungu which Jim Elliott mentioned in the letter dated May 26, 1954

Link to the Elliot Letters

When Jim Elliot traveled to Ecuador as a missionary in early 1952, he left behind in the United States churches that had promised to support his work and that of his wife Elisabeth. One of these was the Williams Community Church of Williams, Oregon. The Elliots (usually Jim until his death with four other missionaries at the hands of the Waorani Indians (called by outsiders at this time the "Aucas") in January 1956, and then Elisabeth) would write regularly to the congregation. In these letters they would describe their ministry and life among the Indian peoples in a remote region of the Amazon basin. The last letter in the series was written in 1959, during a visit by Betty to the United States.

In 2009, the church, led by Rev. Rob Culton, generously donated these dozens of letters to the BGC Archives. They are now made available to the general public through this web site. The first letter is reproduced below and the rest can be read by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. The letters are now part of Collection 277, the Ephemera of Philip James Elliot

Two men are frequently referred to in the letters: Rev. Virgil C. Terry was the pastor of the church. (Rev. Terry wrote the only nonElliot letter in the series, the one dated Jauary 20, 1956, a short time after Jim's death.) Clifford I. Kurtz was the treasurer of the church, so he was usually the one to send the Elliots' support check. He and his family hosted Jim in their home when he visited the church before leaving for Ecuador. Mr. Kurtz died in September 1959 and the last letter in the series is a condolence note from Betty to the church's new treasurer, Mrs. Tommie Knight.

Link to the Elliot Letters

Send us a message

Return to BGC Archives Home Page

Last Revised: 1/01/10
Expiration: indefinite

© Wheaton College 2017