The Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (Société des missions évangéliques de Paris), also known as the SMEP or Mission de Paris, was a Protestant missionary association created in 1822. As with other Christian societies of the era, it came under of the auspices of an organised church, in this case the Reformed Church in France and brought together Protestants of the Réveil (Awakening).
The SMEP opened several areas of operation, notably in Africa (in particular, Lesotho) and Oceania. The churches founded in these areas were organised along similar lines to the Reformed Church in France, with synods and presbyteries (consistoires).
In 1964, the daughter churches established by SMEP missionaries expressed a strong desire to change the tenor of the relationship with the mother church, for their part they wished for ‘integration of the Missionary Church to the Mother Church’ (l’intégration de la Mission à l’Église)
This objective was realised in 1970, when two new organisations replaced the SMEP: CÉVAA Communauté évangélique d’action apostolique (subsequently Communauté d’Églises en Mission) and DÉFAP, Département évangélique français d’action apostolique (subsequently Service protestant de mission).
Reverend B. Maurice Hall was born in Oklahoma. Upon graduation from Pasadena College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) in 1950, Maurice attended Nazarene Theological Seminary. Upon graduation he served as pastor of Nazarene churches in Los Angeles, California. He was ordained an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 1952.
In 1956, Dr. and Mrs. Hall began work as Nazarene missionaries in Africa, where they would serve for the next 20 years. Rev. Hall was one of the founding missionaries for the Church in Central Africa, first in Nyasaland (Malawi) and in 1963 beginning work in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (Harare, Zimbabwe). He authored the book “I Sought for a Man: The Story of Nazarene Missions in Central Africa,” in 1966.
The Halls returned to the United States in 1975 to pastor the Santa Ana, California First Church of the Nazarene. In 1986, Rev. Hall was elected District Superintendent of the Southern California District, a position he held until his retirement in 1998. He died 2009.
The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denomination in the classical Wesleyan-Holiness tradition and the largest such denomination in the world. The Nazarenes and other Wesleyan denominations distinguish themselves from most other Christian churches by their focus on the doctrine of “entire sanctification” – being called to a life of holy living. The Church traces its anniversary date to 1908. In that year, the West coast based Nazarenes under the leadership of Dr. Bresee united with the Holiness Church of Christ based in Texas.
For many years, Nazarene missionaries of the Southern African Mission Field “prayed that God would open the doors that missionaries might be sent to Central Africa.” In 1955, a group was sent to “spy out the land” with special emphasis on Nyasaland (Malawi). B. Maurice Hall and his wife arrived in Malawi in 1957. A mission was opened in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) the following year and in in Salisbury in 1963.
The Church of the Nazarene now includes congregations in more than 160 countries of the world. The 30,000 Nazarene churches around the world now have a total membership of almost 2.5 million.
The Church came to Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in July 1963 when Rev. B Maurice Hall and his wife were chosen to begin work in the capital city of Salisbury (Harare).
The Halls planted churches in the center of Harare and in the suburbs, including in Highfields Township. Missionaries Jack Barnell and his wife were assigned to open a Bible School in Harare in the 1970s. Barnell supervised the construction of the buildings, selection of curriculum and staff organization.
Clarence and Gladys Cedarholm served as The Evangelical Alliance Mission(TEAM) missionaries in Southern Rhodesia from 1953 to 1978. Clarence’s call to missions came while serving as a medical corpsman in WWII onboard the USS New Mexico. Many of his fellow crewmen were killed when a kamikaze pilot hit the ship. Clarence felt that he had been spared for some reason. He was also upset by the way many of his shipmates treated natives when they were on shore leave. He committed his life “to serving the underprivileged of the third world who know nothing of Jesus and had been taken advantage of and treated so poorly by American soldiers.”
In 1953, Clarence and his wife Gladys took a freighter from New York to Cape Town, South Africa with their 3-year old son and 3-month old daughter to serve as missionaries. They then drove a pickup truck north into the interior of Africa settling in the remote Zambesi Valley of Zimbabwe. They would serve in a number of TEAM missions including Msengedzi and at “the Plot” in Hatfield/Harare. Their two younger children were born while they were in Africa.
Gladys died at age 86 in 2013. Clarence preceded her in death 15 years earlier. They had been married 50 years.
The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) in Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) had become increasingly convinced of the need to have a base of operations in the capital city of Harare (formerly Salisbury). Many of the local believers from the Zambesi Valley were moving to the city seeking employment and the missionaries were concerned about their “spiritual welfare.” There was a need for better accommodations when the missionaries traveled to Harare for supplies, to seek medical attention and meet with government officials. They had been camping in a park on the outskirts of the city. And the missionaries’ school-aged children needed a better place to stay while attending government schools in Harare. The Danielsons’ and Dunkelds’ children “were staying in a private hostel that provided poor care, little supervision and no Christian nurture or influence in their lives.”
So in 1950, TEAM acquired a 5-acre plot in the Harare suburb of Hatfield, which became known as “the Plot.” In time, it grew into the TEAM Zimbabwe headquarters.
Orval and Helen Dunkeld were the first missionaries assigned to Hatfield. Orval repaired an old cottage on the site to serve as a boarding school for the school children. The Dunkelds served as the first ‘dorm parents’ – a responsibility that shifted among the missionaries. In 1956-67, a larger hostel was built on the Plot with the “Old Cottage” becoming a guesthouse for visiting missionaries. Richard and Inez Grigg (parents of missionary Lynn Hoyt) moved to Hatfield in 1967, built a home there and took on administrative duties. That released Marian Wilterdink to pursue her interest in teaching Bible classes. TEAM missionaries Clarence and Alice Cedarholm were serving at Hatfield as of July 1969.
The Evangelical Bible College relocated to Hatfield in April 1991, changing its name to the Harare Theological College (HTC). HTC moved to its present location in Avondale in 2004. The Plot was later sold to the Pentecostal Assemblies of God based in Canada to serve as a location for its college facility.
Little is know of the Dande Mission. There are no references to Dande Mission on the TEAM website or in Hawkin’s book “Ordinary People in God’s Hands,” the most comprehensive account of TEAM’s missionary efforts in Southern Rhodesia.
There is one known cover, below, from Reverend O. Blair with a Dande Mission Station return address, P. O. Sipillo (Guruve). The date is indistinct, but most likely 1950. The Blairs came to the Zambesi Valley (which included the Dande valley) as TEAM missionaries in 1946 and remained for 30 years. As of August 1953, the Blairs were serving at Kapfundi Mission.
Dande mission would have been located in the Guruve district (also know as Mbire District) in Mashonaland Central province (Northeast Zimbabwe). The area is home to the Dande Communal Land (Tribal Trust Land) and the Dande Safari Areas.
First class in High School at Mavuradonha Mission. Miss Maria Chobu, teacher.
Missionaries from the Zambezi Mission established the Mavuradontha (Mavhuradonha) Mission and school near Mount Darwin in 1928. The Danielsons, missionaries from the Scandinavian Alliance Mission (later renamed The Evangelical Alliance Mission – T.E.A.M.), stayed at Mavuradonha 1940-41 in preparation for establishing TEAM’s first mission station at Msengedzi. TEAM acquired the Mavuradonha mission station in 1951.
Mavuradonha was a remote mission station. As described by TEAM missionaries Don and Lynn Hoyt who moved to Mavuradonha in 1953:
“The transition was challenging- nights under mosquito netting; limited electrical power; kerosene lamps; hot water supplied from drums heated by wood; a running battle with termites and spiders, occasional snakes, lizards, and scorpions in the house; constant attention to the water pump; the night symphony of hyenas, leopards chasing baboons, and village dogs; and the morning overture of the guinea fowl. But it was the greatest place in the world to live.”
Another missionary serving at Mavuradonha in 1953, Norman Everswick, began teaching bible studies to a group of six students which laid the foundation for the Evangelical Bible School – later becoming the Harare Theological College. Mary Danielson taught at Mavuradonha Central Primary School for ten years following the death of her husband of Typhoid fever in 1943.
In 1974, Mavuradonha was the site of the tragic killing of Mr. Rhichard Tsinaknadi, who was savagely beaten to death with a pole allegedly by members of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).
Mavuradonha is presently the site of Mavuradonha High School administered by the Evangelical Church of Zimbabwe.
Ordinary People in God’s Hands – Diane Powell Hawkins