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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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1957_0420_fuller
 

April 19, 1957
Los Angeles

Fuller_revival_1937 It seems incredible, but The Times never ran an obituary on Charles E. Fuller, who helped found Fuller Theological Seminary and was one of the pioneers of radio evangelism.

Broadcasting live from the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium, and later in recordings made at a Hollywood studio, Fuller was on the radio for 43 years, until his death in 1968, preaching "salvation, personal conversion and the life hereafter," The Times said.

He was born in downtown Los Angeles, and his father, Henry, ran a furniture store.  The Fullers moved to Redlands,  where the family planted the first Valencia orange in 1886, The Times said. He graduated from Pomona College in 1910 and turned to religion in the 1920s after working as a manager at a citrus firm.

Fuller began his broadcasts in 1925 when he was at the Calvary Church in Placentia, with coast-to-coast transmission beginning in 1949.

Fuller_revival_1963_2 The broadcasts featured Rudy Atwood, sometimes called the dean of gospel pianists, and the choir, male quartets and male and female soloists, with listeners' letters read by Fuller's wife, Grace.

"Its appeal is the universal appeal of the Scriptures," Fuller said of the broadcasts. "I preach a simple yet eternal message of the Gospel."

Fuller said he and Harold John Ockenga got the idea of founding a theological seminary after his encounters with other ministers across the United States.

"In traveling about the country, I met evangelists who themselves believed firmly in the Gospel and who were dedicated to their preaching of it. But they did not have the full understanding of theology and were frequently no match in theological debate. And, too, they could not meet with business and professional leaders on an equal footing."

1957_fuller_house

 

Fuller, who lived at 1180 Oxford Road, San Marino, above, went to his heavenly home on March 19, 1968. The Old-Fashioned Revival Hour ended in October 1969 after 44 years.

"May we stand, please, and sing 'Heavenly Sunshine.' My what a privilege it is to send out this heartwarming, cheering chorus across the nation on 'Heavenly Sunshine.' As you do, sing through the first time, turn around and shake hands with as many people as possible. Glad to see so many here today at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. And now all together on 'Heavenly Sunshine.' "

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