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Collection 357 Papers of Percy B. Crawford and Ruth Crawford Porter

Identifier: CN-357
Films, videos, audio tapes, correspondence, a book manuscript, sermon notes, and other materials documenting the evangelistic ministry of Percy and Ruth Crawford, particularly their radio and television work.

[Note: In the Scope and Content description, the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5.]

This collection consists of a variety of items about the work of Percy and Ruth Crawford collected from many different sources, but primarily the Crawford family. The arrangement was provided by the archivist.

Audio Tapes and Phonograph Records

Arrangement: Chronological

Date Range: 1951-1989

Volume: 19 tapes comprising approximately 10 hours of recording; 10 phonograph records

Geographic Coverage: Northeast United States

Type of Materials: Tapes of radio programs, interviews, a testimonial dinner, records of Christian music

Participants or Individuals Discussed: Dean Crawford, Donald Crawford, Percy Crawford, Ruth Crawford, Fred P. Davies, William Drury, Esther Eagan, Billy Graham, Torrey Johnson, Bob Jones, Carl McIntire, Steve Musto, John R. Rice, George Beverly Shea, Robert Straton, George Wesner, Jack Wyrtzen Subjects: American sermons, Bible, Bible-versions (King James, Revised Standard Version), conversion, evangelistic music, evangelistic sermons, hell, music, King's College, Pinebrook Camp, Pinebrook Praises, radio in evangelism, television in evangelism, salvation, sin, Young People's Church of the Air, Youth on the March

Notes: The Archives does not have the equipment to record and copy phonograph records P1 through P10. Therefore they cannot be described, beyond saying that they are recordings of the Crawfords' radio programs from the years 1946 through 1952.

T1 - Copies of two shows of the radio program Youth on the March. First program includes the sermon "Crucified." The second program includes the sermon "Weak in Christ." 1951.

T2-T6 contain a recording of a testimonial dinner held for Percy Crawford by the alumni association of King's College. Each individual tape is about thirty minutes long and overlaps slightly with the previous tape. Included on the tape is the drone of dinner conversation before the program, poems by Ruth Crawford and her sister Esther Eagan, stories by family, friends and co-workers about Crawford's childhood, college and seminary days, the beginning of the Young People's Church of the Air, his courtship and marriage of Ruth Duvall, evangelistic meetings, births of his children, start of Pinebrook Camp, founding of King's College, letters and telegrams from a variety of people who worked with him, including Torrey Johnson. Sound quality is often very bad. April 23, 1953.

Tapes T7, T9-T13, T19 contain various of Percy Crawford's radio programs, entitled Youth on the March or Pinebrook Praises. The format of the show usually included several musical numbers, reports of Percy's activities at Pinebrook or at evangelistic meetings, and a brief evangelistic sermon. 1951, 1954, ca. late 1950s-1960.

T8 Chapel sermon by Percy Crawford on King College's doctrinal statement. It is unclear if this address was to the entire school or just the faculty. Crawford gives a thumbnail history of King's College; describes the variety and size of his operations at that time in the college, camps, television, radio; describes his policies in his various organizations; responds to criticism; defends his view of hell and the Bible; talks about the value of the King James Version of the Bible over the Revised Standard Version; refers to his disagreements with Carl McIntire, John R. Rice, and Bob Jones. December 10, 1959.

Tapes T15-T16 contains an interview of Mrs. Ruth Crawford Porter by William Drury. The purpose of the interview was to record her memories of her and her husband's ministry for the BGC Archives. Tape T15 includes discussion of how she and Percy met, her involvement in the Young People's Church of the Air, early days of Pinebrook camp, description of Percy Crawford's conversion at the Church of the Open Door, memories of the first summer of Pinebrook in 1933, and the founding of King's College in 1938, starting the Pinebrook Bookstore in Philadelphia (at 730 Chestnut Street) , starting television channel 17 in Philadelphia (approximately 1958), Percy's work as an evangelist in churches and at one night rallies around the country, the types of invitation Percy gave, memories of Jack Wyrtzen, Crawford's characteristics as a preacher, Billy Graham's preaching at Pinebrook, Graham's preaching Crawford's memorial services, memories of George Beverly Shea and the song "I Would Rather Have Jesus," and a description of Percy Crawford's last heart attack. Tape T16 includes a description of Percy's last days and death, Ruth's involvement in the music of the ministry, the beginning of the television ministry in 1949, the birth of her children, cost to the family of an evangelistic ministry, importance of music in Percy's services, the King's Korean Mission and Dr. Peter Pak, Percy's plans for a retirement home, Percy's leadership abilities, Drury's comments on Percy Crawford, death of Donald Barnhouse, Percy's ministries after his death. August 18, 1981.

T17. Ruth Crawford-Porter Memorial Album"God Be With You Till We Meet Again" Memorial tape, containing examples of music she composed or played. Produced by her son, Dean Crawford. 1987.

T18 We Were There When It Happened!/ A Musical Rejoicing and Remembering of the Lives and Ministry of Ruth and Percy Crawford. Includes numbers by many of vocalists who had been involved in the Crawfords' ministry, such as Donald Crawford, Fred P. Davies, Steve Musto, Samuel Seymour, Robert Straton, and George W. Wesner.


Films and Video Tapes

Arrangement: Chronological

Date Range: 1949-1953

Volume: 13 films, 39 videos

Geographic Coverage: Northeastern United States

Type of Materials: Copies of kinescopes of television broadcasts

Participants or Individuals Discussed: Edgar Bundy, Dan Crawford, David Crawford, Dean Crawford, Donald Crawford, Donna Lee Crawford, Percy Crawford, Ruth Crawford, Gil Dodds, John Grant, Stuart Hamblen, Wendell Loveless, Anton Marco, Moses, Louis and Phil Palermo, Merv Rosell, Hilda Schmeiser, Colleen Townsend, Ernie Wilson Subjects: American sermons, Armistice Day, Billy Graham's 1949 Los Angeles meetings, Christmas, conversion, conversion of children, death, evangelism, evangelistic sermons, faith, the Great Commission, Battle of Guadalcanal, hell, Haven of Rest, heaven, Korean conflict, the prodigal son, salvation, Jesus' second coming, sin, storytelling, television in religion, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Young People's Church of the Air, Youth for Christ, Youth on the March.


Paper Records (Box List)

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title. Arrangement was supplied by archivist.

Date Range: 1922-1981 Volume: .4 cubic feet; Boxes: 1

Geographic Coverage: United States, South Korea

Type of Materials: Included are articles, correspondence, a book manuscript, sermon notes, Percy Crawford's education records, program notes for radio and television productions, and miscellaneous items.

Correspondents: Norman Clayton, Percy Crawford, Ruth Crawford, Merrill Dunlop, Henry Dixon Loes, Wendell Loveless

Subjects: Percy Crawford's life and evangelistic ministry, Ruth Crawford Porter's evangelistic ministry, the Crawford's 1953-1954 trip to South Korea, their television and radio work, and the preparation of hymnals for publication

Notes: All paper documents in this series were photocopies received from the Crawford family Exceptional items: Folder 1-2 contains an unfinished book manuscript about Percy Crawford's life, "A Pioneer for God: The Biography of Percy Crawford." The author is not indicated and apparently it was never published. The last chapter listed in the table of contents, about the Crawford's trip to Korea in 1953-1954, is not included in the manuscript. Material in folders 1-4, 1-8 and 1-12 was probably used as research material for the book. Folder 1-8 also contains a pamphlet with the diary of an evangelistic tour Percy and Ruth Crawford and members of the YPCA made in January-March, 1946. The diary gives a very interesting day by day description of the tour. The cover shows Percy preaching to a large indoor crowd, possibly in Moody Church. Folder 1-13 contains copies of correspondence from fellow evangelist Billy Graham in which Graham expresses admiration for Crawford's television work and his appreciation of Crawford's support during the 1957 New York Crusade. Folder 1-14 contains a printed version of the address, given by Donald Crawford, at the funeral service of his father, Percy Crawford, on November 4, 1960. Folder 1-7 contains a memorial booklet about Ruth Crawford Porter, prepared by her family, which is a valuable record of her life, character and influence. Folders 1-9 and 1-10 contain dozens of brief messages that Ruth Crawford Porter apparently broadcast over the radio; each one would take only a couple of minutes. Folder 1-11 contains many typed sermon notes of Percy Crawford's messages, almost all of which are evangelistic. Folder 1-1 contains a tract, probably from the 1930s, with excerpts from some of Percy Crawford's radio broadcasts and articles about his ministry.


  • Created: 1922-1989

Conditions Governing Access

Copyrights to the radio and television programs in this collection are held by The Young People's Church of the Air. Permission to copy these programs and use them must be secured from:

Donald B. Crawford, President

The Young People's Church of the Air

P.O. box 3003

Blue Bell, PA 19422

Forms to use for securing permission to copy are available in the Archives.

Folder 1-13 is closed during the lifetime of Billy Graham.


0.40 Cubic Feet

1 Box (DC), Audio Tapes, Films, Phonograph Records, Photographs, Video Tapes other_unmapped

Biographical or Historical Information

Full Name: Percy Bartimus Crawford

Birth Date: October 20, 1902, in Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada

Death Date: October 31, 1960


Parents: Thomas and Margaret Crawford

Siblings: Alphonse

Marital Status: Married to Ruth Marjorie (Duvall) Crawford, September 18, 1933 at Pinebrook Camp in Pennsylvania

Children: Donald Bruce (1937), Richard Torrey (1939), Dan (1941), Dean(1944), Donna Lee (1949)

Conversion: September 23, 1923, at the Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles during a sermon by Bill "Willie" Nicholson


1922-1923 Attended and graduated from a college preparatory program at the Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland, Oregon, which was run by the Young Men's Christian Association

1923-1926 Attended and graduated from BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles)

1926 Enrolled in the University of California, Southern Branch

1927 Transferred to Wheaton College, Illinois

1929 Graduated from Wheaton College

1929-1932 Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, B.TH. degree

1932 Received Masters degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania


Summer 1931 Began holding Saturday night evangelistic rallies at Barnes Memorial Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, rallies which were one of the models for Youth for Christ

1931 Began radio broadcasting Young People's Church of the Air in Philadelphia on station WIP

1931-? Held youth rallies along the eastern coast of the United States

1933 Opened Pinebrook Bible Camp in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Later he also started Shadowbrook (for boys) and Mountainbrook (for girls) camps

1938 Opened King's College in Belmar, New Jersey (property had been acquired in 1936). He continued as president until his death.

1938-1941 Founded and edited magazine, Young People Today

1941 King's College moved to an estate near New Castle, Delaware, due to the financial requirements of New Jersey for the recertification of educational institutions

1949 Youth on the March television program premiered on ABC on October 9. This was the first coast-to coast evangelistic program broadcast on television, aired on twenty-two stations

1951-1954 Founded and edited magazine, Youth on the March, The Christian Newsetter

1953-1954 World tour with Ruth Crawford and vocalists from Young People's Church of the Air

1953 Started King's Korean Mission

1955 King's College moved to Briarcliff Manor, New York

1957 Began Youtharama, a Saturday night rally for young people, in Philadelphia

1958? Started Christian television station WPCA in Philadelphia; acquired other stations in Detroit, Hammond (Indiana), Lancaster (Pennsylvania), Fort Lauderdale (Florida), and Forest Grove (Oregon)


Full Name: Ruth Marjorie (Duvall) Crawford, later Ruth Crawford Porter

Birth Date: May 2, 1916

Death Date : October 28, 1986


Parents: Rezin Duvall and Nancy Viola Mc Donald Duvall

Siblings: Esther, R. Fenton, Bruce, William

Marital Status: Married Percy Crawford September 18, 1933 at Pinebrook Camp in Pennsylvania

Married: Dr. Robert Monroe Porter (chiropractor) in March 1966

Children: Donald Bruce (1937), Richard Torrey (1939), Dan (1941), Dean(1944), Donna Lee (1949)

Conversion: Date unknown, product of an evangelical Methodist home

Education: Completed 11th grade of high school in Collingswood, New Jersey


1931- Involved in Percy Crawford's ministry as pianist, songwriter, composer and remained the main influence on all musical aspects of the ministry Continued to be active as a songwriter and musician until her death. She compiled seventeen hymnals during her lifetime; produced several albums of Christian music (including her own compositions and arrangements); trained seven quartets; orchestrated and conducted orchestras for radio and television programs; orchestrated, arranged and led several choral groups, including the King's Singers; and played piano, organ, and harp at a professional level. She also was the main creative force behind the six-day-a-week devotional radio program, Pinebrook Praises. Following Percy Crawford's death in 1960, she continued Pinebrook Praises until ca. 1965 and traveled in an evangelistic ministry with her son Donald until ca. 1967. Published Sing My Heart (1962), Hearts in Harmony (1978), and Singing and Making Melodies (1983). With her sister Esther Eden, she for several years had a brief daily radio program entitled, Bible Women Speak Today.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by many different individuals (but primarily members of the Crawford family) during the years 1981-1995.

Accession: 81-20, 81-121, 83-65, 84-69, 85-7, 85-42, 86-29, 86-100, 86-112, 87-37, 87-72, 87-111, 87-112, 87-130, 87-153, 87-162, 88-30, 88-33, 88-68, 88-102, 89-117, 91-75, 94-25, 94-37, 94-62, 95-126, 95-148, 99-46

April 26, 1999

Robert Shuster

R. Williams

July 9, 1999, updated

Robert Shuster

Accession 01-46

August 13, 2001

Robert Shuster

Accession 01-53

September 18, 2001

Robert Shuster

Accession 04-18

April 16, 2004

Robert Shuster

Accession 94-01

February 16, 2005

Christian Sawyer

Accessions 14-11, 14-15

May 9, 2014

Bob Shuster

Related Materials

List of broadcast Dates of the television program Youth held in the Billy Graham Center Archives

10/9/49 - V 1

10/16/49 - V 1

10/30/49 - V 2

11/6/49 - V 2

11/13/49 - V 3

11/20/49 - V 3

11/27/49 - V 4

12/4/49 - V 4

12/11/49 - V 5

12/18/49 - V 5

12/25/49 - V 6

1/1/50 - V 6

1/8/50 - V 7

1/22/50 - V 7

1/29/50 - V 8

2/5/50 - V 8

2/12/50 - V 9

2/19/50 - V 10

2/26/50 - V 10

3/5/50 - V 11

3/12/50 - V 11

3/19/50 - V 12

4/2?/50 - V 12

4/16/50 - V 13

4/23/50 - V 13

4/30/50 - V 14

5/7/50 - V 14

5/14/50 - V 15

6/4/50 - V 16

6/14/50 - V 17

10/8/50 - V 17

10/15/50 - V 18

11/5/50 - V 18

11/12/50 - V 19

12/10/50 - V 19

11/26/50 - V 20

12/3/50 - V 20

12/17/50 - V 20

12/24/50 - V 21

12/31/50 - V 22, V 23

1/21/51 - V 24

1/28/51 - V 16

4/29/51 - V 26

6/17/51 - V 27

6/24/51 - V 25

10/28/51 - V 26

11/11/51 - F 8

11/18/51 - F 9

11/25/51 - F 10

12/2/51 - F 11

12/9/51 - F 12

1/13/52 - F 13

1/27/52 - V 25

1/6/52 - V 34

1/17/52 - V 34

2/24/52 - V 33, V 35

3/16/52 - V 35

3/23/52 - V 36

Spring 52? - F 15

10/26/52 - F 16

11/29/52 - F 17

2/22/53 - V 36

3/15/53 - V 37

3/22/53 - V 15

3/29/53 - V 38

4/12/53 - V 37, V 38

4/19/53 - V 39

4/26/53 - V 39

5/3/53 - V 23

1954? - F 18
Collection 357 Papers of Percy Crawford and Ruth Crawford Porter
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Billy Graham Center Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US