Billy Graham Center

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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. Come on over and have a look!

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March 2016: On the Ground in Havana — J. Elwin Wright's Report on Exploring Cuba

In late-December 1945, J. Elwin Wright, Dr. Oswald J. Smith, and Clyde Taylor traveled to Cuba and Puerto Rico as part of Wright's large survey of the global Evangelical church. At the time, Wright was the Field Secretary for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Taylor was then NAE's Secretary of Public Affairs; Smith was pastor of the People's Church in Toronto.

Wright was a key figure at the intersection of three Evangelical associations-in-formation: the New England Fellowship, the National Association of Evangelicals, and World Evangelical Fellowship (now World Evangelical Alliance).

Wright's letters to his family are filled with his everyday activities while traveling, observations of the country, its population and culture, and especially the Evangelical church and the meetings that he and his companions were invited to speak at. His letters are both insightful and occasionally amusing (see his comments on his sleeping habits and discovering Cuban lemonade), as this letter about his Havana visit to pre-Castro Cuba is a good example.

The featured letter comes from the Papers of J. Elwin Wright, Collection 565, box 1, folder 2.

A number of related collections at the BGC Archives are interconnected through Wright, document his influence and leadership, and the organizations and movements he had a hand in founding.

The College Archives & Special Collections (Buswell Library) holds the records of the National Association of Evangelicals.

(above) Page 1 of J. Elwin Wright's five-page letter to his family during his late-1945 visit to Cuba; see pages 2-5 below. (below) Portrait of Wright.

(below) Pages 2-5 of Wright's letter from Havana


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Last Revised: 3/01/16
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