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Collection 625 Papers of Lois Gregory

 Collection
Identifier: CN-625
Class papers and notes, correspondence, hymns, manuscript, post cards, sermon notes, and thesis documenting the ministry of Lois Vashti Gregory, American Methodist evangelist and teacher of Christian values to young people. Her ministry not only included preaching to adults but also teaching young people, especially children, in Christian ethics and living a morally pure life. Gregory was particularly active in the northeast region of the United States.

[Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation “folder 2-5" means “Box 2, Folder 5"]

Series: Paper Records

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title

Date Range: 1887, 1902-1961

Volume: 2.19 cubic feet, 5 Boxes

Geographic Coverage: China, United States

Type of Documents: Class papers and notes, correspondence, hymns, manuscript, post cards, sermon notes, thesis.

Correspondents: Donald Grey Barnhouse, V. Raymond Edman, Elmer E. Gregory, Esther J. Gregory,

Subjects: Christian living, evangelism, Billy Graham, healing, holiness, Paul Rader, repentance, smoking, Billy Sunday

Notes: About half of the collection consists of sermon notes which Gregory used during her evangelistic meetings. Most of the notes originally bound with ring clips or string were placed in archival folders. Many contain sermon titles along with the dates and places where the messages were given. Pages in each set of notes are not in chronological order even though they were kept in original order. Folder titles include the title of the first sermon in the set and date range. Loose notes were filed in folders with corresponding dates. Some of the topics she preached on were evangelism, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, holiness, new birth, obedience, repentance, renewal, and smoking.

Most of the correspondence addressed to Gregory is from her mother with a few from her father and sister. The contents of each letter are clipped to the envelope they were in. Sometimes there were more than one letter in an envelope. May letters are undated and the only way of knowing when they written is by the postmark on the envelopes. Pages or parts of the letters are missing and some were written on the back of letters that were previously received. Many contain encouragement for Lois, quotes from Bible verses, and teachings of Christian living for young people. A few are addresses to “Lois Halloween” because she was born on Halloween. Gregory’s class notes and class papers are mainly from the time she was a student at Wheaton College. Some of the topics covered are Christian education, missions, worship, and Bible book studies.

Exceptional items: Gregory’s sermon notes in folder 3-2 include a two-page sheet (February 19, 1930) with her notes on counseling a woman under conviction of sin and her anti-smoking work. Also her notes from the Cherry Run (Pennsylvania?) meetings in June 1929 contains an interesting list of forty-eight questions related to issues facing young people. Some notes contain the transcript of portions of her sermons. An example is Gregory’s message in folder 3-5 titled, Your Option-The Shadows of Hell. In her sermon, Open Windows, in folder 3-6, Gregory tells of the undermining of her faith while a student in a high school science class.

The variety of topics Gregory preached on is shown in some of the sermon titles in folder 3-7. Repentance unto Salvation (April 3, 1929), The Plan of Salvation (January 10, 1929), The Offence of the Cross (n.d.), Passing Over Jordan (August 18, 1930), The Sold Birthright (November 6, 1929), Polished Souls (October 3, 1926), The Family Altar (November 27, 1930), Branded Lives (March 1929), Is it Well with the Child? (June 7, 1929), and Remember God in Youth (September 22, 1930).

Mrs. Esther Gregory’s February 9, 1923 letter (folder 2-1) contains her comments in regards to a meeting Lois had with Rev. Paul Rader. Mrs. Gregory writes to Lois, on March 22, 1921 (folder 1-13), encouraging her with these words, If you decide to train for real service I will do all in my power to help. Suppose you do not understand the call do you think God will be grieved by your trying to get into closer understanding and relationship with Him. Why not take a year for Lois. Remember I understand you position thoroughly. Several letters dated May 3, July 19 & 31, and December 15, 1921 in envelope postmarked February 2, 1922 are from Auntie E. L. Carroll in Canton, China. In the July 19th letter Carroll thanks Lois for the gift of $30.00 and also hopes that she will come to China and become superintendent of the schools she is working with. Possibly she is the Ellen Lucile Carroll who applied to China Inland Mission in 1895 but was not accepted (see Collection 215, box 17, folder 3, page 499). An interesting unsigned and undated letter (ca. 1920s), obviously from Gregory, to a Mr. Snead, foreign secretary of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, states that her heart is for the youth of the United States and Canada...my thought is principally for the boys and girls of the “teen” age.

In Folder 2-3 are letters from Donald Grey Barnhouse (September 25, 1935) in which he gives his definition of preaching and tells about writing his weekly sermons; Ida L. Reed (February 1, 1936), possibly hymn writer Ida Lillard Reed, tells part of the story behind an unnamed hymn; a list of the officers, directors, advisory council, representatives, and lecturers of the Boys and Girls Anti-Cigarette League is on the back of a letter from Alice Mather (June 15, 1936), executive secretary of the League; Martha Dimick’s testimony entitled, “Testimony of Former Smoking Woman” is enclosed with her note (in envelope dated September 30, 1935); Dr. A. L. Warner (ca. 1940) tells about the evils of addiction to tobacco and makes reference to the nomination of President Franklin Roosevelt for a third term. Also a letter (ca. May 1, 1934) apparently from Gregory to Rev. J. L. Bensinger concerning her report for the year 1933-1934 for the Methodist Quarterly Conference. Another unsigned letter (August 29, 1928) to Charles I. Ball, President of Eastern University, Philadelphia, lists her education credentials, education courses she taught, Christian work experience, and the fact that she is a member of the Methodist Church and holds a ministerial license from them. There are almost three dozen envelopes without letters in folder 2-6. The addresses on the envelopes along with the postmark help track where Lois was living at the time they were sent.

Letters in folder 2-2 were originally tied together with a note stating “A mother shows her daughter how to defeat the devil in the name of Jesus in the letters of, Letters from a Mother to Her Daughter, For offset booklet on Devil.” In a letter dated December 24, 1924 Mrs. Gregory tells Lois she is praying for her and that she may bear fruit in lives saved for eternity. She then goes on and relates the story about a Sunday school student who learns that God answers prayer. Later the student became an earnest Christian worker.

Copies of the music score to three hymns Gregory’s sister, Bernice, composed are in folder 2-7. Hymn titles include, A Glorious Hope, The Savior’s Love, and Do You Love Him? Also in the same folder are miscellaneous writings of Bernice.

The postcards in folder 3-1 are mostly addressed to Mrs. Gregory are from Lois, Bernice, their brother, Kenneth, and other family and friends. They cards center around birthdays, Christmas, New Years, and other holidays. Some contain pictures of various buildings and scenic sites.

Folder 2-9 contains a manuscript of lectures by Esther Gregory, who taught a large rural young people’s Sunday school class. Some of the titles include, Divorce, Marriage and Love, Guide Post to Paradise, Pearls for the Engagement Ring, and Ethics on the Path to the Wedding.

Miscellaneous materials in folder 2-11 include a card with photo of Gregory announcing evangelistic services to be held at the Open Meadows Methodist Church (New York?) June 15-28, 1936; writings of Gregory and others, including notes Lois took from messages given by Billy Graham (December 30, 1957), Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse (n.d.), and Billy Sunday (March 13, 1931). Also a note from Harold Bruce who told about the effect of Gregory on his decision to quit smoking; Anti-Cigarette Pledge card; U.S. War Ration Book One (1942); bi-fold card listing students and teacher (Bernice I. Gregory) of the Oak Grove School, 1913-1914; three fold card of the 1917 Waterford High School graduating class, lists 18 students including Gregory’s brother, Kenneth.

Gregory’s Wheaton College master thesis in folder 5-8 is on the Function of Christian Education in the Rural Ministry. Some of the materials in folders 5-9 include two issues of Wheaton Record (May 23 & June 6, 1946), several issues of the Semi-Weekly Broadcaster (1945-1946), Gregory’s Wheaton College Student Assignment card listing classes registered for in May 1944, note from Wheaton College student Frank M. Walker in which he tells about a group of young people who gathered on the Stupe [a building on the campus of Wheaton College] steps to ridicule Sister Lucy, a Pentecostal leader, form letter (April 1, 1945) of Dr. Edman [V. Raymond, president of Wheaton College] addressed to “Fellow-Friends of Young People” regarding the need of more facilities at the college for returning service men and women from World War II.

Clippings in folder 1-12 include the Asbury College New Era with information on the Class of 1924 which lists Gregory incorrectly as “Louis Gregory who’s life work is Christian Service,” Asbury Collegian (February 3, 1945) with article about an Asbury College graduate who was converted under the ministry of Gregory, undated clipping about Gregory’s message on Purity given to high school students. Other clippings are from Christian magazines which possibly were used by Gregory in her sermons.

Folder 2-5 contains Daily Vacation Bible School line drawings to be used children for coloring. Each page contains the title to the picture, a related scripture text, and some also have exercises for the students.

Dates

  • Created: 1887-1961

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Extent

2.19 Cubic Feet

5 boxes (DC), Oversize Materials other_unmapped

Biographical or Historical Information

Full Name: Lois Vashti Gregory

Birth: October 31, 1898, Union City, Pennsylvania

Death: June 14, 1993

Family:

Parents: Elmer Ellsworth and Esther Jane (Carroll) Gregory

Siblings: Older sister Bernice Ivalo (born 1892) and older brother Kenneth C. (born 1897)

Marital Status: Single

Ordination: Elder of the Methodist Church by the Erie Annual Conference, Pennsylvania, September 15, 1940

Education:

1912-1914 - Waterford High School, Waterford, Pennsylvania

1914-1916 - Edinboro High School, Edinboro, Pennsylvania, Graduated in 1916

1916-1918 - Edinboro State Normal School, Edinboro, Pennsylvania, received certificate in 1918

1919 - Pennsylvania State College; Summer Session

1920 - Pennsylvania State Normal School, Edinboro, Pennsylvania, Graduated in 1920

1922-1923 - The Missionary Training Institute of the Christian Mission and Alliance, Nyack, New York, (now Nyack College) Graduated in 1923

1923-1924 - Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, Graduated with a B.A

1924-1925 - Women's Missionary Union Training School, Louisville, Kentucky in conjunction with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

1928 - Pennsylvania State College; Summer Session

1944-1946 - Wheaton College Graduate School, Graduated in 1946 with a M.A. degree in Christian Education

1948-1959 - Took courses as a special student at Wheaton in Summer 1948, Inter-sessions 1954, 1955, 1959.

1960 - Took course at the University of New Mexico in bi-cultural education

Career:

1920s - Taught physics for one year and biology for two years

1924-1944 - Evangelists and Bible teacher, also preached against smoking

1957 - Teaching the Bible in rural schools in the United States

1960 - Taught at the Transylvania Bible School, Freeport, Pennsylvania

Other significant information:

Part of Gergory's time was spent in the education of school-age children about the evils of smoking

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by the Churchill County Museum and Archive in Fallon, Nevada, in May 1987.

Accession 87-43

August 9, 2007

Wayne D. Weber

T. Gulsvig
Title
Collection 625 Papers of Lois Gregory
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Billy Graham Center Archives Repository

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