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

Identifier: CN 357

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Created: 1922-1989

Conditions Governing Use

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

Please contact the BGC Archives for duplication permission forms and more information about duplication services.

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.


0.40 Cubic Feet (1 Box (DC), Audio Tapes, Films, Phonograph Records, Photographs, Video Tapes)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Materials

[Note: In the arrangement 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

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

Collection 357 Papers of Percy Crawford and Ruth Crawford Porter
Bob Shuster
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