Charles E. Fuller (1887-1968), radio evangelist and founder of Fuller Evangelical Seminary, was born in Los Angeles, California. The son of an orange-grower, he graduated from Pomona College in 1910 and entered the family business. After being converted at a 1916 evangelistic meeting under the preaching of Paul Rader, Fuller went on to attend the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, was eventually ordained, and in 1925 assumed the pastorate at Calvary Church in Placentia. Influenced by Rader, Fuller began “The Pilgrim’s Hour” during the late 1920s and broadcast over several local Southern California radio stations.
By 1937 Fuller had begun “The Old Fashioned Revival Hour” over the Mutual Broadcasting Network, supported solely by listeners’ contributions. By the mid-1940s, he was heard via live broadcast and recorded transcriptions over nearly 600 stations and was heard by an estimated twenty million people each week. He later broadcast on both the CBS and ABC radio networks. In 1947 along with the aid of an inheritance from his father and the assistance of National Association of Evangelicals president Harold John Ockenga, Fuller created Fuller Theological Seminary (named in honor of his father) in Pasadena. Designed as a training school for evangelists and missionaries, as well as an evangelical response to mainline, liberal seminaries, Fuller Seminary grew to become the largest, non-denominational, Protestant seminary in the world.
For further reading see Daniel A. Fuller, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice (Word, 1972) and George Marsden, Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 1987).