Collection 517 Papers of Armin R. Gesswein
Scope and Contents
Oral history interviews and photographs relating to the ministry of Armin R. Gesswein in which he discusses his childhood as the son of a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastor, the characteristics of that denomination, his education, his conversion, the influence of Paul Rader upon him, his work at Concordia Seminary, his work with Walter Maier, his first pastorate and first experience of revival, his involvement in revival in Norway 1937-1938, friendship with Billy Graham, Charles Fuller, and J. Edwin Orr, discussion of importance of revival and prayer in the church. The time period covered by the interviews is 1907 to 1997.
Armin Richard Gesswein was interviewed by Robert D. Shuster on April 19, 1995 and April 24, 1998, at Gesswein’s home in San Juan Capistrano, California.
- Created: 1995-1997
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Full Name: Armin Richard Gesswein
Birth: November 28, 1907, Corning, Missouri on Thanksgiving Day
Death: March 10, 2001, San Juan Capistrano ,California
Parents: Theodore and Lydia (Hilgendorf) Gesswein
Siblings: Ada (older sister), Ilma (younger sister, died at 4 years), younger brothers Herbert, Paul (missionary to Dutch New Guinea) and Myrta (youngest sister)
Marital Status: Married Reidun Gabrielsen, August 6, 1938 in Norway
Children: Armin Richard, Jr. “Dick” Gesswein, Sonja R. (Gesswein) Goodson, Carol Joy (Gesswein) Dye
Conversion: As a young man
Ordination: August 2, 1931, in St. John’s Lutheran Church, LaPorte, Indiana
ca. 1920-1924 - Concordia Collegiate Institute, Bronxville, New York (a Lutheran high school and junior college)
ca. 1926 - Graduated from Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1931 - Graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
1931 - Pastored Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Long Island, New York
1932- circa 1935 - Pastored Garden City Park Church, Long Island, New York
1937-1938 - Ministered in Norway’s spiritual revival (1-1/2 years)
Circa 1938-circa 1955 - Conducted evangelistic crusades
1940 - Founded the Revival Prayer Fellowship
1943-1946 - On faculty of Gordon College and Divinity School
1945 - Moved to Pasadena, California and begins to work for Charles Fuller
1949-1969 - Participated in several Billy Graham Crusades: Los Angeles, 1949 & 1963 (associated evangelist); New York, 1957 (associated evangelist in charge of international prayer ministry); Anaheim, 1969 (associated evangelist)
1956 - Director of Commission on the Spiritual Life of the National Association of Evangelicals Revival editor of Christian Life magazine
Other significant information:
Armin was a Missouri-Synod Lutheran pastor and later was associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.
Authored Is Revival the Normal? (1956); How to Overcome Discouragement (1991).
0.06 Cubic Feet
3 Audio Tapes
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Armin Richard Gesswein in April 1995 and April 1998.
Accession 95-70, 98-20
May 30, 2006
Wayne D. Weber
- Christian life.
- Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis, Mo.)
- Conversion -- Personal narratives.
- Evangelicalism -- Norway.
- Evangelistic work -- Norway.
- Evangelistic work.
- Fuller Theological Seminary.
- Fuller, Charles Edward, 1887-1968.
- Gesswein, Armin R.
- Graham, Billy, 1918-2018.
- Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.
- Lutheran Hour (Radio program)
- Maier, Walter A., 1893-1950.
- Ockenga, Harold John, 1905-1985.
- Orr, J. Edwin (James Edwin), 1912-
- Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (Long Island, N.Y.)
- Prayer groups.
- Rader, Paul, 1879-1938.
- Revival Prayer Fellowship, Inc.
- Revivals -- Norway.
- Trotman, Dawson E.
- Walther, C. F. W.
- Collection 517 Papers of Armin R. Gesswein
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