Collection 443 Oral History Interviews with William L. Simmer
Scope and Contents
Oral history interview with William Leonard Simmer (1929-2015) in which he discusses his childhood, years in the United States Air Force, conversion to Christianity, education at Washington Bible College, and the development of Good News Jail and Prison ministry. Other topics discussed include: Carl Henry, Grady Wilson, and the BGEA 1960 Washington, DC, Crusade. The time period covered by the interviews is 1929 to 1991.
William Leonard Simmer was interviewed by Robert Shuster on June 21, 1991 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.
- Created: 1991
Conditions Governing Access
Names have neen removed from the recordings and the transcripts of T2 and T3 until January 1, 1941.
Birth Date: October 2, 1929
Birth Place: Ottumwa, Iowa; grew up in Des Moines, Iowa
Parents: Alfred and Florence Robbins Simmer
Siblings: Stan, Larry, Roger, Wanda
Marital Status: Married to Helen Mylum
Children: Cathy, Charlotte, William
Conversion: 1953 in Virginia
Denominational Affiliation: Baptist
1959-1963 Washington Bible College
Bible correspondence courses especially for prisoners
1970-1971 Developed graduate level course in prison chaplaincy
1946-1952 Air Force: Air Traffic Supervisor
1952-1954 Manager of a dime store
1954-1955 Manager of another dime store
1953-1955 Sold televisions
1956-1959 Home improvement, insurance, real estate in Boston, MA
1961-1983 Founder and President of Good News Mission
1974-1976 Executive Director, National Jail Association
1983- President Emeritus of Good News Jail and Prison Ministries
President, International College, Honolulu, Hawaii
3 Audio Tapes
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Graham Center Archives by William Simmer in June 1991.
April 14, 1997
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
- Bible colleges
- Bible colleges -- United States.
- Church and social problems -- United States.
- Church and social problems.
- Church and state -- United States.
- Church and state.
- Church work with prisoners -- United States.
- Church work with prisoners.
- Crime and criminals
- Crime and criminals -- United States.
- Criswell, W. A. (Wallie A.), 1909-2002.
- Evangelistic work -- United States.
- Evangelistic work.
- Fund raising.
- Good News Jail and Prison Ministry.
- Graham, Billy, 1918-2018.
- Halfway houses
- Halfway houses -- United States.
- Henry, Carl F. H. (Carl Ferdinand Howard), 1913-2003.
- Prison administration
- Prison administration -- United States.
- Prison chaplains
- Prison chaplains -- United States.
- Prisoners -- Religious life.
- Prisoners -- United States.
- Prisons -- United States
- Prisons -- United States -- Officials and employees.
- Recidivism -- United States.
- Rehabilitation of criminals
- Rehabilitation of criminals -- United States.
- Simmer, William L.
- Smith, Oswald J.
- Voluntarism -- United States.
- Washington Bible College (Lanham, Md.)
- Wilson, Grady, 1919-1987.
- Collection 443 Oral History Interviews with William L. Simmer
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Roman Script