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Timeline of Paul Rader
and the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle

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Paul Rader (born 1879, died 1938), was one of the prominent evangelists of the early 20th century. He pastored a Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) church in Pittsburgh and Moody Church in Chicago before starting the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle in 1922. Leave the exhibit for a brief biographical sketch on Rader.

The Chicago Gospel Tabernacle (founded 1922, disbanded 1979) grew out of one of Rader's evangelistic campaigns in 1922, drawing such enthusiastic response and loyal supporters that the temporary wooden structure the meetings were held in became a permanent church. Leave the exhibit for a brief historical background sketch on the Tabernacle.

1879 Daniel Paul Rader was born on August 24th in Denver Colorado, son of Daniel Leeper Rader and Laura Eugenia (Shakelford) Rader. He had four sisters and five brothers, three of whom died in infancy.
Father was appointed a Methodist missionary to Cheyenne, Wyoming by the Methodist Episcopal Church (North)
1888 Converted while talking with his father after attending a revival meeting in Cheyenne. Read Rader's account of his own coming to faith in Christ.
ca. 1895 Rader went on his first preaching tour
1896 Family returned to Denver when Paul was a teenager when father became publisher of the (Methodist) Rocky Mountain Advocate
ca. 1897-1899 Attended University of Denver
1899-1900 Attended University of Colorado. Began earning a reputation as a football player and boxer
1900-1901 Attended Central College, Missouri, also coached and played football
1901-1902 Student, football player, and director of athletics at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota
1901 Was an original founder of Beta Kappa Fraternity on October 15th
1902-1904 Taught and coached at University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Washington
Cover illustration from the July 1928 issue of World-Wide Christian Courier. It shows the major accomplishments of the Tabernacle from 1922 through 1928.
click to see enlargement
1904 Ordained on September 21st Congregational Church
1904-1906 Pastor of Maverick Congregational Church, East Boston.
1906 Married Mary Caughran on June 21
1907-1909 Pastor of the Holladay Congregational church in Portland, Oregon. Resigned because of a growing lack of conviction in his preaching and faith
1907 Daughter Pauline Caughran born on April 29 in Portland, Oregon
1908 Daughter Willamine Mary born on August 5 in Portland, Oregon
1909 Left the pastorate to enter business, working as a boxer and boxing promoter, then started an oil service company
ca. 1912 Reconversion of Rader in New York City
1912-1914 Caretaker and eventually assistant pastor of CMA Tabernacle, Pittsburgh, under the mentoring of pastor E. D. Whiteside
ca. 1913 Served as a song leader and assistant at several meetings around the country led by A. B. Simpson
1914 Became full-time itinerant evangelist
Evangelistic meetings in Toledo, Ohio
1915 Evangelistic meetings in Chicago, Illinois
Call to the pulpit of Moody Church of Chicago on February 3
Held evangelistic meetings during the summer in a tent at the corner of LaSalle, North, and Clark Streets
Moody Tabernacle, at the site of the summer meetings, was opened on November 7 as the center of Moody Church's evangelistic program in the city. The old church building on Chicago Avenue was sold in 1917
1916 Daughter Harriet Ellen born on April 1
1917 Evangelistic campaign in June at the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles, California, during which Charles Fuller was converted
1919-1924 President of CMA (was vice-president, succeeded A. B. Simpson on his death)
1919 Evangelistic campaign in New York
1920 Tour of Alliance missions between May and October
1921 Tabernacle Publishing Company formed on April 19
Left Moody Church in September
1921-1922 Revival tour of southeastern United States in late-1921 and early-1922
1922 Gospel Missionary Association formed on April 3 by Rader and Johnson to form the organizational basis of a summer evangelistic campaign in Chicago
Founded World Wide Christian Couriers
Broadcast over the Chicago municipal station (WBU) from city hall over the next two weeks starting June 3. Broadcast at irregular intervals from different stations for the next three years
Steel Tent holds first meeting on June 18. The campaign was announced as ending on Labor Day. Shortly before the end of the meeting, Rader and the staff of the meetings decide to establish the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle as a permanent church
First great missionary rally on September 17 (by 1932 were supporting 192 missionaries around the world)
1923 Evangelistic campaign in Philadelphia
1924 Rader resigned as president of the C&MA in January
Development of the Young People's Life Investment Movement, which involved young people in evangelistic outreach around Chicago
1925 Paul Rader givens the invocation at the first day of broadcasting of new Chicago radio station, WHT.
Beginning of regular radio broadcasts, starting on April 26, over station WHT, owned by once and future Chicago mayor, William H. Thompson. Rader agrees to provide fifteen hours of Sunday programming for the next ten years.
Held a memorial day picnic on May 30 at Tower Lakes Park in northern Illinois. 2000 people attended. This was the first of a series of church related events throughout the summer. But later in the year, Rader sold the land and instead made plans for a summer camp facility at Lake Harbor, Michigan
Evangelistic campaign in Ocean Grove, New Jersey
First issue of National Radio Chapel Announcer in December, a glossy magazine of over fifty pages about the Tabernacle's radio programs and other activities. With the June 1926 issue the name was changed to World Wide Christian Courier. The magazine was discontinued in mid1932
1926 Rader filled the pulpit of Angelus Temple from January through March during Aimee Semple McPherson's absence
Fourth annual Missionary conference, May 5-9
Chicago Gospel Tabernacle purchased a 217 acre site in May (including a half mile of beach front) in Lake Harbor, Michigan for a summer camp. Years later, after the Tabernacle has sold the property, this became the site of Maranatha Bible Camp
Opening of Lake Harbor summer conference grounds near Muskegon, Michigan, in June
World Wide Christian Couriers formed, ca. June, as a corporation to replace the Gospel Missionary Association. WWCC served as the corporate base for all of Rader's evangelistic activities, including the Tabernacle
Evangelistic campaign in Philadelphia, September 13-November 28
1927 Rader supporter Albert M. Johnson purchased the lot on which the Tabernacle stood.
The Tabernacle's Sunday broadcasts on WHT reduced to five hours in June because of Federal Radio Commission regulations
Clarence Jones, of the Tabernacle staff, dedicates his life to foreign missions during a summer conference at Lake Harbor. He begins plans which eventually result in his founding, with Reuben Larsen, missionary radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador
Reached agreement in September with station WJBT for Sunday broadcasts and the use of WBBM's transmitter
Christian Courier Club formed at the Tabernacle. The purpose was to involve laymen in evangelistic efforts, visiting homes, factories and prisons and holding street meetings
1928 F. F. Bosworth starts a series of evangelistic meetings (January 4- ?) at the tabernacle, with the Tindley Jubilee Gospel Singers
Paul Rader holds evangelistic meetings in Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 14-18
Sixth Missionary Conference, May 30-June 3
The Metropolitan Tabernacle (soon renamed the Cosmopolitan Tabernacle) started in Toronto on September 9, under leadership of Oswald J. Smith, who becomes the World-Wide Christian Courier's Canadian Director. The Tabernacle met in Massey Hall.
River Lake Gospel Tabernacle, under the leadership of Luke Rader (brother of Paul) opened on November 18 in Minneapolis. It is closely affiliated with the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle. The Tabernacle grew out of meetings Luke Rader held in the city beginning in July. The Tabernacle continues to be a prominent church in the city for years to come
1929 Gerald B. Winrod becomes interim pastor of the Tabernacle in July while Rader is away on his missionary journey
Missionary journey (August 5-December 25) by Rader to visit missionaries supported by the Tabernacle and to lead evangelistic meetings in 22 cities, including Tokyo, Peking, and Shanghai. His travels took him to China, Japan, Borneo, India, Palestine, France, and England.
On his way home from London , Rader broadcast on December 22 on the ocean to 4,000 in the Tabernacle as well as the radio audience
Postcard of Paul Rader with a facsimile of his signature. These cards were available in the Tabernacle bookstand. Undated.
click to see enlargement
1930 Tabernacle "Breakfast Brigade" broadcasts were carried over twenty-six stations (starting on April 28) on the east coast and the midwest over the CBS Network at 7am for seven days a week. The arrangement proved too expensive and was canceled by the summer.
Billy Sunday led evangelistic meetings at the Tabernacle, May 25-31
Lake Harbor Conference Ground opened for the season on June 28, which continued until September 1.
Rader led evangelistic meetings in Dixon, Illinois, July 20-August 16
The Tabernacle ended its broadcasts over WJBT on August 17. The Tabernacle continued to broadcast a few hours of programs over a variety of stations until the beginning of 1933.
Held meetings in Los Angeles
W. B. Hogg joined the Tabernacle and served as Rader's replacement during Rader's world wide missionary journey
Richard W. Oliver, of the Tabernacle staff, died in an auto accident on October 22
Farewell ceremony on November 2 for Rader and the missionaries traveling with him. His trip would include Toronto and Montreal, Ireland (where he held evangelistic meetings), Scotland, England, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Palestine, India, Singapore, Java, Bali, Borneo, the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vancouver
Rader held a revival campaign in Belfast, Ireland, November 16-December 7
1931 Rader began an evangelistic campaign in Bombay, India, on January 10
Rader returns to Chicago from his missionary tour on May 4
Missionary conference, May 4-10
Evangelistic meetings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in July lead by Ralph Rader, led to the start of a Tabernacle in that city, under George Ziemer
Clarence Jones, his family, and transmitter for the missionary radio station in Ecuador, HCJB, was dedicated to the Lord's service on the platform of the Tabernacle on August 2. Tabernacle members provide much of the support for the early ministry of HCJB.
Series of evangelistic meetings in Detroit in August leads to the formation of a Tabernacle in that city, under Rev. E. J. Rollings
Milwaukee Tabernacle opened in September
C. L. Eicher resigned as director of the Tabernacle's mission program on November 5
A Family Foundation was set up to help people in economic distress
1932 Rader led evangelistic meetings in Los Angeles in January, which resulted in the founding of a Tabernacle in that city, pastored by W. B. Hogg. Paul Fleming dedicated his life to the Lord during these meetings
The Tabernacle staff led by Rader redesigned the World Wide Christian Couriers to become a network of small clubs of men and women that studied the Bible and engaged in grass roots evangelism in their neighborhoods. Handbooks and other curriculum were prepared to help train them and bi-monthly conference were held to exchange experiences and help build enthusiasm. By the fall, sixteen other tabernacle, mainly in Midwestern cities, were starting Courier clubs in their cities. By the end of the year, fifty Courier classes were going in Chicago.
Rader holds evangelistic meetings in Plattsville, Illinois, in May and starts a tabernacle there.
Annual missionary conference, May 29-June 4
Paul Rader's Pantry formed (ca. June) to gather and can food for the needy. By the end of the year, the Pantry had fed 41,000 families, including 100,000 children
Chicago mayor Anthony Cermak participated in 10th anniversary celebration
First issue of The Courier, an eight page newspaper of Tabernacle activities, with emphasis on the Courier Clubs, is published on October 8
By October, in a number of cities throughout the Midwest, Rader has either started a Tabernacle or entered into some kind of affiliation with an existing independent church. These churches served as centers for Courier clubs. There are affiliated tabernacles in Akron, Appleton, Aurora, Des Moines, Detroit, Freeport, Elgin, Galesburg, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Muscatine, Platteville, Mt. Clemmens, Royal Oaks, and Zion.
A.M. Johnson no longer able to maintain the payments (October) on the lot in which the Tabernacle stood. Rader personally signed a note taking over the payments.
First Tamasha (Courier bi-monthly conference) held at the Tabernacle on November 18
Toward the end of the year, several of the Tabernacle staff had to be let go because of lack of funds
Radio program The Back Home Hour went off the air in December. It was later continued by Luke Rader, among others.
1933 Paul Rader went to Los Angeles on February 12 to attend to difficulties with the tabernacle in that city. Clarence Ericksen substituted for him in Chicago. Rader then was legally unable to leave California because of the debts owed by the Los Angeles Tabernacle
Because of lack of funds, Tabernacle radio ministry went off the air in February
Because of overwhelming debts against the World Wide Couriers organization, Rader decided in April the Couriers should declare bankruptcy and severed it from the Tabernacle, and resigned as pastor. Clarence Ericksen became his successor, assisted by Merrill Dunlop.
Last issue of The Courier published on April 29
Lance Latham founds the North Side Gospel Center in Chicago and is joined by several Tabernacle families. The first service is held on Easter Sunday. Latham, who had been in charge of Tabernacle Scouts, the Tabernacle's program for boys and the White Shirt Brigade, a boys choir, later (1950) founded the Awana Clubs, a Christian youth ministry
Rader received DD and LLD from Bob Jones College on May 31
Rader led summer revival meetings during the Chicago World's Fair
The Chicago Gospel Tabernacle resumes the broadcasting in the Fall of "The Heaven and Home Hour" under Clarence Ericksen
1934 Rader led summer revival meetings during the Chicago World's Fair
WWCC was reorganized at the World Wide Gospel Couriers on August 10
1935 Bankruptcy of the World Wide Christian Couriers finally resolved in court and assets divided in May
Rader became pastor of the Fort Wayne Gospel Tabernacle in Fort Wayne, Indiana until 1936. Paul Fleming, who later founded New Tribes Mission, was assistant pastor.
Evangelistic meetings in Detroit
1937 Chicago Gospel Tabernacle incorporated as a church in March
Paul Rader's preaching tour of Great Britain cut short by illness
1938 Returned to California in the United States in January. Remained ill and in the late spring was admitted to Hollywood Hospital.
Died on July 19 in Hollywood Hospital, Los Angeles, California of cancer of the prostate
Funeral services on July 22 at the First Presbyterian Church, Hollywood attended by over 2,500. Buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California
1939 World Wide Christian Couriers was dissolved in January
1963 Congregation sells the Tabernacle building and moves to another building on Sheffield Avenue, retaining the name "Chicago Gospel Tabernacle." The original building became a supermarket and later a sports supply store.
1979 The congregation of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle disbanded. Remaining financial assets are given to missionaries the church supported and to Moody Bible Institute to start the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle-Paul Rader fund to support education for inner-city students.
click for exhibit samples
from Accession 01-21, Box 5 from Collection 38, Box 3, Folder 10 from PF: Rader, Daniel Paul
conversion story
Photo postcard
of Rader
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Wheaton College 2005