Page Title

Collection Title:

James DeForest Murch papers, 1928-1973


The Holloway Archives at Milligan College
P. H. Welshimer Memorial Library
200 Blowers Blvd.
Milligan College, TN 37682


James DeForest Murch


James DeForest Murch papers, 1928-1973

Collection No.



22 linear feet.


English, French and Japanese.


James Deforest Murch (1892-1973) was a supporter of the Stone-Campbell Movement, particularly in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He focused his career on advancing Christian education in the local congregation, higher education, and through evangelical publications, such as Christianity Today. He is also an author of several books including, The Protestant Revolt and The Free Church. The James DeForest Murch Papers contain an extensive amount of research material that are representative of Murch’s research interests as well as his activities as founder and editor of several Christian publications. The collection also includes biographical information, correspondence, manuscripts and publications.

Biographical Note:

James DeForest Murch was born in Ohio, the son of a Church of Christ minister. He was educated at Ohio University and the University of Cincinnati. Murch received honorary doctorates from Northwest Christian College (D.D.) and Milligan College (Litt.D.). His awards also include several citations from Freedom Foundation, and a Fellowship of the International Institute of Arts and Letters. In addition, Murch was the co-founder of Cincinnati Bible Seminary, where he served as President, Dean, and Professor of Christian Education and Missions.

Dr. James D. Murch was ordained to Christian Church ministry in the church at Trimble, Ohio. Murch later served at the Observatory Hill Church in Pittsburg (Pittsburgh). But the greater part of his work with the local church was spent as Director of Christian Education at the Westwood-Cheviot Church of Christ in Cincinnati for seventeen years. Murch preached and lectured in every state in the union and in several countries.

He was co-founder and managing editor for Christianity Today, Lookout, Restoration Herald, Christian Standard, and the Christian Evangelist Quarterly. Murch served as Book editor, Library editor and News editor for the Christian Standard. For a period of time, he authored all the lessons, bulletins and conference materials for Christian Endeavor. On the side, Murch was a freelance writer who contributed articles to a great number of journals beyond those already mentioned. Among his most impacting project was his column, “Today in Christiandom,” published by the Christian Standard.

Dr. James D. Murch authored many titles, including God Still Lives (1941), Cooperation Without Compromise(1956), Christian Education and the Local Church (1958), Teach or Perish (1961), Christians Only (1962), Christian Minister’s Manual (1965), The Free Church (1966), Teach Me to PrayI (1966), The Protestant Revolt (1967), Biography of Benjamin Dwight Phillips in B.D. Phillips; life and letters (1969), some hymns and a multitude of pamphlets and unpublished materials.

James DeForest Murch was the founder and President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, founder and Director of the Christians’ Hour Broadcasting Association, co-founder of the North American Christian Convention and member of its continuation committee, founder and President of the National Sunday School Association, co-founder and active administrator of the National Association of Evangelicals, founder and President of the National Association of the Evangelical Press Association, President of the Ohio Christian Edeavor Union, trustee of the International Society of Christian Endeavor, President of the Christian Restoration Association, member of the Commission on Restudy of Christian Churches, executive Chairman of the Clarke estate trustees, and served on the boards of many educational and missionary organizations. In addition, Murch actively participated in the investigation of such organizations as the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, Protestants and Other Americans United, official organizations of several denominations, and their conventions.


This collection is organized by series and subseries and arranged alphabetically by folder name.

Scope and Content Note:

The James DeForest Murch Papers are organized into four series: Research Materials; Personal Files; Manuscripts, and Publications.

I. Series: Research Materials

The Research Materials series contains name, organization and subject files.

II. Series: Personal Files

The Personnel Files series contains three subseries: Biographical, Correspondence, and Private Papers.

Subseries: Biographical Files

The Biographical subseries contains materials on personal family information and personal family tree investigation. Also includes an old record of his father’s church work and sermons, and some information on Scotland.

Subseries: Correspondence

The Correspondence subseries contains general correspondence and correspondence with B.D. Phillips, Mildred Phillips, and employees of Phillips’, including Mr. Early and Mr. Shaw. Topics range from general friendship to developing an indexing project for The Christian Standard and details of the B.D. Phillips’ biography, B.D. Phillips; life and letters (1969).

Subseries: Private Papers, this subseries is restricted.

III. Series: Manuscripts

The Manuscripts series contains six subseries: The B.D. Phillips Life and Letters; Christians Only; Free Church, Cheviot Lessons; Memoirs; The Protestant Revolt; and Unpublished Songs, notes, etc.

Subseries: The B.D. Phillips Life and Letters

The B.D. Phillips Life and Letters subseries consists of several drafts of this manuscript, paste-up copy, and a set up copy. The typed drafts are organized by section and chapter, with like copies of the same sections or chapters combined in a file. The forward of this book is authored by Mildred Welshimer Phillips, and the collection includes a file the sole concern of which is the details of printing and accuracy of events.

Subseries: The Christians Only

The Christians Only subseries includes several drafts of this manuscript and are organized by section and chapter, each section file holding several drafts of that section or chapter.

Subseries: The Free Church, Cheviot Lessons

The Free Church, Cheviot Lessons subseries includes a file containing a manuscript for the Romanist-Protestant Rapproach, with some literature in French, and some correspondence. Following this file are the manuscripts for the Free Church divided by those sections and chapters. Cheviot Lessons refers to those lessons which Murch designed, presumably, for the congregation of which he was Director of Christian Education. These lessons are filled by age and grade.

Subseries: Memoirs

The Memoirs subseries consists of serval drafts of his own autobiography, divided by section or chapter, and combining like sections or chapters. This subseries also includes correspondence regarding this publication and an uncut, unbound copy of the total work.

Subseries: The Protestant Revolt

The Protestant Revolt subseries consists of an original manuscript, separated by sections and chapters, multiple copies of each section in each file.

Subseries: Unpublished Songs, notes, etc.

The Unpublished Songs, notes, etc. subseries contains notes, messages, songs and other items which Murch scribbled on a napkin, envelope, etc.

IV. Series: Publications

Subseries: Today in Christendom

Publications are arranged alphabetically by title.

Recent Submissions

  • James DeForest Murch papers, 1928-1973 

    Murch, James DeForest (2017-05-11)
    James Deforest Murch (1892-1973) was a supporter of the Stone-Campbell Movement, particularly in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He focused his career on advancing Christian education in the local congregation, ...


© Milligan College. All Rights Reserved.