The Evangelical Alliance Mission (T.E.A.M.)

The Evangelical Alliance Mission (T.E.A.M.)

The Evangelical Alliance Mission (T.E.A.M.) is an inter-denominational evangelical missionary organization founded by Fredrik Franson in 1891. Franson was a respected evangelist and son of Swedish immigrants to Nebraska, United States. T.E.A.M. began under the name Scandinavian Alliance Mission, or “SAM”.  Its stated purpose is to “help churches send missionaries to establish reproducing churches among the nations.”

SAM missionaries departed for Southern Africa in 1892, eventually settling in Manzini, Swaziland.  It was not until 1942 that SAM would enter Southern Rhodesia.  Peter Lind (Lindi) working with the Zambezi Mission had contacted SAM leadership about expanding into the “vast unreached territory in Zambezi Valley “ in the northeast of Southern Rhodesia. He explained “his mission had neither the finances nor the personnel to enter this area and asked if SAM was interested in establishing this area as a new field.”  SAM accepted the challenge and assigned the Danielsons and Dankelds to begin the work.  Southern Rhodesia became its own “missionary field” separate from South Africa in 1947.

In response to the “growing sentiment that the name of the mission should not carry national connotations,” the Scandinavian Alliance Mission became The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) in 1949.

Today, TEAM with the support its network of 2,000 churches, oversees more than 550 missionaries in more than 40 countries.  In Zimbabwe, T.E.A.M. is administered by TEAM Zimbabwe.

Facilities

Missions

People

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian movement and an international charitable organisation structured in a quasi-military fashion. The organisation reports a worldwide membership of over 1.5 million, consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents known as Salvationists.

The Army was founded in 1865 in London by one-time Methodist circuit-preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine as the East London Christian Mission. In 1878 Booth reorganised the mission, becoming its first General and introducing the military structure which has been retained to the present day. They sought to bring salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their “physical and spiritual needs”.

The theology of the Salvation Army is derived from that of Methodism although it is distinctive in institution and practice. The Army’s doctrine is typical of evangelical Protestant denomination. The Army’s purposes are “the advancement of the Christian religion … of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole”.

The Salvation Army entered Southern Rhodesia from its base in South Africa in 1891.  A pioneer party of six families, led by Major Pascoe, set out from Kimberley in May 1891 in a wagon drawn by 18 oxen.  They arrived 6 months later at Fort Salisbury (later Salisbury, now Harare) on November 18, 1891.  Cecil Rhodes had provided the Salvation Army a farm in the Mazoe Valley and it was here that, by May, 1892, missionary work had started.

The early pioneer missionaries struggled with malaria, gaining trust from people, language barriers, cultural differences, uprisings and raids.  Two of the party had left by 1894.  Their missionary efforts were further impacted by the Mashonaland rebellion in 1896.  Work was not resumed until 1901. Initially the missionary focus was preaching and caring for white settlers.  It wasn’t until after a visit in 1908 from William Booth, the head of the Salvation Army, that evangelism efforts shifted towards the “natives.”

For the first 40 years, Salvationists in Southern Rhodesia were under the administrative control of the Commander in South Africa.  That changed in May 1931 when Rhodesia became its own territory with its Territorial Headquarters located in Salisbury (Harare).  The territory initially consisted of Southern and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) as well as Bechuanaland (Botswana).  The territory has gone through various changes since then.  It was renamed the Zimbabwe Territory in 1988.

The Salvation Army is present in 127 countries, running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless and disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries.

Missions

References

  • Missions in Southern Rhodesia – Paul King
  • Christian Warfare in Rhodesia-Zimbabwe: The Salvation Army and African Liberation, 1891-1991 – Norman H. Murdoch
  • www.salvationarmy.org
  • www.sawiki.net
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

American Board Mission: Gogoi Mission

Gogoi Mission

Portuguese East Africa

 

The Gogoi (Gogoya) Mission was founded by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (the “American Board Mission” – or “American Board”) in 1920.  Although located 35 miles across the boarder in Mozambique (formerly Portuguese East Africa), it was an outstation of Mount Selinda and mail was posted there (and can therefore be considered a Southern Rhodesian mission).

Even after the founding of the Mount Silinda and Chikore missions, the American Board continued looking east towards Portuguese East Africa.  Repeated efforts to establish a mission in Biera were unsuccessful. The American Board next turned its attention to using Mt. Silinda as a springboard for opening a sub-mission station across the boarder – an area “full of people speaking practically the same language as that used at Mt. Silinda.”

After several years of planning, the American Board finally received permission from The Mozambique Company (“Companhia de Moçambique”) in 1916 to rent a farm at Gogoi (Gogoya), about 35 miles across the boarder.  A year later, J.P. Dysart  and Dr. Lawrence settled on the land and began the process of developing the farm to secure a farming claim, which they were able to do in Dysart’s name by 1920.

Nurse Gertrude Merrill joined Dr. Lawrence at the mission beginning in 1922.  But the American Board’s efforts continued to meet with resistance from the Portuguese, which actively opposed Protestant mission development in the Catholic country.

By 1934, it was clear that “Gogoi was not the answer to the evangelization of the territory.” It was largely inaccessible, not recognized as a mission and too closely connected to the Mt. Silinda mission in Southern Rhodesia.  Even with the partnership of the Catholic Swiss Mission and assistance of Fr. Pierre Loze, a retired prominent Swiss missionary, the station at Gogoi all but shut down in 1935 and was finally closed in 1942 by the Portuguese in response to the Ross report of 1925 and in an attempt to reduce the number of American backed missions in Mozambique.

Reference

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Methodist Episcopal Church: Nyadiri Mission

Methodist Episcopal Church

Nyadiri Mission

The Nyadire United Methodist Mission (formerly Nyadiri Mission) is located on 4,300 acres near Mutoko in the northeastern part of Zimbabwe. The mission has it origins in the acquisition of the Nyadiri farm in 1922.  It is named for the Nyadire River that marks its border.

Today, the mission consists of:

  • A 200-bed hospital with maternity and surgical capabilities.  The hospital supports six health clinics in the rural regions around the mission.
  • A Nursing School.
  • A Teachers’ College.
  • A 1200-student school system from preschool through the U.S. equivalent of high school with boarding facilities.
  • The Home of Hope Orphanage, which is home to 25+ orphans.
  • Churches and Chapels.
  • A 3,000-acre farm in the process of being revitalized.

Facilities

References:

  • Missions in Rhodesia Under the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898 – 1934, Old Umtali – James Henry
  • A History of Christian Missions In Zimbabwe, 1890-1939– Chengetal Zvobgo
  • Missions in Southern Rhodesia – Paul King
  • www.nyadire.org

Contributors

  • Mark Loomis
  • James Gavin

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Nyadire Mission Hospital

Nyadire Mission Hospital

Long-time Methodist medical mission Dr. Samuel Gurney was the driving force in establishing the Nyadiri Mission.  “The crowning days in Dr. Gurney’s work” was the building of the Nyadire Mission Hospital begun in 1923.

The hospital was initially named the Washburn Memorial Hospital in honor of a gift by Mrs. Washburn, which made its construction possible.  With the help of Rev. L. W. Tull, Dr. Gurney oversaw the construction of a 30’ x 40’ dispensary, several detached rooms for patients and a doctor’s residence. Unfortunately, Dr. Gurney became ill in August, 1924 and never saw its completion before his death.

Dr. Gurney was replaced by Dr. Montgomery beginning August 1925.  He was joined by Miss. Ona Parmenter, who assumed responsibility for medical work at Nyadiri when Dr. Montgomery left in December of 1927.  By the year ending June 1928, the hospital had treated a total of 400 in-patients and 4,222 out patients.

In 1940, Dr. A. G. Anderson was transferred from Korea to Nyadiri.  After his arrival, construction of a new hospital, consisting of eighteen beds, a room for clinical work, a surgical theatre and an obstetric ward, was completed. By 1942 he received Government permission to begin training African nurses at the mission hospital beginning in 1942.

One of the diseases that Dr. Anderson and his staff treated at Nyadiri was bilharzia, which was widespread among the students due to the fact that the students had nowhere to wash except in the nearby river.

Dr. G. Downie and Dr. William H. Wickett served at Nyadire in the early 1960’s.  The hospital currently serves about 150,000 patients a year. The Nyadire Nurse’s Training School is presently the largest such school in Zimbabwe.  Graduates receive the title of Primary Care Nurse that is similar to a Licensed Practical Nurse in the U.S.

Postcards

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Nyadiri Girls School

Nyadiri Girls School

While Dr. Samuel Gurney was constructing a hospital, he also built a residence for missionaries from the Methodists Women’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS).  In March 1924, three women were appointed to Nyadiri “to open the Women’s work” (teaching, healing and evangelizing girls and women) – Misses F. Quinton, G. Clark and B. Ramsey.

The first year was a trying one.  Dr. Gurney died just few months after they arrived and they were left on their own. The rainy season the following November was an especially severe one preventing people from getting in or out of the mission.

Notwithstanding the challenges, with temporary buildings for the girls to live, they soon opened a girls’ school. By 1925 there were 72 girls in residence.

Vivian Otto joined the WFMS staff beginning 1953 and Miss Evelyn deVries served there as of September 1960.  The school (referred to as the “Girls’ Department” by the early 1960s) was still in operation as of 1995

Brethren in Christ Church: Matopo Mission

Brethren in Christ Church

Matopo Mission

 

Brethren in Christ Church (BIC) missionaries founded the Matopo (“Matoppo”) Mission near Bulawayo in July 1898.  Setting out for Matopo from South Africa with an 18- foot wagon and three tons of supplies drawn by 18 donkeys, a missionary party of 5 led by Bishop Jesse Engle arrived in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) at the site where Matopo Mission School is today.  The missionaries set up houses, planted a garden, started doing home visits and opened the first school on October 11, 1898, in a 16-foot by 16-foot tent.  There were 12 students on the first day.”

George Clifford Cress and his wife Sara joined the mission in 1899.  In keeping with BIC’s “emphasis on a plan lifestyle, one without extravagance of adornment,” his early mission photographs show the missionaries living in dwellings constructed with indigenous clay, log walls and thatched roofs.  Those were later replaced with Western style brick walls and tin roofs due to the high maintenance of traditional huts.

The Matopo Teacher Training Institute was begun in 1915 to train African leaders to teach and preach at the outstations and pastor churches.  A clinic was opened in 1924.  As of 1959, Matopo also consisted of “Central Primary,” ‘Lower Primary” and “Secondary” schools.

 

References

  • Missions in Southern Rhodesia – Paul King
  • The Brethren in Christ Church takes root in Zimbabwe: Gently, step by step, Courier (2003) – Doris Dube
  • They Brought a Kodak: The Earliest Photographs of Brethren in Christ Missionaries in Africa, Brethren in Christ History and Life – Dwight Thomas
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

Regina Coeli Mission

Regina Coeli Mission

Nyanga

Father Senan Egan, of the Catholic Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites (“Carmelites”), began construction of Regina Coeli Mission in 1956 at Nyanga. The Carmelites came to Manicaland in 1946 and over the next few years a number of Jesuit missions were transferred to the Order, including Triashill and St. Barbara’s. Regina Coeli was the second mission built by the Carmelites.

In 1957, the Dutch, Sisters of Charity, assumed responsibility for the running of the Mission hospital. They would later start a nurses training school for girls who had completed Standard Six of Upper Primary School. The hospital is now under the care of the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

A church was built in 1959 and in 1965, a secondary school for boys and girls was opened.  The Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa replaced the Sisters of Charity in 1975.

Tragically, Regina Coeli is often remembered for a terrible bus accident that occurred on August 2, 1991.  83 students and five members of the staff were killed when their bus, returning from an intra-mural game, crashed about 20 kilometers from the school.  It has been described as the worse road accident in Zimbabwe history.

The Carmelites withdrew from Regina Coeli in 2005 after 50 years of ministry.

References

  • Carmelites in Zimbabwe; 50 years; A souvenir of the Golden Jubilee of The Irish Carmelites in Zimbabwe, 1946-1996 – Michael Hender, O. Carm
  • The Catholic Church in Manicaland, 1896 – 1996 – Leo Gallagher, O. Carm. 
  • The Diocese of Mutare & The Carmelites in Zimbabwe (Up to March 2011) – John McGrath, O. Carm.
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

Oril A Penney

Oril A Penney

(1899-1971)

Oril A. Penney was born January 1889.  As of 1920, she was living in San Jose, California with her mother, Jane Penney, and sisters.  She graduated from the Nurses Training School at the University of California in 1926.  That same year, she arrived in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) as a missionary with the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS).

In 1929 nurse Penney was assigned to the MEC mission at Old Umtali (Old Mutare).  She took charge of about 16 orphans and attended to the medical needs of 126 girls at Old Mutare Fairfield Girl’s School.  She also assisted at the Boys’ School at Old Mutare when required.  In 1935 nurse Penney assumed responsibility for the Mutambara dispensary, taking care of both European and native people.

Oril Penney died April 1971 in Sacramento, California.

Reference

  • Missions in Rhodesia under the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898 – 1934 – Henry I. James
 Contributors
  • Mark Loomis
  • James Gavin

Mutambara Mission

Mutambara Mission

Umtali

The Mutambara Mission was established in 1905 by the Methodist Episcopal Church at the invitation of Chief Mutambara from whence the mission was named. The mission is located on a 3,700 acre farm 50 miles south of Mutare (Umtali), which the church acquired in 1907 using a government land credit obtained from swapping land connected with the original Old Umtali mission land grant.

The first missionaries, Reverend and Mrs. Abraham L. Buchwalter, arrived at Mutambara in April 1908. They quickly erected a tent “and the work of the mission began without delay.”  Five weeks later “a dwelling of poles and mud with roof of grass and floors of beaten earth was completed and occupied.” The Buchwalters left in 1910 due to sickness and were replaced by a series of missionaries including T.A. O’Farrell, Rev. G. A. Roberts, Rev. (later Bishop) John M. Springer, nurse Ona M Parmenter of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society (began medical work in 1920), and Rev. M. J. Murphree.

In 1913 a substantial brick dwelling was erected and in 1914 a large brick church was built as well as dormitory buildings for boys. Mutambara currently consists of a church, Primary school (grades 1-7) and 120-bed hospital.

Facilities

References

  • Missions in Rhodesia Under the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898 – 1934, Old Umtali – James Henry
  • A History of Christian Missions In Zimbabwe, 1890-1939 – Chengetal Zvobgo
  • www.umcor.org
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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