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Collection 646 Records of the Evangelical Committee on Latin America (ECLA)

 Collection
Identifier: CN 646

Scope and Contents

Financial records, correspondence, reports, committee memos, minutes, articles and newsletters related to the work of the Evangelical Committee on Latin America especially pertaining to its visits to and consultations with Latin and South American organizations. Also contains many advisory reports given to the Board of ECLA.

Dates

  • Created: 1966-1976

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Origins:

Founded as a joint advisory committee by the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association (EFMA) and the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association (IFMA) in 1959.  Its purpose was to serve as a liaison between EFMA and IFMA and national leaders for the effective growth of the Protestant Evangelical Christian church in Latin America; The ECLA office, founded in 1959, functioned as a liaison between Stateside mission offices and Latin American fields promoting: closer communication, closer cooperation and closer coordination. Correspondents from various Latin American countries gather significant data and keep the ECLA office posted on important trends and events; clearing house for information on significant trends relevant to that growth as well as to assist the Latin American church through education, research and consultation.  ECLA's headquarters was in Wheaton, IL.

Headquarters location: 1967-1977, Wheaton, Illinois

Executive officers: - Wade Coggins, First spokesman of the ECLA

- Jack Frizen, Co-chairman of the board, 1963-1966

- Clyde Taylor, Co-chairman of the board, 1963-1966

- Vergil Gerber, Executive Director, 1966-1975(?)

- Arno Enns, Executive Director, until 1977

Other significant officers - J. Hubert Cook, Evangelical Union of South America

- Howard Fenton, Latin America Mission

- Melvin Hodges, Assemblies of God Secretary for Latin America

- George S. Constance, Christian and Missionary Alliance

- William H. Taylor, The Central American Mission

- J. Allen Thompson, West Indies Mission, Inc.

- C. Peter Wagner, South America Mission/Andes Evangelical Mission

Ministry emphasis:

Taken from the 1968 “Mini Report”:

“The ECLA office functions as a liaison between Stateside mission offices and Latin American fields promoting: closer communication, closer cooperation and closer coordination. Correspondents from various Latin American countries gather significant data and keep the ECLA office posted on important trends and events.” This emphasis was further clarified in the Administrative Guidelines written in 1972 which stated that the ECLA would serve as a liaison between EFMA and IFMA in order to better fulfill the missionary mandate and growth of the church in Latin America. It was also to serve as a clearing house for information on significant trends relevant to that growth as well as to assist the Latin American church through education, research and consultation. The most significant ways in which ECLA communicated with its parent organizations were through publishing Latin America PULSE and contributing to Missionary News Service in conjunction with EMIS which began in 1967.

ECLA accomplished these objectives through building and maintaining relationships with various Latin American organizations, communicating with Latin American missionaries and aiding with workshops and conferences in various countries.

Geographical emphasis:

Latin America, South America, Caribbean (mainly Haiti)

Extent

3 Boxes (DC)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement of Material

Series: Paper records

Arrangement: Alphabetical, Folder titles retained from original organization

Date Range: 1966-1976

Volume: 1.3 cubic ft., 3 document cases

Boxes: 1-3

Geographic coverage: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru, United States, Venezuela

Type of documents: Financial records, correspondence, reports, committee memos, minutes, articles, newsletters

Correspondents: C. Peter Wagner, Wade Coggins, Jack Frizen, Clyde Taylor, Vergil Gerber, Arno Enns, Dorothy Gerber, J. Allen Thompson, Howard Fenton, George S. Constance, Melvin Hodges

Subjects: Consultations in Latin and South America, Christian trends/culture and church growth in Latin and South America, Relations between North American and Latin American ministries, Evangelical Foreign Missions Association, International Fellowship of Missions Agencies, 1969 III CELA Conference, Latin American Theological Fraternity publications, information regarding LEAL (Literature de Evangelica para America Latina), UNELAM (Unidad Evangelica Latina Americana), Editorial Caribe, the National Evangelical Council-Peru, the National Association of Evangelicals-Bolivia, 1967 CAMEO (Committee to Assist Missionary Education Overseas) Consultation in Colombia, 1970 Haitian Consultation, and the 1970 Latin American Consultation in Elburn, IL.

Notes: About one third of the collection contains financial records (Box 1 and folders 2-11, 3-5) which typify where money was spent and where it came from. Most of the folder titles have been retained to see how ECLA kept their financial records. As might be expected, some of the folders in Boxes 2 and 3 have material in Spanish.

Exceptional items: Folder 2-3 contains many newsletters and articles from Latin American organizations (Fraternidad Teológico Latinoamericana, Andes Evangelical Mission) and contain information on aspects of Christianity in Latin America such as ecumenism (relationships between Protestants/Evangelicals/Catholics), relations between evangelicals in North and South America, impact of Communism and Liberation Theology on the church in Latin America. ]Information on these issues are also available in the “Committee Correspondence” and “Minutes” folders as well as folder 3-6. Folder 2-5 contains an excerpt from a book by Chilean Communist Eduardo Labarca Goddard about the “invasion” of evangelicals in Chile.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by  Arno Enns, 1984 and the Billy Graham Center Library, 1990.

Accession: 84-146, 90-38

May 26, 2009

Noel Collins Pfeifer
Title
Collection 646 Records of the Evangelical Committee on Latin America (ECLA)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Billy Graham Center Archives Repository

Contact:
501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US
630-752-5910