Q415 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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FBI Catalogue Miscellaneous

FBI preliminary tape identification note: None

Date cues on tape: October 5, 1958 (Jim Jones is 27, Marceline 31; the date two weeks later is specified as October 19)

People named:

Peoples Temple members
Lew Eric Jones
Marceline Jones (speaks)
Stephanie JonesPublic figures/National and international names:
Syngman Rhee, president of South Korea


Fred Jordan, radio/television minister (speaks)
Willie Jordan, Rev. Jordan’s wife (speaks)
Lorraine Jost, orphanage director (speaks)
Harriet, singer with “Church in the Home” (sings)
Lily, singer with “Church in the Home” (sings)
Mr. Brett, announcer (speaks)
Ginny Suderman [phonetic], worker in ministryMr. & Mrs. Owens, adoptive parents (speak)
Lorna Jean Owens, adopted daughter
Rachel Owens, daughter of adoptive parents

Mrs. Braden, adoptive mother (speaks)
Mr. Braden, adoptive father

Mrs. Dirksen, adoptive mother
Ruth Ann Dirksen, adopted child

Bible verses cited: None


(Note: This tape was transcribed by Jennifer Gibbons. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

As part of his decades-long ministry, radio and television minister Fred Jordan interviews several sets of parents who are about to receive children they’ve adopted from South Korea through the “Church in the Home” program. Among the parents are Jim and Marceline Jones, who receive – and meet for the first time – two children who became known as Stephanie and Lew Jones.

The interviews are unscripted and unrehearsed, live on television on a Sunday morning in October 1958, and some of Jim Jones’ responses to Fred Jordan’s questions are unusual and even unorthodox, with Jordan pausing to regain his balance after more than one exchange. In asking the Jones’ why they want two children – everyone else is taking just one – Jim replies, “Just a desire to help people primarily was the reason. We’ve had a great interest in breaking down barriers between all races and nations and creeds, and that’s the primary reason, Brother Jordan.” He then adds a more pragmatic reason, which is that Jordan’s agency didn’t have the same large adoption fees as other international agencies. “Well, thank you so much,” Jordan responds. “We didn’t ask for that, but we certainly appreciate it.”

A moment later, Jordan explores Jones’ vocation as a pastor and asks when he found Christ as his savior. “Six years ago I found Him, as I was pastoring a formal church. I was the pastor, but I was converted in my own church.” Jordan wonders how Jones could have been “converted after you were preaching to others,” then wonders if there are other pastor like Jones that need to find Christ even as they minister to a flock. It’s a good thing the television program is aired while churches are in session, Jordan concludes.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/26/79

In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.

On June 5, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B100-22. This tape was found to contain the following:

Recording of Reverend FRED JORDAN’s television program titled church in the home. It is noted that two orphans are adopted by Pastor and Mrs. JONES (not further identified) on the program.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted January 2011