Billy Graham Center

Interview of Paul Cedar - Collection 665

[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 665 [2/19]
Paul Cedar; 1938-
Interview; 2011
1 audio recording, .1 cu. ft.

Restrictions: None

Brief Description
Oral history interview with Paul Cedar about his upbringing as the son of a Presbyterian minister, his conversion at a Youth for Christ rally, his call to ministry at a young age, his work as a summer evangelist in Pennsylvania, his education at Northern State College in South Dakota, and his first pastorate during which he started a YFC club.

Full name: Paul Arnold Cedar
: November 4, 1938; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Parents: Carl Benjamin Cedar and Bernice M. (née Peterson) Cedar
Siblings: 4th of 5 children; 2 older sisters, 1 older brother, younger twin sister
Marital Status: Married Jean Helen Lier, August 25, 1959
Children: Mark John, Deborah Jean (McGinnis), and Daniel Paul

Conversion: Age of 7 (February 23, 1946) at a Youth for Christ rally
Ordination: 1966, Evangelical Free Church of America

1960 BS from Northern State College, Aberdeen, South Dakota
1968 Master of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary
1973 Doctor of Ministry from American Baptist Seminary of the West
Graduate studies in later years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Wheaton College Graduate School, the University of Iowa, and California State University

1957-1960 Student Pastor/Youth Evangelist, Aberdeen, South Dakota
1960-1963 Executive Director, Youth for Christ, Cedar Rapids, IO
1963-1965 Crusade Associate, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
1965-1967 Pastor, Evangelical Free Church of Naperville, Illinois
1967-1969 Crusade Director, Leighton Ford Evangelistic Team
1969-1974 Senior Pastor, Evangelical Free Church, Yorba Linda, California
1975-1980 Executive Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Hollywood, California
circa 1980 Guest Dean at Billy Graham Schools of Evangelism
1981-1990 Senior Pastor, Lake Avenue Congressional Church, Pasadena, California
1990-1996 President, Evangelical Free Churches of America, Minneapolis
1995-2017 Chairman, CEO, Mission America Coalition; present Chair Emeritus
1998-2004 Executive Chair, Lausanne International Committee; present advisory capacity
circa 1980 Guest Dean at Billy Graham Schools of Evangelism
Adjunct Professor at Trinity Divinity School, Talbot Theological Seminary, Bethel Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, and ACTS Seminary

Other significant information
Honorary Degrees: Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical School
Honorary Doctor of Ministry from Belhaven College

Mastering Ministry: Mastering the Pastoral Rol
e, with Kent Hughes and Ben Patterson; 2010, Thomas Nelson
Compassionate Leadership, with Dr. Ted Engstrom; 2006, Regal Publishers
A Life of Prayer; 1998, Word Publishers
Where is Hope?; 1992, Multnomah Books
Strength in Servant Leadership; 1987, Word Publishers
The Communicator’s Commentary: James, Jude, I & II Peter; 1984, Word Publishers
Sharing the Good Life! 1980, Dynacom Books
7 Keys to Maximum Communication; 1980, Tyndale House Publishers
Becoming a Lover; 1978, Tyndale House Publishers
How to Make Love Your Motive; 1977, Dynacom Books

Scope and Content

Paul Cedar was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on June 9, 2011, at 10:30am. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1938-1960.

T1 (102 minutes). Upbringing as the son of a Presbyterian pastor in rural America; conversion at a Youth for Christ rally; his paternal grandfather (Carl E Nelson, later changed to Cedar, immigration from Sweden to America, conversion, joining of the Swedish Bible Church in Minneapolis, his ministry); Cedar’s parents (Bernice and Benjamin Cedar; beginnings as teachers, their ministerial calling, their joint work in leading of the church); his involvement with the Christian Endeavor; his call to evangelism at age 11 or 12; life during World War II (including blackouts, VE Day and VJ Day, and rationing); the family’s numerous moves to different towns in South Dakota and Minnesota throughout his childhood; Cedar’s college education at Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota; his call to join summer visitation evangelism in mining communities in Pennsylvania during college (leadership of Clyde Gault; finding places to set up for the meetings; stories of their interactions with the occupants of towns; the goal of the meetings; learning to trust God); Cedar’s preaching topics, methods, and influences; his first pastorate at a Wesleyan church near Aberdeen, South Dakota; the founding of the Dakota Christian Youth Crusade and a radio program for teenagers; the influence his study of speech and work in speech therapy had on his calling to ministry.


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Paul Cedar in June 2011.

Accession: 11-36
February 6, 2019
Emily Brokaw
B. Shuster

Type of material: Audio Recordings
Accession: 11-36
The following item is located in the Audio Recording File.

T1 - .WAV file, 102 minutes, Oral history interview of Paul Cedar by Paul Ericksen. June 9, 2011

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