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Collection 268 Oral History Interview with Helen R. Lowery

Identifier: CN 268

Scope and Contents

Oral History Interview with Helen R. Bott Lowery (1920-2011) which she discusses her experiences as a member and singer for Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, late 1920s-1930s and Paul Rader's leadership. Topics include: Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, 1927-1930s during Paul Rader's period as leader, music under Merrill Dunlop, Homer Rodeheaver, the food program, sermon topics, and mission rallies; also includes description of Tabernacle programs under Rader's successor, Clarence Erickson. The time period covered by the interview is circa 1920 to 1950.

Helen Lowery was interviewed by Robert Shuster on March 26, 1984, at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College Wheaton, Illinois. There is sound interference on the tape after 22:49 on Side 2 and the interview becomes unintelligible after 24:32.


  • Created: 1984

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Helen R. Bott Lowery was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, September 23, 1920, one of four children of Stephen and Helen Bauer Bott. Her brother and sisters were Emile, Viola, and Frieda. Helen's parents were members of the Church of God, but attended Chicago Gospel Tabernacle in the late 1920s when they were living in Chicago. Helen attended Flower Technical High School, and after graduation spent one year at Midwestern Music College. Another year was spent at Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, in the continuing education program.

Mrs. Lowery held a number of positions beginning with that of Assistant Manager of the lunchroom of Flower Technical High School between 1938-1940. She next worked with the American Leprosy Mission as a bookkeeper in the general office, 1940 to 1941. For the next four years she served as an operator for Illinois Bell Telephone Company.

After a period of years, she returned to work as Assistant Manager of the Churchill Hotel between 1957 and 1960. From 1960 to 1986 she was employed by H. B. Taylor Company as Office Manager in purchasing.

Mrs. Lowery was active in the Moody Memorial Church, Chicago, as a Sunday school teacher and regular soloist between 1945 and 1968. She also helped with the food services distribution and children's church at Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, then under the direction of Paul Rader. She also was a member of the choir and participated in the Heaven and Home Hour, a radio program sponsored by the Tabernacle. On radio station WMBI, she worked as an actress in Stories of Great Christians and sang in choral groups as a soloist between 1948 and 1956. She remained with the Tabernacle until Rader was replaced by Rev. Clarence H. Erickson.

Mrs. Lowery continued actively in churches as her family moved into different areas of the metropolitan Chicago area. She was secretary of the Sunday school at North Shore Baptist Church, 1972 to 1978. In 1986, Mrs. Lowery was a member of Christ Church, Oak Brook, Illinois, where she had attended since 1981. Mrs. Lowery's home in 1986 was in Westmont, Illinois. She passed away on February 12, 2011


1.00 Audio Tape

69 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The material in this collection was given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in March 1984.

Accession 84-44

May 16, 1986

Frances L. Brocker

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 268 Oral History Interview with Helen R. Lowery
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