Skip to main content

Collection 337 Papers of Roger H. Malstead

Identifier: CN 337

Scope and Contents

Two oral history interviews and prayer letters, relating to Roger Malstead’s ministry with Operation Mobilization.

Audio Tapes

Two oral history interviews with Roger Malstead in which he describes his youth, education at Wheaton College, work with Operation Mobilization (OM) in the former Soviet Union, Turkey, Lebanon, the United States, at OM headquarters in England, and with the OM ship DOULOS; Other topics described are the director of OM, George Verwer, evangelism through literature distribution, and Islam in the countries where Malstead worked, training new OM short-term staff, and the American churchThe time period covered by the interviews is 1941-1986

Roger Malstead was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on July 14 and 16, 1986 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

Paper Records (Box List)

In addition to the oral history interviews, the collection also contains Maltead’s prayer letters and a newspaper clipping. The prayer letters cover the dates 1986-1990. The newspaper clipping is from a English-language newspaper published in Paris regarding Malstead's expulsion from the Soviet Union while distributing literature.  While the event as described by Malstead occurred in 1961, the clipping is dated for 1968; no explanation is provided for this discrepancy.


  • Created: 1961-1993
  • Majority of material found within 1986-1993


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Roger Henry Malstead, one of three sons, was born in Nebraska on June 24, 1941. His family moved several times during his youth between Nebraska and California. Malstead was converted through the ministry of a Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) Good News Club and his Christian faith and commitment were strengthened through his participation in and leadership of Youth For Christ activities in his high school in California, as well as in church activities. While in high school, he also gained experience in ministry by working among migrant workers in northern California and Mexico.

Malstead began his college education in 1959 at Wheaton College. While at Wheaton he was elected president of the freshmen class, played football and participated in the Wycliffe prayer group. During his freshman year, he became involved in a Chicago-area prayer group which included Operation Mobilization's founder, George Verwer.

During that year the group Send the Light emerged under Verwer's leadership, emphasizing evangelism through literature distribution. In 1960 Malstead transferred to BIOLA College, where he completed a second year.

In 1961, Malstead and Dale Rhoton, a fellow Wheaton student, traveled to Europe to establish an evangelistic outreach in Turkey. Upon reaching Europe, Malstead and Verwer traveled into the Soviet Union to distribute Gospels before being arrested in Rovno, Ukraine. They were expelled through Czechoslovakia into Austria. In 1964, Malstead married Alwyn Yvonne Fittz, a 1963 graduate of Wheaton. Later that year they were stationed by Operation Mobilization in Istanbul, Turkey, where Roger studied English linguistics and his wife taught English. In 1965, Roger was expelled from Turkey. Followed by his wife, the Malsteads settled briefly in Frankfurt, Germany, where they carried on work among Turks.

In 1966 they moved to Beirut, Lebanon, where Roger studied at the American University while establishing a witness among Muslims there. The Malsteads were evacuated from Beirut during the 1967 Six-Day War in the Middle East. They briefly returned to Lebanon in 1968, but relocated in California later in that year. After studying at UCLA between 1968 to 1970, he earned his M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language. Between 1970 and 1978 Malstead taught at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, CO.

The Malsteads discontinued their affiliation with OM between 1968 and 1978. In 1978, the Malsteads rejoined OM, coordinating the onshore evangelistic outreach of its ship, DOULOS. In 1980, Malstead was reassigned to work at OM's international headquarters in London with a variety of duties; he continued in this capacity until 1985. In 1981 the Malsteads began planning to return to Turkey, which they did in late-1986. The Malsteads were again asked to leave Turkey in 1987, and awaited their readmittance in the US and Great Britain until 1989, although both the Malsteads made brief return visits as tourists.

The Malsteads had five children, two of which were foster children.


1 Box (DC)

4 Audio Tapes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Roger Malstead in July 1986 and September 1989. Subsequent prayer letters were received and added to the collection, 1990-1993.

Accession 86-79, 86-80, 86-83, 89-101

June 7, 1990

Paul A. Ericksen

L. A. Ferguson

January 20, 1994

Sara Henning

P. Ericksen

M. Larson

Collection 337 Papers of Roger H. Malstead
Paul Ericksen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US