Significant Events in the Life of William Cameron Townsend (WCT) and the organizations he founded: Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT), Jungle Aviation and Radio Service (JAARS, Inc.)

Taken from: http://www.wycliffe.org/history/wct/WCT-Life.htm


Jul 9

William Cameron Townsend (WCT) is born at home in Riverside County, near Corona, California.


Oct 25

WCT contacts Cakchiquel Indians (Guatemala) for the first time. He begins traveling with Francisco Diaz, faithful colleague and Cakchiquel believer.



WCT travels through Mexico on his way to the U.S. (Chicago) to be with Elvira (his wife, then sick). 



CAM begins Indian work in El Salvador.

WCT tells the Lord, "I'll pioneer in another tribe." In discussing this with Legters, he advises starting in Mexico.




WCT attends a missionary conference at Moody Church, Chicago, where he is urged to stay with the Cakchiquel work rather than pioneer in Mexico. He agrees at first but reverses his decision when he feels a coldness of spirit come over him. 




Dr. Moisés Sáenz, distinguished Mexican educator, on a familiarization tour through Central and South America, meets WCT in a Cakchiquel village. WCT befriends Sáenz and shows him his work. Sáenz invites WCT to transfer to Mexico. Later Sáenz writes WCT reiterating his invitation. This is the letter which opened the doors to Mexico for WCT and Legters on Nov. 11, 1933.



Mr. and Mrs. Legters visit the Townsends in California. "Go to nearby Mexico where there are 51 tribal languages spoken," they tell WCT, "instead of South America."

WCT suggests founding a linguistic institute for training young people during the summer months. He suggests the name "Camp Wycliffe" in honor of John Wycliffe, the first man to inspire the translation of the entire Bible into English.

Legters commits himself to promoting interest in Bibleless tribes among Christians and to secure help for Camp Wycliffe.

Aug 10

Townsends, Legters and many others participate in an all-day and all-night prayer meeting at American Keswick Conference Grounds in New Jersey, praying for an open door to Mexico.


WCT speaks to a civic club in Wichita Falls, Texas where an Episcopalian rector gives him a letter of introduction to the dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of Mexico City, who "can put you in touch with some influential people."

Nov 11

WCT and Mr. and Mrs. Legters are given conditional permits to enter Mexico, helped by the Sáenz letter, after spending many hours at the border. In Monterrey they read DAILY LIGHT for November 11 and are greatly encouraged by God.

Dec 7

In Mexico City WCT talks to the Episcopal dean who helps him contact Dr. Frank Tannenbaum, noted sociologist, political science teacher and author from Columbia University. Tannenbaum gives Townsend a letter of introduction to the Director of Rural Education of Mexico.

Dec 23

WCT contacts Mexican Department of Rural Education Director Rafael Ramírez in Monterrey, N.L. and is commissioned to do a survey of rural education in three states of Mexico.




WCT, in Mexico, hears that Elvira is sick in Chicago and leaves Mexico Feb. 12. He drives her to Siloam Springs, where brother Paul lives. They stay in the home of friends, Dr. and Mrs. George Bast.


Elvira and WCT go to Mexico to follow up contacts. They reach Monterrey, N.L., encounter landslides, and are delayed two months.

Dec 9

WCT writes an article and later has it published in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Reporting favorably about Mexico's new socialistic educational program, it wins appreciation for SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) among Mexican officials.



Elvira becomes critically ill in Mexico, necessitating a quick return to the U.S. on Jan. 23. She almost dies in a Dallas hospital. They spend the spring with friends in Sulphur Springs.

Feb 10

A letter from Dr. Mariano Silva y Aceves, director of Mexico's Linguistic Institute and former rector of the University of Mexico (UNAM), authorizes official admittance into Mexico for SIL members.

Jun 8

The second session of Camp Wycliffe opens with five students at Sulphur Springs, Arkansas: Brainerd Legters, Max Lathrop, Richmond McKinney, Ken Pike and Bill Sedat. Dr. McCreery comes to Camp Wycliffe to teach phonetics.

Students at Camp Wycliffe hold a day of prayer asking God's intervention in opening doors to Mexico. That evening, news is broadcast that President Lázaro Cárdenas has replaced difficult members of his cabinet. The ban on evangelical literature is lifted and immigration laws are eased.

Aug 17

A party of ten leaves Camp Wycliffe for Mexico. WCT, Elvira and Cam's niece, Evelyn Griset, leave for Dallas and Mexico, driving an ancient Buick pulling a house trailer. In Dallas a check from Moody Church supplies funds for the Townsends to proceed to Mexico.

Aug 20

The Townsend party crosses the border into Mexico. Road construction halts them and they stay with Dales, missionary friends, in Tamazunchale, S.L.P. That same day a check for $1,500 arrives at the Pioneer Mission Agency for "the Townsend group." This supports them for some time.


Providentially the group arrives in Mexico City in time to attend the Seventh American Scientific Congress where significant contacts are made. They are taken in as members of the congress!

WCT hears of the Aztec-speaking village of Tetelcingo, Morelos.

Oct 8

WCT has his first interview with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Josephus Daniels.

First letter found in the Townsend Archive written on "Instituto Lingüístico de Verano" (Summer Institute of Linguistics) stationery, dates WCT's use of the SIL name and concept.

Oct 15

Cam, Elvira and Evelyn set up the small house trailer at Tetelcingo for the first time.

WCT and interested Aztecs plant a garden in the village plaza; Elvira and Evelyn begin sewing classes for the Aztec women.

Seventy dollars from Moody Church provides a much-needed addition to the trailer.

Nov 11

WCT prepares bilingual primers in Aztec and Spanish for publication by the Department of Education of Mexico. Copies are printed and distributed.

L. L. Legters writes WCT proposing the formation of a linguistic society.

Dec 18

WCT writes his first report of activities of the SIL group to Ambassador Josephus Daniels. Daniels has it translated into Spanish and sends a copy to the Mexican Secretary of Labor who sends it to President Cárdenas.


Jan 25

President Cárdenas pays a surprise visit to the Townsends in Tetelcingo. Cárdenas encourages WCT to bring more workers into Mexico.


WCT contacts government officials and academic leaders in Mexico City, offering to cooperate with them in any way he can.


WCT and Elvira are busy in Tetelcingo learning the Aztec language and becoming involved in Aztec life.

Sep 1

WCT and Elvira travel to Mexico with ten students. The local Bible Society shares its office facilities in Mexico City with "the Townsend group."

Sep 11

WCT and the small group of SIL members are received by President Cárdenas in his office.

Oct 5

President Cárdenas hosts the SIL group for a formal dinner at Chapultepec Palace. At this dinner, WCT offers to write a biography of President Cárdenas.

Cárdenas arranges for modest rural school teachers' salaries for SIL members who are low on support.

Nov 1

Ken Pike (an outstanding member in SIL) breaks his leg while working with Mixtec friends at his village allocation. While in the hospital he drafts the manuscript of his book on phonetics.


WCT makes a survey trip to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and Chiapas. He emphasizes the vital importance of scholarship in the translation task.



WCT leads in organizing "La Semana Lingüística" in Mexico City in cooperation with the Mexican Institute of Linguistic Investigation. WCT and other SIL members participate.

Jan 21

WCT is named Honorary Rural School Teacher by the Secretary of Public Education of Mexico.

WCT teaches linguistics at the University of Mexico (UNAM).

WCT spends several months (part time) gathering material for a biography of Lázaro Cárdenas.


WCT travels with Cárdenas on a day's inspection of southern Morelos. They plan an irrigation project for the Tetelcingo area and the planting of an orange orchard.

Jun 22

President and Mrs. Cárdenas are entertained at dinner in Tetelcingo by the Townsends and a few SIL members. Ken Pike waits on table.

Jul 12

WCT, Elvira and niece Ethel Mae Squires leave Mexico City to return to Arkansas.

Oct 18

WCT and Elvira return to Mexico with eight students who had finished the Camp Wycliffe courses.


The death of Dr. Silva y Aceves in Mexico is mourned by WCT and SIL members.



General and Mrs. Cárdenas have lunch with the Townsends in Tetelcingo.

Cárdenas gives WCT his personal pen with which he signed the laws of Mexico for three years. "More land has been given to peasants with it than with any pen in Mexican history. I want you to have it."

Cárdenas offers 2,500 pesos to build a proper home in Tetelcingo for the Townsends. The Townsends suggest instead that the money be used to construct small houses for ten homeless Indian families. Cárdenas accepts.

Mar 18

The Mexican government, under Cárdenas' leadership, expropriates Mexican properties of 17 oil companies, mainly Dutch and British and a few from the U.S. WCT calls it "Mexico's Declaration of Economic Independence." WCT is commissioned by Cárdenas to go to New York to offer the oil companies a settlement.


WCT leaves for the U.S. He publishes his booklet, "THE TRUTH ABOUT MEXICO'S OIL," for distribution to U.S. congressmen.

Elvira is on deputation in north central states.


WCT travels and speaks in defense of the Cárdenas administration.

Sep 10

WCT writes the U.S. Secretary of State pleading for a patient, humane policy toward Mexico's debt problem.

WCT develops his idea of an "Inter-American Service Brigade" to encourage U.S. young people to work at practical projects in rural Mexico.


New workers are arriving in Mexico. Bill Bentley is first worker in the state of Chiapas.

Oct 18

Ambassador and Mrs. Daniels give SIL members a reception at the American Embassy in Mexico City.

Oct 19

Mrs. Cárdenas entertains SIL ladies at the Mexican White House.

Nov 13

Ken Pike and Evelyn Griset are married in Mexico City.

Nov 14-19

At Linguistic Week at the University of Mexico (UNAM), WCT presents a paper, "Analysis and Charting of Morphological Processes."

Dec 5

The Townsends spend Sunday afternoon with General and Mrs. Cárdenas in their modest country home "Palmira" in suburban Mexico City.

Dec 25

Christmas dinner for SIL group is paid for by Ambassador and Mrs. Daniels.

Thirty-two SIL members are at work in Mexico.


May 6

Ambassador and Mrs. Josephus Daniels are entertained at dinner by the Townsends at their tiny home in Tetelcingo. Most of the small SIL group are there.

May 18

WCT goes on tour with President Cárdenas to northern Mexico states.

Jun 20

WCT meets former Mexican president Adolfo de la Huerta.

Jul 7

WCT organizes a Good Neighbors' International Picnic at Agua Caliente, Mexico, (Tijuana) attended by President Cárdenas and staff, SIL field workers, and SIL friends from California, including William G. Nyman.


Elvira spends two months in hospital in Mexico. She stays in Tetelcingo alone the rest of the summer and fall then goes to Texas for further rest.

Eight new recruits, trained and challenged at Camp Wycliffe, prepare to leave for Mexico.

Sept 1

World War II begins as Germany invades Poland without warning.


WCT is in Oklahoma working on the Cárdenas biography.


Cam and Elvira go to Lyford, Texas to the home of Elvira's relatives to try to finish the Cárdenas biography.



WCT writes Dr. Howard A. Kelly, an influential friend in Baltimore, regarding the danger of the bill in the U.S. Congress prohibiting silver purchases from most foreign countries, including Mexico.

Apr 14

First Pan American Congress (cp 4/19/43), is held in Pátzcuaro, Mexico. (SIL group is not invited.)

Apr 15

WCT strongly urges the Sub-director General of Rural Education of Mexico to adopt a policy of bilingual education for the minority people of Mexico.

Gene Nida is studying at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

May 18

L. L. Legters dies. (Born in Clymer, N.Y. July 8, 1873)

THE TRUTH ABOUT MEXICO'S OIL, WCT's 86-page booklet, is sent to all U.S. congressmen.


Eighteen languages are being studied in Mexico by 36 SIL members.

Sep 20

Mexico's rural school teacher government salaries for SIL members are canceled.

Sep 30

A banquet is given by SIL in memory of Dr. Mariano Silva y Aceves with Ambassador Josephus Daniels, Dr. Elena Trejo, education officials and linguists of Mexico as honored guests.

Oct 1

Dick and Kay Pittman arrive in Tetelcingo to help the Townsends in linguistic work on Nahuatl.


WCT makes a trip to Guatemala with Dr. Elena Trejo to revisit 16 Cakchiquel towns.


Cárdenas completes six years as President of Mexico. Re-election is not permitted in Mexico.


Jan 15

WCT returns to Mexico and visits SIL workers in village allocations.


William G. Nyman visits WCT and Elvira in Tetelcingo.

Cárdenas asks WCT to draft his plan for a "New Life Movement" in Mexico.


First draft of the Mixtec New Testament is completed by Ken and Evelyn Pike, Don Stark and Mixtec translation associates.

Aug 24

Bill Bentley, early SIL translator in Mexico, dies of a heart attack six days before planned wedding to Marianna Slocum, new recruit from Philadelphia.

Sep 10

WCT, Elvira and eight workers leave Sulphur Springs for Mexico.

Sep 21-24

First SIL conference is held in Tetelcingo. Forty-four members are working in 19 tribes.


WCT issues a call to SIL colleagues to pray for 50 new workers in the coming year.

U.S. Ambassador Daniels resigns his post and returns to North Carolina.

Mexico's Ambassador Moisés Sáenz dies of pneumonia in Lima.


LATIN AMERICAN COURTESY by Elvira Townsend is published in Mexico.

Dec 7

Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. U.S. declares war on Japan the next day.

Dec 11

Cárdenas is appointed commander-in-chief of Mexico's defenses of the Pacific Coast.



WCT is with Cárdenas in Ensenada, Lower California, Mexico.


Capt. Norman Taylor accompanies WCT on his second visit with Cárdenas at Ensenada.


WCT pays another visit to Cárdenas; they talk about Bible classes for his military personnel.


First WBT office is opened in Glendale, California, in an apartment over Wm. Nyman's garage.

A.M. Johnson visits the Townsends in Tetelcingo.


George Cowan and Ben Elson, future SIL leaders, arrive in Mexico.

Kenneth and Evelyn Pike are at the University of Michigan writing the TONE LANGUAGES book.

Sep 14

First corporation conference of WBT/SIL is held in Mexico City. Members vote to ratify the formation of the two organizations (WBT and SIL) formed in June, and to assess themselves 10% of all income to cover home and field administrative expenses of the new organizations.


Feb 23

WCT's formulation of group policy on non-sectarianism is committed to writing.

Apr 14

WCT writes President Roosevelt regarding the U.S. State Department's frequent refusal to grant passports to evangelical missionaries going to Latin America.

Apr 19

WCT attends the first Inter-American Indian Congress at Pátzcuaro, Mexico. Cárdenas gives the keynote address.


Elaine Mielke of Chicago goes to Mexico as the first SIL teacher of missionary children.


WCT, Pittman and Pike make plans for beginning SIL work in South America, Cameron Townsend's long dream.


Annual meeting of the SIL Mexico branch is held at Palmira, Cuernavaca, Mexico.



Dick Pittman is appointed SIL Mexico director for three months.

Feb 12

WCT drafts "Amerinova" proposal in Mexico City, a poetry contest designed to contribute to the solidarity of the Americas.


Joy Ridderhof and Ann Sherwood of Gospel Recordings make recordings of Mexican languages.

Jul 12

WCT flies from Mexico City to Chiapas to look for a site for a training camp for new workers. He locates a forested site in Tzeltal country and rents it from don Pepe Bulnes for $1.00 a year. Egbert Dyk, Gene Wolfe, Cloyd Stewart, Jim Russell, and Paul Miller begin building mud and thatch huts.

Jul 27

WCT travels from Mexico to SIL courses in Oklahoma.

Aug 7

WCT is named vice president of Mexico's Primera Exposición Etnográfica Americana.


Preliminary Jungle Camp session for a few campers is held at Yaxoquintelá, Chiapas, México.

Dec 24

With WCT at her bedside, Elvira Townsend dies at the age of 52 of a heart ailment and is buried in Glendale, California.



Dick Pittman is appointed director of SIL Mexico branch.


WCT returns to Mexico, accompanied by A. M. Johnson.


Aug 14

Japan surrenders to Allied Forces.


Mexico branch conference is held at Posada del Sol Hotel in Mexico City.

Oct 6

WCT and Elaine Mielke become engaged.



The Mexico SIL group moves into the "Kettle," an old colonial mansion named "Palacio Quetzalcoatl," rented from Miss Elinore Cornyn.



Apr 4

WCT is married to Elaine Mielke at the Cárdenas home in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. Mr. and Mrs. Cárdenas serve as best man and matron of honor.


First issue of STEAM FROM THE KETTLE, an SIL in-house news publication, is printed in Mexico City.


Ken and Evie Pike, Don and Ruth Stark, and co-translators Angel and Modesta, arrive in Santa Ana, California to complete the revision of the Mixtec New Testament translation.



Feb 14

Grace Townsend is dedicated at the Mexican Embassy in Lima.

Feb 25

The Townsends are in a plane crash of a small commercial aircraft at Jungle Camp, Chiapas, Mexico. Both the Townsends and the pilot suffer injuries. Baby Grace is unharmed.

WCT re-emphasizes the need for a formal SIL aviation program to establish safety standards, to insure maintenance of equipment and to provide adequate transportation into isolated areas.

Ex-President Cárdenas, deeply concerned over news of the Townsends' injuries, communicates immediately with the Governor of Chiapas who charters a small plane and flies personally the next day to jungle camp with the State Director of Health, an M.D. and other high officials.

Mar 16

Ken Pike, Don Stark and Angel Merecias in California, complete the manuscript of the Mixtec New Testament.



The Townsends spend several months in Tetelcingo writing.

Aug 25

WCT visits Cárdenas at Jiquilpan and outlines to the general his idea of awarding a diploma to the composer of the winning "Amerinova Anthem." Cárdenas accepts a position among four persons on the Reviewing Commission.


SIL International and Mexico branch conferences are held near Dallas, Texas. Dick Pittman is elected Mexico Branch Director.

Harold and Juanita Goodall and Dave Beasley, pioneer members of the Peru Branch, arrive at Yarinacocha, Peru.


WCT and Elaine go to A. M. Johnson's "Scotty's Castle" at Death Valley, California, to work on the Cárdenas biography.


Jan 31

At a crucial meeting, after long and heated debate, the SIL Board reluctantly gives WCT authority to organize SIL's own aviation program in the Peru Branch (eventually to be known as JAARS--Jungle Aviation and Radio Service).

Feb 16

WCT and family arrive in Mexico City. WCT visits Jungle Camp.


The Townsends live in the Cárdenas home Erendira at Pátzcuaro, Mexico, while WCT is writing.

May 5

Joy Amalia Townsend is born in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, the Townsend's second child.

Jul 2

Mexico SIL is organized as a Mexican corporation.

Dec 19

Lázaro Cárdenas Park is opened in Tetelcingo, Morelos, México.



WCT attends the SIL International Conference at Lake Francis, Arkansas. The issue of SIL as a non-sectarian organization is debated.

Aug 20

WCT flies to Mexico.

Oct 21

WCT travels to Mexico.


Feb 4

George Cowan is appointed acting director of SIL-Mexico branch.


WCT and family drive from Chicago to Mexico City and Tetelcingo accompanied by WCT's new secretary, Cal Hibbard and family.

Dec 22

"Had a delightful visit with Cárdenas this evening."--WCT.

Dec 23

WCT travels with the Bolivian Minister of Education to points of interest in Mexico.


Feb 8

WCT travels to Mexico.


Apr 5

The Catalina aircraft, goodwill airplane presented by Mexico to Peru, is christened Moisés Sáenz at an official ceremony in Mexico City presided over by President Miguel Alemán and presented to Peru's ambassador, Dr. Oscar Vásquez Benavides.

Apr 19

The Moisés Sáenz leaves Mexico City with WCT and Mexican and Peruvian dignitaries on board, arriving in Lima April 21.

Jun 1

The first SIL New Testament is published and dedicated in the Mixtec dialect of San Miguel el Grande, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Aug 15

First official SIL-Mexico contract is signed with the Mexican government.

Aug 6

At the encouragement of SIL members Marianna Slocum and Florence Gerdel, two hundred twenty-five couples of Tzeltal believers are legally married in a group ceremony at Corralito, Chiapas, Mexico.


WCT attends the fourth SIL Biennial Conference at Sulphur Springs. The issue regarding the exercise of certain spiritual gifts among members is resolved with a wording which permits "non-aggressive exercise" of such gifts. Conference votes to enter Brazil.


WCT, Elaine and family are in Chicago working on the second film, "Each in His Own Tongue." They also make final arrangements for publishing WCT's biography of Lázaro Cárdenas.


Piro Gospels of MARK, first Scriptures translated by SIL in Peru, are flown out to Piro villages in Peru's Amazonia.   



WCT biography, LAZARO CARDENAS, MEXICAN DEMOCRAT is published by George Wahr Publishing Co., Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Dick Pittman in Philadelphia receives a phone call from Ramón Magsaysay, the Secretary of Defense of the Philippines in Manila, to thank him for the gift copy of WCT's Cárdenas biography.

Jun 17

The Catalina airplane Moisés Sáens undergoes major mechanical restoration at the Yarinacocha hangar.


Jan 11

Mrs. Hull, long-time friend of SIL Mexico branch, dies in Mexico City.

Jan 20

William (Billy) Crowell Townsend, fourth child of Cam and Elaine, is born at Yarinacocha, Peru.

Aug 8

Roman Catholic bishop of the Peruvian jungle publishes in a leading newspaper of Lima a serious accusation against ILV-Peru (Instituto Lingüístico de Verano - SIL), impugning its scientific authenticity and declaring that ILV should not be permitted to continue its "evangelistic campaign in the jungle region."


At the urging of Peruvian friends, WCT writes a long letter to the editor of Lima's leading daily, setting forth ILV's motives and principles of operation, declaring ILV members to be Christian believers seeking to serve Peru's minority groups. This is published and is used by God to silence the opposition.

Sep 9

Eugene Nida resigns from membership in SIL and SIL Board of Directors. ("A severe blow" --WCT).

Sep 10

WCT is decorated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru ("Al Mérito por Servicios Distinguidos," authorized May 25, 1953).

Oct 9-Nov 24

WCT visits Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador. In Guatemala WCT speaks at the Robinson Bible Institute in Cakchiquel at thirtieth anniversary of that school (that he had also inaugurated).



WCT's biography, LAZARO CARDENAS, MEXICAN DEMOCRAT, is mailed to all U.S. governors and Congressmen.


The Spanish edition of WCT's Cárdenas biography is published in Mexico City.



First SIL linguist-translator from England, Harry Rosbottom, arrives in Mexico City.

Mar 4

WCT reports to the group: "70 new workers this year", "25 tribes with workers in Peru, believers in 11 tribes."

Jul 7

WCT and family travel to Ecuador, Mexico and U.S. for furlough.




WCT receives an invitation from the USSR embassy to go to Washington, D.C. to present his project for language study and Bible translation in the USSR. He consults Cárdenas regarding details.


May 6

WCT, at home in Yarinacocha, writes a lengthy letter to Dr. J. O. Percy, head of the Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association (IFMA), regarding SIL relations with Roman Catholics.

Jul 2

Peru Supreme Resolution #275 authorizes the use of the Nácar y Colunga NEW TESTAMENT as religious text for all jungle bilingual schools.



Jan 20

WCT tells former President Harry Truman about the conversion of Chief Tariri of Peru. Truman replies, "This is the greatest story I've ever heard."

WCT authors his first "Spanglish" primer using an alphabet which utilizes the best of both English and Spanish conventional alphabets.


WCT goes to New York to consult with Clarence Hall of READER'S DIGEST regarding Hall's article about SIL, "Two Thousand Tongues to Go," to be published in the August DIGEST.


WCT speaks at the Billy Graham Crusade at Cow Palace, San Francisco.


WCT returns to Peru. He and Elaine spend July and August in Lima working with educators on an extensive literacy campaign.

"Twenty-two bishops and archbishops in Peru are putting tremendous pressure on the government to curtail SIL work." –WCT.


Translation Center at Mitla, Mexico is established.


A time of severe criticism from U.S. evangelical circles against SIL for field policy of "Service to All" is experienced.


John Beekman conducts the first translation workshop in Mitla, Mexico, a significant step forward in the translation program.

Oct 11

WCT sends an impassioned letter to President Dwight Eisenhower regarding the U.S. policy of restricting importations of Peruvian zinc and lead which restriction is causing significant unemployment in Peru.



SIL non-sectarian policy is in danger of being compromised by the new director of Peru's teacher training course, he wishing to teach Catholicism. WCT confers with the Minister of Education and secures his concurrence in maintaining the non-sectarian nature of the course. (See July 2, 1957 Supreme Resolution authorizing the use of Nacar y Colunga NEW TESTAMENT as text for jungle bilingual schools in Peru).

Feb 25

After visiting Chicago and California, WCT travels to Mexico seeking a grant of land from the Mexican government for SIL headquarters.

Sep 21

Billy Graham, new SIL/WBT board member, speaks to SIL/WBT international conference at Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, and dedicates a plaque commemorating 25 years since the first Camp Wycliffe courses were held at nearby Breezy Point. Members give the Townsend family a new Pontiac station wagon.

Membership in WBT/SIL peaks at 1,000 including first second-generation member, Marilou Pittman Weaver.

Dec 17

WCT goes to Mexico to continue efforts to secure land for SIL headquarters in Mexico City.



WCT meets with Mexico's Minister of Education, Dr. Jaime Torres Bodet, regarding land for SIL in Mexico City. The minister makes significant contacts for acquiring the Tlalpan property.

Jul 16

Dean of Mexican anthropologists, Dr. Manuel Gamio, dies.

Jul 28

Presidential decree authorizes SIL to use five acres of prime real estate in Mexico City for 30 years.


The Peruvian government is under heavy pressure from Peru's Roman Catholic hierarchy to cancel SIL's contract. At the same time SIL is under attack by U.S. evangelicals regarding its non-sectarian policy of "Service to All," including kindness to Roman Catholic missionaries in the jungle.


Jan 24

The twenty-fifth SIL anniversary celebration in Mexico City is attended by five ambassadors, Dr. Frank Tannenbaum of Columbia University, Dr. Charles Fries of the University of Michigan, and Mexican dignitaries, honoring WCT with a Festschrift volume. Announcement is made that the President of Mexico has accepted the position of Honorary President of SIL Mexican Advisory Committee.

Feb 13

President José Velasco Ibarra (from Ecuador) meets Kimo, converted Auca assassin, and is deeply impressed by Kimo's character and understanding of spiritual values. The president shows personal interest in the gospel.

Oct 12

WCT in Mexico receives a phone call from Harold Goodall, Director of JAARS Center in Waxhaw, informing him of the visit of Colombian Ambassador Ing. Carlos Sanz de Santamaría to the home of Henderson and Ann Belk in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Aug 29

The inauguration of SIL's new "Manuel Gamio Linguistic Center" at Ixmiquilpan, Mexico is attended by WCT and many Mexican government officials and academic leaders.

Oct 1

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of India visits SIL headquarters in Mexico and talks with WCT.

Oct 31

Roman Catholic objection to SIL presence in Colombia is answered successfully by a high-ranking government official.



At the SIL Board meeting in Mexico City, George Cowan is appointed Deputy General Director for Europe and Africa, and Ben Elson as Deputy General Director for North America. This is the first step toward administrative reorganization, not completed for several years.

Feb 10

WCT in Mexico accompanies Cornell Capa (photographer) to Bachajón, a Tzeltal village and SIL allocation, where Capa takes photos for two SIL books.

Feb 17

WCT and Capa go to Tetelcingo to take historic photos.

Oct 28

WCT announces in a prayer letter that the Lord has arranged for WBT to have a "Pavilion of 2,000 Tribes" at the New York World's Fair in 1964 and 1965.


Feb 14

WCT flies to Miami, Santa Ana, then Mexico. He returns to Colombia March 16.


Dr. W. A. Criswell of First Baptist Church of Dallas visits Yarinacocha. On the way to visit Chief Tariri, he and pilot Floyd Lyon experience a miraculous float-plane emergency landing on a tiny jungle stream.

Apr 19

WCT is in Mexico for the inauguration of the "Maestro Moisés Sáenz Publication Building," attended by President Adolfo López Mateos.

Apr 20

WCT and the Minister of Government of Colombia fly to Chiapas, Mexico, to visit a Tzeltal village and Jungle Camp.

Apr 22

The WBT "Pavilion of 2,000 Tribes" opens at the New York World's Fair with the "From Savage to Citizen" mural on display.



WCT asks Jim Hefley to write a biography of a Mexican statesman, Lic. Aarón Sáenz, as a means of encouraging greater understanding between the U.S. and Mexico.

Apr 1

"Casa de la Amistad Internacional," an SIL apartment complex, as part of the "Dia del Indio" celebration in Mexico City, is inaugurated by Dr. Alfonso Caso, Director of the Mexican Indian Institute.

Sixteen hundred SIL members are now working on 350 languages in 16 countries.

Jun 28

Tariri, at the New York World's Fair, pulls the switch that turns on the largest light in the world, "The Tower of Lights," symbolic of the Bible as the spiritual light of the world.

Oct 16

Dr. Ramón Beteta, longtime friend of WCT and SIL, dies of a heart attack in Mexico City.




SIL now beginning a new language project every 14 days, working in 400 languages in 18 countries.

The New York World's Fair WBT pavilion results are indicated by 59% more new donors than during the equivalent period prior to the Fair plus overall income up 34%. “A definite increase in applications for membership is additional cause for thanks”. --WCT

May 4

Dr. Jaime Torres Bodet, outstanding Mexican statesman and head of UNESCO, becomes president of SIL advisory committee in Mexico.

Jul 4

Dr. Luis Alberto Sánchez, Rector of Peru's University of San Marcos, one of the two oldest universities in the hemisphere, confers on WCT a doctorate degree Honoris Causa.

Jul 9

WCT is 70 years old.


WCT travels to Bolivia, Brazil, and Mexico.

Sep 30

To honor St. Jerome, the great translator who, in 385 A.D., while living in a cave near Bethlehem, developed the Latin Vulgate, which became the standard Latin version of the Bible for a thousand years, and to seek national recognition of the importance of Bible translation worldwide (as part of 1966, the Year of the Bible), Senate Joint Resolution #169 authorizes President Lyndon Johnson to proclaim September 30 as Bible Translation Day. Representatives of WBT, the Catholic Bible Society, Lutheran Bible Translators and various congressmen, take part in an impressive ceremony in Room 3302 of the Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Closing the ceremony Mr. Britton Goode, Apache Christian, presents Senator Fred R. Harris a copy of the Apache New Testament.




Paul and Virginia Witte's application for WBT/SIL membership raises the emotionally charged issue of accepting applicants who maintain membership in the Roman Catholic church.


SIL has workers in 20 countries of the world. #24996


WCT speaks in Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Mexico City, Florida and North Carolina.

May 20

WCT travels to Mexico City for WBT/SIL International Conference.

Nov 2

WCT and Elaine begin Russian language classes in Mexico City in preparation for going to the USSR in 1968.


Dr. Christian N. Barnard performs the world's first human heart transplant operation.



WCT and Elaine return to Mexico City to continue Russian lessons and seek visas for travel to the USSR from the Soviet Embassy in Mexico.

WCT and other SIL members attend the Inter-American Linguistic and Anthropological Congress in Mexico City.

Mar 18

WCT and Aschmanns attend the thirtieth anniversary celebration of Mexico's expropriation of the properties of certain foreign oil companies in 1938. They drive to Poza Rica in "don Lázaro," the 1938 Chevy provided for Uncle Cam by General Lázaro Cárdenas. WCT speaks briefly with President Díaz Ordaz and General Cárdenas. They also visit the new Totonac Bible School founded by Manuel Arenas.

Mar 22

SIL is now working in 92 minority languages of Mexico.

Apr 4

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

Apr 17

WCT attends the sixth Inter-American Indian Congress in Pátzcuaro, Mexico.

Aug 15-17

WCT travels with General Cárdenas for three days, gathering material for updating his biography of Cárdenas.

Sep 20

Permission is granted WCT and Elaine by the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City to travel to the USSR at the invitation of the Academy of Sciences.



Apr 19

WCT travels to Mexico City for the inauguration of the new SIL headquarters building, named after former president of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos (including the "Ramón Beteta Library"). Education Secretary Agustín Yánez, Dr. Alfonso Caso, director of the Instituto Indigenista Nacional, and WCT speak.


The Townsends begin building a permanent home at Waxhaw, North Carolina.

Chuj New Testament of Guatemala is the first SIL document to be typeset by computer.

May 19

WCT flies from Colombia, South America to Mexico to attend WBT/SIL international conference.

Jul 20

Neil Armstrong is the first man to set foot on the moon.



Feb 11

WCT gives permission to Jim Hefley to write his biography provided it presents Wycliffe principles.

Apr 2

WCT is admitted to a Charlotte hospital with heart fibrillation. He had been "on the go" 16 out of the past 19 months, visiting 15 countries.

Aug 12

WCT plans a reprint of the Cakchiquel New Testament and a celebration/presentation next year on the fortieth anniversary of its original presentation on May 19, 1931 to General Jorge Ubico, President of Guatemala.

Sep 17

WCT enters the hospital for further treatment of heart fibrillation.

Oct 19

All people of Mexico are deeply moved by the death of Lázaro Cárdenas. WCT flies to Mexico City for the burial at the historic Monument to the Mexican Revolution. He remains for 8 days.

Nov 5

WCT continues to be deeply exercised over the sectarian reaction by the Mexico and Colombia branches to his proposals to use Paul and Ginny Witte in some way in translation in Colombia.

Dec 19

WCT cables the Archbishop of Guatemala regarding the fortieth anniversary reprinting of the Cakchiquel New Testament, asking his cooperation in distributing it to Cakchiqueles in Catholic communities.


Jan 23

Father Bonni Wittenbrink agrees to go to Guatemala to help in distribution of the Cakchiquel New Testament reprint since the SIL branch declines to do so.

Feb 25

WCT responds with deep distress to the Mexico branch's strong resistance to his employing Wittes to translate for a tribal group in Colombia.

Apr 4

The Townsends' twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is celebrated at the home of Henderson and Ann Belk in Charlotte.


WCT resigns the post of General Director of WBT and SIL at the biennial conference in Mexico City.


Entire fortieth anniversary reprint of the Cakchiquel New Testament is distributed in Guatemala and is especially well received by Roman Catholics.

Jul 7

Shortly after a change of government in Colombia, SIL is informed that its contract with the government will be cancelled. WCT invites Ing. Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, son of Lázaro Cárdenas, to visit SIL's work in Colombia. Cuauhtémoc visits Lomalinda and upon returning to Bogotá speaks to a large group of government officials at a dinner at the "Club Militar." Cárdenas gives a stirring endorsement of SIL's work in Mexico and God uses his enthusiastic backing to change the climate in Colombia. SIL continues its work with solid backing of the Minister of Government.

Jul 9

WCT marks his seventy-fifth birthday.

Aug 17

President Nixon issues a proclamation designating 1971 as the Year of World Minority Language Groups (Joint Congressional Resolution #1005, Aug. 16, 1971). WCT proposes a half-hour movie on the one-hundredth New Testament translation and the President's proclamation regarding the world's minority language groups. WCT suggests to the President of Colombia that he issue a similar proclamation on St. Jerome's Day.

Oct 2

WCT flies to New York City for the 162nd anniversary of the New York Bible Society and is honored for his part in the Bible translation task.

WCT attends the SIL private dedication of its Mexico City headquarters in memory of General Lázaro Cárdenas.

Nov 30

Dr. Alfonso Caso, eminent Mexican archaeologist, dies in Mexico City.


Mar 24

First copies of THEY FOUND A COMMON LANGUAGE are received by WCT, paving the way for the Townsends to make specific plans for their third trip to the USSR.

Mar 27

Frank Robbins signs a Memorandum of Agreement between SIL's International Linguistic Center and the University of Texas at Arlington "to offer cooperatively a program in linguistic training and research."


All copies of THEY FOUND A COMMON LANGUAGE are mysteriously taken off the market by Harper & Row.

May 31

With the arrival of Christopher David Cameron Tuggy in Mexico, WCT and Elaine are grandparents for the first time. They send their congratulations from the USSR.


First academic sessions are held at SIL's International Linguistic Center on the newly developed campus in Dallas.

Aug 5

WCT goes to Brasília to attend the seventh Inter-American Indian Congress. It is likely that he is the only person who has attended all seven congresses.

Aug 18

WCT and Elaine travel to Mexico, then to the SIL courses at Grand Forks, North Dakota, Norman, Oklahoma and Gordon College, near Boston.

Sep 1

WCT receives a written invitation to attend a UNESCO World Congress on Linguistics in Ashkabad, Turkmenia.

Oct 28

WCT and Ed Boyer fly to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend a two-day conference for teachers on bilingual education for native Americans.


Jan 1

WCT's year verse is: "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Mar 7

WCT sends off to President Bhutto a plan for promoting linguistic unification in Pakistan around Urdu, the majority language.

Apr 17

WCT goes to Albuquerque, New Mexico to speak to 300 native American school teachers on bilingual education for native Americans.

May 15

WCT and Elaine fly to Mexico City for SIL/WBT biennial conference.



WCT begins writing 6 additional chapters updating his biography of General Lázaro Cárdenas.


The Ministry of Education of Mexico translates and publishes in Spanish 10,000 copies of WCT's book on bilingual education in the USSR, THEY FOUND A COMMON LANGUAGE.


WCT and Elaine are living at an evangelical camp for elderly Russian immigrants in Connecticut, Elaine studying Russian, WCT writing on the Cárdenas biography update.

May 13

Dr. Jaime Torres Bodet, former Minister of Education and longtime friend of SIL, dies in Mexico City.


Word Publishers of Texas begin distributing Jim and Marti Hefley's UNCLE CAM biography.



Jan 11

WCT has an interview with Bill Bright of Campus Crusades seeking to enlist him and his organization in challenging young people for Bible translation.

Jan 13

WCT flies to Washington, D.C. to see two U.S. senators and Mexican Ambassador Hugo Margáin. Later that day he flies to Chicago to attend a reception for Indian Ambassador T.N. Kaul in Wheaton, hosted by Rochunga Pudaite, founder of Bibles for the World.


Plans for formal inauguration of SIL Mexico City headquarters as the "Lázaro Cárdenas Linguistic Center" are postponed indefinitely because of the uncertain political climate.


Jan 1

In WCT's Spanish New Year's letter he categorically refutes the accusation which appeared in a Manila newspaper that SIL members accept funds from the CIA.

Jan 23

WCT writes Senator Mark Hatfield suggesting that during the U.S. bicentennial year the CIA cease operations and that the enormous amount of money saved be used to build schools in third world countries.

Jan 26

WCT and Elaine fly to Bogotá to seek solutions to critical SIL problems in Colombia.

Mar 8

Peru branch of SIL receives written notice from the Peruvian government that SIL work will be terminated at the end of the year. SIL director focuses attention on II Chronicles 20:11-20.

Apr 20

Sixty-five Peruvian diplomats, educators and military persons sign a public document, published in the leading newspaper in Lima, requesting the Peruvian government to continue its backing of SIL's work. A month later 68 other outstanding Peruvian citizens publish their adherence to the previous document.


May 7

WCT writes Senator Carl Curtis and Representative Don Clausen that SIL members are not permitted to give information to the CIA.

Jun 28

At a public ceremony in Mexico City, WCT's updated, enlarged biography of Lázaro Cárdenas is presented to the public. WCT is interviewed by the press, on radio and TV. The next day Amalia Cárdenas is installed as President of SIL's Mexican advisory committee at a dinner attended by 65 distinguished Mexicans. #32397

Jul 4

United States of America celebrate 200 years since declaring independence from England.

Jul 9

A celebration of WCT's eightieth birthday at Waxhaw is attended by 300 guests, longtime friends and family.

Jul 16

The government of Peru appoints a new Premier and 4 new Ministers of State, creating what is viewed by many as a more favorable atmosphere for the continuance of SIL work in Peru.


WCT asks Dick Pittman to begin research for a Museum of the History of the Alphabet. Princeton University Library in New Jersey is the principal source of research materials during the next two years.

Sep 1

The Townsends and other SIL members attend the Congress of Americanists in Paris. In an atmosphere of opposition to SIL in the anthropological section of the congress, WCT reads I John 4:7-16 from the Spanish New Testament, thus introducing a substantive basis for evaluating SIL's linguistic, social, and spiritual work.

Sep 24

The Townsends return to Waxhaw from Paris and a vacation in Spain.


Word is received that the government of Peru has decided to renew SIL's contract for work in that country.


Jan 26

WCT flies to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Prayer Breakfast. While there he speaks with ambassadors from India, Mexico, Philippines, PNG and Indonesia.

Mar 14

WCT goes to Mexico to speak with President López Portillo regarding the possibility of his inaugurating the México-Cárdenas Museum at Waxhaw.

Apr 13

WCT writes USSR Ambassador Dobrynin, expounding the worldwide benefits that would accrue if love motivated everyone's life as commanded in the epistle of FIRST JOHN, and offers to pay to have the book translated into 100 of the languages of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Siberia that lack it. (This is done in 1978 in 5 dialects of Armenian.)


The president of the Brazilian Indian Protection Agency (FUNAI) states in writing that SIL's contract will not be renewed and that language work should be terminated.

Jun 18

At an impressive ceremony at the JAARS Center, near Waxhaw, North Carolina, the Mexico-Cárdenas Museum is inaugurated by Mrs. Amalia Solórzano de Cárdenas and H.E. Ambassador Hugo Margáin, in company with Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and family, as well as Senator Carl Curtis, North Carolina Lt. Governor and other dignitaries.

Sen. Curtis states publicly, "Townsend and the Wycliffe Bible Translators have done more for the countries where they have served than the sum total of all the [U.S.] government or foreign aid which has been extended to those nations."



Feb 3

WCT visits Brazilian ambassador in Washington seeking help in resolving SIL's problems in Brazil.


WCT travels to Mexico for two weeks to help with SIL government contacts.

Initial plans are drawn up for construction of the Museum of the Alphabet.

Jun 17

At the first anniversary of the México-Cárdenas Museum in Waxhaw, Ambassador Hugo Margáin decorates WCT with the Aguila Azteca. He designates the museum as the official site in the U.S. for a ceremony each year commemorating the birth of former President Lázaro Cárdenas.



Jan 18

Dr. Juan Comas, Mexican anthropologist and longtime friend of WCT and SIL, dies in Mexico City.

WCT and Elaine are in Washington, D.C. for the National Prayer Breakfast and visits with several ambassadors.

May 18

WCT and Elaine go to Mexico to join the Cárdenas family and the Mexican nation in commemorating the birth of General Lázaro Cárdenas on May 21.


WCT urges extreme caution and points out the dangers inherent in hiring national translators or in investing foreign funds in national Bible translation organizations (NBTOs).

Jul 14

The New Testament in the Amuesha language of Peru is designated the one- hundredth testament translated under SIL auspices.


The Parlamento Latinoamericano held in Mexico City strenuously attacks SIL. Dr. Andrés Townsend of Perú defends SIL.

Sep 10

WCT goes to Mexico City to consult with the Secretary of Education and others regarding a crisis over SIL's contract. He is assured that even though SIL's contract is no longer valid, SIL will be permitted to continue its work. (This is WCT's fourth trip to Mexico since May 21.)

Oct 4

SIL is granted a ten-year contract with the Ministry of Education of Peru.


Nov 19

At a banquet in Washington, D.C., hosted by Cameroon Ambassador Benoit Bindzi, WCT accepts on behalf of SIL Papua New Guinea (PNG) branch the UNESCO International Literacy Award. Ambassador Bindzi states, "The founding of the Summer Institute of Linguistics is definitely one of the best gifts that has been given to the illiterate world." Ambassador Paulias Matane of PNG states, "The UNESCO Award is in recognition of SIL's high quality of, and unselfish dedication to, the literacy work in PNG." Bust of WCT, sculptured by Alan Baughman, is unveiled the same evening.



Feb 7

Townsends fly to Washington to attend the National Prayer Breakfast. They also have interviews with three ambassadors.


Townsends and the David Tuggys go to Tetelcingo, Mexico, for the dedication of the Tetelcingo Nahuatl New Testament. WCT calls on friends and government officials in Mexico City regarding problems facing SIL.


Work on the technical displays in the Museum of the Alphabet at Waxhaw is progressing vigorously under the direction of Katie Voigtlander and Dick Pittman.

On the occasion of Pope John Paul II's visit to Brazil, SIL members present him with copies of 5 New Testaments translated into minority languages of Peru.


John Beekman, SIL International Translation Coordinator, dies in Dallas, 25 years after his heart valve replacement.

Aug 26

At Ambassador Margáin's urging, WCT and Dick Pittman fly to Mexico to talk with the Minister of Education regarding SIL gradually turning over to his ministry ILV's facilities throughout the country for use as training centers for minority young people. This is an effort to offset serious accusations leveled against SIL by an official of the Ministry of Education. The Minister promises to give consideration to the proposal.


WCT and Elaine go to Chicago and California for speaking engagements. The Mayor of Los Angeles declares October 18 "Cam Townsend Day."

Nov 11

Bolivia Branch of SIL, on its twenty-fifth anniversary, is decorated by the Bolivian government with the "Gran Orden Boliviana de la Educación."


WCT and Elaine fly to Mexico after speaking engagements in Atlanta to attend the eighth Inter-American Indian Congress. WCT reports that the sessions consisted mainly of criticisms.


The IBM personal computer promises to revolutionize data processing the world over.

Jan 13

WCT, with Ben Elson, John Alsop and Bob Goerz, have a friendly, productive meeting with Mexican President López Portillo.


In Bogotá, Colombia, Chester Bitterman is taken captive by bandits. "May Chet be able to lead at least one of his captors to a saving knowledge of the Lord." –WCT.

Feb 2-7

WCT and Elaine fly to Washington D.C. to attend the National Prayer Breakfast and to visit ambassadors from India, PNG, Indonesia, Mexico and Cameroon. #38101, 38083


The Townsends go to Bradenton, Florida for a month of relaxation. #38083

Mar 7

WCT, in Florida, early in the morning, learns of Chet Bitterman's assassination by terrorists in Bogotá. By noon he is on his way to Colombia. Funeral and burial take place at 5 p.m. that day at Lomalinda with WCT present. He returns to Florida two weeks later, stopping by Mexico on the return trip.


WCT goes to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to speak at the Bitterman Memorial Service at Chet's home church.

May 9

Wycliffe Associates presents a Golden Jubilee Celebration at the Anaheim Conference Center commemorating 50 years since the publication of the Cakchiquel New Testament and the beginnings of the SIL Bible translation movement for ethnic minorities of the world. Cam is honored with a "This Is Your Life" type program. Billy Graham is the principal speaker.

Jun 28

CBS airs a television presentation of the Bitterman Memorial Service of March 29 and repeats it on July 5.

Jul 9

Five hundred guests join Uncle Cam and family in Waxhaw to celebrate his 85th birthday.


WCT learns that he has borderline leukemia.


At a reception at the SIL Cudney group house in Lima, several hundred educators, linguists and Peruvian friends express their gratitude to SIL for 35 years of service to Peru's minority people. With the Minister of Education and a representative of the Cardinal at his side, President Fernando Belaunde confers the "Orden del Sol del Perú" upon WCT for distinguished service on the part of all the SIL members who have worked in Perú. Forty favorable articles are published in Lima newspapers.

Nov 11

Townsends fly to Mexico for ten days of contacts with government officials and friends, including Mrs. Cárdenas.

Dec 12

WCT addresses the graduating class of Biola University and receives a standing ovation. Dr. Sam Sutherland honors WCT, "a college drop-out," by bestowing upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature.


Jan 18

WCT writes President López Portillo asking for date and hour when he can have an interview with Mexico's president.


WCT is hospitalized with pneumonia, acute leukemia and anemia, returning home February 3 much improved.

Apr 2

A radio request from SIL director in Bolivia is telephoned to WCT in Florida asking him to write a message to the Minister of Education to be read two days later at SIL's center, Tumi Chucua, at a ceremony when SIL would turn over to the Bolivian government the language center in the jungle. In approximately 45 minutes WCT, in spite of poor health and little energy, is given strength to write a powerful message. His last diplomatic communiqué is indeed read at that ceremony in the Bolivian jungle less than 48 hours later.


The Townsends quietly celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary at the Rossi home in Florida. #38781 They send a nostalgic telegram to Mrs. Cárdenas in Mexico.


Townsends return to Waxhaw from Florida. The next day WCT suffers a relapse and is taken to Springs Memorial Hospital in nearby Lancaster, South Carolina. Paul Townsend, other family members and friends come from far and near to see Cam and "enjoy his sweet, loving spirit."


Just 48 hours before Uncle Cam's death a phone call is received from Colombia informing him that the memorial ambulance for Chet Bitterman had just been presented to the mayor of the town of Villavicencio (near SIL's center, Lomalinda) by Chet's parents, Chester and Mary Bitterman. They had expressed their forgiveness to those who killed their son and asked God's blessing on the country of Colombia. This news was received by Cam with great joy and satisfaction.


After nine days in hospital, during which time he did not suffer, at 6 p.m. Friday, April 23, Cameron Townsend died.


Members of the SIL/WBT board fly to Waxhaw from Georgia and together with nearly a thousand people gather at Calvary Church, Charlotte, to bid farewell to Uncle Cam, friend and leader. Friends and family come from many parts of the country. The body is laid to rest at the JAARS center near Waxhaw, North Carolina in a grave situated between the México-Cárdenas Museum and the Museum of the Alphabet. The graveside service is followed by a "sharing service" which lasts three hours.

Hundreds of telegrams, letters and phone calls are received by Elaine from heads of state, ambassadors, cabinet members, congressmen, Christian leaders, colleagues and friends expressing their feelings at the loss of Cameron Townsend.

   Calvin T. Hibbard
   Townsend Archives
   Summer Institute of Linguistics
   Box 248
   Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173
   January 1995

This unpublished document should be cited as follows in a bibliography:
Hibbard, Calvin T. (compiler) l995. Significant Events in the Life of William Cameron Townsend and the organizations he founded: Summer Institute of Linguistics, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and JAARS, Inc. Unpublished typescript archived in the Townsend Archives, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Box 248, Waxhaw, NC 28l73, dated January. 65 pages. Archive document No. 57000.

Date created: 1-Nov-1995
Last modified: 1-Nov-1995
Copyright © 1995, Summer Institute of Linguistics
Reply to townsend_archive@jaars.org.




Kenneth Pike, traductor de la Biblia al Mixteco.

Vida y obra de Kenneth Pike (en inglés).



Useful Links:

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Tasters of the Word (YouTube), videos recientes: "Astronomía y Nacimiento de Jesucristo: Once de Septiembre Año Tres A.C.", "Estudio sobre Sanidades" (en 20 episodios), "Jesus Christ, Son or God?" and "We've the Power to Heal":http://www.youtube.com/1fertra

Tasters of the Word (the blog, with: "Astronomy and the Birth of Jesus Christ"):http://fertra1.blogspot.com


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