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Collection 446 Papers of Jack Wyrtzen

Identifier: CN 446

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews, audio tapes and video tapes relating to the ministry of Jack Wyrtzen.

Series: Audio Tapes

Tape 1 to Tape 7: Oral history interviews with Jack Wyrtzen in which he describes his parents, childhood, early influences, conversion, relations with other Christian leaders, development of the Word of Life Fellowship, radio and television work and youth work. The time period covered by the interviews is 1913 to 1991.

Jack Wyrtzen was interviewed by Robert Shuster on October 5, 1991, at Word of Life Fellowship in Schroon Lake, New York.

Tape 8 & 9: Two cassette tapes of talks on love, courtship and marriage given by Wyrtzen at the Word of Life Bible Institute on October 10 and 11, 1991,

Series: Video Tapes

Two video tapes featuring Jack Wyrtzen, which describe Word of Life Fellowship.


  • Created: 1991

Conditions Governing Access

Portions of interviews T1, T3, T4, T5, T6, and T7 are restricted until December 31, 2030.

Audio tapes T8 and T9 and video tape V1 not to be copied without written permission. For permission to make copies of material in this collection, contact:


Word of Life Fellowship, Inc.

Schroon Lake, NY 12870

Biographical Information

Full Name: John Von Casper "Jack" Wyrtzen

Birth Date: April 22, 1913

Death Date: April 17, 1996


Parents: Father a foreman in a glass factory; mother involved in Republican politics

Siblings: Two brothers

Marital Status: Married Margaret Smith, April 18, 1936, who died in 1984; Married Joan Steiner, May 6, 1986

Children: Mary Ann Cox, Donnie John, David Booth, Ron, Betsy Lee Oris, Kathy Hahn, Don Steiner, David Steiner

Conversion: October 1932 after reading the Gospel of John given to him by a friend.


1929 Quit high school to support family when father lost his job

1938-circa 1940 Attended Hawthorne Evening Bible School, Hawthorne, New Jersey; did not graduate

1943 Received honorary degree from Hawthorne Evening Bible School


1929-1933 Leader of dance band at night

1929-1940 Worked for an insurance company during the day

1933-1940 Formed, with others, XBA, Chi Beta Alpha (Christians Born Again), a Bible study and fellowship group for young men; Phi Gamma organized for women.

1940 Chi Beta Alpha and Phi Gamma merge

1940 Group reorganized as Word of Life Fellowship

1940-1941 Preached on radio broadcast, WBBC, which went out of business

1941 Began Word of Life program over WHN; held rallies and Word of Life Fellowship Bible Conference

1941-1991 Director of Word of Life Ministries

1942 Began Word of Life Bible School

Circa. 1946 Purchased Schroon Lake for Word of Life Camp, opened camps in other cities in the U.S. and in countries around the world


9 Audio Tapes

2 Video Tapes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Jack Wyrtzen in October 1991.

Accession 91-91, 91-100, 91-108

June 23, 1999

Janyce H. Nasgowitz

Collection 446 Papers of Jack Wyrtzen
Description rules
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