Skip to main content

Collection 380 Oral History Interview with James Neece

Identifier: CN 380

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.

Biographical Information

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

212 Minutes

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

Robert Shuster

J. Nasgowitz

M. Wohlschlegel

Revised June 16, 1993

P. Ericksen

M. Larson

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

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US