Inventory of the Paul W. Yinger Papers, 1928-1992

Processed by Lucinda Glenn Rand; machine-readable finding aid created by James Lake
Graduate Theological Union Archives
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, California, 94709
Phone: (510) 649-2523/2501
© 1998
The Graduate Theological Union. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Paul W. Yinger Papers, 1928-1992

Accession number: GTU 93-10-01

Shelf location: 2/H/2 - 2/I/2

The Graduate Theological Union Archives

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

  • Graduate Theological Union Archives
  • 2400 Ridge Road
  • Berkeley, California, 94709
  • Phone: (510) 649-2523/2501
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Lucinda Glenn Rand
Date Completed:
March 24, 1998
March 26, 1998
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 1998 Graduate Theological Union. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Paul W. Yinger Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1928-1992
Accession number: GTU 93-10-01
Shelf location: 2/H/2 - 2/I/2
Creator: Yinger, Paul W., 1914-1992
Size: 32 boxes, 3 folios; 20 ft.
Type of material: Personal papers, correspondence, notebooks, scrapbooks, photographs, diaries, worship bulletins, audiotapes
Repository: The Graduate Theological Union
Berkeley, California
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Source and Date

Harriett Yinger, 1993


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Paul W. Yinger Papers, GTU 93-10-01, The Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

Access Points


Yinger, Paul Wesley, 1914-92
Clergy -Correspondence
Clergy -Family relationships
United Church of Christ -Clergy
Church management -History -Sources
Pastoral theology -History -Sources
Weddings -United States
Marriage -Sociological aspects -Sources
Worship programs -United Church of Christ
Worship -Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Chaplains -Military -Correspondence
World War, 1939-1945 -Religious aspects
World War, 1939-1945 -Personal narratives, American
First Congregational Church (Riverside, Calif.)
Piedmont Community Church (Piedmont, Calif.)
Union Congregational Church (Upper Montclair, NJ)
First Congregational Church (Old Greenwich, Conn.)
Pacific School of Religion (Berkeley, Calif.)
Graduate Theological Union -History --Sources

Names as Subjects

Anderson, Stuart LeRoy, 1912-
Ayres, Lew, 1908-
Bechtel, Stephen Davison, 1925-
Bennett, Ivan Loveridge, 1892-
Douglas, Lloyd C. (Lloyd Cassel), 1877-1951
Fosdick, Harry Emerson, 1878-1969
Griffith, Leonard, 1920-
Hogue, Harland E. (Harland Edwin), 1908-
Hurst, Alfred Wesley
Laubach, Frank charles, 1884-1970
McLean, Margaret (Prendergast), 1878-
Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971
Oxnam, G. Bromley (Garfield Bromley) 1891-1963
Perkins, John Alanson
Pike, James A. (James Albert), 1913-1969
Yinger, J. Milton (John Milton), 1916-
Copenhaver, Marian Yinger
Walton, Eleanor E. Yinger
Yinger, Clement B.
Yinger, Emma Bancroft
Yinger, G. Dempster
Yinger, Homer V.

Biographical Description

Paul W. Yinger was a United Church of Christ parish minister serving churches in California and New Jersey. He was involved in drama and public speaking. He served as an Army Chaplain in the Pacific during World War II. He had extensive correspondence throughout his career.
Paul Wesley Yinger (1914-92) was born in Union City, Michigan, sixth of the eight children of George D. Yinger and Emma Bancroft Yinger. Both Paul's parents graduated from Albion College, and were ordained Methodist ministers. Preaching, music, and drama were always part of the talent and training of the Yinger family. George Yinger trained his four older children in music and oration. These children formed the Yinger Quartette. As the original quartette grew older, George formed the four younger children, including Paul, as the Yinger Quartette. Paul, from earliest childhood, was talented, interested, and trained in these areas, which he continued to pursue throughout his life. Strong ties among the Yinger family were always an important part of Paul's life. He decided to become a minister as were his mother, father, and three of his older brothers before him.
Paul received his A.B. degree from DePauw University in Indiana, 1936, and B.D. from Union Theological Seminary in 1939. DePauw conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1958. Paul married Harriett Knapp, January 1938. While at Union, he became acquainted with Harry Emerson Fosdick, and with Reinhold Niebuhr. In 1939, he was ordained in the Congregational Church serving as pastor in the Cleveland Park Church, Washington D.C. 1939-1943. Also during this time, Paul studied acting and voice both at the Old Wharf Theatre in Provincetown, MA, and with Margaret Prendergast McLean. Paul's and Harriett's daughter Marilyn was born in June 1942.
During World War II, Paul volunteered as a Chaplain in the Army, attending Chaplain's School in 1943. He served as a chaplain, 1943-46. Assignments included the 880 th Airborne Engineers Battalion in New Guinea, 1944, the staff of General Douglas MacArthur after his return to the Philippines in 1945, then in occupied Japan until January 1946. While serving in New Guinea, Paul began a life-long friendship with the actor Lew Ayres (See Lesley L. Coffin, Lew Ayers: Holywood's Conscientious Objector, University Press of Mississippi, 2012). During Paul's service as a chaplain, he thought a great deal about what kind of a ministry he wanted to pursue after the war was over. He was very interested in integrating drama into a ministry.
When Paul, having attained the rank of Major, returned from the Army after the war, the Yingers settled in California. He served on the staff of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles coordinating parish activities including radio broadcasts, drama events, and lecture series. Their son, Jay was born June, 1947. Paul studied further with Margaret McLean, developing a life-long friendship with her. He also began his "speaking engagements." Throughout his life, Paul continued to be a popular and well-known speaker at clubs, organizations, schools, etc. He developed several programs based on his life experiences, or interesting people he knew, and on great works of literature including Lloyd Douglas' The Robe, works of Mark Twain, Hugo's Les Miserables, poetry, and Christmas stories. Paul adapted The Robe,with the permission of Mr. Douglas, and presented it more than a hundred times, either as a dramatic reading with a full cast, or as his own solo reading.
Paul served five major pastorates: Cleveland Park Congregational Church, Washington D.C. (1939-43), First Congregational Church, Riverside, CA (1947-52), Union Congregational Church, Upper Montclair, NJ (1952-60), Piedmont Community Church, Piedmont, CA (1960-71), and First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich, CT (1973-76). His habit of retaining all correspondence, both incoming letters and their attached carbon copy replies, provides a rich and valuable resource to understand the work and life of a parish minister. The correspondence provides a look at the details of church management, the pastoral needs of the people in the congregation, and, in the Yinger family correspondence, Paul's assessment of his own feelings and performance. To complete the understanding of a parish minister's life, Paul kept complete records on marriages he performed, pastor's columns he wrote for parish newsletters, worship bulletins, and notebooks on sermons, prayers, and worship and devotional material.
Paul and Harriett traveled extensively for preaching, study, or vacation, often in combination. Travels included Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and the Mediterranean areas. He kept journals and notebooks on his travels, and often wrote newspaper articles about his experiences.
During his years as a pastor, Paul also served as trustee on several boards including, the Pacific School of Religion (1962-85), the Aquinas Fund, the Japan International Christian University Foundation, and the Graduate Theological Union. On his resignation from the Piedmont Community Church in 1971, Paul became the Vice President of the GTU. He served as a development officer, working with the Ecumenical Associates, 1971-73. In 1973, Paul returned to parish ministry, accepting the call from First Congregational Church, Greenwich, CT. His start was delayed due to emergency by-pass surgery while on vacation in Hawaii.
Paul retired from Greenwich and parish ministry in 1976. He continued his speaking engagements, dramatic presentations, and guest preaching, as well as serving several churches as interim minister, and cruise lines as chaplain. Paul and Harriett settled in Emeryville, CA. Their children had married, and Paul delighted in his three granddaughters. They had just relocated to Sun City West, AZ when Paul died in 1992.

Scope and Content

The collection was packed up from Rev. Yinger's garage at his home in Sun City West, AZ and shipped to the GTU Archives. The arrangement is as close to what Rev. Yinger kept as possible.

Container List


Correspondence, Incoming (with some replies)

Location: 2/H/2

Additional Note

Early letters were in various file folders in various orders or no order. These have been arranged chronologically. Starting 1941, letters were arranged alphabetically within each year. This arrangement was continued throughout the entire body of correspondence.
Yinger family correspondence is found mostly under "Y" throughout all the years, or in other file folders according to last names (i.e., Paul's sisters under "C" for Copenhaver, and "W" for Walton). Some family correspondence were in separate file folders by individual name (see Box 15).
Box Box 1 , Folder ff 1-18


Folder ff 19-38

A, 1941-42 - Y, 1947-49 (continues in Box 5)


Correspondence, Outgoing

Location: 2/H/2

Additional Note

From Paul to family members, and to wife Harriett during World War II, 1943-46. Chronological.
Note: Army Chaplaincy materials are also found in Boxes 13, 17, 18, 21, 23.
Box Box 2 , Folder ff 1

V-Mail Album: Paul and Eleanor Yinger to Emma Yinger, 1943-44

Folder ff 2

to Emma Yinger, 1943-45

Folder ff 3

to Eleanor Yinger, 1943-46

Folder ff 4-13

to Harriett, 1943-44

Box Box 3 , Folder ff 1-12

to Harriett, 1945-46


Correspondence, Incoming

Location: 2/H/2
Box Box 4 , Folder ff 1-11

Harriett to Paul, 9/1944-1/1946

Folder ff 12

Harriett to Paul, 6/1948

Folder ff 13

Harriett to Paul, 7/1949


Correspondence, Incoming (with replies)

Location: 2/H/2 - 2/H/4

Additional Note

Incoming correspondence was kept stapled to the carbon copy reply. The correspondence also includes carbon copies of outgoing letters.
Box Box 5 , Folder ff 1-2

Correspondence with Riverside Congregational Church, 1947-49. Chronological.

Folder ff 3-43

A, 1949 - H, 1-9/1952

Box Box 6 , Folder ff 1-39

I, 1-9/1952 - F, 7-12/1954

Box Box 7 , Folder ff 1-43

G, 7-12/1954 - W, 1-5/1957

Box Box 8 , Folder ff 1-36

Y, 1-5/1957 - B, 1961

Box Box 9 , Folder ff 1-41

C, 1961 - L, 1965

Box Box 10 , Folder ff 1-44

M, 1965 - Y, 1971

Folder ff 45

Piedmont Church: Letters at Resignation, 1971


Correspondence, Incoming (some replies)

Location: 2/H/4 - 2/H/5

Additional Note

Beginning 1975-76 with Paul's retirement in 1976, there are very few replies. Paul often indicates when he has answered correspondence with a handwritten notation on the letter.
Box Box 11 , Folder ff 1


Folder ff 2-4

Hawaii and Operation, 1973

Folder ff 5-39

A, 1973-74 - K, 1983 (ff 21, 1978-79)

Box Box 12 , Folder ff 1-41

L, 1983 - Y, 1991-92


Correspondence: Lew Ayres, 1944-91

Location: 2/H/5



Additional Note

Location Note: 2 legal size letters, 1945, in Small Collections Box 7, ff 9, 3/A/4
Box Box 13 , Folder ff 1

"Altars of the East", 1957

Folder ff 2

"Altars of the World", 1977

Folder ff 3

"Conversations with Lew Ayres", 1944

Folder ff 4-7

Correspondence, 1944-91

Folder ff 8-9

Newsclippings, ca. 1945-90

Folder ff 10

Photograph of Lew Ayres, n.d. (ca. 1950's)

Folder ff 11

"Sum and Substance: An Interview with Lew Ayres", 1965

Folder ff 12

"This is Your Life" Television Show, 1956

Folder ff 13

Writings by Lew Ayres, ca. 1965-88


Book: Altars of the East, 1958



Location: 2/H/5

Additional Note

There were several files of correspondence to and from individuals in separate named file folders. There were also binders with individual letters in plastic pockets. Note: for some individuals, the correspondence in these files will be all there is. For other indivduals, there will be more correspondence throughout the years listed above. Alphabetical.
Box Box 14 , Folder ff 1

Abraham Akaka, 1967-69

Folder ff 2

Frank Amy, 1939-40

Folder ff 3

Janet Kemp Bicker, 1964-66

Folder ff 4

Lloyd C. Douglas, 1945-51

Folder ff 5

James W. Fifield, Jr., 1942-49

Folder ff 6

Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1937-55

Folder ff 7

Leonard A. Griffith, 1960-66

Folder ff 8

Frank C. Laubach, 1954

Folder ff 9

Jean (Mrs. Douglas) MacArthur

Folder ff 10-15

Margaret P. McLean, 1940-61 (photograph).

Additional Note

Location Note: McLean will in Small Collections Box 9, ff 1, 3/C/5
Folder ff 16

Reinhold Niebuhr, 1940-59

Folder ff 17

Robert F. Oxnam, 1942-74

Folder ff 18

John A. Perkins, 1938-39, 1952-59

Folder ff 19

Bishop James A. Pike, 1959-65

Folder ff 20

Dale E. Turner, 1967-68

Folder ff 21-22

George C. Vincent, 1952-59

Folder ff 23

Interesting Letters (various correspondents, 1946-50, 1965-69)


Correspondence, Incoming

Location: 2/H/5

Additional Note

Yinger family to Paul, kept in individual file folders. See "Y" folders in above Boxes for further family correspondence. See also "W" for Eleanor Yinger Walton. See also "C" for Marian Yinger Copenhaver who does not have an individual file folder here.
Box Box 15 , Folder ff 1-2

Emma Bancroft Yinger, 1938-41, 1948

Folder ff 3

Clement B. Yinger, 1938-41

Folder ff 4

G. Dempster Yinger, 1938-39

Folder ff 5

Eleanor E. Yinger Walton, 1938-39, 1948

Folder ff 6

Homer V. Yinger, 1938-39, 1941

Folder ff 7

J. Milton Yinger, 1938-39, 1941


Correspondence: Graduate Theological Union

Location: 2/H/5
Box Box 16 , Folder ff 1-4

1968-71. GTU business. Chronological.

Folder ff 5-11

1971-73. Personal, some GTU business. Alphabetical.

Folder ff 12

Bechtel - GTU Library correspondence, 1972-74

Folder ff 13-15

GTU Ecumenical Associates, 1971-72


Subject Files: Personal, and Yinger Family

Location: 2/H/5, 2/I/2



Additional Note

Boxes 19-20 contain bound volumes, no order.
Box Box 17 , Folder ff 1-2

Yinger family history items, various dates

Folder ff 3

Paul's baptismal certificate, 1915

Folder ff 4

Yinger Singers, ca. 1928-34 (See also, Folio 1)

Folder ff 5

Diplomas, 1932, 1936, 1958

Folder ff 6

Personal account book, 1932-44

Folder ff 7

Scrapbook, 1932-76

Folder ff 8

Seminary applications, 1935-36

Folder ff 9

Transcripts and commencements, 1936, 1939

Folder ff 10

Account book, Harriett Knapp, 1937

Folder ff 11

Methodist Church Deacon's orders and dismissal, 1938, 1940

Folder ff 12

Japan, 1945-46

Folder ff 13

Photographs: Paul, with Harriett, with Marilyn, 1946-76

Folder ff 14

Emma Bancroft Yinger, Mother of the Year, 1947, photos

Folder ff 15

Photographs, 1948

Folder ff 16

Sermons by Clement Yinger, 1955

Folder ff 17

Photographs: Emma Bancroft Yinger, 1958

Folder ff 18

Honorary Degree, DePauw University, 1958

Folder ff 19

Paul's name plate, n.d.

Folder ff 20

Photograph: Bishop Floyd Begin, 1962

Box Box 18 , Folder ff 1

Folder with material about Paul, ca. 1973

Folder ff 2

Golden Gate Chapel (proposed church in Emeryville), 1974-75

Folder ff 3

Paul's curriculum vitae, ca. 1977, 1985

Folder ff 4

Three Rivers High School Reunion, 1978

Folder ff 5

"Good Grief" by Eleanor Yinger Walton, 1978, 1983

Folder ff 6

Candidacy for Emeryville City Council, 1979-80

Folder ff 7

Yinger Family Lecture, Albion College, 1985 (see Correspondence files for further material on the Lecture, under Y)

Folder ff 8

Rotary Club photo, ca. 1988-89

Folder ff 9

880 th Battalion Reunions, 1988-91

Folder ff 10

Paul W. Yinger Preaching Award, PSR, 1995

Folder ff 11-22

Photograph Album: from Paul's Army Chaplaincy, 1943-46

Box Box 19

Ledger book: "Income from Fees", 1952-64


Three Rivers High School yearbook, "The Reflector", 1932


South Haven High School yearbooks, "Purple and Gold", 1930-32


Scrapbook, 1929-32


Scrapbook, "Track", 1932


Ledger book, "Account book", 1960-68

Box Box 20

Bound volume: "Union Theological Seminary Papers, 1936-1939"


Subject Files: Churches

Location: 2/H/6

Additional Note

Included are Pastorates, Army Chaplaincy, Interims, Guest Preaching. Listed here by church name. Chronological.
Box Box 21 , Folder ff 1

Bainbridge and Racoon Meth. Epis. Churches, 1934-36

Folder ff 2

Asbury, Crestwood, NY, 1937-38

Folder ff 3

Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 1938

Folder ff 4-5

Cleveland Park, Wash. D.C., 1939-41

Folder ff 6-7

Army Chaplaincy, General files, 1943-46

Additional Note

Location Note: Monthly reports, in legal size: Small Collections Box 9, ff 2, 3/C/5
Folder ff 8-9

Claremont Church, CA, 1946

Folder ff 10

Laguna Beach, CA, 1946

Folder ff 11-14

Riverside Congregational Church, CA, 1947-52 (See also Box 27)

Folder ff 15

Mather Air Force Base, 1950

Folder ff 16-25

Union Congregational Church, Upper Montclair, NJ, 1952-90 (See also, Box 27)

Folder ff 26

West Point Academy, 1954

Folder ff 27

Point O'Woods, 1957

Folder ff 28-35

Piedmont Community Church, CA, 1959-72 (See also Box 28)

Folder ff 36

Air Force Academy, 1966

Folder ff 37

Hanapepe, Hawaii, 1971

Folder ff 38-44

First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich, CT, 1973-90 (See also, Box 28)

Folder ff 45

Wananalua, Hawaii, 1973

Folder ff 46

Interim correspondence, 1977

Folder ff 47

San Jose, CA, 1977

Folder ff 48

St. Andrew's, New Zealand, 1980-81

Folder ff 49

Santa Barbara, CA, 1983-84

Folder ff 50-51

Royal Viking Cruise Chaplaincy, 1983-89

Folder ff 52

Skyline Community Church, CA, 1989

Folder ff 53

Seabourn Cruise Chaplaincy, 1990

Folder ff 54

Calls not accepted, 1959

Folder ff 55

List of Interims, n.d.


Subject Files: Speaking Engagements

Location: 2/H/6

Additional Note

Including contract forms, correspondence, publicity materials, and photographs of Paul. Chronological. (See also, Box 29)
Box Box 22 , Folder ff 1-26



Subject Files: Drama and Literature

Location: 2/H/6

Additional Note

Including lectures, recitals, plays, drama coursework, scripts. (See also, Folio 3)
Box Box 22 , Folder ff 27-40



Subject Files: Writings

Location: 2/H/6
Box Box 22 , Folder ff 41-43

Poetry, Hymn. 1950-65

Box Box 23 , Folder ff 1-9

Articles, Published sermons, Traveler's Devotional Diary, Good News of Jesus Christ Study Course. 1943-89

Additional Note

Location Note: Original 1943-44 newspapers are in Folio 1.

Subject Files: Trips and Travel

Location: 2/H/6


Chronological. (See also Box 26 and Folio 2)
Box Box 23 , Folder ff 10-21



Subject Files: Sermons and Devotional Material

Location: 2/H/6

Additional Note

(See also Boxes 29-30)
Box Box 23 , Folder ff 22-31

Sermons, 1939-90

Folder ff 32-33

Prayers, various dates

Folder ff 34

Holy Week materials, n.d.


Subject Files: Weddings

Location: 2/H/6, 2/I/1

Additional Note

Paul had couples fill out forms prior to their weddings. These were kept in chronological order by year. The information requested on the forms varies over the years. The information can include, names and birthdates of the couple, parents' names, addresses, where and when the wedding would take place, occupations, previous marriages, children, church affiliation, and members of wedding party. There might also be some attachments such as marriage license, newspaper articles, photographs. (See also, Box 31)
Box Box 23 , Folder ff 35-38


Box Box 24 , Folder ff 1-


Box Box 25 , Folder ff 1-11



Subject Files: Trips and Travel

Location: 2/I/1
Box Box 26

8 bound volumes and 1 ff photographs. Travel diaries, 1964-79. (See also Box 23 and Folio 2)


Subject Files: Worship Bulletins and Newsletters

Location: 2/I/1

Additional Note

(See also Box 21)
Box Box 27

"The Meetinghouse," First Congregational Church, Los Angeles, CA, 1946-47, 1 bound vol.


"The Outlook," First Congregational Church, Riverside, CA, 1947-52, 3 bound vols.


Union Congregational Church, Upper Montclair, NJ, 1953-61, 4 bound vols.


Two bound histories of Union Church, 1958, 1981


"Recollections and Perspectives, Montclair" by Paul W. Yinger, 1981


"Guest Book: Oct. 14, 1990", installation of Paul as Minister Emeritus, Union Church.


Subject Files: Sermons and Talks

Location: 2/I/1
Box Box 27

13 reel-to-reel audiotapes, 1 audiocassette, 1958-68.


Subject Files: Worship Bulletins and Newsletters

Location: 2/I/2

Additional Note

(See also, Box 21)
Box Box 28

"Piedmont Messenger," Piedmont Community Church, CA, 1960-71, 12 bound vols.


Bulletins, First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich, CT, 1973-76, 4 file folders.


Subject Files

Location: 2/H/4, 2/I/2
Box Box 29 (Folio Box)

6 bound vol./notebooks. Sermon notes, recitals, talks, speeches. Lists, dates, topics, some full text. Various dates. (See also, Box 22)

Box Box 30

Worship materials: prayers, sermon illustrations, ideas for talks. 9 bound vol./notebooks, various dates. (See also, Box 23)


Subject Files: Weddings

Location: 2/H/5
Box Box 31 (Folio Box)

Alphabetical listing of wedding records. 4 bound vol./notebooks. (See also, Boxes 23-25)


3 black, Piedmont, 1960-71


1 brown, 1972-92


1 black notebook: chronological listing of baptisms, weddings, funerals, 1966-71.


Subject Files

Location: 2/H/2 - 2/H/3, 2/H/6
Box Box 32 (Folio Box)

Daily calendars, bound vol., 1978-81, 1984.

Additional Note

Paul kept daily calendars, 1936-84 (some years missing). Calendars for 1936-76 were returned to donor. Entries were patchy and most information was duplicated in the correspondence and subject files for the years Paul served as a parish pastor. The calendar for 1977 was discarded because it was empty. Calendars 1978-81, 1984 were retained because, after retirement from parish ministry, Paul's correspondence and subject files decrease, and his use of the calendars increase with drafts of letters, talks, journal entries, notes, ideas, etc.
Folio Folio 1 , Folder ff 1

Yinger Singers publicity posters, ca. 1928-34 (See also, Box 17)

Folder ff 2

WWII Army newspapers originials, 1943-44, Articles by Paul (copies are in Box 23)

Folio Folio 2

Travel diary, European Seminar, 1951, 1 bound vol. (see also Box 23 and Box 26)

Folio Folio 3

"The Summoning of Everyman", 1950, 1 scrapbook. Script for play, newsclippings, photos, playbill. Performed at Riverside, CA. (See also, Box 22)