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Collection 498 Oral History Interviews with William E. Pannell

Identifier: CN 498

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with William E. Pannell in which he describes his childhood in Michigan, his family, conversion as a teenager, his growing awareness of racism in America and especially its influence on American Christianity, education at Fort Wayne Bible College, involvement with the Brethren Assemblies, the part preaching has played in his life, the divide between urban and suburban culture and its impact on black and white churches and institutions, his work with Youth for Christ, the difficulties in reaching urban black youth, of his association with Tom Skinner and the development of Tom Skinner Crusades (TSC), the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism, his first experiences as an author, early meetings of TSC, difficult relations between TSC and Campus Crusade for Christ, Skinner's speech on "Christ the Liberator" at the 1970 InterVarsity Urbana conference and its impact; later history of TSC; Pannell’s years on the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary and the impact of people such as David Allan Hubbard and Donald McGavran. The time period covered by the interviews is 1929 to 2007.

William Pannell was interviewed by Robert Shuster in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2007 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College and at his office at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.


  • Created: 1995-2007

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: William E. Pannell

Birth: June 24, 1929 in Sturgis, Michigan


Parents: William and Olive Pannell. Stepfather was Joseph Perkins

Siblings: Beverly (full sister), Edna, Olive, David, Sarah, Richard, Mary Ann

Marital Status: Married to Hazel

Children: Philip, Peter

Conversion: April 1946, at a revival meeting


1947?-1951 - B.A., from Fort Wayne Bible College, Fort Wayne, Indiana

1980 - M.A. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California


1951-1978 - Itinerant evangelist (usually served as song leader at the very beginning of his ministry)

1955-1965 - Assistant youth pastor in Detroit and area youth director for the Brethren Assemblies in southern Michigan

1964-1968 - Assistant director of leadership training and staff evangelist with Youth for Christ

1968-1974 - Vice president and associate evangelist with Tom Skinner Crusades (later Tom Skinner Associates)

1974 - Faculty member of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He began as assistant professor of evangelism and director of the Black Pastors' program. In 1992 he became the Arthur De Kruyter/Christ Church Oak Brook Professor of Preaching. Dean of Chapel from 1992-1998.

Other significant information: Attended the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism, the 1969 United States Congress on Evangelism; authored books: My Friend, the Enemy (1968), Evangelism from the Bottom Up (1992), The Coming Race Wars?: A Cry for Reconciliation (1993); received honorary doctorates from Malone College and Geneva College; served as board member of Fuller Theological Seminary (1971-1974), Taylor University, Sojourners/Call to Renewal.


8.00 Audio Tapes

587 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by William E. Pannell in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2008.

Accession:95-93, 98-18, 00-12, 03-58

August 8, 2002

Robert Shuster

Accession: 03-58

September 7, 2004

Bob Shuster

Accession 07-19

May 12, 2011

Bob Shuster

Collection 498 Oral History Interviews with William E. Pannell
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