Billy Graham Center

Interview with Gladys Marie Fleckles - Collection 122

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Gladys Marie Fleckles

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Transcript T1

Transcript T2

Brief Description.
Missionary Sources Collection interview with Fleckles about her short term missionary experience with OMF in Japan. Other topics include her graduate work at Wheaton, undergraduate study at John Brown University, and work in the admissions department of Wheaton Graduate School.

Collection 122
[December 12, 2006]
Fleckles, Gladys Marie; 1946-2006
Interview; May, 1980

2 Reels of Audio Tape


There are not restrictions on the use of this collection.


Gladys Marie Fleckles, born April 14, 1946, was the oldest of four children of Virginia Marie and William Henry Fleckles. After graduating from a Chicago suburban high school, Fleckles worked as a staff assistant for the national buying offices of Sears, Roebuck and Company. In 1967 she went to John Brown University where she received a B.A. degree in Theology/Philosophy in 1971.

In 1972 Fleckles went to Japan as part of a short term missions project with Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF). Serving as Administrative Assistant in OMF's Japan headquarters located in Sapporo, her duties included creating and conducting personal development study series for Japanese housewives, afternoon workshop sessions, mini-seminars, and annual weekend conferences for missionaries.

After Fleckles' return to the States, she worked as an assistant for Dr. John Robinson of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. Some of her projects included coordinating a training workshop for Mexican leaders and assisting in a singles weekend conference. In 1976 she began work as a staff member in the Wheaton Graduate School in addition to her graduate work in counseling. In 1980 she served as Assistant to the Director of Admissions in the Wheaton Graduate School and resided in Wheaton. She later became Director of Graduate Affairs at California State University, Fullerton and lived in Irvine, California. She died April 22, 2006.

Scope and Content

Miss Gladys Fleckles was interviewed by Mr. John Svadbik twice in May 1980. The time period covered by the interviews is 1972-1980. 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. Due to a recorder malfunction, most of the first tape is blank.

Tape 1 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
01:25 Introduction
01:50 Family background
04:00 Educational background
05:41 Future career plans
07:10 College activities
09:20 Influential teachers and classmates
11:05 Activities after college graduation
11:40 Reasons for choosing Japan
12:10 Reasons for choosing OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship)
15:10 Interest stirred for missions
16:55 [Discontinuation of recording]

Tape 2 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:30 Introduction
00:55 Involvement and interest in missions (OMF)
02:35 Interest in Japan
04:15 Strategy OMF used in reaching Christ
05:10 Number of OMF workers in Japan and location
06:05 Preparation for Japanese missions
07:45 Route to Japan and transportation used
08:30 First impressions of Japan
09:35 Culture shock
11:50 Responsibilities in Japan
12:40 Activities beyond the daily job responsibilities
15:00 Visits to other mission stations in Japan
15:40 Opportunities and problems of urban atmosphere
17:00 Class structure of the population
18:35 Problems with the Japanese language
19:50 Problems with nationalistic attitudes against religion (foreigners)
21:15 Cultural influence in the Church--often the pastor was stereotyped from American theology and same problem with music
23:25 Effective evangelism methods
25:00 Education and medical work
26:25 Typical Japanese reactions to the gospel
28:45 Japanese pastors
28:55 Typical Japanese folk service
30:10 Aims of OMF and missionaries
31:50 Social opportunities for nationals by the mission
33:35 Racial or ethnic problems
34:05 Government response to missionaries
34:50 Nationals' attitude to missionaries
35:15 Anti-Western attitudes
36:35 Relations with neighboring countries
37:25 Dispute between Japan and Russia
39:10 OMF School for Bible Study
39:15 Japanese economy
40:45 Industrialization problems
44:30 Christian colleges
44:50 Attitude toward foreign investors in Japan
46:05 Effects of increased population on the cities
47:05 End of side 1

Tape 2 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 [Overlap from side 1]
01:00 Relationship between various mission boards in Japan
03:00 Catholic mission effort in Japan
04:15 Cultural issues that separated missionaries from the church
08:00 National Church perception of the missionary influence
09:15 Recommended training for future missionaries
12:35 Feelings about leaving Japan
14:00 Continued involvement with Japan after return to U.S.
15:30 Return to U.S. and personal activities
16:35 Interest in lay evangelism
19:05 Involvement with the Graham Center
20:40 Graduate School--Wheaton College
23:55 Effects of being both a student and an employee
25:25 Activities as a Wheaton student
26:25 Influential Wheaton teachers
27:50 Benefits of a longer time in graduate studies
30:05 Career objectives
31:15 How graduate work has contributed to life's goals
33:25 Suggestions for meaningful graduate school experience
35:40 Recommendations for improving graduate program at Wheaton
38:15 Applications of Japanese mission work on Christian life
44:50 Concluding remarks
45:15 End of tape


The materials for this collection were received by the Center in May 1980 from Gladys Fleckles.

Accession 80-63
August 15, 1980
Mary Ann Buffington
John Svadbik
S. Kouns

Accession 80-63
Type of material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE. Request by the Tape number at the beginning of each entry below.

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 17 minutes. Interview of Gladys Fleckles by John Svadbik on May 3, 1980.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 92 minutes. Interview of Gladys Fleckles by John Svadbik on May 5, 1980.

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Last Revised: 9/05/02
Expiration: indefinite