International Bulletin

of Missionary Research

Vol. 37, No. 1
January 2013
pp. 17–24

Article in PDF Back

End Times Innovator: Paul Rader and Evangelical Missions

Mark Rogers

One of the most significant changes in American Protestant missions since 1910 has been the rise of what Joel Carpenter calls “sectarian” evangelical missions. In 1935 evangelicals outside of the mainline denominations made up 41 percent of the North American missionary force. By 1980 that proportion had grown to over 90 percent.[1] These numbers indicate a virtual evangelical takeover of American missions in the twentieth century. Though much of this growth occurred after World War II, important developments within prewar fundamentalism helped set the stage. In fact, in the 1920s and 1930s a large number of fundamentalist ministers prioritized evangelism and world missions above all else. Though some fundamentalists were focusing primarily on fighting theological and cultural battles and many mainline Protestants were questioning the validity of evangelism and missions, these missions-minded ministers helped shape an energetic fundamentalist culture that was willing to innovate and adapt in order to advance world missions.

One of those fundamentalist pastors was Paul Rader (1879–1938).[2] During his ministry Rader led some of the most influential fundamentalist institutions: he was the pastor of Moody Church from 1915 to 1921, president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) from 1919 to 1924, and leader of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle—a thriving evangelistic center on Chicago’s North Side—from 1922 to 1933. Historians have focused mainly on Rader’s role as a pioneering leader in the use of radio for fundamentalist causes, but Rader’s significance extends far beyond fundamentalist use of radio. This article examines the central role that world missions played in Rader’s ministry and his influence on fundamentalist and evangelical missions during the second quarter of the twentieth century. A close examination of Rader’s missionary program and influence reveals three factors that drove the fervor and growth of evangelical missions in the twentieth century: (1) dispensational premillennial eschatology, (2) innovative methodologies and the use of technology, and (3) missionary fund-raising.

A closer look at these three factors will help us understand the centrality of missions within large segments of the fundamentalist movement. We will also see important ways in which the fundamentalist movement of the 1920s and 1930s prepared the way for the growth of evangelical missions after World War II. Torrey Johnson, the founder of Youth for Christ, sums up Rader’s influence well: he was “daring and imaginative and was a pioneer in taking missions out of the nineteenth century and putting it into the twentieth century.”[3]

Rader and Evangelical Missions Urgency

After a brief stint as a Congregational minister with liberal theological leanings, Paul Rader was disillusioned and left the ministry to pursue business endeavors. His faith was restored in 1912 under the ministry of A. B. Simpson, the founder of the C&MA.


A missions-minded pastor. Rader soon adopted Simpson’s conservative, dispensational theology, as well as his emphasis on foreign missions. After working as a C&MA evangelist for two years, Rader brought his newfound enthusiasm for missions to Moody Church in Chicago. During his pastorate, beginning in 1915, the church’s annual missionary giving rose from $10,300 to over $60,000. And during his tenure, over 1,500 young people committed their lives to missions through the church.[4]


Paul Rader Soul-Saving Campaign Flyer, 1922

Archives of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton, Illinois

Paul Rader Soul-Saving Campaign Flyer, 1922


Rader became the president of the C&MA in 1919, after Simpson’s death. During his four-year stint as C&MA president, Rader urged the already mission-minded organization “to vigorously push any pioneering plans that would go a little farther into the regions beyond” where the Gospel had not yet been preached.[5] In 1922, soon after leaving Moody Church, Rader started the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle as a base for his evangelistic ministry. Missions remained central to Rader’s ministry, appearing as a regular theme in his various publications and radio programs and from the platform of the17 Tabernacle. Rader’s commitment to missions led him to start the World-Wide Christian Couriers, an organization that sought to assist existing faith missions through prayer, missionary recruitment, preparation, and financial assistance.[6]

Missions was seen as the highest calling at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, as everyone was regularly called to participate in the work. By 1933 Rader’s ministry was giving at least partial support to over 180 missionaries, which included full support for 17 missionaries and native evangelists in India, 33 along the Russian border, 12 among Russian refugees in France, and 11 in Spain.[7] Bible colleges were started in Latvia and Spain, and new work was opened up among previously unevangelized tribes in Africa and the Dutch East Indies.[8]

Though much of American Protestantism in general, and American missions in particular, was undergoing what Robert Handy has called a kind of religious depression, Rader’s ministry was thriving in the heart of Chicago, and missions interest among young people was stronger than ever.[9] For example, during the 1930 missionary rally at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, 348 young people volunteered to go overseas. This number is more than the 252 who volunteered through the Student Volunteer Movement during the entire year of 1928.


An optimistic pessimist. Rader and his associates used a variety of motivational appeals, including a call to Christian duty, love for Christ, the eternal fate of the unevangelized, and appeals to Christian manhood. The most common appeal to missions involvement at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle flowed from Rader’s view of the end times. Like most fundamentalists of his era, Rader was a dispensational premillennialist. Unlike postmillennialists, Rader did not believe there would be a gradual advancement of the church or Christian civilization in general. In fact, he believed that large portions of the church would apostatize and that world conditions would only worsen before Christ’s bodily return. In many ways he was a pessimist.

Rader, however, was also an optimist. He believed that Christ would return only after the work of worldwide missions was complete. In Matthew 24:14, a verse he and his associates frequently quoted, Jesus had promised that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (KJV). This promise, combined with sections of the Book of Revelation that promised redeemed worshippers in heaven from all tribes, peoples, and languages, convinced Rader of two things. “First, when the Gospel has been preached as a witness to every nation, then Christ will return to earth, says the Scripture, for the millennial reign of peace. Second, Christians must be gathered ‘out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation.’”[10] These two convictions provided hope for Christian missions in the midst of a decaying world.

The ultimate goal of missions was not the conversion of all people, which any convinced premillennialist would see as impossible.[11] Instead, Jesus had given his church the more manageable, though still daunting, goal of preaching to every nation and, as Rader often said, of winning a small number of people to Christ “from every kindred and tongue and people and nation.”[12] This eschatology also provided incredible motivating force. Christ was waiting to come back. What’s he waiting for? Rader’s answer: “For YOU to get busy—to get out His body from among the nations so that He can come.”[13] Rader and his associates constantly urged believers to go to what they called “the Regions Beyond” and to “the uttermost parts of the earth,” places “where Christ has not yet been named,” to “pioneer fields,” in order to complete the mission and thereby “bring back the King.”[14] Though the world would not get better until Jesus returned, this belief did not lead to passivity among Rader’s followers. Their desire to “speed” his return, combined with premillennial convictions that their missionary work could do just that, prompted urgent missionary action.


The evangelization of “all peoples” in this generation. Premillennial beliefs also shaped the way Rader and his followers did missions. The watchword for missions since the beginning of the Student Volunteer Movement in 1886 had been “the evangelization of the world in this generation.” This was a phrase filled with what William Hutchison calls ambiguities, which allowed both premillennialists and postmillennialists to own it as their own.[15] Rader made it clear that his goal was not to evangelize everyone in the world or to Christianize nations. His goal, as one flyer put it, was “To Bring Back Jesus in This Generation!” This was crucial, for when “the last unreached tribe and tongue” had been evangelized, Christ would come back.[16]

In 1974 Ralph Winter gave what became a landmark talk in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the First International Conference on World Evangelization. He lamented what he called the “people blindness” prevalent among Western missionaries and challenged missions organizations to look at unreached peoples rather than geopolitical nations or regions as they strategized and sent personnel.[17] People-group thinking, however, did not begin in 1974. Before Winter and his founding of the U.S. Center for World Mission, there were groups like New Tribes Mission, started by a Rader disciple, dedicated to taking the Gospel to unreached peoples. Paul Rader and other fundamentalist pastors, driven by dispensational, premillennial eschatology, were early voices calling for missionaries to go to the unreached peoples of the earth.


The changing shape of premillennial missions. The motivation of premillennial missions was not new in the 1920s. Premillennialism was a primary factor in the proliferation of independent, evangelical faith missions in the 1890s and in the theology of evangelical missions leaders like J. Hudson Taylor, A. T. Pierson, A. B. Simpson, and Adoniram J. Gordon. Paul Rader had much in common with this previous generation of premillennial leaders who emphasized Matthew 24:14, prioritized evangelism above all else, and were moved to reach unreached parts of the world by their premillennial convictions. Pierson, for example, was convinced that “Jesus would return once the world had been evangelized, though not necessarily converted”; he exhibited the same kind of “apparently contradictory optimism and pessimism” that was common in Rader’s sermons and writings.[18]

Though Rader had much in common with earlier premillennialists, he also differed from them in significant ways. Hutchison shows that premillennial leaders at the turn of the century were able to “find common ground with liberals” because of their “civilizing vision” and a rhetoric that “foretold a state of things that sounded suspiciously like an earthly kingdom of God.”[19] One example of this civilizing vision among evangelicals is found in Pierson’s writings, for he “shared a radical vision of Christian civilization with social gospel liberals.”[20]

In contrast to the unity among Protestants at the end of the nineteenth century, one looks in vain to find common ground or a shared vision between Rader and social gospel liberals of the 1920s and 1930s. Rader and his associates railed against all efforts by the church to civilize or Christianize the present order—including building hospitals, schools, and colleges, influencing governments, or speaking out on political issues.[21] Clarence Jones, a disciple of Rader, warned against trying to maintain two programs in the church: one concerned with “economic, social, and political problems” and the other focused on evangelizing the world. Instead, Jones exhorted the church to “preach the Gospel . . . and that alone!”[22]

These differences between Rader and his predecessors are an example of what George Marsden calls the “disappearance” or “severe curtailment” of evangelical interest in social concern that occurred between 1900 and 1930 in reaction to the liberal social gospel.[23] Many have called it the Great Reversal. This more negative attitude toward social action among fundamentalists contributed to the end of a nineteenth-century Protestant missionary consensus, but it also funneled renewed fundamentalist energy into foreign missions just as missions interest was waning among mainline Protestants.

Rader as Evangelical Missions Innovator

On June 17, 1922, William Hale Thompson, the mayor of Chicago, invited Paul Rader to come down to his radio station and fill some time on the air. Rader gathered up his brass quartet and headed for the top floor of city hall. The quartet performed before the makeshift microphone, and then Rader preached the first Gospel message in Chicago radio history. The trombonist that day was a twenty-one-year-old musician and staff member at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle named Clarence Jones (1900–1986).

Nine and a half years later, on Christmas Day, 1931, Jones was in Quito, Ecuador, preparing for a radio show once again. He had recently founded HCJB (Heralding Christ Jesus’ Blessings) Radio, the first missionary radio station in the world, with a small transmitter in a country with no more than a dozen receivers. From these humble beginnings, he built HCJB Radio into what Larry Eskridge has called an “evangelistic communications behemoth,” with broadcasts in over a dozen languages, reaching every continent.[24] According to Jones, HCJB Radio originated “in the Gospel broadcasting of Paul Rader.”[25]


Training ground. Rader’s ministry was the training ground in which Jones’s ministry developed. He rose from being one of the musicians on Rader’s staff to leading the sizable music ministry at the Tabernacle and producing Rader’s multiple radio shows. As Rader’s right-hand man, Jones saw how Rader’s single-minded focus on spreading the Gospel shaped his ministry. Rader thought he should use any and every method at hand to get the Gospel out. God had clearly spelled out the end goal of world evangelization, but as Rader said, Christ did not give us the specific ways to accomplish the goal, for he knew that “on fire” Christians “would find many ways and use every way possible.”[26] Jones shared Rader’s view. In a description of his new radio mission, Jones wrote, “Our whole creed of service is ‘Use everything we can that God has given us in this Twentieth Century to speed the taking of the First Century Message.’ Thus we restate Paul’s challenge: ‘By all means save some.’”[27] Evangelistic urgency, combined with pragmatic flexibility regarding ministry methods, enabled twentieth-century fundamentalists and evangelicals like Rader and Jones to quickly appropriate new technologies such as radio—and later, airplanes, movies, satellite television, and much more—for the purpose of world missions.

A desire to use radio to evangelize was not enough to make an actual missions organization a reality. Some experience and expertise were necessary—two things that were in short supply in the 1920s, when radio was a new and rapidly developing technology. Before launching his radio mission, Jones learned on the job, participating in and producing programs for Rader in the earliest days of radio. Beginning in 1925, Rader and the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle produced fourteen hours of programming every Sunday. In 1930 Rader signed a contract with the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) to broadcast his daily morning show, the Breakfast Brigade, to major cities from Philadelphia to Kansas City.[28] Jones called his time with Rader “a great training ground.”[29]


Institutional impatience. During his time at the Tabernacle, Jones not only learned the benefits and business of radio, he also witnessed Rader’s willingness to break new institutional ground. Rader’s ministry career and writings demonstrate impatience with some aspects of existing churches and denominations. He thought most were not operating with the speed and efficiency necessary to spread the Gospel to all nations. On two occasions he described his impatience with existing institutions using illustrations that referred to bottles. First, in a 1926 article introducing his new missions organization, the World-Wide Christian Couriers, Rader described himself as a man with “new wine and overflowing with new vision” but hired by a seller of “old bottles.” In a thinly veiled reference to his previous “old bottle” employers, Moody Church and the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Rader lamented “the schemes, plans, [and] methods of other men” that hindered the fulfillment of his vision.[30]

His new vision was to leverage all available resources and every Christian layperson for the purpose of spreading the Gospel to more and more people. This vision had led to disagreement with some at Moody Church. For example, Rader was satisfied with a wooden tabernacle structure to house their meetings and resisted spending money on a new, more permanent structure. His single-minded vision eventually led him to resist ecclesiastical entanglements, leave Moody Church, and start a tabernacle rather than a church. The Chicago Gospel Tabernacle had no membership and no discipline and began meeting on Sunday afternoons so as not to compete with the churches. This was Rader’s “new bottle organization,” started in order to streamline and focus Christians’ efforts into evangelism and missions.

His tenure as president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, another “old bottle organization,” was filled with tensions between him and some members of the board. One historian of the C&MA has said, “At the root of these organizational tensions . . . lay a basic conflict of beliefs concerning the church. The Alliance tried to work with and in existing churches, while Rader considered them decadent and irrelevant.”[31] Rader’s negative opinion of the church appears in his second illustration using bottles. This time he spoke of a bottleneck that was blocking the proper resources and missionaries from flowing out of America and to the unreached peoples of the earth. He asked, “How are you going to break that bottleneck? . . . The churches won’t do it, they’re pitiful.”[32] Rader saw many churches declining, pastors turning to liberalism, and little being done to reach the world with the Gospel. These facts aligned well with his eschatology, which foresaw a great apostasy in the church. The answer to the problem of world evangelization was not denominational machinery or even local churches, but the mobilization of dedicated individuals as Christian evangelists. Soon before his resignation from the C&MA, he told the board, “I am not interested in this hour in the church’s history, in ecclesiasticism, and I have no hope for the Alliance if the tendencies toward ecclesiasticism continue.”[33]

Premillennialist impatience with traditional church structures at the end of the nineteenth century contributed to the rise of faith missions, for this impatience “fostered a single-issue mentality and a quick-results pragmatism that was unrealistic for the more holistic denominational apparatus.”[34] In Rader’s case, he did not think much of denominational structures, nor was he able to coexist for long even with relatively new institutions like Moody Church and the C&MA. Traditional church and denominational approaches were too top-heavy and slow to accomplish the urgent task of world evangelization. Ever since Clarence Jones had trusted in Christ in 1918 after hearing Rader preach, he had been trained in Rader’s form of Christianity. It is therefore not surprising that when Jones felt God’s call to missionary work, he did not look to a denominational board or to traditional means. He started a new organization, HCJB, using the new method of radio.

Like Jones, several other Rader protégées sensed a call to missions, saw a need, and started a new organization. Peter Deyneka, a Russian immigrant to Chicago, became a Christian under Rader’s preaching at Moody Church. After leading the Russian branch of Rader’s Couriers mission for several years, in 1934 Deyneka started his own work, the Slavic Gospel Association. Paul Fleming also sensed a call to ministry while listening to Rader preach in Los Angeles and later imbibed Rader’s passion for missions while serving as Rader’s associate. In 1942, along with several other Rader disciples, he started New Tribes Mission, which was dedicated to reaching the least-reached peoples on earth.

This pattern repeated itself dozens of times among fundamentalists and evangelicals in the twentieth century as new, specialized mission agencies mushroomed. Andrew Walls has identified this tendency to start new voluntary societies and to “see the church itself . . . almost in terms of a voluntary society” as a particularly American trait.[35] This is especially the case among American fundamentalists and evangelicals and is one factor that has enabled the growth of evangelical missions. While many liberal Christians were turning their attention to church union and worldwide ecclesiastical bodies, low-church, premillennial, single-minded evangelicals were busy multiplying new missions organizations.

Rader as Missionary Fund-Raiser

All of this missionary activity required funding. Rader helped missionaries and missions leaders raise the necessary resources in at least two ways: by providing a network of like-minded churches and individuals that served as a donor base for missionaries and missions leaders he knew, and by his annual missionary conferences.


Networking for missions. As a famous evangelist and leader of some of fundamentalism’s most prominent and prospering ministries in the 1920s, Rader was able to raise thousands of dollars from his followers and from friends in business. He was also friends with leaders of other fundamentalist institutions who had similar capabilities. Missionaries with faith missions were not supposed to make direct appeals for support. They were to pray and trust God to provide as they went out. Lacking denominational infrastructure, faith missionaries often experienced God’s provision through fundamentalist institutions and informal networks that were formed and led by powerful leaders like Paul Rader. Again, Clarence Jones provides an example of how these networks were vital in launching new mission agencies and in getting missionaries to the field.

Clarence and his wife, Katherine, sensed a missionary call in August 1927 during a missions conference at Rader’s summer camp ministry, in Lake Harbor Campgrounds, Muskegon, Michigan.[36] Jones quickly informed Rader of his call to missions, and the Tabernacle helped pay for most of an exploratory trip that Jones took to South America in 1928. Many years later Jones recalled, “From then on it was pretty much a question of our securing our own funds through deputational work and contacting friends.”[37] Though Rader’s ministry was not able to underwrite Jones’s new mission completely, Jones depended almost entirely on the Rader network in his deputational work, and Rader remained his most important friend during the beginning days of HCJB Radio.

In the autumn of 1930 Jones visited Ecuador to lay the groundwork for his radio mission, a trip made possible by Rader and his network of associates. After a farewell service at the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle on August 3, Jones spoke at Lake Harbor, where Rader took up a generous offering. Two days later he received an offering at the Indianapolis Gospel Tabernacle, a ministry started at Rader’s prompting. Next, he drove to the Toledo (Ohio) Tabernacle, which was run by the brother of a close Rader associate. The last fund-raising leg of the journey, before he sailed for Ecuador, found him at the Providence (Rhode Island) Bible Institute, where Rader had served briefly as president before giving the task to Howard Ferrin.[38] Many doors opened for Jones as he raised money for his fledgling mission, nearly all of them with a direct connection to Rader.

When Jones returned from Ecuador in October 1930, he was surprised to find that he had been replaced at the Tabernacle and that he received a bill for $2,000 to cover the cost of his trip and of caring for his family while he was gone. Jones’s main base of support had soured on him for some reason. He made a quick trip to plead with Rader for continued support, but he was unsuccessful.

Jones was devastated. In a letter to a friend, he said he had “absolutely no plans,” with “nowhere to turn,” and felt “entirely on my own.”[39] The day after talking to Rader, however, Jones received a phone call from Gerald B. Winrod, a Rader associate who had recently started a Tabernacle in Oklahoma City.[40] Winrod invited Jones to come to Oklahoma City and help with the ministry. He also promised to “back [Jones’s] project to the limit.”[41] Winrod allowed Jones to use his mailing list, pushed him on the radio, and let Jones publish articles in his ministry’s publications. Even when Rader dropped his support, Rader’s friends were the ones who kept Jones’s dream alive.

By March 1931 Jones had come back into at least partial favor with Rader’s ministry. But not all was well. In August 1931, after Rader sent Jones and his brother to Green Bay for a revival, Jones felt that Rader was avoiding him and failing to back him as expected. He expressed his frustration to his wife: “We feel [Rader] has done little or nothing in the past five or six weeks to really push us out.”[42] He said he was going to “go after [Rader] with both feet.” He did just that during a two-and-a-half-hour conversation over lunch. Rader eventually committed to back Jones “to the limit,” and Jones committed to come under the umbrella of Rader’s Couriers mission organization.[43] Rader began promoting HCJB on the radio, pushing it at the Tabernacle, and publishing articles about it in his paper.[44] On September 27, 1931, the Tabernacle had a big farewell service, including a jungle scene with small log cabins that Jones built on the platform. A dedication prayer was said for HCJB’s 250-watt transmitter, which was placed in the middle of the stage. Three months later the first missionary radio station in the world was on the air in Ecuador.


The church missionary conference. Annually, at the end of May, Rader held a weeklong conference designed to educate the church about missions, recruit new missionaries, and raise money for missions. Three meetings took place each day: a morning prayer meeting; the “School of Missions” every afternoon, which focused on different regions of the world and missions-related topics; and an evening service with missionary and evangelistic messages.[45] Missionaries and representatives from mission organizations would come to teach at the School of Missions and preach each night.

The culmination of each year’s conference was the Sunday night Grand Rally, when typically dozens of young people volunteered for foreign missions and the Missionary Pledge Offer-ing was collected. It was quite a scene. Flags of every nation hung from the steel columns of the Tabernacle, and music from a foreign nation played as ushers walked up the aisles and laid the gifts on the tables at the front. Some people would give cash, but many would write out a “faith promise” of what they were pledging to give for missions during the next year. Rader challenged people to promise, not based on present circumstances but based on faith that God would provide what he called a person to give. Once the money and pledges were taken, “the total of each gift was handed to the platform, where between the choruses and music and shouts of praise, Mr. Rader read out the amount of each gift.”[46] In 1926 a total of $38,250 was given or promised, an amount that rose dramatically by 1931, when over $118,000 was promised.[47]

Rader had learned the faith promise concept and how to run a missionary conference from his mentor, A. B. Simpson. He passed the concepts and methods on to Oswald J. Smith. Smith then took the missionary conference to new heights at the Peoples’ Church in Toronto. By 1966 Smith was raising over $300,000 annually for missions and had raised over $6,000,000 in total.[48] When neo-evangelical leader Harold Ockenga wanted to start an annual missionary conference at Park Street Church in 1940, he called on Smith to come to Boston and help him. Because of these conferences, Park Street Church was soon giving more to missions than to its regular operating expenses, and as of 1951, was supporting ninety missionaries.[49] As a result of Smith’s influence, Ockenga adopted the faith promise approach and ran missionary conferences remarkably similar to those Rader led in the 1920s. He also passed the methodology and concepts along to students and faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary through a 1959 lecture series that included taking up a faith promise offering on the final day of his lectures.[50] Since Rader, and in some ways because of Rader, church missionary conferences played a significant role in raising missions awareness among laypeople and raising some of the money needed to fund the expanding evangelical missions enterprise in the twentieth century.


This article has looked at only one side of Paul Rader: his missionary fervor, ministry, and influence. There are many more sides to the man. He was a creative preacher, a radio pioneer, a strong opponent of modernism, a talented marketer, and a musician. Each of these elements, examined closely, would tell us something important about Rader’s ministry and about pre–World War II fundamentalism, but the focus in this article has been on what was arguably the heart of Rader’s ministry—his single-minded focus on evangelism and worldwide missions.

The role of fundamentalism and evangelicalism in American politics and culture has claimed the attention of many historians of American religion during the past thirty years. A bigger and possibly more important story, however, is the growth of American evangelical missions alongside the global growth of a distinctly evangelical form of Christianity in the twentieth century. As Mark Noll puts it, many new expressions of Christianity in the Global South and East share “many characteristics of Christianity in the United States.”[51] Much work needs to be done in order to better understand both the growth of American evangelical missions and the complex relationship between American missions and the rise of global Christianity. Part of this important work will include revisiting the prewar fundamentalist movement and its leaders, such as Paul Rader, for whom missions was central. Missionary fervor shaped their ministries, and thus fundamentalism helped shape twentieth-century American missions.



[1]. Joel A. Carpenter, Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1997), 184–86.

[2]. The best and most thorough study of Rader and his ministry is Larry K. Eskridge, “Only Believe: Paul Rader and the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, 1922–1933” (master’s thesis, Univ. of Maryland, 1985).

[3]. Oral history interview with Torrey Johnson, Tape 1, Transcript, Collection 285, Billy Graham Center Archives, Wheaton, Ill. (henceforth BGCA).

[4]. Eskridge, “Only Believe,” 35.

[5]. Paul Rader, untitled manuscript of speech to C&MA Board, ca. 1924, pp. 2–3, BGCA 38-5-6.

[6]. In 1931 the organization became its own faith mission and began to send missionaries for its own independent missionary work.

[7]. “Missionary Convention in Session This Week in the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle,” Weekly Courier, June 2, 1932, p. 1; Paul Rader, “More Help for India,” World Wide Christian Courier, November 1930, p. 10; Oswald J. Smith, “Our Courier Missionaries in Europe,” Christian Outlook, September 1931, p. 2; Oswald J. Smith, The Story of My Life and the Peoples’ Church (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1962), 88.

[8]. Oswald J. Smith, “Spain, Abyssinia, Borneo,” World Wide Christian Courier, June 1932, pp. 9, 23; Paul Rader, Paul Rader’s Last Sermon at the Fort Wayne Gospel Temple (Fort Wayne, Ind.: Temple Publishers, 1938), 18, BGCA 38-7-1.

[9]. Robert T. Handy, “The American Religious Depression, 1925–1935,” Church History 29 (March 1960): 3–16.

[10]. Paul Rader, “Step by Step,” The Courier, October 22, 1932, p. 1 (Rader’s emphasis).

[11]. To see the sharp contrast between twentieth-century premillennial convictions and the postmillennial convictions that helped launch the modern missionary movement, see Mark Rogers, “A Missional Eschatology: Jonathan Edwards, Future Prophecy, and the Spread of the Gospel,” Fides et Historia 41 (Winter/Spring, 2009): 23–46.

[12]. Paul Rader, “The Goal,” The Courier, March 18, 1933, p. 5; Paul Rader, “A Challenge to Christians,” advertisement, BGCA 38-10-2.

[13]. Rader, Paul Rader’s Last Sermon, 17.

[14]. Oswald J. Smith, manuscript of sermon preached at Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, ca. 1928, p. 1, BGCA 38-1-43; Paul Rader, Courier Class Manual (Chicago: Chicago Gospel Tabernacle, n.d.), 32, BGCA 38-1-6.

[15]. William R. Hutchison, Errand to the World: American Protestant Thought and Foreign Missions (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1987), 118–19.

[16]. Rader, “A Challenge to Christians.”

[17]. Ralph D. Winter, “The Highest Priority: Cross-Cultural Evangelism,” in Let the Earth Hear His Voice: Official Reference Volume, Papers and Responses, ed. J. D. Douglas (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1975), 226–41,

[18]. Dana Robert, Occupy until I Come: A. T. Pierson and the Evangelization of the World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 136–37.

[19]. Hutchison, Errand to the World, 117–18.

[20]. Robert, Occupy until I Come, 229–30.

[21]. Paul Rader, “I Sent You to Reap,” The Sickle, June 1922, p. 1; Oswald J. Smith, “What Will Happen When Jesus Comes Back?” sermon transcript, ca. 1928, BGCA 38-1-43.

[22]. Clarence W. Jones, “What Is the Goal? The World Program of the Church,” in A Challenge to the Modern Church: Its Message, Methods, Manner of Life, Money Matters, ed. Paul Rader (Chicago, n.d.), BGCA 38-1-6.

[23]. George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006), 85–91.

[24]. Eskridge, “Only Believe,” 231.

[25]. Clarence W. Jones, “Paul Rader: Pioneer of Gospel Broadcasting,” unpublished manuscript sent to Mrs. Lyell Rader, July 23, 1960, p. 4, Papers of Clarence W. Jones, BGCA 38-1-14.

[26]. Paul Rader, “South America and Radio,” World Wide Christian Courier, December 1931, p. 18.

[27]. Quoted in Lois Neely, Come Up to This Mountain: The Miracle of Clarence W. Jones and HCJB (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1980), 80.

[28]. For a summary of Rader’s radio ministry, see Tona G. Hangen, Redeeming the Dial: Radio, Religion, and Popular Culture in America (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2002), 37–56.

[29]. Clarence W. Jones, “Questions Answered by Dr. C. W. Jones,” 16, BGCA 349-5-3.

[30]. Paul Rader, “World-Wide Christian Couriers,” National Radio Chapel Announcer,May 1926, p. 19.

[31]. Robert L. Niklaus, John S. Sawin, and Samuel J. Stoesz, All for Jesus: God at Work in the Christian and Missionary Alliance over One Hundred Years (Camp Hill, Pa.: Christian Publications, 1986), 154.

[32]. Rader, Paul Rader’s Last Sermon, 24.

[33]. Paul Rader, untitled manuscript of speech to C&MA Board, p. 7.

[34]. Dana Robert, “‘The Crisis of Missions’: Premillennial Mission Theory and the Origins of Independent Evangelical Missions,” in Earthen Vessels: American Evangelicals and Foreign Missions, 1880–1980, ed. Joel A. Carpenter and Wilbert R. Shenk (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 32.

[35]. Andrew F. Walls, “The American Dimension in the History of the Missionary Movement,” in Earthen Vessels, ed. Carpenter and Shenk, 6, 11.

[36]. Jones, “Questions Answered by Dr. C. W. Jones,” 20; Christian Eicher, “World-Wide Missions,” World Wide Christian Courier, September 1927, pp. 13–14.

[37]. Jones, “Questions Answered by Dr. C. W. Jones,” 27.

[38]. Clarence W. Jones, Transcription of 1930 Diary, BGCA 349-9-11.

[39]. Clarence W. Jones to D. Stuart Clark, December 9, 1930, BGCA 349-6-1.

[40]. “Defender-Courier World Congress Another Great Success,” World-Wide Christian Courier, June 1930, pp. 6, 27; Oral History Interview with Merrill Dunlop, Tape 1, BGCA, Collection 50.

[41]. Jones to Clark, December 9, 1930.

[42]. Clarence W. Jones to Katherine Jones, August 9, 1931, BGCA 349-6-6.

[43]. Clarence W. Jones to Katherine Jones, August 14, 1931, BGCA 349-6-6.

[44]. Clarence W. Jones to Katherine Jones, August 15 and 27, 1931, BGCA 349-6-6; Clarence W. Jones, “Ecuador and Radio Station HCJB,” World Wide Christian Courier, September 1931, pp. 18, 24.

[45]. C. L. Eicher, “Annual Missionary Rally,” World Wide Christian Courier, May 1928, p. 15.

[46]. “Fourth Annual Missionary Rally,” World Wide Christian Courier, June 1926, p. 12.

[47]. “The Ninth Annual Missionary Rally,” World Wide Christian Courier, April 1931, p. 6.

[48]. Oswald J. Smith, The Story of My Life and the Peoples’ Church, 7th ed. (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1968), 104–8.

[49]. Harold Lindsell, Park Street Prophet: A Life of Harold John Ockenga (Wheaton, Ill.: Van Kampen Press, 1951), 100–103.

[50]. Harold J. Ockenga, The Church God Blesses (Pasadena, Calif.: Fuller Missions Fellowship, 1959).

[51]. Mark A. Noll, The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2009), 68.


Mark Rogers

Mark Rogers is a pastor at CrossWay Community Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He recently finished his Ph.D. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, completing a dissertation entitled “Edward Dorr Griffin and the Edwardsian Second Great Awakening.”—


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