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Fellowship Foundation Records

 Collection
Identifier: CN 459

Brief Description

Correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, reference files, clippings, newsletters and other material related to the work of the Foundation (also known as International Christian leadership) which involved developing small group prayer fellowships, especially among government, business and academic leaders. There is a great deal of information on the United States and other countries. Also documented is the group's involvement in various community development, patriotic, and personal growth projects.

Dates

  • Created: 1937-1988, undated

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of Fellowship Foundation materials in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Permission is required from the Fellowship Foundation to obtain copies of audio or video recordings. Contact the Archives for the permission form.

Conditions Governing Use

The Foundation retains the rights to much of the audio/visual materials. Contact the Archives for the permission form to request use of these.

Organizational History

Fellowship of people concerned to provide a means for intimate small group sharing and prayer, especially for leaders in government and businness; the organization grew out of Abraham Vereide's work in Seattle in the mid-1930s, but from 1944 on was based in Washington D.C.; organizational structure was a secondary consideration when compared with the importance of informal contacts and understandings between participants; group was called by a variety of names, including International Christian Leadership and Fellowship Foundation; the branch in the U.S. was the most active, but there were similar fellowships in all parts of the world; the group's most visible activity was the National Prayer Breakfast in the United States and other countries, but was also involved in a wide variety of less publicized educational, philantropic, networking and discipleship programs; important leaders include Richard Halverson, Douglas Coe, Frank Carlson, Mark Hatfield, Harold Hughes, among others.

Note: The events described in the chronology below, large public meetings, incorporations, etc. provide a framework for the history of Fellowship Foundation (more accurately the prayer group movement) but do not really capture its nature. From its beginning, Abraham Vereide and other leaders were determined that the movement not become a formal organization but carry out its objective through personal, trusting, informal, unpublicized contact between people. Although at times (particularly in the 1960s) tending very close to the kind of organization, boards and structures found in other Christian organizations, the movement has managed to reinvent itself continually to stay true to its original principles.

1934: Abraham Vereide, Methodist conference evangelist and former associate general director of Goodwill Industries, led a month of evangelistic meetings in San Francisco, which included regular breakfast prayer meetings of business leaders at the Pacific Union Club.

1935 April: Vereide pulled together a group of local businessmen to pray about perceived IWW and Socialist subversion and corruption in Seattle, Washington's municipal government. Group began to meet regularly and expanded to include government officials, labor leaders, etc. Other groups developed throughout the state, loosely coordinated by Vereide. Other early leaders in the movement were J.N. Davis, J.G. Kennedy, Carl Christopherson, William Day, and William St. Clair.

1937: Two hundred nine prayer breakfast groups had been organized throughout Seattle.

1940: Prayer breakfast for new governor Arthur Langlie attended by three hundred men from all over the state of Washington. Vereide traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest and later around the country, helping to develop similar groups. The idea of the groups, which were nondenominational, was to bring together civic and business leaders informally to share a meal, study the Bible and develop relationships of trust and support and to promote Christian principles. The Seattle group met every Thursday morning at the Washington Athletic Club.

Early-1940s: City Chapel was incorporated by the Seattle group and served originally as the national center for the movement, with Vereide as the executive director. An office was established at 311-312 Douglas Building in Seattle.

1941: Vereide talked with members of Congress about their starting a regular fellowship group.

1942: U.S. House prayer breakfast group started. Emphasis, as with other groups, was on low key, informal fellowship and encouragement, with little publicity.

1942: Sixty breakfast groups by this time in major cities around the country, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Vancouver, Washington.

Ca. 1942: Vereide began publishing a monthly newsletter called The Breakfast Luncheon Fireside and Campus Groups that contained a Bible study to be used by the groups, as well as information about activities of different groups and national meetings. The organization continued to publish a newsletter (sometimes more than one) through the years, although, like the organization, it went through many name changes. Among the names were The Breakfast Groups" Informer (ca. 1945-1946), The Breakfast Groups (ca. 1944-1953), International Christian Leadership Bulletin (ca. 1953-1954), Bulletin of International Christian Leadership (ca. 1954-1956), Christian Leadership (ca. 1957-1961), ICLeadership Letter (1961-1966), International Leadership Letter (ca. 1967), Leadership Letter (ca. 1963-1970).

1943: U.S. Senate prayer breakfast group started.

1943: National Committee for Christian Leadership (NCCL) incorporated to provide a minimal coordination for the movement, NCCL office moved from Seattle to Chicago (first to 505 Old Colony Building, then to 1208 Republic Building, 209 South State Street).

1944: Name changed to International Christian Leadership (ICL).

1944 January: Vereide met Mrs. Marian (Hoffman) Johnson on a visit to Washington. She later opened her large home at 6523 Massachusetts Avenue to the ICL for conferences and social gatherings. This became the group's first Fellowship House. Two important participants throughout the group's work in Washington were James Bell and Paul Temple.

1944 December: Vereide family moved to a Washington, DC suburb and the NCCL opened its office in the city at 744 Jackson Place, N.W.

1945: Fellowship Foundation incorporated to accept donations and property for the group.

1945 January 19: First prayer breakfast in Washington, DC, for members of the U. S. Congress

1945 April 16: A special prayer meeting of government leaders was held to pray for the nation after President Roosevelt's death. Group was led by Senators H. Alexander Smith, Lister Hill and publisher David Lawrence.

1945 November 1: Moved to new headquarters at 2324 Massachusetts Avenue, NW in Washington.

1946 January 13-16: Representatives from the breakfast groups, the Gideons, the Christian Businessmen's Committee and others met for a prayer conference on national needs.

1946: Vereide visited Europe and talked with Christian there about beginning ICL groups in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France and Germany. ICL agreed to cooperate with the British Victory Fellowship in Great Britain. Gustav Adolf Gedat of Germany was deeply involved in the activities of the groups in Europe from this time until his death in 1971. Throughout the years, one important aspect of the movement was the travel of its associates throughout the world to establish personal contacts with leaders in most countries of the world.

1947 January: Four day conference in Washington, DC resulted in the formation of International Council for Christian Leadership (ICCL). There were representatives from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Hungary, Egypt and China. ICCL was an umbrella group for the various national fellowships. ICCL was formally incorporated as a separate organization in 1953. ICL and ICCL were governed by different board of directors, but there was a coordinating committee consisting of four each from members of ICCL's board and the ICL's executive committee. Eventually Fellowship Foundation was created by the two organizations to maintain Fellowship House in Washington, DC as a spiritual service center.

1948: Alicia Abrahamsen, widowed daughter of Abraham Vereide, became hostess of Fellowship House and in later years helped organize women's fellowship groups in Washington and other cities.

1949: ICL's budget for 1949 - $32,700.

1949: Wallace Haines was sent to Europe by Vereide to represent ICL at a gathering of German Christians at Castle Mainau. Haines became the European representative of ICL.

1951: ICL's budget for 1951 - $34,000.

1952: Karl Leyasmeyer became the ICL's field representative in 1950 and continued with the organization for several years, speaking mainly at colleges and universities. Leyasmeyer also gave anti-communist lectures and produced the film Militant Liberty under ICL auspices. Other ICL field representative in the 1950s were Robert B. Doing, J. Edwin Orr, Robert Pierce, John W. Young, Wallace Haines, and Richard Halverson. The budget for ICL for 1952 was $39,000.

1952 May 22-25: International Conference of the ICCL in Noordwijk, Netherlands.

1953 February 5: First Presidential Prayer Breakfast held in the United States. Joint conference of the ICL and ICCL held from February 5-9. Senator Frank Carlson, an advisor to President Eisenhower and a participant in the ICL's program, played a prominent part in helping to organize this meeting and he remained an important participant in the group's work. The members of Congress involved in the congressional prayer breakfasts remained the prime organizers of the annual Presidential Prayer Breakfasts, which included people involved in prayer groups in other sections of the legislative, judicial and executive branches, as well as ambassadors, civic leaders from around the country and the world, and many guests not involved in the prayer breakfast movement. For many years, the Presidential Prayer Breakfast would be one of several events at this time of the year sponsored by ICL, others being seminars, workshops and similar meetings aimed at people more directly involved in the movement. These other events began to be discontinued in the 1970s. The Presidential Prayer Breakfast was also often called the National Prayer Breakfast and this latter eventually became the official title.

1954 May: Two hundred forty delegates attended the ICCL's World Conference in Noordwijk, Netherlands. Countries represented included the United States, Germany, France, Great Britain, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and Greece. Frederick Fuhr served as assistant executive director of ICL in the United States. Vereide suffered a heart attack during the meeting but recovered.

1955 February 3: 3rd Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast.

1955 August 3-7: ICL's 20th anniversary conference, held in Seattle.

1956 February 2: 4th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast.

1956 May 3: Richard Halverson became associate executive director of ICL. In addition, from 1958 on, Halverson was pastor at the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Washington. He served as chaplain of the United Senate from 1981-1995. Throughout his time in Washington, Halverson, along with Vereide and later Douglas Coe, continued to be one of ICL's most influential leaders, regardless of his title.

1956 September 12-16: Biannual ICCL world conference in Noordwijk, Netherlands. At this point there were functioning ICCL groups in the United States, South Africa, Madagascar, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan, India, South Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Formosa, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Great Britain, Mexico, Honduras, Cuba, and Bermuda.

1956: Fellowship House held two hundred Bible studies, held receptions and dinners for eighteen hundred guests; Richard Halverson's Perspective sent to a mailing list of four thousand every week; budget in 1956 - $112,000.

1957: One hundred twenty-five groups in one hundred American cities. including sixteen in Washington; 125 groups in other countries, including Canada, England, North Ireland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Ethiopia, India, South Vietnam, Hong Kong, Formosa, Japan, S. Korea, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Bermuda; full-time staff in France, Holland, Hong Kong, Central America.

1958 December 11: Richard Halverson installed as pastor of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Springfield, Maryland. He continued to serve as associate executive director of ICL.

1958: Clifton Robinson became associate secretary of ICL for Asia and worked breakfast and fellowship groups on that continent until 1965, when he returned to Washington, DC to work with internationals in that city and to help coordinate ICL's worldwide activities.

1958: Albert Quie, elected representative from Minnesota, first attended the Congressional Prayer Breakfast and became an important leader in the movement.

1959 March 12: 7th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast. Richard Nixon was the principal speaker (Eisenhower was unable to attend).

1959 April: Conference of the European member of ICCL in Strasbourg, France.

1959: Douglas E. Coe, formerly a Christian youth worker in the Pacific Northwest, became ICL's assistant executive director. Later Coe became associate executive director. Halverson was also an associate executive director. In 1959 there were eighteen breakfast groups in Washington, DC and two hundred around the United States.

1959: William C. Jones, a California businessman, served as host of the Presidential Prayer Breakfast in Washington for the first time and continued to be a leader in ICL until his death in 1971.

1960 February 18: 8th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel.

1960 May 16-22: 5th bi-annual world conference, Noordwijk on the Sea, Netherlands.

1960: 1st Governor's Prayer Breakfast.

1960: Combined budget of ICL and ICCL was $100,000.

1961 February 9: 9th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast. Billy Graham was the principal speaker.

1961: ICL and ICCL's budget in 1961 was $150,000. There was a full-time, paid staff of nine (one based in Paris, another in New Delhi and the rest in Washington).

1962 March 1: 10th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast.

1962 May: World Conference in Paris and Versailles, France.

1963 February 7: 11th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast at Mayflower Hotel. Billy Graham spoke.

1963 October 24-26: All-India Christian Leadership conference in Calcutta.

Late-1963: New Fellowship House acquired on 2817 Woodland Drive, NW, in Washington, DC. Later the headquarters was moved to 2218 28th Street, N, and still later to 1904 North Adams in Arlington.

1963: Annual meeting of the ICL, held in Seattle. General M. H. Silverthorn elected president, succeeded Leedom.

1964 February 5-8: First National Leadership Workshop.

1964 February 6: 12th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast. Fred Heyn first began working with ICL at this time.

1964 June 3: First National Prayer Breakfast in Ottawa, Canada

1964 June: Bi-annual World Conference held in Bad Godesburg, Germany. Forty-seven nations were represented. 1965 July 5-11: 30th anniversary of Prayer groups in celebrated in Seattle, Washington, July 5-11 at the first bi-annual national conference. Billy Graham spoke at the concluding banquet.

1965 July 14-17: First Tokyo Christian Leadership Conference.

1965 July 10: Abraham Vereide resigned as executive director of ICL and was succeeded by Richard Halverson as acting director. Vereide continued to represent ICL at numerous speaking engagements and as director of Fellowship House and as founder-executive director emeritus. Coe was appointed senior associate executive director.

1966 February 17: 14th annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast at Shoreham Hotel. Fifteen hundred in attendance. Billy Graham was the principal speaker.

1966 June 29-July 3: International conference in Cambridge England. Three hundred delegates.

1967 February 2: 15th Annual National Prayer Breakfast, Message by Henry W. Fowler, Secretary of the Treasury.

1968 January 31: 16th Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

1968 September 9-12: International conference in Noordwijk. Netherlands, attended from two hundred fifty delegates from over twenty counties.

1969 January 30: 17th annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast (name eventually changed to National Prayer Breakfast). Billy Graham gave the message, followed by comments by President Richard Nixon. Nearly two thousand in attendance. The breakfast was followed this day and the next by a series of seminars of the theme of effective leadership.

1969 May 16: Abraham Vereide died. Douglas Coe from this time on served as coordinator and leader of the movement, in as far as a person can be said to be the leader. Other important leaders were Halverson, Heyn, Senator Harold Hughes.

1970 February 2: 18th Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

1971 February 2: 19th National Prayer Breakfast. Three thousand in attendance, two million listen via Armed Forces radio.

1971: One thousand mayoral prayer breakfasts in US, some form of the idea in seventy countries, with fifty countries having weekly meetings.

1972 February 1: 20th Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

1972: Name change to Fellowship Foundation. After consultations among leaders of the movement, including Coe, Halverson, Senator Mark Hatfield, and others, the organization was redesigned to be even more low key and to provide a central office where many dozen (one hundred fifty in 1985) of ministries could be administered. Each ministry had a contact person who was the liaison person with the Foundation. The Foundation mainly dealt with seeing that the goals of the ministry were in line with the overall goals of the Foundation and that monies were spent for the purposes for which they were budgeted, without getting involved in personnel and administrative matters of each ministry. In effect, the group adopted an even lower profile, serving as a channel of communication and a catalyst. Its three major interests came to be developing personal relationships between leaders and encouraging them in prayer, Bible study and personal Christian growth, youth work, and service to the poor. The group continued to help set up each year's National Prayer Breakfast, but most of its activities were done with no or very little publicity. This, along with the continual effort to avoid creating any kind of large, hierarchical ministry, grew out of a desire to avoid the rigidity that came with organization, to avoid public controversy, and to be as open as humanly possible to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The behind-the-scenes consultations, prayer fellowships, and support for programs in line with the objectives of the group were the real ministry of Fellowship Foundation.

1974: Judges from each court within Washington, DC began meeting under the chairmanship of a member of the Supreme Court.

1975 January 30: 23nd Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

1977 January 27: 25th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. James Wright, Speaker of the House, gave the message.

1978 February 2: 26th National Prayer Breakfast, Message was given by Max Cleland, Administrator of Veterans Affairs.

1978: Over eighty countries had prayer breakfasts for their national legislatures. Eight countries had annual prayer breakfasts.

1979 January 18: 27th Annual National Prayer Breakfast, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

1980 February 7: 28th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. Message from Representative Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan.

1981 February 5: 29th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. Message from Governor Albert Quie of Minnesota.

1982 February 4: 30th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. Message from Senator Pete V. Domenici.

1983 February 3: 31st National Prayer Breakfast. Message from General John Vessey Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

1984: Representatives of one hundred nations attended the 32nd National Prayer Breakfast. Similar local prayer breakfasts were held in five hundred cities around the United States.

1988 February 4: 36th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. Senator William L. Armstrong of Colorado gave the message; President Reagan made some remarks.

1991 January 31: 39th Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

1994: Fellowship House in Washington, DC, sold. The organizational center (although that is perhaps too formal a designation for a very low key presence) for the movement was at The Cedars on 24th Street in Arlington, which the Foundation had owned for several years. Wallace Haines retired and returned to the United States, although he remained active in the organization's work.

1994 February 3: 42nd Annual National Prayer Breakfast. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was the speaker.

1995 February 2: 43rd annual National prayer breakfast.

Extent

293.0 Linear Feet (592 document cases; Audio Tapes, Films, Negatives, Photographs)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement and Description

I. State Correspondence. Boxes 1-175. The files cover all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Correspondence is mainly between workers of the fellowship in Washington, DC and fellowships in various states and cities. The correspondence deals with plans for trips of staff members to visit state groups, help arranging speakers for governor or mayor prayer breakfasts, reports on prayer fellowship activities throughout the state, arrangement for invitations to the national prayer breakfast or various social projects. Some of the larger cities have separate files and these are filed with the state in which the city is located. Thus, the files for Philadelphia are filed with those for Pennsylvania and the file for Philadelphia 1959-1960 comes before the files for Pennsylvania 1960.

II. International Correspondence. Boxes 176-266. Materials are arranged by country or region and are concerned largely with either contacts between members of the prayer breakfast fellowship in Washington and those leaders of the indigenous movement in a particular country or with trips to various Christian communities or individuals in a particular country or with suggested people of a particular country to invite to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington or some similar event or with the activities of the prayer fellowships of a particular country. Up until 1970, there is a good deal of information relating to the work of the International Council of Christian Leadership in various folders. The original folder title were kept as much as possible, so often information on a country might be kept in more than one file. For example, information on the Republic of China can be found under both Taiwan and China or a person looking for information on Sri Lanka should also look under Ceylon. The Puerto Rico and Virgin Island files are here, as are files on Latin America, South America, the Middle East, South Pacific, West Africa, Southwest Africa and similar regions. There are no files for Great Britain, but a great deal of information on England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland. All the general Canadian correspondence is together, followed by folders of correspondence with people in specific provinces. These folders are arranged alphabetically by provincial name. The folders for the Netherlands includes information on the ICCL World Conferences held in that country and the Bermuda files include documents relating to the Fellowship's regular conferences there. There is also one large folder on the United Nations.

As an example of the kind of materials that can be found in these files, folder 242-46 contains extensive correspondence with evangelist and author Corrie ten Boom about her activities in the decade after World War II. The correspondence is especially rich about her refugee relief and evangelism work in Germany after the war (during part of which she was sponsored by International Council of Christian Leadership), but there is also information about her visits to other parts of the world, as the United States, Israel, and Africa. There are a few items from her are in box 243. Folder 242-47 and all of the folders in box 243 contains correspondence with Queen (later Princess) Wilhelmina of the Netherlands about her work with the ICCL, of which she served as honorary president for a time. They reflect her active involvement in the work of ICCL, especially in international meetings held in the Netherlands. Folder 243-5 contains several of her Christmas cards to Veriede, which included prints of her paintings.

III. National Prayer Breakfast. Boxes 267-346. These files are arranged by year, with relatively little for the earlier years and much fuller documentation for the later. Additional information on the early years can be found in boxes 349-352 (labeled "Annual Conference"). The files for 1970 are partially out of place, with some in boxes 270-272 and the rest in boxes 344-346. The National Prayer Breakfast (also called the Presidential Prayer Breakfast in the 1960s) was sponsored by the House and Senate prayer groups and was coordinated by the staff of the fellowship. In the early years of ICL, the group would have an annual conference at the beginning of each year in Washington when people would come to share stories about their faith, encourage each other, and meet other members of the fellowship. The prayer breakfast was one of the events held as part of this annual meeting. It quickly came to get the lion's share of the national press and broadcast media attention. Attended by politicians, civil servants, ambassadors, business leaders, educators, and prominent people of all types, it was certainly the best known of all the fellowship's events and the most atypical. It continued to be a good means to introduce people to the fellowship's purposes and methods. For most years there is information on arrangements, invitations accepted and declined, programs, seminars held after the breakfast (often over several days), copies of talks given, press coverage, etc. See also the files on "Annual conferences" and "Prayer Breakfasts" in the General series and the reports in the clippings and the Congressional Records in Clippings Series. Many of the audio tapes and both of the films in the collection are of the Prayer Breakfast or the seminars that followed.

IV. General. Boxes 347-491. This series contains a vast amount of information, not only on all aspects of the fellowship's work, but also reports and information on other Christian organizations, and a wide variety of reports on social, economic and political events of interest to members of the Fellowship. If the cross reference of this collection lists the name of a person, place, organization or subject which is not directly referred to elsewhere in this guide, that probably means that there are one or more folders with that name on it in this series. However, there are exceptions. Conrad Hilton, for example, has no folder with his name but there is information about his participation in the National Prayer Breakfasts in the folders in box 349.

Folders in this section are alphabetized by the key word in the title, which is not necessarily the first one. Here are some of the rules used in alphabetizing the folders: All folders whose title contain the words "Annual Conference" are alphabetized under "A"; all folder whose title contain the words "Frank Carlson" or "Charles Colson" or "Core" or "Conference" are alphabetized under "C" (except for Annual Conference, which is under "A"). Files for the Bermuda conferences, then, or World Conferences are together under "C". All folders whose title contain the words "Fellowship House" are alphabetized under "F". All folders that contain the words "Wallace Haines" or "Harold Hughes" or alphabetized under "H". All folders with the words "Jaycees" or "JCs" or "Junior Chamber of Commerce" are alphabetized under "J". All folders with the words "Prayer Breakfast" in the title, including "Governor's Prayer Breakfasts" or "Mayors Prayer Breakfast" are alphabetized under "P". All folders with the words "Albert Quie" are alphabetized under "Q". All folders with the word "Trip" in the title, which include the reports on visits to Christian communities in various parts of the world made by the fellowship over several decades, are alphabetized under "T". Often, of course, material by or about a topic or individual is not filed under their name. Thus correspondence to Mother Teresa is in box 411, folder 2, and information about Underground Evangelism is in Sergei Kourdakov's folder in box 423 as well as under the folder with the organization's name in box 481.

The headquarters of the fellowship was known as Fellowship House. This was not so much an office building as a place for seminars, dinners, Bible studies, and informal meetings of all types. This section contains several folders of information on the administration and activities of Fellowship House.

There are several folders on Core, which is the name given to the group of fellowship leaders that got together regularly to pray and plan the fellowship's activities. Similarly, several files with "Group" or "Groups" in the title are brought together under "G," these contain information on the early days of the fellowship and the formation of prayer groups around the country. Except for Vereide, Halverson and Douglas Coe (for each of whom, there is a series) all the people involved prominently in the fellowship at one time or another, such as James Bell, Frank Carlson, Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, Wallace Haines, Mark Hatfield, Fred Heyn, Karlis Leyasmeyer, Albert Quie, and Paul Temple have one or more folders of material in this section.

There is a particularly large amount of material by and about Harold Hughes in boxes 409-411, including information about his political career in the Senate, his involvement in the fellowship, his decision to resign from the Senate to enter full time Christian work, and a manuscript of a book he wrote about his life.

Most of the fellowship's activities revolved around developing small fellowship groups among people of similar interests, groups that could serve as means for personal spiritual growth and for influencing the larger community. There were also prayer breakfasts that met only once a year, but served to introduce people to the work of the fellowship and to the small prayer groups. Prayer groups or prayer breakfast groups were probably the most prominent example. Reference to various prayer groups can be found in practically every folder. All the folders with "prayer" in the title have been brought together in boxes 450-458, including files about the congressional wives group, the governors= prayer breakfasts, the mayors= prayer breakfasts and the senate prayer fellowship. Information on the governors= and mayor's breakfasts can also be found in many of the state files in the state correspondence series. Other files contain information about prayer fellowships among Native Americans.

The Bermuda conferences (documented, among other places, in boxes 371 and 372), the Leadership seminars described in documents in boxes 426-429 and meetings held at the Windy Gap, North Carolina, retreat center are additional examples of meetings used to introduce people to the work of the fellowship. Other fellowship conferences, such as their world conferences - their periodical meeting of leaders from the fellowship in various countries- are described in boxes 372-378.

There are many topical files throughout this series, with titles like "communism," or "salvation", etc. These contain clippings, speeches, notes, etc. on these topics and apparently were used as reference materials by the Fellowship House staff. There are also several folders in boxes 472 and 473 containing speeches given at various fellowship events. Other manuscripts of speeches can be found in the files labeled "speeches" in box 472 and 473. There is a translation of the Bible into Mongolian in box 439.

For much of its history, particularly in the 1960s and >70s, the fellowship had a close relationship with the Junior Chamber of Commerce or Jaycees, both the United States and the International branches. The groups planned various joint events together and supplied speakers for each other=s conferences. Material on this relationship is scattered throughout the collection, but a great deal is in boxes 415-419.

Starting in the early 1970s, members of the fellowship became more interested in the needs, physical and spiritual, of the poor of the inner city and in reconciling blacks and whites. The Fellowship Foundation supported various projects to deal with social problems. Some of these are described in the files in section IX. But there is also material in this series, including the folders dealing with the Vision to Action project in boxes 482-484.

Note: The types of materials and the topics covered in the Vereide, Halverson and Coe sections described below, are often duplicated in other parts of this collection, such as the General series.

V. Abraham Vereide. Boxes 495-505. These files contain such material as documents about the beginnings of the movement in Seattle, planning documents for the fellowship and the prayer breakfasts from the 1940s, information on the 1955 ICL conference in Seattle and the 1954 ICCL conferences in Cuba and Beirut, Lebanon, correspondence with Gustav Gedat, miscellaneous files on the history of ICL, notes for various speeches, condolence and memorial letters sent to the foundation after Vereide's death, the 1962 conference held in Nassau, Bermuda, to educate civic leaders in the realities of the Cold War, Frank Carlton's 1965 nomination of Vereide for the Nobel Peace prize, and some personal correspondence.

VI. Richard Halverson. Boxes 506-511. Besides material on various fellowship projects, Halverson's files also contain reports, minutes and other materials relating to activities at his church, Fourth Presbyterian; the work of Concern, Inc; correspondence about fellowship activities in the District of Columbia; fund raising letters, contacts with Honduras, Japan, Italy; contacts with men=s groups; World Vision meetings (Halverson was on board); correspondence with John Trever about the Dead Sea Scrolls; and some copies of Halverson's Perspective newsletter.

VII. Douglas Coe. Boxes 512-540. Among the materials in this section are correspondence on most aspects of the Foundation's work; minutes of the boards of various fellowship organizations; briefing letters sent to Core members about fellowship activities; Core planning materials; file on the formal organization of Prison Fellowship; materials on retreats Coe participated in; files on the various international trips he took, plans for a worldwide call to prayer including among other Presidents Jimmy Carter and Daniel Moi and Pope John Paul II.

VIII. Board Materials. Boxes 541-568. These files contain minutes, bylaw, executive committee materials, and reports for the various overlapping organizations that, in one sense, made of the fellowship. This includes ICL, ICCL, Fellowship Foundation, Fellowship Council, Leadership Council, and Fellowship House. There is also a great deal of information on the history of the fellowship as well as Core materials, a policy handbook, from the French ICL a mimeographed manuscript by Pierre Tillard de Chardin entitled "Le Coeur de la Matiere", and some tax records.

IX. Financial Materials. Boxes 569-582. Includes audits, accountant reports, agreements and contacts, correspondence with foundations (Assisi, Lilly, Mennonite Christian Leadership, Kresage, Treagon), budgets, tax records, files on properties owned, financial reports, financial statements, legal documents, Liberty Militant expenses, and stock information.

X. Clippings. Boxes 583-595. The series consists of two parts. The first are magazine and newspaper clippings arranged by year. These are clippings that were received loose were scattered through the collection in unlabeled folders. Some of the clippings are about the work of the fellowship or about people associated with it. Others are about topics related to the spiritual or moral condition of the United States or other countries. The second half of the series consists of excerpts from the Congressional Record about National Prayer breakfasts or related fellowship activities.

Custodial History

Created and maintained by members of the Fellowship Foundation or its predecessors until the transfer of the materials to the Archivesin 1984, 1992, and 1997. A list of books and periodicals removed from the collection and given to the BGC Library in 1996 is available upon request.

Accessions: 84-101, 92-139, 97-44

  • June 18, 1996
  • July 19, 1996, Revised
  • Robert Shuster
  • J. Breithaupt
  • Mark Congdon
  • J. Easterling
  • Michael Ericksen
  • Steve Ericksen
  • T. Harder
  • Sarah Henning

    June 5, 1998, Revised
  • Robert Shuster

    Accession: 14-24
  • July 7, 2014
  • Bob Shuster
  • Other Descriptive Information

    Researchers use this collection by the box instead of by the folder. Restricted folders will be removed from boxes before they are given to researchers.

    http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/guides/459.htm

    Title
    Collection 459 Records of Fellowship Foundation
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Undetermined
    Script of description
    Code for undetermined script
    Language of description note
    English

    Repository Details

    Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

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