Since we are migrating our website to a new platform, we will no longer be updating this earlier version our site. Please visit our Archon database for online guide descriptions. In early 2018, look for our new site, currently under construction, linked in the BGC Archives section on the Library and Archives page. (12/11/2017)
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Evangelical Missions Information Service, Inc. (EMIS) is described in the twelfth edition of MARC's Mission Handbook as an "interdenominational specialized service agency of evangelical tradition providing information service to mission executives, missionaries, professors, pastors, laymen, church and school libraries and overseas church leaders through publications, consultations, and workshops."
EMIS's history can be traced back to 1917 when the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association (IFMA) was founded as a confederation of faith missions. In 1945, a similar organization for denominational as well as nondenominational missions was established in the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association (EFMA). In 1980, IFMA listed some fifty member missions while the EFMA included eighty in its membership. Both organizations stated the sharing of information as a primary objective, and in 1954 each launched a digest of missionary news/prayer requests/reports/etc.: IFMA News and the EFMA's Missionary News Service.
In 1962, the idea of "a missionary digest magazine"--to quote IFMA minutes--was brought forward at the IFMA annual meeting. The following year, IFMA and EFMA approved a joint committee charged with the task of founding this magazine. On December 4, 1963, the Joint EFMA-IFMA Committee on Missions Quarterly" held its first meeting at the Christian Literature Crusade headquarters in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. This meeting was attended by EFMA representatives Horace L. Fenton, Jr., Kenneth Adams, and Wade T. Coggins; and IFMA representatives Edwin L. Frizen, Jr., Ralph B. Odman, and James W. Reapsome. This meeting established a Board of Directors of eight members (four from each association) and a stated purpose of the embryonic journal: "to glorify God through the encouragement and inspiration of evangelical Christians who are dedicated in obedience to the command of Jesus Christ to the proclamation of the Gospel of the Son of God to the whole world." The committee members christened the journal The Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ).
The Board of Directors in charge of EMQ formed a nonprofit corporation, which filed its Articles of Incorporation under District of Columbia law on March 26, 1964, and took the name Evangelical Missions Information Service. A 48-page pilot project was authorized on a budget for the first year of $8,600.00 (although no salaries were figured into this amount; fifteen years later, EMIS's budget was $79,000). James Reapsome was appointed as managing editor. By September 1964 a total of 2,747 subscriptions had been received, and the first issue of EMQ was published at four thousand copies in October.
In the words of EMIS itself, "In its long-range planning, the EMIS Board envisioned the launching of the Quarterly as the first step toward ultimate establishment of an evangelical information center for the gather and disseminating of strategic data and information which would benefit their member missions and missionaries." Although incorporated in 1964, it remained for several years only as the publisher of EMQ. The twenty-one mission executive delegates to the 1967 "Think Conference" at Glen Eyrie, Colorado, according to its report, "recommended that [EMIS] be charged to study the establishing of a research center, or to otherwise provide research services for evangelical missions..." The Conference sketched out the parameters of this Center and recommended action in order to achieve the goal. Osborne Buchanan was appointed Acting Director. In 1969, offices were moved to Wheaton, Illinois, and Vergil Gerber became the first Executive Director of the new EMIS Information Center. He was succeeded upon his retirement in 1981 by Associate Executive Director David A. Hoffer, who was in turn succeeded by James W. Reapsome in 1982.
With the establishment of the Information Center in 1969, EMIS grew rapidly as it took over the publication of other periodicals and developed further ones. In 1967, the first issue of Latin American Pulse appeared, under the auspices of the joint IFMA-EFMA Evangelical Committee on Latin America (ECLA); in 1970, EMIS assumed responsibility for this journal and that same year launched PULSE editions for Africa, Asia, and Europe. In 1972, Muslim World Pulse was added, as was Chinese World Pulse in 1977. In 1970, the reference periodical Emissary began publication and the same year the EFMA transferred Missionary News Service to EMIS production. In 1967, EMIS received another responsibility when it absorbed the functions of the Congress Continuing Committee--an outgrowth of the 1966 Congress on the Church's Worldwide mission held in Wheaton, Illinois.
Another concern of EMIS was the planning of consultations and workshops on mission-related topics. In 1970, EMIS coordinated two such affairs (actually sponsored by ECLA): the Elburn Consultation on Latin America (Elburn, Illinois) and the Haitian Consultation (Miami, Florida). The following year, EMIS directed a Major Study Conference at Green Lake, Wisconsin, involved with the single topic of church-mission relationships. This conference produced a comprehensive report of 384 pages published by William Carey Library, Missions in Creative Tension; The Green Lake '71 Compendium. Between 1972 and 1980, EMIS sponsored 73 evangelism/church growth workshops in fifty nations, beginning with a pilot experiment in Venezuela.
From 1972 to 1976, EMIS provided charter flight service for missionaries with Affinity Travel under the direction of former China missionary J. Morris Rockness, who was loaned by Overseas Missionary Fellowship for the project.
Scope and Content
[NOTE: In the Scope and Content description, the notation, "folder 1-1" means box 1, folder 1]
The EMIS records are comprised of office files which reflect the activity of the organization, including its publication, conference-arrangement, and travel-arrangement functions. The filing system used by EMIS produced folders concerning various Evangelical organizations and events, each of which can be studied as a unit of material unto itself, or in relation to the collection as a whole.
Three loose-leaf notebooks (folders 6-15, 7-1, and 7-2) comprise the core of EMIS "official" documentation. Included here are copies of all meeting minutes, reports, etc., pertaining to the corporation known as EMIS. They are filed chronologically; however, nothing was entered between late 1964 and 1967. Folders 1-9 and 1-10 contain annual and semiannual reports of the director.
The initial focus of EMIS was the publication of Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ). Folders 3-19 to 4-10 cover a series of quarterly meetings of the editorial board, winter 1969 to winter 1972. These files contain manuscripts of submitted articles and correspondence about those articles. Some topics dealt with are:
Folder Topics3-19 IFMA meeting's keynote address
Reprints of various articles from EMQ produced en masse for separate distribution can be found in folder 1-11. Most were authored by Vergil Gerber or James Reapsome.
Missionary News Service (MNS), a sorting house for evangelical mission news global in scope, was first published in 1954 and taken over by EMIS in 1970. Collection 218 includes a complete run of MMS, 1975-1980 (folders 6-4 to 6-9), lacking 1976 issues 9, 20, and 21, and 1980 issue 5. Folders 8-2 to 8-5 concern issues of Pulse, edited by C. Peter Wagner and published since 1967, which were being put together in 1972-1973. These files roughly parallel the EMQ editorial board series, described above, in content. Folder 3-10 contains extensive correspondence with editor Wagner, 1967-1969. A further set of publications of EMIS were the "Special Reports" produced for distribution to missionaries and organizations. See Container List, folders 8-10 to 8-22, for a list of the topics of these reports.
Records for two conferences sponsored by EMIS are included in Collection 218. The 1971 "Missions in Creative Tension" study conference (held September 27 to October 1 in Green Lake, Wisconsin) is thoroughly documented in folders 5-4 to 5-14. Vergil Gerber coordinated the assembly of 406 delegates from 106 missions; eighteen key national leaders from fourteen countries served as resource personnel for this intensive inspection of "the problems and possible solutions of church-mission tensions." Folder 5-15 contains information about the 1970 consultation on Haitian missions. Another conference, not sponsored by EMIS but heavily influenced by it, was the 1967 "Think Conference" held in Glen Eyrie, Colorado (folder 8-27). This file includes texts of papers delivered at the meetings. See also folder 6-10, National Liberty Foundation, which was a sponsor of the Think Conference. There are also several files on the 1966 Congress on the Church's Worldwide Mission (folders 2-15 through 3-4). Folder 4-17 contains the 1970 "Frankfurt Declaration on the Fundamental Crisis in Christian Mission," which was written in the style of the 1966 Wheaton Declaration prepared by the Congress just mentioned. Included in the folder are worldwide reactions to the declaration.
Folders 1-2 to 1-7 detail EMIS involvement with "Affinity Travel" charter flight service, which in its years of operation (1972-1976) realized a savings of thousands of dollars to EFMA/IFMA member missions. This set of files offers a complete documentation on the function of Affinity Travel. Folder 1-6, "Records Prior to Charter Program," is actually several individual files which were bound together with this note of explanation: "Virgil [Gerber]: I think for your records (at least for a year or two more) you will want to keep these files. They give the background to EMIS beginnings in the charter program. J. M[oris] R[ockness]." For reasons of provenance, these files have been catalogued as a unit.
General correspondence (folders 4-18 to 5-3) is available for 1970 to 1977. The 1971-1974 correspondence has circulation records interfiled within it. Circulation files for 1975 were not present in the accessioned material; those for 1976 and 1978 were discarded and the files for 1977 retained (folders 2-1 to 2-4) as representative of this type of material. In the unprocessed accession, there was general correspondence 1975 to 1977 for L-Z only; folders for A-K were received, but empty.
The "organizations" series (folders 7-3 to 7-31) contains correspondence, publications, and other information concerning various mission boards with whom EMIS had dealings--see Container List for names of boards. A comprehensive view of Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society work is found in folder 3-5. Collection 218 also contains several files on organizations concerned with Latin American mission work. Difusiones InterAmericanas (folder 3-12) discusses Evangelical electronic communications--radio and television; folder 8-7, Servicio Evangelico de Infomacion, contains scattered issues, numbers 5 through 35, of the information bulletin by that name, published in Uruguay by Unidad Evangelica Latino Americano de Evangelismo held in San Antonio, Texas. EMIS interest in Latin America is reflected in the number of folders whose contents are substantially in Spanish, including 2-5, 2-6, 2-7, 3-8, 3-12, 5-26, 8-7, 8-8, and 8-28. Folder 5-30 has information about relief work done in Nicaragua when its capitol city, Managua, was leveled by an earthquake late in 1972. The Catholic Inter-American Cooperation Program (CICOP), sponsored by the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Latin America, in cooperation with the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Episcopal Council of Latin america is documented in folders concerning two successive annual meetings. The theme of the fourth annual meetings (1967, folder 1-3) was "The Integration of Man and Society in Latin America: A Christian View." The theme of the fifth (1968, folder 1-14) was "Cultural Factors in Inter-American Relationships: Bond or Barrier?" A thick file of correspondence, addresses, and articles to, from, and about James and Margaret Goff (folder 3-9) discusses United States missionary effort viewed as an extension of American imperialism, supporting vicious "rightest regimes" in Latin America under the mask of anti-communism. Countries covered include Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Uruguay. There is extensive material on liberation theology. The Goffs were associated with Latinamerica Press, the English language publication of Noticlas Aliadas, in Lima, Peru.
Folder 8-24, "Strictly Confidential," includes material about the joint EFMA/ IFMA Evangelical Committee on Latin America, Oral Roberts' evangelistic work in Chile, and communist infiltration in Colombia.
In 1971, Vergil Gerber traveled through South America. Folder 8-9 documents this tour and provides material on the Andes Evangelical Mission in Bolivia, Liberia "El Inca" in Peru, and Evangelical Literature Overseas (ELO). A 1972 tour of Europe and Africa is detailed in folder 3-13, which includes information on the Evangelical Alliance in Great Britain, the Evangelical Missionary Alliance, Evangeliums Rundfunk (German voice of Trans World Radio), church mission relations in Germany, the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar, and the International Institute of Christian Communications (in Nairobi, Kenya).Folder 6-2, "Miscellaneous papers," includes the following articles in typescript and mimeograph form:
Folder 5-16 contains eleven scattered issues of the secular British-published weekly Himmat: Asia's Voice, an Asian news digest.
Communications, specifically in the electronic media, was the topic of the 1978 "First European Evangelical Communication Conference" (folder 4-15). The file includes texts of papers presented at the conference and packets of materials for seven seminars covering: communication in music and art, radio, television, counseling and follow-up, technical considerations, management of communication organizations, and dissemination of news and information.
A few miscellaneous folders merit some explanation of their contents:
1-8 News releases about the Agape Movement, directed by Larry Poland, and founded in 1973 under the auspices of Campus Crusade for Christ.
1-15 A small body of material documenting a 1975 project undertaken by a missions class at Westminster Seminary, studying church growth among the Orthodox Presbyterian Congregations of New Jersey.
3-11 C. Peter Wagner's dictionary of evangelical acronyms in organizations' names.
6-13 File on OCEAN, "Organization of Continuing Education for American Nurses."
8-29 Robert Vajko's thesis, "A History and Analysis of the Church--Planting Ministry of the Evangelical Alliance Mission in France from 1952 to 1974," Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1975.
Researchers should read the Container List in this guide for folder titles, of a self-explanatory nature, to complete a comprehensive overview of the material in this collection.
The materials in this collection were received by the Center from EMIS between September 1980 and June 1982.
Accession 80-118, 81-129, 81-134, 82-82September 13, 1982
Conservation Baptist Association of America. Directory of Churches, 1978.
Ethnologue. Richard S. Pittman, Editor. Santa Ana, CA: Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc., 1969.
Key 73: Congregational Resource Book. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, .
The Missionary Manual. Springfield, MO: Assemblies of God Division of Foreign Missions, n.d.
AGAPE MOVEMENT. Photos of Larry Poland, Poland with Bill Bright, Korean Students and Agape movement workers. From folder 1-8. 4 b&w.
INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON WORLD EVANGELIZATION. Photos of Carlos Rene Padilla, Billy Graham, Olympic Stadium, Graham with Bishop Arthur John "Jack" Dain, and a press conference. From folder 5-17. 5 b&w.
|1||1||ACMC: Third World Missions committee; 1972-1976|
|1||2||Charter Flight bookings and accounts; 1972-1973|
|1||3||1970-1976 (folder 1)|
|1||4||1970-1976 (folder 2)|
|1||5||News Clippings; 1972-1973|
|1||6||Records prior to Charter program; 1971-1973|
|1||7||SIM Charters: Correspondence and accounts; 1972|
|1||8||Agape Movement: News releases; 1973|
|1||9||Annual Reports; 1967-1969|
|1||10||Annual Reports and Semiannual Reports; 1970-1981|
|1||11||Article Reprints; 1974-1977|
|1||12||Board of Directors; 1972-1973|
|1||13||Catholic Inter-American Cooperation Program; 1967|
|1||14||Catholic Inter-American Cooperation Program; 1968|
|1||15||Church Growth Surveys: Orthodox Presbyterian Church--Presbytery of New Jersey; 1975|
|2||1||A to C; 1977|
|2||2||D to K; 1977|
|2||3||L to R; 1977|
|2||4||S to Z; 1977|
|2||7||Concilio Nacional Evangelico del Peru; 1967|
|Congress Continuing Committee|
|2||9||Financial Statement; 1968|
|2||11||News Releases; 1967|
|2||12||Theses Committee; 1967-1968|
|2||13||Congress on Evangelism for Malaysia and Singapore: Papers and Addresses; 1978|
|Congress on the Church's Worldwide Mission (CWWM)|
|2||14||Correspondence--Word Incorporated, Publishers; 1965-1970|
|2||15||"Declaration" orders; 1966|
|3||1||Magazine articles; 1966|
|3||4||"Study Papers" orders; 1966|
|3||5||Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society: Missions Reference Library;||1969|
|3||6||Conservative Baptist Publications; 1972, n.d.|
|3||7||Constitution and By-laws; 1971-1981|
|3||8||Consulta de Iglesia y Misiones en America Latina: Addresses; 1976|
|3||9||Goff, James E. and Margaret; 1970-1976|
|3||10||Wagner, Peter (PULSE); 1967-1971|
|3||11||Dictionary of Important Ecclesiastical Abbreviations; 1969|
|3||12||Difusiones InterAmericanas; 1967-1975|
|3||13||Europe/Africa Trip; 1972|
|3||14||Evangelical Committee on Latin America; 1963-1966|
|3||15||Evangelical Declaration of Cochabamba; 1970|
|3||16||EFMA-IFMA-AEPM Study Conference, 1973; Papers read.|
|3||17||EFMA membership dues; 1976-1977|
|3||18||EFMA statistical report; 1976-1977|
|Evangelical Missionary Quarterly, Editorial meetings:|
|4||11||Evangelism/Church Growth Workshops: Scheduling; 1975|
|4||12||Expense accounts; 1966-1970|
|4||13||Explo '74, Seoul, Korea; 1974|
|4||14||First Baptist Church, Salem, Oregon: Survey of Missionaries; 1972|
|4||15||First European Evangelical Communication Conference; 1978|
|4||16||Foreign Missionary Motivation Survey (Charles Troutman); 1969|
|4||17||Frankfurt Declaration: Correspondence; 1970|
|4||18||A to H; 1970|
|4||19||I to N; 1970|
|4||20||O to Z; 1970|
|General Correspondence and Circulation Files|
|4||21||A to C; 1971-1974|
|4||22||D to G; 1971-1974|
|4||23||H to K; 1971-1974|
|General Correspondence and Circulation Files (continued)|
|4||24||L to O; 1971-1974|
|4||25||P to S; 1971-1974|
|4||26||T to Z; 1971-1974|
|5||1||L to O; 1975-1977|
|5||2||P to S; 1975-1977|
|5||3||T to Z; 1975-1977|
|Green Lake (1971)|
|5||11||General Correspondence; 1970-1971|
|5||12||Program Personnel; 1971|
|5||13||Questionnaire Analysis; 1971|
|5||14||Symposium Book; 1971-1972|
|5||15||Haiti Consultation; 1970|
|5||16||Himmat: Asia's Voice; 1972-1973|
|5||17||International Congress on World Evangelization: Correspondence, Notes, Press; 1972-1974|
|IFMA Annual Meeting|
|5||23||IFMA Notes: Volumes 3 to 5; 1966-1968|
|5||24||IFMA Papers concerning mission cooperation/merger; 1969-1970|
|5||25||Latin American Bookstores; n.d.|
|5||26||Literature Evangelica para America Latina; 1960-1968|
|5||27||Mailing Lists; 1972-1974|
|5||28||Mailing: Rowen/McKinney/Reimer Papers; 1974|
|5||30||Managua Update; 1973|
|6||1||Miscellaneous mission brochures and articles; 1973-1974|
|6||2||Miscellaneous papers; 1974-1978, n.d.|
|6||3||Miscellaneous publications; 1971-1975|
|Missionary News Service|
|6||10||National Liberty Foundation; 1969-1970|
|6||11||Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship: Evangelism strategy; 1976|
|6||12||Notes of T1 2 RO-WA9NXA; 1966|
|6||13||OCEAN, Inc.; 1978-1980|
|6||14||Office Equipment; 1966-1968|
|Official Documents File|
|7||3||Assemblies of God; 1966-1973|
|7||4||Christian and Missionary Alliance; 1967-1973|
|7||5||Conservative Baptist Foreign Missions Society; 1967-1973|
|7||6||Conservative Baptist Home Missions Society; 1969-1973|
|7||8||International Fellowship of Evangelical Students; 1966|
|7||9||Mennonite Brethren Church of N. America; 1966-1972|
|7||10||Missionary Church; 1966-1972|
|7||11||Missionary Board of the Brethren Church; 1967-1973|
|7||12||OMS, International; 1967-1973|
|7||13||Overseas Crusades; 1966-1973|
|7||14||United World Mission; 1967-1972|
|7||15||World Vision, International; 1967-1972|
|7||16||Worldwide Evangelization Crusade; 1966-1973|
|7||17||Youth for Christ, International; 1968-1972|
|7||18||Evangelical Literature Overseas; 1967-1971|
|7||19||Far Eastern Gospel Crusade; 1967-1972|
|7||20||Latin America Mission; 1967-1972|
|7||21||Mission Aviation Fellowship; 1968-1972|
|7||22||Andes Evangelical Mission; 1967-1972|
|7||23||Central American Mission; 1966-1973|
|7||24||Evangelical Union of South America; 1966-1972|
|7||25||Greater Europe Mission; 1971-1973|
|7||26||Mexican Indian Mission; 1967-1970|
|Organizations (IFMA) (continued)|
|7||27||Sudan Interior Mission; 1970-1973|
|7||28||The Evangelical Alliance Mission; 1967-1973|
|7||29||The Unevangelized Fields Mission; 1966-1973|
|7||30||West Indies Mission; 1967-1973|
|7||31||World Radio Missionary Fellowship; 1967-1973|
|8||1||Programmed Learning Workshop; 1969-1976|
|8||7||Servicio Evangelico de Informacion; 1966-1969|
|8||8||Short Terms Abroad; 1970-1971|
|8||9||South America Trip; 1971|
|8||10||#1: CGRILA Consultation; 1967|
|8||11||#2: CICOP; 1967|
|8||12||#3: LEAL/DIA/III Congress on Communication; 1967|
|8||13||#4: III CELA; 1967|
|8||14||#5: Spanish Language School, Guadalajara, MX; 1967|
|8||15||#6: CICOP; 1968|
|8||16||#7: CLATT/TEF; 1969|
|8||17||#8: LEAL; 1969|
|8||18||Canadian Denominations & Overseas Ministries; 1971|
|8||19||Seminar for missionaries, Cuernavaca, Mexico; 1970|
|8||20||Student Foreign missions Fellowships; 1971|
|8||21||Summary of Ascot Surveys; 1972|
|8||22||Theology of Revolution; 1973|
|8||23||A Statistical Look at the Missionary Task in Brazil (Ineson); 1970|
|8||24||Strictly Confidential; 1967-1972|
|8||25||Tape orders; n.d.|
|8||27||(Glen Eyrie); 1967|
|8||28||(Third) Congreso de Comunicaciones Evangelicas (Huampani, Peru); 1966-1967|
|8||29||Vajko, Robert J.: Thesis on TEAM missions in France; 1975|
|8||30||World Congress on Evangelism (Berlin); 1965-1966|