Skip to main content

Collection 396 Oral History Interview with Perry C. Straw

Identifier: CN 396

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Perry Clark Straw, an executive of the Moody Radio Network. Topics covered include Straw's childhood in the northeastern United States, his parent's work in starting and administering Baptist youth camps, memories of Percy Crawford and Jack Wyrtzen, his education at Southeastern Bible College and Moody Bible Institute, his early work in radio, discussion of Christian youth camps, descriptions of Percy Crawford, Jack Wyrtzen, WMBI, and the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle's history. The time period covered by the interviews is 1939-1988.

Perry Clark Straw was interviewed by Robert Shuster on June 23, 1988 in Straw's office in Chicago.


  • Created: 1988

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Perry Clark Straw was born in Rensselaerville, New York to Baptist ministers George Mueller and Helen Straw. He was the third of four sons. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to a farm in Pennsylvania, where George Straw was pastor of a small congregation while operating the farm. Perry gave his life to the Lord at the age of six and rededicated himself to the Lord at the age of sixteen at a camp meeting near Charlottesville, New York. It was at this time that he first entertained the idea of doing Christian work full-time.

The Straw family moved back to New York in December of 1951, where George Straw spent the rest of his life as a pastor. During his teenage years, Perry bought a short-wave radio and began listening to missionary radio station HCJB from Ecuador. He felt called to enter missionary radio. He was accepted at Southeastern Bible College in Alabama, from which he graduated in 1957. While attending Southeastern, Straw worked at the very small WSFM Christian radio station of Birmingham as an intern.

Straw enrolled at Moody Bible Institute (MBI) in Chicago for further training in radio work, and entered there as a post-graduate student in August of 1961. He was expelled for failing a Spanish course from which he had actually withdrawn. A friend offered him a job at Beneficial Finance and Management, Inc., where he worked from 1962 to 1964. As soon as he arrived in Chicago, Straw became involved with the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, largely because of the stories he had heard for years about the Tabernacle's previous ministry under Paul Rader.

In November of 1961, Straw left his position at Beneficial and was hired by Charles Christensen for the staff of radio station WMBI, at first part-time but very shortly afterwards full-time. In 1971, Straw became the administrator of the Broadcasting Services department for the Moody Radio Network. He was appointed director of Broadcast Services in 1988, which included overseeing the networks computer development.

Straw was married to Lorraine. They had two children: daughter Naomi, and son Perry.


2 Audio Tapes

135 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Perry Straw in June 1988.

Accession 88-74

January 28, 1995

Robert Shuster

K. Cox

Collection 396 Oral History Interview with Perry C. Straw
Bob Shuster
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