PCA HISTORICAL CENTER
Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church


Francis August Schaeffer
[Early Ministry]
Manuscript Collection MS#029

Box #134

Content Summary: The Francis A. Schaeffer Papers consist mainly of correspondence with leaders of the Bible Presbyterian Church [BPC] denomination and its Midwest Presbytery, during the time that Schaeffer was pastor of the First Bible Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, MO, and moderator of Midwest Presbytery.
Significant correspondents include J.O. Buswell, Jr., R.H. Cox, Thomas.G. Cross, R.Laird Harris, R. Hastings, G.J. Holdcroft, Robert G. Rayburn, and Peter Stam. The collection also includes a copy of The New Modernism and the Bible, by Francis Schaeffer, an address given at the Second Plenary Congress of the International Council of Christian Churches, Geneva, Switzerland, 1950.

Span dates: 1943 - 1947 Size: 0.5 cu. ft. (one carton)

Access: This collection is open to researchers.

Preferred citation:
Manuscript Collection, Box 134, PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, Missouri.

Related Collections:
Bible Presbyterian Church

 

Biographical Sketch:
Francis August Schaeffrer was born January 30, 1912, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, became a Christian in 1930 at the age of eighteen, and graduated magna cum laude from Hampden-Sydney College, VA in June, 1935. He married Edith Seville on July 26, 1935. They had three daughters and one son, born between 1937 and 1951. Schaeffer entered Westminster Theological Seminary in 1935 and transferred to the newly formed Faith Theological Seminary in 1937, graduating from there in 1938.
Following graduation, he was by some accounts the first person ordained by the Bible Presbyterian Church and became pastor of the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Grove City, PA. In 1941 he was elected moderator of the Great Lakes Presbytery [BPC] and began serving as associate pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church in Chester, PA. From 1943 to 1947, he pastored First Bible Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO, and served as moderator of the Midwest Presbytery [BPC].
During this time Schaeffer and his wife founded the Children for Christ ministry in St. Louis, which soon became widely adopted by other evangelical churches. In 1947 he traveled throughout Europe as a representative of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions and as the American Secretary for the Foreign Relations Department of the American Council of Christian Churches. In 1948 he moved with his family to Lausanne, Switzerland to begin mission work, and moved the following year to Champery, Switzerland, where he wrote Basic Bible Studies.
In 1953 he returned to the United States on furlough and began an extensive speaking tour. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1954 by Highland College in Long Beach, CA. Later that same year, he returned to Switzerland and moved to Huemoz, Switzerland. By 1955 he had resigned from the mission board and began L'Abri Fellowship, which became the primary focus of his life. In 1971 he received the honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Gordon College, Wenham, MA.
Work began in 1974 on the book and film versions of one of his more well-known works, How Shall We Then Live?, during which time he also helped to found the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy. The film series Whatever Happened to the Human Race? was also underway by 1977. Dr. Schaeffer was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in 1978, which made necessary a move of the American headquarters of L'Abri to Rochester, MN to better allow for the continued conducting of seminars on both film series while undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the Mayo Clinic.
In 1981 he reedited and pubished The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer. The Simon Greenleaf School of Law awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1983, but he was forced to return in critical condition from Switzerland to the Mayo Clinic. Despite the debilitating illness, he was able in 1984 to complete The Great Evangelical Disaster and a seminar tour. On May 15, 1984, he died at his home in Rochester, MN and was buried at Oakwood Cemetary in Rochester.


Box 134

Box/File & Subject
134.01 — Abbott, Rev. Paul R., Jr., 1945 - 1947, Correspondence
134.02 — Allen, Rev. Stanley P., 1944 - 1945, Correspondence
134.03 — American Council of Christian Churches, n.d., Tract
134.04 — Anderson, Rev. Herbert J., 1944, Correspondence
134.05 — Barrow, Robert, 1947, Correspondence
134.06 — Bateman, Irb C., 1946, Correspondence
134.07 — Bible Presbyterian Church, 1938, Form of Government
134.08 — Bible Presbyterian Church of Chester, PA, 1945, Correspondence
134.09 — Bible Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, TX, 1946, Organizational Meeting
134.10 — Bible Presbyterian Church of Greenville, SC, 1944, Ordination Statement
134.11 — Bible Presbyterian Church of Valley Park, MO, 1944 - 1946, Organization
134.12 — Bible Presbyterian Church of St. Louis, MO, 1946, Organization
134.13 — Biographical Articles, 1984 - 1985
134.14 — Blackie, Rev. Donald K., 1947, Correspondence
134.15 — Brown, Rev. G.A., 1946, Correspondence
134.16 — Buswell, Dr. J. Oliver, Jr., 1946, Correspondence
134.17 — Collins, Win, 1947, Correspondence
134.18 — Covenant Bible Presbyterian Church of Grove City, PA, 1943, Bulletin
134.19 — Cox, Rev. Robert H., 1945 - 1946, Correspondence
134.20 — Cross, Rev. Thomas G., 1947, Correspondence
134.21 — Cunningham, Rev. Thomas D., 1944 - 1945, Correspondence
134.22 — Dieffenbacher, Junia, 1946, Correspondence
134.23 —
Drescher, Wesley, 1946, Correspondence
134.24 — Edmunson, Rev. V.R., 1946 - 1947, Correspondence
134.25 — Ellis, James W., 1946, Correspondence
134.26 — Enlow, Rev. F. Baird, 1945 - 1946, Correspondence
134.27 — Farquhar, Supplee Ellwood, Jr., 1946, Correspondence
134.28 — Fawcett, Rev. Franklin, 1944, Correspondence
134.29 — Federal Communications Committee, 1945, Correspondence
134.30 — First Bible Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, IN, 1945, Doctrinal Statement
134.31 — First Bible Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, IN, n.d., Tract
134.32 — Harris, Rev. R. Laird, 1943 - 1947, Correspondence
134.33 — Hastings, Rev. Robert, 1944 - 1946, Correspondence
134.34 — Henry, Hayes, 1946, Correspondence
134.35 —
Hofmann, Rev. E.L., 1946, Correspondence
134.36 — Holdcroft, Rev. Gordon J., 1945 - 1946, Correspondence
134.37 — Iaggi, H.H., 1946, Correspondence
134.38 — Irving, Rev. William, 1944 - 1947, Correspondence
134.39 — Jones, Rev. Clyde L., Correspondence, 1946
134.40 — Kerr, Maxwell A., 1944 - 1945, Correspondence
134.41 — Killen, Rev. Allan R., 1943 - 1946, Correspondence
134.42 — Knauss, Elizabeth, 1945 - 1946, Correspondence
134.43 — Kutz, Rev. Robert, 1944 - 1946, Correspondence
134.44 — Lenk, Rev. Frederick J., 1946, Correspondence
134.45 — MacRae, Dr. Allan A., 1946, Correspondence
134.46 — Mayle, Rev. Warren W., 1945 - 1946, Correspondence
134.47 — McIntire, Rev. Carl, 1946, Correspondence
134.48 — Meadows, Wilfred J., 1946 - 1947, Correspondence
134.49 — Meyers, Rev. David K., 1947, Correspondence
134.50 — Miller, Rev. Ira, 1944 - 1946, Correspondence
134.51 — Miscellaneous Notes, 1945
134.52 — Moffitt, J.R., 1947, Correspondence
134.53 — Murray, Rev. Jack, 1944 - 1946, Correspondence
134.54 — New Modernism and the Bible, The, 1950, [published address]
134.55 — Olney, Rev. G.W., 1944 - 1945, Correspondence
134.56 — Pearson, Rev. M.A., 1945 -1946, Correspondence
134.57 — Pont, Rev. Charles E., 1947, Correspondence
134.58 — Presbytery of the Midwest (BPC), 1944 - 1946, Correspondence
134.59 — Rayburn, Rev. Robert G., 1946 - 1947, Correspondence
134.60 — Reeder, Warren A., Jr., 1946, Correspondence
134.61 — Richter, Rev. Charles E., 1946 - 1947, Correspondence
134.62 — Roll, Rev. P.E., 1945, Correspondence
134.63 — Roper, Ed, 1946, Correspondence
134.64 — Rose, R.S., 1946, Correspondence
134.65 — Rural Bible Crusade, 1944 - 1945, Report
134.66 — Saye, Rev. Samuel W., 1944 - 1945, Correspondence
134.67 — Stam, Peter, Jr., 1943 - 1944, Correspondence
134.68 — Stam, Peter, Jr., 1945, Correspondence
134.69 — Stam, Peter, Jr., 1946, Correspondence
134.70 — Stam, Peter, Jr., 1947, Correspondence
134.71 — Stickle, Rev. Harry F., 1946, Correspondence
134.72 — Stigers, Rev. Harold, 1947, Correspondence
134.73 — Stitt, Dr. David L., 1944, Correspondence
134.74 — Van Tassel, Beltram, 1946 - 1947, Correspondence
134.75 — Wall, Rev. Peter F., 1944 - 1945, Correspondence
134.76 — Wortman, Chap. V.V., 1945 - 1946, Correspondence
134.77 — Young, Rev. G. Douglas, 1946, Correspondence