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David M. Howard, Sr., Papers

Identifier: CN 484

Scope and Contents

Four oral history interviews, paper records, and photographs documenting David Howard's life and work with Latin American Mission, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and World Evangelical Fellowship. Topics covered in the interviews include Howard's childhood, Christian faith, education at Wheaton College, work as a missionary and administrator with Latin America Mission; missions director for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, director of the 1980 Consultation on World Evangelization; and director of the World Evangelical fellowship. The collection is especially strong in information on IVCF's Urbana conventions in the 1970s. The paper documents relate to Howard's activity in IVCF.


  • Created: 1968-1993

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: David Morris Howard

Birth Date: January 28, 1928


Parents: Philip E., Jr., and Katharine (Gillingham) Howard

Siblings: Phil, Elisabeth, Virginia, Tom, Jim

Marital Status: Married Phyllis Gibson, July 1, 1950. Phyllis died September 7, 2003. David Howard for a second time to Janet Ann Kuhns on August 27, 2005.

Children: David, Stephen, Karen Elizabeth, Michael

Conversion: Age of 10, while listening to a sermon by Irwin Moon


1949 B.A. in Liberal Arts from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

1952 M.A. in Theology from Wheaton College

Ordained: 1952


1949-1952 Inter-Varsity staff member, served as assistant convention director for Urbana 51

1953-1968 Staff member of the Latin America Mission, with which he served as missionary, rector of the Latin American Biblical Seminary, field director for Colombia (1958-May 1967), and Assistant General Director (1958-1968).

1968-1976 Missions Director, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, USA. This included serving as director of IVCF's Urbana 73 and Urbana 76 (conferences for college and university students on mission work). Technically, Howard was on loan from LAM to IVCF until 1973, when he formally resigned from the mission.

1976-1977 Assistant to the President of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, USA

1977-1980 Seconded by Inter-Varsity to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, where he served as director of the Consultation on World Evangelization (COWE) held in Pattaya, Thailand in 1980 1980-1981 Worked for Inter-Varsity with a roving assignment; although after 1981 Howard had in effect left Inter-Varsity, he was technically on leave and did not formally resign until 1986

1981-1982 Staff of Evangelism Explosion 1982-1992 International Director of the World Evangelical Fellowship

1992-1995 Senior Vice President of the David C. Cook Foundation 1995-1999 President of Latin America Mission

1999 Retired

Other significant information:

Books: How Come, God (1973), By the Power of the Holy Spirit (1973), The Costly Harvest (1975, originally titled Hammered as Gold), Words of Fire, Rivers of Tears (1976), The Great Commission for Today (1976), Student Power in World Missions (1979), The Dream That Would Not Die (1986), What Makes a Missionary (1987)

Howard served as trustee of Wheaton College. Latin America Mission (1965-1980, 1984-1987, 1993-1996), The American Leprosy Mission, and other Christian organizations.

Howard's service, contributions, and leadership were recognized by plaques from various organizations including the following from...

...Campus-of-the-Woods in 1992 for "Your faithful commitment to Christian missionary service world-wide for 40 years is recognized with deep gratitude for your fellowship in sharing the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ."

...InterVarsity following its 1992 Global Briefing "In regonition of David M. Howard for 46 years of Faithfully walking out a mission commitment made at the 1946 Toronto Student Missions Convention. For your leadership in directing the Urbana Student Mission Conventions through the turbulent early 80's. For pioneering InterVarsity's short-term mission programs with the first Overseas Training Camp in Costa Rica. FOr your ongoing involvement and support of the InterVarsity Missions Fellowship for nearly half a century. And for your undying convition that students can make a difference in the world and your tireless efforts to see thousands mobilitzed to world evangelization. Thank you. From the men and women of InterVarsity stnading on the shoulders of your work today." (Signed by IVCF president Stephen Hayner and Dan Harrison, Director of Missions and Urbana).

...(translated from plaque in Spanish) La Denominancion Iglesias Evangelicas del Caribe AIEC in 2015, "On the 70th anniversary recognizes David M Howard for your self-sacrificing ministry as missionary, with the hand of the Lord along with the LAM forged an evangelical vision that has transcended and born abundant fruit in Colombia." (includes Hebrews 6:10) "With appreciation and gratitude, National Board of Directors."

...(translated from plaque in Spanish) La Iglesia del Senor en Colombia in 2003, "Honor/tribute to David Howard For your support in the building of pastoral leaders and promotion of world missionary work."

...Wheaton College's Alumni Assocation in 1977 for "Distinguished Service to Society as a missionary, administrator and leader in worldwide missions;" the Crusader Club's Christian Contribution Award in 1979; and the Wheaton College Board of Trustees in 2003 to mark Howard's "28 years of faithful service as a member of the Board of Trustees."

...World Evangelical Fellowship North American Council marking his term as International Director, 1982-1992.


2 Boxes (DC)

15 Audio Tapes

3 Photograph Files

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

[Note: In the Scope and Content description, the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5.]

Series: Paper Records

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title, some of the titles supplied or revised by the archivist

Date range: 1967-1987

Volume: .6 cubic feet; Boxes: 2

Geographic coverage: United States; Urbana, Illinois

Type of documents: Reports, memos, correspondence, activity reports, brochures, texts of speeches, manual, travel schedules

Correspondents: John Alexander (IVCF), H. L. Fenton (LAM), Billy Graham, Keith Hunt (IVCF), John Kyle (IVCF), Gordon McDonald (IVCF), James McLeish (IVCF), John Pollock, W. Dayton Roberts (LAM), Lois Thiessen (LAM), attendees of Urbana '76

Subjects: Inter-Varsity Student Mission Conventions, especially Urbana '76; place of college students in Christian missions; the 1981 commemoration of the Haystack prayer meeting; Howard's work as an IVCF staff person; Howard's schedule and travels for Inter-Varsity, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, and the World Evangelical Fellowship Notes: The bulk of the paper records deal with Howard's participation the planning of, program of and response to Inter-Varsity's triennial Student Missions Conferences, held at Urbana, Illinois. Closely related are the memos, speeches, minutes and other materials in folder 1-6 which document a debate within Inter-Varsity over how much emphasis to place on missions in their ministry to college students and the materials in folder 2-1 which contain the texts of speeches Howard gave on the subject. Howard's own responsibilities and achievements as an IVCF staff person are documented in folders 1-2, 1-7, 1-8, and 1-9.

Exceptional items: Folder 1-1 contains documents about the plans for a 175th anniversary celebration of 1806 Haystack prayer meeting that led to the first student missionary society in America. Folder 1-6 contains xeroxes of minutes and other documents going back to Inter-Varsity's first student missions convention in 1946. All these documents were intended to illustrate IVCF's original commitment to getting college and university students involved in missions.


Series: Audio Tapes

Arrangement: Numerical as assigned by archivist

Date range: 1977-1993 Volume: .25 cubic feet

Geographic coverage: United States, Colombia, Costa Rica

Type of material: Oral history interviews, speeches to missionary groups

Subjects: Evangelism Explosion, Billy Graham, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, Latin America Mission, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Wheaton College, World Evangelical fellowship.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by David M. Howard in 1993 and 1995.

Accession: 93-44, 93-51, 93-70, 93-114, 95-131

November 8, 1999

Robert Shuster

R. Williams

David M. Howard, Sr., Papers (Collection 484)
Bob Shuster
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