Collection 380 Oral History Interview with James Neece
Scope and Contents
Oral history interviews with James Halloway Neece in which he describes his conversion to Christianity, education at Multnomah School of the Bible and Wheaton College, his work as a prison chaplain at the DuPage County Jail. Other topics discussed include the spiritual needs of prisoners, the AIDS crisis, Charles Colson and Prison Fellowship, and the work of the Good News Mission. The time period covered by the interviews is 1941-1987.
James Neece was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on September 9 and 16, 1987 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.
- Created: 1987
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
James Neece was born on May 5, 1941. He had one sibling, a half sister. In 1954, his mother died. At the age of fifteen he went to attend Culver Military Academy in Indiana, from which he graduated in 1960. He then went to Claremont College in California. His father died in 1962, his sophomore year. After attending various colleges and universities, he graduated from Claremont in 1972 with a degree in business economics. In 1965 he married and in 1967 became the father of a baby girl. He and his wife divorced in 1969. He held a wide variety of jobs during his college years and after: car salesman, draftsman, real estate appraiser, bond salesman and trader.
In 1979 he had a sudden, dramatic conversion to Christianity. He joined a local Christian and Missionary Alliance church and was soon elected a deacon. In 1980 he went to Alaska to help with some CMA construction work there and also assisted a pastor there working with loggers. In 1982 he went to Mali the Ivory Coast and Gabon as a short term missionary. Feeling that he needed a deeper grounding in the Bible, he enrolled in Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon. He began to do visitation at the Rocky Butte County Jail while he was attending Multnomah.
After graduating, he enrolled at Wheaton Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois for further training. He also began to assist, on a volunteer basis, the chaplain at the nearby Dupage County Jail. Eventually the chaplain, Charles Haley (who was a staff member of Good News Mission) made Neece his assistant. When Haley resigned, Neece did as well. He came back shortly after, at the urging of the mission, to become chaplain.
He continued as chaplain until early 1987. (He graduated from the graduate school in 1986 with an MA in theology). His duties included administrative work, arranging for worship and evangelistic services, counseling, maintaining liaison with local churches, recruiting and training volunteers and fund raising. He resigned in 1987 largely because of the pressures of administrative work and fund raising. However, the new chaplain did not work out and Neece came back in August as interim chaplain. As of September 1987 he was planning to leave that position shortly and, with his new bride (Virginia Pearle Green, whom he had married in February), manage a retreat center for Christian workers.
4.00 Audio Tapes
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in September 1987.
Accession 87-110, 87-113
June 6, 1987
Revised June 16, 1993
- AIDS (Disease)
- Christian life.
- Christian literature -- Publication and distribution -- United States.
- Christian literature -- Publication and distribution.
- Christian literature.
- Church work with prisoners -- United States.
- Church work with prisoners.
- Colson, Charles W.
- Crime and criminals
- Crime and criminals -- United States.
- Criminals -- Rehabilitation
- Criminals -- Rehabilitation -- United States.
- Culture shock.
- DuPage County (Ill.). Jail.
- Evangelistic work -- United States.
- Evangelistic work.
- Good News Jail and Prison Ministry.
- Multnomah School of the Bible (Portland, Ore.)
- Neece, James.
- Prison Fellowship.
- Prison administration
- Prison administration -- United States.
- Prison chaplains
- Prison chaplains -- United States.
- Prisoners -- Religious life.
- Prisoners -- United States.
- Prisons -- Missions and charities.
- Prisons -- United States
- Prisons -- United States -- Officials and employees.
- Recidivism -- United States.
- Voluntarism -- United States.
- Wheaton College (Ill.)
- Collection 380 Oral History Interview with James Neece
- Bob Shuster
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository
501 College Avenue
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