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Collection 308 Papers of Harvey W. Marks

Identifier: CN 308

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Harvey W. Marks in which he describes his career as a pastor and work in Christian film distribution beginning in 1945; the development of Christian film-making and involvement with film pioneers such as C. O. Baptista and James Frederick; Walt Disney's production facilities; and film production workshops at Green Lake, Wisconsin. Includes discussion of church use of films and the effects of television on the Christian film industry.

Also included is a copy of the notebook of the Eleventh International Workshop in Audio-Visual Education, held in Green Lake, Wisconsin, August 30 to September 4, 1954. The notebook includes the Visual Education Fellowship Diary listing the programs and participants, news items and announcements. Also included is a listing of all participants' names and addresses, denomination and position. A listing of audio-visuals available in the library is part of the notebook, as is also a list of producers and audio-visual, radio, television, record, and general resources for film and audio-visual users. This information and all data pertinent to the Workshop is found in folder 1-1.

Harvey Marks was interviewed by Robert Shuster at the Marriott Hotel, Chicago, IL, on July 26, 1985.


  • Created: 1954-1985

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Harvey W. Marks was born on October 22, 1909, in Imperial, NE. Harvey's father, Theodore A. Marks, a minister, and mother, Anna Remke Marks, had one other son, Silas E., no longer living in 1986. He graduated from Loveland High School in Colorado in 1927 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1934 from North Central College, Naperville, IL. During 1941-43 he also attended Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, but did not complete work for a degree.

Before attending North Central College, Marks spent the years between 1927 and 1930 as an assistant bookkeeper for Advance Rumley Thresher Company, in Billings, MT. After graduation from the college, he taught at Beaver Valley School, Burlington, CO, between 1934 and 1935. In 1935 he became Executive Secretary/Vice President of Colorado Christian Endeavor Union. He held this position until 1936. Following that, he was pastor of the Evangelical Church at Genoa, CO (1936-1937), of Calvary Evangelical Church in Colorado Springs (1937-1938), of the First Evangelical Church of Sterling, CO (1939-1941), and of Calvary Evangelical Church, Villa Park, IL (1941-1944). Between 1944 and 1944, he was pastor of Sheridan Boulevard Evangelical United Brethren Church, Denver, CO.

In 1945 he began a Visual Aid Center in the basement of his church, and initiated a ministry for which he was founder and president from that date. In mid-1946, he joined the Colorado Council of Churches as Associate Secretary in charge of the audio-visual department. The following spring he resigned and founded the Visual Aid Center, a library of Christian films for lease.

Marks held a number of positions in the field of Christian work and audio-visuals. He was Executive Secretary/Vice President of the Colorado Christian Endeavor Union between 1935 and 1936. In 1957 he became Secretary of the National Audio Visual Association, Treasurer in 1958, Vice President in 1959, and was President between 1960 and 1961.

In 1974, the Christian Film Distributors Association was formed and he served as its Secretary until 1976. Between 1976 and 1984 he was Executive Secretary of the organization. Among other activities, Marks wrote the Film Review column for Christian Life magazines and other articles relating to the use of audio-visual materials in Christian ministry in a variety of magazines.

Marks was living in Lakewood, CO, in 1986, where he was still working with the Visual Aid Center, Incorporated (based in Englewood, CO). He died in Arapahoe, Colorado on December 31, 2003.


0.18 Cubic Feet

1 Box (DC), Audio Tape

Language of Materials


Collection 308 Papers of Harvey W. Marks
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US