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Collection 180 Papers of Carl Armerding

Identifier: CN 180

Scope and Contents

Diaries, correspondence, scrapbook, travel documents, oral history interview, sermons and other materials documenting Carl Armerding's career and ministry, especially his work as a Bible teacher, preacher, and leader of Central American Mission.

Interview topics covered include Armerding's family background, education, recollections of Billy Sunday, Gipsy Smith, Henry Ironside and Will Houghton, missions and evangelism in Honduras and the Bahamas, speaking engagements, teaching (at Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Seminary, and Wheaton College), work with mission agencies (Latin America Mission, Central American Mission, and China Inland Mission), the development of churches in Latin America and other mission-related topics. Events described in the interview cover the time period from ca. 1890-ca. 1970.


  • Created: 1903-1987

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: Carl Armerding

Birth: June 16, 1889, in Jersey City, New Jersey

Death: March 28, 1987, in Hayward, California. Buried in Chapel Hill Cemetery, Elmhurst, Illinois.


Parents: Ernst A. and Gebke (Kretzmer) Armerding, German immigrants to the United States

Siblings: Nine (including brother Howard and sister Marie)

Marital Status: Married to Eva Mae Taylor on June 27, 1917, in Westfield, Ontario, Canada

Children: Hudson Taylor (1918), Evangeline Louise, nee Hermanson (1922), Helen Winifred nee Lynn (1925), Geraldine May nee McIver (1933); plus one child who died in infancy

Conversion: Baptized and became a member of a Plymouth Brethren congregation at age fourteen or fifteen after hearing a sermon preached by George Mackenzie


1903: Graduated from Public School #28, Jersey City, New Jersey

ca. 1904-1906: Attended night school in Jersey City, New Jersey

1920-1926: Graduated from University of New Mexico with a B.A. degree. Took courses for about a year afterwards toward a degree in Romance Languages.

1935: Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Evangelical Theological College, which later became Dallas Theological Seminary


1902-1904: Worked as an office boy at the New York Switch and Crossing Company, Hoboken, New Jersey

ca. 1907-1911: Worked an a mechanical draftsman, possibly for the Empire Cream Separator Company

1912, 1914: Went to Honduras as a Brethren missionary, because of a severe attack of malaria, moved on to the Bahamas and preached at Brethren Assemblies there

1915-1917: Began an itinerant teaching and preaching ministry in the United States and Canada

ca. 1917-1927: Moved to New Mexico; served as a chaplain at a tuberculosis sanatarium in Albuquerque, was involved in missions to Native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona, preached and taught at Brethren Assemblies in the region

1927-1929: Christian work in San Diego, California, with itinerant preaching and teaching ministry throughout United States and Canada

1929-1931: Professor of Homiletics, Evangelical Theological College (later Dallas Theological Seminary)

1932-1935: Christian work in San Diego, California

1934, 1935-1938: Brethren evangelist and Bible teacher in New Zealand, based in Wellington

1938: Tour of Palestine, England, Western Europe

1939-1943: Moved to Windsor, Ontario; was an itinerant Bible teacher and evangelist in Canada and the United States

1940-1946: Served on the extension faculty of Moody Bible Institute

1942-1947: Special Bible teacher at Dallas Theological Seminary

1944-1948: Member of the Advisory Board of the Central American Mission; over the next quarter century went on at least six tours of churches and mission stations in Central and South America

1946-47: Taught Bible as a resident member of the faculty of Moody Bible Institute

1947-1948: Professor of Practical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary

1948-1954: Member of the Board of Director of Central American Mission

1948-1962: Professor of Bible at Wheaton College in Wheaton Illinois; Emeritus status from 1970 (took a leave of absence 1954-1955; resigned from faculty briefly in 1955 to go on a mission trip for CAM to Europe)

1951-1955: Pastor of the College Church of Wheaton, Illinois. Was Pastor Emeritus from 1955 on.

1954-1970: President of the Executive Council of the Central American Mission

1964: Eva May (Taylor) Armerding died

1966-1974: Lived in apartment near CAM headquarters in Dallas, Texas

May 1973: Tour of Guatemala, including the dedication of the Carl Armerding Buildings at the Central American Theological Seminary in Guatemala City, Guatemala on May 12

1974-1983: Lived in Western Assemblies Home in Claremont, California; continued an active Bible teaching ministry

1983-1987: Lived at Bethesda Christian Home in Hayward, California

Other significant information:

Armerding also was on the North American Council of China Inland Mission, served as foreign secretary of Greater Europe Mission, sponsored the Spanish Christian Mission with headquarters in Toronto, and was a member of the German Evangelical Society in Dallas. He preached at many Bible conferences in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. Among his written works are The Fight for Palestine in the Days of Joshua: Studies in Joshua (1949), Esther for Such a Time As This (1955), Words of Hope and Cheer from the Prophet Isaiah (1957), Signs of Christ's Coming - As Son of Man (1971), and Psalms in a Minor Key (1973)


5.93 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

[Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation "folder 2-5" means "Box 2, Folder 5"]


Series: Audio Recordings

Arrangement: Chronological

Date Range: 1970-1981

Volume: .128 cubic feet

Geographic coverage: United States

Type of documents: Recordings of Bible studies, a testimonial dinner, an oral history interview

Subjects: Theological interpretations of the biblical books of Joshua and Hebrews, Armerding’s life and ministry, Central American Mission, Dallas Theological Seminary, Latin America Mission

Notes: These recordings are the main examples in this collection of Armerding’s abilities as a Bible teacher, for which he was well known among Fundamentalists and Evangelicals.

Exceptional items: Tape T1 is an oral history interview. Carl Armerding was interviewed by Bob Shuster on June 16, 1981, at the Billy Graham Center. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1889-1981.


Series: Paper Record (Box List)

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title. Titles supplied by the archivist.

Date Range: 1903-1987

Volume: 5.8 cubic feet

Boxes: 1-14

Geographic coverage: United States, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Bahamas, New Zealand, Germany

Type of documents: Diaries, correspondence, postcards, passports and other travel records, articles and sermon by Armerding, miscellaneous personal records such as tax records

Subjects: Armerding’s ministry as preacher, Bible teacher and missions leader; Evangelicalism in Central America, Wheaton College

Notes: This collection consist of a rather miscellaneous collection of materials from Armerding’s life, except for his diaries which are fairly complete from his 23rd year until his death. The diaries in boxes 2-13 cover most of his adult life, although there are some gaps. The diary entries are usually rather brief, describing the day’s activities, the portion of the Bible he studied, the text from which he taught or preached. There are very occasionally references to other events. Between many of the pages in the diaries were stuck business cards, mementos of family events, business cards and miscellaneous ephemera. The diary for 1973 (folder 11-20, for example, contains his ticket to Disneyland. These diaries, besides being a good source for Armerding’s life and ministry, also reflect to some degree Fundamentalist and Evangelical attitudes and networks. Folder 3-5 contains a prayer journal he kept which goes somewhat more deeply into his thought and faith. However, he apparently stopped keeping the journal after a few pages.

The Sermon Record in folder 14-6 appears to be a record of when and where he preached from particular texts. There is another notebook in the same folder with similar notes for his tour of New Zealand in the 1930s. Armerding did a great deal of traveling, for preaching and teaching engagements, to Central and South America on behalf of CAM, and to Europe on behalf of Greater Europe Mission. These travels are documented in the passports and other travel documents in folders 14-7 through 14-29. Many documents were preserved from the Armerdings’ time in New Zealand from 1934-1938, when he preached at Brethren Assemblies throughout the country. Besides the sermon record in folder 14-6 and Armerding’s own diary entries, Eva Armerding’s diaries of the their last days in New Zealand and the journey back (which took the family through the Middle East and Europe) is in folder 4-3.

Scrapbook I in this collection also contains various mementos from his preaching tours through the country and the voyage back and from the time in the country. Letters of appreciation for his 1934 tour are in folder 2-2. Armerding’s services to CAM as a board member, president, speaker and missionary are documented in his diaries and especially in the book of remembrance the mission gave him when he retired in 1970. This book, in folder 1-5, contains dozen of letters from CAM board and staff, as well as others from family, friends and members of the faculty of Wheaton College and Dallas Theological Seminary. Among the corespondents are Hudson Taylor Armerding and the other children, A. G. Barber, Earle E. Cairns, H. C. Chrouser, Ed Coray, William B. Culbertson, Enock Dyrness, V. Raymond Edman, Charles Lee Feinerg, Horace L. Fenton, Howard Ferrin, Walter Frank, Edwin Frizen, Vergil Gerber, Clarence B. Hale, Karl Hummel, Torrey Johnson, S. R. Kamm, Sidney Langford, Lois and Mary LeBar, Harold Lindsell, R. Arthur Matthews, J. Vernon McGee, Vernon Mortenson, H. Wilbert Norton, Clarence Nystrom, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, Samuel J. Schultz, Edward Sywulka, Clyde W. Taylor, Kenneth Taylor, William Taylor, Merrill Tenney, John Walvrood, Evan Welsh, as well as many CAM missionaries.

There are also in the back of the book letters and other documents about Armerding’s ministry through the years. Other material from CAM can be found in folder 1-8, which has information on the dedication of an Armerding building at CAM’s campus in Guatemala. Armerding also played an important part in the life of Dallas Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. However, except for diary entries and the remembrance book in folder 1-7, there is little in the collection that reflects this involvement. Folder 2-3 contains some material about his teaching activities at Wheaton College, his leave of absence in 1954-1955 and his resignation in 1962 to become more involved in the work of CAM. The folder also includes some letters from college president, V. Raymond Edman.

There is virtually nothing about Dallas Theological Seminary except some photos and the diplomas in folder 14-1. For Moody Bible Institute, there is the previously mentioned letter from Will Houghton about Moody’s 1945 Founder’s Week in folder 1-9 and some photos. Among the purely personal memorabilia in the collection are copies of Armerding’s birth certificate (folder 2-4), marriage certificate (folder 14-4), diplomas (folder 14-1), and a certificate of appreciation from College Church of Wheaton in folder 1-6. Folder 1-9 contains postcards that Armerding’s father, Ernst, sent him from a trip to Europe in 1907-1908. His Christmas letters in folder 1-7 contain a yearly summary of family activities and his own ministry. Folder 14-3 contain the guest book from the apartment in which Armerding was living just before he died.

There is relatively little from Armerding’s writing, preaching and teaching in the collection, except for some late audio recordings, but folder 1-2 has a few later articles by Armerding, and folder 1-3 contains the baccalaureate sermon he preached at his own graduation in 1926.

Folder 2-1 contains correspondence with Moody Press about the publication of reprinting of some of his books as well as a copy of his book, The Fight for Palestine in the Days of Joshua, with some minor textual changes penciled in, apparently in Armerding’s hand.

Accruals and Additions

The oral history interview in this collection was given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Carl Armerding on June 16, 1981. The other materials were given by the Armerding family in 1987 and 1988.

Accession 81-65

December 31, 1981

Frances L. Brocker

R. Shuster

J. Nasgowitz

Accession 87-60, 87-126, 88-136

April 26, 2005

Bob Shuster

J Aernie

Collection 180 Papers of Carl Armerding
Bob Shuster
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US