Collection 373 Oral History Interview with Dolphus Weary
Scope and Contents
Oral hisotry interview with Dolphus Douglas Weary, in which he describes his childhood, education and religious training in rural Mississippi, conversion, leadership in Voice of Calvary Ministries and Mendenhall Ministries, impressions of John Perkins, and racial conditions in Mississippi. The time period covered by the interview is 1948-1987.
Dolphus Weary was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on June 25, 1987 at the Mendenhall Ministries headquarters in Mendenhall, Mississippi.
- Created: 1987
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Dolphus Douglas Weary was born August 7, 1946, in Sandy Hook, Mississippi, on the southern Mississippi-Louisiana border. When Weary was two, his family moved to D'Lo, Mississippi, where they lived on his grandfather's farm. Around 1951, Weary's father moved back to the Mississippi-Louisiana border area, leaving his family at his wife's parent's farm. The family later moved to Magee, Mississippi, where they sharecropped on the land of a white farmer. After several years, they returned to D'Lo to work on the family farm again.
Weary grew up participating in church life. He became a member of the community church when he was eight; he committed his life to Christ when he was seventeen at a tent revival meeting sponsored by John Perkins, the founder of Voice of Calvary Ministries. Weary graduated from high school in 1965. He attended Piney Woods Jr. College (in a neighboring county) from 1965 to 1967. In 1967 he transferred on a basketball scholarship to LA Baptist College (Los Angeles), from which he graduated in 1969. Entering with one other black student, they were the first black Americans to enroll at the College. After graduation, Weary immediately entered the LA Baptist Theological Seminary, from which he graduated with an MA in Christian education in 1971. While attending seminary, Weary worked part-time as a coach at the LA Bible College.
Weary returned to Mendenhall during the summers of 1968 and 1969 to work with Voice of Calvary to help lead a vacation Bible school program (1968) and coordinate a tutoring program (1969) established in anticipation of the integration of the public schools planned for 1970. In 1970 Weary joined the Sports Ambassadors program of Overseas Crusades, and toured Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines, playing basketball and giving evangelistic messages. Although considering a career as a missionary, he felt called to return to Mississippi to work with Voice of Calvary, which he did after graduation in 1971. Upon returning to Mendenhall, he was given the post of executive director when John Perkins moved to Jackson, Mississippi.
In early 1978, Voice of Calvary explored ways to spin off the Mendenhall aspect of its work into an autonomous ministry. Later that year, Voice of Calvary-Jackson and Voice of Calvary-Mendenhall became two organizations. With that change, Weary added the post of president of Voice of Calvary-Mendenhall to his executive director duties. In 1981, the Mendenhall Voice of Calvary was renamed The Mendenhall Ministries (TMM). Artis Fletcher, pastor of the Mendenhall Bible Church, became TMM's president at that time, while Weary continued to serve as its executive director. He was again appointed TMM's president in 1986. In 1988, he continued to hold the positions of President and Executive Director. Weary also served as associate pastor of the Mendenhall Bible Church.
Weary married Rosie Camper in 1970. They had three children, a daughter and two sons.
2.00 Audio Tapes
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in June 1987.
October 14, 1988
Paul A. Ericksen
- African Americans -- Religious life.
- African Americans -- Social conditions.
- African Americans.
- Alcoholism. -- United States
- Alcoholism. -- United States -- Race relations.
- Athletes -- Religious life.
- Blacks -- Missions.
- Christian leadership.
- Christian life.
- Church and social problems.
- Church work with students.
- Community development -- Mississippi.
- Community development.
- Discrimination -- United States.
- Economic and social conditions
- Economic and social conditions -- Mississippi.
- Education -- United States.
- Evangelicalism -- United States.
- Evangelistic work -- Mississippi.
- Evangelistic work -- Philosophy.
- Evangelistic work.
- Fletcher, Artis.
- Independent churches.
- Interorganizational relations.
- Mendenhall (Miss.)
- Mendenhall Bible Church (Miss.)
- Mendenhall Ministries (Mendenhall, Miss.)
- Missionaries -- Appointment, call, and election.
- Non-formal education.
- Organizational change.
- Perkins, John,
- Perkins, Vera Mae.
- Race relations.
- Racism -- United States.
- Radio in religion.
- Reconciliation -- Christianity.
- Rural missions.
- Social change.
- Sports -- Religious aspects.
- Sports Ambassadors.
- Voice of Calvary Ministries (U.S.)
- Weary, Dolphus., 1946-
- Weary, Rosie.
- Collection 373 Oral History Interview with Dolphus Weary
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