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Oral history interview with Curtis Burdette Akenson
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Curtis Burdette Akenson was born November 2, 1913 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Nels P. Akenson and Amy Dahlgren Akenson, sixth of six children. He attended First Baptist Church of Minneapolis throughout his life, and served there as pastor from 1942-1974. Akenson graduated from South High School in 1930, and earned several other degrees: Diploma in Bible Studies, Northwestern Bible and Missionary School, 1933; AA, Bethel Junior College, 1936; BS in Social Studies, 1942, MA in History and Philosophy of Education, 1949, and PhD in Political Science and Education, 1962, from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He was pastor of Groveland Community Church from 1933-35 and of Prospect Park Baptist Church from 1935-39. He worked as a teacher and administrator at Northwestern Bible and Missionary School from 1937-1946 and taught at Bethel College from 1945-52. Akenson married Vivian Edythe Nelson in 1937. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: March 21, 2000: Childhood, schooling, early experiences at Northwestern, relationship with Dr. Robert Moyer, experiences as minister at Groveland Community Church, attending Bethel College, at Prospect Park Church, as faculty member at Northwestern, attaining master's degree, and becoming Assistant Pastor at First Baptist. Intertwined relationship between First Baptist and Northwestern. Serving as Assistant Pastor at Church and Assistant Dean at Northwestern concurrently. Impressions of Dr. William B. Riley. Becoming Senior Pastor at the death of Dr. Moyer. Thesis as first definitive work on redevelopment of Minneapolis Lower Loop, experiences with Billy Graham, live radio broadcasts of Sunday sermons on KTIS, 1949-1974, relationship of church to surrounding neighborhoods, where congregation was actually drawn from, advantageous placement of building with regards to highway system. Exposition of beliefs about appropriate uses of pulpit. March 28, 2000: Northwestern College history, Akenson's associations with First Baptist as a child, governance structure of Northwestern, experiences as director of Northwestern, impressions of relations between Northwestern founder, Dr. W.B. Riley and Billy Graham, Billy Graham and then Akenson as head of Northwestern, making First Baptist and then Northwestern debt free under his administration, decisions about whether to accept outside funding, building an endowment, emphasis of school as liberal arts or Bible college, moving Northwestern from Loring Park area to Roseville. April 25, 2000: World War II and effect on school, how welcome African Americans or Japanese Americans were to attend services. Dr. Riley, creationism, and opposition to evolution, defense of Dr. Riley, dismissal of charges of anti-semitism. Discussion of thesis paper, relations to community members, rebirth of downtown living, business and church's responsibility towards disadvantaged city dwellers.
7 hours sound cassette
66 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
06:18:23 running time
Interviewee: Akenson, Curtis Burdette
Interviewer: Fogerty, James E.
Made in: Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Creation: 03/21/2000 - 04/25/2000 (Interviews conducted 3/21, 3/28 and 4/25/2000.)
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 74 (Library Call Number)
AV2000.144 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog