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Collection 133 Records of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle

Identifier: CN 133

Scope and Contents

Materials relating to the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle founded by Paul Rader in 1922. Mateterials include photographs, negatives, correspondence, financial reports, church bulletins, newspaper clippings, and form letters and span 1954-1979.

Several folders contain financial records and reports of the congregation. Data may be obtained from accounting records (folders 1-1 to 1-8), bank ledgers and statements (folders 3-34 to 4-19), and receipts from mission organizations (folders 4-26 to 4-39). The weekly cash reports gave detailed accounts of each week's offering with indications of special designated funds.

Tabernacle organizational material may also be found in the collection. Folders 3-3 to 3-5 contain church bond notes; church deeds (folders 3-8 to 3-11); constitution and by-laws (folder 3-14); and the congregation's Declaration of Faith in folder 3-28. Material found in the Declaration of Faith includes a statement of faith, explanation of church doctrine, organization of church government, and responsibilities of church membership.

Another small section of records may be found in folders 3-15 to 3-27 containing correspondence mainly from the 1965-1966 fiscal year. Material includes letters to the pastor, plans for future speakers and events at the Tabernacle, and news from missionaries the Tabernacle supported.

A large portion of Tabernacle records are classified under the monthly miscellaneous series (folders 3-40 to 5-60). These folders were monthly compilations of church bulletins, newsletters called Tabernacle Echoes, form letters to church members and workers, announcements of special events, and scattered sermons. Newspaper clippings (folders 5-61 to 5-76) were gathered together and refoldered under one general category. Most of the clippings were Tabernacle ads placed in local newspapers.


  • Created: 1952-1979

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

The Chicago Gospel Tabernacle grew out of an evangelistic campaign held by Rev. Paul Rader in 1922 at the corner of Clark, Halstead, and Barry, later moving to 825 Barry Avenue. The campaign drew such enthusiastic response and loyal supporters that the temporary wooden structure the meetings were held in became a permanent church. During Rader's pastorate, the Tabernacle began a very active outreach including radio programs, publications, support of several missions, Bible conferences, and some social work.

Special activities were sponsored by the Tabernacle members such as film showings, missionary speakers, evangelistic services, musical programs, and youth clubs. Designated offerings were also taken for the support of evangelism both at home and abroad.

Some of the men who pastored the Tabernacle included Paul Rader, Clarence Erickson, Wally White, and Douglas R. Fisher. Merrill Dunlop and Melvin W. Johnson also served as associate pastors for a time.

In 1979 the membership of the Tabernacle had dropped to only a handful. By written vote of the membership it was decided to disband the fellowship permanently. Provisions were made for the continued support of some missionaries by the terms of a trust fund.


5 Boxes

4 Negative Files

40 Photograph Files

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were received by the Billy Graham Center Archives in April 1980.

Accession 80-51

September 8, 1980

Mary Ann Buffington

G. Lynch

S. Kouns

Collection 133 Records of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle
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