Billy Graham Center

Interview with Paul Brown Long - Collection 344

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. ]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Paul Brown Long

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

Lists of Audio Tapes and Books in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes

Brief Description.

Three audio tapes of interviews with Long in which he discusses his childhood, attendance at Wheaton Academy and Wheaton College, missionary work in education, evangelism, and church planting in the former Belgian Congo (now Zaire) and in Brazil. Other topics include animism, church discipline, Christianity and culture, rearing a family on the mission field, and his service in China during World War II.

Collection 344 [April 12, 2000]
Long, Paul Brown; 1923-
Interview; 1986

3 Reels of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. Copyright to published material retained by Long.


Paul Brown Long was born in West Virginia on August 7, 1923, to Mr. and Mrs. George W. Long, the youngest of three children. While his sister attended Wheaton College, he joined her so he could attend Wheaton Academy to be able to participate in sports. In 1939, while a student at the Academy, he was converted. In 1942, he graduated from Wheaton Academy and entered Wheaton College. To raise money to attend Wheaton College, he convinced the Physical Education department to add a horsemanship program as to their curriculum and Long taught in this new program before and after his service in the army.

In 1942, Long enlisted in the army and was assigned as an instructor in cargo packing, horsemanship, light weapons, and physical education. He served in Burma and China during World War II. In China, he served under Chinese officers in the Sixth Army, having responsibility for the care and movement of their horses and mules, as they followed after a rapidly retreating Japanese army. He left China in 1946 to return to college, but because of the ill-health of his father, along with his brother George, had to switch off between farming and college, each taking a year in turn.

As early as 1940, Long felt called to go to Africa as a missionary. A period of struggle followed the call until he finally surrendered his life to God. After graduating from Wheaton College in 1950, under the urging of his brother, Long attended Columbia Seminary in Georgia, from which he received a Th.B. degree in 1953. At Wheaton, Long had met and married Merry Dalton, a Canadian nurse. He and his wife applied to the Southern Presbyterian Mission Board, which assigned them to what was then the Belgian Congo. In the Congo, Long became director of regional schools, did evangelistic work, and even cared for the mission's one hundred fifty head of cattle and Merry worked as part of the medical team. During a furlough, Long earned a Th.M. in 1958 from the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. The Longs were forced to leave the Congo during the 1960 rebellion.

After a year of graduate work at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, and another year as pastor of a Virginia church, Long heard about the opening up to missionary work of the interior of Brazil because of the construction of the new capitol, Brasilia. He asked for and was assigned pioneer church planting work in an eight hundred mile stretch along the Brasilia-Belem highway in North Goias, Brazil. After eleven years in that area, he was assigned to an area on the Trans-Amazonian High. After experiencing heart problems, Long returned to the United States to complete work on a Ph.D. degree at Fuller Seminary and from there became a professor in the missions program at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS.

In 1986 Long published a book titled The Man in the Leather Hat and Other Stories, which was inspired by his work in Brazil. The Longs had five children, all of whom graduated from Wheaton College: Paul Brown II (BA, '72), Mary Elizabeth (BA '74), Virginia Ann (BA '76), Stephen Dalton (BA '79), and Charles Alexander (BA '82).

Scope and Content

Paul Brown Long was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen at 10:30 a.m. (T1, T2) and 1:00 p.m. (T3) on October 22, 1986, at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. The dates of the events covered by the interview were 1939-1977. The index is keyed to the cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

Tape T1 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:30 Introduction to the morning interview
01:00 Childhood on farm in a Christian home in West Virginia; growing up as, Long says, "a pagan," running with non-Christian crowd; high school attendance at Wheaton Academy, primarily for playing sports; asking God if he existed and the strange answer; difference between playing football with Christians and non-Christians; conversion
05:45 Playing football with Christians as a non-Christian; admission that most Christians he knew were not changed; reactions of family and friends to his becoming a Christian; service in the army, call to African missions in 1940 and his struggle with it
09:45 Wheaton College experiences; convincing Edward A. Coray that horsemanship program was necessary at Wheaton; disagreement with the history department over its philosophy; major in literature
14:45 His resentment at God's call to go to Africa as a missionary; difficulty in giving up his own goals
20:30 Duties in World War II; high casualty rates of his units; instructed in horsemanship at the military training camp; horse boat on the way to Burma; walking up the Burma Road; going with China's Sixth Army across China; liberation of Nanking (new spelling, Nanjing); duties of watching and using horses; rapid withdrawal of Japan; working with Chinese officers; praying for the gift of tongues; leaving China in 1946; switching off with brother between farming and college
28:00 Recollections of Dr. V. Raymond Edman and Edman's effect on him; other professors' impact; respect for the other students at Wheaton; recollections of Hudson Armerding; other family members who attended Wheaton
34:45 Contact with Billy Graham, Ruth Bell [Graham]; Professors Charles Singer, Cornelius Jaarsma, Clarence Simpson; Presbyterian ties; attendance at Columbia Seminary in Georgia; process of becoming a missionary; being assigned by the Southern Presbyterian Mission Board to the Congo
40:20 Meeting and marrying nurse, Merry (Dalton); arrival of first son; going as a medical team into the Congo; difficulty adjusting as a missionary; academic preparations for becoming a missionary; difficulty of learning the languages; director of schools at station
45:40 End of side 1

Tape T1 - side 2
00:00 Start of tape
00:10 Overlap from side 1
01:30 Process of evangelizing in Africa; education as a tool for witnessing to younger people; difficulties witnessing to older people and dealing with old tribal customs; evidences of spiritism among Congolese; spirit mediums who became pastors; participation in exorcism; spirits obstructing his ability to speak on one occasion; seeing demon possession in India, China, Africa, and Brazil and now in North America especially in the drug culture
10:00 Being kicked out of the Congo; graduate school at Union Theological Seminary; taking pastorate in West Virginia; going to Brazil; spiritism of Indians in Brazil; similarities in voodoo of Africa and Brazil; influence of French Christian science on spiritism in Brazil and rapid growth of spiritism there; widespread spiritism of Congolese people; church's reaction to demonic activity; ritual practices of spiritism; spiritism as way of life
17:45 End of T1

Tape T2 - side 1
00:00 Start of tape
00:30 Positive aspects of tribal culture; family aspects of tribal culture; merging of Christianity with tribal life; effect of Christianity on warring tribes; love is key to working with tribal people; missionary appreciation of tribal culture; dealing with a cannibal tribe that wanted a school built in their area
08:15 Contextualization (Christianity and culture); attempts at presenting the Gospel for the people of the Congo using native examples; aspects of Congo missed after leaving were the people and fellowship; successes and failures in the Congo; conversion of a man who tried to break up a meeting
12:45 Interaction of various missions boards; conflicts which resulted in departures of various people within own station; conflicts with Congolese over power, money; Rebellion of 1960; discovers through friends Communist hatred of him so that he was on their "hit" list; not leaving immediately in order to keep the station from closing; coping with danger
17:00 End of T2

Tape T3 - side 1
00:00 Start of tape
00:45 Introduction to afternoon interview
01:00 Year of graduate study at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA; year of pastorate in Virginia; missionary reassignment to Brazil; opening up of Brazil's interior with population shifts; working along new Brasilia-Belem highway; leaving Brazilian highway after 11 years and going to Trans-Amazon highway; building new churches
05:45 Difficulties starting new churches; being away from the family; education of the children, use of airplane, jeep, and trail bikes; eventual enrollment of children in Wheaton College; first impressions of Brazil; warmth of Brazilian people; homesteads in Brazil; typical Brazilian church service; emphasis on music, eating; strengths and weaknesses of Brazilian church; needs of Brazilian church, especially spiritual leadership
14:15 The cowboys of Brazil, past and present; Brazilian Indians; attempts to integrate Indian congregation with other churches; church discipline on sins, emphasis on salvation through Christ, not the church
20:00 Impact of Christianity on cowboys; impact of wealth on cowboys; effect of North American church problems on South American churches; preference of Brazilians to have natives teaching, leading the way in seminary; missionary impact on education, church pioneering, social work; constant changing of Brazilian culture, churches
27:30 Reasons for departing from Brazil; experiencing heart problems that keep him from performing duties; going to Fuller school of world missions to get Ph.D; difference between missions and the regular ministry training; teaching in missions program at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS; description of program, student body
32:15 Flying analogy, need to spend time with the Lord
34:00 End of T3


The materials for this collection were received from Paul B. Long by the Center in October 1989.

Acc. 86-117
August 20, 1993
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
B. Phillips

Accession 86-117
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel (copied from original cassette), 3-3/4 ips, 70 minutes, recorded on both sides. Interview of Paul Brown Long by Paul A. Ericksen (10:30 a.m.). Discussion includes childhood, conversion, World War II experiences, years at Wheaton College, marriage, missionary assignment in the Belgian Congo (now Zaire); discussion of evangelistic work in Africa until he had to leave during the Rebellion of 1960, the spiritism of Africans and Brazilians. October 26, 1986.

T2 - Reel-to-reel (copied from original cassette), 3-3/4 ips, approx. 15 minutes, recorded on one side only. Continuation of the interview (10:30 a.m.) of Paul Brown Long by Paul A. Ericksen. Discussion includes positive aspects of tribal culture, contextualization, interaction between mission boards, the Rebellion of 1960, coping with danger. October 26, 1986.

T3 - Reel-to-reel (copied from original cassette), 3-3/4 ips, approx. 35 minutes, recorded on one side only. Interview of Paul Brown Long by Paul A. Ericksen (1:00 p.m.). Discussion includes year of graduate study and year of pastoring; assignment to mission field in Brazil along the Brasilia-Belem and Trans-Amazon highways, doctoral work at Fuller Theological Seminary. October 26, 1986.

Accession 86-117
Type of Material: Book

The following item has been given to the BGC LIBRARY:

Long, Paul B. The Man in the Leather Hat and Other Stories. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1986.

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Last Revised: 9/09/02
Expiration: indefinite