Billy Graham Center


Interviews of Jarbas Da Silva - Collection 523

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan]

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Table of Contents

Title Page and Restrictions

Brief Description of This Collection


An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

Lists of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes

Collection 523                                                                                                           [July 18, 2007]
Jarbas Da Silva; 1958-
Interviews; 1995

Audio tapes (.08 cubic feet)

Restrictions: None

Brief Description. Oral history interviews in which da Silva discusses: his childhood in San Paulo, Brazil; conversion to Christianity; Baptist Bible College; Russell Shedd; joining the Africa Inland Mission as a missionary to Mozambique; strengths and weaknesses of the church in Brazil; first impressions of Mozambique; the development of Sofala Bible Institute Beira City, Mozambique; strengths and weaknesses of the church in Mozambique; aftermath of the civil war; his perspective on the need for humility and flexibility among missionaries.


Full name

 Jarbas Ferreira Da Silva


February 27, 1958 in Sao Paulo, Brazil




Joseph and Colbet [?]



Three other younger siblings


December 1976: received Jesus Christ through the witness of Joāo Batista; February 1977: baptized in a Presbyterian church in Sao Paulo, Brazil


1984, ordained as a Baptist minister




San Francisco Institute of Education (high school), Sao Paulo, Brazil



Baptist Bible College, Sao Paulo, Brazil; graduated with a bachelor in theology



Studied English at Queens College, New York City, United States



Wheaton College Graduate School. Graduate with a Masters in Educational Ministries




Salesman in a department store, selling calculators



Began preaching in Baptist churches



Bank teller


late 1980s

Taught in the evenings at a Presbyterian and an Assemblies of God Bible schools



Join Africa Inland Mission (AIM). He had met the United States director of the mission, Peter Stam, the year before.



Missionary with Africa Inland Mission, helping first to found and then teach at the Sofala Bible Institute in Beira City, Mozambique. (The first graduation was in 1993.) He was supported in part by the First Independent Presbyterian Church of Marilia, Brazil.



Taught for six months at a Bible college in Brazil

Scope and Content

Rev. Jarbas Da Silva was interviewed by Bob Shuster on September 14 and 22, 1995, at the office of the BGC Archives. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1958-1995.

T1 ( 82 minutes). Earliest memories as a child in Brazil; his family’s nominal Catholicism; interests as a boy in soccer and studying; his parents’ background; lifelong love of learning; working full-time at age fourteen to help support his family and its effect on him; witchcraft in Sao Paulo; description of the city; adapting to life in a different type of city in Mozambique; his interest in geography; influence of spiritualism on his early life; the importance of spiritualism in Brazil; his seeking of something to relieve his spiritual emptiness; the story of his conversion through the witness of co-worker Joāo Batista in 1976; Brazil’s low opinion of Evangelicals; things that alienated him from spiritualism; strong, growing personal attachment to Jesus before his conversion and his spiritual hunger; family reactions to his conversion; his search for a church home and an opportunity for Christian service; first experiences in preaching and service in a Baptist church; being used by God in his preaching; the importance of his interaction with other seminary students and teachers during his five years at Bible college; Russell Shedd and his example; breaking his pact with evil spirits; benefits from his attendance at the Bible Seminary; growing interest in Angola and Mozambique as places where he could serve; his interview with Peter Stam of Africa Inland Mission (AIM); his acceptance by the mission in march 1986; English studies in New York for a year and the difficulties of adjustment to American Christianity; contacts with AIM while in the United States and dispute over speaking in tongues; changing his idea of Americans and Europeans; the need for missionaries to have simple practical skills in order to fit into poor countries; his need for more missiological preparation.

T2 ( 12 minutes). Strengths of the church in Brazil (solid theological foundations, Christian literature, good facilities) spiritual depth of indigenous Pentecostal churches; worldly ethics among conservative Christians; weaknesses of the church (growth of materialism, intellectualism in many seminaries, lack of social commitment, social division in the churches) growing commitment to missions in Brazilian churches

T3 ( 73 minutes). Linguistic study in Kenya in the summer of 1987; culture shock on arriving in Kenya; travel to Beira, Mozambique in October 1987 with James Orner; devastating impact of the civil war in the country; seeing something constructive in the midst of devastation; adjusting to life in Mozambique; difference between the Portuguese of Brazil and Mozambique; being introduced to the local church; description of a typical worship service at his church in Beira; use of dancing in the service; weekly activities of the church; weakness of the church; lack of biblical knowledge in the congregation; history of the decision to start a Bible school in Beira; setting up the first classes for the school; need of most of the pastors for theological training; how congregations select their pastors; developing the term and curriculum of the Bible school; difficulties in finding good teachers among the missionaries; the facilities and goal of the school at its beginning and the ongoing discussions about the school’s purpose; the input of the area’s pastors into the governing of the school; reasons why students attend the school and their interests; financial difficulties of the students; difficulties between the students and the churches; impact of the school on its students and on the churches in the country; Da Silva’s own training and his teaching methods; learning to work with a multinational mission team; differences between Germans and Brazilians; cultural difficulties the missionaries had working as a team; activities of the missionary team; the good reputation of AIM among the churches in Mozambique; contacts between the churches and the Mozambique government

T4 ( 45 minutes). Improved relations between church and state in Mozambique by the time Da Silva arrived; government and guerilla spies in churches; Russians in Mozambique; devastating effects of the civil war on the country and the church and the church’s response; encouraging Christians; more comments about Russians in Mozambique; peace negotiations and the end of the civil war; impressions of the good relations between Christian churches, except for the Baptists; relations between mission agencies in the country; problems and embarrassment caused by “visiting” missions; the social dimension of ancestor worship and demons in the country; Da Silva’s class on demonology; lack of Bible knowledge and literature among Christians in Mozambique; need for men who are spiritually as well as intellectually mature; need to reach the next generation; how a cult became evangelical; advice to missionaries: humility, respect, flexibility, sincerity, gentleness; good relations with other missionaries essential; Da Silva’s own struggles with other missionaries’ insensitivity; importance of power relationships within a church hierarchy


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Rev. Da Silva in 1995.

Accession: 95-137, 95-138
July 18, 2007
Bob Shuster

Accession: 95-137, 95-138
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file.

Item# - Reel or cassette, speed, length, number of sides, contents (title of session, participants) according to the program, date.










3 3/4



Oral history interview of Jarbas Da Silva by Bob Shuster




3 3/4



Conclusion of interview on T1




3 3/4



Oral history interview of Jarbas Da Silva by Bob Shuster




3 3/4



Conclusion of interview on T3


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Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2007