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Collection 313 Papers of Robert C. Van Kampen

Identifier: CN 313

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, minutes, reports, manuscripts, photographs, audio tapes, clippings, etc., related to Van Kampen's responsibilities on the Board of Directors of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as well as various board committees, the boards of BGEA subsidiaries or affiliated institutions (Billy Graham Benevolent Fund, Billy Graham Evangelistic Film Ministry, Inc., Billy Graham Evangelistic Trust, Billy Graham Foundation, Grason Company, World Evangelism and Christian Education Fund, World Wide Pictures, World Education Fund, World Wide Pictures, World Wide Publications), and Wheaton College's Board of Trustees. The documents focus on the administrative and planning aspects of these institutions. Information is also available on Billy Graham, the Billy Graham Center, and the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin. There are restrictions on the use of this collection.

Topics covered in the collection include: the variety of involvements that these responsibilities included, such as 1966 World Congress on Evangelism, 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization, development of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, and production of DECISION magazine; also documented is the administrative and financial planning of the BGEA and its subsidiary companies including World Wide Pictures; materials focus on administrative aspects of BGEA and other institutions and not Van Kampen's personal life or business.  Also contains 6 audio tapes of radio broadcast, "Windows on the World" which include segments on 1966 World Congress of Evangelism in Berlin, an interview with two converted Auca Indians, and comments on the use of music for evangelism. Prominent people mentioned include Billy Graham, V. Raymond Edman, and Bob Jones, Sr.


  • Created: 1944-1982

Conditions Governing Access

The files of the BGC Board listed below are closed to everyone for fifty (50) years from the date of the youngest document in the file, except for researchers with written permission from the President of Wheaton College. Forms to request permission are available from the BGC Archives staff: 2-32, 2-33.

Biographical Information

Robert C. Van Kampen, business executive and member of various organizational boards in the business world and Christian ministry, was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1910. He was educated at LaGrange Junior College, Northwestern University and the LaSalle Extension Institute in Chicago. In 1933 he married Dorothy Payne Ruisch. They had three children. Van Kampen began his business career working in the circulation department of Hitchcock Publishing Company in Chicago. His business involvements included:

Aedus Community Center, Chicago, 1945-1946. (President of the board) Bell Federal Savings and Loan Association, Chicago, 1958- . (Director, board member) California Thrift & Loan, 1976- . (Board member) Carol Stream Industrial Park, Carol Stream, Illinois, 1965- . (Vice president, director) Chicago Business Publishing Association. Club Aluminum Products Company, 1942-1960. (Director) Covenant Retirement Communities, 1975- . (Member) Developers Finance Corporation, 1971-1973. (Vice president, treasurer) Evergreen Department Store, Evergreen Park, Illinois, 1939- . (Vice president) Gary-Wheaton Bank, Wheaton, Illinois, 1950-1964. (Vice president, director) Hawthorne Bank of Wheaton, Wheaton, Illinois, 1965-1972. (Vice President) Hitchcock Publishing Company, Chicago, 1927-1966. (President and general manager 1940-1960; chairman of the board, 1960-1966) Merchandise Service Company, 1962- . (Chairman of the board) Morton Printing Company, Pontiac, Illinois, 1946-1962. (President, 1947-1962) National Industrial Advertizing Association. North Gary Corporation. (President) Peninsular Products, Inc., National Compost Corporation, 1963- . (Chairman of the board) Sansum Research Foundation. (Vice president, Chairman, Finance Committee) Stream Associates. (Partner) U.S. Executive Reserve. (Member) Van Kampen Press (Division of Hitchcock Publishing Co.). (President)

Among the Christian institutions that Van Kampen served were:

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - Board of Directors, 1957- : Audit Committee: member Executive Committee: director, treasurer & member Finance Committee: member Investment Committee: member Nominating Committee: member Pension Committee: mem Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. School of Christian Writing faculty member. Billy Graham Benevolent Fund. (Board member) Billy Graham Evangelistic Film Ministry, Inc. (Board member) Billy Graham Evangelistic Trust. (Board member) Billy Graham Foundation, 1970- . (Board of directors) Christian Broadcasting Association. (Board member) Christian Service Brigade. (Vice president of board, 1944-1946; president, 1947-1952) The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM). (Executive Committee: Director and treasurer) Evangelical Free Church. (Chairman of the board, 1954-1960) Gideons, 1940- . (President, Chicago chapter, 1940-1942; international treasurer, 1947-1952; executive committee, 1942-1945) Grason Company (BGEA). (Board member) Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. (Board member) National Association of Evangelicals. (Executive committee; treasurer, 1948-1958, 1963-1966) Northwestern Schools, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1948-1953. (Trustee) Rural Bible Crusade. (Board member) Russian Gospel Association. (Board member) Western Springs Community Church. (Chairman) Westmont College, 1962-1976. (Trustee) Wheaton Academy, Wheaton, Illinois, 1945-1960. (Chairman of the board) Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, 1948- : Trustee, 1948-1978 Advisory Life Trustee, 1978-1985 Trustee Emeritus, 1985- World Congress on Evangelism, 1966, Berlin. (Executive Committee) World Evangelism and Christian Education Fund (BGEA). (Board member) World Wide Pictures (BGEA). (Board member) World Wide Publications (BGEA). (Board member) World Wide Prayer and Missionary Union. (Director) Young Life Campaign, 1943-1947. (Board member) Van Kampen's association with Billy Graham began while Graham was a student at Wheaton College where Van Kampen was lecturing. This led to Graham's appointment as the regular pastor of the Village Church in Western Springs, Illinois, which was without a pastor and of which Van Kampen was Chairman of the Board.

Having previously lived in Chicago, Illinois, and Santa Barbara, California, Van Kampen made his home in Wheaton, Illinois, and Boca Raton, Florida.


1.75 Cubic Feet (3 Boxes (1 RC, 2 DC) Audio Tapes, Photographs)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Materials

[NOTE: In the Scope and Content description, the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5.]

The documents in this collection include correspondence, clippings, reports, minutes, photographs, audio tapes, manuscripts, printed material, etc., related to Van Kampen's responsibilities as a member of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Board of Directors and boards of BGEA subsidiaries, and as a trustee of Wheaton College. In covering this aspect of Van Kampen's career, the documents illustrate the variety of involvements that these responsibilities included, such as participating in the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism and the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization, and dealing with such issues as the development of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. The materials document the administrative and financial planning of the BGEA and its subsidiary companies, and include evidence of both high level decision making and routine administrative arrangements. As might be expected, the materials focus on administrative aspects of the BGEA and other institutions and not Van Kampen's personal life or business.

The arrangement of the collection and folder titles were provided by the archivist, as the materials were received unarranged. The folders were arranged alphabetically, principally by sphere of responsibility, such as the Board of Directors or Executive Committee of the BGEA, occasionally interspersed by the name of a correspondent or type of document. All clippings related strictly to Graham and the BGEA were removed from the collection and placed in the Archives Clipping File. Clippings attached to correspondence were photocopied. The copies remained with the correspondence; the originals were also placed in the Clipping File. Several clippings which refer to Van Kampen were incorporated into the foldered documents. Oversized documents were foldered separately in box3 to accommodate their size. These folders are listed in the Container List in the order in which they would have appeared had size not been a consideration.

A major section of Van Kampen's papers (folders 1-2 through 1-56 and 3-1) relate directly to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). Most of these deal with the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Association.

Meeting minutes for the BGEA's Board are available for 1960, 1972, 1973, and 1975 through 1978 (folders 1-7 through 1-13). These record the Board's consideration of various issues and their decisions. Folder 1-11 includes Billy Graham's report to the Board, providing a clear summary of Graham's position on such issues as BGEA's need for a communications department, its financial standing, the still-to-be-developed Billy Graham Center, and the development of a Bible school in the Midwest. Also included with the minutes in folder 1-11 is a report on a radio station in Hawaii. The researcher should note that the minutes for the 1977 and 1978 meetings (folders 1-12 and 13) include extensive lists of the various committees of the BGEA and their members.

The reports prepared for the annual Board meetings cover much the same time period (folders 1-14 through 1-21). These reports vary widely in their content, including financial data for the BGEA generally as well as its media and team ministries. These may also include Executive Committee meeting minutes as well as those from the previous meeting of the Board of Directors. The 1972 report (folder 1-14), for example, contains the minutes from the previous 1971 meeting. Similarly, the September 1979 report (folder 1-20) contains the minutes from a meeting held earlier in the year. The 1980 report (folder 1-21) contains the minutes from the December 1979 meeting of the Board. The reports and minutes in this way intersect, with the reports including some of the background material referred to in the minutes as well as expanding the coverage of meetings for which there are minutes in the collection. Another feature of the reports may be the inclusion of brief reports and a large section of copied clippings and articles, mentioning Graham, the BGEA or issues of spiritual relevance to the Board. The 1975 reports (folder 1-15 and 1-16) are examples of this, the latter consisting entirely of copied items, gathered together for the interest of the Board. The 1976 report (folder 1-17) contains a survey and various reports on some Wisconsin property which was being considered for a resort hotel.

The work of several board committees is also covered: the Pension Committee in folders 1-23 and 3-1, and the Scholarship Selection Committee in folder 1-24.

Lists of Board members are available, although not chronologically comprehensive, in folder 1-22.

The files documenting the BGEA Executive Committee's work range from folders 1-30 through 1-41, largely covering the Committee's activities through its minutes. Matters discussed in these meetings included decisions about budget and finances, crusades, facilities, films, the production of Decision Magazine and other publications, television and radio broadcasting, personnel, travel, the Billy Graham Center, the use of funds for benevolent purposes, special events such as the 1967 Montreal World's Fair or the 1966 Berlin Congress on World Evangelism, etc. Minutes from the meetings of the Executive Committee in some cases include the minutes of the Finance Committee too. The two were initially a joint committee until, as the minutes of the November 1964 meeting show (folder 1-32), it was decided that the Executive and Finance Committees be separated. Also covered in those minutes is the discussion on the appointment of V. Raymond Edman as the Senior Vice President of the Association. This appointment was specifically intended to anticipate the administrative needs during the period of time immediately following Graham's death. Also related to Edman's appointment is correspondence from Edman along with notes on a proposed program for seminary students.

The Executive Committee minutes also include Board minutes for meetings not represented in the Board section in this collection. For example, the Executive Committee minutes for 1975 (folder 1-35) include the minutes for the March 1975 meeting of the Board.

Of interest is correspondence in folder 1-30 about a letter written by a person not sympathetic with Graham or the BGEA but siding nonetheless with them against a publication which had criticized the BGEA. The same file also contains a report sent to the Chief of Exempt Organizations of the Internal Revenue Service presenting the BGEA's argument that it be allowed to retain its classification as a church for tax purposes. Folder 1-31 contains a proposal for a BGEA job evaluation program. Folder 1-33 includes a letter from Spurgeon's College in London suggesting that it establish a chair in Evangelism and Pastoral Instruction named after Graham.

In addition to the files directly related to the activities of the BGEA Board and Executive Committee, the collection contains a variety of materials which intersect with the concerns of these two bodies. Folder 1-4 contains documents on the Billy Graham Pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair in New York, which deal specifically with an incident in which preparations for the construction of the pavilion were marred by the alleged faulty construction of the sculpture to sit atop the pavilion tower.

Two commemorative items, the 10th anniversary booklet from 1960 (folder 1-25) and the 20th anniversary banquet booklet from 1967 (1-26), each obviously based on different dates of the BGEA's origin, include overviews of the BGEA's history and scope of ministry.

Folder 1-27 contains correspondence on the Better Business Bureau's request for information about the BGEA. Included is correspondence regarding a cartoon about Graham which was printed on the cover of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, edition of the BBB's Investigator. Also of interest are a number of BBB's mini-reports on other organizations, including World Missionary Evangelism, Campus Crusade for Christ, Bibles for the World, Compassion Inc., Young Life, and Youth For Christ International.

The undated report (folder 1-44) by the Association's International Committee documents the expansion of the BGEA's activity around the world and suggests an administrative structure for this development.

Many of the documents in the collection imply rather than directly state the operational philosophy of the BGEA. However, folder 1-46 contains a working statement of the organizational goals for effective management of the BGEA, including the full range of target dates by which the planned actions were to be accomplished. Along with this document is a PERT chart outlining the project. These documents therefore reveal part of the BGEA's intended operational and managerial structure. The manual in folder 1-29 outlining employee benefits and policies provides an additional glimpse of the BGEA's operational philosophy.

Another aid for comprehending the internal structure of the BGEA is a 1974 organizational chart of the Association (folder 1-48).

Folder 1-54 contains reports from the 1981 Team and Staff Conference. These reports are brief annual summaries from 37 executives, representing the BGEA, its associate evangelists, subsidiary companies and international offices. The reports give a picture of the BGEA's diverse ministry. Similar reports for 1977 are located in folder 1-56. The collection also includes an annual report (folder 1-3) from 1977, containing not only brief summaries of the year's events but the annual financial statement.

Financial and budget information is sprinkled throughout the collection. However, it is concentrated in several files, such as folders 1-43, 1-50 and 3-1.

While Van Kampen's papers concentrate largely on administrative aspects of the BGEA's ministry rather than its evangelistic meetings, there is some information on crusades, such as a press release on Graham's 1973 visit to South Africa, accompanied by statements from various South African church leaders on the meetings and on a concurrent Congress on Evangelism (folder 1-51). Folder 1-55 contains miscellaneous items on Graham's 1975 West Texas Crusade held in Lubbock, Texas, including a statistics sheet from one day of the meeting, and an issue of Living in Lubbock, featuring an article on the crusade. Miscellaneous crusade items are located in folder 1-28. The clippings removed from the collection refer largely to crusades, covering dates from 1950 to 1973. These include the 1950 Boston Crusade, the 1959 Sydney Crusade, the 1962 Chicago Crusade, the 1965 Houston Crusade, the 1968 Australian Crusades, and the British Spree '73. They also include several clippings from his 1960 visit to Liberia. Of particular interest is a special newspaper section from a Houston newspaper containing the printed texts of all of Graham's sermons from the 1965 meetings. Folder 1-52 contains copies of clippings on Graham's controversial visit to the Soviet Union in 1982. Worthy of note is a Christian Century article, "How the Press Got It Wrong In Moscow," on the news media's misrepresentation of Graham's statements in the Soviet Union.

An item from: Miscellaneous" should also be mentioned. Folder 2-24 contains a BGEA evangelistic tract used in Ghana.

The remainder of the collection consists largely of materials on BGEA subsidiaries or related organizations, whose boards in some cases included BGEA Board members. The organizations for which the collection has documentation include: the Billy Graham Benevolent Fund, the Billy Graham Center, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Film Ministry, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Trust, the Billy Graham Foundation, the Christian Broadcasting Association, Grason Company, World Evangelism and Christian Education Fund, World Wide Pictures and World Wide Publications. Because the BGEA and these institutions shared common responsibilities and concerns, and Van Kampen held administrative posts on them, documentation on the BGEA and its subsidiaries is interwoven throughout the collection. Further reference is therefore made to these subsidiaries and related organizations in the correspondence, minutes and reports of the BGEA's Board and Executive Committee.

The Billy Graham Benevolent Fund was established in 1970 "to make grants and distributions of its funds to other religious and non-profit organizations for religious and evangelical purposes." Folder 2-1 contains the incorporation documents for this corporation.

Folders 2-2 and 2-3 provide comprehensive documentation of the development of the Billy Graham Center, ranging from the BGEA's preliminary planning in 1970 to the building's construction and 1980 opening. Folder 2-2 consists of a detailed 1972 proposal for an archives to house the BGEA records, Graham's personal materials, and the records of other organizations. Folder 2-3 contains correspondence discussing various aspects, both pro and con, of the Center's focus, and outlines the ongoing evolution of the Center prior to its construction. One of the chief correspondents in this file is Lois Ferm, the BGEA project coordinator. Also included are formulations on the location of the Center and what divisions it should consist of; a proposal on the Center archives, library and museum; minutes from a 1975 meeting of the Joint Committee of the Billy Graham Center--Library and Schools for World Evangelism; a 1975 report from the Center's first director, Don Hoke; material on the Center's groundbreaking in 1977; and the constitution of the Illinois corporation, the Fund for the Graham Center, established in 1982.

The Billy Graham Foundation was established as a fund raising and grant dispensing institution, with the goal of ensuring the ongoing activity of the BGEA and other evangelical organizations. In 1971 the Foundation changed its name to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Trust. At the same time it modified the procedure for the election of its Board of Directors so that they were elected on an annual basis by the BGEA Board. The Boards of the Foundation and Trust met principally to evaluate grant proposals and act on them. Folders 2-6 through 2-12 relate to the work of these institutions.

Folder 2-6 contains a clipped bundle of documents, most copied, which relate to the activity and decision making of the Foundation, Trust, and the BGEA. The documents do not appear to be in any particular order. They include the Trust's articles of incorporation, by-laws, and minutes from the meetings of the Foundation's and Trust's boards in 1970 and 1971 and cover the transition from the Foundation to the Trust. (Incorporation documents for the Foundation can be found in folder 2-12.) Minutes for a 1972 meeting of the Trust are available in folder 2-7. These include meeting minutes from the BGEA Board, dated 1/2/71, 5/3/71 and 9/27/71, and minutes from the 1971 Chicago Crusade Executive Committee's meetings.

Similar material is available in folder 2-9, although limited exclusively to the pre-Trust period. This file contains a statement on the policies and grant application procedures of the Foundation, documents on the Billy Graham Library, a summary report of the gifts made by the Foundation to other organizations in 1969 and 1970, and minutes from a December 1970 meeting. These minutes include a statement of one-year objectives, a Foundation organizational chart, and the 1971 budget. Minutes from a March 1970 meeting document part of the Foundation's attempt to establish its statement of faith and are accompanied for reference by the formulated statements of several other institutional statements.

Folder 2-10 consists of a report and optimistic recommendations for the Foundation, outlining a program to increase capital giving and promote deferred giving.

Folder 2-11 contains a document summarizing possible alternatives to the early 1971 structure of the Foundation and evaluating the impact of these on the BGEA's ministry.

The Christian Broadcasting Association was a group of board members of radio station KAIM in Hawaii. A report to the Board of Directors in folder 2-13 outlines plans to expand its AM operations, renew its license, and expand its FM broadcasting power. Limited additional information on the BGEA's radio broadcast ministry is available in folder 1-48.

The World Evangelical Christian Education Fund was set up in 1970 to: provide scholarships to students and financial assistance to other Christian organizations; build a graduate school for biblical studies and communications at Wheaton College; and build a laymen's training center in North Carolina. The materials on the WECEF deal largely with a press-generated controversy on the financial holdings of the Fund and the means by which the land for the Laymen's Bible Training Center, referred to as the Porter's Cove property, was acquired. Folders 2-42 and 3-5 deal more directly with the Fund and include the minutes of a board meeting. Folders 2-23, 3-3 and 3-4 contain material on the Porter's Cove property, including a development cost study for the laymen's center and press clippings on the property.

The film ministry of the BGEA was carried out by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Film Ministry, Inc., known more commonly by its business name, World Wide Pictures (WWP). folders 2-4 and 2-5 include board meeting minutes and amendments to the corporation's by-laws. World Wide Pictures documents are located in folders 2-43 through 2-47. These include a monthly financial report on the earnings of the films available for distribution in 1966 (folder 2-46); a report by WWP's president to the BGEA Board (folder 2-47); a report prepared for a December 1976 meeting, including minutes from a previous meeting, the comptroller's report on WWP operations, a financial statement with balance sheets, and a WWP newsletter (folder 2-43); and correspondence concerned with the financial circumstances of the company, including a proposal for fund raising for WWP's international ministry and the BGEA's overseas television outreach (folder 2-44). Also pertinent are documents in folder 1-42, which shed light on the early development of the BGEA's evangelistic use of film and the early attempt to make the film division of the Association self-supporting.

Of particular interest is a critique of WWP (folder 2-45), including evaluations of its production and distribution operation, personnel attitudes, and facilities. The author of the critique indicated that his observations "are not intended to be negative criticisms of World Wide Pictures, although they may appear to be just that." He proceeded to offer a rough outline for a film, and his assessment of the Christian film industry's dilemma of being both ministry and business oriented. A major portion of the critique is comprised of a research study done by the writer and a member of the faculty of Biola College, the results of which were used to strengthen the writer's critique. The study was based on the results from a pre-test version of a questionnaire targeted for pastors, made up of 49 questions on their preferences in Christian films. The study included the tabulated results from 45 respondents, reacting to such statements as "Christian films should be entertaining as well as spiritually enlightening," "Some members of my congregation might feel I was not doing my job if I used films more than just occasionally," and "My church would use films more often if there were more good Christian films available." The questionnaire also solicited information on distribution networks used by the churches, the subjects the respondents wanted to see treated in films, and how the churches decided which films to select for their congregations. The writer of the critique concluded with recommendations for WWP, including suggestions to reorganize according to an accompanying organizational chart, sell its studio, implement the use of video tape, and charge for use of films. The document provides both an outsider's view of WWP and its operations and data for considering the use of film in the evangelical community.

Also related to World Wide Pictures' operation is a 1971 report tabulating all of the World Wide Pictures then available (folder 2-9).

Two World Wide Publications meeting reports for 1978 and 1979 are available in folders 2-48 and 2-49. Both include minutes from previous meetings and financial statements. The 1978 minutes provide documentation on the dissolution of World Wide Publications and the transfer of all assets to the Grason Company. Also included are the simultaneous minutes of the Grason Company when it decided to change its name to World Wide Publications. Brief minutes for two other meetings of Grason's Board are available in folder 2-21.

The collection includes materials on several projects initiated and strongly supported by the BGEA. Among these were two international congresses on world evangelism, the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism, held in Berlin (folders 2-34 through 2-41) and the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization (ICOWE), held in Lausanne, Switzerland (folder 2-22). The materials from the Berlin meeting include bound study papers which participants received prior to the Congress (folder 2-39 and 2-40), and the Congress program guide (folder 2-38). The other Congress-related materials are of a more administrative nature. Among these are several drafts of the Congress budget (folder 2-37), a report on the preliminary meeting where Graham proposed the Congress, minutes of the Congress's Executive Committee (folder 2-36) and Van Kampen's correspondence file regarding the Congress (folder 2-34). The principal correspondent in this is W. Stanley Mooneyham, the Congress's Coordinating Director. However, it also includes a copy of a Clyde Taylor letter enlisting participation on committees, copies of letters regarding preliminary inquiries on holding the Congress in Rome, discussion of arrangements, a letter from Billy Graham enlisting prayer support from Christian leaders, and Congress Bulletins, including an essay by Graham, "My Hope for the World Congress on Evangelism."

Folder 2-14 documents planning which was done to establish a Christian university, generically called Crusade University in the file. A transcript from a 1959 meeting in New York chaired by Graham outlines his feelings on the need for such an institution. Graham's presentation was followed by an that of Wheaton College's registrar and professor of education, Enoch Dyrness, the text of which accompanies Graham's comments. Dyrness focused his comments on Crusade University's philosophy of education, location, faculty recruitment and the economics of such an undertaking. Minutes from a subsequent meeting and a draft of a promotional brochure are also included. Beyond the initial planning phase, the collection provides little insight into the subsequent course which the concept took, although a general reference is made to the university in the transcript of a 1968 press conference (folder 2-20) held by Graham, at which he indicated his decision not to pursue the concept further.

Several files contain material directly related to Graham. Among these is folder 2-16, which consists of his addresses at: a Christmas service at the Watergate-troubled White House in 1973, the 1975 Keswick centennial celebration in England, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Billy Graham Center in 1977, and the National Press Club in 1979. Topics covered in his address and responses to follow-up questions at the National Press Club meeting included: his perceptions of attitudes among world leaders, the spiritual state of the world, the Jim Jones tragedy in Guyana and religious cults, the relationship between Church and state, the Christian's accumulation of material goods, women's rights, Israel, Vietnamese boat people, abortion, his relationships with U.S. presidents, and the World Council of Churches' support of guerilla movements. Folder 2-20 contains similar material in the transcript of a 1968 press conference. Topics covered include: the BGEA's consideration of buying the ocean liner, "The Queen Elizabeth"; the race issue in the United States; Graham's plans to preach in communist countries; the moral condition of the U.S.; the war in Vietnam; American politics; Christian education in the U.S.; and black power.

Folder 2-17 consists of correspondence, largely between Graham and Van Kampen. Several letters deal with a letter from Bob Jones, Sr., criticizing Graham for his willingness to associate with modernists. The Jones letter is attached to Van Kampen's letter to Graham dated April 26, 1956. Another letter touches on John R. Rices's criticism of Van Kampen Press. Several letters relate to consideration given to inviting then-Vice President Richard Nixon to speak at Wheaton College's Washington Banquet. A letter from C. Stacey Woods, General Secretary of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, comments on the problem of organizational competitiveness in evangelism, as well as the need for specialized and general evangelism. Other items include correspondence related to the Billy Graham Center, a letter concerning the WECEF/Porter's Cove controversy, letters from John Wesley White to Graham, and a letter from Graham to Jerry Falwell to stop what Graham felt was an outside attempt to "drive a wedge between us."

Some Van Kampen correspondence with other individuals is available in folder 2-28 and 2-29. One letter concerns an evaluation of a Leighton Ford sermon. Folder 2-18 contains documents related to criticism of Graham, dealing largely with his association with liberal elements of Christianity. One is a lengthy letter to Word of Life's Jack Wyrtzen, regarding the resignation of a Word of Life employee, James Bennet, due to Wyrtzen's compromising association with Graham in a crusade. The pro-Graham writer offers biblical support for Graham's position. Another is a lengthy letter from Graham's father-in-law, L. Nelson Bell, to Bob Jones, Sr., challenging his widespread criticism of Graham and those who associated with him. Jones had mounted a campaign against Graham, assisted by the above-mentioned James Bennet. Another item is a flyer from College and Theological Students Opposed to the 1971 Billy Graham Chicago Crusade in which the reader is asked, "...Is It Possible for a Consistent Christian To Support Billy Graham When...". The answers are provided in a series of contrasts between what the Bible and Graham have said. Transferred from this file to the Archives Clipping File is a very lengthy article from John R. Rice's Sword of the Lord on the 1962 Billy Graham Chicago Crusade. Also transferred to the file are a number of articles regarding charges in July 1978 by a Human Behavior article that BGEA crusade counselors were planted among the inquirers to balloon crusade figures. The file includes a news service article related to statements Graham had made in McCall's magazine which were unclear or misinterpreted regarding the lostness of the unconverted. Also in the file is a cartoon about Graham which was printed on the cover of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, edition of the BBB's Investigator.

The collection contains little information about Van Kampen. However, folder 2-27 includes two issues of Songs in the Night, the newsletter from the Village Church in Western Springs, Illinois, where Graham pastored. Both issues contain information on Van Kampen, one in the column, "Let's Get Acquainted With..." where he was featured, and the other in a short report on his South American trip on behalf of Hitchcock Publishing Co.

Two copies of the periodical, Christian Life, dated 1950 and 1951, contain pieces on Van Kampen as well as Graham and the BGEA. The March 1950 issue includes an article on revival in America and Billy Graham's role in it, referring specifically to the BGEA's 1950 crusade in Boston. Accompanying this article is a brief essay by Van Kampen, "I Was In Boston." The issue also includes an advertisement on page 44 and a brief review on page 46 for the book, Uninterrupted Sky, published by Van Kampen's company, Van Kampen Press. The January 1951 issue features Graham on its cover as well as an interview with him. Van Kampen is quoted in an article consisting of the compiled statements of various Christian leaders, answering the question in the article's title, "What's Ahead for 1951?" Page 38 also includes an advertisement for another Van Kampen Press book, Modern Science and Christian Faith.

The clippings in folder 3-2 relate to Graham and Van Kampen, including photos of the two men together.

Several documents also relate to Wheaton College, for which Van Kampen was a trustee. These include minutes (folder 2-32) from an Executive Committee meeting with an item on the Billy Graham Center, and a memo (folder 2-33) to the Investment Committee regarding a gift from the World Evangelism and Christian Education Fund to the College for the construction of the Billy Graham Center.

Accruals and Additions

The materials for this collection were received by the Billy Graham Center Archives in September 1980, and April 1984, from Robert C. Van Kampen.

Accession 80-115, 84-55

February 26, 1985

Paul A. Ericksen

S. Geitgey

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 313 Papers of Robert C. Van Kampen
Paul Ericksen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US