Billy Graham Center Archives

Collection 74 - Raymond H. Saxe. T79 Transcript

Click here to listen to an audio file of of the unrestricted portion this interview (37 minutes)

This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Dr. Raymond H. Saxe (CN 74, T70) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing. Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English. Foreign terms or phrases which may be unfamiliar appear in italics.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcription was made by Bob Shuster, Katherine Graber and Paul Bartow was completed in February 2014.


Collection 74, T70. Interview of Raymond H. Saxe by Bob Shuster on September 1, 2010.

SHUSTER: This is an interview with Dr. Raymond H. Saxe by Bob Shuster for the Billy Graham Center Archives. It took place over the phone on September 1st, 2010. Well, good morning, Dr. Saxe.

SAXE: Good morning, Bob. Nice to hear your voice.

SHUSTER: Thank you.

SAXE: Thank you so much for allowing me to help you.

SHUSTER: Oh, thank you for being willing to talk to us today. Let me just start with a few...basic questions. When and where were you born?

SAXE: I was born in Chicago, Illinois on December the 6th, 1922.

SHUSTER: A Midwestern lad?

SAXE: That’s right. My father was a missionary amongst our people at the Chicago Hebrew Mission. Yes. And I was born in the city of Chicago. I was told I was born on a kitchen table.  

SAXE: [Laughs].

SHUSTER: We have the records of Chicago Hebrew Mission (American Messianic Fellowship) in the Archives. We just opened them up last month for researchers.

SAXE: That’s wonderful . Somewhere on there you will read about Reverend Israel Isaac Saxe.

SHUSTER: I’ll have to...have to look for that.

SAXE: That was my father. Yeah.

SHUSTER: What years were you at Wheaton?

SAXE: In 1940 to 1944.

SHUSTER: And why did you chose to go to Wheaton?

SAXE: Well to tell you quite frankly it was proximity to our home. We lived in Oak Park, Illinois. And so I could take the...what we used to call the Roaring Elgin from Oak Park to Wheaton. And also my father attended the academy many years before.

SHUSTER: The Wheaton Academy.

SAXE: Yes sir. And then I knew some...many of the Wheaton faculty people as household names in our home. Doctor [Joseph] Free, we knew about Dr. [Alexander] Grigolia, we knew Dr. [Henry C.] Thiessen and particularly Mary Torrey [perhaps he means Edith] and her father [R. A. Torrey Sr.]. They were very close to us in consideration of going to Wheaton. And then also I felt there was an evangelical, fundamentalist stance or posture which the school held. And Dr. Billy Graham...I’m sorry, Billy McCarrell who was our pastor was also on the board. And he encouraged us. He encouraged me to go there.  

SHUSTER: And he was pastor at the Cicero Bible Church, wasn’t he?

SAXE: He was. The Cicero Bible church. He also performed our wedding and he assisted in the burial of our first child who was born in Africa and had multiple problems. And we brought him back to this country. And he went home to the Lord when he was eighteen months old. And Dr McCarrell assisted us in laying him before the Lord.

SHUSTER: So you had many connections with the college?

SAXE: We did. Quite a bit. And I just thank the Lord for that. And of course the basis on which the school was founded and the thoughts that were expressed then, we were attracted to the school. It was (as I think everybody felt)it was the West Point of Christian education. And if you went to Wheaton, that was the best thing to do.

SHUSTER: When and how did you first meet Billy Graham?

SAXE: Well I met him in the school classrooms and in the hallways. Quite frequently I saw him in the hallways . I don’t remember which class I had with him. But I do believe I had one with him. But you’re asking me to respond sixty years ago, and I might be a little bit hazy on that.

SHUSTER: Absolutely. You say you did have classes with him. Do you recall...?

SAXE: I think I had a class in Anthropology with him. With Grigolia.

SHUSTER: Yes. That was his major.

SAXE: Yeah.

SHUSTER: Do you recall about...anything about him as a student?

SAXE: Yeah. I know academically. But he was a man who tended to his responsibilities. Some fellas, as you know, were delinquent in their responsibilities. But Billy Graham was always right on top. And I can still see his blue jacket for the 1943 class . He wore it quite frequently.

SHUSTER: A blue jacket? You mean a sports coat?

SAXE: That’s right. Yeah.

SHUSTER: You say he tended to his responsibilities as a student. What do you mean?

SAXE: Well, I mean by that that when assignments were given, he did them. And just like all the rest of us. There were some who were I think delinquent on this score. But Billy Graham was not. He was a good student. And an attentive student. And a participant and always in the classroom that I remember.

SHUSTER: Do you have any strong memories of Dr. Grigolia?

SAXE: Yeah I do. He was...he was a very strong man. A man who was vividly orientated [sic]. He always was very warm as a person. He was a prayerful man. He always opened his classes with prayers. And he set up as I remember with Biblical Creationism. Yeah. When he taught physical anthropology, he was quite plain. And he said on one occasion “If you really want to study physical anthropology, go to the beaches.” [Both laugh]. It’s quite a fair suggestion to young men at a university.

SHUSTER: And what did he mean by that?

SAXE: Well, because the exposure was so evident on the beaches.

SHUSTER: So to see the different physical types of people you’d find at the beach?

SAXE: Physical characteristics.


SAXE: He used to draw things on the board which to me at that time were quite sensitive. But it was a physical anthropology class so I just decided I must take it in course.

SHUSTER: So he was very candid in talking about human physiology?

SAXE: He was very, very forward about those things, yeah.

SHUSTER: What was his approach in general to teaching anthropology? How did he approach it?

SAXE: Well, I think he talked from a Biblical perspective. Everything was in line with what Scripture says. He was a great friend to Joseph Free. He and Joseph Free were very...what can I say...amenable in their theological positions. And....

SHUSTER: And of course Dr. Free was the professor of archaeology on campus.

SAXE: Exactly. And I think those two men more or less went along with Thiessen. And at that time, a man like Dr. Clark was a very very foreign man.

SHUSTER: Dr. Gordon Clark, the theologian.

SAXE: That’s right. Yeah. And he was very strong on the position of Calvinism. And these other men, Free, Grigolia, and Thiessen I think were somewhat much more moderate.

SHUSTER: Arminian? Or?

SAXE: Well, I wouldn’t say they were Arminian, but they were moderate Calvinists, if I could use that term.

SHUSTER: So did that cause debates on campus?

SAXE: I think there was an undertone all the time, yes. I know that I lined up with Free, and Thiessen and Grigolia as opposed to Clark’s position. I felt Clark was a bit strong and forceful about his position.

SHUSTER: Did you ever go to the United Gospel Tabernacle?

SAXE: No, I never did.

SHUSTER: So you never...?

SAXE: I never was there and knew that he was.... Unfortunately I was a commuting student and so some of the things that I should have enjoyed when I was at Wheaton I did not enjoy because I wasn’t there.

SHUSTER: Did you take the train back and forth or did you drive?

SAXE: Yes I took the train. What we call the Roaring Elgin. It’s not...not in use anymore I don’t think.

SHUSTER: Was that the train or was that the trolley car?

SAXE: No, it was like an elevated train. It went from Aurora and Elgin into the city of Chicago. And I think those tracks have been pulled up completely. And I don’t think the service is available anymore.

SHUSTER: No, perhaps the current train follows the same route, I imagine.

SAXE: Well, I don’t think so because these trains from Ror...Aurora and Elgin and passed through Wheaton went on through Chicago through...onto the elevated train. And the elevated train I think picked up somewhere around Broadway or Westchester. And you could get the local train there. But this Roaring Elgin was given priority. And it had different kinds of cars than the cars that were used in the elevated trains in Chicago.

SHUSTER: How many students like yourself were commuting from Chicago, do you know?

SAXE: Oh I guess about fifteen or twenty. I’d meet them on the seven o’clock train or the 7:20 train everyday.

SHUSTER: And how far a walk was it from where you got off the train to the college?

SAXE: Oh it was about...I would say about fifteen minutes. I often had to run if I took the 7:20 train and had an eight o’clock class. I had to run [both laugh].

SHUSTER: So you didn’t hear Graham preach at the Tabernacle, did you hear him preach elsewhere? I mean we’ve been told that Edman, Dr. [V. Raymond] Edman, sometimes asked him to preach in chapel.

SAXE: Well, I think I remember him preaching in chapel because he was well known. Well received, and everybody acknowledged that he was an unusual man in evangelism. And I believe that Dr. Edman recognized that. And as (I’m talking about myself as a student) I certainly appreciated his commitment to preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

SHUSTER: Do you recall any specific time that you heard him preach on campus?

SAXE: No, I do not remember that unfortunately.

SHUSTER: Now of course he was also, during his senior year, president of the Christian Council.

SAXE: He was.

SHUSTER: And you succeeded him as president.

SAXE: I did. And that was a great honor to me. Because I knew that he had preceded me. And that was an elected office. One had to preach in...or present himself in chapel. And there were two of us. And by the grace of the Lord I was elected and followed Billy Graham. And I counted that as a great privilege and an honor. And he congratulated me because I had been elected in that office that he had held.

SHUSTER: What did the president of the Christian Council do?

SAXE: Well, I think that under Billy Graham that the ministry was enlarged greatly because of his evangelistic knowledge and prowess. But when I came on, I would say that the items that were handed on to me were missionary missions, activities like FMF [Foreign Mission Fellowship] and then there was the Tuesday prayer meeting night. And then we had to have...we scheduled speakers who when people wrote in and said they’d like to have a speaker for a particular time. And we also provided pulpit supplies [preachers] when they were asked. When we were asked. And occasionally we had a chapel service to represent the Christian service activities. And the thing had been so, had mushroomed so much that when I came on, the college engaged Marjorie Glover, ho was Dr. Glover, the great missions man, she was his...

SHUSTER: Arthur Glover? I’m sorry, Robert Glover.

SAXE: No. It was Marjorie Glover.

SHUSTER: But you said the great missions man. You meant Robert Glover of the CIM [USA director of the China Inland Mission]?

SAXE: Yes that’s right. And this is his daughter. And she was engaged to help in the Christian service department. [She was hired as executive director of the Christian Service Council] which was headed by the Student Christian Council, the Christian Council, that’s right. And we had an office. And Marjorie served as the secretary.

SHUSTER: Was this expansion because of Graham’s leadership the previous year?

SAXE: I think that it was a part of the growth of the activities which were being presented to us as a college, and I know that through that, I was able to get an appointment to participate in the youth program in the suburbs of Chicago which Dr. Hess, Bartlett Hess was pastor. Bartlett Hess was a very famous (I say famous), successful pastor in Detroit. And he also came here to Ann Arbor and he was very successful here.

SHUSTER: Now didn’t the Christian Council also arrange for students to go in Chicago and elsewhere to witness or be involved in ministry?

SAXE: Yes. I think that Saturday mornings, a lot of people went down there. Particularly to work with the indigent people. That was also part of the program. It was a very...marvelous activity. And it was carried on by the Christian Council of the college. I’m very honored to have been a participant in it.

SHUSTER: Do you re.... You said that Billy Graham had done a fine job. Do you recall any details of the work when he was president?

SAXE: No, I do not remember that.

SHUSTER: When you succeeded as president, did he sit down and brief you on the duties?

SAXE: He sat down and congratulated me and encouraged me to carry on the in work that had been established there. I don’t remember beyond that.

SHUSTER: Did you introduce any new ministries or changes?

SAXE: No, I don’t think I did. I did the best I could as a commuting student to carry on the responsibilities that were required. But I think that Marjorie Glover was a sign because the work had grown to such an extent that a student couldn’t handle it all.

SHUSTER: Sure. You needed staff.

SAXE: Yeah. Needed staff.

SHUSTER: Now February of 1943 there was an awakening on campus. I think that would have been your junior year. At least we’ve had reports during the services that Harold Warren, the special services that he was leading?

SAXE: Yeah, I remember that with great joy and delight. Because as a student of course, the classes were cancelled. So that was a great thing. But before that...

SHUSTER: Can you describe...?

SAXE: It was out of the chapel. Warren was a very humble man, low key speaker, no bombastic evangelistic approach or anything like that. Just a soft spoken man. And he just stood there and the Spirit of God worked through him and then into the lives of the students. And what was a great blessing to me was confession of sins. I mean sins like cheating and questionable worldly practices. All of us would openly...confess in the chapel. And it went on for hours and hours and hours and even into the night hours. And it was a fantastic experience.

SHUSTER: How long did it last?

SAXE: A week. As I remember. An entire week.

SHUSTER: And you said...

SAXE: And the testimonies that the students gave were absolutely phenomenal. It really was a movement of the Spirit of God. It wasn’t something projected or drummed up or anything like that of a fleshly nature. It was (I think) the work of the Lord. And I know that men like Free and Thiessen and others of those sorts were greatly moved themselves.

SHUSTER: So the faculty was also participating?

SAXE: They certainly were. And that was such a joy to see that there was a unanimity of the heart and spirit about it.

SHUSTER: Do you have any particular memories of testimonies of confessions (not necessarily telling the person’s name) but some of the things that were said?

SAXE: You know, I’m a little bit hesitant to say this, Bob, because the activities that were confessed in those days are unquestionably accepted by Christian people today. Like going to movies or dancing. Or some things that were of a questionable ethical position. These were confessed openly.

SHUSTER: And of course Wheaton had a standard of conduct that students signed agreeing not to do those things.

SAXE: Yeah and it bothered me a couple years ago when it was announced by the president [Dr. Duane Litfin] that these things were going to be allowed again. And then it was you know as major news broadcast what Wheaton had denied or not allowed for 100 years suddenly opened up. And I wrote to the president about it that day and he...I don’t think he was kindly disposed about my views. But I’m an old time, fundamentalist, Bible-believing man. And I don’t believe in the world that they expect us in some many corners today. I don’t judge them, but I do take a stand for myself. But that was where...that was a blessing to me at Wheaton that those kinds of things were not expected to be accepted behaviors. But today, everybody you know, the sort of...the broadness of Christian principles today. You never know where in the world an evangelical is or a fundamentalist is anymore.

SHUSTER: Indeed. How did the revival...the awakening on campus affect you personally?

SAXE: Well, it drew me closer to my Lord and I was very, in speaking to other students about it. And was grateful to God that this thing had happened in my time at Wheaton. There was no preparation for it. Just God worked sovereignly and did a great work. And I’ve referred to Warren many, many times in my own ministry as what happened at Wheaton College by the mighty power of God.

SHUSTER: How would...was the campus different after the awakening?

SAXE: I think it definitely was.

SHUSTER: How would you describe the difference?

SAXE: Students spoke openly about the things of the Lord. I don’t know what the school is like today. I haven’t been there since our fiftieth anniversary there a couple years ago. But there was a bathroom on the first floor, a men’s bathroom. And a restroom. And a place to hang your clothes in you wanted to. And often times, people seem to talk about what had taken place and rejoice with the Lord what God had done for us in those few days.

SHUSTER: So there was much more sharing than there had been before?

SAXE: And it was open. That’s what I think that there’s an openness about talking about the things of the Lord because of what had happened on the campus.

SHUSTER: Did you want to add anything else about the awakening?

SAXE: Well, I didn’t think also in the classrooms like in Dr. Free’s or Dr. Thiessen’s classrooms, there was...and Grigolia. I’m talking about those three men because I had a lot to do. I was a double major, I had a double major in Bible and Bible Archaeology. And they put me in contact with Thiessen and with Free quite frequently. And in their classes, they spoke about these things and brought them up. And I can remember some times that some of these men Thiessen and Free would read portions of the Bible rather than just have a prayer. Which was unusual. You know, you go to a school like that and it makes a mark on your whole life. You never forget it.

SHUSTER: I know Reverend Graham in his memoirs says that it was Wheaton for the first time when he had African Americans as classmates. Do you recall any black students on campus?

SAXE: No, I don’t. And I didn’t remember that race was even a factor. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember. There may have been one man who was dark in color but otherwise, I don’t remember any black students or non-white students at all. Chinese or otherwise. I don’t remember any of them.

SHUSTER: How was Graham regarded by the other students, by his peers on campus?

SAXE: Well, I think that...that he was accepted as a man of God and a man who was really involved in wanting to preach the Gospel. And he was like, shall I say, a pastor. People recognized him as that because he had the ministry at the Tabernacle. And...

SHUSTER: Did people...?

SAXE: ..who was it that taught Greek? He had it first...I can’t remember his name now.

SHUSTER: No, I don’t.... I know Dr. Edman taught... would preach at....

SAXE: There also was a Greek professor. I had him. I can’t recall him just now. [Perhaps referring to Clarence Hale] But...anyway....

SHUSTER: Did mentioned that you had a class with him, you saw him in the hallways. Did you have much contact with him personally?

SAXE: No, I didn’t. No. But I did know his...Ruth...his...

SHUSTER: Fiancé.

SAXE: Fiance yes. And how they conducted themselves very...proper...appropriately in the hallways. But I often said “hi” to them. I wasn’t something that was on a personal level of talking with them and sitting down and discussing anything with them. Just casually as we met in the hallways.

SHUSTER: You said you knew Ruth Bell?

SAXE: Yes I knew her. Yes she...

SHUSTER: How would you describe her?

SAXE: She was a lovely young woman and very beautiful. And she had of course...a background of China. And I was always interested in missions so that attracted me to the fact that she was friendly with Billy Graham.

SHUSTER: How would you describe them as a couple?

SAXE: Very, very fine. They were very appropriately relating one to another. There was no frivolity about it at all. You know, some young people would go, what can I say, loosely related. But not so with them. They were a very gracious couple and very appropriate.

SHUSTER: Did you have any contact at all with the Mooseheart Sunday School?

SAXE: No, I didn’t.

SHUSTER: Yeah, I think they both taught there at one time. And from what you say, I guess you didn’t go to any of the evangelistic meetings that he led while he was a student in other states?

SAXE: No, I did not.

SHUSTER: I know that after he graduated, while you were a senior and president of the Christian Council, he was pastor of the Village Church in Western Springs.

SAXE: That is correct.

SHUSTER: Did you ever visit that church?

SAXE: I did on several occasions. And also, I knew three of the young women who were singing. I think you referred to them in your statement that they were the...

SHUSTER: Carollers for Christ.

SAXE: Actually they were the Kings Carollers. And the Kings Carollers, the three of them were Edith Lawrence, Minnie Lawrence, and Ruth Lawrence. These three girls. They all came from Cicero Bible Church with Doctor McCarrell. Yeah and I still have contact with all three of these girls.

SHUSTER: That might...go ahead.

SAXE: Minnie lives in Ohio and Edith is in Wheaton. And Ruth is in Wheaton.

SHUSTER: Were they....

SAXE: Edith is very, very sick now. And Ruth and her husband help her out quite a bit. And Minnie lives in Ohio by herself. She had two husbands, both of whom have gone on to be with the Lord.

SHUSTER: Were they also Wheaton College students at the time?

SAXE: I don’t think they were. That’s what your paper says...

SHUSTER: Well, it might have been Carollers for Christ, I know was singing on the program early in 1944 but then they left. They were all college students. So maybe this group, the Kings Carollers started singing after they left or before...

SAXE: I think so and they...they had a special ministry those three girls. And they might have some information about Billy Graham that I do not have. That you might be interested in.

SHUSTER: Yes. Well, if you have contact information for them, I’ll send you an envelope if you want to pass that one.

SAXE: Well, I can give some to you now or send it to you by e-mail.

SHUSTER : E-mail would probably be good.

SAXE: Okay, I can do that.

SHUSTER: Let me ask you, you said that you went to the church several times. Was that while Graham was pastor there?

SAXE: No. I wanted to get in on the program. I did not attend his church. I went to Cicero.

SHUSTER: I see. So you did not go there when he was pastor?

SAXE: No I did not. 

SHUSTER: Did you...

SAXE: Well, only when I heard him at the Songs in the Night program.

SHUSTER: So you did hear his radio program?

SAXE: Oh yes.

SHUSTER: How would you describe the program?

SAXE: Excellent. And I also knew [George] Beverly Shea. As a matter of fact, one time I was having some meetings south of Chicago and Billy Graham...I mean, Beverly Shea came and sang for me there.

SHUSTER: How would you describe George Beverly Shea?

SAXE: Oh, I think he was a very noble man and warm. And humble. But very, very capable to do what he did, obviously. As a matter of fact, when he preached ... sang for me, he was so warm that he appreciated what I had to say. And that was a great honor to me to have a man of that stature to participate in my meeting and also to commend me.

SHUSTER: Now you said that the Songs in the Night program was excellent, what did it consist of? What happened during the program?

SAXE: Well, it was more like a...what can I say...a warm, gracious devotional. And it wasn’t an evangelistic service. It was an effort to encourage Christians in their walk with the Lord.

SHUSTER: So with music and devotional...?

SAXE: That’s right, yes. Music and devotional.

SHUSTER: How.... What was Billy Graham’s style like on the program?

SAXE: Well, I think he attempted also to confront the non-believer as well as the believer. But I think his.... He went on with what had been established there as something which was a ministry to Christians. I think that was more, I would say, that was his style of approach. And like a fireside chat as it were.

SHUSTER: you recall any particular programs or any particular messages?

SAXE: No I don’t, I’m sorry.

SHUSTER: After you graduated, did you have any further contacts with Billy Graham?

SAXE: The only contact I had (and I think I mentioned to you or to somebody) that I met him at Dallas Seminary. And he knew me by name at that time. I don’t suppose he would today, but he did at that time and acknowledged me as we met at the door. And I was quite surprised that he should be there. And I mentioned that to him. And his response was “Well, everybody who is going to be a preacher has to go to Dallas Seminary.” [Shuster laughs] And I said “Well, you didn’t come here.” And he said “Well, I walked through the doors, that’s all that counts.” And that was kind of a joke that anecdote that he left with me.
SHUSTER: And what years were you at Dallas?

SAXE: I was there at 1944. When I graduated from Dallas...from Wheaton. In those days, remember the war was on. And if a person didn’t get into a seminary, he would be drafted. And if he wanted to be a preacher, he would have to get into the army. And so I took the four year program there in two years and ten months. We went all year round at the seminary school.

SHUSTER: So you were there from ‘44 to ‘47?

SAXE: That’s correct. I graduated in ‘47 with a master’s degree and went back after I’d been in Africa for five years. I went back and graduated in ‘54 again with a doctor’s degree.

SHUSTER: And you were a missionary in Africa?

SAXE: I was a missionary there for thirteen years in South Africa.

SHUSTER: With what mission?

SAXE: And then I was there for three years in Mombasa, Kenya. And spent some time there with an independent Bible mission there.

SHUSTER: And so you returned to the States then in...would that have been in ‘60?

SAXE: I don’t remember the year, but I came back.... Those years that I spent (and of course I’m including the times that I had on furlough) but I became the missions director at Philadelphia College of Bible.

SHUSTER: Oh yes.

SAXE: And now what is it called? Philadelphia University or something like that.

SHUSTER: That’s right.

SAXE: I was the director of the missions program there for three years. And then I came here to Ann Arbor and became pastor of the Grace Bible Church where I was for eighteen years. And then we hiked off and started another church called Fellowship Bible church. And I was there for twenty five years. And both of these churches allowed me to go back to Africa or overseas ministry three to four months a year. And I did that for thirty-nine years. And then...during that...before this time that I went to...after...I’m sorry...before I came to Grace Bible, I served as the academic dean at Capital Bible Seminary in Washington DC.

SHUSTER: Well, that’s an impressive, impressive list of ministries.

SAXE: Well, it’s just.... Each one has his gracious calling from the Lord and the way in which he leads. Billy Graham was an outstanding man in evangelism. And a faithful man. There were no questions about his fidelity to the Lord and to his ethical position. And I had my...mine was entirely different. But I thank the Lord that each one is lead by the Lord. And he has his gifts to the church of God. And I had my part, and he had his part. And I’m glad that you gave me the privilege to say something about Billy.

SHUSTER: Well, is there anything else that you’d like to add?

SAXE: Nothing but to say praise the Lord for his ministry. I think that at the beginning, if I might say this, he was more of where I stand as a fundamentalist. And when he started...when he went to New York his first time, Jack Wyrtzen who was from the...he had the largest youth ministry at....

SHUSTER: Schroon Lake.

SAXE: Well, yeah, but he had the Times Square.

SHUSTER: Oh right, the Times Square and...

SAXE: That’s right...

SHUSTER: ...meetings in Madison Square Garden too.

SAXE: He wanted to sponsor Billy Graham. He said “I will do everything for you.” But Billy Graham made a decision not to do that. He wanted a ministerium [the city ministerial association]. And I think that that broadened his ministry. I say broadened it as long as theological. It would have been better, it seemed to me, if he had gone with the...Jack Wyrtzen. But that was a choice he made. And that’s the...I just wish he had been more with Jack Wyrtzen’s crowd than the other group. Because that ultimately lead when he came here to Michigan on one occasion...

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

SAXE: ...they wanted me to cooperate with him. And I had some questions about the people with whom they were associating. And which had troubled me. But I don’t want to pass judgment on my brothers who were lead to the Lord. But anyway....

SHUSTER: Despite you had a different...philosophy of ministry?

SAXE: I think so. It became so that so popular and so inclusive. So that the exclusiveness of where I stood was somewhat different. And anyway, that’s the way it is today. My own opinion that we have more of the world in the church than the church going out to the world.

SHUSTER: Yeah, well, it’’s something to be observed, yeah.

SAXE: I don’t....I’m sorry that some of these things are happening. Because what we need to do is reach out to those who desperately need the Lord as the savior. And that’s what Billy Graham did, I think that was the emphasis of his ministry. And I...I passed out a Billy Graham track just the other day. A man said to me he had some questions about Billy Graham. And I said “Well, listen and read this. This man was out to get people saved. So don’t align him with the television people. He was a unique man of God. And we can thank the Lord for him.”

SHUSTER: Indeed. And I’m...again, I’m grateful for your taking the time this morning to sit down...

SAXE: Well, thank you.

SHUSTER: ...for this interview and again, thank you Dr. Saxe.

SAXE: I hope it will be of some help and blessing to you as you gather the archives for Billy Graham.

SHUSTER: Indeed. This is a very good interview. Thank you.

SAXE: God bless you.


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Last Revised: 2/6/14
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© 2016 Wheaton College. All rights reserved. This transcript may be reused with the following publication credit: Used by permission of the Billy Graham Center Archives, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.2015