Collection 416 Oral History Interviews with Benjamin L. Armstrong
Scope and Contents
Oral history interview with Benjamin Leighton Armstrong in which he describes his family, particularly his father (Benjamin Leighton Armstrong Sr.) and grandfather (Benjamin Franklin Armstrong), his own conversion and spiritual growth, education at Nyack Bible College, New York University, Union Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, religious radio and television, Samuel Shoemaker, Paul Tillich, missions in the Christian and Missionary Alliance church, Voice of Tangiers and Trans World Radio, National Religious Broadcasters, Eugene Bertermann, NRB's lobbying of US government bodies (FCC and Congress), his international visits, particularly his witnessing the events immediately following the assassination of Benigno Aquino in the Philippines, the televangelist scandals of the second half of the 1980s, Presbyterianism, brother-in-lay Paul Freed, NRB conventions, his book The Electric Church. Other individuals mentioned include: A.B. Simpson, Samuel Shoemaker, Frank Gaebelein, James Oliver Buswell, Paul Tillich, Clarence Jones, brother-in-law Paul Freed, Thomas Zimmerman, Robert Cook, Billy Graham, Lloyd Oglivie, James Kennedy. T he time period covered by the interviews is 1885 to 1989.
Benjamin Leighton Armstrong was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on June 16, 1989, at the National Religious Broadcasters office in Parsippiny, NJ.
- Created: 1989
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Full Name: Benjamin Leighton Armstrong, Jr.
Birth Date: October 18, 1923 Birth place: Newark, NJ
Parents: Benjamin Leighton Armstrong--pastor, radio evangelist; Margaret Woodworth Denison Armstrong--evangelistic singer
Grandfather: Benjamin Franklin Armstrong--worked with D. L. Moody
Siblings: Two younger sisters: Mary--married H. Miller Lake, missionaries in New Guinea; Ruth--married Virgil Megill, United Methodist minister
Marital Status: Married Ruth Freed in 1946
Children: Robert L., works at National Religious Broadcasters (NRB); Bonnie M. & Debbie M.: one works at NRB, the other counsels battered wives.
Conversion: 1935 (age 12) at a meeting of C&MA evangelist T. H. Ritchie
Stony Brook School--two years, graduated 1941
Houghton College--started 1941, left 1943
Nyack Missionary Institute--started 1943, graduated 1945
Calvary Clergy School, Calvary Episcopal Church--1946
New York University: B.S. in religious education, 1948; M.S. in mass media, 1950
Princeton Theological Seminary--post-graduate studies until 1954
Union Theological Seminary--B.D.,1955 (M.Div.?)
Seton Hall University--Russian classes
New York University--Ph.D. in mass media, 1968
1942-1945 Assisted Dr. Sam Shoemaker in the Calvary Clergy School of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City Goodwill Home and Rescue Mission in Newark, NJ
1945-?? Director of Christian Education at Green Ridge Presbyterian Church, Scranton, PA
1948 Weekly radio program, Teaching the Sunday School Lesson
1949 Ordained evangelist and minister by the Presbyterian Church USA
Assistant pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hackensack, NJ
1950-1955 Pastor of Broadway Presbyterian Church in Paterson, NJ--later name changed to Central Presbyterian Church
Coordinated the "Cavalcade of Faith," a community celebration
19??-1958 Pastor of Community Presbyterian in Ringwood, NJ
1952-1958 Informally raised money for Voice of Tangier
1958-1966 Worked with Trans World Radio in France
Director of Trans World Radio in Chatham, NJ
1966- Executive Secretary of National Religious Broadcasters
1968 Recipient of Founder's Day Award at New York University
1973 Chair of Key '73 Mass Media Committee
1974 Coordinator of radio and television at the International Congress on World Evangelization
Memberships: National Association of Evangelicals, Director
Council of Cooperation for Community Interchange Center, NYC
Presbytery New York, UP Church in USA
Intercristo, Seattle, WA--board of directors
Telemissions, Nyack, NY--board of directors
8.00 Audio Tapes
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials for this collection were received by the Center in June 1989 from Benjamin Leighton Armstrong.
Accession 89-62 May 11, 1995
- Aquino, Benigno S., Jr., 1932-1983.
- Armstrong, Ben (Benjamin L.), 1923-2010.
- Bertermann, Eugene R.
- Buswell, J. Oliver (James Oliver), 1895-1977.
- Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
- Christian and Missionary Alliance.
- Christian life.
- Christianity and culture -- United States.
- Church and state -- United States.
- Church and state.
- Church growth
- Cook, Robert A., 1912-
- Electric church.
- Evangelicalism -- Judaism.
- Evangelicalism -- Political activity.
- Evangelicalism -- United States.
- Evangelistic work -- United States.
- Evangelistic work.
- Evangelists -- United States.
- Freed, Paul E.
- Fuller, Charles Edward, 1887-1968.
- Gaebelein, Frank E. (Frank Ely), 1899-1983.
- Graham, Billy, 1918-2018.
- Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.
- Jones, Clarence W.
- Kennedy, D. James.
- Liberalism (Religion)
- Mass media in missionary work.
- Mass media in religion -- Congresses.
- Mass media in religion.
- National Association of Evangelicals.
- National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
- National Religious Broadcasters (U.S.)
- Ogilvie, Lloyd John.
- Organizational change.
- Presbyterians -- United States.
- Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1988.
- Presidents -- United States -- Election.
- Presidents -- United States.
- Radio in missionary work.
- Radio in religion.
- Shoemaker, Samuel M.
- Simpson, A. B.
- Television in religion -- United States.
- Television in religion.
- Theology -- Study and teaching -- Asia.
- Theology -- Study and teaching -- United States.
- Tillich, Paul,
- Trans World Radio.
- United States -- Foreign relations
- United States -- Foreign relations -- Israel.
- United States -- Politics and government.
- Voice of Tangiers (Radio station : Tanger, Morocco)
- World War, 1939-1945.
- Collection 416 Oral History Interviews with Benjamin L. Armstrong
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