1940s Radio Programs – Asbury University
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1940s Radio Programs

Asbury University Archives and Special Collections has over 1,000 of the radio broadcasts that were produced on campus from 1932-1947; the production took place in a studio on the first floor of the Morrison building. The audio was cut on 16″ glass records called “electrical transcriptions,” and was broadcast over WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky. The length of the program and the content changed slightly through the years, but listeners in a variety of states tuned in to the weekly programs.

The original electrical transcriptions are stored in Archives & Special Collections. Several years ago we began an arrangement to digitize the contents of 100+ programs. The first set of 50 has been converted to MP3 format so they can be accessed easily. Find a link here to listen to a sampling of the programs.  Additional broadcasts are in production and will be available soon.

These broadcasts represent the rich heritage of Asbury. The musical voices and the speakers associated with the college include: Z.T Johnson, who served as Asbury’s president for 26 years; J. Byron Crouse, director of the radio ministry from 1940-45, who was known internationally for his evangelistic and gospel music ministry; and George Rideout, chair of Asbury’s theology department in the 1920s and author of numerous holiness books, who was known as an elequent missionary speaker around the world.

The broadcasts also contain recorded messages by notable holiness speaker John R. Church, chaplain of the United States Senate Edward L.R. Elson, missionary E.Stanley Jones, and authors Mrs. Charles Cowman (Streams in the Desert) and Rosalind Rinker (Prayer: Conversing with God).

The thoughts, opinions, experiences, customs, and theological perspectives of the speakers preserve and represent the history of the years 1932-1947, spanning World War II.  A few of the programs share letters or stories from soldiers overseas.  Speakers E.L. and Hazel Killbourne, missionaries to East Asia, and Betty Hu, an Asbury graduate, all share their first-hand experiences of the effects of war on personal freedom.

The Archives Preservation Project continues to seek funding in order to complete the conversion of the remaining glass electrical transcriptions into a digital format so that the contents can be accessed with today’s mobile devices. Persons interested in further information about this project or opportunities for supporting the project financially should contact us by emailing library@asbury.edu or by calling (859) 858-5265.

The Details of Providence – J.B. Crouse 
Mon Jan 11, 1943


Missions – Dr. George W. Ridout
Sat Apr 17, 1943


Your Reactions to Life Determine the Result – Dr. E Stanley Jones
Sat May 15, 1943


The Christian Answer to Suffering – Dr. E Stanley Jones
Sun May 23, 1943


Letter from a Soldier – J.B. Crouse
Mon Jun 14, 1943


Teach Us To Pray – J.B. Crouse
Thu Jun 24, 1943


The Gift of Quietness – LTC Edward L.R. Elson, Chaplain
Wed Oct 20, 1943


Miss Rosalind Rinker
Mon Aug 7, 1944


Pt 2 – Dr. Z.T. Johnson
Sun Nov 11, 1945


Martha and Mary – Dr. John R Church