Ernest Lawrence Sells

Ernest Lawrence Sells


Ernest Lawrence Sells was born April 1899 in Leistville, Ohio. He attended Asbury College, Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, New Jersey and Cornell University. Prior going to Africa as a missionary with the Methodist Episcopal Church, Reverend Sells was pastor at Methodist churches at Earlton and Verbank, New York.

Rev. Sells and his wife Dorothy arrived in Southern Rhodesia in 1927 and he would go on to serve for over 35 years. During that time, he served as superintendent at Mrewa (1929-33) and Mutambara Missions (1938); for a total of 22 years, he was superintendent of the Umtali District and pastor of St Andrews Methodist Church in Umtali; and beginning in 1956, he served as pastor and school principal back Mrewa Mission (Mrewa Methodist Center) where he over saw over 1000 students.

He also served on the central advisory board of the Rhodesian Government’s Department of African Education, as secretary of the Rhodesia Annual Conference of the Methodist! Church; and director of the Central Africa Christian Film Library.

Rev. Sells retired in 1964 and returned to the United States. He died September 1972 in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.


  • Mark Loomis