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Collection 670 Papers of Kathryn Deering

Identifier: CN 670

Scope and Contents

Manuscripts, newsletters, photos, digital copies of journals, and other materials relating to the life and ministry of Elisabeth Elliot as they were gathered by Kathryn Deering, employee of Servant Publications who edited Elliot’s newsletter and several of her books.


  • Created: 1979-2012

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: Kathryn Rogers Deering

Birth: December 10, 1949, Ann Arbor, Michigan


Parents: Rodney J. Rogers, M.D., and Mary Read Rogers

Siblings: Samuel T. Rogers (b. 1951), Elizabeth Rogers Tiller (b. 1952)

Marital Status: Married since 1971 to Michael G. Deering

Children: Elizabeth (b. 1978), James (b. 1980), Laura (b. 1982), Christine (b. 1984)

Conversion: Methodist church, Vicksburg, Michigan, age 16


1968 - Graduated from Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg, Michigan

1970 - Exchange student teacher, University of Sheffield, England

1971 - B.A. (English lit./Journalism/Secondary teaching), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan


1972-1977 Editorial assistant, Michigan Law Review / New Covenant Magazine, Ann Arbor, Michigan

1982-1997 - Director of women's ministries, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan

1991-1997 - Freelance copy editor, researcher, indexer, manuscript reviewer for Christian book publishers

1995-2003 - Editor for Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter, senior editor, Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan

2003 - Freelance ghostwriter, editor for Christian book publishers and private clients


0.40 Cubic Feet (1 Box, Audio Tapes, CDs, Negatives, Photographs)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

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

Arrangement: Alphabetically by folder title, titles in most cases supplied by the archivist

Date Range: 1979-2012

Volume: .4 cubic feet, 1 Box

Geographic Coverage: Ecuador, United States

Type of Documents: Book manuscripts, newsletters, notes, letters, clippings, pamphlets, e-mails

Notes: The materials in this collection were all gathered by Kathryn Deering in relation to her work as a senior editor at the non-profit publishing firm of Servant Publications assigned to work with prominent Evangelical author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot. (She was born Elisabeth Howard and became Elisbaeth Elliot after her marriage to Philip James Elliot. Elisabeth Elliot became the professional name by which she was known as a writer and speaker to the general public. Her name became Elisabeth Gren after her marriage to Lars Gren).

Along with publishing and reprinting of many of her books, Servant Publications also published and handled subscriptions for The Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter for the entire span of its existence, (1982-2003). Deering was the editor of Elliot’s newsletter and of several of her books, helping Elisabeth to fulfill her contractual obligations to Servant Publications. In these roles, Deering accumulated additional files and papers, and she was also given permission to take photographs of the pages of many of Elisabeth’s personal diaries. Deering’s professional relationship with Elliot ceased when the Evangelical division of Servant Publications, Vine Books, was purchased by Gospel Light on October 31, 2003. Because the newsletter ceased publication in 2003 and Gospel Light did not acquire publishing rights for most of Elliot’s books, the books, photographs, and many other materials associated with Elisabeth Elliot Gren came into Deering’s possession, later to be donated to the Archives at the Billy Graham Center.

The newsletter (a donation was suggested to subscribers) chronicled Elliot’s activities and her thoughts on a wide range of topics relating to a person’s relationship to God, living the Christian life in the world, and Elliot’s theological perspective on social and economic issues of the day.

Other materials relate to either manuscripts Deering was editing for Elliot or resource material that Deering and Elliot were using for editing the newsletter or for books that Elliot wrote or was planning to write.

The collection also includes several photographic images of Elliot which were used by Servant Publications for the author’s photo to be on the back cover or dust jacket of books of Elliot’s it published. Among the resource material Deering gathered were digital copies of pages from several journals which she copied from volumes kept in Elliot’s study in her home in Massachusetts. She photographed these in February 2003, in cooperation with Elliot’s husband, Lars Gren. Besides the computer disk with this material, Deering’s materials also include digital copies of other Elliot materials she used for her editorial work. Apart from the journals, the Archives received hard copies of most of the other materials on the CDs and floppy disks that Deering gave to the Archives.

Exceptional items:

Folders 1-5 and 1-6 contain a complete set of the newsletters.

Folder 1-7 contains a partial index of topics in the newsletters, from 1982-1995.

Folder 1-8 contains forms used for subscriptions. The various issues of the newsletter give her speaking schedule but are mostly taken up with articles on lessons Elliot had learned about her relationship with God or living the Christian life. She frequently refers to her time as a missionary translator in Ecuador or things that she saw on her travels to various parts of the world. Often the articles are devotional, and many, many topics are covered. Among the most frequent are abortion, capital punishment, courtship, death, divorce, evangelism, family relationships, God’s nature, holiness, home schooling, Jesus Christ’s life and ministry, love, male/female relationships, marriage, prayer, the role of wife and of mother, spiritual discipline, suffering, virginity, women’s rights, women’s role in the church and the workplace. There were also a variety of other materials as well, such as poems, prayers, notes from her husband Lars, even household hints on removing stains.

Folder 1-4 contains a partial manuscript on marriage that was apparently a compilation of other things that she had written earlier. It bears many written notations of (apparently) Deering’s editing. This is also true of Elliot articles on sacrament, suffering and prayer in folder 1-1.

Folder 1-15 contain e-mails and other materials with transcripts from Elliot’s radio program, Gateway to Joy. These were once again gathered by Deering for use in the newsletter or in books or articles. They cover many of the same topics as the newsletter, especially memories of her work in Ecuador as a missionary and her thoughts on the Christian life.

Folder 1-9 contains pamphlets and tracts Elliot wrote on various topics.

Folders 1-12, 1-13, 1-14 are files that contained materials on various topics that Elliot gathered for use in her speaking and writing. These include letters, quotes and articles clipped from various sources, her own notes and thoughts. Almost all of these are related to the topics of old age or death, but there are also a few on a variety of other topics, including adultery, anger, divorce, holiness, quiet time, pornography, psychology, rights, role reversal, and submission.

Folder 1-2 contains some clippings relating to the murder of Elliot’s husband Jim Elliot and four other missionaries by Waorani tribesmen in 1956, and Elisabeth’s and Rachel Saint’s subsequent work among that people. Among the materials Deering gave the Archives were several disks with copies of a variety of materials she used as editorial resources.

Disk 1 contains selected portions of Elisabeth Gren’s journals from 1938 through 1973. These are all images taken by Kathryn Deering on February 1, 2003 in Elisabeth’s study at her home in Magnolia, Massachusetts. Besides pictures of selected pages from the journal, the disk also has pictures of the study and of the assistance given to her in the photography by her daughters as well as by Lars and Elisabeth Gren. Printouts of a few journal pages and of some of the photographs of the study, made by Deering, are in folder 1-3. Folder 1-9 contains a note by Deering describing the circumstances in which she photographed the journals. Elisabeth numbered her journals in chronological sequence. Deering photographed at least some pages from the following journals: 1 (1938), 4 (1951), 7 (June 1957-August 1958), 8 (Sept 1958-August 1959), 9 (August 1959-June 1963), 11 (March 1964-September 1965), 13 (June 1968-December 1971), and 14 (March 1972-December 1973). Journals 7, 8, 11, 13, 14 are copied in their entirety. Journals 1, 4, and 9 each have only a relatively few pages copied. Elisabeth had made indexes to journals 8 and 9, listing some of the significant topics and events covered and telling what pages they were on. These indexes were also copied. The journal’s front and back covers and title pages were also usually copied, as well as clippings, photos, or other items pasted in the front or back. The JPEG copies of the journal pages are rather difficult to read. (Deering left a note suggesting they were easier to read if the researcher looked at images through a magnifying glass rather than continually enlarging the digital image.) They cover the beginning of her writing career and most of her years living with the Waorani , along with Valerie, her daughter, and Rachel Saint (1957-1959); the writing of the novel No Graven Images (1965); and her marriage to Addison Leitch from their wedding day to his death (1969-1973).

Disk 2 contains inventories of the materials that Deering was intending to give to the BGC Archives in 2012. Some items on the list are not in the collection. Only three of the books listed were not already in the Wheaton College library and they were subsequently given to the library. The rest of the books were given away with Deering’s permission. Hard copies of one these inventories is in folder 1-3.

Disk 3 contains a complete set of The Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter from 1982 through 2003. Hard copies of these issues are found in folders 1-5 and 1-6.

Disk 4 contains copies of photos of Lars and Elisabeth Gren in Switzerland and Peru (with Colleen Elliot), ca. 2003. The Archives does not have prints or negatives of these images.

Disks 5 and 6 contain mostly images of Elisabeth Elliot in formal poses, probably taken by Servant or Covenant Publishers to be used in their publications. One photo is from 1997, the rest are undated. There is also a photo of Lars and Elisabeth Gren (ca. 1970s), a picture of Elisabeth with Jane Sawyer [?], (1989), and pictures of Jim Elliot and Amy Carmichael. Prints and/or negatives of these images are in the photo files of Elisabeth Elliot, Jim Elliot and Amy Carmichael and in the negative file for Elisabeth Elliot.

Disks 7 and 8 appear to both contain the same item, an unpublished manuscript on marriage, apparently compiled from other writings of Elisabeth, including her newsletter. A hard copy of this manuscript, with some editorial notations not on the digital copies, is in folder 1-4.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Kathryn Deering in August 2012. Videos and a 1956 copy of LIFE magazine included in this donation were added to Collection 599. Accession: 12-27

July 3, 2013

Bob Shuster

P. Bartow

Collection 670 Papers of Kathryn Deering
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