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Collection 134 Papers of Marian Chapman

Identifier: CN 134

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews, photographs, and prayer letters relating to the ministry of Marian Gold Chapman, a missionary with Latin America Mission in Cartagena, Colombia (1957-1975); Bogota, New Jersey (1975-1977), and Coral Gables, Florida (1977-1979).


  • Created: 1980, 1995

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Marian Chapman was born on July 20, 1922 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to John C. and Madge (Corwin) Chapman. John was an architect and in 1931 the family moved to Detroit.

Marian graduated from Detroit Central High School in June of 1940 and then went on to Wayne State University in 1941. During 1942 and 1943 she attended Detroit Business University, after which she worked several years as a stenographer. In 1946 she began studies at Wheaton College, from which she graduated in 1948 with a B.S. in math education. While at Wheaton, Miss Chapman was a member of Women's Glee Club, Sigma Pi Sigma, Foreign Missions Fellowship, and attended the nondenominational College Church, although her family background was Methodist.

During the 1948-49 school year, Marian taught at Montrose School in New Jersey. In 1949 Marian moved back to Wheaton to teach at Wheaton Academy, where she eventually became registrar.

In 1957 Marian was accepted by Latin America Mission (LAM) as a missionary to Cartagena, Colombia, where she worked in the Girl's Secondary School, a local church, and served as field treasurer and interim field administrator during her 18 years on the field.

Marian terminated her work in Colombia in January of 1975 and joined the LAM staff in New Jersey. In 1977 she moved with LAM headquarters to Coral Gables, Florida, and in June 1978 became Assistant to the President of LAM Publications. In February 1984 Marian returned to LAM headquarters serving in a few different secretarial positions.


0.40 Cubic Feet

1 Box (DC), Audio Tapes, Photographs

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Materials

Series 1: Audio Tapes

The collection includes an oral history interview with Marian Chapman in which she describes her family, conversion, religious background, education at Wheaton College, teaching at Wheaton Academy, work with the Latin America Mission at a girls' school in Cartegena, local church participation, experiences as interim field administrator and field treasurer, language training, persecution of Protestants and work in largely Catholic Colombia, LAM restructuring and Community of Latin American Evangelical Ministries, participation in the Wayne State Inter-Varsity group, Evangelism-in-Depth, role of women in church and mission, cooperation among the missions, and colleagues. The time period covered by the interviews is 1940 to 1993.

Marian Chapman was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on January 15, 1993, at the LAM headquarters in Miami, Florida.

Series 2: Photographs

The collection includes one color photograph of Marian Gold Chapman, dated 1990.

Series 3: Paper Records (Box List)

This collection contains a series of forty-one prayer letters written from Cartagena, Colombia, New Jersey, and Florida by Marian Chapman to supporters in the United States while she was serving Latin America Mission (LAM). Also included are a biographical sketch and a prayer reminder sent out by LAM.

The letters (1957-1992) describe educational, financial, and administrative work with a girls' school, administration for LAM in Colombia, personal concerns about the cultural customs, political unrest, and personal health. Letters written while serving with Latin America Mission and interview document Chapman's youth, education at Wheaton College, work as a LAM missionary (including her teaching, church ministry and administration work), missions, evangelism, and politics in predominantly Catholic Colombia, Evangelism-in-Depth, persecution, communism, her work with the Community of Latin American Evangelical Ministries (CLAME) of which LAM was a part, development of national leaders, work with LAM upon returning to the US in 1975, reorganization of the mission, mission colleagues, and other mission-related subjects.

Other topics covered in the letters include Chapmanā€™s arrival in Colombia, adjustments to culture, surprise at the widespread influence of Catholicism, teaching experiences in Cartagena Secondary School, ministry in the Buen Pastor Church, concern over lack of national workers, work as interim Field Administrator after the death of Dick Wolcott, and health problems which contributed to her return to the U.S. in 1975.

There are descriptions of residency and visa problems, her 1959 language studies in Costa Rica, the political turmoil of Colombia in the 1950s and 1960s, 1961 financial problems of the Cartagena school, increased enrollment and construction of new buildings for the school, her teaching of music and piano, preparation for evangelistic campaigns, and work with Evangelism in Depth.

Mention is also made of the 1958 Billy Graham Panama Crusade, the death of Marian's mother, persecution by Communist guerrillas including the death of co-worker Ernie Fowler, the visit of the ship S. S. Hope, visits from Ellen Thompson, the Latin American Community of Evangelical Ministries, furloughs in 1960, 1962-63, 1965, 1969, 1973, her work with LAM upon returning to the U.S. in 1975, and the influence of Charles Troutman on her life.

Accruals and Additions

The letters in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Marian Gold Chapman in October 1979 and January 1993. The tapes were received in February 1993 on the occasion of the interview.

Accession: 79-124, 93-8

July 2, 1980

Gerald Lynch

M. Buffington

S. Kouns

May 11, 1995

Mark Congdon

P. Ericksen

Accession: 93-22

July 27, 2004, updated

Christian Sawyer

Collection 134 Papers of Marian Chapman
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US