Gabon Christian Missionaries

Gabon Christian missionaries
Figure 1.--These boys are the children of missionary Elie Allégret (1865-1940). He was a French Evangelical Reformed missionary working in Gabon. The boys had their photo taken about 1900 in the mission of Talagouga, Moyen-Ogooué province. The older boy is wearing a sailor suit. Both the children are barefoot. That was unusual for French children in France, but it seems very common for missionary kids living in Africa.

We have been unable to find much information about the history of Christian missionaries in Gabon. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the area of modern Gabon (1472). They set up a trading post at the mouth of the Ogooué River. One report infivates that their missionaries followed shortly. We do not note, however, any substabtial conversion of the ntive population until the 19th century when the French were the dominant European power in the area. We have not yet found a detailed account of French missionary work in the area. Ob=ne report indicates French Catholic missionaries began working in Gabon after the Napoleonic Wars abd estbkished missions. We have few details at this time. American Protestant missionaries from New England established a mission at Baraka (now Libreville) (1842). We note efforts by French missionaries to work in German coontrolled Kamerun, but were rejected by the Germans. At the same time Catholic misionaries began working in Cameroon (1883). Fathers Davezac and Bichet (Holy Ghost Missionaries) from Gabon came to Cameroon in search of new lands to convert. We also notice another missionary family, the Pelot boys in 1910. During the Great Depression, Alliance missionaries from Congo surveyed South Gabon and discovered vast areas that had never been reached by missionaries. They entered the arwa (1934). Missionary nurses ran a small dispensary for treating the medical needs of local Gabonese. A team of missionary medical personnel, including Dr. David Thompson, the small dispensary developed into the Bongolo Hospital of the Christian & Missionary Alliance of Gabon. After determining that The Gabionese wee able to support church efforts, the last American missionaries left (2008). The remaining U.S. workers are connected with Bongolo Hospital.


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Created: 7:58 AM 5/26/2012
Last updated: 10:20 PM 8/5/2012