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Collection 349 Papers of Clarence W. Jones

 Collection — Box: 7
Identifier: CN-349
Collection includes correspondence, reports, sermons, memos, minutes of meetings, clippings, photographs, videotapes, slides, and other materials relating to the career of mission executive Clarence W. Jones. The materials deal mainly with his work at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle and the growth and development of the organization he helped found, the World Radio Missionary Fellowship, and especially its primary broadcasting station, HCJB in Ecuador. There is also an extensive amount of information on Protestant broadcast ministries in other parts of the world.

The papers of Clarence Jones contain a wide variety of material: letters, reports, minutes, pamphlets, audio tapes, photographs, slides, and miscellaneous items. They deal mostly with Jones' work at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, his pivotal role in the founding and development of the World Radio Missionary Fellowship and missionary radio station HCJB, his work for HCJB after his retirement in 1961 as a troubleshooter and goodwill ambassador, his leadership in International Christian Broadcasters, and his influence as a leader in the Evangelical community, particularly in the United States. There is also a good deal of information on other missionary radio stations around the world. There is relatively little from the middle period of Jones' life, from about the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s. The materials received by the Archives were in no particular order, but they seemed to fall into two groups. Several folders of materials, including letters, diaries, photos, an oral history transcript, medical reports on Clarence and Katherine's 1953 auto accident and some other items, appeared to be records gathered by author Lois Neely when she working on a biography of Jones. The other folders in the collection appeared to be files containing documents about Jones' activities in retirement from the late 1960s to his death. The archivist has created a simple arrangement for the collection, as well as most of the folder titles. The paper records are divided into three sections:

I. International Christian Broadcasters (boxes 1-4)

II. Personal(boxes 5-9)

III. World Radio Missionary Fellowship (boxes 9-15).

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I. International Christian Broadcasters

Part I contains materials relating to Jones involvement in ICB, mainly dealing with his brief stint as editor of the organization's journal in the late 1970s, but also containing material on meetings and project of the organization over two decades. For example, folders 1-11 contains material about ICB's first international convention, held in Washington D.C. in cooperation with National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).

Folder 1-1 contains correspondence, programs and other documents from seminars sponsored by ICB and led by Jones in Japan, India, the Philippines and Australia, among other places. There are several interesting letters and papers about using radio to communicate in these countries. Folder 4-5 contains items relating to International Communication Congress held in Tokyo in 1970. The main subject of the congress was ways to use television and radio to communicate the Gospel. Much of the material in the file deals with Jones' travel arrangements for getting to Tokyo, but there are also copies of the program, but there are also copies of papers delivered on, a prospectus of ICB's future plans, and some interesting papers delivered at the Congress by Western and Third World workers on the possibilities of communication satellites, the use of mass media in non-Christian cultures, the Christian's social responsibility, and plans for coordination between mass-media ministries. Slides 190-201 are of scenes from this meeting.

Folders 4-1 through 4-3 contain brochures, reports, and other documents about Project Look-Up (first called "Space Evangelism" and sponsored by ICB, among others), a plan to use satellite technology, with the approval of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), to regularly broadcast Christian evangelistic television programming to all parts of the world. These files contain Jones' initial thoughts on the project, budgets, status reports, pamphlets, minutes of meetings, future plans, etc. Jones, Abe Thiessen, and Robert Clark were all deeply involved in the project.

Aside from a few miscellaneous items, such as an audit report in folder 1-2, minutes of the ICB board in 1-3, and documents relating to the ICB's purchase of the Talcottville, CT property from WRMF in folder 4-4, all of the rest of the materials in this section relate to Jones' editorship of periodical International Christian Broadcaster in 1978 and 1979. Files 1-5 through 1-9 contain drafts of articles and press releases submitted to Jones; folders 2-1 through 3-2 contain hundreds of brochures, press releases, articles and other information sent to Jones as editor, almost all of which relate in one way or another to Christian broadcasting in some part of the world, but some on other types of mission or evangelistic activities. Folder 3-3 contains similar material from a slightly later date. Folder 1-4 contains older articles submitted for the publication which Abe Thiessen apparently passed on to Jones when he became editor. Among the organizations represented with multiple press releases or articles in these files are Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), the World Association for Christian Communications, Trans World Radio, the Southern Baptist Convention, United Bible Societies, American Missionary Fellowship, German Evangelical Association. These files are an excellent source for information of the Evangelical movement in general at this time and missionary radio and television in particular. (For more information on the ICB, see collection 86, the records of International Christian Broadcasters.)

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II. Personal

Part II contains Jones' pre-HCJB correspondence, his sermon notes, medical records, diaries, and other items not directly related to HCJB. Folders 5-3 and 9-12 contain autobiographical documents in which Jones discusses his life. The document in folder 9-12 is a transcript of a 1977 oral history interview of Jones by Bob Swenson, a student at the University of Maryland. Jones talked about his family, conversion, work at the Chicago Tabernacle and the origins of HCJB. The typed transcript, which is a xerox copy, has some corrections and additions in Jones' handwriting. This transcript was apparently used by Lois Neely a few years later when she wrote her biography of Jones, Come Up to This Mountain (Tyndale House, 1980). Folder 5-3 has other materials related to her research, including a list of people to contact, with short annotations about their importance in Jones' life, a list of questions for Jones to answer about his life, with his typed answers, often quite lengthy, and miscellaneous other documents and articles about Jones' life. The manuscript of her book, along with correspondence to the Jones and some corrections, is in folder 8-2. Additional biographical material can be found in the newsletters in folder 8-5, newspaper clippings in folder 8-6, the press releases in folder 8-9, and the testimonials and eulogies in folder 9-13 which Katherine received after Clarence's death. This folder also has eulogies that Clarence wrote or collected for Lance Latham and F. Carlton Booth. (The researcher will probably also be interested in the interview of Jones recorded on video V5 in collection 225.)

Folder 5-7 contain a few odds and ends from Jones days at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle: brochures, schedules, articles. There are several articles xeroxed from the Tabernacle's magazine, including one about Jones' plans to develop a missionary radio station. These materials were probably copied by Neely. (More information on Paul Rader and the Tabernacle can be found in BGC Archives collection 38). The folder also contains a pamphlet giving the history of Cedar Lake campgrounds, a facility of Moody Church. His letters to his fiance (and later wife) in folder 6-6 describe his work at the Tabernacle and his assistance to Rader during some of his evangelistic meetings. These letters give a good feeling for the relations between the staff at the church. There are also interesting comments about evangelistic work, such as his paragraph about Holiness preachers in a 5/18/1927 letter or his 4/8/30 epistle describing Oswald Smith's and Rader's meetings in Toronto. There are clippings and other materials with these letters about the origins of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, which Rader founded in 1922, as well as one letter describing evangelist Charles Neighbor's meetings. Folder 6-10 has a letter from Adam Welty, Jones' father-in-law, describing a Rader sermon. The same folder has information on Welty's own work at the Lima Rescue Home of Lima, OH. Folder 6-8 contains a letter from the widow of Richard W. Oliver, Jones' co-worker at the Tabernacle and father of Jones' close friend, Richard J. Oliver. The letter describes Oliver's funeral. Folder 8-4 contains what appears to be Jones' notebook of music which he used when he was playing solos at the Tabernacle and elsewhere.

The collection is very rich in material on the founding and early days of HCJB. A particularly rich source are Jones' diaries for his trip to Venezuela and Columbia in 1928 and his trip to Ecuador in 1930. The earlier diary was partially transcribed, the later completely, probably for Neely (only the portions of the diary relevant to the founding of HCJB are transcribed). The collection contains both transcripts (7-3 and 9-11) as well as the original diary (both trips were recorded in one volume, folder 7-2). Folder 6-6 also contains many, many letters which Jones wrote to Katherine and the children when he was in Ecuador in 1930, 1931 and 1932, working with Reuben Larson and the Clarks to make all the arrangements necessary for starting what became HCJB. These letters, besides providing a portrait of Jones himself, his faith and the close relations in his family, give many glimpses into the daily struggles and discouragements involvement in starting the mission. They also provide interesting comparisons between North American and South American beliefs and lifestyles. This set of correspondence ends in March 1932, shortly before Katherine and the children left the United States to go to Ecuador. There are a few other letters in this file, mainly from 1955 when Jones was traveling in the United States while Katherine was in Ecuador. These too are about evenly divided between family matters and HCJB activities.

There is not too much else in this section on the early days of HCJB (see below in section III), except for a 1930 letter to Stuart Clark in folder 6-1 about Jones' work for Gerald Winrod and efforts to raise support for missionary radio. The rest of this folder, as well folders 6-2 through 6-10 are a real mixed assortment concerned with such matters as the death of Jones' mother Emma (6-1), Jones' honorary doctor degree from John Brown University (6-1), Katherine and Clarence's 30th wedding anniversary (6-1), TEAM's radio station in Taiwan (6-1), a translation of a Danish booklet on the importance of the Christian home (6-2), a sermon by Christopher Lyons on the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit (6-2), memorial booklet on the life and ministry of HCJB engineer Clarence Moore (6-2), a 1975 letter from Mission Aviation Fellowship vice-president James Truxton about a memorial to the five missionaries killed by the Auca Indians in 1956 (6-2), letters from various church that provided financial supports for the Jones, correspondence from Lance and Virginia Latham and Howard Ferrin about their activities (6-2), a memo on the advantages and disadvantages of moving to a retirement village (6-2), a letter from Jones about a possible merger between Barrington and Gordon Colleges (6-2), the development of HCJB's television work and the eventual closing down of its television station (6-3), George Jones' evangelistic work for the Salvation Army (6-4), and Clarence's investments with Reed and Reed, an Ecuadoran firm that worked closely with HCJB (6-9). There is additional information on the Jones family property in folders 5-4, 8-1 and 9-16. All throughout these folders are letters from family members and friends. See especially folder 5-6 which contains the cards that Clarence and Katherine received or sent each other on birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Also of interest are the informal newsletters that the Jones sent out each year to family, friends and supporters describing their recent activities (folder 8-5). Somewhat similar is a newsletter started by Nancy Woolnough to help HCJB staff members and former staff members keep in touch with each other. These newsletters contain a great deal of information of Jones family and friends, such as the long obituary of HCJB cofounder John D. Clark in the January 21, 1980 issue. (folder 7-4).

Clarence and Katherine had a near fatal auto accident in 1953. Medical and insurance records related to this are in folder 5-1 and, for a slightly later period, 8-3.

Jones was, of course, a frequent speaker and preacher. Folders 8-109 through 9-10 contain notes for talks he gave on many occasions. In most cases, these are just a few notes of many headings which he made to refer to while he was talking. These files also contain statistics and anecdotes that he clipped or wrote down with the intention of using them later on an appropriate occasion. For decades he led seminars on communications in many different parts of the world. Folder 7-6 contains files from one such meeting (additional seminars are described in folders 1-1, 9-17, 9-18, 12-9 and 13-2.) Folders 6-12 and 7-1 hold notes on his speaking schedule and very full calendar. He was usually involved in a number of projects, such as his efforts in 1963 to put together a book of historical hymns, documents in folder 7-5 and his service on the board of Crusade Evangelism International, documented in folder 6-11. He also was very involved in the Keswick movement and a frequent speaker at Keswick conferences in Canada and the United States. See, for example, the material in folder 5-5.

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III. World Radio Missionary Fellowship

Part III contains most of the material about HCJB and World Radio Missionary Fellowship, including materials supplied to the board of trustees, publications, trip reports, and manuals. As mentioned above, there is very little for the period between 1932 and 1970's. Folder 12-6 contains various documents on WRMF's early history. It seems likely these were gathered by Neely for his biography of Jones or the manuscript she prepared on the HCJB (folder 12-7). In this folder are such items as a copy of the letter Jones wrote in 1930 for the Ecuadorian Consul General in New York describing the missionary radio station idea; a 1931 copy of evangelist Gerald Winrod's magazine, which includes a front page article on HCJB by Jones; a few early brochures and pamphlets; an undated sketch of Quinta Corston, which served as the Jones home as well as HCJB's first studio and transmitter site; a 1946 missionary radio newsletter; a typed copy of Jones' 1961 letter of resignation; and a brief history of HCJB, prepared in 1971. See the above description for section II for more information on the early history of HCJB. One of Jones last major projects before his resignation was trips to the major regions of the world to meet with other Protestant Christian radio staff, coordinate efforts, teach seminars, share information and otherwise strengthen church and missionary radio. The records of some of his trips, those to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Guinea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Vietnam, Taiwan, and Uruguay, can be found in folders 14-8 and 15-3. There are reports by Jones on his visits to different institutions, as well as articles, reports and other publications from various institutions such as Radio Singapore, the Melbourne Bible Institute, etc. Slides S19-179 are from these trips.

The best records for a study of the organizational history of HCJB are the board of trustees materials in folders 9-20 through 11-4. These contain agendas, minutes, budgets, reports, correspondence and anything else that was sent to the trustees. As might be expected, the minutes regularly deal with such matters as finances, personal problems, resignations, approval of major projects, etc. Among the other topics discussed are plans for future growth and the restructuring WRMF, an evaluation by the Christian Service Fellowship of WRMF's strengths and weaknesses, retirement policy (9-20), report on trip by Abe Van Der Puy to European radio ministries, list of properties owned by WRMF in Ecuador, report on the degree of satisfaction among WRMF staff, memos on what the organization's attitude toward the charismatic movement should be, a five year plan (1978-1983), investigation of the use of satellites in broadcasting, reports of station HOXO in Panama which HCJB owned with Latin America Mission (10-1); statistics on audience response, audience research, a report on Christian radio stations in Italy, plans for expanding the hydro generating plant, composition of the board, whether to join the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, 50th anniversary preparations (10-2); recommendations from Latin American HCJB staff for board members or special representatives, anniversary activities, excerpts from several years of the president's annual reports, list of special representatives, memo on perceived effects of HCJB's bureaucratization, minutes of the Canadian board, projects in Italy (10-3); a project to affiliate a Spanish language radio station (KVMV) in Texas with WRMF, Italy project, hydro expansion project, station HOXO in Panama, a program for international representative meeting, annual members meeting report, report on the activities of Hospital Vozandes (11-1); anniversary materials, discussion of a possible name change, policy on the use of alcohol, policy on divorce, minutes of WRMF Canadian board, minutes of the German board, relations with Pacific Broadcasting Association, the hydro expansion project, Project 500 (the building of a more powerful transmitter), acquiring station KAIM in Hawaii, station HOXO in Panama (11-2); station HOXO in Panama, Holy Land tours, report of the European field director (11-3); testimonies from the health care division, report on Abe Van Der Puy's trip to Korea, Hong Kong and China, and annual members meeting report. Folder 12-2 also contains board of trustees materials about a wide variety of problems such as staff attitudes, relations between North Americans and Latin Americans at HCJB, and HCJB's television work. Another special project that involved the whole staff and the board of trustees was Operation 80. This was a plan developed in the 1970s to turn HCJB into more of a partnership between Latin and North Americans, using Latin America Mission as a model. (For more on LAM's program, see collection 111, the records of Charles H. Troutman Jr. and collection 236, the records of Latin America Mission.) Details of the plan are in folder 13-1.

Various other folders contain material dealing with fund raising activities 13-1, 14-6, and 12-1. Folder 11-5 contains extensive correspondence from William Swan on his efforts to handle the deficit that existed in the support raised for some of HCJB's missionaries. One project that Jones was especially involved in was that of special representatives. These were usually retired people who had been long-time supporters of WRMF who were recruited to talk about the mission at meetings and do other PR work, as well as continuing their contributions. It was often arranged for them to visit the main station in Ecuador or go on other tours or to special meetings. One such tour is described on tape T6. Folders 12-5 through 14-5 contain information on this group.

As mentioned above, Jones continued all his life to travel and troubleshoot for HCJB. Folders 14-7 through 15-4 contain reports and correspondence from various trips he undertook in part for the mission, visiting missionary radio organizations, helping to resolve conflicts, and suggesting plans for new areas of cooperation. Folder 15-2, for example contains correspondence, schedules, reports, minutes of the British council and other documents dealing with Jones visit and the need to reorganize WRMF's work in that country. Other folders contain outlines and talks he gave at missionary radio seminars sponsored all or in part by mission, such as the one in Milwaukee (folder 12-9) or the meeting in Nairobi, Africa when he consulted with representatives from churches and missions about the possibility of starting a Christian television ministry in Africa. This file also contains material about various Christian broadcasters in Africa, such as Radio Voice of the Gospel (RVOG) which broadcasted over station ETLF, and Africa Inland Mission. This project resulted in the development of Afromedia to produce films for use on African television as well as in churches and schools. Folder 13-2 contains materials for Plus-Ultra seminars, for which Jones served as one of the leaders. These seminars were held with small groups of select WRMF staff to discuss spiritual priorities, leadership responsibilities and the challenge of their plans for the future.

There are a few other miscellaneous items of interest to anyone studying HCJB's history and work. Folder 13-4 contains a very interesting statistical profile of the mission's staff in Ecuador, prepared by the use of an extensive survey. The survey analyzes the staff's background, beliefs and attitudes toward various policies and programs of HCJB. Folder 12-10 contains HCJB's statement of the types of music it would and would not play and memos reflecting the debate within the mission over the attitude it should have toward rock music. Folders 13-5 through 14-1 contain brochures and other publications of the mission about its work, including The HCJB Link, a newsletter for staff members. Folder 13-5 includes the scripts for some slide-tape promotional programs prepared about the mission. The Archives has some of the tapes and slide sets, although in no case does the collection contain the script, the tape and the slide set for the same production. Anyone interested in missionary radio will also want to look at the publications of other organizations in folders 2-1 through 3-2 and 12-10. Folder 14-2 contains extracts from letters sent by listeners to HCJB Christian radio programs in various languages, although most of the extracts are from listeners in what was then the Soviet Union. Folders 15-5 and 15-6 contain staff manuals of the mission. See the audio tape location records of this guide for some samples of HCJB programming and station identification.

One folder deserves special mention. In 1956, five missionaries (P. James Elliot, Peter Fleming, Edward McCully, Nathanael Saint and Roger Youderain) were killed when they tried to begin an evangelistic work among the Auca Indians of Ecuador. The staff at HCJB, who knew and worked with these men, were among the first people to hear the news and transmitted the news to the rest of the world. HCJB also supported in various ways the efforts of the families of the martyrs to continue their work among the Aucas. The folder of articles in oversize drawer OS9 includes HCJB newsletters, Christian publications, popular periodicals such as Life, and other items about the death the missionaries, the faith of their wives and children, and the continuing missionary work among the Aucas. See also folder 6-2, tape T3, and the slide location record.

Dates

  • Created: 1915-1986

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Extent

7.50 Cubic Feet

15 Boxes (DC); Audio Tapes, Films, Oversize Materials, Phonograph Records, Photographs, Slides, Video Tape other_unmapped

Biographical or Historical Information

Clarence Wesley Jones was born to George and Emily (Detbrenner) Jones in Sherrard, IL on December 15, 1900. In about 1907, Clarence's only surviving sibling, his brother Howard, was born. The Jones were very active in the Salvation Army. When Clarence was just a very young child, his father had to resign from full-time Army work and move to Chicago in order to find a job to support the family, but both of his parents continued to give most of their free time to the Army's evangelistic programs and George was a lay-officer. Clarence as a young boy of twelve began expressing his lifelong love of music by playing various instruments in a Salvation Army band, eventually settling on the trombone. He graduated from Forestville Elementary School but dropped out of Wendell Phillips High School at about the age of sixteen. By the fall of 1918, he had left the Salvation Army band and begun playing under the direction of Richard Oliver (an old friend of his father's) in the band of the Moody Church Tabernacle. Although Clarence had grown up in an extremely devote Christian family, he had never made a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as his saviour. On October 27, 1918, while listening to the Tabernacle's pastor, Paul Rader, he was convinced of his need and committed his life to Christ.

Almost immediately afterwards he enrolled in missionary program of the Moody Bible Institute to prepare himself for fulltime Christian work and graduated in 1921, after being elected president of his class. For about a year after graduation he assisted the evangelist Charles Neighbor, leading the singing at his meetings and helping to organize events. (He also helped in other meetings with him in 1927) At one of the earlier campaigns in Lima, OH, he met his future wife, Katherine Welty, daughter of Andrew Welty, who was director of the City Rescue Home. They were married August 2, 1924.

In 1922 Jones joined the staff of the new church started by Rader, the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle. His first job was as a member of the Tabernacle's brass quartet, but the Tabernacle under Rader's leadership was an very dynamic organization and soon he was involved in a number of different projects. In 1922 he participated with Rader in one of the first religious radio broadcasts in the city and the next year the Tabernacle began regular broadcasts. Jones eventually became director of the Tabernacle's radio programming. He also developed a program for boys called the Tabernacle Scouts (which became a precursor of the Awana program for children), managed the Tabernacle's summer campground in Lake Harbor, MI (which later became the Maranatha campground), and was a key member of the Tabernacle's musical staff. He and his brother Howard became close friends with many of the staff, including Lance Latham, Merrill Dunlop and especially Richard W. Oliver, son of Richard J. Oliver. Under Rader, Jones received invaluable training in leadership and management.

While attending the summer conference at Lake Harbor in 1928, Jones received a call to be a missionary in South America. Katherine received a similar call at the same meeting. (By this time they had two daughters, Marian, born in 1926, and Marjorie, born in 1928.) That same year he took a trip to Venezuela and Columbia to investigate the possibilities of starting a radio station there that would broadcast evangelistic messages and music. Nowhere did he find much encouragement, either from governments or missionaries. He returned to the United States, still determined to find a way to begin a station. When he did return to Chicago, he completed his high school education by taking courses at the Central Young Men's Christian Association's day school in downtown Chicago and then took some courses in zoology at Northwestern University. In addition, Jones took some courses at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He also worked a few hours a week for an advertising agency and took a correspondence course in public relations from the Alexander Hamilton Institute on Business Administration and Advertising. In 1930 the Jones met two American Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) workers in Ecuador home on furlough, Reuben and Grace Larson and John D. and Ruth Clark. Reuben Larson had for some time been advocating the founding of a Christian radio station in Ecuador and he had contacts with government officials which would facilitate getting a broadcasting license. Together they agreed to begin a radio work in Ecuador. They, along with Paul Young, another CMA missionary to Ecuador, went to talk with CMA foreign missions director Walter Turnbull, who gave his permission for Larson to attempt to get a license from the Ecuadorian government, but said the station could not be a CMA project. In Ecuador, Larson worked with Stuart Clark, director of CMA work in that country. On August 15, 1930, with the help of Ecuadorian attorney Luis Calisto, they managed to get a license and a 25 year contract to broadcast government programming. Back in the United States, Jones had already began raising money for the project. A large portion of the early support came from members of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle. He left New York City on August 19th, bound for Ecuador.

At the time, there were very, very few radio receivers in Ecuador. When he arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Jones made a arrangements with local businessmen John and Alan Reed that they would import and sell radios and he would provide programming and stimulate sales in other ways. Jones then moved on to Quito, where he made preparations for the new station. In October the station was assigned call letters HCJB. It was decided that in Spanish these would stand for Hoy Christo Jesus Bendice (Today Jesus Christ Blesses) and in English Heralding Christ Jesus' Blessings. At the end of October Jones returned to the United States. He discovered that while he was returning his close friend Richard Oliver had died in an auto accident and that he (Jones) had been replaced on the staff of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle. He soon found a new job on the staff of Gerald Winrod's tabernacle in Oklahoma City and, with Winrod's blessing, continued to raise money for the station's transmitter. He incorporated the World Radio Missionary Fellowship (WRMF) on March 9, 1931, to provide an organizational structure for the project. He was the first president, Adam Welty treasurer, Ruth Churchill secretary and the Lathams, Howard Jones, and Reuben Larson served on board.

Jones returned to Ecuador with a 250 watt transmitter and radio technician Eric Williams in August. Katherine stayed in Chicago, pregnant with their third child. In Quito, the transmitter was prepared at Quinta Cornston and the first broadcast, with contributions from Larson, Jones and others, went on the air Christmas Day, 1931. A couple of weeks earlier, on December 13, his son Richard Wesley had been born. Katherine and the children sailed for Ecuador in April and the family was reunited in Quito in May.

HCJB was now a going concern. Although Larson, Young, the Clarks and other missionaries helped when they could, most of the responsibility for day to day operations and programming fell on Jones. (Howard Jones and his wife Lillian briefly lived in Quito, but they had to return to the United States for Lillian's health.) Besides news and governments programming, the program schedule included music, evangelistic appeals and, a short time later, educational courses called "University of the Air." The original broadcast languages were Spanish and English, with messages in the tongue of the Quechua Indians soon added. In the first years of operation, finances were very tight, especially after the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle folded in 1933, but gradually the station was put on a sound financial basis. Ecuadorians technicians and workers were hired and trained to work along side of the missionaries from the start. Beginning in 1933, HCJB began holding frequent remote broadcasts from various locations around the country using a sound truck. This aspect of the station's work was called Radio Rodante. Jones soon became a well-respected figure in Quito, not only because of his services to the country through his radio broadcasting but also because he began teaching English classes for the children of high class Ecuadorians. This experience provided him with many contacts in upper class business and government circles. Ca. 1936 the Jones third daughter, Nancy, was born.

In 1937, Reuben Larson was loaned to HCJB by the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and Jones was able to share some of the leadership burdens with him. In that same year, the evangelist Manuel Garrido Aldama joined the staff and soon became one of the station's most popular broadcasters. In 1938, the Jones family returned to the United States on furlough and spent much of their time traveling around the country with Adam Welty raising money and reporting back to their supporters. Jones was able (in large part because of help from businessman R.G. Le Tourneau) to have a new 10,000 watt transmitter built by Clarence Moore and Bill Hamilton, which Moore took to Quito in 1939. A new transmitter site was acquired in nearby Inaquito. Easter Day (March 23) was also beginning 1940, the new transmitter became operational. Mail began to arrive from Japan, New Zealand, India, Germany and Russia. The foreign language broadcasts of the station steadily increased. During World War II, Jones headed up the US Committee of Coordination in Ecuador, traveling around the country showing American propaganda films and slides. (These were also years of personal tragedy for the Jones when their daughter Elizabeth died days after birth.) On a visit to the United sates in April 1944, he convened a meeting of other missionary broadcasters, a conference that resulted in the formation of the World Conference on Missionary Radio (later renamed International Christian Broadcasters or ICB). This was a service organization for the dozens of missionary radio stations that had sprung up around the world, inspired in part by Jones example. Jones served as the first head of the organization and remained active in it until it was dissolved in late 1970s. (He served briefly as the editor of the organization's publication in the late 1970s.) In 1946 Jones held Summer Schools of Christian Radio in various parts of the USA, the beginning of many seminars on Christian broadcasting which Jones would hold in various parts of the world. He also began to receive recognition among Protestant Evangelicals and Fundamentalists in the United States for his pioneering work. In 1949 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by John Brown University in Arkansas and in 1957 Moody Bible Institute named him its first Alumnus of the year.

After the war, broadcasts were begun in Russian and many other languages. In 1945, the staff consisted of fifteen missionaries and sixty nationals. By this point Jones and Larson were alternately spending two years in Quito and two years in the United States to provide leadership in both places. A home in Talcottville, CT was purchased in 1953 to serve as a headquarters. (In 1969, the headquarters moved to Miami.) By 1955 there were 87 missionaries and more than 100 nationals. The work of HCJB continued to expand. In 1949 a health clinic for Indians was begun near Quito, under Dr. Paul Roberts and nurse Nancy Erb. Marjorie Jones soon joined them. This was expanded into Rimmer Memorial hospital (also known as Hospital Vozandes) which opened in Quito in 1955, under Roberts' leadership. Another hospital for Indians was opened in Shell Mera, with funds raised by Theodore Epp of the Back to the Bible Hour. It was called Hospital Vozandes del Oriente. By the time of Jones death in 1986, WRMF employed 300 missionaries, had offices in twenty countries and broadcast in fourteen languages.

Clarence and Katherine were involved in a near fatal car accident in California on January 12, 1953 which required many months of recovery, although they were out of the hospital and recuperating at home by February 2nd. After the auto accident, Jones began to transfer responsibilities to younger men. In 1958 he announced his intention to resign as president. Abe Van Der Puy was to be his successor. Before he retired, Jones made a tour of missionary radio stations around the world: South America and the Caribbean (1958) Europe and Africa, the Far East, Pacific (1959). By this time, HCJB had set up another transmitter of 50,000 watts and was broadcasting worldwide daily. (By 1967, the station's transmitter at Pifo, Ecuador was broadcasting with over 500,000 watts.) Jones also encouraged the WRMF to begin using television for evangelistic work and in 1961, his son-in-law Robert Clark began broadcasting from HCJB's television station. (The station was sold in 1973, but HCJB continued to produce television programming.) In November 1961, Jones resigned as president. He became honorary chairman of the board of WRMF, spent much time speaking for HCJB in the US and directing and teaching at Keswick and Bible conferences and remained WRMF's prime troubleshooter and diplomat. He also took on various special assignments, such as heading WRMF's European office for several months in the late 1960s and helping develop the Special Representatives program, which was an effort to involve HCJB supporters more actively in the life of the mission so that they could serve as speakers and fundraisers. The Jones had a house in San Jose, CA, which they rented out and finally sold in 1968. One great sorrow of these years was the death of his son Richard in an auto accident in 1966.

Clarence and Katherine officially retired to a home in Largo, FL in 1970, but they continued to travel for the mission and Jones continued in demand as a speaker. In 1975, the National Religious Broadcasters made him their first inductee in the Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He died in Largo on April 29, 1986. He was survived by Katherine and his three daughters: Marian Clark, Marjorie Steffins and Nancy Sutherlin.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Katherine Jones in 1986.

Accession 86-119

June 9, 1993

Robert Shuster

K. Cox
Title
Collection 349 Papers of Clarence W. Jones
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Billy Graham Center Archives Repository

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