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Collection 302 Oral History Interview with David L. Farah

Identifier: CN 302

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with David Livingstone Farah, in which he discusses his upbringing, education at Wheaton College, work as an administrator with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Peru and Bolivia, and relationships with other religious bodies, national groups and governments. Other topics include the 1950 revival at Wheaton College; Wycliffe jungle training in Mexico; the Catholic Church in Bolivia and the prevalence of syncretism; differences between Peru and Bolivia; description of William Cameron Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators; how the death of Jim Elliot and four other missionaries in Ecuador affected Farah; how Wycliffe Bible Translators was viewed by the Bolivian government and North American sociologists and anthropologists. The time period covered by the interviews is 1930-1983.

David Farah was interviewed by Robert Shuster on June 5 and 7, 1985 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.


  • Created: 1985

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright to the sound recordings in this collection is owned by the Billy Graham Center Archives. Permission is required to duplicate, distribute, or publish these materials in any way.

Biographical Information

David Livingstone Farah was born May 27, 1930 in Quincy, Massachusetts. He grew up there and in Rockland, Massachusetts. His father, Charles Farah, was born in Damascus, Syria, and lived in Egypt before emmigrating to the United States, where he met and married Mildred Endlich, of Ohio. Seven children were born to the family, including David.

He attended Wheaton College, beginning in 1947, and graduated in 1952, taking off a year in 1948 to work in his father's paint factory. Although he began his college career hoping for a career in chemistry, he switched to a major in education when he felt called to enter the mission field.

Following graduation from Wheaton, he joined Wycliffe Translators, and went to Peru for language study. There he met his future wife, Gloria Corsello, who was also with Wycliffe. They were married in 1955 in Lima, Peru, after Gloria had finished jungle camp training in Mexico.

They were assigned by Wycliffe to work in in Bolivia, where they served with Bolivian Indian tribes for a time. Health problems necessitated the Farahs' return to the U. S. for 1957 and 1958. Just before they left Bolivia, their first son, Dennis was born in 1956, and while they were in the U. S., Douglas was born in 1957. Dennis was killed in a fireworks accident in Bolivia in 1982.

In 1956, Farah was appointed to administrative work for Wycliffe, although they were still based in Bolivia's lowland jungle area. In 1964, they were assigned to La Paz, Bolivia's capital. There Farah took on public relations work for Wycliffe, particularly coordinating the organization's ties with the Bolivian government. He eventually became Director of Wycliffe's work in Bolivia.

From 1983 to 1988, Farah served as Wycliffe's Director of International Relations, in Dallas, Texas. Beginning in 1989, he served as Latin America Area Director.


3.00 Audio Tapes

201 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by David L. Farah in June 1985.

Accession 85-79, 85-82

October 7, 1989

Lannae Graham

P. Ericksen

S. Feeck

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 302 Oral History Interview with David L. Farah
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
No Linguistic Content
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US