American Board Mission: Mount Selinda Mission – Industrial Department

Mount Selinda Mission

Industrial Department

Soon after Mount Silinda Mission (later Mount Selinda) was established, in keeping with the thinking of the time, it was decided to put an emphasis on “industrial” (vocational) training. At various times over the years, the Industrial department operated a sawmill, and taught courses in carpentry (making and selling furniture), construction/building, brick making, leatherwork, metalwork and agriculture. The department served three purposes: educational; helping to construct mission buildings and supply necessary equipment for the work of other departments; and generating revenue in support of the mission.

Columbus C. (C.C.) Fuller began the Industrial Department upon his arrival in 1902. To lay the department’s foundation, he arranged to have a “traction engine” (self-propelled steam engine) and corresponding machinery hauled by ox teams from Beira, Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) – a trek of over 200 miles! “Breakage of some portions of the machinery and the detention of other portions on the way caused delay, but after months of hard work” the steam engine was used to help construct a sawmill which opened just a year after Fuller arrived at the mission.

By 1908, despite ill health that “prevented Mr. Fuller from securing the development of the industrial department, as had been his hope,” the department had helped build the girls dormitory, a hospital, put a printing press into operation and make over 200,000 bricks. Beginning in 1909, the Industrial department was headed by Arthur J. Orner. Sidney F. Dart joined in 1911.

The Industrial Department was incorporated into the Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School beginning 1918.


  • The Industrial Plant in Gazaland, The Missionary Herald (March 1904)
  • Annual Reports of the American Board of Commissioners (1902-1918
  • Mark Loomis