New and Updated Collections at the BGC Archives
The Archives is continually adding items to its holdings—newly discovered letters, a recently donated photo album, transcripts to oral history interviews, an entirely new collection, and much more.
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See the descriptions below and follow the links to learn more about new resources now open for research.
New & Updated Collections
Collection 721: Papers of Fred and Clara Elliot (New, May 2021)
Correspondence and clippings received or created by the Elliots, who were parents of the missionary Jim Elliot. Most of the collection consists of letters from Jim Elliot to his parents and/or other members of his family, although there are also numerous letters from his parents to him and letters from other correspondents, such as Elisabeth Elliot (Jim’s wife), Ed and Marilou McCully, Marj Saint, and Barbara Youderian. The letters describe contemporaneously Jim Elliot’s student years at Wheaton College, preparation for missionary service, courtship and marriage to Elisabeth, work as a Plymouth Brethren missionary in Ecuador, leading up to the death of himself and four other missionaries as they attempted to reach the Waorani Indians, called by their enemies the Auca. Throughout all the correspondence a major theme is Elliot’s description of his devotional and theological thoughts and his spiritual development.
Collection 720: Papers of Lousie H. Pierson (New, April 2021)
Photographs, mission newsletters, newspaper clippings, letters, drawings, and pressed flowers arranged in a scrapbook mainly documenting the work of several early Woman’s Union Missionary Society (WUMS) workers in China, Japan, and India. Most of the scrapbook appears to be focused on the work of Mrs. Louise Henrietta Pierson in Yokohama, Japan through the American Mission Home (now known as Yokohama Kyoritsu Kritsu Gakuen or Doremus School) from 1871-1899.
Collection 708: Oral History Interviews with Amira Mina (New, February 2021)
Oral history interviews with Amira Mina, in which she describes her family background; spiritual formation in the Egyptian Coptic Church in Alexandria; her education at the University of Alexandria; her spiritual awakening and discipleship through Youth With A Mission (YWAM); and ministry service with YWAM working with homeless populations, refugees, and mental health patients in Egypt, India, Cambodia, Laos, Sudan, and the United Kingdom; observations of the Arab Spring in 2010, interest in substance abuse and addiction counseling; and studies in clinical mental health counseling at Wheaton College Graduate School.
Collection 719: Papers of Janet Wismer (New, January 2021)
Transcripts of broadcasts, correspondence, newsletters, articles, and memorabilia, relating to Janet Wismer's work as a staff member and producer for Elisabeth Elliot’s Gateway to Joy radio program. The collection also contains some material documenting Wismer's friendship with Elliot.
Collection 619: Oral History Interviews with Singapore Bible College (New, January 2021)
Oral history interviews with Verda Poulson, E. N. Poulson, and Dr. Buela Violet James concerning their life experiences as Singapore Bible College (SBC) faculty and staff. Topics discussed include history of SBC, student life; gender division at SBC; mission education; SBC conservativism; development of degree programs; SBC leadership and lecturers; teaching styles; student fieldwork; Overseas Missionary Fellowship; evangelism efforts in Asia; church development; Singapore; cultural adjustments; Malay language; church and government relations; Chinese Christian culture; and indigenous evangelism
Collection 217: Papers of Elisa Espineli Chinn (Updated, January 2021)
The collection consists of four oral history interviews with Lisa Chinn covering her childhood and family, education, ministry with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of the Philippines and InterVarsity in the United States, ministries with her husband Leiton in the US among international students (with International Students, Inc., Interaction, and their church), writing projects, and her experience as a female leader. Also included are her graduate school creative project, "Cross Cultural Awareness: Offending the Filipino Without Even Trying," a manual to assist international students who have studied in the United States, in readjusting the their home cultures, prayer letters (1979-2020) describing her ministry among international students in the United States, and a resume (1979) and brief autobiography (1988) of her Christian journey.
Collection 660: Records of the CoMission and CoMission II (New, January 2021)
Correspondence, memos, minutes, reports, transcripts, schedules, manuals, policy statements, magazine and newspaper clippings, curricula, audio recordings, videos, photographs, slides and other materials documenting the work of the Commission. This was an alliance of over eighty American Protestant ministries, churches and business (almost all Evangelical) that, in agreement with the Russia government, entered the country on a five year contract to train Russian educators to teach Christian ethics and morals in the public schools, in conjunction with the showing of the Jesus film in convocations held across the former Soviet Union. The group also hoped to develop Bible studies, indigenous Christian leaders, and ultimately to plant churches.
Collection 672: Oral History Interviews with Jeanne Blumhagen (New, December 2020)
Oral history interviews with Jeanne Bourland Blumhagen in which she describes her family background; effects of the Great Depression; conversion and spiritual development; education at Whitworth University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois; World War II; medical missionary service in Afghanistan with the American Embassy in Kabul, Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship (BMMF), Medical Assistance Program (MAP), and later Interserve, and serving on the Wheaton College Board of Trustees. Topics discussed include: the process of discerning a call to missions; medical training for international service, the people, religion, and culture of Afghanistan; common medical issues in Afghanistan and Nepal; the challenges of raising children on the mission field; the role of women in missionary agencies; interpersonal conflict on the mission field; and impressions of Wheaton College.
Collection 690: Oral history interviews with Elias Ng’etich (New, December 2020)
Oral history interviews with Elias Ng’etich, in which he describes his family background, the African Inland Church (AIC) he grew up in, his spiritual development and conversion, worship and Christian life in the church in which he grew up, youth evangelism activities, his first days at Scott Theological College, pastor of the AIC church in Chebaiyowo, Kenya; Moi University; typical day as a pastor, creation of the Scott satellite campus in Eldoret and teaching there; relations between Christians in Kenya; strengths and weaknesses of the church in Kenya; the Wheaton College Graduate School and his reflections on his experiences in the United States.
Collection 681: Oral History Interviews with Mertis Heimbach (New, November 2020)
Oral history interviews with Mertis Byram Heimbach (1921- ) missionary in China, Thailand, Singapore and U.S. with China Inland Mission (CIM) and (as it was later known) Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) from 1946 to 1999. Topics discussed include childhood in Korea; parents’ mission work; Wheaton College and Prairie Bible Institute; marriage to Ernest Heimbach; Hmong (Miao) people; tribal mission work; Communist takeover of China; Communist treatment of Christians; CIM’s exit from China; new OMF headquarters in Singapore; family life on the mission field; evangelism through healing; pioneer language work; literacy education; Ernest’s appointment as OMF Field Superintendent of Northern Thailand and then Director of Eastern Region of OMF; Jesus Saves Mission; leaving the mission field; ministry to Hmong in U.S.; U.S. Center for World Missions.
Collection 678: Oral History Interviews with Helen Grace Madeira Cox (New, November 2020)
Oral history interview with Helen Grace Madeira Cox (1921-2019), missionary in China from 1947-1951 and Northern Thailand 1953-1973 with China Inland Mission (later Overseas Missionary Fellowship). Topics discussed include Cox's childhood experiences and early faith in the Church of the Brethren; call to missionary work; education at Columbia Bible College and Wheaton College; teaching Bible in Virginia public schools; attending Missionary Medical Institute and Wycliffe’s Summer Institute of Linguistics; applying for China Inland Mission (CIM); learning the Chinese language; the Chinese church in Baoshan, China; various OMF workers; the Chinese Civil War; CIM’s withdrawal from China; marriage to Eric Cox; return to mission work in Northern Thailand; conversion and faith of Yao headman Brother Six; Yao people and society; family life on the mission field; Yao language work; New Testament translation; work with Yao immigrants to U.S.; retirement to Calvary Fellowship Home.
Collection 583: Oral History Interviews with Gregory S. Thellman (New, October 2020)
Oral history with Gregory Thellman (1970- ), missionary in the Bosnian region of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1997-2008) as a member of a church team. Topics covered include Thellman’s spiritual development and conversion, interest in missions, participation in his Northside Community Church’s outreach among Muslim Bosnian refugees in Atlanta, Northside’s mission teams to Mostar in Bosnia, Bosnian Christian leaders and Evangelical congregation in the city, work among children and youth, relations with other Evangelicals, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians in Mostar, pastor John Rowell’s leadership and philosophy for mission teams, training for ministry, sport and camp ministries, ministry among Romani refugees, impact of war on Bosnia, and attending Wheaton College Grad School.
Collection 662: Oral History Interviews with Marcus Figueiredo (New, October 2020)
Oral history interviews of Brazilian minister and missionary Marcus Figueiredo. Topics covered included his family background; membership in a spiritualist church, conversion; education at Seminario Biblico Palavra da Vida (Word of Life Seminary); his battle with cancer; pastoral duties at the Igreja Presbiteriana 12 de Agosto (August 12 Presbyterian Church); Evangelicalism in Brazil; Pioneer Missions; mission work in Kyrgyzstan as a teacher of English; Muslim attitudes towards Jesus; the Wheaton College Graduate School; Evangelicalism in the United States.
Collection 655: Oral History Interview with Raymond Adonai (New, August 2020)
Oral history interviews with Adonai. Topics discussed include family background and childhood in Nigeria, his conversion and the development of his Christian faith, graduate education in Poland; ministry among university students through the Christian Student Association of Poland (ChSA) and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES); African students in Poland; Pentecostalism in Poland; founding of the Victory in Jesus Church in Lodz, Poland; impressions of the Wheaton College Graduate School.
Collection 642: Oral History Interviews with Susan J. Nivens (New, August 2020)
Oral history interviews with Susan Nivens, in which she discusses her childhood in Michigan, development of her Christian faith, education at Bethany Bible College, joining the Summer Institute of Linguistics/Wycliffe Bible Translators, the relationship between the two; her marriage; work in Indonesia among the Tarangan people; raising a family in the field; the processes of Bible translation; Indonesian village life; Muslim/Christian relations; experiences during a jihad, helping to create and administer the SIL training program for indigenous Indonesian translators; Wheaton College and the Wheaton College Graduate School.
Collection 640: Records of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (New, August 2020)
Correspondence, reports, administration files, and photographs documenting the ministry work of IFES most extensively between 1971 and 1998. The records document in detail the activities and influence of the global IFES student movement at both country and international levels, recording its worldwide growth, impact on the church, its staff and activities in many particular countries, its international assemblies and conferences, and publications of both the larger organization and its national members.
Collection 626: Oral History Interview with Stephen Christopher (New, July 2020)
Oral history interview with Stephen Christopher, a Tamil mission leader. Topics covered in the interview include his childhood, education and conversion; the work of Dohnavur Fellowship; ministry of his father (P. T. Christopher) and the founding of the Tamil Gospel Village Mission, his own vision for the ministry; the Christian church in northern and southern India; and a comparison of Indian and American Christianity.
Collection 641: Oral History Interviews with David Kirwa Tarus (New, June 2020)
Oral history interviews with David Kirwa Tarus, a Kenyan pastor and theologian. Tarus describes the ministry of his parents; growing up in Kenya; his conversion; spiritual development; Scott Theological College; the Africa Inland Church in Kenya; Scott’s satellite campus in Eldoret; the general condition of Christianity in Kenya; his impressions of the United States and Wheaton Graduate School; the 2008 election of Barak Obama.
Collection 709: Oral History Interviews with John Innes (New, June 2020)
Oral history interviews with John Innes, in which he describes his family background; spiritual growth; development of musical talent; education at Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College; and career as an organist and pianist with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for over 40 years. Topics discussed include the development of the BGEA’s music team; changes in the BGEA structure and leadership; various BGEA figures, including Billy Graham; George Beverly Shea; Cliff Barrows; Franklin Graham; Don Hustad; Leighton Ford; among others.
Collection 679: Oral History Interviews with John and Virginia Casto (New, June 2020)
Oral history interviews with John and Virginia Casto. Topics discussed include their family backgrounds; their education at Prairie Bible Institute and elsewhere; marriage; work in Thailand as missionaries with Overseas Missionary Fellowship in hospital evangelism, nursing, and church planting; the Thai church; raising a family on the mission field.
Oral history interview with Maria Katherine Waldschmidt in which she discusses her family background, Roman Catholic upbringing, experiences as an exchange student in Germany, her spiritual struggle and conversion; spiritual atmosphere in Germany in the late 1980s.
Collection 355: Papers of J. Edwin Orr (New, May 2020)
Correspondence, academic papers, clippings, reports, films, videos, and other materials relating to J. Edwin Orr’s life as an evangelist active around the world and as a professor and historian of spiritual awakenings (revivals) and evangelism. The collection is an excellent source on Protestant Evangelicalism as a global movement in the twentieth century.
Collection 680: Papers of the Almond Family (New, May 2020)
Diaries and oral history interviews documenting the work of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (China Inland Mission) workers Louis Almond, his first wife Stella and his second wife Helen in China (1949-1951), Thailand and the United States.
Collection 635: Oral History Interviews with Theodore W. Mole (New, May 2020)
Oral history interview with Mole, a missionary and church planter with CB International and Interact Ministries in the Ukraine and Siberia. Topics covered in the interview include involvement with InterVarsity; churching planting among Russian immigrants in Denver; teaching missions at Donetsk Christian University in Ukraine; Svet Evanglia, a Ukrainian mission agency; working in Siberia as a church planter and counselor among the Sakha (Caxa) people and among the nomadic Eveni people.
Collection 569: Oral History Interviews with Donna Sue Wasson (New, April 2020)
Oral history interviews with Donna Sue Wasson, a missionary of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) working in Taiwan starting in 1985. Topics discussed include her childhood and early spiritual seeking, conversion while in college, membership in Moody Church in Chicago and education at Moody Bible Institute, acceptance as a missionary by Overseas Missionary Fellowship, orientation in Singapore, her evangelistic ministry in Taiwan among factory workers, including teaching English classes; characteristics of OMF as an organization.
Collection 656: Oral History Interviews with Cynthia L. Judge (New, April 2020)
Oral history interviews with Cynthia L. Judge, a volunteer leader in the Short-Term Missions movement (STM). Topics discussed include: attendance at Moody Bible Institute; Chicago in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King; work as a staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ in Tennessee and West Virginia; marriage to James Judge; short-term mission trips to Ecuador and Kenya; Africa Inland Mission and Africa Inland Church; Explo '72; the STM programs at College Church, Willow Creek Community Church, and Wheaton Bible Church; reflections on the development of STM movement over twenty years.
Collection 617: Oral History Interview with Soong-Chan Rah (New, April 2020)
One oral history interview with Soong-Chan Rah in which he describes his family background, experiences as an immigrant to the United States in the early 1970s from South Korea, his spiritual development, experiences as a church-planter, and ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Collection 623: Oral History Interviews with Christopher B. Ladish (New, April 2020)
Oral history interview with Christopher Ladish in which he discusses his childhood, conversion to Christian faith, marriage, joining Wycliffe Bible Translators/Summer Institute of Linguistics, his translation and literacy work in the Koromfe language among the Koromba people of Burkina Faso, the characteristics of the Wycliffe organization and staff, and methods of Bible translation.
Oral history interviews with Mary J. Hawthorne in which she describes her experiences working in community development, education, evangelism, and medical missions among the Quechua people in Bolivia with SIM International for over 20 years, beginning in 1989. Topics discussed include her family background and spiritual development; education at Wheaton College; impressions of various mission agencies; including SIM, Medical Assistance Program (MAP), and the Moravians; challenges of cross-cultural communication; medical missions; impressions of various regions of Bolivia, including Cochabamba, Sucre, and Yawisla; missions in urban and rural settings; the Quechua people and language; and the benefits of cross-cultural training for missionary candidates.
New Oral History Transcripts
Since the early 1980s, members of the Archives staff have conducted over 800 hours of oral history interviews with more than 275 individuals involved in mass evangelism, global missions, Christian education, community development, medical work, and Bible translation. These figures include well-known names such as Cliff Barrows, Elisabeth Elliot, David Howard, John Huffman, William Pannell, John Perkins, and many more. To date, the Archives staff have completed over 430 transcripts to these interviews. Follow the links below to read our latest oral history transcripts.
Please note: Oral history interview transcripts are not available online during the interviewee's lifetime.
Collection 478: Oral History Interviews with Paul A. Buyse. Transcripts for Tape 2, 3 & 4 (Added April 2021)
Collection 465: Oral History Interview with Merry E. Long. Transcript for Tape 1 (added February 2021)
Collection 347: Oral History Interviews with Ruth M. Long. Transcript for Tape 1 & 2 (Added February 2021)
Collection 658: Papers of Samuel D. Faircloth. Transcript for Tape 1 (Added January 2021)
Collection 624: Ephemera of the ZamZam. Transcript for Tape 2 & 3 (Added January 2021)
Collection 453: Oral History Interviews with Paul H. Bartel. Transcript for Tape 1 & 2 (Added January 2021)
Collection 434: Papers of Jack Frizen. Transcripts for Tape 12 (Added December 2020).
Collection 414: Papers of Wade T. Coggins. Transcript for Tape 6, 7, 8, 9 , 10 & 11 (added October 2020)
Collection 514: Ephemera of Wheaton College Revivals. Transcripts for Tapes 36, 45, 48, 55 & 72 (added August 2020)
Collection 391: Papers of Robert C. Schneider. Transcript for Tape 2, 3 & 4 (added April and May 2020)
Collection 249: Papers of Myron and Elizabeth Harrison. Transcript for Tape 1 (added January 2020)