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Collection 546 Records of the American Messianic Fellowship

Identifier: CN 546

Scope and Contents

Collection includes annual reports, audio tape, correspondence, legal documents, log books, minute books, newsletters, photograph, and prayer books documenting the American Messianic Fellowship (formerly the Chicago Hebrew Mission) and the Hebrew Christian Fellowship (Florida) a subsidiary of the AMF.


  • Created: 1897-1987

Conditions Governing Access

Because of their fragile condition, the materials in folders 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3 are closed. Researchers should use Folder 1-4 instead.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright to published materials in this collection is retained by American Messianic Fellowship.

Biographical or Historical Information

The ministry was begun to provide physical and spiritual assistance to the Jewish people. Later it also educated Christians to the Jewish roots of their faith and fought anti-Semitism. Originally started among Russian Jewish immigrants in Chicago, it helped to establish affiliated missions established in many other cities economically independent but following the doctrine and methods of AMF. Merged in 2008 with Immanuel Ministries International to form Life if Messiah International.

Founded: November 4, 1887 as the Chicago Committee for Hebrew Christian Work to Aundertake Gospel work among the Jews of Chicago.

Headquarters Location:

November 1887 - 264 W. 12th Street, Chicago, Illinois

May 1888 - 427 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois

1889 - 273 Forquer Street, Chicago, Illinois

1891 - 44 Henry Street, Chicago, Illinois, Corner of Margaret and Henry Streets near Blue Island Ave., and 14th Street 1894-ca. 1919 - 22 Solon (Margaret St.) Street (as of Sept 1909 address was changed to 1425 Solon Place)

ca. 1919-ca 1940s - 1311 S. Kedzie Ave., Chicago

ca. 1922-ca. 1940s - Mission Home: 1505 S. Sawyer Ave., Chicago, Illinois

ca. 1940s-1954 - 818 Independence Blvd., Chicago, Illinois

1954 - 7448 N. Damen, Chicago, Illinois

ca. 1987 - 19550 Burnham Ave., Lynwood, Illinois


Officers Presidents: 1887-1910 - Rev. Professor H.M. (Hugh McDonald) Scott (chairman 1887-1889)

1910-1913 - Dr. Alexander Patterson

1913-1925 - Dr. Charles Blanchard

1926-1935 - William R. McCarrell

1935-1942 - Dr. Frank Kirby

1942-1944 - Dr. J.A. Sutherland 1944-1952 - Torrey M. Johnson 1952-1955 - Dr. S. Franklin Logsdon

1955-1970 - David N. Salstrom

1970-1975 - William E. Currie 1975-1993 - Dr. Donald K. Wood

1994-1997 - Rev. Galen Banashak

1998-2001 - Dr. Timothy North 2002-2004 - Rev. Galen Banashak 2005-2008 - Doyne Cole 2009 - Michael Weaver Superintendents:

1889-1894 - William E. Blackstone 1894 - Rev. Sprunger

1894 - Rev. Bernhard Angel 1895-1896 - J. W. Marcusson 1897-1919 - Mrs. T. C. (Tryphena Cecila) Rounds

1919-1923 - Rev. Norman Camp 1923-1940 - Rev. Charles P. Meeker 1940-1954 - Milton B. Lindberg 1954-1961 - Rev. Archie A. MacKinney

General Directors:

1954-1961 - Rev. Milton B. Lindberg

1962-1970 - Rev. Archie MacKinney

1970-1973 - Rev. Alex Koval 1973- 1989 - Rev. William E. Currie

1990-1994 - Rev. Wes Taber 1995 - Executive Director, Rev. Wes Taber


Significant events in organizational history:

November 4, 1887 - The organizational committee was comprised of Professor H.M. Scott, Chairman, Rev. John H. Barrows, Bishop Charles Edward Cheney, Rev. C.D. Mandeville, Rev. L.M. Heilman, E.P. Rice, Rev. Edward P. Goodwin, Professor D.C. Marquise, Rev. M.W. Stryker, Benjamin Douglass, Professor J. Gustav Princell, B.F. Jacobs, T.W. Harvey, and William E. Blackstone, Secretary and Treasurer.

March 11, 1891 - Incorporated in the State of Illinois on March 11, 1891 [per Board of Trustee minutes of March 14, 1891, (see page 66 folder 1-12).

April 1, 1963 - Hebrew Christian Fellowship, Inc., 505 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Florida, became a subsidiary of AMF.

Ministry emphasis: The ministry was begun to provide physical and spiritual assistance to the Jewish people. Later it also educated Christians to the Jewish roots of their faith and fought anti-Semitism. Originally started among Russian Jewish immigrants in Chicago, it helped to establish affiliated missions established in many other cities economically independent but following the doctrine and methods of CHM and a ministry in Palestine, later Israel.

Geographical emphasis: Initially Chicago but later expanded to include other cities in the United States and then around the world.

Alternate names: 1889-1953 - The Chicago Hebrew Mission.

1953-1993 - American Messianic Fellowship

1993-2008 - AMF International

2008 - Life in Messiah International name used but legally still known as AMF International. Merged with Immanuel Ministries International


Other significant information: 1887-1894 - Rev. Bernhard Angel, first missionary, labored in Chicago for seven years and later for over thirty years in New York City.

1912 - First international mission work started in Jassy, Roumania by Rev. John Resnick.

1920s - Rev. Hyman Jacobs, worked in Palestine and was supported by CHM. He was the first of a continuing line of missionaries to serve there. 1920s - Affiliate missions established in St. Louis and New Orleans (closed during the Great Depression).


1.08 Cubic Feet (3 Boxes (DC) Audio Tape, Photographs)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Materials

Series: I. Paper Records Arrangement: Alphabetical by type of document Date Range: 1887-1987, n.d. Volume: 1.05 cubic feet Boxes: 3 Geographic coverage: United States Type of documents: Annual reports, correspondence, legal documents, log books, minute books, newsletters, prayer books Correspondents: Generic letters to supporters of CHM Subjects: American Messianic Fellowship, Chicago Hebrew Mission, Evangelism, Hebrew Christian Fellowship, missions to Jews, Notes: The materials in this collection consist of the records of the Chicago Hebrew Mission (later American Messianic Fellowship) and the records of the Hebrew Christian Fellowship, Inc. of Miami Beach, Florida which became a subsidiary of the AMF in 1963. The records of the HCF include log books (folders 1 9 through 1 14), newsletters (folder 2 5), and a prayer book (folder 2 6).

The minute books of the CHM Board of Trustees and Executive Committee meetings give a glimpse into the founding and operation of the mission for sixty years. The books for 1920 through 1935 are missing. The minutes include not only the annual election of officers, trustees, and acceptance of new member but also the oversight of the needs and working of the mission.

Many documents describe the organization and administration of the mission and its loose affiliation with other, mainly Jewish missions in other cities (especially the Hebrew Christian Mission of Miami Beach). However, there is also some information on premillenial beliefs of the mission as they related to its evangelistic work. There are also, mainly in folders 1 8 and 3 3 a little information on the mission=s activities in Palestine and its pro-Zionist stance throughout its history.

Exceptional items: The first annual report of the CHM in Folder 1 1 published in November 1888 gives information on the origin and progress of the work and a report on the ministry of CHM missionary Rev. Bernhard Angel in Chicago. The second annual report in Folder 1 2 includes a copy of the CHM Constitution (adopted December 1889), officers, executive committee members and other members. Folder 1 3 containing the third annual report includes a copy of the the CHM Charter and Constitution as filed with the State of Illinois in 1891 and the By-Laws. Because of the fragile condition of the reports researchers must use the photocopies in folders 1 4, 1 5, 1 6.

Folder 1 7 contain appraisals for two CHM properties in Chicago at 1505 S. Sawyer Ave. and 1311 S. Kedzie Ave. which were done in 1948. The business offices and Mission Home of the CHM were at 1311 S. Kedzie Ave. and 1505 S. Sawyer Ave. respectively in 1922.

Correspondence in Folder 1 8 consist of twelve generic letters (1922-1926) addressed to those interested or involved in the work of CHM containing announcements of meetings. Also included in the folder are three (1949, 1958-1959) other letters about financial and legal matters.

The minute books (folders 1 15, 1 16, 2 1, 3 2) contain both the records of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee. A separate book (folder 2 2) contains only the minutes of the Executive Committee for 1911-1918. Minutes for Executive Committee for 1902-1910 and 1919 are in folder 2 1 along with the Board of Trustee minutes.

The earliest minute book (folder 1 15) of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee includes information of the first meeting on November 4, 1887 at which the Hebrew Christian Work was organized and committee members were elected. At the Second Annual meeting in December 1889 the constitution of the renamed organization, Chicago Hebrew Mission, was approved and the officers and executive committee were elected (pages 36-44). Names and addresses of the members of the CHM in 1902 are listed on page 5-6 in folder 2 1.

The last minute book (folder 3 2) covers twenty-five years of meetings beginning in 1936. The minutes for the fiftieth annual business meeting (November 4, 1936) were clipped possibly from the CHM monthly publication The Jewish Era magazine and pasted in the minute book. It was noted that Mrs. T.C. Rounds, the only surviving member of the original committee, was now in her 95th year. Over the years she had served as secretary, treasurer, and superintendent pro-tem and was still a member of CHM. The following year at the annual meeting Mrs. Rounds was reelected by the board. In July 1946 the Board of Trustees adopted a policy in regard to branches in other cities (pages 292-293). The policy stated that all branches were to be interdenominational, run by a Board of Councillors and have the oversight of the work, the doctrinal position was to be the Niagara Confession, and the CHM was to be responsible for the finances of the branches and hold title to all properties. The Mission Branch in Milwaukee (page 63) was dedicated on October 16, 1938. This mission had six full time workers employed on a faith basis.

The minutes for the CHM workers= meeting for 1905-1910 (folder 2 3) document the practical day-by-day ministry of the mission. Some of the information given include reports on classes for boys and girls, mothers= meetings, adult Bible instruction, distribution of tracts, Bibles, and clothing, visits by CHM workers, and the industrial school. An interesting discussion arose in July 1906 related to the attempted placement of a Alittle converted Jewess, who is in great need of being removed from her parents, who are willing to have her become educated as [a] missionary.@ By the end of August no one was found who could take the girl in so the matter was dropped.

The format of the worker= meeting minute book for 1919-1926 (folder 2 4) is quite different from the previous one. There are not only minutes for the meetings but also statistical data for the activities of the month. The data includes the number of various meetings conducted and attendance at each, number of conversions, visits, literature distributed and sold, and relief given. Composite statistics for each year and the names of those some of those converted are listed. Miscellaneous items in folder 3 3 include a tract in English and Hebrew published in 1974, photocopies of the 1891 constitution and by-laws of CHM, proposed amendments to the constitution of AMF, flyers and schedules of special meetings, embossed impression of the CHM seal, AIn Memoriam Dr. Jacob Blum@ (missionary for the AMF in Israel for twenty years who died in 1966), AMessianic Judaism:@ or Judaising Christianity by David Baron (a reprint of an article in the October 1911 issue of The Scattered Nation), AMF Centennial Banquet program, and a booklet 100 Years of Blessing: The Centennial History of the American Messianic Fellowship. The folder also contain brochures describing the work of the mission under the presidency of Charles A. Blanchard.

The miscellaneous folder (3 3) contains a set of mission=s personnel policies from 1946. These outline both the spiritual and vocational expectations of CHM workers of that era, as well as rules governing the mission=s home, which housed the offices and where many of the staff lived.

There are six log books of the Hebrew Christian Fellowship, Inc., in folders 1 9 through 1 14 covering five years (1959-1964). These books contain information on the ministry of HCF including contacts with individuals who visited the mission or attended services. The newsletters of the HCF originally in a loose leaf notebook were removed and placed in folder 2 5. There are two incomplete sets of newsletters of affiliated city missions the Twin Cities Hebrew Christian Messenger (1945-1947) and AThe Voice@ of the Hebrew Christian Fellowship (1954-1959). There are also a few correspondence and over two dozen letters to prayer partners and friends of HCF. The HCF prayer book in folder 2 6 contains mainly lists of names of those who were prayed for and in some cases the reason for the request.

Series: II. Audio visual materials Date Range: 1951-1986 Volume: 0.004 cubic feet Geographic coverage: United States Type of documents: Audio tape Subjects: Chicago Hebrew Mission, American Messianic Fellowship Notes: Oral history of the Chicago Hebrew Mission/American Messianic Fellowship by Mel and Barbara Shelver.

Tape 1 (65 minutes). The tape is divided into twelve chapters with Mel and Barbara speaking alternatively about their thirty-five years (1951-1986) with CHM/AMF. They describe their first days at the mission home where Mel became the office manager and bookkeeper and Barbara was secretary to Superintendent Rev. Milton Lindberg, experiences of communal living with other mission workers, ministering to visitors to the mission, celebrating Jewish holidays, witnessing to Jews outside of the mission, meeting William E. Blackstone=s grandson and great-grandson, and changes in the expectations of those applying to the mission now compared to those who applied years ago.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by the American Messianic Fellowship in 1988, 1990, 1992, and 2002.

Accession: 88-26, 90-30, 92-27, 02-72

June 23, 2010

Wayne D. Weber

Collection 546 Records of the American Messianic Fellowship
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