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Collection 430 Papers of Tom Skinner

Identifier: CN 430

Scope and Contents

One oral history interview, articles, newsletters, clippings and other materials, relating to Skinner's life and the ministry of Tom Skinner Associates.

[NOTE: In the Scope and Content description, the notation "folder 5-2" means box 5, folder 2.]

Series: Audio Tapes

Oral history interview with Tom Skinner, in which he describes his parents, youth, conversion to Christianity, theological education, meeting Martin Luther King, Jr., founding of the Harlem Evangelistic Association, social conditions in the African American community, the African American church, black Evangelical and other leaders, and his attitude toward preaching. The time period covered by the interviews is 1942 to 1962

Tom Skinner was interviewed by Robert Shuster on June 14, 1990, during a conference at Bryan College in Tennessee.

Series: Paper Records (Box List)

Most of the paper records relate to TSA activities in one way or another. Folder 1-1 contains articles by Skinner about the black church in America and Christianity and racism. These are also the themes covered in the sermons in folder 1-7, which consists mainly of chapel addresses given at various times at Wheaton College. The correspondence in folder 1-5 consists mainly of letters sent to supporters of TSA to keep them informed about the needs of the organization and to ask for their prayer and financial support. However, there are several letters from 1971 dealing with radio station WMBI's decision to drop Skinner's radio program because they felt he was too political. The other files in the collection contain newsletters (folders 1-8 to 1-11), a few press releases (folder 1-12) and magazine and newspaper clippings about Skinner and the TSA (folder 1-4). These also include reports on the activities of other members of the staff, such as William Pannell. An excellent summary of the first fifteen years of the organization can be found in the anniversary booklet in folder 1-2.


  • Created: 1966-1990

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: Tom Skinner

Birth Date: June 6, 1942

Death Date: June 17, 1994 in Norfolk, Virginia of leukemia.


Parents: Alester Jerry Skinner and Georgia (Robinson) Skinner. Father was a Baptist minister

Siblings: Donald Eugene (2 years younger), Jerry Bruce (4 years younger), John William (8 years younger) Diedra Ann (18 years younger)

Marital Status: First wife was Vivian (Sutton) Skinner. Marriage ended in divorce. Second wife was Barbara Williams Skinner

Children: Lauren Skinner, Kyla (Skinner) Rouse

Conversion: October 1956


1963 Graduated from Warner College

1966 Graduated from Manhattan Bible Institute


June 2, 1959 Ordained by the United Missionary Baptist Association of Greater New York and Vicinity

October 1961 Formed the Harlem Evangelistic Association, which held evangelistic meetings in New York City, the Caribbean, and elsewhere

1963 Participated in the formation of the Association of Black Evangelists

1964 Began broadcasting over the radio and incorporated Tom Skinner Radio Crusades to support the work, headquarters in Brooklyn

1966 Corporation renamed Tom Skinner Crusades, later renamed Tom Skinner Associates in 1970. TSA eventually developed a diverse group of programs, including evangelistic crusades, ministry to college students, motivation seminars, publications, and community development.

1967 Skinner began to serve as an informal chaplain for a variety of sports team. He continued this activity into the 1980s and was particularly identified with the Washington Redskins.

1968 William Pannell left Youth for Christ and joined Tom Skinner Associates as vice president

1970s-80s Chaplain of the Washington Redskins

1976 Tom Skinner Associates moved to East Orange, New Jersey

1985 Started Tom Skinner Associates Learning Center to provide spiritual and vocation guidance for inner-city youth in Newark, New Jersey

1992 Moved from Manhattan to Tracey's Landing, Maryland, where he started the Skinner Farm Leadership Institute.


Black and Free (1968); Words of Revolution (1970); How Black is the Gospel (1970): If Christ is the Answer, What Are the Questions? (1974);


Often worked with prominent white evangelists, such as Billy Graham; William Pannell was a prominent early associate; Persistent critic of racism in American culture; Exercised great influence through encouraging young black Christian leaders and in serving as a bridge between the black and white Evangelical communities.


0.20 Cubic Feet (1 Box (1 DC); Audio Tapes; Photograph, Oversize Material)

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The paper records in this collection were donated by Lois Ottaway in 1982. The oral hisotry interview was given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Tom Skinner in June 1990.

Accessions 82-102, 90-65, 95-135

February 12, 1995

Robert Shuster

Collection 430 Papers of Tom Skinner
Bob Shuster
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US