Elsie Ahlwén Sundeen: The Singing Evangelist
Exhibit on view March 15–June 15, 2018
Elsie Rebecca Ahlwén Sundeen was an evangelist, musician, and composer. Born in Sweden in 1905, she received training at Örebro Mission College before migrating to the United States around 1925. She was an active evangelist and traveled widely preaching and singing to various churches and groups.
She was a student at the Moody Bible Institute and North Park University, both in Chicago, and was active with the Salvation Army.
Elsie married Daniel A. Sundeen in 1935 in Manchester, New Hampshire, and had two sons. After Daniel passed away in 1962 and Elsie continued her ministry with renewed efforts until her death in Grand Rapids, Michigan on January 6, 1986.
A Fight for Copyright
Of note in this collection is correspondence regarding copyright issues on “He the Pearly Gates will Open” (“Han Skall Öppna Pärleporten”). Elsie was fighting what she claimed was illegitimate use of the music she wrote.
Founding a Church
Elsie and Daniel founded a church in New Hampshire, Raymond Community Bible Club (now Raymond Baptist Church), which first met in the showroom of his lumber and building supply company.
MSS P:347 Elsie Ahlwén Sundeen evangelist music and other materials