Collection 386 Oral History Interview with Charles H. Dawson
Scope and Contents
Oral history interview with Charles H. Dawson (1916-2000) in which he describes his family background; conversion; involvement in street preaching; jail ministry and other work in the Camden area; involvement in the work of the Afro-American Missionary Crusade; and philosophy of Christian work. Other topics discussed include Dawson's training at the New Jersey Bible School; street preaching; Montrose Waite; Dawson's trips to Africa from the 1960s through the 1980s; training African evangelists; support in the black church in America for missions; the difficulty for missionaries in readjusting to life in America; and the qualifications of a missionary. The approximate time period covered by the interviews is 1916-1988.
Rev. Charles Dawson was interviewed by Robert Shuster at Rev. Dawson's home in New Jersey on February 22, 1988.
- Created: 1988
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Charles H. Dawson was born in 1916 in Riverton, NJ to James Henry and Betty James Dawson. His parents had just recently moved to New Jersey from Virginia. Shortly after Dawson's birth the family moved to Camden. He was the second oldest of eight children. Both his parents were devout Christians and the Bible and church attendance played a very important part in the life of the family. James Dawson was a laborer and jack-of-all-trades. Charles also worked from a very young age to help support his family. He was very active in athletics at school and was a boxer and baseball player on an amateur and semi-pro level.
He was born again in 1937 and shortly afterward began attending the New Jersey Bible Training School (later called the Grace Bible Institute), from which he graduated in 1945. At this time he was working at various jobs around Camden. By the mid-1940s he was a shipfitter working at the New York naval yard. Also about this time (1942) he married Effie Robinson, whom he had met in 1940. They had three children, all girls. Dawson was ordained in 1944. Already by that time he had been street preaching and regularly witnessing to his co-workers. He soon became a leader in local jail and prison ministries. In 1947 he was one of the founders of the Afro-American Missionary Crusade, which was created by Montrose Waite and others to provide a means for black American Christians to go to Africa as missionaries. In 1960 Dawson became the pastor of the Broadway Bible Tabernacle in Camden, a post he held until 1982, when he became pastor of the Calvary Tabernacle. He continued in all his other Christian activities. In 1967 he went on an evangelistic tour of Liberia for the AAMC and in 1968 he and Jack Wyrzten led a similar preaching tour in Kenya, Tanzania and the Congo. Dawson continued to travel to Liberia to visit AAMC missionaries and to preach in the 1970s and 1980s. He died February 4, 2000.
2.00 Audio Tapes
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Arhives by Charles Dawson in February 1988.
May 25, 1992
- Africa Inland Mission.
- African American Missionary Crusade.
- African Americans -- Missions.
- African Americans -- Social conditions.
- African Americans.
- Belief and doubt.
- Bible -- Study and teaching.
- Bible colleges
- Bible colleges -- New Jersey.
- Camden (N.J.)
- Christian and Missionary Alliance.
- Christian education -- United States.
- Christian education.
- Christian giving.
- Christian leadership.
- Christian life.
- Church and social problems -- United States.
- Church and social problems.
- Church work with prisoners -- United States.
- Church work with prisoners.
- Church work with the working class
- Church work with the working class -- United States.
- City missions -- United States.
- City missions.
- Dawson, Charles H.,, 1916-
- Discrimination -- United States.
- Evangelicalism -- United States.
- Evangelistic work -- Africa, East.
- Evangelistic work -- Liberia.
- Evangelistic work -- New Jersey.
- Evangelistic work -- Philosophy.
- Evangelistic work.
- Family -- United States.
- Hispanic Americans -- Religious life.
- Hispanic Americans.
- Langford, Sidney.
- Missionaries -- Training of.
- Missionaries -- Appointment, call, and election.
- Missionaries -- Leaves and furloughs.
- Missionaries -- Liberia.
- Missionaries -- Training of -- United States.
- Missionaries -- United States.
- Missions -- Finance.
- Missions -- Liberia.
- Narramore Christian Foundation.
- New Jersey Bible Training School.
- Prisoners -- Religious life.
- Prisoners -- United States.
- Prisons -- United States
- Prisons -- United States -- Officials and employees.
- Race relations.
- Racism -- United States.
- Religious institutions.
- Street preaching.
- Waite, Montrose, 1891-1977.
- Women in church work -- United States.
- Women in church work.
- Women missionaries.
- Collection 386 Oral History Interview with Charles H. Dawson
- Bob Shuster
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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