Skip to main content

Collection 572 Papers of Philip E. Armstrong

Identifier: CN 572

Scope and Contents

Audio tapes, articles, clippings, correspondence, diplomas, manuscripts, ordination certificate, photographs, planning schedules, prayer letters, publications, reports, memos, school newspapers and yearbooks related to Philip Edward Armstrong's involvement as co-founder and general director of Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (now SEND International). Includes Armstrong's correspondence with FEGC colleagues and Evangelical figures, personal correspondence with his family, documents related to his 1981 accidental death in a plane crash in Alaska with four other colleagues, and many recorded messages on missions themes. The papers are not his administrative records as executive director of FEGC.


  • Created: 1920-1985

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: Philip Edward Armstrong

Birth: October 1, 1919, Bronson, Michigan

Death: September 13, 1981, Alaska in an airplane accident


Parents: Arthur and Elsa (Felland) Armstrong

Siblings: Theodore, David

Marital Status: Married Bobbie Jean Payne, 1946

Children: Karon Elizabeth Burklund (born 1947), Mary Jean Kelly (born 1948)

Conversion: At the age of 16


1939- 1941 - Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois

1942, 19??- 1948 - St. Olaf College, B.A., Northfield, Minnesota


1936-1937 - Editor-in-Chief of the Bronson Hi-Times

1937-1939 - Bible teacher for Rural Bible Mission, Kalamazoo, Michigan

1940 - Director of Social Center, West Side Gospel Center, Chicago, Illinois

1940-1941 - Assistant pastor Oglesby Union Church, Oglesby, Illinois

1941-1941 -  Director of Christian education, Normal Park Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Illinois

1942-1945 - Serving in the Army of the United States

1943 - Ordained by Council of Baptist Churches, Bronson, Michigan

1943-1945 - Chaplain's assistant, Texas, California, Philippines

1945 - Helped establish the GI Gospel Hour in Manila, Philippines

1945 - One of the founders of Far Eastern Bible Institute and Seminary (FEBIAS)

1947 - Helped found Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (FEGC, currently SEND International)

1947-1950 - Home Secretary of FEGC

1950-1980 - Executive Secretary or FEGC (renamed General Director ca., 1968)

1980-1981 - Minister of Missions, FEGC


1.00 Cubic Feet (3 Boxes (DC), Audio Tapes, Oversize Materials, Photographs )

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation "folder 2-5" means "Box 2, Folder 5"]

Materials in this collection were received in three separate accessions in either folders or loose. Handwritten labels on the folders did not always reflect the contents. The processor therefore combined some folders, split the contents of others, and kept some the way they were received. Arrangement of the folders was done by the processor. This collection documents the life and ministry of Philip Armstrong of Far Eastern Gospel Crusade (now SEND International) primarily through his correspondence and recorded messages on mission themes. The collection does not contain Armstrong's administrative file from FEGC.

Series: Audio Tapes

Arrangement: Chronological by date of message

Date Range: 1960-1985

Volume: 1.1 cubic feet

Notes: There are fifty-three audio tapes with messages by Armstrong on missions themes and one (T45) by Russell Honeywell, first president of FEBIAS. Three tapes contain memorial services for Paul Mortenson (T55), Philip Armstrong (T56), and "The FEGC Five" (T57) who died in the airplane accident in Alaska. A recording of the 1985 dedication service for the Armstrong Administration Center is on T58 along with comments by Mrs. Bobbie Armstrong. Original cassette tapes for T23-T25 are also stored in the Archives.

For more information on SEND International see the Archives Collection 406 - Records of SEND International at 406.htm


Series: Oversize Materials

Type of Material: ordination certificate

ORDINATION CERTIFICATE; 1943 (OS 25). Philip Armstrong's ordination certificate issued by the Council of Baptist Churches meeting at the First Baptist Church of Bronson, Michigan on August 3, 1943.


Series: Photographs

Type of Material: Photographs

The following items are arranged topically into the following photo file.

ARMSTRONG, PHILIP. Candid shots of Philip Armstrong, his father, Arthur, and unidentified others taken while on a trip to Asia. 1962. 10 b&w.


Series: Paper Records

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title, most of which correspond to document types

Date Range: 1920-1984

Volume: 1.0 cubic feet; Boxes: 1-3

Geographic Coverage: Japan, Philippines, United States

Type of Documents: Articles, clippings, correspondence, diplomas, manuscripts, ordination certificate, planning schedules, prayer letters, publications, reports, memos, school newspaper and yearbooks

Correspondents: Armstrong to and from family members, prayer supporters, office staff, and churches. Includes correspondence from Armstrong's parents.

Notes: Armstrong's writings, articles, and manuscripts covering over forty years are located in folder 1-1. Many of these were published in a variety of Christian magazines such as Evangelical Missions Quarterly, I.F.M.A News, The King's Business, The Conqueror!, and The Sunday School Times.

About half of the collection (folders 1-3 to 2-9) consists of correspondence between Armstrong and others. Folder 1-3 contains prayer letters, correspondence from and to supporters (several from Mabel Smart) and friends, letters from the US Army regarding an appointment Armstrong was seeking as Chaplain in the Army, correspondence with FEGC, Edwin "Jack" Frizen's letter describing conditions in the Philippines in 1954, some of Armstrong's itineraries, and a report on his 1959 trip to the Philippines. Also included in this folder is Armstrong's account of the grounding of the freighter Andrea Luckenback in Hawaii, March 1951, on which he was a passenger and three photographs of the ship.

Folder 1-4 contains prayer letters and reports including correspondence of Armstrong's. Also included is a typewritten copy of Betty (Elisabeth) Elliot's Wheaton College Chapel message dated October 16, 1964, and copy of a letter Charles H. Troutman wrote to the board of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in 1964.

Correspondence, mostly between Armstrong and his parents including V-Mail he wrote while he was in the US Army, is in folder 2-1. A letter written to Ted Armstrong, Philip's brother, dated November 12, 1944, describes his experience, during World War II, of being on a patrol in the Philippines when five Japanese soldiers were captured. With the letter is a detailed report of the incident which tells of Armstrong's strong desire to be used of the Lord. The collection contains very little other documentation on the war. There are a few letters from Frank E. Gaebelein, headmaster of The Stony Brook School, to Armstrong and his mother concerning the possibility of Armstrong's attending Stony Brook in 1937. Folder 2-2 includes mostly personal letters Armstrong wrote to his wife and family while on trips for FEGC. Correspondence of both Armstrong and his father, Arthur, while on a trip to Asia in 1962 are in folder 2-3. Photographs from this trip are in Photo File: Armstrong, Philip.

Folder 2-4 contains letters of Armstrong (some addressed to the FEGC staff), his wife, and his secretary, Virginia (Ginny) Jahnke. Three folders contain Armstrong's correspondence with his supporting churches: Clarksville Bible Church, Clarksville, Michigan (folder 2-5), Elmwood Park Bible Church, Elmwood Park, Illinois, (folder 2-6) and First Baptist Church, Bronson, Michigan (folder 2-7).

Folder 2-8 contains correspondence with evangelist B.F. Hitchcock of the Rural Bible Mission (formerly Rural Bible Missionary Association) in Augusta, Michigan. Miscellaneous correspondence from Rollin and Esther Reasoner, Roland and Jean Friesen, and others from FEGC are located in folder 2-9.

Some of Armstrong's trip reports, memorandums, and planning schedules for the years 1950, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1968-1979 are in folders 3-1 and 3-4.

Three issues of Armstrong's high school newspaper the Bronson Hi-Times along with a 1937 school yearbook are in folder 1-2. Commencement programs and diplomas from Bronson High School (1937), Moody Bible Institute (1941), and St. Olaf College (1948) are located in folder 2-10. Folder 2-13 contains two MBI yearbooks, The Arch, for the years 1941 and 1942 (page 26 contains information on Armstrong's December 1941 graduation class). Armstrong's 1943 ordination certificate issued by the Council of Baptist Churches meeting at the First Baptist Church of Bronson, Michigan, is filed oversize folder OS 25.

Some miscellaneous items in folder 2-12 include Armstrong's 1920 certificate of baptism, handwritten study notes, and U.S. Army records.

In folder 2-11 are memorial service brochures, eulogies, and clippings about Armstrong's death in 1981. Folder 3-3 contains tribute letters from many Christian leaders expressing their condolences. One letter is from Minnesota Governor Albert Quie, and another is a Christmas card with a handwritten message from Ruth Graham. FEGC information bulletins, Send International World magazines, various publications of FEGC, and miscellaneous publications are in folder 3-2.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were received by the Billy Graham Center Archives in June 1983 and March and April 1986 from Bobbie Armstrong.

Accession 83-74, 86-27, 86-42

November 9, 2001

Wayne D. Weber

Collection 572 Papers of Philip E. Armstrong
Wayne D. Weber
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