Billy Graham Center

Interview with Scott Jeffrey Harbert - Collection 447

[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 Scott Harbert

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

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Brief Description.
Three oral history interviews in which Harbert discusses his family, growing up, meeting his father as an adult, influences on his childhood and adolescence, contacts with Shintoism in Japan, problem with marijuana, conversion to Christianity and influence of Richard Foster, college education and participation in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, work as a staff member at the IVCF headquarters, marriage to Barbara Gration, the development of Concerts of Prayer, short-term assignment in Africa, joining Africa Inland Mission to return to western Kenya among the Luo people, responsibilities, characteristics of the people and the church, Kenneth Downing, prayer, national leadership of church and mission, and other mission-related subjects. Time period covered: 1954-1991.

Collection 447 [January 25, 2001]
Scott Jeffrey Harbert; 1954-
Interviews; 1991-1992
5 Reels of Audio Tape

Restrictions: None


Full name: Scott Jeffrey Harbert
Birth date: July 23, 1954
Parents: Stephen Lee and Mary Elizabeth Mack Harbert, divorced; brought up by his mother and maternal grandparents
Siblings: One younger brother, Stewart
Marital Status: Married to Barbara Virginia Gration, 1981
Children: As of 1990, two children, ages five and one

Conversion: February 1977
Denominational affiliation: Independent, Faith Community Bible Church

1972 Ashland Senior High School, Ashland, Oregon
Don Cook University, Tokyo, Japan
1980 B.S. in Business Administration, Southern Oregon State, Ashland, Oregon
1993 M.A. Wheaton College Graduate School

1980-1988 Business manager, fund raising, Missions Department with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, Madison, Wisconsin
1981-1988 Leader of pastoral care house group
1984 Summer STIM short-term mission trip in Kenya
1986-1988 Participated with David Bryant in local Concerts of Prayer
1988-1992 Short-term missionary in Kenya under Africa Inland Mission (coordinator for the Theological Advisory Group for prayer renewal of the Africa Inland Church)

Other significant information:
Son-in-law of missionary and educator John Gration

Scope and Content

Scott Jeffrey Harbert was interviewed by Robert Shuster on October 15 and 29, 1991, and January 13, 1992, at the Billy Graham Center Archives. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1954-1991.

T1 (75 minutes, first several minutes of interview recorded at slower speed) Family background, parents' divorce when he was five and life with his mother and grandparents, contacting his father and subsequent meetings before his father's death in 1982, father's homosexuality as the background to the divorce, forgiving his father and getting to know him, witnessing to his father and partner, impact of meeting his father on his relationship to his Heavenly Father, description of his mother, her Ph.D. in Asian studies and teaching career at Southern Oregon State College, absence of her discipline, his opposition to his grandfather, grandfather's conversion and observing the change it made in him, grandfather's witness, relationship with his brother, attitude to school, few friendships and self-centeredness, church attendance and raising questions about belief, response to his grandfather's faith and witness, trip to Korea with mother, introduction to marijuana by servicemen in Korea and eight-year detour, unsatisfactory search for identity and difficulty in college, attending university in Tokyo and difficult program and experiences, weird experiences with Shintoism in Japan and continued drug use, breakdown and hospitalization in Japan

T2 (20 minutes, continuation of T1) Hospitalization in Japan, grandmother's prayer on the night he was hospitalized in Japan, new spiritual hunger, return to US, hospitalization and drug treatment in Oregon, repeatedly reading the Gospel of John and impact of recognizing God's love, early release, ministry of author and pastor Richard Foster, grandparents' example, conversion after a Foster sermon, changes after conversion, return to college

T3 (73 minutes) Encountering Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship while attending Southern Oregon State College, IVCF activities, evangelism experiences, learning to read the Bible, attending Urbana 1979 and impact on him, feeling a call to urban missions, misdirected application to join World Impact, lessons learned from dorm evangelism, relating faith to college classes, student leadership and emphasis on Bible study were strengths of IVCF, cooperative efforts by campus Christian groups, first job as IVCF business manager for two years, life in Madison (Wisconsin), reaction of mother and grandparents to college graduation and new job, being overworked and difficulty working with supervisor led to change of position, lesson of working in a Christian organization, shift into fund raising duties, involvement in local churches as student and IVCF employee, reassigned to Missions Department related to Student Training in Missions (STIM) program, leading a church pastoral care group, praying for the world and church renewal in Concerts of Prayer with David Bryant

T4 (40 minutes, continuation of T3) Concerts of Prayer (praying through Scripture, building relationship with Christ, impact, growth), meeting and getting to know his future wife Barbara and her family (John & Dorothy Gration), going to Kenya as a summer short-term missionary, impressions of national pastor, excitement and struggle of cross-cultural experience, ministry demands, leaving IVCF and joining Africa Inland Mission, obstacles and raising support, learning to pray, IVCF manner of dealing with Gordon McDonald's resignation

T5 (73 minutes) First stationed in Nyakach in Kenya's Luoland, missionary co-workers, responsibilities, national pastor George Opiyo Pile with whom he shared vision for renewal and prayer relationship, nominalism of church in western Kenya, area's sects, divisiveness and jealousy among Luo leadership, tribal characteristics paralleled in church structure, relationship between national and expatriate workers and need for collaboration, openness of their home and standard of living, wife's adjustment to missionary life, easy adjustment of son to missionary life, characteristics of the Luo people, role of women in society and church, significant relationships, strengthening of national church with young leaders, church oversight of mission, governance of mission and annual meetings, US Council and Ted Barnett, instinctive deference to missionary leadership, prayer emphasis, impact of Luo world view on attitudes to prayer, spirit world, neglect of prayer and worship, Kenneth Downing's leadership and influence, Downing's story about prayer in early days among the Luo, dream to mobilize the Kenyan church to greater spiritual vigor and dependence on Christ [tape runs out before Harbert finishes]


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Scott Harbert in October 1991 and January 1992.

Accessions 91-96, 91-101, 92-4
January 25, 2001
Paul A. Ericksen
J. Nasgowitz

Accession: 91-96, 91-101, 92-4
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 1 ips for first several minutes and 3 ips for remaining time, 75 minutes total, one side only. Interview of Scott Harbert by Robert Shuster on October 15, 1991.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3 ips, 20 minutes, one side only. Continuation of T1 interview of Scott Harbert by Robert Shuster on October 15, 1991.

T3 - Reel-to-reel, 3 ips, 73 minutes, one side only. Interview of Scott Harbert by Robert Shuster on October 29, 1991.

T4 - Reel-to-reel, 3 ips, 45 minutes, one side only. Continuation of T3 interview of Scott Harbert by Robert Shuster on October 29, 1991.

T5 - Reel-to-reel, 3 ips, 73 minutes, one side only. Interview of Scott Harbert by Robert Shuster on January 13, 1992. Tape runs out before Harbert finishes.

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Last Revised: 1/25/01
Expiration: indefinite