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Collection 619 Oral History Interviews from Singapore Bible College

Identifier: CN 619

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Verda Poulson, E. N. Poulson, and Dr. Buela Violet James concerning their life experiences as Singapore Bible College (SBC) faculty and staff. Topics discussed include history of SBC, student life; gender division at SBC; mission education; SBC conservativism; development of degree programs; SBC leadership and lecturers; teaching styles; student fieldwork; Overseas Missionary Fellowship; evangelism efforts in Asia; church development; Singapore; cultural adjustments; Malay language; church and government relations; Chinese Christian culture; and indigenous evangelism. The time period covered by the interviews is 1949 to 2005.

Verda Poulson and E. N. Poulson were interviewed by Robert Shuster on August 19, 2005 and Dr. Buela Violet James on August 31, 2005 at Singapore Bible College in Singapore.


  • 2005


Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright to the sound recordings in this collection is held by the Archives of Singapore Bible College.

Biographical Information

Full name: Dr. Buela Violet James

Birth: August 7th, 1949 in Selangor, Malaysia


Parents: G. D. (Gnanamuthu Dixon) James (1920-2003) and Rosalind Rebecca Simon

Siblings: Five siblings (unnamed)

Marital Status: Married to Victor Nathan

Conversion: Accepted Christ at nine years old while attending her father’s sermon on John 9:12 at the Evangelical Church in Opera State, Singapore.


1970-1973 - Singapore Bible College, B. Th.

1974 - Melbourne College of Divinity, L. Th.

1975-1977 - Wheaton College, B.A.

1977-1978 - Wheaton College Graduate School, M.A.

1985-1989 - Aberdeen University, Ph.D


1974 - Staff worker with Scripture Union, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Part-time lecturer with Singapore Bible College.

1978-2019 - Full-time lecturer with Singapore Bible College in Church History and World Religions.

1998-2005 - Part-time Pastoral Counselor, Yio Chu Kang Chapel

2016?-2019 - Chaplain, Singapore Bible College

2020 - Singapore Bible College Alumni Advisor

2020 - Associate pastoral staff at Yio Chu Kang Chapel, serving in the Women’s Prayer Ministry.

Other significant information

Contributed several articles in A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, edited by Scot Sunquist (Eerdmans, 2001).

Contributed two articles in Twentieth Century of Christian Biography, edited by J.D. Douglas (Baker, 1995)

Contributed one article in That Asia May Know, edited by Jonathan James and Malcolm Tan (AEF International, 2000)

***** Full name: Reverend Dr. Ernest N. Poulson, Jr.

Birth: April 1, 1926 in Miami, Florida.

Death: October 13, 2017 in Singapore.


Parents: Ernest N. Poulson (1903-1994) and Minnie Annette Poulson (1901-1989)

Siblings: Ralph Poulson (1931)

Marital Status: Married to Verda Poulson ca. 1946

Children: Sharon Louise (1948) and Sandra Annette Poulson (1951)


1946?-1952 - Biola University


1943-1945? - Served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

1950? - Part of Christ for Indonesia Fellowship while attending Biola University

1953 - 1958 Originally intending to establish missions in Indonesia when visa and other issues stalled his travels, E.N Poulson was invited by Rev. Calvin Chao in Singapore to help develop the recently founded Singapore Theological Seminary, later named Singapore Bible College.

1958 - 1988(?) - Founding Dean of School of Theology (English), Singapore Bible College.

1960 - 1981 - Missionary-advisor and Church Counselor for Grace Baptist Church, giving sermons through Paul Lenn, the interpreter, as well as mentoring and training emerging leaders and “lay pastors” in the church.

1987 – 1989 - Pastor Advisor of Grace Baptist Church

1989 - 1996 - Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church

1997 - 2017 Pastor Emeritus, Grace Baptist Church, Singapore

Other significant information

Developed and led ministry to drug addicts and prisoners in Singapore.


Full name: Verda May Sutter Poulson

Birth: September 26, 1926 in Phoenix, Arizona


Parents: Lawrence Floyd Sutter (1901-1968) and Voyza Mae Sprauge Sutter (1903-1994)

Siblings: Edna Belle and Lucille Marie Sutter

Marital Status: Married E.N. Poulson ca. 1946

Children: Sharon Louise (1948) and Sandra Annette Poulson (1951)


1958 - 1988 Prepared meals and assisted in providing support and counsel for students in Singapore Bible College’s new School of Theology (English). When the college developed more extensive grounds on Adam Road, Singapore throughout the 1960s and 70s, Verda Poulson also worked with grounds keeping and supervised students’ work on the grounds.

1950s?-1980s? - Taught child evangelism classes and Sunday school in English and Malay to children of various ages.


3 Sound Recordings

230 Minutes

Language of Materials


Additions and Accruals

The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of Singapore Bible College by Verda Poulson, E. N. Poulson, and Dr. Buela Violet James in August 2005. A copy of the interviews was given to the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Archives.

Accession: 05-48, 05-49, 05-50

January 21, 2021

Emily Banas

Collection 619 Oral History Interviews from Singapore Bible College
Emily Banas
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