Billy Graham Center

The Archives Bulletin Board

Every month, this Bulletin Board will highlight a new document or set of documents that are available in the Archives. These are intended solely for the edification of our viewers and cannot be copied or otherwise reused without permission.

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June 2011: As Told in Three Maps -- AIM in East Africa

1944 map depicting the extent of Africa Inland Mission's activity (click map for enlarged version).

The three maps featured here don't tell the whole story -- far from it, they only span four of the thirteen decades that Africa Inland Mission have been operating in East Africa, and only by providing location do they begin to suggest the stories of people's lives, the growth of the African church, and the missionaries who served there.

Africa Inland Mission launched its ministry in 1895 when Peter Cameron Scott led a party of six other missionaries to enter the Kenyan interior from Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast. AIM's work in East Africa spread over subsequent decades to German East Africa (1909, most recentlyTanzania), Belgian Congo (1912, most recently Democratic Republic of Congo), Uganda (1918), French Equatorial Africa (1924, most recently Central African Republic), Sudan (briefly in 1949), Comoros Islands (1975), and the Seychelles Islands (late 1970s).

The three maps featured in this Bulletin Board span the transition from Africa's colonial period to the late-1970s, documenting the expansion of AIM's work and identifying mission stations it had established. The first two highlight the location of its mission stations, projected activity, and the extent and juxtaposition of its many local operations -- they are especially valuable for determining placenames referred to in correspondence, reports and oral histories found in the Archives' collections. The colorful tea towel (shown below) merges a household decorative use with communication of AIM's purpose: "Partnership in the Gospel / Reaching out to unevangelised areas and helping African churches to grow."

These maps are part of the extensive collection of AIM records at the Archives, which also includes correspondence, reports, photographs, audio tapes and much more that document the mission's history and activity and the emergence of the national church and its evangelists, leaders and pastors.

Maps can be found in other Archives' collections -- see, for example, a digital sample of a map of China.

1975 map illustrating the reach of AIM missionary activity in East Africa (click map for enlarged version).

Ca. late-1970s map (with enlarged detail) on a tea towel, showing the scope of AIM's missionary activity in East Africa.

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Last Revised: 06/01/11
Expiration: indefinite

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