Document Type

Finding Aid

Publication Date


Inclusive Dates--Span


Inclusive Dates--Bulk


Scope and Content Note

This collection includes research materials and drafts for a book about the life of Texas Senator (1981-1983) Mike Richards, who was running for Texas State Comptroller in 1982 against incumbent Bob Bullock. The Richards campaign decided not to use the book, and it was not published. Additionally, the collection includes data from a survey regarding missionary support from US Churches of Christ designed and directed by Thomas Olbricht, George Gurganus, and Phil Elkins in 1966. The surveys and collected data provide insight into Churches of Christ missionary support during the mid-1960s.

Biographical Note

Thomas Henry Olbricht was born in 1929. He earned a B.S from Northern Illinois University (1951), an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa (1953 and 1959), and a S.T.B. from Harvard Divinity School (1962). He was later awarded a D.H.L. from Pepperdine University (2011). He taught for over 40 years at Harding University (1954-1955), University of Dubuque (1955-1959), The Pennsylvania State University (1962-1967), Abilene Christian University (1967-1986), and Pepperdine University (1986-1996). Olbricht was an active member of academic religious and rhetoric societies during his academic career. He wrote or edited twenty-two books, and published more than one hundred essays on topics such as biblical studies, rhetorical analysis, and church history. Additionally, Olbricht served as a minister in Churches of Christ in Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Texas, and California.

See Thomas H. Olbricht, Reflections on My Life: In the Kingdom and the Academy (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2012) for more information concerning Olbricht and his influence on the Churches of Christ.

Donor Note

Thoms Henry Olbricht


The materials have been grouped in two series. The first includes materials acquired and used by Olbricht in order to write the book about Mike Richards. The second series includes research materials and data from the 1966 survey of Churches of Christ by Olbricht, Gurganus, and Elkins.

Content List

Box 1
I. Mike Richards Book Materials
1. Correspondence (1)
2. Correspondence (2)
3. Correspondence (3)
4. Correspondence (4)
5. Correspondence (5)
6. Correspondence (6)
7. Research (1)
8. Research (2)
9. Research (3)
10. Research (4)

Box 2
11. Rough Draft
12. Revised Chapters
II. Churches of Christ Missions Survey (1966)
1. Correspondence and Reports
2. Data Sheets
3. State Data Sheets
4. Blank Forms
5. Stencils
6. Alabama
7. Alaska
8. Arizona
9. Arkansas
10. Colorado
11. Connecticut
12. Delaware
13. Florida
14. Georgia
15. Hawaii
16. Illinois

Box 3
17. Indiana
18. Iowa
19. Kansas
20. Kentucky
21. Louisiana
22. Maine
23. Maryland
24. Massachusetts
25. Michigan
26. Minnesota
27. Missouri
28. Mississippi
29. Nebraska
30. New Hampshire
31. New Jersey
32. New York
33. North Dakota and South Dakota
34. Ohio
35. Oklahoma
36. Oregon
37. Pennsylvania
38. Rhode Island
39. Tennessee
40. Texas
41. Vermont
42. Virginia
43. Washington
44. Washington, D.C.
45. West Virginia


Churches of Christ -- History -- 20th century
Churches of Christ -- Mission Work
Richards, William Michael “Mike”



Extent of Collection

1.33 linear feet (3 boxes)

Manuscript Number

Center for Restoration Studies Manuscripts #19

Physical Location

Center for Restoration Studies

Use Restrictions

Open to researchers. Contact Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives to make an appointment.

Processing Status


Finding Aid created by

Brady Cox, Mac Ice, Amanda Dietz


Finding aid for the Thomas Henry Olbricht Papers, 1934-1982.


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