Skip to main content

Collection 563 Papers of Robert Coleman

Identifier: CN 563

Brief Description

Correspondence, manuscripts, oral history interviews, class lecture notes, meeting files and other materials relating to Coleman's ministry as an evangelist, scholar and church leader. Besides Coleman's own life and ministry, the collection contains voluminous material on the theology of evangelism and Christian discipleship, American 20th century Evangelicalism; the growth of Christianity in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly in regard to the training of clergy; Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Asbury Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Trinity Evangelical University), and American Methodism.


  • 1936-2019

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research, and there are no access restrictions on the materials.

Biographical Information

Full Name: Robert Emerson Coleman; generally known as “Clem”

Birth: April 4, 1928, in Dallas, Texas, USA


Parents: James Henry and Helen Coleman

Siblings: brother Lyman, sister Joy Bilhartz

Marital Status: married Marietta Emmons June 3, 1951

Children: Alathea Dawn Blichke (1954), Angelea Denise Stone (1956), James Russell (1960)

Ordination: 1949 in the United Methodist Church


1948 - B. A. in History from Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, USA

1951 - B. D., Asbury Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA

1951 - Summer graduate semester at Biblical Seminary of New York, New York City, New York, USA

1952 - M.Th in Biblical Literature, Princeton Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey

1954 - Ph. D. in Religion from the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA. Dissertation: “Factors in the Expansion of the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1784 to 1812"

1957 - Post-doctoral study at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, New York, USA

1998 - Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Trinity Evangelical University, Deerfield, Illinois, USA

2010 - Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA


1949-1955 - Served as pastor at several small Methodist churches in Indiana, New Jersey and Iowa while completing his education

1955-1983 - McCreless Professor of Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA. (First professor of evangelism appointed by the United Methodist Church)

1960 - Founded with his brother Lyman, Christian Outreach, a small non-profit corporation that distributed booklets and Bible study materials, many by Coleman, on evangelism and discipleship. By the end of the century, according to a note by Coleman in a booklet in folder 50-6, over 1,225,000 booklets had been distributed in English and materials from Christian Outreach had been translated into fifty languages. Robert Coleman served as president

1975-1997 - Member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism. Also served on the North America regional committee of the international LCWE (from 1976-1980 as chairman), the United States Committee, which had primarily fund-raising responsibilities, the Mission America Facilitation Committee, which was the successor of the North American regional Lausanne committee. Attended many Lausanne meetings, including the 1974, 1989, and 2010 congresses and the 1980 Consultation of World Evangelization, where he was the leader of the North American section.

1975-1977 - President of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education (member since 1973)

1983-2001 - Professor of Evangelism and director of the School of World Mission and Evangelism (SWME) at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), Deerfield, Illinois, USA

1989-2001 - Director of the Institute of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA

1989-1999 - Dean of the International Schools of Evangelism of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). This included holding six to eight Schools of Evangelism each year in different parts of the world

1995 - Participant in the Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE) held in Seoul, Korea, where he chaired the committee that wrote the report coming out of the meeting. He played the same role at the GCOWE’s Presidents and Academic Deans of Theological and Missionary Training Institutes Congress (PAD) on June 30-July 4, 1997, in Pretoria, South Africa

1999-2001 - Minister Associate of the BGEA

2001 - Distinguished Professor of Discipleship and Evangelism at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, Massachusetts, USA. From 2007 on, he taught one class a year.

2007 - Lecturer, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

2010 - Adjunct professor, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA

Other significant information:

Besides the seminaries listed above, Coleman was a board member and/or active supporter of a number of Christian evangelistic and discipleship ministries, especially, AD 2000, the Barnabas Foundation, Christian Holiness Association, Evangelical Theology Society, Evangelism Resources, Good News, the Francis Asbury Society, the World Disciple Development Foundation, and OMS International. Was a member for several years of the local Boy Scouts committee in Wilmore, Kentucky. In 1977 he received the Philip Award of the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists .

From the 1940s, holding evangelistic services and series around the United States and in many parts of the world as well as innumerable speaking engagements at churches, schools, conferences, etc. He was often a feature speaker at student conferences held by Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth for Christ or InterVarsity. In particular Coleman was involved in training ministers and laypeople in Christian evangelism and discipleship.

Author of dozens of books and evangelism training program. Unquestionably the best known and probably the most influential of his books was The Master Plan of Evangelism which sold more than three million copies. The book was first published by Christian Outreach in 1963 and then in a second edition by Fleming Revell the next year. Other titles include: Dry Bones Can Live Again: Revival in the Local Church (1969) One Divine Moment: The Asbury Revival (editor ) (1970), Evangelism in Perspective (1975), The Mind of the Master (1977), Heartbeat of Evangelism (1985), The Master Plan of Discipleship (1987) "Nothing to do but to save souls" : John Wesley’s charge to his preachers (1990), Aflame with Love: Selections from the Writings of Blaise Pascal (1992) The Coming World Revival (1992) The Great Commission Lifestyle (1992), The Master’s Way of Personal Evangelism (1997), Singing with the Angels (1998), projected in 2011 - The Heart of the Gospel: A Theology of Evangelism.


44.98 Cubic Feet (99 boxes (DC, ODC), Audio Tapes, Oversize Materials, Photographs, Video Tapes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Content

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

Paper records were arranged by the archivist into the following subseries, following roughly the order in which the materials had been kept by Coleman.

A. Personal and General Correspondence

B. Manuscripts and Publishing Correspondence

C. Christian Outreach

D. Asbury Seminary

E. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

F. Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization

G. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the International Schools of Evangelism

H. Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College and the Institute of Evangelism

I. Global Consultations on World Evangelization

J. Meetings

K. Miscellaneous

Arrangement: Generally alphabetical or chronological. Whenever possible, materials were kept in the original folders that Coleman used, because he often made comments on the folder itself about the contents. The collection was grouped by the archivist into two major series: I. Paper records, II. Non-Paper Records. Non-paper records include audio recordings, videos, photographs.

Geographic coverage: World wide, the bulk of the material relating to the United States. Material outside the United States relates mainly to Coleman’s participation in conferences or teaching at schools, although there is also a significant amount of correspondence Christian leaders in other parts of the world talking about their ministries.

Type of documents: Letters, book and article manuscripts, sermon and speech notes and transcripts, class lecture notes and curriculum, audio and video recordings, personal photographs, conference notebooks and programs, Bible study booklets, newsletters and other ephemera publications.

Subjects: Coleman’s life and ministry; the teaching of Christian doctrine, particularly relating to evangelism and discipleship; American 20th century Evangelicalism; the growth of Christianity in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly in regard to the training of clergy; Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Asbury Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Trinity Evangelical University), American Methodism.


Subseries: I. A. Personal and General Correspondence Link to Box List

Arrangement: There are separate subseries for personal and general correspondence. The personal correspondence is arranged chronologically. Within each subseries of the general correspondence, materials are arranged chronologically, then alphabetically. by the name of the correspondent.

Date Range: 1945-2007

Volume: 10.8 cubic feet

Boxes: 1-27

Geographic coverage: Worldwide, although the great majority of the correspondents are from the United States

Type of documents: Correspondence, postcards, programs, notes

Correspondents: See descriptions below for the various subseries

Subjects: Theology and practice of Christian evangelism and discipleship; American Protestant Christianity, especially the Methodist, Evangelical and Fundamentalist traditions; American theological education, Coleman life as Christian believer, husband and father and his career as educator, author, evangelist, teacher and leader of Evangelical opinion; the development of the Protestant Evangelical tradition around the world in the 20th century and especially of evangelistic ministries and theological education; the Lausanne Movement, Asbury Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Gordon-Conwell theological seminary, Billy Graham and the Billy Graham evangelistic Association, OMS International, the Lausanne movement, the North American Lausanne Committee and Mission America

Notes: This subseries was divided into nine parts, following the way that Coleman kept his files.

1. Personal Correspondence 1945-1982 (Boxes 1-3)

2. General Correspondence, 1945-1962 (Boxes 4-5)

3. General Correspondence, 1955-1972 (A) (Boxes 6-9)

4. General Correspondence, 1970-1979 (B) (Boxes 9-12)

5. General Correspondence, 1980-1985 (C)(Boxes 12-15)

6. General Correspondence, 1986-1991 (D) (Boxes 15-18)

7. General Correspondence, 1991-1996 (E) (Boxes 18-21)

8. General Correspondence, 1995-2001 (loose) (Boxes 21-24)

9 General Correspondence, 2001-2007 (F) (Boxes 25-27)

Parts 2 through 9 each includes a substantial amount of correspondence from earlier periods, although the dates of vast majority of the letters are those shown for that particular part. Parts A and B contain very few letters by Coleman, they are mostly those he received. The rest of the parts contain both the letters he wrote and the ones he received. Most of the contents are letters, although there are many cards, notes, programs and other items. In the last two parts, parts 8 & 9, more than half of the messages are e-mails rather than letters.

Part 1. Personal. Arranged chronologically. Most folders cover a six-month period. Contains letters to (mostly) and from (a few) his parents (mainly his mother), fiance and later wife Marietta, brother Lyman and his wife Margaret, and Robert and Marietta’s children. His mother Helen generally in the 1940s and early 1950s used the stationary of Wm. Hood of Sonora, California, even though she was usually writing from Texas. The letters are generally concerned with updating family members of recent activities and concerns, including illnesses, life in Texas, spiritual concerns and activities at the local church, travel, Coleman’s speaking engagements, weddings, activities of children, news from friends and relatives. There are a few documents that are not letters, such as a copy of the will of Coleman’s father, John Henry (folder 1-7). Correspondence from 1956 on also concerns the small publishing house, initially called Impact, later Christian Impact started by Lyman and Robert to publish Bible studies and other materials for Christian laypeople. Folder 3-30 contains a letter from 1899 by Coleman’s grandfather Edward Lyman Hood about his struggles to get his doctorate. Marietta’s letters to Robert’s parents tell of their travels, his studies and his pastorates in Indiana, New Jersey and Iowa as well as family matters.

Lyman in the late 1950s and early 1960s was on the staff of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and his letters often contain accounts of the BGEA’s evangelistic campaigns in Oklahoma City, New York, Philadelphia and elsewhere. See, for example, his letter of June 23, 1957 in folder 3-3.


Part 2. General Correspondence, 1945-1962. Arranged chronologically by year. This series consists of correspondence from the early part of Coleman’s adult life. The letters are from classmates and other friends, ministers and Christian workers, publishers, students and former students of Coleman, people who had heard him preach or read one of his books. Topics covered relate to his higher education at Southwestern, Asbury (see folder 4-4 for letters about his application to Asbury and license to preach as a Methodist minister), Princeton and the University of Iowa; his pastorates (which often involving preaching on a circuit between several churches) and reports on his work as a pastor, early evangelistic activities – usually at individual churches, his joining the faculty of Asbury as a professor of evangelism, early publications (from 1952 on). There are also reports on revivals other evangelistic campaigns in individual churches and cities and reports from missionaries about their activities in Borneo, Chile, New Guinea, and other countries.

Correspondents: F. Carlton Booth, Myron Bromley, Thomas Carruths, Quentin Everest, General Board of Evangelism of the Methodist Church, Eugene Golay, George H. Jones, Walter Maier, Sollie McCreless, J. C. McPheeters, Richard Raines, Ross Rhoads, Lorne Sanny, Charles W. Taylor, Fred Woodward


Parts 3 through 8 are a continuation of his general correspondence. The chronological periods are (roughly) divided into reflect the arrangement of the original files. The correspondence reflects Coleman’s increasingly busy activities first in the United States and then world-wide as an evangelist, speaker, guest lecturer, author and Christian leader involved in several Christian organizations and foundations (especially the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, OMS (formerly the Oriental Missionary Society), the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and its North American chapter; the Methodist Church, the Francis Asbury Society, the Academy for study of the theology of Evangelism, the World Discipleship Development Foundation, and the Barnabas Foundation) Also reflected are his activities as a professor at Asbury Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), the Institute of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College, and Gordon-Conwell Seminary. Also reflected are his concerns to develop in the Christian church a greater understanding of and commitment to discipleship and spiritual growth as a part of evangelism.

Among the different types of letters to be found are responses to Coleman’s books and articles; invitations to speak and response to his peaking engagements, letters from students and former students asking advise and reporting on their activities in ministry around the world; letters from other professors of evangelism and from seminaries around the world with offers to speak or teach, theological questions concerning evangelism, curricula and plans for teaching evangelism and discipleship; correspondence with publishers about books and articles in progress and possible books and articles; correspondence about the institutional life of the various institutions he was involved in, particularly the life of the spirit; recommendations for students and colleagues; reports from and correspondence the ministry of the several evangelistic organizations that Coleman was a part of or sympathetic to; letters from friends about their activities.

There are separate sections in this guide of documents concerned primarily with his involvement in particular institutions, such as Asbury for example, but anyone using the subseries on Asbury (or any of the other institutors) should also be sure to check the relevant years in the general correspondence.

Listed below are some of the frequent correspondents of the individual parts 3 through 9 of the correspondence, as well as a few of the particular topics covered. But the archivist would like to emphasize that these are only a sampling. There are hundreds upon hundreds of correspondents, famous and obscure and a wide range of topics reflecting to evangelism, church growth, North American missions, in all parts of the world, theological education, the training of lay Christians, and the Christian life. The only way for a researcher to determine whether an individual or topic is represented , particularly one that would seem to be within Coleman’ range of interest and activity, is to go through the actual correspondence.

Part 3. 1955-1972. Some of the frequent correspondents: Myron Augsberger, Paul Benjamin, Jim BonDurant, Willys Braun, Bill Bright, Vonnette Bright, Donald Burnett, James B. Buskirk, Kenneth Chafin, David Cho, Jim Collier, C. G. David, Lewis Drummond, Wesley Duewel, Garland Franklin, Roy Fish, Ira Galloway, William Gilliam, Walden Howard, Lyndon Johnson, Festo Kivengere, Harold Lindsell, Sollie McCreless, William McPherson, J. Edwin Orr, Paul Pipkin, Lyell Rader, Richard Raines, Paul Rees, Ross Rhoads, Rob Ridley, Eddie Robb, Lorne Sanny, Earl Schultze, Bob Shuler, Bill and Blanche Smith, Gerald K. Smith, Timothy L. Smith, G. Aiken Taylor, Ralph G. Vanderwald, George Verwer, C. Peter Wagner, Grady Wilson, T. W. Wilson

Topics: There are many letters with responses to and appreciation of Coleman’s most influential book, The Master Plan of Evangelism (1st Christian Outreach edition 1963, 2nd Fleming Revell edition 1964).

Part 4: 1970-1979: Some of the frequent correspondents: David Adeney, Grady Allison, Robert Alton, Hyman Appelman, Donald L. Bailey, Robert E. Barr, Stephen Board, Willys Braun, Bill Bright, Morris Cerullo, Kenneth Chafin, David Cho, A. Jack Dain, Richard De Ridder, Lewis Drummond, Wesley Duewel, George Ekeroth, Leighton Ford, L. Jack Gray, Michael Green, C. B. Hogue, Donald Hoke, George Hunter, Jay Kesler, Kenneth C. Kinghorn, Charles Kingsley, Harold Lindsell, Sollie E. McCreless, Malcolm McVeigh, Stanley Mooneyham, A. W. Morton, S. O. Odunaike, J. Edwin Orr, Gottfried Osei-Mensah, Dave Oseland, Clark Pinnock, T. A. Raedeke, Lyell Rader, Haddon Robinson, Robert Schuller, Bob Stamps, James Hudson Taylor III, Grady Wilson, Sam Wolgemuth, Thomas Zimmerman

Topics: The 1974 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization and Coleman’s involvement with the subsequent Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization (LCWE); letters to and from Harold Lindsell about the decline in commitment to biblical inerrancy at Asbury and elsewhere (see folder 11-1); material on the early years (1973-77) of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education under Coleman and George Hunter’s leadership (see especially folder 10-4). Folder 9-6 contains response from State Department official to a letter from Coleman about the danger to missionaries caught up in fighting in Zaire.

Part 5: 1980-1985. Some of the frequent correspondents: F. E. Accad, Owen Alderfer, Ralph T. Alton, Saphir P. Athyal, Paul Benjamin, Bill Bright, Vonnette Bright, Charles Colson, Bruce Clewett, Bill Campbell, David Cho, Lyle Dorsett, Lewis Drummond, Paul Eshelman, Ajith Fernando, Leighton Ford, Bill Hogue, David Johnston, Samuel Kamelson, Dennis Kinlaw, Albert Lee, Harold Lindsell, David McKenna, Stephen Olford, Lyell Rader, Paul Rees, Frank Bateman Stanger (letter from Coleman about revising his workload at Asbury), Bob Stamps, George Verwer, Gene Warr (World Discipleship Development Foundation, Thomas Zimmerman, Russell Zinn

Topics: LCWE, correspondence with students and former students about their ministries, Coleman’s move from Asbury to TEDS (see for example Coleman’s letter of resignation to Asbury Seminary president David McKenna (folder 14-2), his letter to John Ciollier ( in folder 12-6),the American Festival of Evangelism (1981), especially folder 12-5, the Year of the Bible in the United States (1983) (see especially folder 12-7), planning of the 1983 and ‘86 International Conferences for Itinerant Evangelists (Amsterdam ‘83 and ‘86)

Part 6: 1986-1991. Some of the frequent correspondents: Gleason Archer, Bill Bright, Vonnette Bright, Willys Braun, Earle Bowen (year of the Bible) Paul Cedar, Irv Chambers, Charles Colson, Al Coopedge, Lewis Drummond, Ed Erny, Samuel Faircloth, Ajith Fernando, Leighton Ford, Buddy Gaines, Billie Hanks Jr., Don Harrison, Don Hoke, Bill Hogue, John Hong, Bill Iverson, Russell A. Jones, J. M. Jaysingh, W. Stanley Johnson, Arthur P. Johnston, Samuel Kamaleson, J. Herbert Kane, D. James Kennedy, Darrel King, David Tai Woong Lee, Tryg Larsen (letter inviting Coleman to consider position as head Institute of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College in folder 17-1), Lillie McCreless, Matt McCarter, Donald Macaroon, Stephen Olford, Tom Phillips, Ford Phil pot, Paul A. Rader, Paul S. Rees, T. V. Thomas, George Verwer, Gene Warr, Revi K. Zacharias, Thomas Zimmerman.

Topics: Many reports from Ajith Fernando on the Youth for Christ movement in Sri Lanka and on the follow-up to the 1989 Lausanne II Congress held in Manila (16-3); Coleman’s retirement from his Methodist conference (folder 16-5), Coleman’s assumption of the role of director of the Institute of Evangelism at the BGC (see folder 17-1), the development of the work of the Lausanne committee and of its North American committee on which Coleman was active and served as chair.

Part 7: 1991-1996. Some of the frequent correspondents Joe Aldrich, Paul Alford, Lon Allison, Mark Anderson, W. B. Berryman, Peter Beyerhaus, David Bryant, Willys Braun, Vonnette Bright, David Bruce, Paul Cedar, Albert Coppedge, J. B. Crouse Jr., Lyle Dorsett, Stan England, Aijth Fernando, Leighton Ford, E. H. (Buddy) Gaines, Armin Gesswein, Billy Hanks Jr., David Hesselgrave, Don Hoke, Tom Houston, Arthur Johnston, Leroy V. Jones, Samuel Kamaleson, Sundo Kim, Dennis Kinelaw, John S. Ko, David Lee, David W. Lutz (attitude toward homosexuality at Notre Dame), Sila Nichol, Stephen Olford, Tom Philips, W. Edward Thiele, Elmer Towns, Joseph N. SaoShiro, Thomas Zimmerman

Topics: Celebration of the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Master Plan of Evangelism; beginnings of Coleman’s work as director of the BGEA’s International Schools of Evangelism, work of the Barnabas Foundation (folder 19-2), work of the North American branch of the LCWE, the GCOWE meetings in 1989 and later, the Navodaya movement in Sri Lanka (folder 19-5), work of the World Discipleship Development Foundation (folder 20-1), a speech by the Vice President of the Evangelical fellowship of Sierra Leone on the occasion of the 1990 BGEA School of Evangelism in that country, led by Coleman (folder 20-7)

Part 8: 1995-2001. Some of the frequent correspondents: Lon Allison, Jim Arnold of Discipleship Ministry training International, Larry Backlund, Allan Beeber, Willys Braun, Bill Bright, Paul Cedar, John Corts, Kenneth Cuffey, Wesley Duewel, Lewis Drummond, Roy Erney, Aijth Fernando,, Leighton Ford, Wes Griffin, Billie Hanks Jr., David Hesselgrave, Sterling Huston, Bill Iversn, Raimundo Jimenez, A. Barry Jones, John AS. Ko, Walter Kaiser, James Jung-Do Lee, Paul Long, Chris Ludrick, Gordon McDonald (on President’s Clinton’s confession), Norman Mydske, Marlin L. Nelson, Mark Nysewander, Stephen Olford, Luis Palau, Virginia Patterson, Tim Philpot, Paul A. Rader, Alvin A. Reid, Herbert Tam, Gene Warr, Rick Warren, Steve Wingfield, T. W. Wilson, Wayne L. Yarnell

Topics: Coleman’s retirement from Trinity and move to Gordon-Conwell Seminary (see folder 23-5); his involvement in the Amsterdam 2000 conference; the International Schools of Evangelism, folder 23-7 contains an interesting statement by Gordon MacDonald on the forgiveness of the President William Clinton

Part 9: 2001-2007. Some of the frequent correspondents: Lon Allison, Tim Beougher, S. Douglas Birdsall, Bill Bright, Vonnette Bright (folder 25-3), Paul Cedar, John Corts, Ajith Fernando, Leighton Ford, George Gallup Jr., David Greenlee, Billie Hanks Jr., Walter Kaiser, John S. Ko, Graeme Lee, Marlin L. Nelson, Tom Philips, Tim Philpot, Alvin Reid, Ramesh Richard, Bong Rin Ro, Isaac Saoshiro, George Verwer, Gene Warr, James Emery White, Steve Wingfield

Topics: Letter by Bill Bright reviewing the year of the Bible (folder 25-2), eulogy for Kenneth Kanzer from his memorial service (folder 25-3). Questions about evangelism: how to do it, theological aspects, organization; participation in evangelism programs in various denominations - Presbyterian, Methodist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Baptist, Campus Crusade, Eternity Magazine, letter from Hodding Carter III of State Department about danger to missionaries in Zaire in 1977 (folder 25-4), OMS, development of the Lausanne movement. correspondence with seminaries around the world.


Subseries: I. B. Manuscripts and Publishing Correspondence Link to Box List

Arrangement: Divided into 4 parts: manuscripts of articles, manuscripts of books, correspondence with publishers and Evangelical publishers catalogs. Within each part, the folders are arranged alphabetically.

Date Range: 1960-2005

Volume: 9.5 cubic feet

Boxes: 27-48

Geographic coverage: United States, although some of the letters in box 37 praising his books are asking for permission to use them come from different parts of the world

Type of documents: Manuscripts, notes, correspondence, reviews

Correspondents: Readers and publishing houses, especially Chosen Vessels, Navigators Press, Mennonite Publishing House, Revell, Zondervan

Subjects: Coleman’s books and articles deal with a wide range of subjects relating Christian evangelism and discipleship, particularly to involving laypeople in evangelism and the impact of living a Christian life. There are also many articles on John Wesley and the history of Methodist evangelism

Notes: This subseries consists of the manuscripts (in various stages of completion) of Coleman’s articles, books and lectures, his correspondence with his publishers, his collection of publisher catalogs, and the printed copies of many of his articles.

Boxes 20 through 34 contain his manuscript or other copies of his written works, first articles, then books. In many cases there are variant editions of the same manuscripts or revisions of later editions, usually with notes by Coleman or others.

Boxes 35 through 38 contain correspondence relating to his publications. Some of this correspondence (boxes 35-37) is with publishers dealing with the acceptance, rejection or revision of materials; questions about publication, reprints, the use of Coleman’s books or portions of them by chaplains and other Christian workers, etc. Boxes 36-38 contain correspondence arranged by the title of the book or article concerned. Many of these contain readers’ reactions or comments. There are a particular large number of files for Dry Bones Shall Live Again (folders 36-5 through 37-1) and The Master Plan of Evangelism (folders 37-10 through 38-2). These latter folders well illustrate the continuing use of Coleman’s best-known work and its impact on the thinking of pastors and evangelists in many parts of the world. Folder 37-20 includes some reader’s responses (there are also many in the general correspondence files) and manuals and other works that used materials from The Master Plan.

Boxes 39 and 40 contain publishers catalogs from a variety of Christian publishers, primarily Revell. Most of the catalogs include a book or books by Coleman. The catalogs themselves are an interesting record of the changes and continuities in American Evangelical publishing over several decades.

Boxes 40 through 45 have, in chronological order, magazine, newsletters and other publications with articles by Coleman, covering a period of over fifty years. These articles are almost all in Christian publications. They deal with evangelism, discipleship, Methodist history and practice, the Christian’s walk and devotional life.

Boxes 46 through 48 contain foreign editions of Coleman’s books (except for Christian Outreach publications, which are in folder 51-7). More than twenty-one different languages are represented and folder 46-5 contains English language versions published in Great Britain, India and the Philippines as well as a 1963 first edition of The Master Plan of Evangelism. Folder 48-9 contains a bibliography arranged by language of all the foreign language editions of Coleman’s books, up to 2005

Exceptional items:

● Folder 28-4 contains the funeral service Coleman preached for his father, James Henry Coleman, in 1975

● Folder 29-3 contains several manuscripts of articles on John Wesley, Methodist evangelism, and Methodist history, several of which deal with Coleman’s concern with what he saw a drift away evangelical Christianity within the denomination. Also related to Methodists - Folder 34-4 contains a manual for Methodist camp meetings (ca. 1962) to which Coleman and J. C. McPheeters, among others, made contributions.


Subseries: I. C. Christian Outreach Link to Box List

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title

Date Range: 1959-1999

Volume: 1.4 cubic feet

Boxes: 49-51

Geographic coverage: World wide

Type of documents: Correspondence, catalogs, booklets

Correspondents: Bill Glass, Jack Gray, Clifford Mayo, Jon Tol Murphree, Ross Rhoads, Ed Robb, Dick Roher, Jack Trosen, Billy Walker, Frederick D. Washington, Charles Williamson, Jack C. Yost

Subjects: History of the small literature distribution company called Christian Outreach, Evangelical theology, counseling in the Christian belief and life for new converts

Notes: Christian Outreach was a small non-profit company started by Coleman and his brother Lyman to provide inexpensive Bible study materials on salvation, the Christian life and basic doctrines of the Bible. They were intended to be distributed by evangelists to new converts and by pastor to use as part of a program of getting laymen involved in evangelism and Christian ministry. Therefore many were written for new Christians and especially children, evidenced by clip art/cartoonist drawings of children reading their Bibles and praying. Each lesson comprised of bulleted, simplistic explanations of certain verses and theological themes, followed by two pages of questions for the reader to answer by referring to specific verses. See folder 92-7 and 93-2 for similar organizations Coleman was involved in, Evangelism Resources and Good News.

The operation was always very low key, but Coleman was steadily distributing these materials throughout his ministry. Christian Outreach was the first publisher of his best known book, The Master Plan of Evangelism, published in 1963 with a more mainstream edition published by Fleming Revell in 1964. Folder 50-1 contains general materials on the history of the organization, including brochures and forms of the company and some correspondence describing the group’s purpose. Folder 49-1 contains catalogs of the CO’s publications. In the early 1960s, the company briefly put out a magazine about evangelism and Christian outreach called Scope. A few issues can be found in folder 50-2. Folders 49-2 through 49-29 contain correspondence with many pastors and evangelists asking about or ordering CO publications, There are also a few letters from printers who were printing the booklets. Most of this correspondence is very routine, but there are a few letters about the benefits of the literature of CO or testimonials about their use in evangelism. Some of the correspondence is about asking permission to use material from CO publications in evangelism programs or publications that an evangelist or Christian ministry was preparing. Coleman seems always to have given his permission quite freely. Folders 50-4 through 51-6 contain different editions of various CO publications, especially Established in the Word of God, an introduction to the way of salvation through Christ and the first steps in the Christian life that was the company’s best seller. Folders 50-5 through 51-1 include special editions of Established in the Word of God that were done for various evangelists, churches, and Christian organizations, including Billy Glass, J. C. McPheeters, Eddie Moran, Ford Philpot, Ross Rhoads, Jon Tal Murphee, Cecil Williamson. Some of these gave the booklet a different title. Folder 51-6 contains foreign language editions of CO publications. Folder 51-4 contain’s various editions of CO’s booklet on how to start a prayer cell.

Exceptional items:

● Folder 49-14 contains reviews and readers reactions to Coleman’s book, The Master Plan of Evangelism. This approach to evangelism and discipleship outlined in this book is also the approach taken in the CO materials, which is perhaps why this folder was included among the CO materials.

● Folder 51-7 contains brochures for a small printer of Christian materials called Serendipity, started by Coleman’s brother Lyman.


Subseries: I. D. Asbury Theological Seminary Files Link to Box List

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date Range: 1955-1989

Volume: 1.3 cubic feet

Boxes: 52-54

Geographic coverage: United States, Jamaica, Bahamas, Colombia, Africa

Type of documents: Class lecture outlines, curricula, Correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings

Correspondents: C. E. Autrey, Frank Dickey; William Gilliam; Eugene Golay, Carl Henry, S. E. McCreless, J. C. McPheeters, Richard E. Raines, Lorne Sanny

Subjects: Asbury Theological Seminary; the 1950 and 1970 Asbury Revivals; the Methodist Church in the United States, particularly the Indiana conference; the theology of and the teaching of evangelism, missions, discipleship, Christian life

Notes: This subseries contains materials relating to Coleman’s activities from 1955 until 1983, when he was a professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. They mostly relate to his class work and responsibilities as a member of the faculty, but there is also a good deal of information on his lecturing and evangelistic ministry in other parts of the United States and the rest of the world. Correspondence in this subseries reflects his deep concern in the development of methods to train clergy and laypeople in evangelism, his growing concern about liberalism and indifference to orthodox Christian belief in the governing authorities of the Methodist church, and his critique of American society and culture from an evangelical Christian perspective (see for example his letters to Senator John Tower about communism and socialism and to Chief Justice Earl Warren on school prayer in folder 54-2.

Folders 52-5 through 54-1 contain extensive course materials from his classes, including lecture notes, course outlines, tests, etc. Almost all classes have to do with some aspect of evangelism or Christian discipleship. Folders 54-2 through 54-9 contain correspondence from his Asbury years to a wide variety of correspondents. Folder 54-4 contains correspondence about his appointment as the first McCreless Professor of Evangelism at the Seminary. Folders 54-5, 54-8 and 54-12, among others, contain material about his concern over the increasing drift to theological liberalism at the school and the reasons for his resignation

Exceptional items:

● Folder 52-2 contains a copy of the book Coleman edited on the 1970 Asbury revival, One Divine Moment, as well as photocopies and originals or newspaper and magazine articles about the revival and the general surge of spirituality among young people in America in the early 1970s. See the oversize folder in drawer 26 for similar materials.

● Folder 52-8 contains correspondence with Jamaican and Bahamian church and civic leaders about his efforts to arrange for Asbury students to go to Jamaica and the Bahamas on evangelistic tours. The file also has information on the 1959 Youth for Christ World Congress in Mexico City, Mexico

● Folder 54-8 contains correspondence, articles, curricula and other materials regarding his dispute with the Methodist Board of Education over the contents of the denomination’s Sunday School lessons and other educational materials.

● Folder 54-10 contains a miscellaneous collection of materials from his years on the Asbury faculty, including minutes of a 1979 faculty meeting called to discuss the development of a school of Evangelism and World Mission and several items relating to the prayer life and spiritual life on campus, in which Coleman was much involved.


Subseries: I. E. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School materials Link to Box List

Arrangement: Files generally arranged by topic, then alphabetically or chronologically

Date Range: 1982-2001

Volume: 1 cubic foot

Boxes: 55-57

Geographic coverage: Mostly the United States, but also material about classes Coleman taught or proposed teaching in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Congo (Zaire), Columbia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, and Trinidad

Type of documents: Letters, memos, curriculums, course work, brochures and pamphlets

Correspondents: Allan Coppedge, Walter Kaiser, David Lim, Donald McGavran, Robert Sprague, John Tooke

Subjects: History of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, particularly the School of World Mission and Evangelism; the needs for advanced Christian education opportunities to meet the needs of the growing church in Africa, Asia and South America; the Methodist Church

Notes: The materials in this section are from the time period of Coleman’s years at Trinity and largely relate to his responsibilities as a teacher and administrator. Folders 55-1 through 55-6 are miscellaneous materials from Coleman’s years at Trinity; folders 55-7 through 56-3 are concerned with Coleman’s responsibilities as director of Trinity’s School of World Mission and Evangelism (SWME). Folders 56-4 through 57-9 concerns the trips of Coleman outside the United States to teach courses in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America from 1983 through 1995. These trips laid the groundwork for Coleman’s later activities as director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s International Schools of Evangelism.

Exceptional items:

● Folder 55-3 contain a miscellaneous collection of letters and other documents, many from students relating to courses Coleman had taught. There is a letter from Donald Mcgavran on the spiritual needs of Europe and North America.

● Folder 56-1 contains material about Coleman’s involvement in the Barnabas Foundation and its efforts to further the spiritual development of church leaders, especially in the Wesleyan tradition

● Folder 56-4 contains a 1994 open letter to the Bishops of the United Methodist Church expressing his concern about apostasy in the church and the lack of response by the hierarchy, particularly in regard to a Re-Imaging Conference that had given “raise to a female personification of God.” This led to an exchange of correspondence with several bishops, including Robert Sprague

● Folder 56-5 contains several ads and brochures for TEDS programs that appeared during Coleman’s years on the faculty

● Folder 55-11 contains the five-year plan that Coleman developed for the SWME. (See also Folder 55-13 for some of the thinking that went into this.)

● Folder 56-2 contains almost two decades of newsletters for the SWME, with articles on topics relating to theological education and reports on the activities of the faculty

● Folder 56-3 contains many memos from Coleman’s later years at TEDS, showing the implementation of his plan and particularly the development of overseas extension programs and resource centers and training programming other countries

● Folder 57-6 contains material on Coleman’s 1989 trip to Asia, including his attendance at the Lausanne II Congress in Manila

● Folders 51-10 and 51-11 contain materials notes and information that Coleman gathered for classes on trends in missions and basic evangelism.


Subseries: I. F. Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization Link to Box List

Arrangement: Alphabetical by title; most titles were assigned by the archivist.

Date Range: 1973-2004

Volume: 3.25 cubic feet

Boxes: 58-64

Geographic coverage: The Lausanne Committee was involved in activit4es around the globe and there is some reflection of this in Coleman’s papers, but mainly the documents concern activities in North America, with some information on Germany, Easter Europe, Thailand

Type of documents: Letters, memos, committee minutes, reports, news letters

Correspondents: Saphir Athyal, Ramaz Attalah, Vonnette Bright, Glandion Carney, Kenneth Chafin, A. Jack Dain, Edward R. Dayton, Mildred Dienert, Leighton Ford, C. B. Hogue, Donald Hoke, David Howard, John R. Howell, George C. Hunter III, Paul Little, Gottfried Osei-Mensah, W. Stanley Mooneyham, Victor Nelson, John Stott, Warren Webster, Thomas F. Zimmerman

Subjects: The 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization (known as the Lausanne Congress); the 1977 consultation on teaching evangelism in seminaries; the 1980 Consultation of World Evangelization, the 1981 American Festival of Evangelism, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and especially its North American regional committee, Protestant evangelism in Easter Europe and the former Soviet Union after 1989, the Willowbank report on Christianity and culture

Notes: The materials in this subseries cover Coleman’s activities as a founding member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE) and his simultaneous membership on the Lausanne regional committee for North America and the committee for the United States. The United States committee was particularly concerned with fund raising for the entire LCWE. Coleman was chairman of the North American committee for several years. The documents reflect his involvement in various significant LCWE events, including the original Lausanne Congress in 1974 (folders 61-8, 62-1), the 1981 American Festival of Evangelism(folder 58-1) and the 1991 Budapest Summit (folder 58-3) which looked at evangelism in the former communist areas of Europe. The records also illustrate Coleman’s leadership in both the LCWE and the North American branch in the last half of the 1970s and the early 1990s. Folders 58-4 through 61-5 contain much correspondence and other documents about the day to day functioning of the LCWE, especially the planning of its biennial meetings and of special conferences from 1975 on. Folders 62-2 through 62-4 contain similar documents for the functioning of the U. S. Lausanne committee and folders 63-2 through 64-1.

Exceptional items:

● Folder 59-1 holds a LCWE committee notebook for a January 1983 meeting that includes a proposed handbook for LCWE with a forward by Billy Graham

● Folder 61-6 contains planning materials and correspondence from John Stott, Lewis Drummond and others about an LCWE consultation on the teaching of mission and evangelism in seminaries. The consultation was held in Montreal in 1979.

● Folders 61-8 and 62-1 contain a miscellaneous collection of materials from Coleman’s participation in the 1974 Lausanne Congress, including pamphlets, letters and forms about arrangements, lodging and travel; Coleman’s notes on a paper on Christian unity by Jonathan T’ien-en Chao, documents given out at the Congress, and Coleman’s personal notebook of copies of copies of papers given at conference. Apparently he had his students at Asbury use the notebook for class assignments.

● Folder 61-8 has material on the Forum for World Evangelization held in Pattaya, Thailand in 2004. Contain a good deal on the history of Lausanne up to that point. Also booklets on the ministry of the SaRang Community Church in Seoul, Korea. See also folder 64-3.

● Folder 61-7 contains correspondence with Leighton Ford (although much, much more can be found throughout the other folders in this collection) including information on the 1977 consultation on teaching evangelism in seminaries and the formation of the scholarship fund set up in the in memory of Leighton Ford’s deceased son, Sandys. See also Ford’s long memo as his reflections on the 1980 COWE in folder 64-3.

● Folder 62-5 contains correspondence with Glandion Carney and others about the Leadership ‘88 conference, intended to bring together younger Evangelical leaders in the United States.

● Folders 62-6, 63-1, 64-4 and 64-5 contain materials about Coleman’s work with John Stott and the Lausanne Theology and Education Group (LTEG), especially for plans on a worldwide consultation on teaching missions and evangelism in seminaries.

● Folder 62-7 contains several marked up various drafts of the Manila Manifesto (apparently marked up during discussions during the Congress), the statement of the 1989 Lausanne Congress, as well as the printed final version.

● Folder 62-3, 63-2 through 64-1 have voluminous documents of North American Lausanne Committee - includes a good deal of material on the involvement of Coleman and others in the planning of Lausanne consultations and conferences such as the United States Festival of Evangelism, in North America as well as other events such as COWE.


Subseries: I. G. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Schools of Evangelism Link to Box List

Arrangement: Boxes 65-66 are alphabetical by folder title, boxes 67-78 contain participant notebooks from Schools of Evangelism and other BGEA events.

Date Range: 1956-2005

Volume: 6 cubic feet

Boxes: 65-78

Geographic coverage: Worldwide

Type of documents: Notebooks given to participants at various BGEA sponsored meetings, correspondence, memos, reports

Correspondents: Larry Backlund, John Corts, Leighton Ford, Billy Graham, Willis Haymaker, Carl F. Henry, Sterling Huston, W. Stanley Mooneyham, Tom Phillips, John Pollock, Sherwood Wirt, Grady Wilson, T. W. Wilson

Subjects: Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, Billy Graham and the BGEA, the BGEA’s International Schools of Evangelism, the Cove, the World Congress on Evangelism (1966), the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists (1983), the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists (1986), Amsterdam 2000, theological and practical training for evangelists, particularly those in the new and growing Evangelical communities of faith in Africa, Asia and South America, the Lausanne movement

Notes: The materials in this subseries trace Coleman’s decades long collaboration with Billy Graham and the BGEA. There is material on his first contact with Graham in 1956, his involvement as a participant in the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism, and the 1983 and 1986 International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists (Amsterdam 83 and Amsterdam 86). There is much more material on three other aspects of Coleman’s participation in the BGEA’s ministries: 1) Coleman’s activities as an advisor to Graham and his occasional assistance to Graham on his speeches and sermons and on the international conference that eventually became Amsterdam 2000 (and in which Coleman participated as a speaker); 2) his becoming director of the Institute of Evangelism of the Billy Graham Center largely at the request of Graham and the BGEA and his reports on his shaping of the work of the Institute; and 3) his activities (simultaneously with leading the Institute) as director of the BGEA’s International Schools of Evangelism. Indeed, the bulk of this subseries consists of the participant notebooks from the schools held between 1989 and 2002. Correspondence about the first international SOE at Monrovia, Liberia is in folder 66-5 and a notebook from the school is in box 67. There is additional material about Coleman’s plans for the International SOEs in folders 79-4.

Exceptional items:

● Folder 65-1 contains materials from Coleman’s participation in Amsterdam ‘86, including the newsletter sent to program participants in the months before the conference. While in Europe for the conference, Coleman taught a course at Trinity Theological Seminary in the Netherlands and the folder contains his correspondence with about the course with Samuel Faircloth. Box 67 contains his notebook from the conference. There is no similar folder for Amsterdam ‘83, but box 66 contains his notebook and program guide from that conference. The program has some of Coleman’s notes.

● Folders 65-3 to 65-6 contain material from his participation in the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism, co-sponsored by the BGEA and held in West Berlin. Folder 65-3 contains various memorabilia form the meeting, including Coleman’s handwritten notes of his impressions and some of the coverage of the congress in Christian publications and Coleman’s correspondence with Congress planners Carl Henry and W. Stanley Mooneyham. Folders 65-4 and 65-5 contain the copies of the papers given at conference. These occasionally have some handwritten notes made (presumably) by Coleman. Folder 65-6 contains the program, again with a few handwritten notes.

● Folders 65-7 and 65-8 contain materials in English and Spanish from Coleman’s participation in congresses of evangelism (essentially the same as the schools of evangelism held elsewhere) held for local pastors in Paraguay and Argentina.

● Folder 65-9 contains a half century of correspondence with staff at the BGEA, starting with a 1956 letter to Willis Haymaker planning participation by Asbury students and faculty in the nearby Louisville Crusade. There is an interesting letter to Graham biographer John Pollock about the first meeting of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and another to Leighton Ford with suggestions for a speech Graham would be giving to Methodist ministers. Almost all the rest of the letters dal with Coleman’s activities as administrative consultant of the IOE (a title eventually changed to director), including his first report to the BGEA. The following folder, 65-10, contain his regular monthly correspondence with BGEA Chief Operating Office John Corts, describing briefly his activities at the Institute and especially his travels for schools of evangelism and other special assignments for the BGEA. (Folder 94-2 contains handbills for Billy Graham films which Coleman distributed to his congregation in Indiana even before his first personal contacts with the BGEA.

● Folder 66-1 contains several decades of Coleman’s correspondence with Graham. There are a few letters from the 1950s and 60s, but most are from the late 1970s on. Topics include: the 1970 revival at Asbury seminary, the negotiations with Wheaton College and TEDs about Coleman’s becoming director of the IOE and his work as director, the Los Angeles ‘88 congress on the evangelization of Hispanics; the need for introductory ad advanced training in evangelism and discipleship worldwide and the part the Institute and the Schools of Evangelism should play in this training; Coleman’s activities and global travels on behalf of the BGEA , the purpose and program of the conference that became Amsterdam 2000, the Lausanne movement

● Folder 66-2 contains some materials about Coleman’s participation in planning the program of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove (usually called the Cove) in Asheville, North Carolina

● Folder 66-3 Contains materials from the 2005 evangelistic meetings Franklin Graham held in Paraguay

● Folder 66-4 contains correspondence and notes about a possible SOE in South Korea which was never held.

● Folder 66-6 includes the text of a speech on evangelism given by Bishop Augustus B. Marwieh.

Folder 66-6 contains voluminous notes about a leadership training seminar held in Moscow in 1993, essentially a school of evangelism, co-sponsored by the BGEA and the Billy Graham center’s Institute of Evangelism. See also box 75.

● Folder 66-7 contains a newsletter from the 1957 New York Crusade. This is of interest primarily because it shows BGEA staff member Lyman Coleman, Robert’s brother.

● Folder 66-8 contains brochures and other information about SOEs held in the United States. For most of these, Coleman served as a faculty member.

● Folder 66-9 contains a small notebook from the 1991 Solomon Island School of Evangelism

● Box 78 contains a participant notebook for the 1994 North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists (NACIE). Besides outlines of all the talks, many by prominent American Evangelicals, the notebooks also contains many handouts and various memos and other documents relating to the planning of the conference.


Subseries: I. H. The Institute of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College Link to Box List

Arrangement: Alphabetical by title

Date Range: 1985-2001

Volume: 1.1 cubic feet

Boxes: 79-81

Geographic coverage: United States

Type of documents: Correspondence, memos, reports, brochures

Correspondents: Larry Backmund, Lyle Dorsett, Diane Garvin, Ken Gill, Sterling Huston, James Kraakevik, David Olmstead, Tom Phillips

Subjects: The Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College, Evangelism training, especially in the United States, Christian outreach programs in the United States in the 1980s and ‘90s

Notes: The files in this section document Coleman’ work as director of the BGC’s Institute of Evangelism. The documents describe the prolonged discussions before he took the position between Coleman, the BGEA, and the BGC about the BGEA’s vision for the Institute and how it could be achieved. Once he began as director, the materials show his efforts, often in conjunction with the US Lausanne Committee (later known as Mission America), to develop course and conferences which would encourage American clergy and laity to become more actively involved in sharing their Christian faith. Many folders reflect his very wide contacts within and outside of the United States in the field of evangelism and evangelism training (See, for example, folders 79-8 and 80-6.) Coleman made regular reports to the liaison committee between the BGEA and Wheaton College. These reports can be found in many folders of this section and they give an excellent description of the Institute’s activities. Coleman at this same time was also director of the BGEA’s International Schools of Evangelism and some of the documents in this section reflect that. Folders 80-4 through 81-2 in particular contain a good assortment of the kinds of request and projects that would come across Coleman’s desk while he was director of the IOE.

Exceptional items:

● Folder 79-5 contains materials on the program of the 1993 conference the IOE held on evangelism at the liberal arts college.

● Folder 79-6 contains handwritten notes for speeches gave at the opening of various IOE conferences and other events. These provide many insights into Coleman’s views on the place of evangelism in the Christian life

● Folder 80-1 contains some materials from the consultation IOE sponsored on Internet Evangelism

● Folder 80-4 contains a very complete draft of the IOE’s self-study course, Training leaders for Follow-Up and Discipleship.


Subseries: I. I. Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE) Link to Box List

Arrangement: Alphabetical by title

Date Range: 1994-1997

Volume: .7 cubic feet

Boxes: 81-82

Geographic coverage: Worldwide

Type of documents: Correspondence, drafts of various documents, including the declaration of the two conferences, GCOWE publications

Correspondents: Luis Bush, Paul Cedar, Derek Crumpton, John Woodman

Subjects: The two GCOWE conferences in 1995 and 1997, the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement, the Unreached Reached Peoples movement, Protestant Christian strategies for evangelism

Notes: The two GCOWE meetings (the first in Seoul, South Korea from May 17-26, 1995 and the second in Pretoria, South Africa from June 30 to July 5, 1997) grew out of the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement, which was an effort of growing out of the efforts of many of the leaders attending the 1989 Lausanne II Conference. The 1997 meeting, aside from the initial and final plenary session, divided into ten congresses which addressed specific issues or interests. About 4,000 delegates attended both meetings, with over 180 countries represented in Seoul and 133 in Pretoria. Coleman was deeply involved in both consultations. He chaired the committee that prepared the final statement for the 1995 meeting and led the Presidents and Academic Deans of Theological and Missionary Training Institutes Congress (PAD) during the 1997 meeting.

Exceptional items:

● Folder 81-3 contains excerpts from the GCOWE ‘95 declaration, which briefly discuss the foundation, mandate, vision, strategy, and commitment of AD 2000 and Beyond Movement.

● Folder 81-4 contains many drafts, revisions and notes, including correspondence with AD 2000's executive director Luis Bush, that went into the preparation of the final statement of the GCOWE ‘95. Folder 81-5 has similar materials for the final statement of the PADS Congress and Coleman’s final address to the group.

● Folder 82-1 and 82-2 contain Coleman’s participant notebooks from the two consultations, each of which contain information about the sessions and speakers. The 1995 notebook in particular has detailed information on the various ministries and program that made up the AD 2000 movement. and information on the pre-planning of the consultation as well as a copy of AD 2000 and Beyond handbook, a copy of the Nigeria AD 2000 Manifesto, a copy of the Africa 2000 Declaration


Subseries: I. J. Meeting Files Link to Box List

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title; folder titles supplied by archivist

Date Range: 1936-2000

Volume: 7.6 cubic feet

Boxes: 82-91, 95-99

Geographic coverage: World wide, but the overwhelming number of items are from North America, with a large majority from northeast and southeast Asia for the years after 1980

Type of documents: Programs, calendars, schedules announcements, newspaper clippings, participant notebooks, newsletters, church bulletins, handbills

Subjects: Evangelism methods, Methodism, Coleman’s ministry as an evangelist

Notes: This subseries consists of 1) several decades of Coleman’s personal calendars and schedules of his speaking engagements and other activities (box 90) and 2) memorabilia from meetings that Coleman attended over a period of more than six decades. The overwhelming number of items are from meetings he attended as a participant, either as a teacher, speaker or evangelist. Types of meetings include church services, evangelistic campaigns, funeral services, conferences local, national and international on various Christian topics, usually relating to evangelism; visiting lectureships at a variety of different schools (seminaries, Bible colleges, institutes); Easter sunrise services; National Holiness Association conventions; camp meetings, minister’s conferences; spiritual retreats; Salvation Army conferences, Navigators

There are gaps fro the years 1979, 1981, 1983-85,1992-1996

Exceptional items:

● Folder 83-1 contains some of the earliest handbills and programs from Coleman’s ministry.

● Folders 84-4,5,6 contain materials for the nationwide joint evangelistic effort among Protestant denominations in the United States known as Key 73

● Folder 84-4 contain an extensive obituary for Rev. David T. Tsutada of Tokyo, Japan.

● Folder 84-5 contains a program from the Campus Crusade evangelism congress called Explo ‘72, held in Dallas, Texas.

● Folder 87-2 includes material on Amsterdam ‘86

● Folder 87-3 includes material on the InterVarsity’s 1987 Urbana conference

● Folder 95-4 contains a program from the 1989 Philippine Congress on World Evangelization, held in Manila the same time as the Lausanne II Congress.

● Folder 96-1 Material from IVCF’s Urbana 90 meetings

● Folder 88-2 contains program information from a conference held at TEDS on how to present the Gospel in a post-modern society

● Folder 89-1 contains the program notebook for the Navigators “Reaching the Next Generation Conference”

● Folder 89-2 contains a participant notebook from the 2000 Korean World Mission Conference (a notebooks for the 1992 meeting is in box 99).

● Folders 89-3 and 89-4 contain materials relating to Campus Crusade for Christ’s Bill Bright Initiative.

● Box 91 contains Coleman’s personal id badges (and a few of his wife Marietta) from dozens of the conferences he attended.


Subseries: I. K. Miscellaneous Link to Box List

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title, titles assigned by the archivist

Date Range: 1936-2005

Volume: 1.5 cubic feet

Boxes: 92-94

Geographic coverage: United States

Type of documents: Bibles, clippings, college records, programs, church service programs, directories, brochures

Subjects: Coleman’s early life, education and ministry; Asbury College and Theological Seminary; the Biblical Seminary in New York; early Methodist history, Methodist circuit riders, OMS; Princeton Seminary; Southwestern University; State University of Iowa, Union Theological Seminary,

Notes: This subseries consist of a set of loose materials in the accessions received from Dr. Coleman. The arrangement has been supplied by the archives staff. Most of the material relates to the early part of his life, from his boyhood in Texas, through his first pastorates in Indiana and New Jersey. There are a few scattered items from other periods of his life as well. The individual folders are described below.

Exceptional items:

● Folder 92-1 contains a variety of materials relating to Marietta Emmons’ (later Coleman) attendance at Asbury College. Her time as a student at the college overlapped with Coleman’s time at the Asbury seminary and it was on the Asbury campuses that met and began courting. The folder contains several Asbury College Bulletins, as well as programs from various events and some of Marietta’s class papers.

● Folders 92-2, 92-6, 94-2 contain church programs and other documents related to Coleman’s pastorates at, respectively, Asbury Methodist Church (New Jersey), Bridgeboro Methodist Church (New Jersey), Royal Center Methodist Church (Indiana). These numerous programs, for special events as well as regular church services, give an excellent idea of the institutions and regular activities of small Methodist churches in the 1950s. Most of the programs have a brief homily on the back as well. The folder for Bridgeboro (92-6) also contains a brief history of the church, written in 1948 , before Coleman’s pastorate. It contains an interest list of what appear to be the different food stuffs that members of the congregation apparently gave to Coleman, perhaps in lieu of or to supplement his pay. The list has a note from Marietta Coleman, “The people want to fatten up my husband!” The Royal Center folder (94-2) contains, besides programs, a variety of documents from the church’s life, as well as a notebook of what appear to be outlines of some of Coleman’s sermons, and other odds and ends.

● Folder 92-4 contains one of Coleman’s Bibles and folder 93-5 contains one of his New Testaments. Both are heavily underlined through out, with notes in many places. They were both used by him to preach from for many years.

● Folder 92-5 contains the 1951-52 catalog for the Biblical Seminary of New York, with some notes by Coleman.

● Folder 92-7 and 93-2 contains materials about small organizations similar to Christian Resources, founded by Coleman in the early 1950s. The organizations were Evangelism Resources and Good News, for both of which Coleman served on the board. Evangelism Resources supported the ministry of Willys and Thelma Braun. EI was founded to stimulate evangelism in Africa and perhaps elsewhere by providing training, publications and encouragement to African leaders. Good News was an organization of ministers and laypeople within the United Methodist church in the late 1960s and early 1970s that sought to the liberal theology they saw as dominant in the church hierarchy. The folder include correspondence with James McCallie, Charles Keyser and others in the movement as well as minutes of the board and other reports.

● Folder 93-1 contains a photo-copy of the book Francis Asbury’s America, edited by Terry Bilhirtz (1984), for which Coleman added a kudo. Another set of copies of material from early Methodism is in folder 94-3. This contains a notebook created by Coleman with photocopies of 37 sermon notes by a unknown Methodist circuit rider from the 1830s. Coleman was allowed to make these copies in 1980.

● Folder 93-3 contains directories and other publications of the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists, an organization of which Coleman was a longtime member.

● Folder 93-4 contains a large collection of pamphlets and other publications from a large variety of Christian ministries. These include, among many others, the American tract Society, Barnabas Foundation, Chicago Airport Christian Ministry, Chick-fil-A, LeRoy Jones Evangelistic Ministries, Korean international Mission, Lucknow Evangelistic Crusade, National Catholic Evangelization Association, the 700 Club, SonLife Ministries, evangelist Jim Wilson, Winona Lake Bible Conference

● Folder 93-6 contains the minutes and reports for a 1998 meeting of the board of trustees of OMS International, OMS was a foreign mission board in the Holiness tradition. Coleman was on the board.

● Folder 94-1 contains materials from Princeton Seminary, including bulletins, the program for the 1952 commencement (where Coleman graduated) and some of his papers and course work.

● Folder 94-4 contains some reports cards and other memorabilia from Coleman’s undergraduate days at Southwestern University.

● Folder 94-5 contains the catalogue for the State University of Iowa as well as the program for the commencement exercise where Coleman’s doctoral degree was conferred on him.

● Folder 94-7 contains some of Coleman’s papers and course work from his time at Union Theological Seminary in new York.

● Folder 94-8 contains report card and other memorabilia from Coleman’s youth, including a copy of one of the American History Movies booklets given out to Texas school children. These told the story of American history in cartoon form. The booklet in this folder tells the story of the European discovery of the New World and ends the United States winning her independence


Series: II. Non-paper Records

Arrangement: Chronologically by date; items with no date are at the end of the list.

Date Range: 1950-2010

Volume: .784 cubic feet

Geographic coverage:

Type of documents: Home made audio recordings, professional audio, video and digital productions of conferences, congresses, and similar meetings

Subjects: Life and ministry of Coleman; Hong Kong Keswick Conferences, evangelistic sermons and talk on the theology and practice of evangelism and living a Christian life

Notes: This series consists of all the audio visual materials in the collection. Most of the recordings are of evangelistic meetings, church services, conferences, seminars, etc. in which Coleman participated although there are a few personal items, such as the recording of his and Marietta’s wedding service (T21) and the first fifteen records are of several oral history interviews with Coleman, covering his life from 1928 to 2010,done mainly in 2000-2001, with a final one in 2010. . A further interview was done in 2019 (T101). The individual items are described below in the audio tape and video tape location records.


The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Robert E. Coleman in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010.

Accession 00-2, 00-3, 00-11, 00-34, 00-35, 00-46, 00-47, 00-60, 00-61, 00-71, 00-74, 01-48, 01-49, 01-58, 05-23, 07-66, 08-41, 10-80

December 13, 2010

Bob Shuster

K. Emmert

A. Thomas

Physical Description

99 boxes (DC, ODC), Audio Recordings, Oversize Materials, Photographs, Video recordings

Collection 563 Papers of Robert Coleman
Bob Shuster
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