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Collection 309 Records of National Religious Broadcasters

Identifier: CN 309

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, reports, clippings, recordings and programs of conventions, photographs and other materials of the NRB, which served as a professional association for persons or organizations involved in Protestant Christian radio and television broadcasting.

The collection documents the NRB's efforts to provide information on training for its members on a wide range of technical and broadcasting issues and is especially strong on Federal Communication Commission policies effecting religious broadcasters, the content of the NRB's annual conventions (including speeches by several US presidents and leading politicians), the development of the so-called "electric church" in the United States, and Evangelical and Fundamentalist views on several significant social and political issues in the United States during the 1960s through the 1980s.  There are very few files with information on the NRB prior to the mid-1960s.


  • Created: 1922, 1969-1989, 1991

Historical Information

Founded: September 21, 1944

Ministry emphasis: Professional association for Protestant Christian broadcasters

Geographical emphasis: North America

Headquarters location:

• ca. 1944-? 1422 F. Street, Washington, DC (office of NRB secretary, Dale Crowley)

• -1974? Madison, NJ

• 1974-ca. 1982 Morristown, New Jersey

• ca. 1982- ca. 1983 Pinebrook, New Jersey

• ca. 1983-1992 Parsippany, New Jersey

• 1992- Manassas, Virginia

Significant events in organizational history

April 7-9, 1942: Founding meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals for United Action held in St. Louis. NAE founded by conservative Protestants seeking to counteract the perception that the liberal Federal Council of Churches was the only voice for Protestantism in the United States and to foster greater cooperation between conservative denominations and parachurch agencies. One of the major issues leading to the formation of the NAE was the need for an organization to oppose the great influence of the FCC on which Protestant organizations had access to radio broadcasting.

May 3, 1943: Constitution of the National Association of Evangelicals approved at a convention held in Chicago and the NAE began its formal existence.

April 12, 1944: Conference of 150 Evangelical broadcasters brought together at the invitation of the NAE and in conjunction with the NAE's annual meeting. Temporary general officers William Ward Ayer, Dale Crowley, David Fant, Clinton Churchill, and C. Gordon Brownville chosen.

September 21, 1944: Constitutional convention of NRB held at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. William Ward Ayer was chosen as first president and was the main author of Code of Ethics adopted at this meeting (which is considered the second national convention of the NRB). There were forty-eight charter members. The NRB was incorporated in Delaware on December 18.

May 1, 1945: 2nd Annual convention held in Chicago, at which Clinton Churchill was elected president. He served until 1947.

1948: Theodore Elsner elected president. He served until 1952. 1949: ABC reversed its policy against selling time for religious broadcasts, partly in response to pressure from the NRB.

1952: Eugene Bertermann elected president of NRB. He held the office until 1954.

1954: Thomas Zimmerman elected president. He served until 1956.

June 6, 1956: National Council of Churches adopted an "Advisory Policy Statement on Religious Broadcasting" proposed by its Broadcasting and Film Commission. This policy opposed the sale or purchase of air time for religious broadcasts, all of which should be free public services. The NRB over the next few years successfully led the fight against this policy becoming the accepted national standard. FCC rulings in 1960 encouraged the selling of time for radio broadcasts.

1956: James DeForrest Murch elected president. He served until 1957. NRB annual convention (the 13th) held in Washington for the first time in January.

1956: NRB's newsletter, Radio Telegram, started.

1957: Eugene Bertermann re-elected president of NRB. He held the office until 1975. January 30-31, 1957 14th Annual convention in Washington, DC

January 1958 15th Annual convention in Washington, DC

January 23? 1962 19th Annual convention in Washington. DC

1962-1965: Close working relationship between NRB and International Christian Broadcasters

ca. 1965: Membership in NRB was opened to broadcasting stations, as well as producers of programing.

September 1, 1966: Benjamin Armstrong became the part-time executive secretary of the NRB (the position became full-time February 1 the next year). He served until 1989.

January 31-February 2, 1967: 24th Annual convention held in Chicago at the Palmer House

October 16-17, 1967: Organizational convention for the Midwest chapter of NRB held at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago

November 13-14, 1967: Organizational convention for the Eastern Chapter of NRB held at the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City

January 22-25, 1968: 25th Annual convention held in Washington, DC at the Mayflower Hotel

May 20-21, 1968: Organizational Convention for the Southeastern Regional Chapter of NRB held at the Atlanta American Motor Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia

January, 1969: First issue of Religious Broadcasting, the magazine of the NRB, published

January 27-30, 1969: 26th Annual convention held in Washington, DC. Theme was "The Gospel To A World In Crisis"

1969: Armstrong represented NRB at the formation of the North American Broadcast Section of the World Association of Christian Communicators (NABS/WACC).

January 26-29, 1970: 27th Annual convention held in Washington, DC. As of 1970, NRB included 348 organizations (broadcasters, producers of programing, and organizations related to broadcasting in some way). The theme was "One World, One Gospel."

January 25-28, 1971: 28th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

April 6-7?, 1971: Organizational convention for the Southwestern Chapter of the NRB held in Dallas, Texas

January 23-26, 1972: 29th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

1972: William Ward Ayer Distinguished Service Award inaugurated

January 28-31, 1973: 30th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

January 27-30, 1974: 31th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

1975: Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame started. Charles Fuller, Walter Maier, Clarence Jones, and John Zoller were the first inductees.

January 26-29, 1975: 32nd Annual convention in Washington, DC

January 28, 1975: Gerald Ford became the first president to addressed the annual convention, meeting in Washington

1975: Abe Van Der Puy elected president. He served until 1978

February 22-25, 1976: 33rd Annual convention held in Washington, DC

February 22, 1976: Gerald Ford again addressed the NRB convention in Washington

January 23-26, 1977: 34th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

January 22-26, 1978: 35th Annual convention held in Washington, DC (registration was 1,411)

January 21-24, 1979: 36th Annual convention held in Washington, DC (registration was 1,146)

1979: David Hofer elected president. He served until 1982.

January 20-23, 1980: 37th Annual convention held in Washington, DC (registration was 1,140)

January 21, 1980: President Jimmy Carter addressed NRB convention. The next day the leaders of NRB were invited to the White House for a breakfast.

September and October 1980: NRB sponsored news conferences with presidential candidates John Anderson and Ronald Reagan to talk about issues of concern to Evangelicals

January 25-28, 1981: 38th Annual convention held in Washington, DC (registration was 1,247)

February 7-10, 1982: 39th Annual convention held in Washington, DC (registration was 1,488)

1982: E. Brandt Gustavson elected president. He served through 1985.

January 30-February 2, 1983: 40th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

January 29-February 1, 1984: 41th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

February 3-6, 1985: 42nd Annual convention held in Washington, DC

1985: Robert Cook elected president. He served through 1988.

February 2-5, 1986: 43rd Annual convention held in Washington, DC

January 31-February 4, 1987: 44th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

January 30-February 3, 1988: 45th Annual convention held in Washington, DC. President Ronald Reagan and Vice-President George Bush addressed the convention.

1988: NRB organizational membership of 1300

1988: NRB formed the Ethics and Financial integrity Commission (EFICOM) to enforce standards

1988: Jerry Rose elected president. He served through 1991.

January 28-February 1, 1989: 46th Annual convention met in Washington, DC

1989: After Benjamin Armstrong's resignation as executive director in September, Robert Cook briefly served as interim executive director

January 27-31, 1990: 47th Annual convention held in Washington, DC. Theme: "Decade of the 90s - Looking Unto Jesus"

February 1990: E. Brandt Gustavson installed as executive director. He continued to serve until his death in 2001.

January 25-29, 1991: 48th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

1991: David Clark elected president. He served through 1994.

January 25-28, 1992: 49th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

February 13-16, 1993: 50th Annual convention held in Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center

Ca. February 1993: The title of the office of president changed to chairman of the executive committee; the title of executive director changed to president

January 29-February 1, 1994: 51th Annual convention held in Washington, DC 1994: Robert Straton elected chairman

February 11-14, 1995: 52nd Annual convention held in Nashville, Tennessee

February 3-6, 1996: 53rd Annual convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana

January 25-28, 1997: 54th Annual convention held in Anaheim, California

1997: David Clark elected chairman

January 31-February 3, 1998: 55th Annual convention held in Washington, DC

February 2001: 58th Annual convention held in Dallas, Texas

February 2, 2001: NRB amicably severed its official association with the National Association of Evangelicals, partly because the NRB had grown much bigger than the NAE, partly over different policies regarding the licensing of low power FM stations for local community groups

January 1, 2002: Wayne Pederson appointed as president and COO after the death of E. Brandt Gustavson in May

February 8, 2002: Pederson was invited to resign by the executive committee of NRB because of an interview in which he said the NRB should pull back from conservative politics and put more emphasis on Gospel ministry. Glen Plummer (chairman of the board and CEO) and Michael Glenn, executive vice president, led the organization in the interim.

February 2002: 59th Annual convention held in Nashville, Tennessee


57.55 Cubic Feet (135 boxes (122 DC, 12 OS) Audio Tapes, Negatives, Photographs, Video Tapes)

Language of Materials



Series: I. Executive Files

Subseries: A. Benjamin F. Armstrong Files (only one subseries at this time)

Arrangement: Chronological, alphabetical

Date range: 1966-1987

Volume: 19.6 cubic feet

Boxes: 1-49

Notes: This series consists of the files of of the chief executive officers and chief operating officers of the association. See also Collection 209 for the papers of Eugene Bertermann.


Subseries: I. A. Benjamin F. Armstrong Files

Arrangement: Subdivided into two further subseries: 1. Chronological; 2. Alphabetical

Date range: 1966-1987

Volume: 19.6 cubic feet

Boxes: 1-49

Geographic coverage: United States and Europe

Type of documents: Correspondence, reports, memos, budgets

Predominant or significant correspondents: The files contain letters to and from hundreds, if not thousands, of correspondents involved in some way in religious broadcasting. The following is a sample of the correspondents and is not meant as a list of the most frequent or important: Robert Andrews, Jim Bakker, Walter Bennett, Eugene Bertermann, David Breese, John Conlan, Donald Crawford, members of the Federal Communications Commission, Jim Engel, Paul Freed, Brandt Gustavson, Billy James Hargis, Sam Hart, David Hofer, David Howard, Oswald Hoffman, Rex Humbard, Stu Johnson, Howard O. Jones, Melvin Jones, D. James Kennedy, C. Everett Koop, Gordon Landreth, Horst Marquardt, Billy Melvin, Jerry Rose, Billy Kim, Pat Robertson, Samuel M. Shoemaker, Clyde Taylor, Abe Van der Puy, Jimmy Waters, George M. Wilson, Jack Wyrtzen, Billy Zeoli, Thomas Zimmermann

Notes: This series contains material relating to Armstrong's activities as executive director, including preparing the annual meeting, planning the association's development, working with other organizations, determining the needs and desires of the membership, serving as an advocate religious broadcasting, speaking.

Subseries: I. A. Benjamin F. Armstrong Files

Subseries: I. A. 1. Chronological

Arrangement: Strict chronological order

Date range: 1969-1986

Volume: 8.0 cubic feet

Boxes: 1-20

Geographic coverage: United States. Some material on Europe and a little on other parts of the world, mainly in relation to religious broadcasting\

Type of documents: Carbon copies of correspondence

Subjects (predominant topics): Programs for NRB national meetings, encouraging broadcasters to join NRB and dealing with members' concerns, the World Religious News program, planning communication seminars to meet continuing education needs of Christian broadcasters, communication with government and opinion leaders about access of religious broadcasters to the airwaves and on current religious topics, such as prayer in public schools

Notes: These are copies of the letters (and some inter-office memos) Armstrong sent out. Very rarely is there an incoming letter attached to a reply. This is a virtually complete record of Armstrong's side of his correspondence for almost his entire period of service.

Subseries: I. A. Benjamin F. Armstrong

Subseries: 2. Alphabetical

Subseries: Two: a First (1973-1976); b. Second (1977-1986)

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1966-1986

Volume: 11.6 cubic feet

Boxes: 21-49

Geographic coverage: Mostly United States, some references to religious radio broadcasting in other parts of the world.

Type of documents: Correspondence, memos, reports, clippings, brochures, press releases, court reports

Predominant or significant correspondents: NRB presidents and board members, Christian leaders, Protestant religious broadcasters, government officials, particularly members of Congress and commissioners and staff of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Subjects (predominant topics): The program and arrangements of NRB conventions, NRB membership applications, training seminars in religious broadcasting theory and practice, attitudes of the FCC toward religious broadcasters

Notes: The two subseries IA2a and IA2b fall into roughly two sequential chronological periods, but each contains documents that chronologically fall into the other's time period, based on how the NRB staff filed the materials. Sometimes documents were kept together because they referred to the same person or subject, and documents were filed according to the latest date. The alphabetical correspondence in these two subseries usually contains Armstrong's correspondence or memo, together with the letter he was responding to or the response he received.

Series: I. Executive Files

Subseries: A. Benjamin F. Armstrong

Subseries: 2. Alphabetical

Subseries: a. First (1973-1976)

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1970-1979 although almost all materials fall between 1973 and 1976

Volume: 2.2 cubic feet

Boxes: 21-26

Exceptional items: Eugene Bertermann's correspondence (folder 21-5); NRB national convention planning (folders 22-3 through 23-1), a file of statistics and other information on other associations of religious broadcasters (folder 24-9), planning for the 1975 North Atlantic Communication Conference to be held in Amsterdam in 1975 (folder 26-9)

Series: I. Executive Files

Subseries: A. Benjamin F. Armstrong Files

Subseries: 2. Alphabetical

Subseries: b. Second (1977-1986)

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1966-1987, although almost all the correspondence falls between 1977 and 1986.

Volume: 9.4 cubic feet

Boxes: 26-49

Exceptional items: Eugene Bertermann's correspondence (boxes 28 and 29), NRB board of directors materials (folder 29-3), general files with correspondence covering a wide range of issues NRB was concerned with (folders 34-4 through 35-4), materials about the relationship between International Christian Broadcasters and the NRB (folder 38-1), NRB's subsidiary for college radio stations, Intercollegiate Christian Broadcasters (folder 38-2), FCC rulings on the right of Christian broadcasters to consider religious views in hiring (folders 37-3 and 37-4), correspondence from congressmen about school prayer (folder 46-5), Wycliffe Bible translators (folder 49-4), the International Conference on Christian Communication held in Jerusalem in 1975 (folder 39-1), correspondence with the US president's office about current issues, attendance at NRB conventions, etc. (folder 49-2), correspondence of Thomas Zimmerman (folder 49-8)


Series: II. General Files

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1929-1991, although almost all the documents fall within the range of 1966-1986

Volume: 15.8 cubic feet

Boxes: 50-88

Geographic coverage: Mostly North America, although there is some information about Christian broadcasting in Europe and Asia

Type of documents: Memos, reports, correspondence, programs, clippings, budgets, minutes

Subjects (predominant topics): Conference, training, lobbying, and membership activities of the NRB both nationally and in its regional chapters; Christian television and radio broadcasting in the United States, the Protestant Evangelical, Holiness and Pentecostal traditions in the United States. The files also contain a good deal of research material on the audience and impact of religious broadcasting and some documents relating to Christian broadcasting in Europe and Asia.

Notes: This series consists of files that the staff of NRB created in the course of their work and touches on every aspect of the association's work and the concerns of its membership.

Exceptional items: These files are very rich in materials relating to religious broadcasting in the United States. Here is a sample of particular topics for which there is information: Presidential candidate John Anderson (folder 80-9), Eugene Bertermann's correspondence as president of NRB (folder 51-11), the Bicentennial of the American revolution (folder 51-14), the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's 1986 campaign in Washington, DC (folder 51-13), activities of the Federal Communication Commission (see especially folders 50-4, 54-5, 69-8, 69-9, 70-1 to 70-6, 82-5), minutes and reports of the NRB board of directors (folders 52-2 to 52-7) and executive committee of the board of directors (folders 67-10 through 68-7), NRB's regional chapters (folders 53-6, 62-1, 84-11), the Christian Literature Communication Foundation (folders 53-15, 54-1), materials on the planning of individual NRB conventions from 1967 through 1987 (folders 54-10 through 65-6), historical file with materials from NRB in the 1940s, mostly relating to Dale Crawly (folder 71-17), NRB's publications NRB News (folders 78-2 to 78-8), Radio Telegram and Religious Broadcasting (box 82), research and studies relating to the so-called "electric church," Christian broadcasting in the United States (folders 66-13, 66-14, 82-14 to 82-17, 83-6, 83-7), Billy Graham's talk to the NRB in 1981 on the future of Evangelicalism (folder 71-8), correspondence of NRB president David Hofer (folder 71-18), the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists, also know as Amsterdam 86 (folder 50-10), the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization (folders 72-2 to 72-5, 74-2), international communication congresses (folder 50-10, 72-9, folders 85-7 to 86-1), nationwide evangelistic movements (America for Jesus (folder 50-5), the Great Awakening (folder 71-10), and Key '73 (folders 73-7 to 74-1)), American attitudes toward support for Israel (folder 50-7, 50-8, 67-7, 72-13, 73-4, 73-5), the manuscript for Lois Neely's biography of Clarence Jones (folder 73-6), a report by the Lutheran Hour radio program on the situation for Christian broadcasting in most countries of the world (folders 74-7 through 75-1), Malcolm Muggeridge (75-3), the National Association of Evangelicals (folders 76-12 to 77-4),applications and procedures for becoming a member of NRB (folders 75-9 to 76-3) Luis Palau (folder 80-5), the training seminars sponsored by NRB and held at Nyack College (and in later years at other colleges) for several years on how to do Christian broadcasting (folders 79-3 through 80-3), prayer in public schools (folder 80-7), participation in the NRB conventions by US presidents such as Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter (folders 53-2, 53-4, 70-13, 80-10 to 12, 82-8, 87-5, 87-6), Project Look-Up (folder 81-5), the work of college campus radio stations (folders 52-13, 53-1, 54-2, 72-11, 72-12), miscellaneous information on various religious radio and television programs (folders 80-14 to 81-4), use of videos for evangelistic training in churches (folders 71-23, 71-24), television religious broadcasting (folders 84-17 to 85-4), correspondence of NRB president Abe Van der Puy (folder 85-6), the World Association for Christian Communications (folders 85-7 to 86-1), press releases of World Religious News (folders 87-8 and 87-9), the presidential proclamation of 1983 as the Year of the Bible (folders 87-10, 88-1)


Series: III. Publications

Subseries: Four: A. Daybook; B. General; C. World Evangelical Fellowship; D. Reference

Date range: 1922-1990

Volume: 18.7 cubic feet

Boxes: 88-119, 123-134

Type of documents: Correspondence, memos, magazine and newspaper clippings, press releases, scrapbooks

Notes: The materials in this series deal with the preparation of NRB's various publications, especially Religious Broadcasting, although there is material on other projects as well, such as The Christian Source Book (see also folders 53-9 to 11) and the newsletter that NRB did for the Communication Commission of World Evangelical Fellowship. The bulk of the series consists of a hundreds of clippings, press releases and other materials about NRB activities, specific Christian broadcast programs or organizations or Christian broadcasting in general. These were apparently used as reference materials by the NRB staff.

Series: III. Publications

Subseries: A. Chronological

Arrangement: Chronological

Date range: 1976-1981

Volume: 1.4 cubic feet

Boxes: 88-91, 135

Type of documents: Letters (mostly copies), manuscripts and layouts of articles, memos Predominant or significant correspondents: Almost all the correspondence and memos are from Audrey Langdon, the editor of Religious Broadcasting

Subjects (predominant topics): The production of Religious Broadcasting, recruitment of advertisers, responses to readers' comments about previous issues, listing of new entries for the NRB entries

Notes: These files are in strict chronological order and are almost wholly concerned with the contents and layout of future issues, advertising, and reader response.

Series: III. Publications

Subseries: B. General Correspondence

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1948-1980

Volume: 1.0 cubic foot

Boxes: 91-93

Geographic coverage: United States

Type of documents: Letters, newsletters, memos, scripts, budgets, minutes, brochures Subjects (predominant topics): The production of NRB publications, including Religious Broadcasters and the NRB newsletters and press releases

Notes: These files contain a miscellany of materials created by the staff producing NRB publications. They deal with fund-raising, advertising, production, policy. There are many files concerning the newsletter, with various source materials for the articles appearing in it.

Exceptional items: Hotline, the NRB newsletter (folders 91-16, 91-17); material on the 1976 National Prayer Conference (folder 92-8); files relating to NRB's plan to produce a nationwide series of broadcast spots to coincide with bicentennial of the American revolution. These spots would emphasize the part Christian values played in the founding of the country (folders 91-5, 92-17, 93-1, 93-2); early NRB documents from the late 1940s and early 1950s dealing with relations with the National Association of Evangelicals, the starting of the National Prayer Breakfasts, and disputes with the National Council of Churches about their right to speak for religious broadcasters (folder 93-12); a press release on Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth film (92-3); a file of notes and information about congresses held on communication and broadcasting (folder 91-7); a file on NRB's leadership in the Decency in Media movement against pornography in mass media, especially films and television.

Series: III. Publications

Subseries: C. World Evangelical Fellowship

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1972-1983

Volume: 1.4 cubic feet

Boxes: 94-97

Geographic coverage: Worldwide, including Australia, Ceylon, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Norway, Switzerland

Type of documents: Letters, memos, minutes, newsletters

Predominant or significant correspondents: Phil Butler, James Engel, John Fear, Horst Marquardt, Waldron Scott

Subjects (predominant topics): The use of mass media by Christian organizations to communicate the Gospel, the development of the World Evangelical Fellowship's Communication Commission, the production of the newsletter and other publications of the Commission by NRB

Notes: The files in this subseries reflect Ben Armstrong's membership in the WEF's Communication Commission and the NRB's production of the Commission's reports and newsletters. Besides reports on the WEF's 7th general assembly, the files also contain the minutes and attachments from several of the Communication Commission's meetings. Exceptional items: Reports and papers on the status of Protestant Evangelicals in various parts of the world given at the WEF's 7th General Assembly (folders 95-5, 95-13), reports of the Asia Theological Association (folder 94-4), reports from the 1978 First European Evangelical Communication Conference held in Amsterdam (folders 94-6, 95-12, see also 97-15)

Series: III. Publications

Subseries: D. Reference

Subseries: There are three subseries: 1. Specific Organizations; 2. Clippings; 3. Scrapbooks

Arrangement: Chronological and alphabetical

Date range: 1922-1990

Volume: 14.9 cubic feet

Boxes: 97-119, 123-134

Type of documents: Reports, press releases, newspaper and magazine clippings, brochures, pamphlets, programs, scrapbooks

Notes: The three reference subseries consist of sets of material which were kept together by the NRB staff and apparently used for reference. There is voluminous information on various Christian organizations (mainly Protestant Evangelical, Fundamentalist or Pentecostal), the NRB itself, or the moral or ethical aspects of current events.

Series: III. Publications

Subseries: D. Reference

Subseries: 1. Specific Organizations

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1968-1984

Volume: 3.25 cubic feet

Boxes: 97-105

Geographic coverage: Worldwide, very little from the United States

Type of documents: Newsletters, press releases, newspaper and magazine articles, brochures

Subjects (predominant topics): Christian work in all parts of the world, particularly evangelistic ministries and broadcasting

Notes: These files contain the materials that were sent to NRB to be used in the preparation of newsletters and other publications for World Evangelical Fellowship. They may also have been sent for use in NRB's own magazine. They contain an unscientific but very rich sample of outreach efforts being made by Christian ministries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Series: III. Publications

Subseries: D. Reference

Subseries: 2. Clippings

Arrangement: Chronological by year (not arranged chronologically within each year)

Date range: 1927-1986; almost all the material falls between 1977 and 1982

Volume: 5.65 cubic feet

Boxes: 105-119

Geographic coverage: Mostly United States, but with much material from all parts of the world

Type of documents: Newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, pamphlets, correspondence, notes

Subjects: Christian broadcasting in the United States, evangelistic outreach in the United States and other countries

Notes: These files contain a sampling of materials received by the editor of Religious Broadcasting from hundreds of Christian denominations and agencies, to be used for news reports in the magazine. The materials deal mainly with Christian radio and television ministry or with evangelistic outreach programs, but every kind of story relating in any way to the Christian church is represented. Except for being filed by year, the material is completely unorganized and what is in this subseries is a sample selected at random by the archivist from a much larger body of material. Browsing through these files would give a good general idea of Protestant Christian concerns and activities of the time period. There is one very early and brief report from 1927 on laying the cornerstone of WMBI radio station in Chicago. The rest of the clippings are from 1966 or later.

Series: III. Publications

Subseries: D. Reference

Subseries: 3. Scrapbooks

Arrangement: Very rough chronological order

Date range: 1922-1990; almost all the material in the books falls in the range of 1976-1986

Volume: 6.0 cubic feet

Boxes: 123-134

Geographic coverage: United States; a few items about other parts of the world, mainly Europe

Type of documents: Newspaper clippings mostly; some correspondence, brochures, church programs and miscellaneous items

Subjects (predominant topics): Activities of NRB, especially NRB conventions and speeches by Ben Armstrong; religious broadcasting in the United States; the influence of the so-called "electric church"; technical issues related to radio and televison broadcasting; influence of and reactions to conservative Protestantism in the United States; portrayals of evangelists and Evangelicals in the media; activities of the Federal Communications Commission; broadcasting ethical issues; religious broadcasting in Europe; public and private morality in the United States; the political influence of conservative Christians in the United States, especially in presidential elections; the Moral Majority; church vs. state issues; abortion debate; the Jesus film; attitudes toward homosexuality; Jim Bakker, Anita Bryant, George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Eldridge Cleaver, Charles Colson, Jerry Falwell, Gerald Ford, Billy Graham, Jim Jones, Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggert

Notes: These scrapbooks were apparently kept by the publications staff for reference and as a source of quotes and information for NRB publications. Mostly the scrapbooks contain clippings and photocopies of clippings from a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, but there are also many letters or copies of letters that contain information about NRB activities as well as miscellaneous other documents. Almost all the scrapbooks also have attached to the front cover what is called an "index" which is a list of the headlines of all the documents or if there is no headline, a brief description. Most of the contents of individual scrapbooks are in a rough chronological order. The series of scrapbooks themselves, however, which are in the original order in which they were kept by the NRB, often are not. Thus the scrapbook numbered 3A by the NRB contains clippings from the year 1975 and comes after 2A, which has clippings from 1977. Most scrapbooks have a number of some kind assigned by the NRB. In addition, all the scrapbooks have been given a number by the BGCA staff, a number that starts "BGCA-" This is the number the researcher should use when requesting the notebook or referring to it. Scrapbooks BGCA-01 through BGCA-10 appear to form one unit, scrapbooks BGCA-11 through BGCA-21 another, BGCA-22 through BGCA-24 a third. BGCA-25 and BGCA-26 were untitled and apparently not part of any other group. Scrapbook BGCA-30 contains photocopies of very early clippings from 1922 and 1923 about radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh, which was doing some very early religious broadcasting. There are also a few photocopies from the 1930s and 1940s about religious radio broadcasting.


Series: IV. Chapters Files

Arrangement: Alphabetical

Date range: 1967-1988

Volume: 1.4 cubic feet

Boxes: 119-122

Geographic coverage: United States and Caribbean

Type of documents: Correspondence, programs, memos, membership lists, minutes of meetings, papers given at regional conventions

Notes: This series contains files of information kept on the regional chapters of NRB: Caribbean; Eastern; Midwest, Southeastern; Western. Most of the information deals with the plans for the regional convention of each chapter. There is also information about membership costs. See also the tapes of regional conventions described in the Audio Tapes listing.

Exceptional items: Clipping in 119-3, apparently from 1968, mentions that Billy Graham had suggested George H. W. Bush to Richard Nixon as vice president on the Republican ticket. Folder 120-1 contains information on Congressman John Conlan. Folder 121-5 contains a yearbook, profusely illustrated with pictures and documents, celebrating 25 years of ministry (1953-1978) of the Southland Baptist Temple of Paducah, Kentucky under Pastor Harold Council.


Series: V. Audio and Moving Image recordings

Arrangement: Chronological, with undated items at the end

Date Range: 1950, 1968-1990, undated Volume: 486 audio tapes, 200 video tapes (10.3 cubic feet)

Geographic coverage: Almost all the recordings are of the annual meeting held in Washington, DC. A few audio recordings are from other places around the United States. Subjects: Annual meetings of the NRB, the part that Christian broadcasters should play in American society and politics, professional and technical needs of producers of programing and broadcast stations.

Notes: There is a detailed description of each individual tape in the location records for audio tapes and video tapes. Almost all the tapes are from or about annual meetings (with a few exceptions listed below). Tapes from the annual meetings include the plenary sessions, workshops, promos, and speeches from special guests, including national politicians and leaders, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Annual meetings of NRB's regional chapters: T66, T151-164, T248-T273, T412-T422, T476-T482

Press conferences held to inform people about the plight of the Siberian Seven: T166, T244

Summer Institute of Communications: T132-T150

Miscellaneous: T1-T3, T7-T10, T16, T26, T398, T483-T486

What's Happening (religious news stories): T11-T15

World Religious News programs: T21-T24

Dedication of broadcasting station WCFC of Chicago in1975: T17-T20

Additions and Accruals

The aterials in this collection were given to the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center Archives by National Religious Broadcasters, 1983-1992.

Accession: 83-79, 85-65, 86-43, 88-37, 88-115, 90-25, 90-92, 92-69

May 28, 2002

Robert D. Shuster

R. Estell

A. Santoso

C. Sawyer

Selected List of NRB Leaders

• Benjamin F. Armstrong, Executive Secretary, later Executive Director, 1966-1989

• William Ward Ayer, Temporary General Officer, 1944, President, 1944-1945

• Eugene Bertermann, President, 1952-1954, 1957-1975

• C. Gordon Brownville, Temporary General Officer, 1944

• Clinton Churchill, Temporary General Officer, 1944, President, 1945-1947

• David Clark, President, 1991-1993, Chairman of Executive Committee, 1993-1994, 1997-2000,

• Robert Andrew Cook, President, 1985-1988, Interim Executive Director, 1989

• Dale Crowley, Temporary General Officer, 1944

• Theodore Elner, President, 1948-1952

• David Fant, Temporary General Officer, 1944

• Glen Plummer, Chairman of the Board, 2000-

• E. Brandt Gustavson, President, 1982-1985, Executive Director, 1990-1993, President, 1993-2001

• David Hofer, President, 1978-1982

• James DeForrest Murch, President, 1956-1957

• Jerry Rose, President, 1988-1991

• Wayne Pederson, President, 2002

• Robert Straton, Chairman of the Executive Committee, 1994-1997

• Abe Van Der Puy, President, 1975-1978

• Thomas Zimmerman, President, 1954-1956

Collection 309 Records of National Religious Broadcasters
Bob Shuster
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