Billy Graham Center Archives

Collection 74 - Stanley A. Harwood . T73 Transcript

Click here to listen to an audio file of of the unrestricted portion this interview (18 minutes)

This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Stanley A. Harwood (CN 74, T73) 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 Grabner, and Paul Bartow was completed in March 2014.

Collection 74, T73. Interview of Stanley A. Harwood Bob Shuster on September 27, 2010.

HARWOOD: I can hear you very well now.

SHUSTER: Excellent. Yes...this is a...I’m recording this interview, is that okay?


SHUSTER: Good. Well let me just give a brief introduction and then we can start with the questions.

HARWOOD: Alright.

SHUSTER: This is an interview of Dr. Stanley A. Harwood by Bob Shuster for the Billy Graham Center Archives. It took place over the telephone on September 27th, 2010 at 10:15 AM central time. And 9:15 mountain time.

HARWOOD: Correct.

SHUSTER: Dr. Harwood, let me start by asking you when and where were you born?

HARWOOD: I was born on a ranch near the town of Walsenburg a little ways away from that. Actually, I was in the little...close to a little town that disappeared. They don’t have it anymore [laughs].

SHUSTER: And where is Walsenburg?

HARWOOD: That is in the southern part of Colorado.

SHUSTER: Oh. So you’ve been...lived in Colorado all your life?

HARWOOD: Except for going to school at Wheaton and in the Army [laughs].

SHUSTER: And what...what was the date of your birth?

HARWOOD: July the 27th, 1919. I’m an old cuss.

SHUSTER: [chuckles] And what years were you at Wheaton?

‘37 through ‘41.

SHUSTER: And why did you...why did you choose Wheaton to attend? Why did you leave Colorado to go to Wheaton?

HARWOOD: Well, I was going to go to Colorado State University. I was kind of inter...interested in agriculture and animal products and so forth. But my dad was working in the Jewish missions. He was in business also, but on the side he had a love for the Jewish people, so he was in Jewish missions and he had a partner by the name of Reverend Anester [?]. And he said to my dad “Don’t you send him to a godless university. Send him to a Christian university.” So Dad says “Where will I send him?” And he said, “To Wheaton.” So that’s where I went.

SHUSTER: And when and where did you first meet Billy Graham at Wheaton?

HARWOOD: I don’t remember exactly the time. But in the course of going through the halls and so forth, I met Billy and got acquainted with him. And and on we had a chance to chat once in a while. But I didn’t know Billy real well, but he...he wanted...he needed a car one day and so I had a car at Wheaton, so I let him borrow it. So that’s how we got acquainted.

SHUSTER: What...?

HARWOOD: And later on when he came to Denver for a campaign, he called me and said “Stan, can you come down before the service and talk with me a little bit?” So I had a nice conversation with him before his meeting.

SHUSTER: Now that was much later, right? In the 19...

HARWOOD: Yeah, that was later.

SHUSTER: 60s or so.


SHUSTER: Going back to the time at Wheaton, what kind of car did you have?

HARWOOD: [Laughs] I had, as I recall, a 1937 Ford Convertible.



SHUSTER: And did it...was.... 1937, so it was relatively new. I mean, you must have....

HARWOOD: Yes. I got it just as I started school there.

SHUSTER: And how many times did Billy borrow it?

HARWOOD: I don’t remember, but I think two or three times. I can’t remember for sure.

SHUSTER: Did you...?

HARWOOD: You know, that’s a few years back.
SHUSTER: Oh sure, sure.  

HARWOOD: [Laughs].

SHUSTER: Do you happen to recall where he was going or where the meetings were or anything?

HARWOOD: Well, I think ...the one I especially remember was that there was going to be a parade. And he needed a car to make it work the best for him. So that’s how it happened.

SHUSTER: You said there was going to be a parade. Do you mean he was going to be in the parade?

HARWOOD: Yes, he was in the parade. And had a setup for that.

SHUSTER: So the ...your car was pulling a float?

HARWOOD: Yes, it was a float.

SHUSTER: And this was in Wheaton or...?


SHUSTER: Do you recall what the float was or why he was...?

HARWOOD: No, I don’t. I don’t remember. But I know he had it all fixed up and had three or four people with him in the car. And they were going down the street [laughs].

SHUSTER: Did he use it other times to go to meetings or...?

HARWOOD: I...I don’t remember. I think maybe once or twice he went to meetings or something with it. But I remember just that one especially.

SHUSTER: Did you get it back in good condition and...?

HARWOOD: Oh yeah [laughs]. No problem.

SHUSTER: Okay. Anything else about lending your car that you recall?

HARWOOD: Not with Billy. I used it in Gospel Team work while I was at Wheaton. I roommated with Abe Van Der Puy.

SHUSTER: Oh, yes.

HARWOOD: And we were together four years. And we went out on Gospel Team work. And I played my trombone and helped out a little bit. And generally Abe preached.

SHUSTER: And so where did you...where did you go in your Gospel Team meetings? To Chicago?

HARWOOD: Well, we would go to various churches all around the area, close to Wheaton.

SHUSTER: And you said you played the ...your trombone?

HARWOOD: Yes. And we had a quartet and we went out with the quartet sometimes, brass quartet. Two trumpets and two trombones. And we went around the area there.

SHUSTER: Always in churches?


SHUSTER: And what kind of response did you get?

HARWOOD: Oh, we were always well received and always had a nice time.

SHUSTER: Did you have any classes with Billy?

HARWOOD: No, I didn’t. I didn’t have any classes with Billy. I was a major in business with a minor in Bible, and I didn’t run across him in any of my classes.

SHUSTER: What...what kind of fellow was he at this time? What was his physical appearance? What did he look like?

HARWOOD: Billy was very slender and [pauses] good set of hair. And ...he was just a nice-looking fellow. A little hard sometimes to describe how a person is sixty years ago.

SHUSTER: Oh sure, sure. What did he sound like?

HARWOOD: Oh, he...he was a good speaker. And that carried forward into his campaigns. He was a...he was a good man. Well liked and well received.

SHUSTER: What was his personality like?

HARWOOD: He had a good personality. He was his younger days, he was a little more bashful, but as he went along he improved and became very popular and a very good speaker.

SHUSTER: How do you mean bashful?

HARWOOD: Oh, I think he was a little reticent and not quite as forward as he was later on.

SHUSTER: I know that he was preaching often at the United Gospel Tabernacle in downtown Wheaton.

HARWOOD: Yes, that’s right.

SHUSTER: Did you ever go to hear him?

HARWOOD: Yeah, I heard him once or twice. Uh-huh.

SHUSTER: What was the United Gospel Tabernacle? Where was it?

HARWOOD: It was in downtown Wheaton there.

SHUSTER: Do you recall where at or...?

HARWOOD: I don’t. I don’t recall the streets or the numbers there.

SHUSTER: What did it look like inside?

HARWOOD: Oh, it was nothing fancy [laughs]. Pretty much like any auditorium.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

HARWOOD: Nothing great to look at.

SHUSTER: How many people did it hold? Or would hold?

HARWOOD: I don’t remember. I don’t remember how many that would hold.

SHUSTER: And was it...what kind of people were in the congregation? Were they from the town or the college or...?

HARWOOD: Well, there were some...a few from the town. But mostly, probably students from the college. There were a lot of students from the college. And a few from the town.

SHUSTER: And what kind of sermons did he preach?

HARWOOD: Very basically like he did all through his ministry, stating the need of the Lord and of the need to walk with Him. That type of thing.

SHUSTER: Did he give an invitation?

HARWOOD: I can’t remember now whether he did or not. I don’t remember that.

SHUSTER: How many people were usually at these services?

HARWOOD: Well, I was only at one or two...

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

HARWOOD: probably I’m not a good judge of that. And as I was out journeying on Christian work myself, so I didn’t really get to be with him very much in his services.

SHUSTER: But the two times...the couple times you were there, how many people were there?

HARWOOD: Oh...I can’t remember. But I would say probably a couple hundred. But I really can’t say for sure.

SHUSTER: Did you...I know that you talked about you going on Gospel Team. Graham also sometimes went to Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan to preach...hold campaigns. Did you ever go on any of those with him?

HARWOOD: No, I didn’t. I was involved with the...this brass quartet...

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

HARWOOD: And with Abe Van Der Puy. And we didn’t go real far from Wheaton but mostly churches close. And then later on, Abe pastored a church near Wheaton, and I helped him while I was in school there.

SHUSTER: What church was that?

HARWOOD: I can’t remember the name of it [laughs].

SHUSTER: Was it in Wheaton? Or...?

HARWOOD: No, it was a suburb. Farther out from Wheaton, but I can’t remember exactly where it was now.

SHUSTER: West Chicago or Warrenville?

HARWOOD: No, it wasn’t that far. It was closer to Wheaton. Sorry, I can’t remember all of these things.

SHUSTER: No, that’s okay. Some people have told us that Dr. Edman occasionally asked Graham to preach in chapel. Do you remember any of those occasions?

HARWOOD: No, I don’t. I don’t remember that. He stayed...he graduated in the class of ‘42 so that could have been his last year that he was in school.

SHUSTER: Actually, I think he graduated in the Spring of ‘43.

HARWOOD: Oh, is that right?


HARWOOD: I see. I thought it was ‘42, but I wasn’t sure.

SHUSTER: He mentioned in his memoirs that it was at Wheaton that it was the first time he had black students as classmates.

HARWOOD: The first time he’d what?

SHUSTER: He ever had black students, African American students, as classmates.

HARWOOD: Oh, is that right?

SHUSTER: Did you recall black students at Wheaton when you were there?

HARWOOD: Very few. I remember especially a Spanish student that we had from Mexico.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

HARWOOD: I don’t remember a black student, I don’t believe.

SHUSTER: Did you ever visit Graham’s rooms at 741 Irving?

HARWOOD: No, I never did. No.

SHUSTER: Let’s see. What kind of reputation did he have on campus? How did people regard him?

HARWOOD: Oh, I think he was regarded very well. And people received him with kindness and so forth. So he was well received.

SHUSTER: Was he going with Ruth Graham when you were still a student there? Not Ruth Graham, I’m sorry, Ruth Bell?

HARWOOD: I think he just started the last year I was there but didn’t have any close connections there.

SHUSTER: Well, is there anything else that you wanted to say or that you remember about Billy Graham at Wheaton when you were a student there?

HARWOOD: No. I...I wasn’t that close to Billy at that time. I met him and talked with him and a little bit and so forth. But really didn’t know him real well.

SHUSTER: Did you have any hesitation about loaning your car about someone who was a virtual stranger to you?

HARWOOD: No. No, I knew him well enough that I thought he would be fine.

SHUSTER: Okay. You mentioned...was it in 1965 that you saw him in Colorado?

HARWOOD: Whenever his...he was here for a campaign, and I think it was ‘65, but I don’t remember the exact date.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh. But you remember that he called you up and asked you to come by?

HARWOOD: Yes, he did.

SHUSTER: Was that the first contact that you’d had after all those years?

HARWOOD: Yes, that’s the first one.

SHUSTER: Huh! Well, what do you think prompted him to call you after all those years?

HARWOOD: I don’t know what, but evidently we’d had enough contact that he remembered me. I’m surprised that he did even. But, it was nice to meet with him, and we had a nice time together and a good talk.

SHUSTER: So what was your conversation like?

HARWOOD: Well, this went back to kind of the things that we’d been doing. He went ...he was president of Northwestern College [in Minnesota] for a year. And ...

SHUSTER: Did you go up to Northwestern?

HARWOOD: Did what?

SHUSTER: Did you go to Northwestern as well?

HARWOOD: No. But I knew the president, later president of Northwestern, Bill Berntson, and so I...I went back to Northwestern once to talk with Bill. And also, I was interested in a college here in Colorado. And it finally became Colorado Christian University.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

HARWOOD: I don’t know if you know of it or not.


HARWOOD: You know it, huh?

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

HARWOOD: And so there were two colleges here. Rockmont and Western Bible. And we tried to get together and Bill Berntson asked us to come out and see his college and to talk with us. Which we did, and it was very profitable. And at first we didn’t make it, but the second time around the two colleges got together. And....

SHUSTER: And was Billy Graham involved in this in some way?

HARWOOD: Was I involved?

SHUSTER: No, was Billy Graham involved in this in some way?

HARWOOD: No, no. But he...he told of being at Northwestern. And I talked with him about I’d started three...three churches. So he ...he said, “I haven’t started any churches” but I said “You’ve done a lot more.”

SHUSTER: Did ...were you involved in the crusade in Colorado?

HARWOOD: A little bit, not much.

SHUSTER: What were your impressions of those meetings?

HARWOOD: Well planned, well done. They were really outstanding in their...organization and planning. And follow up too, good follow up program too.

SHUSTER: You said you were involved a little bit . Were you in the choir or an usher or...?

HARWOOD: No, I...I just helped a little bit in getting people involved and going there.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh. What did Graham look like when you saw him there in ‘65?

HARWOOD: Oh, he hadn’t changed much by that time. I mean looked good and he was very forceful. Good preacher. Did a good job.

SHUSTER: Anything else you want to add? Any memories? Any stories or incidents you want to...?

HARWOOD: I don’t think of anything else at the moment. As I say, I was not real close to Billy. And ...but...enjoyed the short visits I had with him and the time with him. So... And....

SHUSTER: Well ...go ahead. Go ahead.

HARWOOD: He was one of the few evangelists that was good about his finances.

SHUSTER: Well, Dr. Harwood, I appreciate your being willing to talk to me this morning and to record this.

HARWOOD: Well, I’m sorry I’m not...I can’t help you anymore, but ...

SHUSTER: Well no, this is great. It’s the first time I heard about the story about the parade.

HARWOOD: Oh [laughs] yeah.

SHUSTER: That was in downtown?

HARWOOD: That was the first time I heard about him being president at Western...Northwestern.

SHUSTER: Oh yeah. Sure.

HARWOOD: You probably delved into a lot of his background.

SHUSTER: Yeah. People have all sorts of stories.


SHUSTER: Well, thank you again!

HARWOOD: Thank you. And blessings on you.

SHUSTER: Indeed.

HARWOOD: Keep up the good work.

SHUSTER: Thank you.

HARWOOD: Alright.


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Last Revised: 11/13/13

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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.2013