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Collection 492 Papers of William A. Drury

Identifier: CN 492

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews, audio recordings, brochures, photographs, and a video tape relating to the ministry of William A. Drury, evangelist and youth worker with Percy Crawford, Youtharama, and Youth Haven.


  • Created: 1962-1996

Conditions Governing Access

Portions of T5 and T7 are restricted until 31 December 2030. Edited copies are available until then.

Biographical Information

Full Name: William Adolph Drury (born Adolph Drury)

Birth Date: June 3, 1926

Death Date: December 23, 2005 Family:

Parents: Joseph and Marguerite (Hunt) Drury

Siblings: Sonny, John, Alice, Frank, Joseph, Marguerite

Marital Status: Married to Dorothy Marie Gersiek, ca. 1949

Children: Two sons and two daughters

Conversion: Process began with a conversation with his brother John at Moody Bible Institute and ended in 1949, when he was born again

Education: Dropped out of public school at the age of 14; attended National Bible Institute, New York (later Shelton College) and Temple University, Pennsylvania

Military Service: Drafted June 1944; served as an infantry private in the European theater of World War II, honorable discharge in 1946


ca. 1948-1957? Serviceman for the Diebold Safe and Lock Company, first in New York City, then in Philadelphia

1957-1963 General manager of Youtharama, a ministry to teenagers in Philadelphia (he had been involved in the work for some time before he went full-time); during this same time assisted Percy Crawford in his other ministries in various ways

1957 Served in various capacities, including advisor to inquiry counselors, during the 1957 New York Billy Graham crusade

1960 Death of Percy Crawford

1961 Assisted during the 1961 Philadelphia Billy Graham Crusade

July -Aug. 1962 Trip to Finland and England

April 1963 Left Youtharama to begin his own work among inner city kids, a work which eventually developed into Teen Haven

November 1963 Trip to South Korea

June 1964 Opened first Teen Haven house 1911 Mt. Vernon Street in Philadelphia

1965 Opened Teen Haven program in Washington

1966 Opened first Teen Haven camp in York County, Pennsylvania

1967 Kiwana Club of Philadelphia's Man of the Year

1970 Teen Haven program in Washington, DC, closed

1971 Started Teen Haven program in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

1976 Ran and lost in Republican primary in Lancaster county for U. S. Congress

1996 Retired from active work with Teen Haven because of health

Other significant information: Held evangelistic crusades in various cities on an irregular basis; at various times also had evangelistic programs on radio. Ordained as a minister by the Fundamental Churches of America.


0.20 Cubic Feet

1 box

16 Audio Tapes

3 Photographs

1 Video Tape

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

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

Series: Audio Tapes

Arrangement: Tapes are in chronological order

Date Range: 1936-1996

Volume: 16 reels of audio tape

Type of Materials: Audio and video tapes were intended for broadcast; the documents in the folder are newsletters, brochures and similar publicity material

Subjects: Spiritual needs of inner city kids, work of Teen Haven, ministry of Billy Drury, comparison of Christianity and Communism, American Evangelical ministries in South Korea, prayer breakfasts

Notes: T11 through T13 contain programs that he recorded on the spot during the 1962 Helsinki Communist youth festival, during which Drury and members of the Pocket Testament League, among others, witnessed and evangelized among the crowds in the city.

Tape 1 – Tape 10: Oral History Interviews with William A. Drury in which he describes his parents, youth, materialism and child rearing practices of American Evangelicals in the 1990s, his military service during World War II, marriage, conversion, street preaching experiences in New York City, attendance at National Bible Institute (later Shelton College), contacts with James Oliver Buswell and evangelist Percy Crawford, evangelistic work among young people in Philadelphia, work as executive director of Youtharama in Philadelphia, origins of Teen Haven, reaction of white, middle class Christians to work in the inner cities; the development of Teen Haven branches in Buffalo, NY, and Washington, DC; his run for congress in 1976, his 1962 trip to Finland to preach during a communist youth festival; his 1963 trip to Korea and his involvement in the Billy Graham Philadelphia evangelistic meetings and the 1957 New York campaign. Events described in the interviews cover the time period 1926-1996.

Tapes 14 – Tape 16: The collection also contains tapes of radio programs about the Korea and Finland trips, a National Prayer Breakfast, and meetings Drury held in Ohio and a couple programs of the radio show UNSHACKLED.

T14 contains reports that Drury taped during his trip to Korea in 1963, when he preached in Korean churches and on US military bases and visited various Evangelical ministries in that country.

Tape T15 contains descriptions of evangelistic meetings that Drury was holding in Mansfield, Ohio, in the 1960s and a report on a National Prayer Breakfast, probably from 1963.

Tape T16 includes two programs of the radio show Unshackled. The first is a dramatization of the early life of Drury and the second is the true story of Luis Centano, who was saved through the ministry of Teen Haven. Both programs conclude with a message from Drury.


Series: Photographs

2 Photo Files described below:

DRURY, WILLIAM A. Picture of Drury demonstrating a zip gun, portrait photo. 2 b&w, undated.

TEEN HAVEN. Picture of the Teen Haven camp bus, filled with campers; picture of a group of kids in front of a Teen Haven house, possibly in Philadelphia; Polaroid of the gym at the Teen Haven camp in York, Pennsylvania. 2 color, 1 b&w. 1988, undated


Series: Video Tapes

The collection also has a video of a local (probably Lancaster, Pennsylvania) television program about the Teen Haven camp in Brogue, Pennsylvania. The video includes interviews with Bill Drury and two men who were saved through the work of Teen Haven, Darrell Melvin and Greg Brocato. There are also scenes from life at the camp and interviews with kids who were there at the time of the program.


Series: Paper Records (Box List)

Folder 1-1 includes brochures, press releases, copies of newspaper articles and other material about the ministry of Teen Haven.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by William A. Drury in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996.

Accession: 93-102, 93-124, 94-49, 95-43, 96-60, 96-95, 96-158

March 19, 1998

Robert Shuster

M. Bergstedt

M. Drobnick

J. Taussig

Collection 492 Papers of William A. Drury
Bob Shuster
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US