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The Finding Aid of the James L. Lovell Papers 0011
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Separated Materials
  • Processing Information

  • Title: James L. Lovell papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0011
    Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Physical Description: 5.13 linear feet (3 boxes, 3 oversized books, 1 oversized photograph)
    Date (inclusive): 1932-1999
    Date (bulk): 1935-1984
    Abstract: James L. Lovell was a prominent member of the Churches of Christ, prolific author and editor of religious publications, and a member of Pepperdine University's Board of Trustees for 35 years. The papers contain correspondence, articles, minutes, notes, reports, photographs, and slides documenting Lovell's relationship with Pepperdine and its administrators, his involvement in the Churches of Christ and individual churches, and his personal life including his career in the construction industry. Also included in the collection are copies of publications produced by Lovell throughout his life, most notably West Coast Christian and California Christian. Materials in the collection span from 1932 to 1999.
    Location note: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Creator: Lovell, James L.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], James L. Lovell papers, Collection no. 0011, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Some materials were donated in multiple installments by James L. Lovell's daughter, Patsie Lovell Trowbridge, in the 1990s. Other boxes were given by Jerry Rushford in February, 2012.

    Biographical note

    James L. (Jimmie) Lovell was born in Portland, Tennessee, on June 30, 1896. He entered Vanderbilt University in 1917, but left immediately to serve in the Navy during World War I. Upon his return in 1919, he served as the Police Chief of Portland and Undersheriff of Sumner County for three years.
    Lovell then took a position at DuPont as a professional firearms shooter selling sporting powder, before transferring in 1928 to sell ventilation products for mining and tunnel projects. His close work with contractors led to his final transfer within DuPont, where he served as the western representative for the Explosives Department selling to large construction projects in the western United States. Wanting to honor the accomplishments of the contractors and companies he often worked with, in 1950 Lovell began publishing America's Builders, which profiled projects, companies and people involved in heavy construction work. This was followed in 1953 by a series of annual Recognition Nights, as well as the establishment of a society for dam builders, The Beavers.
    In the 1930s, Lovell settled in Southern California, where he met and became friends with George Pepperdine. Lovell encouraged Pepperdine to start his college, and became dedicated to helping Pepperdine succeed as a Christian college. Lovell was appointed to the Board of Trustees, where he served as a prominent member for 35 years. Lovell also became very involved in the local Churches of Christ, and helped to establish the Vermont Avenue Church of Christ with George Pepperdine and others.
    Lovell was also a prolific publisher, and throughout his life he published and edited a number of religious newspapers and magazines which he distributed widely to Churches of Christ churches and members. His most notable titles include West Coast Christian, California Christian, Colorado Christian, and Action Magazine. He also believed strongly in mission work,which led him to found the World Bible School in 1976, which offers free Bible correspondence classes to students from around the world.
    He married Vivian Peterman in 1925, and they had one daughter, Patsie (married name Patsie Lovell Trowbridge). James L. Lovell died on April 19, 1984, in Southern California.

    Scope and Content

    The collection includes correspondence, articles, notes, minutes, reports, bulletins, directories, photographs and slides documenting James L. Lovell's work with Pepperdine University, the Churches of Christ, and his professional and personal life. This includes compiled histories of the Churches of Christ; information about mission work and Christian colleges; the World Bible School founded by Lovell; correspondence and information from Southern California Churches of Christ; articles about Lovell; materials related to his work in the construction industry; and personal correspondence. Also included are correspondence, photographs, slides, and articles from 1935 to 1999 that document Lovell's relationships with various prominent figures in the history of Pepperdine University, including the Pepperdines, William Banowsky, Earl Pullias, Hugh Tiner, and M. Norvel Young; accounts of the Pepperdine College crisis in 1957; Pepperdine materials from Lovell's service on the Board of Trustees; and photocopies of correspondence, articles, and business records related to Clint Davidson, the Churches of Christ, and the Christian Leader. Finally, the collection includes copies of publications published and/or edited by Lovell, including West Coast Christian, California Christian, Colorado Christian, Action and church newsletters. Materials in the collection span from 1932 to 1999.


    Materials in the collection are arranged by topic, maintaining original folder titles when possible. The collection is arranged in the following six series:
    • Series 1: Publications
    • Series 2: Churches of Christ
    • Series 3: Pepperdine
    • Series 4: Personal Materials
    • Series 5: Photographs
    • Series 6: Clinton Davidson

    Separated Materials

    Issues of the Alumni Voice were transferred to the collection of University periodicals, and issues of newsletters from the San Francisco Church of Christ were transferred to the general collection of Churches of Christ periodicals. Copies of Voices of Action: A Collection of Inspiration Sermons edited by Lovell, as well as copies of The Man of Action: The Story of Jimmie Lovell by Bill Youngs were transferred to the general library collection.

    Processing Information

    The collection was originally arranged by James Smythe. The collection was integrated with new material, re-arranged, and described by Jessica Geiser and Jamie Henricks in August 2012.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Banowsky, William Slater
    Davidson, Clinton, 1888-1967
    Ibaraki Kirisutokyō Daigaku.
    Lovell, James L.
    Miller, Donald V., 1906-2004
    Pepperdine College.
    Pepperdine University.
    Pepperdine, George, 1886-1962
    Pepperdine, Helen Louise, 1903-1990
    Pullias, Earl Vivon, 1907-
    Tiner, Hugh M. (Hugh Marvin), 1908-1981
    Trowbridge, Patsie Lovell
    Young, Helen, 1918-
    Young, M. Norvel (Matt Norvel), 1915-
    Christian education
    Churches of Christ--History--20th century
    Churches of Christ--Periodicals
    Color slides
    Education, Higher--California--Malibu
    Fund raising
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--History
    Universities and colleges--Administration