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Collection 288 Oral History Interview with Vincent L. Crossett

Identifier: CN 288

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Vincent Leroy Crossett (1907-1999) in which he describes his education at Wheaton and Westminster Seminary, missionary work with China Inland Mission/Overseas Missionary Fellowship in China and Taiwan, and pastoral work in a local church in Hawaii. Topics discussed include Crossett's education at Wheaton College and Westminster Seminary; decision to join China Inland Mission; language school; evangelism methods; characteristics of the Chinese church; CIM's decision to withdraw missionaries after Communist takeover; controversy in the Chinese church over Watchman Nee and the Little Flock movement; relocating to Taiwan with Overseas Missionary Fellowship; working at Yu Shan Theological Institute. The time period covered by the interview is 1907-1978.

Vincent Crossett was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on November 16, 1984; February 15, 1985; April 7, 1986; and May 30, 1986 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.


  • Created: 1984-1986

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Vincent Leroy Crossett was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, on April 9, 1907. His parents, Samuel Raymond and Anna J. Stoutenbrug Crossett, were farmers. Crossett was the second of seven children in the family. He was converted when he was eight years old. The family moved several times while Crossett was growing up in order for his father to continue his farming: in 1917 to Florida; in 1921 to Wyanet, Illinois, where he completed his high school education in 1925.

Crossett entered Wheaton College in 1926 and graduated in 1930 with a B.A. degree in elementary education. His employment while a Wheaton student included working as a janitor and summer pastoring in a Congregational church in Alto Pass, Illinois. Crossett immediately continued his education in the newly formed Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1933 with a Th.B. degree in theology. By the end of that same year (1933), he was ordained by a nondenominational reformed church and accepted into the China Inland Mission (CIM).

Following his initial language training in early 1934, Crossett was stationed at Huoshan, Anhui Province. A year later (1935), he married Margaret Elliott, who had served in China with CIM since 1929. Throughout his missionary career in China, his primary work involved church planting and training of new converts to assume leadership of their own churches. Following their marriage in 1935, the Crossetts were stationed in Zhengyangguang, Anhui, also working in nearby Huoqiu and the surrounding countryside. They later transferred their residence to Huoqiu to continue their work in the area, which was hindered by the presence of Japanese troops. In 1939, the Crossetts went to the United States for their first furlough. Returning to China in 1941, they were again stationed in Zhengyangguang. In 1944, Mrs. Crossett fled to western China with her daughters due to intensified Japanese fighting in Anhui; Rev. Crossett remained in Anhui to oversee CIM work there, but fled from the province himself later in 1944. The Crossetts were reunited in 1946, and were then stationed at Lu Xian, Sichuan Province. With the end of World War II, they returned to Anhui Province to be stationed in Fuyang, and then in Zhengyangguang. Due to Communist control of the area, their service there was shortlived. Upon leaving Zhengyangguang in 1947, they took their furlough.

During their furlough, the Crossetts lived in Wheaton, Illinois, while Rev. Crossett worked on a masters degree in Christian education at the Wheaton College Graduate School. Due to civil war conditions in China and the needs of their daughters, the Crossetts resigned from the China Inland Mission in 1948, and accepted a pastorate in Honolulu. Pastoring in the course of a church division, Crossett assisted in forming a new nondenominational church, where he served until 1961.

Having seen the completion of their daughters' college educations, the Crossetts reapplied in 1961 to the mission, by then renamed Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF). Prior to leaving, Crossett was ordained by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The Crossetts were sent to Taiwan and stationed at OMF's mission home in Tainan. From 1961 to 1963, Crossett worked as the mission's local secretary, which included administrative and financial duties; he also worked part-time in community churches. In 1963, the Crossetts were assigned to teach at the Yu Shan Theological Institute, a school for a Taiwanese tribal people located in Hualien. With a furlough in 1965, the Crossetts continued teaching at the Institute until their 1970 furlough. Upon returning to Taiwan in 1971, Crossett prepared audio cassette Bible lessons for use by the tribal groups in Taiwan.

The Crossetts retired from OMF in 1973 when Mrs. Crossett suffered a heart attack. Rev. Crossett continued his evangelism, church planting and Bible teaching ministry in the United States. He first returned to the small community church in Alto Pass, Illinois, where he had worked summers as a Wheaton College student. While there, he was instrumental in the formation of the interdenominational Alto Pass Christian Fellowship. In 1975, the Crossetts moved to Wyanet, Illinois. While participating in the town's Congregational church, he coordinated a religious beliefs survey of the community in anticipation of evangelistic outreach there. Also in 1975, Crossett was asked to serve as the area evangelist for the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod. In 1977 he was appointed a part-time evangelist for the Midwest Presbytery of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), which led to his preaching and leading a Bible study for an emerging congregation in Decatur, Illinois. Simultaneously, the Crossett's served as volunteer OMF regional representatives. In 1979, Crossett was appointed the OPC Midwest Presbytery's missionary-at-large. In 1986, the Crossetts moved to OMF's retirement home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they continued to reside in 1988.

The Crossetts had two daughters, Virginia and Margaret, born in 1937 and 1939 respectively. Mr. Crossett died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Marc 10, 1999.


7.00 Audio Tapes

377 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Vincent Crossett in November 1984, February 1985, April and May 1986.

Accession 84-134, 85-20, 86-32, 86-81

May 17, 1988

Paul A. Ericksen

J. Nasgowitz

J. Watson

January 25, 1990, revised

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 288 Oral History Interview with Vincent L. Crossett
Paul Ericksen
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