Billy Graham Center

Interviews of Charles Conrad Kay - Collection 561

[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.]

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Table of Contents

Title Page and Restrictions

Brief Description of This Collection


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

Lists of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

    Audio Tapes

Collection 561†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† [May 20, 2019]
Kay, Charles Conrad; 1960-
Interviews; 1999-2000
4 audio reels (.08 cubic feet, 234 minutes) 

Restrictions: None

Brief Description.
Oral history interview in which Kay describes his family background, interest in music, conversion at the age of 24, first steps in the Christian faith, his early ministry in Europe on a short-term program with Greater Europe Mission, marriage, education at Moody Bible Institute, ministry at Cook County Jail, joining the Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), raising support, and the Kaysí first term as missionaries in France from 1994 to 1999.


Full name: Charles Conrad Fry
Birth: August 25, 1960, in Ft. Worth, Texas
††††††††††† Parents: Irvin James Kay and Dellya Loyla Kay
††††††††††† Siblings: Kathy, Desiree, Greg, Bob, one other sibling. Charles was the youngest
††††††††††† Marital Status: Married to Mary Elizabeth Harness in 1989
††††††††††† Children: Five, including Robert, Emily, William, Jonathan
Conversion: December 9, 1984
††††††††††† 1986?††††††††††††† Taking classes at Luther Rice College & Seminary in Lithonia, Georgia

1988-1991: †† Attended Moody Bible Institute, graduated with a BA in International Ministries

1999-2000:†††† Attended Wheaton College Graduate School, graduated with an MA in Intercultural studies

1977-1991: †† Architectural drawing and engineer jobs; at the same time he was also involved as a drummer in many rock bands

1987:†††††††††††††† Spent a short term in France as part of the EUROCORPS program of the Greater Europe Mission

1991: †††††††††††† With his wife was accepted as missionaries by TEAM (The Evangelical Missionary Alliance)

1994-1999:†††† Served in France: Language school in Albertville, Switzerland, Church planting in Montigny-le-Brentonneux, a Paris suburb

††††††††††† 2000-2009†††††† Return to church planting in France

2011-? ††††††††††† In the United States preparing for further ministry in Europe

Scope and Content

Charles Kay was interviewed by Bob Shuster on December 20, 1999, and January 28, 2000, at the offices of the Billy Graham Center. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1977-1998.

T1 (75 minutes). Family background; core belief from attending Catholic services as a boy; sister as a Jesus Freak; seeing different ways of life in the Philippines; growing up in a military family; playing the drums; lessons learned from his father; memories of his mother; being witnessed to and prayed for as a teenager; the appeal of technical drafting; conflict of music vs. business; looking for a purpose in life; dissatisfaction with work; life-changing experiences of his four-month backpacking in Europe in 1984; Steve Herford and his influence; cultural experience of attending a Baptist church in Florida; giving his life to Christ; talking to God after his motherís death in 1977; second time he talked to God in 1982 in an emotional crisis; Jiddu Krishnamurti; getting Jack Chick tracts; more on his conversion; sharing his faith; first steps in the Christian faith; witnessing for Christ

T2 (53 minutes). Baptism three days after conversion; five failed attempts to travel back to Europe; influenced by Bill Gothardís ministry; rock musicians who were converted; studying the Bible; taking classes at Luther Rice Seminary; being gifted by God; going back to Europe in 1987 with a Greater Europe Mission (GEM) summer project; orientation on Wheaton campus and meeting his wife Mary; the EURICORPS short-term missions program; ministering in public housing in cold, gloomy Lille, France; the bridge illustration from the Four Spiritual Laws; singing at a Christian coffee bar; getting to know Mary on a trip to Normandy; call from God to ministry in France; traveling to the LíAbri community in Switzerland; lessons learned from his time in Lille; character of the French people; importance of aesthetics among the French; the sovereignty of God in his life

T3 (79 minutes). How he came to attend Moody Bible Institute; evaluation of his education at MBI; reason for choosing TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) over GEM: issues in church planting in Europe (sound of this portion of recording badly distorted); participating in a TEAM summer project in Paris and Lyon; ministering to prisoners at the Cook County Jail in Illinois; adjusting to living in a MBI dormitory; the practice of the community at MBI; influential professors; Douglas Kennard; joining TEAM and attending candidate school in Elgin, Illinois; working during his Moody education, candidate school; raising support for his mission work; developing relationships with supporting churches; transition from candidate to missionary on the field (sound on recording is distorted for a brief time); expectations when the family went to France in 1994; language school in Albertville, Switzerland; he church in Albertville; returning to Montigny-le-Brentonneux and the changed situation; the merger of TEAM and Bible Christian Union and its effect; Roger Petersonís leadership; unexpected changes in the Kaysí work

T4 (27 minutes). Typical week of ministry; how to pastor a church in France; importance of the church council in France; providing Bible studies for men, based on the Promise Keepers; deciding between work in the southern and western suburbs of Paris; concerns about trends in the post-modernist generation against rational analysis as opposed to experiential knowledge; Greek vs. Hebrew culture in American and French society


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Charles Kay in December 1999 and January 2000. 

Accession: 99-78, 00-08††††††
May 17, 2019
Bob Shuster

Accession: 99-78, 00-08
Type of Material
: Audio Recordings
The material listed below are located in the Audio Tape file.

Format: Reel
Length in minutes: 75
# of sides: 1
Contents: First part of first oral history interview of Kay by Bob Shuster
Dates: 12/20/1999

Format: Reel
Length in minutes: 53
# of sides: 1
Contents: Conclusion of first oral history interview with Kay by Shuster
Dates: 12/20/1999

Format: Reel
Length in minutes: 79
# of sides: 1
Contents: First part of second oral history interview of Kay by Bob Shuster
Dates: 1/28/2000

Format: Reel
Length in minutes: 27
# of sides: 1
Contents: Conclusion of second oral history interview with Kay by Shuster
Dates: 1/28/2000

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