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Collection 085 Papers of William H. Wrighton

Identifier: CN 085

Scope and Contents

Sermons, clippings, articles, manuscripts, notebooks, personal records, correspondence and miscellaneous items relating to the William Wrighton's career as a pastor, professor, writer. Also in this collection are photographs of Wrighton and his family and friends.


  • Created: 1903-1963

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

William Hazer Wrighton, A.B., M.A., D.D., L.L.D. was the youngest of four sons born to Abner and Elizabeth Wrighton on April 13, 1884, in Godmanchester, England. Later in Glasgow, Scotland, he went to school for the ministry.

In March 1909, William Wrighton married Alice Wilson. The following year, the couple left England for Western Canada to pursue missionary work among the farmers of Saskatchewan. From 1910 to 1912, Wrighton attended Acadia University in Nova Scotia paying his way by carving the doorways of the new government buildings and also some of the tablets for the Halifax Memorial Tower. (Before entering the ministry, William Wrighton was a sculptor, as was his father Abner.) He also pursued studies at Mac Master University in Toronto until his call to pastor Park Baptist Church in Brantford, Ontario.

Wrighton completed his M.A. at the University of Georgia. In 1928, he taught English and American government at the same school. Later he became the head of the philosophy department, which was then newly created. For thirteen years he served in that capacity and at the same time became prominent as Bible conference speaker. From his initial invitation in 1930 to Toccoa Falls and then to Ben Lippen, he had gone year after year to America and Canadian Keswick Conferences, as well as other meetings. For several successive summers, he also taught at Wheaton College in Illinois.

While at the University of Georgia, he worked for his D.D. by extension, which took him three years with Central University. His dissertation in 1926 was on "Ancient Bible Schools". In 1941 he received his honorary L.L.D. from Houghton College. That same year he became professor of Homiletics at Philadelphia's Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Three years later he went to Gordon College of Theology to become Professor of Homiletics.

Wrighton wrote several books including: Philosopher's Love for Christ; The Herman Quest and the Divine Plan; The Glory of His Grace; A Philosopher's Victory Through Christ; etc. He also wrote numerous articles for the Sunday School Times and other publications.

Shortly after the death of his wife, Alice, in August 1952, William Wrighton married his second wife, Ruth Blott, of Bedford, England, in July 1953. Ten years later, Wrighton, after a brief illness, died on July 24, 1962, at age seventy-eight in Victoria, British Columbia. Prior to his death, he had just retired in May from an active pastorate for the First Baptist Church of Ephrata in Washington, where he had been for over four years.


4.40 Cubic Feet

4 Boxes

5 Photograph Files

1 Oversize File

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

The bulk of this collection consists of sermons and clippings of Wrighton. There are over three hundred folders containing Wrighton's sermons and clippings on various subjects and topics written by the author during his lifetime. These sermons and clippings were originally filed in individual legal-size white envelopes. The materials are arranged alphabetically according to the subject title originally given by Wrighton. Some of the envelopes contained materials on more than one subject and where this was the case, the first topic title was taken to be the folder title as well.

In addition, there are six "6 x 8" inch two-ring binder notebooks in the collection. One of these notebooks contained Wrighton's notes on Johns' Epistles and the Gospels. The other five notebooks were labeled A to Z but there is no corresponding alphabetical arrangement of the contents. The materials in these remaining notebooks seem intended for use in sermons. Also in the collection are illustration materials and notes on various subjects like: Biblical Psychology, Bible History, Ethics, Epistle to the Ephesians, Revivals of Religion and Science.

Beside sermon materials, the collection includes several articles written by Wrighton for the Sunday School Times and other publications; these are chronologically arranged. There are also manuscripts for Wrighton's lectures and addresses he gave before Christian conferences, civic clubs, school commencement programs, etc.

The collection also includes biographical material. Folder 1-21 contains biographical sketches, news of magazine articles, biodata, etc. and folder 1-15 contains letters of introduction, academic records, marriage certificate, etc. Folder 1-11 consists of other material about Wrighton, such as unofficial autopsy reports, notes of condolences, death certificates, news articles, books of remembrance, and some correspondence.

Other materials in this collection include one oversize box (OS 13) containing the certificates and diplomas Wrighton received from several institutions. There is a folder containing his credentials; and other folders containing some miscellaneous materials; newspaper and magazine articles; an old pocket size Bible; book ads, etc. The correspondence file (folder 1-14) includes correspondents like Billy Graham in 1951 and Harold Lindsell in 1956, among others. There are two files on book reviews as they concern Wrighton's books Philosopher's Love for Christ and Glory of His Grace.

The archivist provided the arrangement of most of the collection, with several exceptions. The order of the materials in folders 1-4, 1-15 and 1-21 are in the original order from the time of donation.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Ruth Wrighton in February 1979.

Accession 79-19, 79-21

August 7, 1979

Abraham Labiano

G. Gallup

R. Shuster

Related Materials

The following items have been given to the Evangelism & Missions Collection of Wheaton College:

Alleine, Joseph. An Alarm to Unconverted Sinners in a Serious Treatise on Conversion (New York: American Tract Society; n.d.).

Grubb, Norman P. C.T. Studd Cricketer and Pioneer (n.d.).

Wrighton, William Hazer. A Philosopher's Love for Christ (n.d.)

Wrighton, William Hazer. The Glory of His Grace: Norms of Blessing (n.d.).

Collection 085 Papers of William H. Wrighton
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