Billy Graham Center

Earl Austin Winsor - Collection 93

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Earl Austin Winsor

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)


Transcript 1

Transcript 2

Transcript 3

Brief Description.

Tapes of three interviews with Winsor discussing his years at Wheaton as a student (1919-1920) and teacher (1920-25, history, and 1939-1949, math and physics) and his missionary experiences in Africa under Africa Inland Mission, serving in what is now Zaire. Wheaton personalities, mission experiences, especially those relating to his education work, and analysis of his exposure to African government, churches, tribal customs, and health practices. Interviews were recorded in October and November 1979 and in January 1980. These tapes are part of the Missionary Sources Collection.

Collection 93
[February 11, 2000]
Winsor, Earl Austin; 1897-
Interviews; October, 1979-January, 1980

3 Reels of Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.



Earl Austin Winsor was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1897, the only boy in a family of five children. His boyhood days were spent in Worcester where he later attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduating in 1919 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. After his father's death, his mother and other sisters moved to Wheaton in 1919. He was urged by an older sister to enter Wheaton College for some liberal arts exposure. Wheaton awarded him a B.A. in history in 1920 and then hired him to fill a vacancy in the history department. Winsor taught at Wheaton until 1925, during which time he earned a Master's degree in history and economics from the University of Iowa.

Winsor and his wife, Mary Park Winsor, left Wheaton in 1926 for their first term as missionaries in the Belgian Congo under the direction of Africa Inland Mission. During his first years on the field, 1926-1936, Winsor worked on various jobs and projects such as part-time supervisor of school work on the field, field treasurer, teacher in evangelistic school, legal representative for AIM on the field, supervised distribution of literature from various Bible societies, and Principal at Rethy Academy.

From 1939-1949 Winsor lived in Wheaton teaching math and physics at the college. He was prevented from returning to Africa due to World War II and family health problems. Mr. Winsor's wife died in 1947 leaving him with two children, a daughter Faith and a son Arthur Austin.

Winsor was persuaded by the AIM board to return to the Congo. In 1949 he entrusted his children to the care of some Wheaton families and went to Belgium for courses in language study and educational philosophy. From Belgium Winsor went directly to the Congo where he was to help organize and administer a higher level of work in mission schools. All the work was done alone until 1959 when he married Ada Rury, a health nurse at Wheaton. They served in the Congo together until they were forced to permanently evacuate in 1964. Mr. Winsor taught in a girls school in Kenya from 1964 until 1968, when he retired from AIM. The Winsors live in Wheaton with his sister in their home near the college. Mr. Winsor's involvement in missions continues as he works each morning at Greater Europe Missions.

Scope and Content

Mr. Winsor was interviewed in his home by Mary Ann Buffington on October 30, 1979; November 6, 1979; and January 7, 1980. The tim period covered by the interview is ca. ca. l900 to l980. Time elapsed in minutes and seconds is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview. The index is keyed to the cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

Tape T1 - Side 1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Introduction
00:50 Reason for coming to Wheaton
01:26 First taught at Wheaton after graduation
02:24 Wheaton enrollment
03:09 Teaching Wheaton - 5 years
03:25 Reasons for choosing Wheaton Liberal Arts Education
04:13 Wheaton tradition - seniors wrote essays and delivered them in chapel
05:13 Interest in missions developed while at Wheaton
05:27 Influence of parents as they supported Christian Missionary Alliance
05:41 Type churches found in hometown in Massachusetts
07:21 His older sister went to the mission field
07:45 Mission agency he went out under - AIM along with 3 other sisters
08:59 Furlough - 1939
09:13 Death of his first wife to cancer
09:49 Provision of his children so he could return to the field
10:25 Returned to Africa - 10 years alone
10:40 Married second wife who was Wheaton College Health nurse
10:56 Means of travel to field
11:30 How long it took to reach field
11:41 Discussion on AIM and missionary financial support
12:11 Acquisition of AIM materials
13:00 All family were assigned to same station
13:45 1939-1949 years in United States. Taught at Wheaton, tenure twice
14:37 Financial support during the depression
15:11 Missionary salaries
15:21 Salary uses for support and mission work
16:12 Supplemental support by College Church
17:11 Changing mission procedures, individual support
17:41 First term jobs, help upgrade school work
18:51 First General Field Conference
19:13 Development of school, Dr. Hurlburt - General Director of AIM
20:05 How many schools AIM had
20:40 Curriculum - years
20:57 Course work
21:52 Need for education to benefit trade
22:31 Occupations of Africans
23:02 Size of mission station
23:17 Jobs as Field Treasurer and work on printing press
24:22 Response to the language barrier
25:30 Tribal customs
26:31 Accessibility to large cities
27:33 Governmental control by the Belgians
28:59 Means of disciplinary control (whip)
30:00 Colonial government - responsible to colonial development until independence
30:57 (Roads) Developments of the mines
31:46 Crops - improvement and testing
32:11 Domesticated animals and blood stock
33:00 Government cooperation in mission activity with Catholics
34:25 Changing attitudes toward Protestants
35:15 Arrangement of mission groups in Africa
35:42 Seventh Day Adventist
36:19 Religion of native Africans and problems with accepting Christianity
38:42 Witchcraft felt to be essential part of their life
38:52 Belgium medical program
39:28 Deterioration of hospitals and dispensaries
40:50 Rules for medical personnel as established by the Belgians
42:10 Living on mission station with a hospital
42:53 Return to Africa second term, Principal Rethy Academy
44:39 Number of pupils
45:07 End of Side 1

Tape T1 - Side 2
00:00 Beginning of Side 2
00:07 Teaching duties at Rethy Academy
01:45 Organized on American School lines
02:30 Dormitories for the students
03:00 Political situation in 1939
04:00 Evacuations - first 1959
04:45 Language School - 1949 when (Belgium) Protestant Mission could participate in subsidized schools
08:00 Orientation sessions in Belgium for educators and medical workers
08:30 Knowledge of French allowed him to be helpful in getting mission materials through customs
09:00 Legal representative for AIM
09:15 Belgium school - 1949
10:00 Return to Africa 1950 job - Director of Education
10:45 Actual operation of schools and personnel
13:00 Supervised and inspected the schools
13:15 Furlough
14:00 Political unrest
14:30 Changing attitudes of the natives
14:45 Propaganda
15:15 Simba rebellion and people's changing attitudes
16:30 Furlough in 1962
16:45 Evacuation
17:30 Went to Uganda
17:45 Description of first evacuation
18:15 Second evacuation
19:15 Wife college nurse at Wheaton
19:45 Second evacuation returned in June
24:00 Condition of mission stations upon return
24:30 Third evacuation to Kenya
25:00 Remarried in Kenya and taught
25:45 Courses he taught
26:00 Retired to Wheaton
26:30 Media - AIM retirement home
27:15 Winsor's retirement activities
28:00 Staff in African schools
28:15 Teacher education
29:00 Organization of schools
31:30 Trends in numbers of missionaries
33:30 Two main trade languages
34:30 Presently number missionaries on field is reduced
35:00 Better roads under Belgium
36:30 Maintain trade communication
39:15 Modern mission stations
39:45 Staff in hospital (where sister is stationed)
41:00 Diseases in which missionaries came in contact
43:00 Television and radio programs
45:15 Governmental structure
46:45 Conclusion

Tape T2 - Side 1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Introduction
00:37 Family background
02:24 Children in his family
03:04 Church affiliation
07:19 Dr. Blanchard his attitude toward transportation
07:79 Early childhood experience
08:41 When did you decide to make your public profession of faith
10:44 Life in Wheaton after his father died
11:34 Reasons for moving to Wheaton
12:57 His mother's profession
14:05 Your first impression of the campus
14:58 Seeing physical surroundings
15:52 Wheaton buildings
16:00 Observatory, Wayside Inn
18:27 Tower at Blanchard Hall, front campus
19:57 Wheaton personalities
20:52 Pierce Chapel
26:14 Dr. Blanchard
28:14 Student body enrollment when he came, 150-200
28:40 Wheaton personalities
32:40 Disciplinary Committee
33:23 Wheaton athletics
33:46 Faculty member in addition to earlier ones
34:29 Dr. Rice (Ed.) trying to get college upgraded for accreditation
35:16 Dr. Buswell - Wheaton President
36:01 Changes in staff
37:16 Reminiscences of Dr. Blanchard, faculty-student baseball team
38:30 Construction on Pierce Chapel
38:37 He married in Pierce Chapel
38:50 Professor Fisher, math and German professor
39:26 Events around death of Dr. Blanchard
40:42 Dr. Buswell invited to come for week of special meetings held on campus
42:25 Events during Edman's administration
45:00 End of Side 1

Tape T2 - Side 2
00:00 Beginning of Side 2
00:30 Edman's Presidency
01:00 Return to Wheaton as a teacher in 1942
01:15 Physics department
04:15 Complexion of student body
08:45 Spiritual revivals of significance that took place during tenure at Wheaton
12:15 People who impressed Winsor while at Wheaton, speakers who came to campus
28:00 Powerful personalities on campus
33:15 Extra curricular activity involvement
36:45 Conclusion

Tape T3 - Side 1 (Click to link to the transcript of this tape)
00:00 Introduction
01:25 Cultural effects on the missionary and the Third World Church
04:38 Language barrier
08:09 Taboos and fears of the Africans
10:36 Arousal of national consciousness
12:31 Synchretism
13:55 Problem with Africans reverting to their old ways
14:40 Problems in church after African leadership established
15:17 Tribal concept of the Supreme Being
18:26 Found tribal stories that were parallel to Bible stories
19:56 Taboos, anecdotes follow
26:19 Account of attitudes surrounding the death of an old villager
26:55 Primitive life is connected with many fears
28:55 Government of the national church
33:35 Government pro-Catholic attitude in schools in early days
33:55 Intermission organization organized
35:21 Church that developed under each mission become independent, nationals in leadership
37:26 Six fields in Africa held by AIM
38:04 Bishop of the church of Uganda from one of AIM's mission area
39:41 Expatriot attitudes toward new national rule
40:40 Old missionaries giving way to new leadership and methods of doing things
41:45 Relations between the missionary and the church
42:16 Severe period of testing in church of Tanzania
43:48 Completed transition in Kenya from missionary to national leadership
44:05 Search for leader since death has claimed the leader of national forces
45:00 End of Side 1

Tape T3 - Side 2
00:00 Beginning of Side 2
00:03 Political leaders changed after the death of Kenyatta
02:45 National leadership in the churches in Zaire
03:45 Missionary's relation to the national church
05:45 African's concept and attitudes toward religion
08:15 Tribal organization
09:45 Leadership in churches (organization)
12:15 Church discipline
19:45 How church organization developed
20:45 Future of missions in Africa
28:00 Reception of Africans to Protestant education
31:00 Girls schools
31:45 Government subsidized schools
34:00 Bible Evangelist School
35:00 Curriculum
37:45 Government controlled schools
39:45 Conclusion and summary
42:00 Conclusion


These materials were received by the Center in October, 1979, and January, 1980.

Location: Tape File

Accession: 79-125, 79-128, 80-1
March 5, 1980
Mary Ann Buffington
S. Kouns

Entered, March 23, 1993
M.L. Wohlschlegel
K. Baisley

Revised, June 16, 1993
M.L. Larson

Revised, February 11, 2000
R. Shuster

Accession: 79-125, 79-128, 80-1
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following item is located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

#T1 - Reel-to-reel tape, 3-3/4 ips, 92 minutes. Interview of Winsor by Mary Ann Buffington in which he discusses his work as a missionary in the Belgian Congo and Kenya. October 30, 1979. One side.

#T2 - Reel-to-reel tape, 3 3/4 ips, 81 minutes. Interview of Winsor by Buffington in which he discusses his education at Wheaton College and his work at College later as a teacher November 6, 1979. One side.

#T3 - Reel-to-reel tape, 3 3/4 ips, 87 minutes. Interview of Winsor by Buffington in which he discusses his work in central Africa as a missionary and the development of Christian missions and the church in that region. January 7, 1980. One side.

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Last Revised: 9/05/02
Expiration: indefinite