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Ralph Hamburger Collection of the Berlin Fellowship
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The Hamburger Collection of the Berlin Fellowship, 1950-2012 documents the history of a Christian work-camp program called World Deputation, which gave birth to the Berlin Fellowship. The collection consists of correspondence, minutes, team reports and other documents involved in the ministry. Copies of the book Tumbling Walls by Walter James detailing the story of the Berlin Fellowship are also included. The collection also contains correspondence between Walter James and Berlin pastor, Alfred Schroeder.
During the Cold War (1947-1991), several Presbyterian churches in Southern California developed a relationship with Protestant-Evangelical congregations in Berlin and East Germany, in order to encourage them spiritually and materially as they recovered from the devastation of WWII and experienced the challenge of an oppressive communist regime. These relationships were an outgrowth of the World Deputation program (1950s) for short term missions for youth begun at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, under the auspices of the denomination’s Foreign and National Boards and the World Council of Churches, and later joined by other congregations in the area. The first team to go out, advised by Corrie ten Boom, was led by Louis Evans Jr. and included Colleen Townsend, Ralph Hamburger and Walter James. Over the years, the program grew from youth work-camps into a regular visitation ministry to East-Germany by pastors and lay people. The group came to be known as the “Berlin Fellowship,” or BF. Berlin Fellowship ran from 1961-1996
6 Boxes, 2.29 linear feet
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