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Collection 555 Oral History Interview with Willie Richardson

Identifier: CN 555

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Rev. Willie Richardson in which he describes his childhood in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, conversion and call to ministry, education at the Philadelphia School of the Bible, founding the Christian Stronghold Baptist Church in Philadelphia; the importance of developing training programs on evangelism, preaching, and family dynamics; the condition of the African American Evangelical community in the city; relations between black and white ministries and churches; Goodman Lynch; the Center for Urban Theological Studies; racism in the United States and in American churches; the need for books and resources by Black Evangelical authors.The events described in the interview cover the time period 1939-1998.

Dr. Willie Richardson was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on August, 13, 1998, at the Renaissance Center Hotel in Detroit, Michigan.


  • Created: 1998

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Full Name: Willie Richardson

Birth: October 13, 1939 in Florence, South Carolina; family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1945


Parents: Father was a construction worker and longshoreman; mother was a homemaker

Siblings: Oldest of seven children

Marital Status: Married to Patricia in 1962

Children: Gregory, Garin, Gwendolyn, Gerald

Conversion: At the age of 21, while attending Philadelphia School of the Bible

Ordination: March 20, 1966 by Dr. Berry Cooper of the Truelight Missionary Baptist Church


1962-1967 - Philadelphia School of the Bible

Completed coursework at Temple University


1958-1974 - Worked as a draftsman, designer and mechanical engineer at various engineering firms in Philadelphia, until he became a fulltime minister at his church

1962 - Received a call to ministry while attend Philadelphia School of the Bible

February 13, 1966 - Founded Christian Stronghold Baptist Church and served as senior pastor

1974 - Resigned his engineering position and went fulltime into Christian ministry

1975 - Founder, with his wife Patricia, and president of Christian Research and Development

1980 - Began Parenting with a Purpose program

Co-founded Inter City Impact Institute

Founded Resources for Better Families

Taught courses at the Center for Urban Theological Studies, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Messiah College

Other significant information: Received honorary doctoral degree from Geneva College in 1993; Author of Reclaiming the Urban Family: How to Mobilize the Church as a Family Training Center (1996). Disciplining the City (1992), The Black Family: Past, Present and Future (1991).


2.00 Audio Tapes

156 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Willie Richardson in August 1998.

Accession 98-59

July 10, 2018

Bob Shuster

Collection 555 Oral History Interview with Willie Richardson
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