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Collection 331 Papers of Reuben Archer Torrey, III

Identifier: CN 331

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Reuben Archer Torrey III and a videotape of the Otterbein United Brethren Missionary Convention in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania on April 23, 1986.

Audio Tapes

Oral history interview with Reuben Archer Torrey in which he describes his childhood in China as the son of Presbyterian missionaries; his experiences at boarding schools in China and Korea; his grandfather, Dr. R. A. Torrey, Sr.; his work as an Episcopalian parish priest in the U.S.; teaching at an Anglican theological college in Korea; and his founding and work at Jesus Abbey, a retreat center in Korea; which he founded; the charisimatic movement and various mission-related issues. The time frame covered by the interviews is 1918-1986.

Reuben Archer Torrey was interviewed by Robert D. Shuster on May 14, 1976 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.


The collection also contains a b&w photograph of Torrey, 2" x 2", undated.

Video Tapes

The video, V1, begins with an introduction of Torrey by "Brother Cook"; Torrey discusses the work being done at Jesus Abbey and shows slides of the Abbey, the surrounding countryside, and some of the activities of the Abbey, such as prayer groups, singing, making a thatched roof, doing laundry in a stream, making kim chee, woodworking shop, the outdoor chapel designed by Jane Torrey, among others. Many of the slides are photographs of paintings which were done by Jane Torrey. After the slides, the scene shifts to a library where Torrey, Mr. Cook, two other unidentified men, and two unidentified women, sit around the table and Rev. Torrey answers questions about the work at Jesus Abbey.


  • Created: 1986

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Reuben Archer Torrey, III, (known as Archer) was the son of Reuben Archer Torrey, Jr., and the grandson of evangelist educator R. A. Torrey, Sr. His parents served as Presbyterian missionaries in China, and Torrey was born and raised in North China. He attended mission schools in both China and Korea. Torrey graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina in 1939 and from Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University, which he attended concurrently, in 1942. He served in the Merchant Marines during World War II. After the war, he left the Presbyterian Church and was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1946, after receiving a MTh degree from the University of the South.

Torrey served American parishes in Georgia, Missouri, and Massachusetts for eleven years, before being called to re-establish St. Michael's Theological College for the Anglican Church in Korea. After serving as Rector there for seven years, in 1965 he and his wife, Jane Grey, founded Jesus Abbey, a retreat center in the mountains of Korea. They had three children.

Archer Torrey died on August 6, 2002 at Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea.


0.06 Cubic Feet (Audio Tapes, Photograph, Video Tape)

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by R. A. Torrey III in May and October, 1986 and from the Billy Graham Center Administration in 2003.

Accession 86-54, 86-103

October 20, 1988

Lannae Graham

S. Feeck J. Nasgowitz

March 16, 1990, Revised

Janyce H. Nasgowitz

March 29, 2003, Updated

Robert Shuster

C. Sawyer

Collection 331 Papers of Reuben Archer Torrey, III
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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