Billy Graham Center
Archives

Papers of William Alexander Deans
- Collection 586


[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.]

Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography

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

Lists of Oversize Materials and Photographs in This Collection (Location Records)
    Oversize Materials
    Photographs
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Box List)




Collection 586
[May 17, 2016]

Deans, William Alexander; 1908-1999

Papers; 1930-1979, n.d.

6 boxes (DC), Oversize Materials, Photographs (2.5 cubic feet)



Brief Description: Papers of William Alexander Deans missionary with Christian Mission in Many Lands related to his work in northeast Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) especially his publishing of Christian literature in African languages. Collection includes articles, clippings, correspondence, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and tracts. The bulk of the materials cover the 1930s and 1940s.


Restrictions: None



Biography


Full name

William Alexander Deans

Birth

September 23, 1908, Ancon, Canal Zone, Panama

Death

August 7, 1999, Pittsboro, North Carolina

Family

 

Parents

Robert and Christina (MacIver) Deans

 

Siblings

Ella Gunn (Deans) Spees, Robert Scott Deans

 

Marital Status

Dora Elizabeth Winsor (1898-1979), May 4, 1933

Henrietta Ruth Partridge “Betty” (1918- ), September 1980

 

Children

Margaret “Peggy” Elizabeth (Deans) Williams (1934- ), Sarah “Sally” Christina Deans (1935- ), Patrician “Pat” Ann (Deans) Blume (1939-1980)

Conversion

Before 1923

Education

 

1920s

Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA)

Career

 

1929-1980

Plymouth Brethren missionary and printer in the Belgian Congo with Christian Mission in Many Lands who worked with the Babira, Pygmy, Wabira, Wahema, Wangeti, and Walesi tribes

 

1929

Went to the Belgian Conge with his missionary parents and brother and sister at Nyankunde

 

1930-1933

Moved to Lolwa, Belgian Congo, in the Ituri forest to work with Pygmies

 

1933

Returns to Nyankunde and opens a Bible school

 

1933-1945

Involved in evangelistic outreach from Nyankunde

 

1937

First furlough

 

1942

Published first piece of Gospel literature (a tract) at Nyankunde

 

1944-1945

Army Chaplain, Belgian Colonial Troops, Belgian Congo

 

1947-1949

Second furlough

 

1945

Began publishing ministry under the name Editions Evangéliques with Neno La Imani, in the Congo Swahili language, a bi-monthly (later monthly) paper

 

1950-

Published second paper Litatoli (1950), in the Lingala and later the Bengala languages, and Bible study periodicals (Maelezo, Maana, Mafika ye Congo), tracts, and books

 

1954-1955

Furlough

 

1955

Assisted in the translation of the New Testament and Psalms into Congo Swahili

 

1960-1961

Evacuations from Congo

 

1961

Authored the book, Muffled Drumbeats in the Congo

 

1980-1991

Traveled throughout the United States and Canada stirring up interest and help for the needs at Nyankunde

 

1980s

Retired to Pittsboro Home in North Carolina

Other significant information

 

1929-1945

Bill’s parents, brother and sister were missionaries to the Belgian Congo




[Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation “folder 2-5" means “Box 2, Folder 5"]


Scope and Content


Series: Paper records

Arrangement: Alphabetical and chronological

Date Range: 1930-1979

Volume: 2.3 cubic feet

Boxes: 1-6

Type of documents: Articles, Bible, clippings, correspondence, manuscript, maps, tracts, books and periodicals

Notes: Most of the paper records had water and mildew damage and some were separated from original folders. The archivist placed the documents in new folders and kept them, as much as was discernable, in their original order.


Most of the collection consists of Deans’ notes arranged by subject (folders 2-9 to 3-13) containing information on missionary life and work and African people groups (Babira, Pygmy, Wabira, Wangeti, Wahema, and Walesi), culture, and life. They are a valuable resource which give insight into early missionary work in northeast Belgian Congo, in the 1930s and 1940s. These may have been used in Deans’ prayer letters Staccato Drumbeats from Congo and articles in missionary magazines. A subject and code index in folder 2-8 corresponds to the subject folders, although not all the subjects listed have corresponding folders. Folders containing more than twenty pages cover the topics, evangelism amongst Babira (folder 2-18), missionary life (folder 2-35), native customs and traditions (folder 2-36), printing and publishing (folder 3-1), safari work (folder 3-4), and schools (folder 3-5).


A manuscript containing the first four chapters of Congo Chrysalis (folder 1-21) also includes notes for additional chapters. An untitled manuscript (folder 1-22) of over one hundred typewritten pages are arranged chronologically from 1932 to 1940 and by an index code contains mostly one or two page reports on a variety of topics. Those with titles are: “History of Work,” covering the years 1925 to 1930, (index #6-a) and “Who Supports the Missionary” (index #6-b, 1933).


Correspondences in folders (1-8 to 1-15) were written mostly by William and Dora Deans to their family (mainly their daughter Peggy), and prayer and financial supporters. These describe the events of the day, missionary work they were involved in, family matters, and political situations in the country including descriptions of problems that occurred after Congo independence in 1960 (folder 1-15). Scattered throughout are letters from other relatives and friends such as Aunt “Toddie” (Alice Winsor) in folder 1-12; Paul & Betty (Pierson) Teasdale (folder 1-13, 14); Paul and Bill Stough, and Earl A. Winson in folder 1-15. One folder (1-16) contains letters which were written in other languages.


An interesting article about Billy Deans’ missionary work titled “The Conqueror of the Congo,” appeared in the June 23, 1951 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Folder OS 35 contains the original magazine and photocopies of the article are in folder 2-4.


The Congo Swahili New Testament and Psalms, with Deans’ notes, in folder 1-4, was presented to Deans by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1956 for his assistance in preparing the it.


In folder 1-2 are articles written by Deans including the booklet, L’Evangile au Congo Belge, (The Gospel in the Belgian Congo), and a typewritten English translation.


The miscellaneous folder (2-1) contains a Wheaton College Alumni magazine, October 1960, with a brief report by the Deans’ on their missionary work. A small envelope labeled “Mr. J. R. Kapple” containing two cards tied together with a ribbon with the names “William A. Deans” and “Dora E. Winsor” printed on them which were probably from the Deans wedding.


A variety of loose tracts published by Deans are in folder 3-15. A booklet (folder 3-14) with may of the same tracts pasted into it include the name of the language it was written in and the quantity printed. Folder 2-7 contains six copies of Staccato Drumbeats from Congo, the Deans’ personal newsletter to supports. The Congo Protestant Council Minutes of Meeting 33, February 21-28, 1954 are in folder 1-7.


Sermon materials in folder 2-5 include loose pages of outlines, clippings, notes, he used in preparing his messages. A sermon notebook with outlines and loose materials is in folder 2-6. The are clippings in folder 1-6 of articles written by Deans and others which were cut from various missionary magazines and pasted onto sheet of paper.


Five maps in oversize folder 35 are of the Belgian Congo and surrounding areas. See description in the Oversize Materials Location Record.


An almost complete set of publications, Neno La Imani (The Word of Faith, 1945-1961), and Litatoli (The Witness, 1950-1961) is also included in boxes 4,5, and 6. The periodical Neno La Imani was published in the Congo Swahili language and Litatoli in Bangala and Lingala. Boxes 4 and 5 also contain many books Deans’ published under Editions Evangéliques, mostly in the Congo Swahili language.



Provenance

The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by William Alexander Deans in March 1987.


Accession: 87-10

November 13, 2003

Wayne D. Weber

J. Dennison

 

Updated: May 17, 2016
Paul Ericksen




LOCATION RECORD

Accession: 87-10

Type of material: Oversize Materials

The following items are in the OVERSIZE FILE. Request by collection number and folder location (in parentheses).


Maps; ca. 1930-1950, n.d. (OS 35).

“A Map of Territories in which are located the Stations of Africa Inland Mission - Kenya Colony, Tanganyika Territory, Belgian Congo;” Folded, printed map with cover folder signed by D. E. Winsor [Dora Deans], color, 19"x 23", published by Africa Inland Mission. Ca. 1930.


Carte du Congo Belge, Montrant les centres des Missions Protestantes [Chart of Belgian Congo, showing the centers of the Protestant missions], published black & white map, 18"x18", World Dominon Press, n.d.


Carte de la Densite de la Population Congo Belge [Chart of the density of the population, Belgian Congo], published color map with booklet, scale 1:5,000,000, 28½”x 21", 1951.


Congo Belge [Belgian Congo], published color map, scale 1:3,000,000, 31½”x37", 1950.


Territoire de Djugu [Territory of the Djugu, Belgian Congo], published black & white map, scale 1:200,000, 29"x 35½”, 1945.



SATURDAY EVENING POST (OS 35). Copy of the June 23, 1951 issues of the Saturday Evening Post, containing the article, “The Conqueror of the Congo,” describing Deans’ missionary work in the Belgian Congo.


*****

LOCATION RECORD

Accession: 87-10

Type of material: Photographs

The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE; request by folder title (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.


BLANCHARD, CHARLES ALBERT. Engraved photo of Blanchard with a facsimile of his signature and inscribed: “For William and Dora Winsor Deans, Most sincerely, Frances C. Blanchard, Sep. 14, 1933.”


DEANS, WILLIAM ALEXANDER. Portrait photographs of the Deans family and of William, snapshots of Pygmies some with William or Dora Deans, Pygmies with drawn bows, riverbank at Matadi, Congo, villages in the Congo, lip-plug African women, native reading a copy of Neno La Imani. 1943, 1946, n.d. 14 b&w.




BOX LIST

Box

Folder

Item

Dates

1

1

Address and Notebook

n.d.

2

Articles: Deans, William A.

1935-1952, n.d.

3

Articles: Others

n.d.

4

Bible (New Testament & Psalms) in Congo Swahili in language

1955

5

Calendars

1955-1961

6

Clippings

1931-1946

7

Congo Protestant Council

1935, 1954

 

Correspondence

8

 

n.d.

9

 

1931, 1950-1952

10

 

1953-1956

11

 

1957

12

 

1958

13

 

1959

14

 

1960

15

 

1961-1963

16

 

Non-English

1950-1951

17

Deans, Dora Winsor: Eulogy

ca. 1979

18

Deans Family History

ca. 1936

19

Editions Evangeliques Letterhead

n.d.

20

Lists: Bangala Workers, Out Schools, Prayer, Photo Captions

1954, n.d.

21

Manuscript: Congo Chrysalis, Chapters 1-4 and notes

n.d.

22

Manuscript: No Title

1932-1940

OS 35

 

Maps

ca. 1930, 1945, 1950, n.d.

2

1

Miscellaneous

1944, 1960, n.d.

2

Prayer Cards

n.d.

3

Publications: Advertising, Forms

1959-1969, n.d.

4   Publications: Books
    Amboko, par D. M. Davies, Dessins par Boyd Nicholson, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia, Congo Belge n.d.
    Amboko, par D. M. Davies, Dessins par Boyd Nicholson, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia, Congo Belge 1960
    Biblia, the Bible in Swahili-Congo 1960
    Congo Swahili Grammar, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Irumu n.d.
    Congo Swahili Vocabulary, English-Congo Swahili, Congo Swahili-English n.d.
    Dictionnaire des Etudiants, Francais-Swahili, Swahili-Francais, par Mademoiselle Irene Chopard, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia, hardback n.d.
    Geographie Generale, Pour la 2e Annee du 2e degre des echoles primaires, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Irumu 1955
    Index Biblique, En Swahili-Congo, (traduit dufrancais), Editions Evangeliques, Irumu n.d.
    Kitabu Cha Kwanza, Cha Hesabu, 1-10, Janet Boone na Rose Uhlinger, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia, 1958. ONE Copy Kitabu Edio a ka Kibila, Immanuel Mission, Lolwa n.d.
    Jungle Methods, by Sophie Muller 1960
    Kitabu Obi Ba n.d.
    Kristo Alipenda Kanisa, par William MacDonald, Traduction par G. Koppel, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia, Congo Belge n.d.
    L'Evangile au Congo Belge, [The Gospel in Belgian Congo] by William A. Deans n.d.
    Maelezo, The Scripture Union Bible study booklets published in Swahili (?). Complete bound volume sets, 1952, 1953; loose issues, 1952-1961 (one 1961 issue missing) 1952-1961
    Mafundisho Yulu Ya MATAYO, J. N. Darby 1953
5     Malombi. Par R. A. Torrey, Traduction G. Koppel, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia n.d.
    Mapatano Mpya, the Bible in Kingwana (Ngwana) 1949
    Maulizo 200 Yulu Ya Ukristiano Katika Agano Jipya pamoya na Majibu Kutoka Biblia, par J. W. McMillian, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia n.d.
    Mukristiano Wa Kweli, par G. Christian Weiss, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1961
    Musa Anakwenda Darasa, Collection Scolaire de la Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1959
    Musa Anasoma Hadizi, Collection Scolaire de la Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1960
    Njembo na Njambe, Editions Evangeliques, Force Publique, Aumonerie Protestante, Nyankunde, Bunia, n.d. [Song book with text only] n.d.
    Nyimbo 1952
    Nyimbo Za Kuabudu, Swahili-Congo, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia. [Song book with text only] n.d.
    Nyimbo za Mungu, Cantiques Chretiens en Swahili-Congo, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia. [Song book with text only] n.d.
    Paroles De Vie, Societe pour la destribution des Saintes Ecritures. (French) n.d.
    Ruta na Tito, Kitabu 1-1, Collection Scolaire de la Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1958
    Ruta na Tito, Kitabu 1-2, Collection Scolaire de la Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1958
    Ruta na Tito, Kitabu 1-3, Collection Scolaire de la Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1959
    Ruta na Tito, Kitabu 1-4, Collection Scolaire de la Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1959
    Sarufi, Cours de Swahili - Congo, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia, Congo Belge n.d.
    Sarufi Ya Swahili-Congo, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde n.d.
    Solo Ejali Nini? J. Lambotte Fils 1952
    Swahili Concordance (Congo Swahili), Translated from French, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1952
    Tafuta Maandiko, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, n.d. (2 different versions) n.d.
    Tuimbe Kwa Bwana, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, n.d. [Song book with text only] n.d.
    Tuyifunze Lugha Yetu, Kitabu 1, Collection Scolaire de la Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1957
    Ujumbe wa Bwana Yesu, Swahili: The Story of Jesus, Book 1: His Birth and Ministry, Frank C. Laubach, D.C. Cook Publishing Co. 1957
    Ujumbe wa Bwana Yesu, Swahili: The Story of Jesus, Book 2: Jesus' Deeath and Resurrection, Frank C. Laubach, D.C. Cook Publishing Co. 1957
    Utaratibu, Wa L'Ecike Du Dimanche, par Marjorie Shelley, Mission Baptiste du Kivu, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia 1960
    Visa vya Biblia, Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Bunia. Hardback with some illustrations, appears to be stories from the Old Testament n.d.
    Waamuzi Ruta, Swahili-Congo, [Judges & Ruth], Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Irumu, Congo Belge 1952
    Yosua, Swahili-Congo, [Joshua], Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Irumu, Congo Belge 1952
    I Samweli, Swahili-Congo, [I Samuel], Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Irumu, Congo Belge 1952
    II Samweli, Swahili-Congo, [II Samuel], Editions Evangeliques, Nyankunde, Irumu, Congo Belge 1952
  Publications: Periodicals
    NENO ya IMANI, Sept/Oct 1945-April 1954 (several issues missing) 1945-1954
6     Neno ya Imani, May 1954-March 1962 1954-1962

OS 35

 

Saturday Evening Post

June 23, 1951

2

4

Saturday Evening Post article “The Conqueror of the Congo” [photocopy]

June 23, 1951

5

Sermon Materials (outlines, clippings, etc.)

n.d.

6

Sermon Notebook

n.d.

7

Staccato Drumbeats from Congo

1945-1954

 

Subjects

 

8

 

Index

n.d.

9

 

Banyali

1936-1947

10

 

Child Marriage

1939-1946

11

 

Christian Giving

1933-1943

12

 

Colportage Work

1934-1935

13

 

Conferences

1935-1946

14

 

Construction on Stations

1933-1946

15

 

Deans, Bob

1942

16

 

Death Items

1933-1941

17

 

Drought and Famine Conditions

1946

18

 

Evangelism Amongst Babira

1933-1943

19

 

Flora

1934

20

 

Foods in Africa

1933, 1945

21

 

Girls’ Work

1933-1946

22

 

Gospel Cars

1945

23

 

Grasshoppers

1941

24

 

Leopard Society

1940

25

 

Literacy and Education

1939-1941

26

 

Locusts

1940

27

 

Lolwa

1945

28

 

Love Gifts

1940-1942

29

 

Mariseri Kimereki (Elephantiasis)

1939

30

 

Markets

1943

31

 

Medical Work at Nyangkundi

1933-1946

32

 

Military

1933-1945

33

 

Mines

1945

34

 

Ministry to Believers

1936-1942

35

 

Missionary’s Life

1933-1946

36

 

Native Customs and Traditions

1934-1943

37

 

Native Evangelists

1946

38

 

New Tools

1946

39

 

No Title

1946

40

 

Nyangkundi

1933-1944

41

 

Orphans

1934

42

 

Personnel and Missionary Duties

1933-1946

43

 

Pigmy Evangelism

1939-1948

44

 

Pioneer Evangelism

1934-1942

45

 

Plague “Pulex Cheopis”

1940

46

 

Polygamy

1934, 1940

3

1

 

Printing and Publishing

1935-1946

2

 

Prison Work

1945

3

 

Radio

1945

4

 

Safari Work

1933-1945

5

 

Schools

1933-1946

6

 

Scripture Memory

1933-1941

7

 

Stanley

1941

8

 

Termites

1933

9

 

Tick Fever

1936, 1940

10

 

Translation

1934-1947

11

 

Trip in from the Cameroons

1939

12

 

Walesi

1934-1945

13

 

Wild Life in Congo

1933-1948

14

Tract Notebook

1959-1961, n.d.

15

Tracts

n.d.





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Last Revised: 5/17/16
Expiration: indefinite