Skip to main content

Collection 114 Ephemera of Hyman J. Appelman

Identifier: CN 114

Scope and Contents

Brochures, press releases, 1977 annual report, published biographical sketch, undated audio tape recording of Hyman J. Appelman's testimony, and materials relating to a crusade held in Grand Rapids, Mich., November 7-26, 1944: correspondence, mostly with Pat Zondervan, building lease, Christian Business Men's Committee's constitution and by-laws, and postcard reports of results of various crusades. is also included. Brochures mark the 30th, 35th, and 40th anniversaries of Appelman's ministry.

[NOTE: In the Scope & Content section, the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5.]

Miscellaneous items which relate to Hyman Appelman's evangelistic ministry comprise this collection. Folders 1-1, 1-3, and 1-4 contain brochures highlighting thirty, thirty-five, and forty years of revival activities. The brochures feature quotations about Appelman from prominent religious leaders and pastors like Lee Roberson, V. Raymond Edman, Vernon C. Lyons, Billy Graham, R. G. Lee, and C. E. Autrey. Folder 1-7 contains material about a crusade Appelman held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from November 7 to 26, 1944. Included are correspondence from and to Pat Zondervan, three issues of The Sunday School Times, 1942-1944 with articles about revivals, copies of a lease for an auditorium to be used for the meetings, and galley proofs of the constitution and by-laws of the Grand Rapids Christian Business Men's Committee, who sponsored the meeting. Also in the folder are postcard reports of results of crusades conducted during the period of negotiations and after the Grand Rapids meetings were over. Reports are included for crusades held in such cities as New York; Lancaster and Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota; Evansville, Lansing, and Winona Lake, Indiana; Jackson and various counties in Mississippi; Jacksonville, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and Tacoma, Washington.

Other items in the collection include press releases (folder 1-5); data from the 1977 annual report (folder 1-2); and a biographical sketch by Ed Reese. Appelman's personal testimony taped during one of his messages is available on cassette tape.


  • Created: 1942-1978

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Hyman Appelman was born January 7, 1902, in Moghiliev, Russia, (now Mogilev in Belarus) near the banks of the Dnieper River, to Jewish Orthodox parents. His father immigrated to the United States in 1913, followed by the rest of the family in December 1914. He had been well educated in the Russian schools and had a working knowledge of Latin, German, Russian, Yiddish, Polish, Greek, and Hebrew but no familiarity with English. Upon arrival in Chicago he enrolled in the Hans Christian Anderson public school, completing the requirements for grades one to eight in two years.

After finishing preparatory school, Appelman simultaneously entered Northwestern University for work on an A.B. degree and De Paul University for an LL.B. degree. He attended both schools from 1918 to 1921. Due to his high academic standing, De Paul University awarded him a two-year scholarship for work on a LL.M. degree. After the death of one of the De Paul academy professors in 1922, he began teaching in addition to attending school and building his law practice.

In the fall of 1924, Appelman experienced a nervous breakdown. Forced to take a vacation to release some of the enormous pressures he had been under, he left Chicago in December to visit relatives in the West and Midwest. The young lawyer arrived in Denver in March 1925, where he met Dr. James Davis, pastor of the Central Christian Church. The pastor counseled the young man on his spiritual rather than physical needs eventually leading him to a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

The young convert stayed in Denver until August, refusing to return to Chicago and face his Jewish family's displeasure over his conversion to Christianity. He returned, however, after receiving a false telegram from his father saying his mother was dying. Appelman refused to stay in Chicago and moved east to work on the Reading Railroad. Eventually he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Appelman served three years as a medic in Washington, D.C., at Walter Reed Hospital. While there he became involved in the Gospel Mission and met his future wife, Verna Cook. In 1927 he re-enlisted and was sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Appelman began holding revival meetings in the area and was called to be pastor of the Central Baptist Church of Lawton, Oklahoma, in March 1930. He was discharged from the Army in August and married Verna on September 4.

The couple attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, from 1930 to 1933, when they graduated. Appelman pastored several churches in the area until May 1934 when he was elected one of the State Evangelists for Texas. He resigned in January 1942 as his ministry had spread nationally.

His first large evangelistic meeting was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1942 with other meetings in cities such as Grand Rapids, Michigan, Montgomery, Alabama; Denver, Colorado; Louisville, Kentucky; Los Angeles, California; St. Louis, Missouri; and Seattle, Washington. Appelman's ministry also included meetings in several foreign countries such as Greece, Spain, France, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. His song leaders included men such as Homer Britton, Chelsea Stockwell, J. Stratton Shufelt, John Troy, Garland Cofield, and Ellis Zehr.

Appelman wrote over forty-two books including Formula for Revival, Will the Circle be Broken?, Crossing the Deadline, Power Through the Holy Spirit, and God's Answer to Man's Sin.

The evangelist's home and headquarters was in Kansas City, Missouri. He and his wife had two children: Edgar, born in 1937, and Rebecca, born in 1938. Appelman died in 1983.


1 Box

1 Audio Tape

1 Photograph File

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in Accession 78-20 were received by the Billy Graham Center Archives in June 1978; the materials in Accession 83-144 were deposited by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in November 1983.

Accession 78-20, 83-144

May 6, 1980

Mary Ann Buffington

S. Kouns

January 24, 1996, revised

Janyce H. Nasgowitz

Collection 114 Ephemera of Hyman J. Appelman
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