Culture dynamics at Luebo : an ethnography of religious agents of change in Zaire


Material Information

Culture dynamics at Luebo : an ethnography of religious agents of change in Zaire
Added title page title:
Luebo, Cultural dynamics at
Physical Description:
xiv, 187 leaves : ill., maps ; 28cm.
Juengst, Daniel Purdy, 1928-
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Presbyterian Church -- Missions -- United States   ( lcsh )
Missionaries, American   ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Congo (Democratic Republic)   ( lcsh )
Anthropology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF   ( lcsh )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: leaves 180-186.
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Daniel Purdy Juengst.

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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aleph - 025296375
oclc - 02792872
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page i-a
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
    List of Illustrations
        Page x
    List of Tables
        Page xi
    List of Figures
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter 1. The general environment
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
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        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
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        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Chapter 2. The history of the missionary community
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
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        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Chapter 3. The population of the mission community
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
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        Page 44
        Page 45
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        Page 55
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    Chapter 4. The material base of the mission community
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
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        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Chapter 5. Social organization I: Presbyterian tradition and the formal structure of the mission community
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
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        Page 100
        Page 101
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        Page 103
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        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Chapter 6. Social organization II: Patterns of interaction and the informal structure of the mission community
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
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        Page 129
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        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    Chapter 7. The crisis of independence
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    Chapter 8. The devolution of the mission: An analysis of change
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    Chapter 9. Initiation of action, ideology and unplanned change: Some theoretical conclusions
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    Appendix 1. A handbook for missionary service
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
    Appendix 2. Official suggestions concerning outfit
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
    References cited
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    Additional references
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
    Biographical sketch
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
Full Text






Copyright 1975 Daniel Purdy Joengst

This work is dedicated

to my mother


a splendid bearer of her culture whose constancy in concern has enhanced five generations of our
family and has challenged me
to continuing growth.


I am deeply indebted to numerous individuals for support and

encouragement received during the preparation of this dissertation. I shall begin by expressing my gratitude to Sara Covin Juengst, my wife, and to our children. They have shared the good moments and the bad. Through the entire process their confidence and expectations have been a constant encouragement.

I would like next to especially thank my Committee Chairman,

Professor Brian M. duToit. He recruited me to the University of Florida, taught me Anthropology and has encouraged and supported me in the manner of an authentic mentor. It is not an exaggeration to say that his role has been absolutely crucial to the completion of this project.

I owe a debt of gratitude to each of the other members of my committee: to Professor Solon T. Kimball, for his encouragement and the anthropological insights so abundant in his teaching, to Associate Professor Haig Der-Houssikian for his continued interest and support as Director of the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida, to Assistant Professor Carol E. Taylor for her encouragement and her anthropological insights into the process of becoming an anthropologist,

and lastly to Professor Richdrd H. Hiers for his interest and concern through the years.

The list could be extended excessively. The missionaries and Zairians who were informants and friends, the staff members of the iv

Presbyterian Church in the United States, the staff of the Presbyterian Historical Foundation, numerous friends along the way all contributed to this work.

One of these friends must not remain nameless, Carolyn J. Grimes. I engaged her as my typist, but her exceptional skill and dedication quickly made me aware of the fact that I was benefiting from an editorial assistant. I am grateful to her for her contribution.













Geography 5

Indigenous Demography and Culture . . . 8

European Demography and Culture . . . . 17


Penetration and Establishment (1890-1920) . . . . 24 Transition and Expansion (1921-1940) . . . 30 Re-evaluation and Concentration (1941-1950) . . 34

Subsidization and Change (1951-1960) 36


Personnel Numbers . . 39

Missionary Origins 41

Professions of Missionary Personnel . . . 42


TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) Page

The Evangelistic . 42

The Educational 43

The Medical 43

The Industrial 45

Business 4 5

The Central School for Missionaries' Children 45

Wives 46

The Missionaries Themselves 46

Indigenous Personnel . 56


Luebo Station and the APCM . 61

Buildings and Dwellings . 66

The Church . 69

The Missionary Residences . 72

The McKowen Memorial Hospital 76 The J. Leighton Wilson Press 76

The Evangelistic Office 78

The Primary School 79

The Girl's Home 79

The Preacher's School 79

Households 80

Missionary Furnishings and Equipment 86 The Missionary Diet 87

Missionary Clothing . . . 89

Finances . 90


TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) Page

FORMAL STRUCTURE OF THE MISSION COMMUNITY . . . 91 Presbyterian Tradition.... . . . 93

The Formal Structure .. 95

The Mission 96

The Stations . 104

The-epartmnents .. 106

The Congregations (Ekelezia Mujadika) .. . 108 The Presbyteries (Bihangu) .. . . . . 109 The Synod (Mpungilu) .. . 110

THE INFORMAL STRUCTURE OF THE MISSION COMMUNITY . . 113 Patterns of Interaction .. . . . . . . 113

Marriage and the Family . . .. . . 118

Recreation .. 123

Religion 128

Related Events . ... . 129

The Circular Vote . 130

Checking Out . . . . . . . 130

The Station Supper 131

The Outdoor Tea 132

Eating Around 132

The Informal Structure . . .. . . . 133

In-groups and Cliques. . . . . .: 134

Longevity Grades . 134


TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) Page

Kinship Networks (Real and Fictive) . .. . 136 Professional Groups . 137


Social and Political Change 140

Tribal Conflict 142

Independence Day 143

Evacuation of Missionaries . 145

Reoccupation and Change . 146

The Death of the Mission 147


Changes in the Formal Structure . . . . . 149

Changes in the Informal Structure . . . . . 151







1. Board of World Missions promotional map of American
Presbyterian Congo Mission .......... 4

2a. Young Zairian mission employee with wife, home and
transportation .... ......... 15
b. Same couple inside their home ......... 15

3a. The church at APCM-Luebo ....... ... 71

b. Another view of APCM-Luebo church ........ 71

4a. Missionary residence at APCM-Luebo. ...... 73

b. Newest missionary residence at APCM-Luebo ..... 73

5a. Writer's residence at APCM-Luebo ........ 75

b. Interior of writer's residence ......... 75

6a. The press director's residence at APCM-Luebo 77

b. Missionary residence showing exterior kitchen at APCM-Luebo. .. 77

7a. Village evangelists and indigenous church elders 11. . 1

b. Zairian church pastors and missionary conducting a worship service .............. 111

8a. Outdoor tea at APCM-Luebo. ......... 127

b. Missionary picnic on island in Lulua River ..... 127

9a. Lulua refugees around church at APCM-Luebo ... 144

b. Burned houses after tribal fighting at APCM-Luebo. 144




1. Population data 1952 18

2. Missionary personnel appointments by period and department. 44 3. Dollar input and personnel by year (1940-1949) . . . 47 4. Dollar input and personnel by year (1950-1959) . . . 48 5. Dollar input and personnel by year (1960-1967) . . . 49 6. Statistical report of Luebo 58




1. Road map of the Kasayi in late colonial period ... 6

2. Map of Roman Catholic arid Protestant missionary activity
in Zaire prior to 1960.. 20
3. Hap of Belgian Congo showing railroad and mission stations ..31

4. Mission map showing five major stations and their
dependent villages... 33

5. Map of APCM-Luebo and portion of the town of Luebo. ..65

6. Plan showing layout of APCM-Luebo .. 69

7. Organizational chart of missionary groupings .. 107


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Daniel Purdy Juengst

August, 1975

Chairman: Brian M. duToit
Major Department: Anthropology

A religious mission to Zaire sponsored by Presbyterians from the southern United States is investigated ethnographically. Over an eightyfive year period the American Presbyterian Congo 1-lission has carried out its religious, medical, educational and social mission in the Kasayi region of Zaire. Culture history, population characteristics and the material base of the missionary community are described in the context of the surrounding African culture.

The formal social organization of the missionary group is described and the significance of culturally persistent features stemming from American Presbyterian culture are pointed out. A description of communication and control networks, reciprocity linkages and relationship characteristics is developed from the examination of individual missionary interactions with members of their households, with fellow missionaries, with African members of their work cohorts, with other Europeans and with the general African population. This analysis reveals an informal level of organization which is determinative in the processes of the missionary community.

The events and the concomitant changes in patterns of interaction Xiii

which took place during the period immediately prior to and following Zaire's attainment of political independence are described. The effects of these situational changes on the missionary community are examined with special emphasis on their relationship to missionary career expectations, ideology and cultural maintenance.

Conclusions are drawn concerning the significance of situational

events, initiation of action potential, balanced reciprocity relationships and symbolic systems for the existence of a particular community form and its culture.



The indigenous people of Africa have long been the subjects of anthropological study. Ethnographies have been written to describe the life ways of the niajority of the major ethnic groupings in subSaharan Africa. In the late 1930's, under the leadership of B. Malinowski (1938), research was undertaken on the processes of culture contact and change. Since that period the bulk of African anthropological research has been on the various aspects of change: acculturation, migration, urbanization, de-colonization, nation-building and modernization.

During the entire colonial period in Africa, Christian missionaries from the western nations have been on the scene, contributing to and participating in the processes of change that are taking place. T.0. Beidelmar has pointed out that "almost no attention was ever paid by anthropologists to the study of colonial groups such as administrators, missionaries or traders" (1974:235). He suggests that research on these groups would be useful because, among other resn.ns, "the problems of planned social change, of communication, and exercise of power between culturally different groups, remains one of the most important and pressing sociological issues" (1974:236).

The present study has been undertaken to partially meet the

need for anthropological research on western agents of change in Africa. The basic research methodology has been participant observation. The


writer was an active miscionzn'y of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and t resid-nt memi er of the American Presbyterian Congo Mission in Zaire during the p-rids: January 1959 to July 1960; September 1963 to July 19'K K d Sepitmier 1966 to July 1968. He was also present in the Ke i from October 1970 to August 1972 during which time he taught at the Mi te i noval School of the National University of Zaire at Kr ~n (fo~m er y Luluabourg)

The material collected is being presented basically in ethnographic forn. Thee: will be one deviation from the traditional ethnographic descriptive stLyle in that the "ethnographic present tense" has not been used throughout but rather only for the specific site description of Luebo (Chpter 4). The historical past tense is used elsewhere. Although the focus of the study is on the missionary community at Luebo during 1959 and 1960, this community and its culture can only be understood in the context of the 70 years of mission history prior to the time of observation, and in the light of the socio-cultural change which took place in the Kasayi immediately subsequent to that period.

The general physical and social environment of the missionary community at Luebo will be described in Chapter 1. The historical background and development of the larger msisionary organization of which the community at Luebo was one sub-unit, will be sketched in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 deals with the population of the missionary groups, both in terms of the larger organization extending throughout the Kasayi area arid in terms of the specific group resident at Luebo. The discussion of the Luebo group includes description of the types of


indigenous Africans with whom the missionaries had the most extensive interact-ion.

The material base of the missionary community is described in Chapter 4. Following this presentation of general setting, historical development, people involved and material situation, Chapters 5 and 6 deal with the social organization of the missionary community. The Presbyterian traditions of the American missionaries and the resulting formal structures found among them in the Kasayi are treated in Chapter 5. An analysis of actual patterns of interaction and quasi-ritualistic events and assemblages (Kimball and Pearsall 1955) at the mission station reveal informal structures which are described in Chapter 6.

The rapid changes which took place immediately prior to and

following political independence in Zaire are described in Chapter 7. The effects of these changes on the missionary community and culture are treated in Chapter 8.

During the period 1960 to 1962 the missionary community and culture changed radically. An analysis of the importance of such factors as the potential for the initiation of action, changing ideological or symbolic systems, and territoriality leads to the formulation of conclusions con corning these factors and the existence of an established community of religious agents of change.

It should be pointed out, perhaps needlessly, that all the names referring to individuals participating in the events observed at Luebo have been changed. Specific historical references and individuals cited in published material are true.




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During the period since 1960 many of the place names in Zaire have been changed. As the original observation upon which this study is based was made during the 18 months prior to Independence Day (June 30, 1960), the usage here will reflect the older terminology. Although t1.his study deals partly with the American Presbyterian Congo Mission as a whole, its ethnographic focus is on the mission station at Luebo.


Luebo is the administrative capital of the Kasayi District of Zaire, the former Belgian Congo (cf. Figure 1). It is situated at the junction of the Luebo and Lulua Rivers. The Lulua River is one of the navigable tributaries of the Kasayi River, which itself is one of the largest tributaries of the great Congo (Zaire) River. Luebo was opened as a trading post in 1883 by the explorer Major Hermann Von Wissmann. It then became an administrative post of thie Independent State of the Congo. It occupies a latitude of about 5 and 1/2 degrees south and is about 1200 miles by river from the Atlantic coast at 21 degrees 30" west longitude. The Lulua River at Luebo is 1300 feet above sea level and APCM-Luebo, the mission station, is over 1700 feet (AR 1927, cf. footnote on page 23 below).

The surrounding area, for which the combination of town and mission at Luebo serves as a commercial, educational medical and


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religious center, stretches out to the southeast forming what is known as the Kasayi region between the Kasayi and Sankuru Rivers. The Kasayi region covers an area of approximately 30,000 square miles.

The Kasayi region, except for its northernmost section, is

located in the geographic region known as the Southern Uplands. The northern tip of the area extends into the Congo Basin, the immense geological depression through which the Congo River flows its 240 degree arc of 2800 miles to the Atlantic.

Luebo and all of the other mission stations of the APCM except Bulape to the north are in the Southern Uplands which is characterized by savanna vegetation. These Southern Uplands cover a surface area of one-third of the nation. Most of the region is rolling country which slopes gradually from a maximum altitude of about 4,000 feet in the south to between 1,200 and 2,500 feet where the rolling plains merge with the outer edges of the Congo Basin. Grasses predominate over most of the area, but are interspersed with scattered clumps of shrubs and trees.

The Kasayi region lies between latitude 4 degrees south and

8 degrees south. Being in the southern hemisphere, there are 2 major annual climatic periods, a hot, wet season and a cool, dry season. Eight months of the year, from early September to mid-flay, is the rainy season. Local showers, usually of short duration, occur almost daily. The dry season begins in the middle of May and lasts until September. It is very dry but heavy dews keep the fields and grasses from complete drought. The nights are cool and the average daily temperature is around 75 degrees (MacLean 1961:3).


Fine grain soils predominate over two-thirds of the Southern

Uplands and are found in varying mixtures in the Kasayi area. Diamonds were discovered in the Kasayi around 1913, leading to the cvelopment of the important mining industry. The 2 main fields are located about 200 miles apart at Tshikapa on the Kasayi River south of Lueho and at Mbuji Mayi near the Sankuru River southeast of Luebo. The resources of the Tshikapa area are sminaller but contain a higher percentage of gem stones than are found at Mbuji Mayi, which produces the greater amount of industrial diamonds (McDonald 1971:19).

Indigenous DemograpPhy and Culture

The area is characterized by an ethnographic diversity due to a heterogeneous population made up of Luba, Lulua and Kete groups. Historically, the predominate groups were Lulua south of Luebo and Kete to the north. Luba populations migrated into the area during the colonial period. The predominantly rural population of the region live in villages of varying size and character throughout the area. The size and structure of the villages depended on the ethnic background of the residents. An early missionary observer reports Lulua and Luba villages scattered throughout the uplands at a distance of every 15 or 20 miles (Verner 1903:465).

At present, the most heavily populated regions lie in the area of Luluabourg, along the railroad that runs from Port Franqui in the northwest through Katanga province to the southeast and, thirdly, near the diamond fields. This population, living throughout the area of activity of the APCM, belongs to various sub-groupings of the major tribes: Kuba, Lulua, Luba-Kasayi, Luntu, Kanyoka and


Sal aipa su.

The Luba-Kasayi were forced to become a migrant people to

escape Arab slave traders. In the late 19th century they had formed hybrid communities with the Lulua, a closely associated ethnic group, placing themselves under the protection of the local Lulua chief (McDonald 1971:91). Between 1925 and 1940 other Luba, encouraged by the government and missions, settled along the railroad line and around the growing city of Luluabourg, where, by 1959 and possibly some years earlier, they represented 60% of the African population.

The surface area of the Congo is deceptively large. Its

2,343,930 square kilometers compare with the United States east of the Mississippi River or an area 4 times the size of France (Romaniuk 1968:242). Population studies were attempted through the colonial period (1908-1960). The results of the earlier studies must, however, be taken as merely indications due to the problematic nature of data-collecting methods employed. The official government estimate of the total population for the year 1910 was 7,248,000 (Trewartha and Zelinsky 1954:166). Later demographic studies indicate that this estimate was significantly low.

When viewed over the whole colonial period the general trends can be delineated. It has been noted, for instance, that an increasingly large volume of vital statistics gathered by the Belgian colonial administration leaves little doubt that the African population must have been growing (Trewartha and Zelinsky 1954:1966). Romaniuk cites the total population at 13,175,000 for 1957 on the basis of acceptably valid figures from 1952 to 1957 (1959:569).


On the basis of the most conservative estimate for a projected natural growth rate (2.3% per annum), Romaniuk posits a total population of 17,700,000 in 1970, and a projected 22,210,000 in 1980 (1959: 598). The period required for the doubling of the population is 31 years.

The quality of demographic data available on the Congo increased significantly in the late 1950's as a result of the extensive statistical survey known as the "Deomographic Inquiry 1955-1957." Anatole Romarniuk was given the responsibility of this study when he was appointed director of the newly formed Bureau of Demography (Romaniuk 1968:243). For this study 100 selected and trained interviewers interviewed 1.9 million persons, a sample of around 11% of the population. The administration's population registration system provided a sampling frame for the inquiry. It included a list, by administrative areas, of the 50,000 villages in Zaire, with approximate figures of the number of persons in each village,(Romaniuk 1968: 244).

The substantive results of the Demographic Inquiry which have significance for the examination of mission life at Luebo and the activity of the APCM in general are summarized in the following statements. In the period 1955-1957 the total Congolese population of 13,000,000 was 78% "rural," that is, residing in traditional villages. "Urban" residents, that is, non-agricultural and living in cities of more than 2,000 inhabitants totaled 10%1 of the population. 1 Those

lThe usage of the term "urban" here follows that of the Belgian demographers cited. It is noted that United Nations classifies as urban groupings of 30,000 or more persons.

classified as "mixed," living in small commercial administrative or industrial conglomerations of less than 2,000 persons, accounted for 12% (Romaniuk 1968:338). The figures of 10% urban and 12% mixed compare favorably, when combined with earlier estimates by 2 writers (Moeller 1952:192 and Dellicour 1952:491), that the Congo population was 20% urban.

It is important to note that the Kasayi province ranked next to last in 1957 among the provinces in the Congo in the number of Europeans, 8,634 out of a national total of 108,957 foreigners. As mentioned, the foreign population in the Kasayi included colonial administrative, commercial and missionary personnel. Luluabourg, the principal city of the area with a population of 55,000, ranked fifth nationally in a list of 72 towns with a population of over 2,000 (Romaniuk 1959:624).

It has long been understood that the basic motive for the

colonial enterprise was an economic one. The Belgian claim to fame in the Congo was based on the steady and diversified economic growth which they created through their administration (Comhaire 1956:9). The high margin of profit accruing to the European investment was largely due to the fact that most of the production was in the form of raw materials which were sold on the world market. The mines in the Kasayi and Katanga were typical of the "extractive"' type industry which formed the basis of the colonial economy.

The Belgian government acquired its colony from their king, Leopold III, following an international scandal over the Independent State of the Congo's exploitation of African labor. Being sensitive


to the responsibility of governing a portion of Africa 88 times larger in area than their country, and being determined to improve the international image of Belgium, the Belgian Parliament enacted legislation controlling all aspects of African life. They were aware from the expel-ienice of other colonies that the "work contract," especially a long--term contract, was one of the regular sources of disruption in Africanl society. The government defined minutely the rules which had to be followed (Libotte 1953:511ff) and the limits which had to be observed in recruiting and engaging Africans (Briey, 1945:386).

The social legislation touching the economy related mostly to salaried workers. The local market system remained relatively unaffected. Such measures as a "kopo," i.e., a cup usually a tomato paste can remain standard units. A beer bottle remains the standard unit of palm oil and fish are sold by the piece. Duvieusart notes that the multitude of indigenous merchants did not create a competition which had the effect of lowering the prices as one might expect, rather the number served to limit the income of each seller (1959:78).

The colonial government did make a few attempts to develop a

solid peasantry through agricultural innovation. All of these schemes failed, mainly through the lack of education at the community level, and a paucity of insights regarding the target population, which an applied anthropologist might well have been able to provide (Beguin 1965:910ff and Bailleul 1959:830).

The demographic studies provide information on the amount and type of internal migration of the African population. The migration


figures show that, in spite of industrialization and urbanization, the majority of the African population tends to remain in their native area. In the Kasayi province, in 1950, 60,571 (68%) of the African workers were native to the territory (i.e., "county") of their employment. There were 19,075 workers (21%) from other territories in the same district. There were 8,193 workers (9%) from other districts in the same province. There were 1,263 workers (1.4%) from other provinces, and only 69 workers (.007%) came from other countries (Trewartha and Zelinsky 1954:184). These figures indicate that through the years, the Presbyterian agents of change in the Kasayi were dealing with a relatively stable African population not experiencing the extreme labor migration seen in Katanga province and more especially in other African countries.

Both the Lulua and the Luba-Kasayi speak as a first language

slightly differing forms of Tshiluba. Tshiluba is one of the 6 common languages in Zaire, that is, it is used as a communication medium by other non-native speakers in the area. Tshiluba can be used with fluency by the various matrilineal groups surrounding the Lulua and Luba. The missions and their literacy campaigns were instrumental in the development of 3 variants of this language. This will be discussed below (cf. Chapter 6).

The basic social grouping of the Lulua and Luba-Kasayi is the patrilineal localized lineage, an extended family grouping composed of several elementary families related through unilineal descent. In the Kasayi the local lineage, or tshoto, is quite small, composed of an average of 9 men and corresponding to a maximal depth of 4 genera-


tions. The lineages form a segmentary system with a maximal depth of around 20 generations. The territorial lineage is the minor lineage having a depth of about 6 generations. The residential group is made up of the men of the tshoto or local lineage with their wives and children as well as maternal nephews and in earlier times a few slaves (Vansina 1965:166). The head of the local lineage is invariably a
man, the mukulu or "elder," a patriarch recognized as having cerUain mystical credentials qualifying him to carry out his role. The rights of a man's younger brothers take precedence over those of the younger generation. The brother of a man's mother has certain claims on him and his family. Plural marriages are accepted in the indigenous social organization but are usually limited to chiefs or others who have accumulated unusual wealth. In a polygynous marriage, it is normal for

each wife to maintain a separate house.

House forms for both the Lulua and Luba are of rectangular

mud-and-stick construction with a thatched roof of grass. Houses are scattered in an almost random manner throughout the village and are usually supplemented by small kitchen huts and sheds.

The villages were organized along lineage lines, family heads all tracing their descent to a common, perhaps unknown, ancestor many generations distant. The elders or family heads constitute the village council that advises the chief who is always an older man, usually the senior member of the same lineage. In some cases, decision will flow from a public debate for which a special meeting place is set aside in the village and in which all adult men may participate. In such situations the personalities and rhetorical abilities of



a. Young Zairian mission employee with wife, home and transportation. b. Same couple inside their home.


individuals has a definite effect on the evolution of law in the community.

The religious system of the Lulua and Luba population is in

general similar to that of other Bantu speaking Africans. A highb god is acknowledged but is considered very remote from m-ian's daily life.

Belief in other spirits is found, a distinction being made between the spirits of deceased relatives and spir-its identified with natural phenomena. Belief in the continuing existence and influence of deceased relatives is fundamental to their religious sytem. Ancestors are looked upon as participating members of the family community and, as such, are respectfully treated. The ancestral spirits are looked to for assistance in economic and social affairs. The living honor the ancestors through the offering of sacrifices, by appropriate social behavior, and by the observance of family ritual. The Luba and Lulua believe that the ancestors are closely associated with their mundane daily lives and that they provide the active force behind objects that are considered to have magical powers. They are instrumental in maintaining the fertility of the family and thus, the continuation of the group.

There is a universal belief in the power of magic and in

the ability of some individuals to control or direct these powers. "In this world where spirits are active and humans believed to control superhuman forces, nothing occurs by chance. Every event is either caused by spirits acting on men or by men controlling spirits or medicine" (H'cDonald 1971: 202). Among the African population certain persons are recognized as diviners and makers of spiritual


medicines. The functions of these persons are considered benefiCial to the society as opposed to those of witches and sorcerers who employ their powers in injurious ways.

European Demography and Culture

As was mentioned above, the first white men arrived in the Kasayi region in 1883. The European population in the Kasayi grew from the original 2 or 3 officers of the Independent State of the Congo at the beginning of colonialization to around 5,750 in 1952. That same year, the indigenous African population for the Kasayi area was estimated at around 2,000,000 (cf. Table 1). The European population in the Kasayi at that time was divided among functionaries of the colonial government (9%), Roman Catholic missionaries (7%), Protestant missionaries M), commercial employees (20%), settlers (9%), and women and children (53%). The following percentage breakdown of national origins of the non-indigenous population demonstrates the preponderance of Belgians in the colony: Belgians (78%), Portuguese (5'10), Italians W), Greeks (3%), British (3%), French (2%), Americans (1.5%), Dutch (1.3%), Swiss (0.7%), and 8 other nationalities (2.5%) (Moeller 1954: 746).

The number of American missionaries in the Kasayi during the period to which these statistics pertain correlates closely with the national percentages of 1.5% American and 2.0% Protestant missionary. It is assumed that these percentages in the employment and national origin categories for the non-indigenous population remained reasonably constant from 1940 to 1960 (cf. Figure 2).

The cultural life style of the Europeans was predominately



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Belgian and "colonial." Within the European community the primary figure was the male. It was he who was government administrator or trader. The European wives often remained in Europe. When they were present in the Kasayi, their main activity fluctuated between super14
vising their numerous household servants and "socia Izing" among their own particular group. Among the Belgian administrative personnel there was a strict social class system which followed the administrative ranks of government. The role of the European wife contrasted with that of the missionary wife in that the latter always had quasiprofessional or professional daily activity related to the missionary program. The Belgian administrators always looked forward to returning to Belgium after their 17-year "career" in Congo.

The European traders were more nearly comparable to the
"colonists" of other African countries. They were usually very longterm residents. It was not uncommon for the Portuguese traders to have married or to have mistresses among the indigenous African women. A numer of the most successful commercial entrepreneurs in the Luebo area were mulatto individuals having been raised in these mixed commercial families.

Each group among the Europeans maintained a rather strict

isolation. From the American missionary perspective the Belgian administrative group seemed a class remotely high because of their ethnocentrism and political position. On the other hand, the Portuguese traders appeared a class rather low because of their degree of fusion with the African population. There was no European group to which the American missionaries could comfortably relate.



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The members of the American Presbyterian Congo Mission found themselves working on a savanna covered plateau among a basically rural African population which numbered around 16,650 persons to each Protestant missionary. There were approximately 39 Belgians in the area for every missionary. There were 2-1/2 times as many Portuguese merchants as missionaries. There were 5 colonial government officials for every missionary. It is in this context of demographic marginality that the American Southern Presbyterians developed their missionary community and culture described in this study.


The missionary group under study is a mission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. The latter came into being as a religious denomination in 1861 when conflicting loyalties forced Presbyterian churchmen from the southern region of the United States to withdraw from their national Presbyterian judiciary and form their own organization. During the four years of the war of secession (1861-1865) the church was known as the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America (Thompson 1963:571). After 1865 it acquired its present name distinguishing it from the northern Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Throughout its history, the group in question has popularly been referred to as the Southern Presbyterians. This usage will appear in the present study except where specific legal

reference is required.

From their beginnings in 1861, the Southern Presbyterians followed the traditional Presbyterian forms of organization. The government of the church is organized into 4 ascending levels of church 11courts" or judiciaries. At the lowest level, the level of the local congregation, the ruling group is the Session, which consists of a number of laymen, elected by and from the congregation and the clergyman who has been engaged ("called") by the congregation as its pastor. The local sessions send their minister and delegated laymen to the quarterly meetings of the Presbytery. These gatherings are regional 22


assemblages which, collectively, hold the ultimate authority in the church government. The Synod is the next ascending grouping and is made up of all the clergymen and delegated laymen from all the conrgregations in a larger geographic area. The synods of the Southr(" Presbyterian Church during the period of study corresponded more or less to state boundaries and usually consisted of from 3 to 5 presbyteries. The uppermost grouping and the most inclusive in terms of geographical organization is the General Assembly. The General Assembly is an annual assemblage made up of 4 delegated clergymen (Teaching Elders) and

4 delegated laymen (Ruling Elders) from each presbytery.

It is the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, at its annual meeting, which employs certain national staff personnel and issues them a mandate to perform certain ministries in the name of the whole church. In 1862 the Executive Conmittee of Foreign Missions issued its first printed report. Due to the difficulties of communication during the war, little contact was made with the Presbyterian missionaries in China and Japan which could now be claimed by the Southern Church (AR 1892:4)1. By 1871 the Executive Committee of Foreign Missions was reporting missions to three Amerindian groups and missions in Italy, Columbia, Brazil and China. In 1890, when the African mission work was begun, the Presbyterian Church in the United States had twelve missionary organizations in ten

1The Annual Report of the Executive Committee of Foreign Missions, which was later renamed the Board of World Missions, has been published each year since 1862 and presented to the General Assembly, and circulated throughout the church at large. Citations in this work will be referenced "AR," year and page.


countries operating on annual budgets totaling $122,815.31 (AR 1890: 64).

Penetration and Establishment (1890-1920)

The American Presbyterian Congo Mission (APCM)l had its beginnings when an Afro-American clergyman and a White-American clergyman were appointed by the Executive Committee of Foreign Missions of the Southern Presbyterian Church as missionaries to the Congo Valley. This appointment was the culmination of a 2-year effort on the part of the Afro-American, the Reverend William H. Sheppard, age 24, to be appointed by the Southern Church as a missionary to Africa. The delay was caused by the church's insistence that at least 2 men be sent and their preference that one of the two represent the white majority of the church constituency. The conditions were met when the Reverend Samuel N. Lapsley, age 23, presented himself as a missionary candidate for Africa. Their task was a serious one, as is spelled out in their

brief but broad instructions:

1. To find a site, preferably in the Congo Free State, far enough from other missions to enable
us to open a wholly independent work.

2. To find a healthful location in the highlands
but not too distant from a base of supply.

3. To work among a population large enough to
constitute a good mission field and using a lanlAmerican Presbyterian Congo Mission is the legal name of the Southern Presbyterians' missionary organization working in the area of Africa which has been designated successively: The Independent State of the Congo (erroneously called Congo Free State by Britons and Americans, cf. Rotberg 1965:259), Belgian Congo, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Zaire. -In situ the missionary organization is referred to by both Africans and Europeans as either the "mission" or the "APCM." This usage appears often in the present work.


guage which is widely current.

4. To present to the Committee an estimate of the
needed missionary force, and an estimate of expenses
to be incurred in opening the work and the cost of
maintenance (Wharton 1952:12).

The two men sailed from New York on February 26, 1890 for

England. For two young clergymen from the southern United States they

traveled with an impressive portfolio of credentials.

President Benjamin Harrison gave them letters to
American diplomats abroad. Friends provided introductions to men of influence in Brussels and London.
Foreign Mission Boards in New York and Boston gave
every possi bl e ai d and i nf oration. . Dr. H. Gratton
Guiness of Harley House, the great mission center in
London, invited them there for their stay in London
(Wharton 1952:13).

On March 21, 1890, Samuel Lapsley went to Brussels to have an

audience with King Leopold II of the Belgians. Since the Conference of

Berlin in 1885, Leopold II had been the initiator and sovereign of the

Independent State of the Congo. The audience for Lapsley had been

arranged by the American ambassador to Belgium, General H.S. Sanford,

who had a deep interest in the development of the Congo area. Lapsley's

recollections of the interview are interesting both as a vignette of

Leopold II and as an indication of the various influences which affected the early history of the APCM.

I was ushered into a great room and heard a kind
voice from the middle of it, "Good morning!" After
a respectful bow I advanced and took the hand extended
to me. He said, "You asked to see me?" I told him
my business, whom I represented, the Presbyterian
body in the United States, what I meant to do, and our
plan of working with a combined white and colored
He warned me of the entire rudeness of the
country, commended our plan of beginning on a small scale, until the tide comes in on the completion of


the railways, then enter on that tide. "Congo has a
future," he said, "I cannot believe that God made
that great river with its many branches all through
the land for any lower purpose"...He warned me of
the danger of wine drinking in Africa. About my
location, he recommended the Kasai. ..after half-anhour's talk...he said he felt sincerely, warmly interested in my mission, and was glad to see a
young man show so much courage, enterprise and
Christian pluck (Lapsley 1893:31, italics mine).

On April 18, 1890, Lapsley and Sheppard sailed from Rotterdam on the Dutch trading vessel, Afrikaan, bound for the port of Matadi in the Independent State of the Congo. They traveled with a group of Swedish, British and American Baptist missionaries who were going out to reinforce missions that had been established in the Lower and Middle Congo River valley areas (Wharton 1952:16).

The two presbyterian missionaries spent 10 months in the Lower Congo, visiting government officials, various mission stations, and, in particular, the missionary explorer, George Grenfell. The KasayiSankuru region was finally chosen as a site for the APCM. They concluded from their survey of the situation that "Luebo, in the Kasai, had the advantage of being the meeting ground of 5 major tribes comprising an estimated 2 million people" (Lapsley 1893:163).

After a 33-day, 900-mile trip upriver on the sternwheeler

Florida, the 2 missionaries arrived at Luebo. Lapsley reports that at noon on April 18, 1891, the Florida

rounded Luebo point and came in sight of a group of plantains, and shaded by these, a double row
of small houses of mud with thatched roofs. Then
we saw the thatches of five or six large adobe
houses, tastefully disposed on a fair table land in the right angle made by our little Lulua, and a large creek on our right, the Luebo. A heavy palisades of sharpened posts ten feet high com-


pleted the square begun by the two streams.
Two sharp blasts of the whistle brought
the entire station to the beach; the steamer crew
danced on the open deck to the deep throb of a drum; station boys waved and called to their
friends in the crew; the four white men -- two
company agents, a State officer, and the visiting
Commissaire du district du Kasai -- shouted welcome to the little group by the pilot house whose
arrival broke the dreary isolation of their post
(Wharton 1952:31).

:Shaloff (1971 :24) suggests further Belgian influence on the locat-ion of

the mission station "APCM-Luebo" stating, "at the suggestion of the

Commissaire de district, the newcomers decided to locate their mission

station near the north bank of the Lulua, midway between Luebo and the

Kete village of Bena Kasenga." This was on the opposite bank of the

Lulua River.

Sheppard and Lapsley settled in with the five Bakongo laborers

which they had engaged for one year in the Lower Congo and brought with

them upriver. Two palm-thatched, 10-foot-square houses were purchased

from the nearby village and set up, one for each missionary. Wharton

describes the initial activity:

Each set about improvising additions to suit his
shelter to his needs. The Bakongo were put to clearing ground and building their own houses;
pineapple, plantain, and banana plants were set
out. Boards were sawed out of small sections of
trees brought from the forest; later, men were taught to use a small pit saw. It was an eventful day when the first piece of furniture, a real
table, replaced the crude makeshift of sticks
tied together with strips of vine. But by the
middle of August the little station was found to be intolerably hot, so they moved up to the brow of the great hill that rises from the Lulua, and
began all over again (Wharton 1952:32)

In December, Lapsley made a reconnoitering trip east of Luebo


as far as the State post of Luluabourg. He returned to Luebo with a "caravan" of 17 men, 4 women and 1 child. These people were Lulua and were the forerunners of thousands of Lulua and Luba people who were to migrate to Luebo and settle around the mission station.

Lapsley had returned from his trip to Luluabourg tired and

ill; supplies were low and transportation arrangements in the Lower Congo had bogged down. It seemed wise for Lapsley to return downriver to attend to business affairs and perhaps the voyage would restore his health (Wharton 1952:34). The trip was made on the Florida and the 5 Bakongo laborers accompanied him. They were returning to their homes after their one-year contracts had been completed. Lapsley never returned to Luebo. He died at Matadi on March 21, 1892 of "bilious hermaturic fever." His death came one year and 9 days after he had begun his first voyage on the Florida upriver to the Kasayi.

The designation of Africa as the "white man's grave" was confirmed in many instances during the early years of the APCM. On the day that Lapsley died in Matadi, the Adamsons, a Scot and his wife, left KinshasaI (Leopoldville) for Luebo as reinforcements for the mission. Mrs. Adamson was the first white woman to enter the Kasayi region. She died at Luebo 3 years later. The Reverend and Mrs. Rowbotham from England came to Luebo in 1892 and left the mission 2

IThe principal urban center of the Congo, located on the
Stanley Pool on the Lower Congo, was called Kinshasa prior to Belgian annexation in 1908. During the Belgian colonial period it was called Leopoldville. After independence in 1960 it was renamed Kinshasa.


years later because of illness. The Reverent D.W.C. Snyder and his wife from New York arrived the same year. She died in Kinshasa on their way home in 1896. "'Mary Snyder 1896' reads the simple marker over the 33rd grave in the State Cemetery at Kinshasa, the first womants grave in this barren spot" (Wharton 1952:46). During the period of penetration and establishment, 11% of the missionaries died on the field while they were in active service.

The King of the Belgians had been told that the APCM was to be a "combined white and colored force." This was a fortunate circumstance for the development of the mission. The Afro-American missionaries, during the early years, had a significantly higher survival rate than did their white colleagues. Five Afro-American missionaries from Alabama, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania were appointed in 1894 and 1895. This group, together with William Sheppard, put in an average of 17 years service each. During the period 1901-1911, 5 more AfroAmerican missionaries were appointed. Their average length of service was 29 years. Among 23 out of 25 of the white missionaries appointed prior to 1911,,the average length of service was 5 years. The 2 exceptional individuals in this group, William M. Morrison and Motte Martin, serving 22 and 43 years respectively, both had an important influence on the development of the missionary culture at APCM-Luebo, which will be discussed below.

During the period 1901-1911, 20 new missionaries were appointed to the APCM. It was a period in which the work was formalized and many of the patterns were set that were to remain throughout the mission's history. One of the important innovations of this period


was the acquisition of a river steamer for the mission. The craft, named the S.N. Lapsley, was built in the United States, dismantled and shipped to the Congo where it was rebuilt by one of the missionaries. It served the mission for 18 months before it was caught in a whirlpool at the confluence of the Kasayi and Congo Rivers and capsized, killing 1 new missionary and 23 Africans. This steamer was replaced

3 years later by a craft built in Scotland which was better suited to the turbulent tropical rivers. The second steamer, the S.N. Lapsley II, regularly made the trip from Luebo or Lusambo to Kinshasa for 20 years until it was sold in 1926.

The stations of Bulape, Mutoto and Bibanga were opened as centers for the evangelization of the Bakuba, Lulua and Luba respectively. The station of Lubondai was added as another center for a large Lulua population. Luebo, Bulape, Mutoto, Bibanga and Lubondai continued to flourish in the period of the "five stations," 1920-1931.

Transition and Expansion (1921-1940)

The development of smaller stations of Kasha, Mboyi, and Moma came as a response to pressure from the Board of World Missions in the United States to break the pattern of the large institutional stations and develop evangelistic outposts, especially for groups not yet contacted. In 1928 a railroad was completed from Port Franqui in the northwest Kasayi to Elizabethville in southeast Katanga province (cf. Figure 3). The commercial activity brought by the railroad appealed to the indigenous population, and many villages were moved to be close to this avenue of trade. The station of Kasha (1935) near Luputa on the railroad, the station of Mboyi (1937) among the Babindi

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people, and Moma (1942) are examples of the new type smaller station. The station of Morma was offered to the APCM by the colonial government after the American Four Square Gospel group that had built it were expelled from the Congo by the government for continual internal feuding (cf. Figure 1).

During this period there were many innovations in the Kasayi in which the APCM usually participated and from which they benefited. In 1925 the first airplane from Kinshasa landed at Lue)o. 1 hereafter, a regular airmail service every 3 weeks was maintained between Kinshasa and the interior. The first airplane flights from Belgium to the Congo occurred in 1926, thus facilitating arrival and departure travel for the missionaries. The railroad already mentioned, and improved motor roads, facilitated the transportation of people and supplies from one mission station to another.

Early the missionaries had begun to use bicycles instead of hammocks wherever the former could be
ridden. Motorcycles followed the bicycles...As
the roads widened sidecars were added to the
motorcycles, and in 1925 the first Ford cars made
their appearance on the mission (Wharton 1952:127).

During this period the missionary population in the field

grew from around 60 to 80. In 1928 a special school for the missionaries' children was opened at Lubondai station. This school continued at Lubondai until 1968, providing American elementary education (grades 4-8) and for a period until 1960 also secondary education for all the children of Presbyterian missionaries.

In the twenty-five years of its history children from eleven other Congo Protestant missions have
attended Central School. In later years it has
been crowded to capacity, enrolling between



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forty and fifty pupils ... Ten of the younger missionaries now on the Mission are graduates or
ex-students of Central School (Wharton 1952:136).

If. was during this period of 1921 to 1940 that the territorial expansion of the mission was nearly completed. The acquisition of real estate, the construction of buildings and the importation of vehicles, printing machinery, office equipment, electrical generators and refrigeration equipment all served to establish the APCM as a complex and technologically very advanced organization by comparison to the indigenous African culture which the missionaries were attempting to change.

Re-evaluation and Concentration (1941-1950)

The American Presbyterian missionaries were forced to re-evaluate their program in the Kasayi during World War 11 (1940-1945). The number of new recruits for the mission dropped relative to the expansion of the mission work.

Many of the active missionaries experienced difficulty in trans-Atlantic travel. Early in the war, for instance, one of the mid-career missionaries later resident at APCM-Luebo was taken off a British freighter at sea by a German submarine on patrol in the North Atlantic. The crew and passengers were put aboard another German vessel and watched as their freighter was torpedoed and sunk. They were later put ashore on the coast of France.

Some missionary furloughs were postponed, leaving missionaries on the field longer than usual. The missionaries on furlough in the United States often extended their furloughs and remained at home longer than the normal one-year period. Missionary personnel in the field


was reduced almost 10% and funds for the work were reduced 12" during the war years.

The indigenous African population was also affected by the war. Congolese soldiers were sent to North Africa and to Palestine. They represented the first group of Congolese to travel extensively outside Central Africa. At home in the Belgian Congo many people responded positively to the calls for greater production of minerals and agricultural products for the war effort.

After the war the Belgian colonial government broadened the scope of its humanitarian efforts in the Congo.

The government did not stop with commendation
but pushed vigorously both old and new plans for
the welfare and education of the people. These plans included laws safeguarding African employees and their families. They covered such varied
phases as minimum wages, sanitary housing and medical care, and provided for the return of
families to their original villages at the termination of service (Wharton 1952:164).

Early in 1945 a steady stream of new missionaries began to

arrive for the APCM. By 1950 the number of missionaries in the field had increased 40%. The operating funds for the mission had increased 192% over the 1940 allocation (cf. Tables 3 and 4). There was more to come. In 1945 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States approved a five-year capital fund-raising campaign called the Program of Progress. One of the objectives of this intensive effort was to meet the construction and equipment needs of the church's missionary efforts around the world.

With these substantial funds available the mission was able, for the first time in its history, to let contracts to Belgian entre-


preneurs for major construction. In 1946 the APCM let contracts for a complete mission station at Luluabourg. A new hospital at Mutoto and a complete academic campus at Kakinda were begun in 1948. Kakinda was built to house the Morrison Institute, a combined secondary level normal school for training African school teachers and seminary for training African pastors.

The emphasis that the mission was placing on these schools

for the training of indigenous leadership reflected a growing concern that the impact of the mission should be felt among the "grass roots" of the population and not solely on and around the mission stations. The schools for the training of an African cadre to ultimately staff the elaborate program of church, education and medicine became the goal of a group of the more far-sighted missionaries. The old station system continued, however, as it had become institutionalized and tended toward continued expansion rather than diminution.

In 1950 the African Presbyterian church, with which and for which the APCM worked, reported a membership of 118,782 people. The ordained African pastors distributed over the whole area numbered 47 and were assisted by 1,309 lesser clerics such as Elders and evangelists. The stewardship-giving of the African church people had amounted to $19,296. This represented church offerings from 1,238 villages as well as the congregations related directly to the 9 mission stations.

Subsidization and Change (1951-1960)

As early as 1902 an organization was developed to foster

cooperation among all the Protestant groups working in the Congo. This cooperative effort became known as the Congo Protestant Council and


maintained an office in Leopoldville, the capital of the colony, where a full-time secretary represented Protestantism in matters of missiongovernment relations.

Roman Catholic missions had been staffed primarily by Belgian missionary orders. Their schools had, through the years, been subsidized by the government. This had not been the case with any of the Protestant schools. The APCM schools, containing 43,000 pupils in 1949 were all financed through the mission operating budget allocated from the Board of World Missions in the United States. As the missions sought continually to bring their schools up to government standards, the Congo Protestant Council through its secretary sought the same recognition and aid granted to Roman Catholic schools. In 1947 an act of the Belgian parliament finally granted recognition and subsidies for Protestant schools in the Congo. Wharton notes (1952:175) that "some of the schools of the APCM were among the first to be recognized by the government, and the mission received its first school subsidies in 1948."

Throughout the 1951-1960 period, the school subsidies continually increased to place the mission solidly in the position of administering an elaborate educational system which ranged from village elementary schools to accredited secondary level institutions. This extensive educational structure required specially qualified missionary personnel and the continual meeting of government regulations gave educational concerns top priority at Mission decision-making assemblages. Many missionaries felt that educational concerns were overshadowing the primary goal of evangelization.


During this period, the APCM continued to expand in all areas. Missionary personnel increased IS11 and operating funds from the United States were augmented almost 97% (cf. Table 4).

The 18 months during 1959 and 1960 when the participant observation upon which this study is based represented a peak period for the American Presbyterian Congo Mission, both in terms of personnel in the field and available financial resources with which to carry on the work. The details of personnel distribution and the missionary activity and culture at the original station at Luebo, as well as the developments subsequent to national independence in 1960 will be discussed in the chapters which follow.


Personnel Numbers

The missionary population of the APCM increased steadily from the original 2 in 1891 to a peak of 175 in 1956. Following the civil disorders of the transition of Zaire to national independence, the number dipped to 122, and by 1970 had returned to 140 (cf. Tables 3, 4 and 5).

During the early period (1891-1920), the mean number of missionaries on the field was 47. A total of 105 people were appointed in this period averaging 4 missionaries per year. Among these 105 appointees, 64% remained in missionary service for at least 3 terms or more than 15 years. Those who served only one term amounted to 31'Zi of the total appointed. Health was a critical factor in this early period. Death claimed 11% of this group in the field. Spouses often resigned after the loss of a partner, so the death or serious illness of one missionary usually meant the loss of 2 people to the Mission.

During the second or "expansion" period of 19 years (1921-1940), 71 more missionaries were appointed to the APCM. Actual field populations varied; during the 1920's and 1930's the mean was 74 missionaries on the field. During the third period (1941-1950), the APCM was reinforced by 81 appointments of new missionaries. During the mid-1940's the mean had risen to 110 active members of the Mission. During the decade 1951-1960 there was a mean of 158 missionaries on 39


the field (cf. Tables 3, 4 and 5). During the period of 19382 to 1753, the missionary staff at Luebo averaged 20 persons each year, consistently the largest of the 11 stations of the APCM in the Kasayi.

There was a large initial expense to the Board of ,!orld l iss-ions in outfitting and installing a new missionary family. Tleir first 2 or 3 years were normally priimar ily language study and orientation to the work. It is therefore,, interesting to exa,,ine the percentaE(,s of those who did not continue in mi ssionary service beyond their initial term. The various years considered are grou-ped in a mani ner confciain with the "generational" analysis of miiissionary longevity grades presented below (cf. Chapter 5). In terms of this analysis the 105 missionaries appointed in the (early period (1891-1920) cai all be considered "ancestors." With the exception of one couple, they had all resigned or retired from service or died before the period of participant observation on which this study is based. The one exception was the Jimmy Mitchells, the oldest couple at Luebo during the participant observation. As was stated above, 31% of the "ancestors" served only one term.

During the second period, which produced the "full and midcareer missionaries" (1921-1940), 15% of the total of 71 appointees served only one term. Those remaining 3 terms or more amounted to 65%. Appointments averaged 4 per year. Death claimed 7.5% of this group while on the field.

During the third period (1941-1950), which produced what are here referred to as "young missionaries," 83 persons were appointed.

This number in a much shorter period of 9 years correlated with the


higher annual averages of the late 1940's and 1950's mentioned above. An average of 9 new missionaries a year was a significant increase in staffing. Only 11% of these appointees left the work after one term on the field. It is maintained that this low attrition rate for this group is probably related to the high (15%) percentage of second generation missionaries among the "young" members of the Mission. Of course, medical care for the missionaries improved rapidly in the postwar period. Only 2% of this group died in service.

The fourth period (1951-1960), producing the "new missionaries," shows a yearly average of 9 new missionaries with a total of 81 in this group. The "new missionary" group has the highest rate of oneterm-only appointments in the history of the Mission (26%). Many of those appointed in this period were victims of the independence disturbances. They had not gotten very deeply rooted in the Mission culture, and when difficulties arose and prediction patterns were unstable, many of these missionaries resigned in 1960 or soon after.

Missionary Origins

The origins of the 340 missionaries who have been members of the APCM have important significance for the understanding of the cultural patterns observed in the mission life and work. During the 4 periods outlined above, over 1/2 (62%) of all the missionaries came from a cluster of American southern states where the Presbyterianism is particularly strong. In the order of their overall production these states are: Texas (171/0), Virginia (10%), Georgia (9%), North Carolina (9%0), Alabama (7%), South Carolina (6%), and Tennessee (4%). Zaire itself rates with these prime origin groups producing 5/0 of the


appointments, i.e., 16 second-generation Congo missionaries. A spattering of states, mostly southern, produced 20% of the grand total, but none of these individually produced more than 13 missionaries, or 4%. The northeastern region of the United States produced 3% while 10(10 of the total originated in Great Britain (3%), Europe (4%) and other areas (3%).

Professions of Missionary Personnel

There are basically 4 types of missionaries appointed by the

Board of World Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. These types are: evangelistic, educational, medical and industrial.

The evangelistic category is made up primarily of clergymen, and in later years, of clergymen and their wives. Single women missionaries with special interest in some technical aspects of the developing African church, such as Christian education or women's work, have also been appointed in this category. The educational category covers those who have professional training in education and/or teaching experience, who desire to work in the African school systems. The medical category includes medical doctors, dentists, registered nurses, medical technicians and socio-medical case workers. The industrial category contains a variety of artisans and, in later years, also architects and building contractors. The various classifications will be considered below.

The Evangelistic

The evangelistic classification of missionary personnel has been generally numerically predominant in the APCM, as might be expected in a religious missionary group. The overall percentage for the


years prior to 1960 was 30% evangelistic personnel. In the "ancestor" period (1891-1920) 34% of the appointments were clergy. During the "full and mid-career" period (1921-1940) the new clergy dropped to 21%. This was the only period in which another group surpassed the evangelistic in numbers. In the "young missionary" period (1941-1950) clergy amounted to 25% of the total appointments. In the final "new missionary" period (1951-1960) the evangelistic group was augmented to 35% of the total reinforcements. This larger percentage is in part due to the increasing practice of the Board of World Missions classifying wives in specific categories of work rather than in the general category of "wives." It should be noted, however, that there was an increase in the number of actual clergymen appointed in this period (cf. Table 2).

The Educational

The educational classification contained 8% of the total prior to 1960. The percentages for new appointments fluctuated slightly for the 4 periods under consideration; 5% in the first period, 139% in the second period, 8% in the third period and 10% in the last period. The 10% group in the last period included education specialists needed to supervise the recently subsidized school system mentioned in Chapter 2. The Medical

The medical classification for the entire period included 19% of the total recruits. Medical work expanded steadily and this expansion is reflected in the statistics for the 4 periods (cf. Table 2). During each period 5 physicians were added, except the third when 4 new doctors came to the field. The majority of the 48 women classified as


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medical were registered nurses. Laboratory technicians and medical social workers completed the group. The Industrial

The industrial group which was responsible for the building and maintenance of the various mission stations amounted to 7% of the entire number appointed. In the early period the Mission received 9 industrial men or 9% of the total for tile period. The percentage of industrial men decreased to 7%, 6% and 5% during the second, third and fourth periods respectively. This decrease is accounted for both by the fact that most of the missionary construction was done prior to 1940, and by -It.-he fact that most of the post-1948 construction was done

by Belgian contractors.

Besides the four major professional classifications treated

above, missionaries were also appointed as business personnel, teachers of missionary children and as missionary wives. These classifications will be discussed in a similar manner. Business

In the business classification (cf. Table 2) we find 3% of the total appointments prior to 1960. These positions decreased after the early "ancestor" period when the Mission no longer had the complex overland and river transportation problems. During the second, third and fourth periods the positions were usually filled by the Mission Treasurer and I or 2 secretaries.

The Central School for Missionaries' Children

The Central School for Missionaries' Children classification

reflects the growth of the school during the entire pre-1960 period.


In the "ancestor" period the school had not been developed to the extent that specific missionaries were appointed to this work. In the 3 following periods new appointments for "C.S," as the school was called, were 6%, 8%, and 10/0 of the period total respectively. It should be kept in mind that the "young" and the "new" missionary periods (1941-1950 and 1951-1960) are of shorter duration than the 2 previous periods. Any increase in these latter periods thus represents a compound increase in actual personnel (cf., Table 2).


The general classification of "wives" was used in Table 2 to

account for all of the appointments of married women where there was no specific specialty specified in the appointment records. It should be noted that both spouses have always been considered missionaries (cf. Appendix 1) and in later years wives have generally had specific professional classifications. In the entire period prior to 1960 this classification amounted to 27% of all appointments.

At Luebo,,.during the period of participant observation, 43% of

the personnel were evangelistic, 29% were medical, 14,0 were educational, 9% were industrial, and 5% (1 person) was an unclassified wife.

The staff at Luebo represented all of the 4 "generational"

groups of missionaries. Nine married couples, 2 single women living together and a single woman doctor living alone made up the 11 missionary households.

The Missionaries Themselves

Reflecting the African and APCM tradition of respecting the

elders, the following description of the households begins with the one


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surviving representative of the "ancestor" group and proceeds to the newest "new" missionary couple.

James and Ethel Mitchell (occupants of house No. 8, Figure 6) were appointed in 1919. They had their initiation period at Luebo but soon went by hammcok and march to Mutoto, a new station opened in 1912. James Mitchell, a minister, worked during his full career teaching African pastors, first at the Morrison Bible Institute at Mutoto, later at Kankinda where it was combined with the Normal School, and finally, as the director of the Preacher's School at Luebo. He and his wife were seasoned missionaries. They were full of tales of the early days. They were conservative, mellow and wise. "Uncle Jimmy" and "Aunt Ethel," as they are called by the children and their fellow missionaries, always had a productive garden. They had a household staff of venerable men who had long since proven their worth. The Mitche'lls knew the past. They had experienced the development of the Kasayi. Their approach to Mission business was one of calm application of their accumulated wisdom of age.

George and Alice Woodstock (living in house number 2) were

appointed in 1920, she as a nurse, he as an industrial missionary. In 1919 the women of the Presbyterian Church in the United States had responded to the need for permanent homes and had launched a drive to raise money to finance their construction. George went out primarily as a builder and was responsible for the design and construction of the church building, the hospital and many of the missionary homes at Luebo. In 1960, they completed their last year of their 40 year service.


In spite of his age, George was known for his energy and unstinting hard work. He was an active participant in the work projects which he directed, using African labor, and was often seen on the metal rooftop of a missionary home, doing repair work in the blazing sun. He was responsible for all of the upkeep and repair of existing buildings on the station, as well as new building projects such as the hospital addition completed in 1960. He also taught all aspects of industrial trades to the Africans who worked with him. Alice worked a full day at the hospital and was always busy and efficient. Their children were all grown and lived in the United States.

Henry and Mary Ward (house No. 10) were appointed in 1926. Henry grew up in China as the son of Presbyterian missionaries. He came to Congo as an industrial/agricultural missionary, but at Luebo was given theassignment of running the Mission Press, responsible for the production of religious literature in Tshiluba, as well as textbooks for the schools. Henry was not only an excellent gardener, but an outstanding fisherman who went every afternoon at 3:00 to the river where he had a catamaran with outboard motor. Mary supervised the editorial department of the press being responsible for proof reading and editing. They planned to resign in May of 1960, even though they had not completed 40 years on the field. They lived in the "Press House" (located near to the press, No. 21).

Kenneth and Elizabeth Morgan (house No. 3) arrived on the field in 1930 as single missionaries. He came as an evangelistic missionary and she as a teacher of missionary children at the Central School at Lubondai. They were married in 1933. Kenneth was the


nephew of one of the early missionaries, and Elizabeth was the sister of Alice Woodstock. At Luebo, Kenneth was chairman of the evangelistic department, and occupied himself primarily with church development and 11village itineration," which involved being away from the station for 3 weeks at a time to work with village pastors and evangelists. He was skeptical about the African church's ability to govern itself without missionary guidance. Elizabeth taught wives of the students in the Preacher's School and did women's work with the churches. They had 3 children, 2 were in college in the United States and I was at Central School at Lubondai.

Robert and Lila McDonald were educational missionaries (house No. 4). They were appointed in 1949. He was the director of the large primary school and she provided him with secretarial assistance. They had 4 children: 1 was at Central School and 3 were at home. Two of the children at home were being taught in a cooperative arrangement with other wives which allowed Lila more time to help in the school office. One small pre-school child was in the care of an African nursemaid while Lila was working.

Dr. Carolyn Westbrook came to the APCM in 1949 after having worked with the Presbyterian mission in China from 1929 to 1936. In the intervening years she had developed a specialization in anesthesiology in the United States. "Carolyn," as she was called by the other missionaries, never married and lived alone (residence number 9) except for the Siamese cats to which she was especially attached. She worked in the station hospital with Dr. Norris as second resident physician. Carolyn had never become proficient in Tshiluba, perhaps


because she was unusually advanced in age when she first arrived in the Kasayi. This linguistic handicap affected her ability to deal with all aspects of the hospital work, and made her dependent upon the presence of another Tshiluba-speaking physician. She was a reserved station member, never becoming very deeply involved in station or mission "politics." She was, however, a warm friend and neighbor, especially to new missionaries, and was extraordinarily knowledgeable about drama, music and the plastic arts. She had an unusual sensitivity for the feelings of others. When speaking with missionaries in English within earshot of Africans she never used proper names in order to avoid giving people the impression that they were being talked about in a foreign language. Her hobbies were astronomy, her cats and her houseplants, and any possible spectator participation in the fine arts.

Herman and Susan Norris (house No. 9) were also on the medical staff. Herman was Luebo's principal physician and Susan worked as a registered nurse. They also had a short period of service with the mission in China from 1947 to 1950 when all of the missionaries were expelled by the People's Republic of China government. They came to the APCM in 1951. Dr. Norris' specialization was surgery, and he maintained a heavy operating schedule at the station hospital. Susan also worked a full day as nurse at the hospital. She taught her 2 primary school age children at home during lunch "hour" (a colonialtype "siesta" from 12 noon until 2:00 at the Mission) and in the evenings until September of 1959, when the mothers collaborated to provide a joint "school" for their children. Herman's hobby was amateur radio and he had a "shack" in the rear of his house from


which he talked with other amateur radio "hams" all over the world. This hobby was of special interest to the missionaries as it often provided for quick communication with family and friends in the United States. During the critical period described in Chapter 7, the amateur radio operators on the Mission played a crucial role in the orderly and safe evacuation of all of the American missionaries. The Norrises also had 2 other children at Central School.

James Boyd Jordan and his wife, Florence, were appointed in

1952. He was one of the few dentists in Congo, and had a full schedule providing dental care for the American missionaries, Africans associated with the Mission and many Europeans living in the area. Florence was a medical social worker and it was she who, during the tribal warfare days of May, 1960, organized the distribution of emergency relief food to the refugees of the war and subsequent disorganization and homelessness. They did not arrive at Luebo until mid-1959, when they occupied the house formerly lived in by May and Lucille (No. 7). In May of 1960, they moved into the house left vacant by the departing Woodstocks (No. 2). They had 2 teen-age sons at Central School at Lubondai.

May Melton, also appointed in 1952, lived with Lucille Fisher (house No. 7) until May of 1959, when Lucille went to the United States on furlough, and May moved into another house (No. 5) to make room for the Jordans. May was classified as an educational-evangelistic missionary. She taught in the primary school and was also in charge of the Girl's Home. Her Tshiluba was unusually good. She attributed her language competency to her years of working with the


Girl's Home when she actually lived in the home with the girls, speaking Tshiluba constantly. She had been given the job of teaching Tshiluba, with African assistants, to the new couple at Luebo, the Jorgensens.

Bert and Margaret Richards (residence No. 6) were assigned to the evangelistic department. He was an ordained clergyman who anticipated working with the African church, but found himself assigned to supervision of 21 regional elementary schools. Margaret assisted him with clerical work as well as preparation and duplication of teachers' manuals. She was the daughter of "Uncle" Jimmy Mitchell and "Aunt" Jane. Growing up as the child of missionaries, her Tshiluba was fluent. She visited extensively in the village and was widely known and accepted by the villagers as a "Muena Kasayi" (a Kasayi citizen in the deepest sense). The Richards had 4 children, 2 of whom were schoolage and attended classes at Luebo with the other children. The younger

2 had a nursemaid looking after them while their mother was working.

Lucille Fisher, the third single female missionary at Luebo,

came to the APCM as an educational missionary in 1955. As the observation period of this study began, she was living with May Melton (in house No. 7) and teaching in the primary school, but she left for furlough in the United States in May of 1959. She was a diligent worker, and spent many late hours carefully correcting every exam given to the seventh year students, which Belgian law required to be graded by "accredited" (that is, missionary or Belgian) personnel. She and May found time almost weekly to play Bridge with the Jordans, McDonalds or Norrises.


Donald and Sandra Jorgensen (house No. 12) were the "new"

missionaries, appointed in 1957, and arriving at Luebo in January of 1959 after language study in Belgium. They were both evangelistic missionaries, but their first "assignment" was Tshiluba language study. They were expected to study full-time for 4 months, after which they were permitted to do "part-time" work while continuing language for at least another 4 months, or until they had passed a written examination. At the end of the first 4 months, Donald began working in the evangelistic office and going on some itineration trips with Kenneth Morgan. His first full-time assignment was teaching in the Preacher's School. Sandra began helping the other mothers with the missionary children's classes in September 1959, and assumed some Christian Education responsibilities in the African churches such as directing the annual Christmas play. The Jorgensen's 2 children were small and. in the care of a nursemaid while the Jorgensens were in class.

The missionaries described above were in daily interaction with the African salaried staff employees of APCM-Luebo and further afield occasionally with the salaried African church leaders and general membership of the church. Luebo Presbytery, the geographical unit of the Presbyterian Church around APCM-Luebo, included over 350 villages in which at least a small congregation of Africans identified themselves as Presbyterian church members (cf. Figure 4). Representative African church leaders and mission employees will be described below.

Indigenous Personnel

Pastor Joel Kambala was the pastor of the large central church at APCM-Luebo. He was around 55 years old and of Luba ethnic origin.


His parish was the large African residential area surrounding APCMLuebo. It was in this area that he lived with his family in a slightly better than average African house. His parish work in the "village" kept him off the station compound most of the week, but he frequently visited the evangelistic office to confer with Morgan on church affairs. There were 3 other smaller chapels in the large village around Luebo and the pastors from these congregations also were frequently seen at

the evangelistic office.

The employees in the evangelistic office numbered 4 in 1959.

John Kasonga, the Presbyterian treasurer, was a layman around 30 years old. He worked regular office hours keeping all of the Presbytery accounts. The Presbytery finances involved the salaries of over 350 evangelists as well as those of the pastors and elders who worked in the rural areas (cf. Table 6). Elder Samuel Buki worked in the regional elementary school section of the building. He was in charge of keeping all of the statistical records of the 23 regional schools in the Presbytery. He was assisted by 2 clerks, Daniel Kabesele and Pierre riutombe. Bert Richards was the missionary in charge of this office, and his innovation of engaging a comparatively large African staff to keep school records was much discussed among the other missionaries.

The primary school located at APCM-Luebo, supervised by Robert McDonald, was taught by May Melton and Lucille Fisher and 20 African teachers. George Lungenyi was an example of the most highly academically qualified African teacher. He was a graduate of the Normal School at Kakinda and was officially accredited to teach in grades 1 through


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4. The younger teachers like Mr. Lungenyi were usually used also in the upper classes with the American missionaries teaching the final seventh year. In this "station school," prior to 1960 all of the records, examinations, duplicating and correction for the final year was done personally by the missionary staff.

There were 25 medical assistants of various rank working in the hospital at APCM-Luebo. In 1959, none of these had attained the level of registered nurse. Despite the lack of academic accreditation, a number of the men at the hospital had been working with the missionary doctors for many years. They assisted in the surgery and on the wards, and qualified by in-service training as paramedical personnel. A number of women served as midwives and nurses aids. As will be noted from Table 6, when a missionary surgeon was in residence, major operations per year would number over 100 and minor operations around 200 or more.

The J. Leighton Wilson Press employed around 15 persons. As many as 10 of these were long-time employees and represented skilled printers, typesetters and binders. Each phase of the mission work employed Africans, for the most part trained on the job, who had achieved competency in their particular craft through the years. These people tended to be long-term employees. There was a more rapid turnover in the lower ranks of employment in the various phases of the evangelistic, educational, medical, publication and industrial work.


As has been observed (Wolcott 1972) American missionaries in

Africa tend to form their own interactive nucleus. The members of the APD-1, having developed for themselves the life situation described in this chapter, correspond to the observation positing cultural ethnocentrism. This does not deny that the missionaries interact with members of the indigenous community, but their most meaningful interactions are with fellow linguistic and cultural group members. The effects of their lack of fusion with the indigenous culture are discussed in Chapter 8 below.

As with all human groupings, especially those of long-term duration, the missionaries formed characteristic ways of arranging their lives. These arrangements or patterns affected both their physical enviro-ment and their social interactions. What was designated early in the colonial period as a "mission station" became their typical base of operations. From the beginnings in 1891 until the middle 1950's the area in which the missionaries worked was primarily rural. It quickly became the policy of the mission to establish "stations" which would be strategically located both in reference to the various population groups with which work was anticipated and in reference to optimal health considerations for the missionaries.

Lapsley and Sheppard, the pioneer APCM missionaries, observed upon their arrival the rural mission station pattern already established among the Swedish and British Baptist missionaries working in 60


the Lower Congo. In the development of the APCM there was little deviation from the basic mission station concept.

Luebo Station and the APCM

Luebo station, founded in 1891, maintained its position of

primacy for the mission for many years. Besides being the first and thus most historic station, Luebo had several other characteristics which made it especially influential in the determination of mission policy and the creation of mission traditions. The first of these characteristics was its function as a supply depot for the entire mission. Its location at the head of navigation on the Lulua River made it important during the years (1891-1930) when transport of goods was possible only by river steamer. The mission treasurer was assigned to reside at Luebo as he was constantly involved in the acquisition and transportation of goods and personnel. With the location of the business office at Luebo the influential Ad Interim Committee (cf. Chapter 5 below) met more often at Luebo than at any of the other

stations. This centralization of financial and decision-making activity at Luebo was a second factor in its maintaining a special influence on the mission as a whole.

A third factor in this regard was the long residence at Luebo of several missionaries that may be designated as 'tradition builders." The Reverend William M. Morrison worked at Luebo for twenty-two years. From his early years (arrived 1896) he did extensive language work, developing a Luba-Lulua grammar and dictionary and translating large portions of the Scriptures. The Reverend Motte Martin worked for 43 years at Luebo from 1903-1946. He, like Morrison, died at Luebo


terminating an especially influential career. Martin's special

importance came from his deep involvement in the government arid jurisprudence of the iridicjernous church. He spent a large portion of his time judging ecclesiastical, marital and even civil cases, "cutting

palavers" as it is called in the indigenous language, ijiuch in the manner of an African chief. As with t1e decisions of African chiefs, Martin's judgments tended, to become normative for future cases at Luebo and for the mission as a whole.

These three factors plus a fourth involving the early development of indigenous Church leadership and a large Christian constiLurncy around the mission station at Luebo and throughout its large outstation area (cf. map Figure 4) combined to provide a certain validity to the missionary saying "as Luebo goes, so goes the mission." Luebo developed a missionary cultural primacy in spite of a formally decentralized decision-making system (cf. Chapter 5 below) and a non-hierarchical ideology which emphasized the "vocation" of the individual.

Having been opened as a mission station in the early years of

the Independent State of the Congo, Luebo grew steadily in terms of the indigenous population who for various reasons migrated to live near the mission station. In 1935 the African population was cited as approximately 25,000 (AR 1936:56). The conglomeration of this large African village with the mission station at its center is known as "APCM-Luebo" to distinguish it from "Luebo-Etat," the government administrative center and town on the opposite side of the Lulua River.

APCM-Luebo is located on the north bank of the Lulua River

which flows due west at this location. The access road to the station


is four times the distance from the river crossing directly to the station, following a manageable incline to the east one kilometer and doubling back the same distance through the African section and entering the mission station itself. Until 1915 the large village which surrounds the station on its west, north and east sides was laid out in typical Luba and Lulua non-geometric patterns determined mainly by kinship ties. C.L. Crane reported in 1915 that:

There is a marked improvement in the village itself.
Messrs. Martin and Vinson spent 7 or 8 months in
laying out new streets and assigning the natives new
places for their houses, with the result that the moral and sanitary conditions are vastly improved.
Each tribe has its section and every effort is made to stir them to something like tribal pride in keeping their villages clean and free from immoral
influences (AR 1915:23).

Thus, since 1915 a grid pattern has remained the distinguishing feature of the African section of APCM-Luebo. Whether the straight streets have been conducive to leading the population toward the "Straight and narrow" Christian life style as the missionary surveyors intended is doubtful in the light of later events along these same streets discussed below in Chapter 7.

Although the development of commercial centers in the mission village was traditionally discouraged, by 1959 five Portuguese and Belgian trading shops had managed to become established on the southern fringe of the actual mission compound and further down the hill at the riverside.

Directly opposite the APCM-Luebo on the south bank of the

Lulua is the town of Luebo. Small docks and a number of warehouses line the river. A tree-lined road runs perpendicular to the river

Figure 5

1. APCM Mission compound.

2. Lulua section of surrounding village (streets laid out in 1915 by missionaries)

3. Baluba section of village

4. Portuguese shops

5. High bluff beside river

6. Footpath to ferry crossing

7. Motor road to mission (doubles back at top of bluff to east)

8. Rapids in river

9. New bridge completed 1960 10. Island used by missionaries for picnics 11. Ferry crossing 12. Warehouses and shops at steamer dock 13. European residences 14. Main road to town of Luebo 15. Colonial government offices 16. Roman Catholic cathedral and mission




60 i




Luebo El
RiverD L

Figure 5. Map of APCM-Luebo and portion of the town of Luebo


and up the gentle slope to the town itself. The streets in town are dirt and are frequently repaired by contingents of prisoners from the district and territorial prison located here. Upon entering the town of Luebo from the river one passes the government buildings which house the offices of the District Commissioner and the Territorial Administrator, a courthouse, a post office, and behind these a military camp. The buildings are old single-story colonial type with large verandas. Further up the hill is a traffic circle filled with flowering plants reflecting Belgian urban style. Beyond the circle is a low rambling hotel and eight shops arranged on both sides of the single commercial street. Radiating out from the circle in three other directions are streets containing residences of the government and commercial personnel. Well beyond this section, out of town, are the African sections known as Luebo-South (cf. Figure 5).

In 1959 the town of Luebo contained in addition to the above a government hospital, a government primary school, both for indigenous clients, and reserved for the European residents a "club-house" where motion pictures were shown and dances held, and a swimming pool and tennis complex.

Buildings and Dwellings

The original houses at the APCM-Luebo mission station were

constructed in the indigenous manner by the local Bakete people. The individual walls and the two halves of the roof were fabricated separately and then assembled around a pole frame. These early "prefabricated" houses were replaced after two years by Luba type mud-andstick houses which were more durable. The ability to make fire-baked


brick was one of the technological skills that the American missionaries brought with them to Africa. It was not long after their arrival at Luebo that the "brick yard" was begun. From local clay dug from the Lulua River bank, a steady supply of yellow and red brick began to flow. By 1921, the permanent brick residences built at Luebo came to be normative plans approved by the mission (MM 21:135) for construction on other stations.

The Church

The church at Luebo is one of the most extensive examples of Presbyterian missionary architecture. Centrally located (cf. No. 1, Figure 6) on the highest point on the mission compound, it dominates the surrounding mission station. The cruciform structure is built of yellow brick. Its facade presents a large central door surmounted by a central tower which houses a large bell and a mechanical clock which chimes the hours. The simple, backless benches inside will seat over 1,000 people. The central pulpit, the three large chairs for the clergy and the sections of laterally-placed benches to the left and right of the pulpit area reserved for the Elders and choir, reflect American Presbyterian proxemic style. The yellow brick of the church makes it stand out from all the other major buildings of the station which are built of red brick. The church is surrounded by a large lawn area. A broad dirt path leads up to the front of the church. The path 'is flanked by rows of old and carefully trimmed palm trees. As one faces the church on the broad path, to the left, parallel to the path, are two very old buildings. The first is the "meeting room" (cf. No. 14, Figure 6), a building which houses the meeting room for

Figure 6

1. Church building 14. Meeting room and Station
Treasurer's office

2. Missionary residence 15. Primary School office

3. Missionary residence (Morgans) 16. Missionary store house

4. Missionary residence 17. Evangelistic office

5. Missionary residence (Melton) 18. Preacher's School complex

6. Missionary residence (Richards) 19. Girl's Home complex

7. Missionary residence (Jordans) 20. Primary School classrooms

8. Missionary residence 21. J. Leighton Wilson Press

9. Missionary residence 22. Industrial Department shed

10. Missionary residence 23. Widow's house
(Wards, "press house")

11. Missionary residence 24. Missionary cemetery

12. Missionary residence 25. Tennis court

13. McKowen Memorial Hospital 26. Football field


E~i~ ZJEZI231

20 1-------'19 18 ,

211 -3 L .
2 -- 22 .


.1 0 .
1224 25

0 013

Figure 6. Plan showing layout of APCM-Luebo.


the station meetings and for meetings of the African Presbytery. It also contains two small offices, one of which is used by the station treasurer. The, second building, as one approached the church, is a missionary residence (cf. No. 7, Figure 6). It is a two-bedroom accommodation which is usually occupied by two single ladies.

On the right side of this street leading north to the church are two almost identical buildings set in symmetrical settings in reference to those on the left and to the church. The lower building of the two is the educational office and workshop and supply room (cf. No. 15, Figure 6). During our period of observation this building serviced a primary school of around 2500 pupils. The upper building was a seldom-used one known as the "depot" (cf. No. 16, Figure 6). This building had been used in earlier years as the central supply storage for the trade goods that were used in barter and for payment of workers. It was also used for the storage of household effects belonging to missionaries who had returned to the United States on furlough. Just above the depot and set off further to the right are a two-car garage and the station "motor house," a small building which houses the diesel generating plant which supplies electricity to the "at.ion.each evening from seven until ten o'clock.

The street leading south from the church int-ersects in a deadend fashion at its base with the main street which transverses the station. By street is understood a wide, well-drained path which can accommodate one lane of automobile traffic. Opposite this intersection, across the main street, is the station cemetery (cf. No. 24, Figure 6). Beyond the cemetery are open fields sloping down the hill



a. The church at APCM-Luebo.


b. Another view of APCM-Luebo church.


to a wooded area where I.-he terrain falls sharply down to the river. The Missionary Residences

The residences at APCM-Luebo represented missionary building from the 1920's to the 1960's (cf. Nos. 2 through 12, Figure 6). As one enters the station on the main street from the east, the first house to the right (cf. No. 2, Figure 6) is a rare item on the whole mission. It is a two-storied house. It is a comparatively small house of one-room depth and two-room width. It has a wide veranda across the front of both the first and second floors. It was designed by and built for one of the early dentists on the mission. By mission standards it is an elaborate house considering its limited two-bedroom capacity.

The houses, which are 11 in number, range in age from 50 to 7 years old. The older houses tend to have a centrally peaked roof with a veranda on all four sides of the house, the principal roof extending to seven feet from the floor level. Foundations are usually built in such a manner as to raise the house from two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half feet above the ground. The older houses were lower, the more expensive raising of the first floor level coming in later years. The standard missionary residence is a rather spacious house, usually three bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry work room, and store room. The kitchen is often off the back porch with the screened porch serving as working space. All bathrooms and toilets are interior. The newer houses have a bath-and-a-half. They also have modern type bathtubs and sinks. Earlier houses had imported toilet fixtures, but often have brick bathtubs which are cement-lined



a. Missionary residence at APCM-Luebo.

b. Newest missionary residence at APCM-Luebo.

b. Newest missionary residence at APCM-Luebo.


and enameled and cement wash basins. Running water is supplied to the bathroom, and hot water is furnished by means of a wood-burning hot water heater built outside the house near the bathroom wall.

The kitchens have only cold running water. Water is heated for dishwashing on the wood cook stove that is provided in each house by the mission. Most of the missionaries have a kerosene refrigerator and several have gas ranges which are fueled by bottled gas.

The house to which the writer was assigned was one of the older and less commodious residences on the station. It was known as the 11white hospital" as it was originally built in 1922 as a guest house for European patients who had to spend an extended time at the hospital. Since this residence is typical of many missionary residences, it will be described in some detail. It is located on the downhill, southern side of the main street in the corner of the station (cf. No. 12, Figure 6). Its side and back yards were bordered by the "cordon blue," a 25-meter strip of land stipulated by the colonial government as required to separate a European compound from any African housing. Just beyond this strip to the west there are the backyards of African residences. The missionary house consists of one bedroom measuring 12' x 12', one bedroom off the latter bedroom measuring 12' x 6', and a bath equipped with cement tub and sink. The identical space on the opposite side of the central living room serves as large dining room, a third bedroom or office, and the kitchen. The living room was originally an open porch, the front of which has been bricked up to a height of three feet and the remainder screened. Two small front verandas open off the screened living room. The house is surrounded



a. Writer's residence at APCM-Luebo. b. Interior of writer's residence.


by tall oilnut palms randomly spaced in a large lawn.

A special feature of the construction of the 11 residences is the "outbuilding" which accompanies each home. This is a long, narrow three-room building containing a "sentry" room, a laundry room or shed, and a storage room often used by the missionary family as an office or a school room for the teaching of small missionary children. These buildings are located about 15 meters behind the missionary residence, parallel to the rear of the major building. In a number of cases the outbuilding also contains a garage. The McKowen Memorial Hospital

The hospital at APCM-Luebo (cf. No. 13, Figure 6) is composed of three large buildings, the most recent of which was constructed in 1958 to house administrative offices, dental office, classrooms, and laboratory. The older buildings house the large wards for African patients and the surgery and pharmacy building. The entire hospital area is fenced in with a chain link fence. Also included in the hospital complex are utility buildings, laundry, and ten very small residences for African hospital personnel. The J. Leighton Wilson Press

One of the earliest needs felt by the missionaries was for the printed word. Luebo has been the permanent site of the printing efforts of the APCM through the years since 1903. The press is named after the first Executive Secretary for Foreign Missions (1861-1886) of the Presbyterian Church in the United.States, who was especially concerned with the evangelization of Africa. The physical plant housing the printing facilities consists of two buildings placed in




a. The press director's residence at APCM-Luebo.

b. Missionary residence showing exterior kitchen at APCM-Luebo.

b. Missionary residence showing exterior kitchen at APCM-Luebo.


an "L" configuration (cf. No. 21, Figure 6). The longer building houses the typesetting room, the press room with two large flatbed presses and two smaller job presses, the bindery containing machines and work space for cutting, stapling and binding the books. The smaller building contains the business office and stock rooms for current inventories and printing supplies. There are also two smaller outbuildings, one housing the generator plant which powers the press, and another which houses a Linotype machine and darkroom facilities for


The Evangelistic Office

The Church office, for the local community and for a surrounding rural area of about 150-mile radius is located on the east side of the station behind and above the first two residences on the left as one enters the station. This building contains three offices. One is the office of the Evangelistic Department of the station. A second is the Regional School office, which has supervision over all the primary schools in the surrounding rural area, exclusive of the one large primary school on the station. The supervision of these schools has fallen to the clergymen because they are the only staff members who travel in the rural areas on "itineration" for extended periods, visiting many of the African villages for the purpose of supervising the church work. A third office in the Evangelistic Building is the Presbytery Treasurer's office where the church accounts and funds are kept. The furnishings in these offices are very simple: locally-made desks and bookcases, perhaps an imported office chair for the missionary in charge, and a few straight chairs for visitors. The single piece of furniture


which dominates each office is the old, large and impressive steel safe.

The Primary School

Located just north of the church is the primary school (cf. No. 20, Figure 6). It consists of 8 double classroom buildings arranged in a "U" with considerable distance between each building. The classroom buildings are brick and open along the sides above a height of four feet. The school buildings, like all of the construction on the station, are roofed with galvanized tin or aluminum roofing. The Girl's Home

Immediately to the east of the primary school area, in a wirefenced enclosure, is the "Girl's Home" (cf. No. 19, Figure 6). This is a complex of four dormitory buildings and a central refectory and meeting room. The girls living here attend the station primary school. At the time of this study 52 girls were in residence. The Preacher's School

In the northeastern corner of the mission station, to the east of the girl's home (cf. No. 18, Figure 6), is a similar complex of small dwelling units and a refectory-classroom building. In former years this was the "Boy's Home," but it has recently been converted to a facility housing a high school-level ministerial training school. The Preacher's School supplies the whole mission area with village evangelists.

As was stated above, the early construction on the mission was African-type houses and sheds built by Africans for the missionaries. In the early days the mortality was quite high, especially among wives


and children. The recurring crisis of death among the staff intensified the desire of the missionaries to build more permanent and salubrious residences. It was in 1913 that the first professional builder came to the mission field as a missionary. He was 52 years of age at the time of his appointment and came on a self-sustaining basis. He supervised the building of Mutoto station. In 1915, with the arrival of a graduate of Georgia Tech, Carson Industrial School was opened at Luebo. Carpentry, brickmaking, brick masonry, tailoring, shoe-making, blacksmithing, ivory carving and broom-making were all taught at the school. The school was closed in 1930 due to lack of funds caused by the depression. In the fifteen years of its operation, the Industrial School trained hundreds of artisans who found ready employment in the developing colony. The large work shed (cf. No. 22, Figure 6) which housed the school remains at Luebo. It is currently utilized by the maintenance personnel of the station.

In a number of ways the mission station reflects the territorial layout of an American college campus. In terms of allotment of space and size of buildings, however, the emphasis of APCM-Luebo is clearly on the missionary residences and the church. The station does have an open and spread-out aspect which can be cotitrasted to the typical Roman Catholic mission station in the area. Catholic stations tend to reflect the architectural and territorial features of the cloister of Europe.


As has been pointed out above, one of the main features of the mission station is the provision and clustering of residences for the



The organization of the missionary household at Luebo is

in many ways quite different from what the American staff would experience in the United States. One of the causes of this difference is the de facto professional role of the wife as a missionary. The BWM manual states that:

Missionary wives share with their husbands in
qualifications and language study. It is recognized that their first obligation is to the home and this witness through the Christian family is their major missionary service. They may engage
in other services as domestic duties permit
(BWM Manual, 27).

This official statement is, of course, the ideal. The real pattern is manifest in a considerable amount of pressure placed upon a new missionary wife to "take up part of the work." The second cause of the unique missionary household organization can be found in the traditions of the missionary community at Luebo.

From the early years households have been referred to as

"fences," (a human grouping of all those who live and/or work at a particular missionary residence). These have included a varied number of African "helpers." The rationale for having extensive domestic help is that (a) under the relatively primitive living conditions, all of the help a missionary wife can get simply*frees heir for the more important evangelistic, educational or medical work that always needs to be done; and (b) there are always African men and women available who need employment. By employing them, the missionary is aiding in the development of individuals and the region as a whole.

Thus, from the pioneer days when life was essentially camping


and the missionary had his personal "boy," cook and hammock men, to the present when the minimum for most young missionary families is a cook, a laundry man and a "Baba," who is a full-time woman babysitter for the small children, domestic servants have been a tradition at Luebo. In the early years, having a number of young men in your "fence" was thought to be an excellent way to train them in all aspects of the Christian life. In more recent years, the number has greatly decreased and the motivation is more clearly on providing the support system for the missionary couple as they seek to devote the whole day to missionary work.

The selection of the domestic staff for the new missionary is done basically by those already on the station when he arrives. The key people such as cooks and laundry men usually stay with their missionary employers for years. They may be available, however, for a year if "their missionary" happens to be in the States on furlough. The new couple knows nothing of the individuals, and even if they are reluctant to take on a staff of servants at the outset of their missionary career, they are assured by the "old timers" that this is the time-tested way to proceed.

The selection of household staff is also watched and controlled by the local church leaders. Although the people employed are the financial responsibility of the missionary, the African church leaders ordinarily must informally approve the selection. The', writer was informed by the local African pastors in one instance in 1959 that he must terminate a fine young cook because he was involved in an adultery "palaver." Prior to the mid-1940's, these problems


would have been decided by the missionary. This case is an example of the African church leaders initiating action in the missionary sphere. The statuses of the various servants are differentiated within the household and in the larger missionary and African communities according to the roles they perform. The following section is a description of the various employment positions possible in a missionary household.

The cook is the highest ranking of all of the domestic "helpers." He is invariably male and most often is a mature man who has been trained to cook by missionaries or by Europeans in the area. He must be able to prepare a complete meal, often for as many as eight or ten persons, on the wood cook range and with the relatively modest kitchen equipment. He is a person who can be given a menu and left with the responsibility of having "the meal on the table" at the appointed time. One of the essential skills of the cook at Luebo is baking bread. All of the household's bread must be baked by the cook as there is no commercial bread available. A particular cook is often especially noted for his bread and rolls, and perhaps for pies and cakes as well. The cook lives in the African village and arrives at work around 6:30 AM to begin preparing the breakfast. In 1960 he earned a salary of from twenty to forty dollars a month, depending on the size of his family.

The "Baba" or nursemaid is the second highest ranking member of the household staff. She has the responsibility of looking after the children most of the day while the missionary mother is in language study or later involved in some missionary duties. If the child


or children are small and in diapers it is the task of the baba to launder all the soiled diapers. As babysitter she has the run of the house and performs such functions as putting away the general laundry, making and turning down the beds and picking up the children's toys. Babas are usually mature "single" women, either widowed or divorced. They report to work in time to take over the child after breakfast and work until 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon. Besides their salary of from twenty to twenty-five dollars a month, it is the custom to permit the baba to take a large bucket of water to the village each evening. The water source for the village people was a spring one mile from APCM-Luebo. The women usually carried water during the day while the nursemaids were at work.

The laundry man is the third highest-ranking domestic helper. He is responsible for washing all of the family laundry in pails and washtubs and ironing it with a charcoal burning iron. For a family with two or three children this task takes almost the full work week to complete. He, like the cook, was often a mature man. He might be a younger man with the aspiration of working his way up to being a cook. In the local African tradition both cooking and washing are considered "women's work," and it is only in the context of working for the foreigner that men are comfortable with these roles.

The position of "house boy" was common in former years, but

the tasks of sweeping, mopping and cleaning were more recently shared by the laundry man and the baba. It was also common in earlier years for.the cook to have a kitchen boy who kept the fire going and washed the dishes. As salaries have increased and equipment improved, the


missionaries have encouraged their cooks to accept all aspects of the kitchen work. For a first-class cook this is seemingly difficult, and he usually prevails upon the sentry to do the cleaning up.

The sentry is the fourth member of the normal household staff. He is provided by the mission and has the responsibility of being a night watchman, generally keeping up the lawn, and assuring that the kitchen is supplied with wood for the cook stove. He is also responsible for lighting and tending the hot water heater every day so that there will be hot water available in the bathroom in the evening for family baths. The sentry has a room in the outbuilding. Ideally, he does not sleep all night, but makes periodic patrols of the lawn and buildings. His official work time is at night and he is free to return to the village during the day. In practice, most sentries spend a good part of the day on their jobs and sleep at night. They work on the lawn, get the wood and run errands for the missionary family members and other workers. They must maintain a household of their own in the village and are discouraged from having their wives and children stay with them in the missionary "fence." The reason given for this rule is that the "fence" is already sufficiently crowded with the missionary couple,.their children, three or four helpers and the constant stream of visitors and traders. A sentry's wife and children would only add to the noise and commotion, and invite even more numerous visitors. As the sentry's job is a seven-night-a-week arrangement, it was understood that there are occasional family visits during the night to the sentry's room in the outbuilding. This was done in such a way that it was never noticeable to the missionary. The system ap-