Brethren in Christ Church: Pumula Mission

Brethren in Christ Church

Pumula Mission

Pumula (Phumula) Mission, begun 1955 approximately 65 miles west of Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North Province, was the last of the missions established by Brethren in Christ Church (BICC) in Southern Rhodesia.  The mission came about due to the forced movement of Chief Siphoso Dlodlo and his peoples to the Gwaai S.N.A. (Special Native Area)(Tribal Trust Land) under the Land Apportionment Act.  BICC followed and were granted a site to set up the Pumula Mission.

The Pumula (Phumula) Mission Hospital was opened in 1959.  As of 1970, the hospital served about 3,350 inpatients and offered 6,750 outpatient treatments per year.  It was equipped with 36 beds, maternity ward, rudimentary laboratory and an outpatient clinic.  An x-ray center was added in 2013 to allow the hospital to better screen patients for tuberculosis.   Zimwatuga Primary School is located on/or near the mission.

BICC missionaries to Pumula include Frederic L. Holland (helped to found the mission), Dr. R. Virginia Kauffman (left in 1973), Donna L. Sollenberger, and Rev. and Mrs. Kenneth A. Bulgrien.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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American Board Mission: Mount Selinda Mission – Medical Department

Mount Selinda Mission

Medical Department

Medical work began at Mount Selinda in the mission’s first year with the opening of a dispensary by Dr. W. L Thompson in 1893.  It was the first permanent missionary medical mission staffed by a medical doctor in Southern Rhodesia.  The dispensary became a full-fledged hospital in 1912.  Dr. Willis H. Willis, who succeeded Dr. Thompson, began a three-year training course for African nurses in 1930 with seven initial nursing students.

In the mid-1930’s, the hospital received a generous gift from Dr. Willis F. Pierce which made possible a much needed addition to hospital.  It was renamed the “William F. Pierce Memorial Hospital” in his honor.  Between 1930 and 1936, in-patients treated as the hospital grew from 96 to 858, including 57 surgical operations.  There were another 1,689 out patients in that year.

In addition to Doctors Thompson and Willis, other missionary medical staff includes Dr. William T. Lawrence (served at both Mount Selinda and Chikore); Minnie A. Tontz (later Mrs. Lawrence, nurse); Gertrude H. Merrill (nurse); Theresa R. Buck, R.N., (at both Mount Selinda and Chikore); Dr. Victor Master (1948-51); Dr. Kirk Stetson (1956-73); Dr. Donaldson (1958-61); Dr. Alma Cooke (1958-61); Dr. Almarose Cooke (later Mrs. Gordon Wordon); and Dr. Selwyn Spray (deported in 1976 for aiding “African Freedom Fighters”).  The first African doctor joined the hospital in 1982.

Today, Mount Selinda’s medical facilities consist of the Mount Selinda Hospital and School of Nursing.

References

Contributor
  • Mark Loomis

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American Board Mission: Mount Selinda Mission – Mount Selinda Institute

Mount Selinda Mission

Mount Selinda Institute

 

Beginning in 1931, the Mount Selinda Training and Practicing School, consisting of the industrial and agricultural departments, teacher training and “practicing school” (primary school and kindergarten) became known as “Mount Selinda Institute.”  The name has also, at times, been used to describe the mission as a whole.

Samuel J. Curtis was principal until 1939.  He was succeeded by Frank T. Meacham.  William H. Reedy was Principal as of 1958.  Other missionaries joining the staff include Evelyn Lyman, Lois A Bergdolt, Mr. and Mrs. Eric Dahle (teacher training) and F. Keith Schwyhart.

By 1958, the Institute had 500 students in the primary school, teachers’ training, and 3-year courses in building construction and carpentry.  Secondary education was introduced in the mid to late -1960’s.

Today, under the direction of United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (UCCZ), Mt. Selinda is the site of the Mount Selinda High School (secondary school with boarding facilities for boys and girls) and Mount Selinda primary school.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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American Board Mission: Mount Selinda Mission – Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School

Mount Selinda Mission

Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School

 

Arlene R. Mather founded the Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School (also known simply as the “Training School”) in 1918 by consolidating the Industrial Department, Agricultural Department, Bible School, and “normal school” (teacher training). There was also a “practicing school” consisting of a primary school and kindergarten used by the student teachers to “practice” their teaching.

Educating local teachers was essential to the growth and development of “out-station” schools in neighbouring villages (kraals), which were staffed by teachers educated at Mount Silinda. Initially the school was housed in two buildings – a two-story brick building used for the school and boys dormitory and a second building for the girls boarding department.

A number of missionaries served at the school during the time it was called by that name.  In addition to Mather, other school principals included Emory D. Alvord (also in charge of the agricultural department), Ivy E. Craig (acting Principal as of 1928) and Samuel J. Curtis (as of 1929).  Other staff members included Arthur J. Orner (Industrial Department); Richard B. Hack (Industrial Department); Mabel E. Larkins (teacher), and Louise F. Torrence (teacher –as of 1930).

In 1930, enrollment in the training school (vocational and agricultural departments) was 85; there were 57 student teachers in teacher training; and 382 students in the practising school (primary school and kindergarten). Beginning in 1931, the schools, including departments, became known as Mount Selinda Institute.

References

  • Annual Reports of the American Board of Commissioners (1918- 1931).
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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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.

References

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

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Mabel E. Larkins Hack

Mabel E. Larkins Hack

1891 – 1955

 

Mabel E. Larkins was born Oneida Castle, New York in 1891.  She graduated from a teacher training school in 1911 and taught in New York for 11 years.  She was appointed a missionary with the American Board of Commissions in 1922, traveling to Southern Rhodesia to teach at the Mount Silinda Training and Practicing School (later Mount Selinda Institute). As of 1927, Miss Larkins was acting Principal.

In 1932 she married Richard B. Hack, who was born in South Africa and was associated with the mission.  Mrs. Hack continued to teach at Mount Selinda for over 30 years until her death in Umtali, Southern Rhodesia on November 2nd, 1955.

References

  • Mabel E. Larkins Hack (findagrave.com)
  • Annual Reports of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1922 – 1954
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis
  • Walter Herdzik

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Postcards: Wesleyan Methodist Church – Type I

Wesleyan Methodist Church

Type I

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Wesleyan Methodist Church

Wesleyan Methodist Church

The Wesleyan Methodist Church, currently known as “The Methodist Church of Great Britain,” is a mainline Protestant denomination and “mother church” to Methodists worldwide.  Methodism originated through the work of John Wesley and his brother Charles in the 1700’s.  Following John Wesley’s death in 1793, the revival movement separated from the Church of England to become a separate church.  The word “Wesleyan” was added to its name to differentiate it from the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists and the Primitive Methodist movement, which separated from the Wesleyans in 1807.

From the beginning, the church had a strong missionary character. The first Methodist missionaries to Southern Rhodesia were Reverend Owen Watkins and Isaac Shimmin with the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (WMMS).  Accompanied by native Teaching-Evangelists, they arrived at Fort Salisbury from their base in South Africa on September 29, 1891, a year after its occupation by Cecil Rhodes’ “pioneer Column.”  Rhodes granted them concessions for three farms that were used to found Epworth and Nenguwo (later Waddilove) missions.  In 1895, the Methodist “Rhodesia District” was separated from the Transvaal, reporting to the British Conference.

In 1932, the Wesleyan Methodist re-united with the Primitive Methodist and the United Methodist Churches to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain.  As a consequence of the union, WMMS and the foreign missions of the Primitive Methodist and the United Methodist Churches merged to form the Methodist Missionary Society (MMS).

Local autonomy was granted to the church from Great Britain in 1977, including mission properties, eventually becoming the present “Methodist Church in Zimbabwe” (MCZ).   MCZ became its own conference in 1997.  Today it oversees 250 full-time ministers and a Methodist community of close to 200,000 members.

Missions

  • Southern Rhodesia
    • 1891-92- Epworth Mission
    • 1892 – Nengubo Mission
    • 1892 – Kwenda Mission
    • 1897 – Tegwani Mission
    • 1908 – Chimanza Mission
    • 1913 – Sandringham Mission
    • 1914 – Marshall Hartley Mission
    • 1915 – Waddilove Institution
    • 0000- Chibero Mission
  • Northern Rhodesia
    • 1912 – Chipembi Mission

Postcards

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

Roman Catholic Church: St. Joseph’s Mission

Roman Catholic Church

St. Joseph’s Mission

 

Jesuit Father Hornig started St. Joseph’s Mission in August 1912 near Chief Hama’s village in the Chilimanzi Reserve (Tribal Trust Land), located south of Mvuma (Umvuma) in Chirumhanzu District, Midlands Province.

Chief Hama initially welcomed the Jesuits, but later opposed their efforts.  Nonetheless, between 1914 and 1916, the Jesuits opened a number of schools within a few miles of the mission and baptized approximately 200 new converts.  By 1920, there were 383 baptisms and 55 Christian marriages.

The Dominican sisters opened a school in 1936, later staffed by the Gwelo (Gweru) diocesan African Congregation, the Sisters of the Infant Jesus (SJI).  Along with other missions within the Gwelo Diocese, St. Joseph’s was transferred to the control of the Bethlehem Mission Society (SMB – Swiss Bethlehem Fathers) prior to 1946.

Bishop Haene, SMB, began a minor seminary for Africans at St. Joseph’s in 1948. It was moved to Gokomere Mission in 1950 and then to Chikwingwizha, near Gwelo (Gweru) in 1962. As of 1952, mail was posted via private bag at Gwelo (Gweru).

The mission currently consists of a SJI Convent; St. Joseph’s Primary School; (St. Joseph’s) Hama High School; a Dominican Sisters Convent; and St. Theresa Hospital (staffed by the Dominican Sisters).

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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Roman Catholic Church: Mukaro Mission

Roman Catholic Church

Mukaro Mission

Father Otto Hubman, Bethlehem Mission Society (SMB), founded Mukaro Mission in 1945.  Located in Gutu, Masvingo (formerly Fort Victoria) Province, it was the first mission established by SMB in Southern Rhodesia.  Father Hubman was still at the mission as of 2001.

Under the Masvingo Diocese, Mukaro presently consists of the Mukaro High School (a girls boarding school); Mukaro Primary School; St. Kizito Minor Seminary; a Sister’s convent operated by the Sisters of the Holy Cross; a “Fathers’ House” for priests; church and the Mukaro clinic.

In 2012, approximately 700 Mukaro High School students demonstrated against the lack of water and poor living conditions by leaving class and walking 15km to the Gutu District Education Office.  The Diocese shut down the school in 2016 due to the continued presence of two teachers that it believed were responsible for organizing the demonstration.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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