Return to the guide to the Paul Pinney Stough collection, Collectio 89
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This is a complete and accurate transcript of the first oral history interview of Paul Pinney Stough (CN 89 #T1) in the archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words which were recorded are omitted. In a very few cases, the transcribers could not understand what was said, in which case "[unclear]' was inserted. Also, grunts, verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. Readers of this transcript should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and even rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
() Word in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
 Words in brackets are comments made by the transcriber.
This transcript was made by Robert Shuster November 1986, revised by Shuster August 1992.
Collection 89, Tape #T1, Interview with Paul Pinney Stough by Herbert V. Klem, October 1, 1979
KLEM: This is an interview for the Billy Graham Missionary Archives being recorded with Rev. Paul Stough. Recorded by Herbert V. Klem. This is an interview with Rev. Paul Stough. The interviewer is Dr. Herbert Klem for the Missionary Sources Collection at Wheaton College. This interview took place at two hundred fifteen Washington Street in Wheaton on October 1, 1979 at about 1:15. [background talking by interviewer and interviewee] Rev. Stough, could you tell us some of the highlights of your early memories of your father's evangelistic efforts?
STOUGH: Well, in the first place, I notice in the resume that you say that...that he went into evangelistic work in 1900 and 1 having been pastor of the Third Congregational Church in Oak Park, Illinois. he moved to Wheaton in 1900 and 1, and I was born in November 1900 and 1, ushered into this world by the Doctor Frances Carothers Blanchard who was the wife of the Charles Blanchard, who was president of Wheaton College for many, many years. that same year my father went into evangelistic work with J. Wilbur Chapman, in what Chapman called his simultaneous campaigns,in which he would hold a meeting in a central hall, and he had a team of evangelists who then held meetings in surrounding churches, and my father was one of that evangelistic team. of course when I reached the age of understanding, a little bit, he was already in his own evangelistic work, apart from Chapman. I would have no recollection of how his campaigns were organized or how he decided where he would preach. I gather that he preached where he was invited, and he tried to get as far as possible a committee composed of most of the clergymen of that city, and he worked of course with a team of evangelists, a team of workers. , he was at one time secretary and treasurer of the Interdenominational Association of Evangelists, which was an organization about which I know nothing, except that their headquarters were in Winona Lake, Indiana and the members were men like Biederwolf, and Billy Sunday, Milford Lyon[?] and others. I remember there was at one time on his team a large number of people at one time there were fourteen, but since considering this I...I tried to remember who the fourteen were - what they could have done, and of course this is looking back into my teenage, and I wasn't too interested such things at that time, so I didn't make any mental record of them. But there was of course the song leader. D. L. Spooner was his song leader for many, many years; and then, he had his own pianist. I remember one time he had a young chap as a pianist, by the name of....well, we called him Billy Erwin; Billy later left his work with my father and joined the U.S. Army during World War I and went into the air corps, became an ace having shot down more than 5 German planes and later he continued in aviation to the extent that he took part in the... the Dole race by airplane from California to Hawaii trying for the Dole prize of twenty-five thousand dollars but poor Billy started out and he was never heard from - lost in the Pacific in that particular race.
KLEM: Oh, wow. Was that to Hawaii?
STOUGH: Yes from California to Hawaii; no one had ever flown non-stop. This was a competition to see who could be the first one to fly to U.S. to Hawaii.
KLEM: Oh, that's tragic.
STOUGH: Yes, well, there were a number of them who lost their lives in that and Billy was one of them. He was a nice young fellow; he told me when I [chuckles] was a kid, then I was driving him around town in our car, that I would make a good aviator because...I put on the gas when I went around the corners [both laugh] , but I tried to remember the composition of his staff at that time. There would be a custodian for the tabernacle, of course; there would be somebody in charge of the book room or the book selling; there would be ....There was a children's worker, and a woman's worker. There was a Sara Palmer, I remember, who was later on staff at Moody Bible Institute teaching Bible, who was a Bible teacher. He had a men's worker who organized shop meetings. , and there was an advance man, who went to make arrangements for campaigns; and there must have been a business manager, but I'm not sure - I've tried to wrack my brains for who they all were, and I can't remember. But I do remember that his, his ministry was a ...a fruitful one. We had a...a custom in our family - you see dad would go away for six weeks for a campaign, and that took him away from home so much of the time; sometimes they would say, "Well, please stay on for another week," and so he would have a 7 week or an 8 week campaign, which took him away from home and it was our family custom that the last week of the campaign my mother would go to be with him and she would take one of us children.
KLEM: That was eight weeks in one place, one city.
STOUGH: Yes, in one campaign. See they would build these big wooden tabernacles and they couldn't have a tabernacle for just a two weeks meeting; there was a lot of work in building a tabernacle. They would buy the lumber, and they would recruit men from the church who knew something about building, and layout the building, put up the...the frame work and they'd have a...a like a little old fashioned barn raising, when all the farmers would get together to rebuild a barn that had been burned down or something; and you'd get scores, hundreds of men there with their hammers and saws putting up these big tabernacles. The largest one that he had I remember was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that seated over 5,000 people.
KLEM: Incredible! And they would take it down after the campaign?
STOUGH: Took it down afterwards and sold, (resold) the lumber. [coughs] Well, that was quite a deal and [chuckles] as I think of dad in this tabernacle in Harrisburg seating five thousand people without benefit of a PA system or anything of that sort, it was a real drain on his physical strength to preach to that many people and make himself heard throughout a an auditorium as large as that. I can't imagine that the a...acoustics would be awfully good. There would wooden benches, and the aisles...the dirt on the isles was covered with saw dust chips and shavings from which came the old expression "the saw dust trail," because people would come down the aisles that were covered with saw dust to confess Christ in the, the front of the, the tabernacle. ....
KLEM: Now you said he had a preaching style a little bit like Billy Sunday's in terms of the physical activity
STOUGH: Very much so. Very much so. I don't know that he was quite as, shall we say demonstrative or active as Billy Sunday, but he did...he was a very active preacher; I remember him striding from one side of the platform to the other and pounding the pulpit and [pauses] various things of that sort to get the...grab the attention of the people.
KLEM: Do you know anybody in contemporary evangelism that approaches that kind of physical movement?
STOUGH: No, I don't. [laughs] I had the privilege of hearing Billy Graham one time it was at Harringay in London and I was on my way home from England; my brother lived in London. His wife worked as a secretary in the houses of Parliament, and she worked for actually the MP [Member of Parliment] from Glasgow, can't think of his name just off hand, but he was on Billy Graham's committee and so he had some tickets and we were privileged to get a platform seat, that one time in London when I was privileged to go. And as I remember Billy preaching to that great crowd in Harringay after having heard my father preach for a many years frankly I wasn't impressed with Billy's style, his...his message, and so I said to myself as I was sitting there, he was giving... about to give the invitation. I [chuckles] said to myself, "Well, this must be one of Billy's off nights." [laughs] I had no way to judge him, I had only seen Billy once or twice before that here at Wheaton, but Billy gave the invitation,he gave his message in a very simple way, and he gave the invitation and he stepped back from his lectern and waited for the people to respond, and I must admit that tears came to my eyes as I... I saw the working of the Holy Spirit in response to Billy's preaching of the word, and I learned then that you can't judge the fruit of a person's ministry by the way he delivers the message. [laughs]
KLEM: They...they say that Jonathan Edwards used to just hold a candle and read them.
STOUGH: Yeah, that's quite possible.
KLEM: You know, and with one hand still and papers in the other hand and very little dynamic to the thing, but would you think a modern audience would be offended by the level of activity that your father had or is this a net loss that our modern preachers seem to be much tamer or...
STOUGH: Well, that's hard to say...
STOUGH: The Lord blesses everything. If a man is preaching the word in the power of the Spirit, I don't think it makes any difference if you walks up and down on the platform and claps his hands together, or stamps his feet or whether he stands quietly behind the lectern and delivers his message. Its the Holy Spirit that works, and in that day and age there was more activity on the part of the preacher, but I've seen people... well... I've heard Stephen Olford several times and Stephen is more or less active in his presentation of the Gospel, and he has his own pulpit mannerisms and way of delivery and God blesses it, and then as I say Billy Graham stands behind the lectern and delivers his message by pointing his finger sometimes, but and emphasizing by his voice, and God blesses that means. So I...I think we have to be careful in judging methods the crux of it is in the preaching of the word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Now. Now very interesting.... It's difficult to assess the fruits of a ministry. [laughs]
STOUGH: I remember one time I was a teenager and Billy Sunday came to Chicago, and I'd never seen Billy Sunday and so I said to this young chap who was with me, "Lets go down front; when he gives his invitation we'll go down front; you can get a close look at him - you can shake his hand." And so when they gave the invitation this friend of mine and I walked down the saw-dust trail at Chicago and we got a good close look at Billy Sunday and we shook his hand and we went through the turn stile and got counted as one of Billy's converts. [Laughs] And I'm sure there's some of that in every meeting I was already a Christian then, we just wanted to get a close-up look at Billy Sunday, and there's a certain amount of that. But I was very gratified out on the mission field when I discovered that two of the lady missionaries on our AIM staff were converts of my father's meetings. One of them was Mrs. Becker, the wife of Dr. Carl Becker, who was saved at his Reading, Pennsylvania meetings, and the other was Mrs. Bertha Harter who was saved in his meetings in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. This was years and years after those meetings and these women had both been lead to give their hearts to the Lord and their lives in service. So fruit, I don't know, it's hard to access it. I remember one man who was the mayor of Berwyn, Pennsylvania. He was also a very active politician and I think he was a... he owned a saloon. He was saved in the meetings. He gave up his politics, he gave up his business, he came and worked with my father a short time, a few years, then he went to Moody Bible Institute and took further training there and was asked to join the staff, the extension staff of Moody Bible Institute and the man we call Billy Channon, - W. W. Channon - was a very active evangelist and as I say a member of Moody Bible Institute extension staff. So we do know that there was fruit.
KLEM: Right. You were saying?
STOUGH: Yeah. I was saying that I knew of these various people, a few of them who come that my memory right now. I think of another chap by the name of Billy Denlinger [?]. Billy was saved, I think it was in Lancaster Pennsylvania. he came from good Mennonite background but he was a bartender. And he... he was saved and the first thing he wanted to do was to give up his job as a bartender. And he had a brother who was a deacon or something in the Mennonite church. And his brother said, "Billy, You're crazy!" He says, "You're a bartender. You can't be a Christian and a bartender." Billy said, "I know it." "Well," he says, "Why don't you wait, then, to be a Christian until you've found another job." [Laughs] And Billy said no, he was saved and he was going to give up his bartending job. Well, the reason for that, Dad always emphasized repentance and a changed life confession of sin, the fact you were a sinner, and I remember listening to him in the little after meetings where folks gathered in the front pews who had answered...responded to the invitation. And Dad always started out... well, he gave them a bit of instruction, from the Word and then he said, "I want you to pray after me this penitence prayer." And he would line it out for them and they would pray the penitent's prayer after him. And one of the things he always started out with was, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner. And according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions." And then he went on through the penitential psalm of David, the fifty-first Psalm. "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, cleanse me from my sin, for I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight." And then he went on "Purge me and I shall be clean. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." And so, "Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Well, I would...then he went on "Purge me and I shall be clean. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." And so, "Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Well, I won't go through the whole thing, but Dad used to always have these folks who came down front pray with him, acknowledging that they were sinners, that they needed a savior and it wasn't just a question of the... well, as we do today, if you lift your hand if you want Jesus to come into your heart. It was a more drastic confrontation with the Savior. Confession of sin, acknowledging that you were a sinner and you needed to turn away from your evil way. And that was always the emphasis in Dad's evangelistic ministry. Although there may have been those who came just to shake hands with the preacher, there was those whose lives were transformed...
STOUGH: ...by the Word.
KLEM: ...there was opposition to his ministry.
STOUGH: Oh yes.
KLEM: Do you think it was connected with some of the sins that he asked people to repent of?
STOUGH: Definitely. Definitely. The biggest opposition that he had was from the organized liquor industry in Pennsylvania. anyone who understands all that's involved in the liquor industry can understand their opposition. it was said that Dad was responsible for the enactment of the local option laws in Pennsylvania. up to that time there had been none, but because of the impact of his meetings in Pennsylvania over the course of several years, pressure was brought on the legislature and local option laws were passed. Which meant that a community which had been stirred through the meetings could take action and vote that they should be dry. And you take away that source of revenue from the organized liquor industry and they are naturally going to fight you. I won't go into all the history of it. At one time they tried to compromise his song leader and one of the lady members of his party. they tried to say that they were meeting illicitly in a hotel room. They hired Pinkerton detectives to frame this thing up for them and it was only after Dad had hired some other detectives, Burns detectives, that they were able to disprove this and prove that the whole thing was a frame-up. Another they did in Hazelton, they charged him with libel and this wasn't because they expected to gain anything by it, it was just a (what do you call it), a persecution thing....
KLEM: A slander or a....
STOUGH: It was a slander, but it was just to persecute because they set the trial for a certain date and Dad would go with his lawyers to... to hear... to the trial to be heard and the... the opposition, the ones who brought the charges, would move that it be postponed. They would postpone it until he was in the middle of another campaign in another city and then the judge would call it up for trial. And this happened several times so that he was forced to leave a successful campaign for a few days to go and respond to the court's orders. And this was just a, an attempt to...to tear up his work and to make it impossible for him to go on with a, a uninterrupted ministry. So this opposition came largely from the liquor industries.
KLEM: About how old were you when that was going on?
STOUGH: Oh, I was in my early teens.
KLEM: Uh huh. Did you understand what they were doing to...
STOUGH: Oh yes...
KLEM: ...at that time?
STOUGH: ...cause Dad would tell us about it and he would talk about it over with my mother of course and, we knew what was going on. Dad...Dad was a.... He was a fighter. He was a fighter. As I said I talked with my son this morning about him, he was not only a revivalist and preaching the Gospel, but Dad was a reformer when it came to fighting corruption and especially the liquor industry because they were the downfall of so many, but Dad had his great successes too. For example in Altoona Pennsylvania where he had meetings he had a meeting, a men's meeting, and hundreds, thousand...thousands of men turned up for these meetings. They usually had them on a Sunday afternoon for men only and the results of the meetings there in Altoona where they had the big shops of the Pennsylvania railway was that the Pennsylvania railway received about ten thousand dollars in tools and other things that had been stolen from the shops by these employees and these men were converted, they realized that they had to make restitution and they brought the tools back, and Pennsylvania Railroad profited to the extent of about ten thousand dollars worth of equipment. The result of that [laughs], not the result but as a result of that, the Pennsylvania railroad shops there gave Dad an engine bell, a bell off of one of the old engines and they gave him a compressed air tank with an engine whistle on it, and I don't know if you remember, but there used to be.... Prohibition was a very live subject in those days and they used to sing a song (Rodeheaver used to sing it a lot) "The Brewer"s Big Horses Can't Run Over Me" and it ends up by saying "I'm a temperance engine don't you see, and the brewer's big horses can't run over me," and when they sang this "temperance engine" they'd ring this engine bell [laughs] and they'd pull the, the cord you know and blow this whistle. It was very dramatic, but the railway gave him those things as the...memento. By the way that engine bell is now over here in what used to be the Second Baptist Church on Crescent. When they built that little church, Dad helped them out financially. He gave them their pulpit furniture and he gave them the bell, the Pennsylvania railroad engine bell, that they had given him.
KLEM: And it's in their steeple?
STOUGH: It's up in their steeple now. You know it's just across here on...on Crescent.
STOUGH: Second Baptist Church has built a new building and there is another group that is worshipping in this old cement block building down here, but the bell is still in the belfry there.
KLEM: What do you know. [laughs]
STOUGH: Well, there lots of things like that you know that are of interest and .... Dad was a great preacher, J Wilbur Chapman said that he thought he was one of America's greatest preachers at that time and he did a good job, lots of folks were saved.
KLEM: Do you think point in the comment that he out Billy.... out Billyed Billy's Sunday.
STOUGH: No I don't think so. You couldn't out Billy Billy. [laughter] I don't know if you've read that list of that little folder that I gave the...the Graham center remnant... memoirs, reminisces of my father, but there's a lot of interesting information, and he said that folks used to say, "Well, D. L. Moody wouldn't do that. D. L. Moody wouldn't engage in sensationalism of that sort," and Dad said, "You just didn't know D. L. Moody." [laughs] He said, " I have sat in meetings when there's an old man down in front, was going to sleep and Moody determined he was going to wake him up and so he shouted louder and he pounded on the table and the man still slept on. And Billy grabbed...D. L. Moody grabbed a hold to the end of the table and bounced it up and down on the wooden platform and made a racket, [laughs] the fellow still slept on, and so he took the end of the table and dragged it across that rough wooden platform so that it went "screech screech" you know and as he dragged it along screeching he pounded it this way and finally the man woke up. [laughs] and then he settled down again. So D. L. Moody wasn't not above using various methods to presenting the Gospel.
KLEM: Well, would you like to move to some of the questions about your own ministry?
STOUGH: Yeah, well, as I told you in the beginning I was born here in Wheaton and I've always lived here in Wheaton, I went to Wheaton Grammar School and Wheaton High School, played football with Red Grange one year when he was a freshman and I was a senior.
KLEM: Tremendous. Did he make the freshman team or the senior team as a freshman?
STOUGH: Oh yes. Oh he was a tremendous player from the very beginning. So you ask what decided me to come to Wheaton. Well, I suppose the thing that decided me [laughs] was two-fold. One because Dad was a minister and he got a fifty percent discount on tuition, and second was we lived right across the street from the campus. So....
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: Our house is up here right between College Church and Armerding's house. You know Armerding's house [the current Westgate building on campus]?
STOUGH: Yea. Between his house and the church was where our house was.
STOUGH: And we live right across from the campus and so it was a...natural for me to go across to school here.
KLEM: Were you aware of the quality of student life before you attended? Had you been impressed by the students at all?
STOUGH: [laughs] Oh you see we had known college students ever since I was a kid. We used to have them in our home. They used to baby sit. I remember one fellow, I don't suppose I should mention his name, but he lived in a little room up in the third floor in our house down on Scott street; and he was poor. He was devoted, he was determined to get his education. And he was poor and he didn't...he couldn't afford to eat in the dormitories. And I remember him coming home one time with a, a five gallon wooden bucket of peanut butter. And he took that up to his room; peanut butter and crackers was the cheapest thing he could find and he lived on that for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks.
STOUGH: That was the devotion of this man who wanted a Christian education. And I had known them (not intimately of course I was just a kid) but I had known Wheaton college students all through the years. We'd known those who had gone out as missionaries, Glen Ogden and Rachel Blanchard and the Fischers and the various others and then through the years we had known others who had been in our church who were missionaries and who went as missionaries.
KLEM: Now with that kind of experience with missions it would might be difficult to pinpoint a call to missions. Can you?
STOUGH: Yes, well, now my great-grandfather, the for whom I got my middle name Pinney, (p-i-double n-e-y), Pinney was the first missionary ever commissioned under the Presbyterian board. Up until that time as you know, you know the history of missions here in the states, all missionary work was carried on under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions which was nominally a congregational thing, but they sent missionaries to various fields and it wasn't until about...until 1832 I think it was, that the Presbyterians decided they'd have their own mission board and so they, they formed their mission board and my great-grandfather was a graduate of Princeton University and as a young graduate he offered for missionary service to the Pres...newly formed Presbyterian board. And he was accepted. And he was the first missionary the Presbyterian board ever sent out.
STOUGH: And he went to Liberia in West Africa. Well, I got my name Pinney and I always thought it was a silly name you know...for a boy to have called Pinney. There was always a source of embarrassment to it, but my mother gave me that name. It was her grandfather, and he was a man who was greatly respected, and admired for what he had done. He later left direct missionary work and became secretary for the American Colonization Society which was a society formed to repatriate freed slaves and take them back to Africa and as you know the history they went back to Liberia and started the country of Liberia. And my great-grandfather then was secretary of that organization and did a lot of what you call deputation work for them. at one time he crossed swords in the public debate with Jonathan Blanchard of the college here.
KLEM: Oh my.
STOUGH: my great-grandfather was in favor of repatriating these people back to Africa, and Jonathan Blanchard had other...had other ideas I am not quite sure what they were. It was a sort of abolitionist's thing. And they didn't see eye to eye, and they had a debate and I don't think it's mentioned in the book Majority of One, but un.... Did Kilby write that?
KLEM: I believe so yeah.
STOUGH: Yeah Kilby wrote it. But he was active in that. He finally in the latter.... Oh, he pastored a church in Washington, Pennsylvania for a while too, a Presbyterian church, and in the latter years of his life he went to Florida (Ocalla, Florida). [unclear] He had a little school for black children down there in Florida and that's where he died, and he's buried actually in Ocalla Florida. But anyway that's the early mission influence in my life. I remember my mother had put on the old.... We had a secretary. Do you know what a secretary is?
KLEM: A, a piece of furniture.
STOUGH: A piece of furniture with a tall book case up here then a fold out leaf for the desk and drawers and whatnot. Well, she had this secretary that belonged to my great-grandfather, and it stood in the end of the hall and my mother kept her things in it and I know she had a motto. We don't have it now. My nephew has it. She had a motto put up on the glass door there and the motto said, "God had an only son, and he was a missionary."
KLEM: [Laughs] Great.
STOUGH: And facing that every day and they had dedicated my older brother to be a missionary; my older brother died when he was ten, and the mantle sort of fell on me, or should I shall the hopes sort of fell on me. I was anything but interested, but I had accepted the Lord as a youngster. the trouble is that I accepted the Lord so many times that I can't remember which one took. [laughs] If you.... Pardon the expression, but with young folks, you know kids, it's some time difficult to know just which one of your public confessions were the serious ones or the ones that affected your life, but anyway I grew up in College Church and of course we had the Gospel preached to us and missions presented to us and it was not an unnatural thing for me to offer. Then I became engaged to a lovely young lady in school and she and I looked forward to going to Africa as missionaries. I remember her.... Charles Herbert came as a missionary speaker at the chapel one time. That's when the chapel was up in the old(what do you call it) Blanchard, the tower; just opened up off of the tower on the second floor there. And he spoke up there and presented the claims of Africa and the African Inland Mission and it was at that time, I didn't make a public response, but it was at that time that we decided that that's what we would do, where we would go. So we went to Africa. Africa was a natural too because my great-grand-father had been a missionary in Africa. Well, you see, the odds were all agin [sic] me.
KLEM: Yes! [laughs] Now did you agree with your wife before you were married that you both wanted to go into mission work?
KLEM: I see.
STOUGH: Yes. [Pauses] She had an older sister who had...was going out. She hadn't gone yet, but she was going out under this same board to the Congo and it was probably a natural thing that we should follow along.
KLEM: Did you choose Wheaton,in view of going to foreign mission field or did the decision take place while you were...
STOUGH: That's while...
KLEM: ...while you were at Wheaton?
STOUGH: While I was a student at Wheaton. And I never would join the student volunteer group [a foreign missions interest group] here at the college because they would all have their pictures taken, you know, "This is a student volunteer group," and put it in the...the (what do you call it) the annual. And none of them ever got to the mission field so I just said, "Well, that's not for me. I'm not going to be a public volunteer. I'm just going to go." [laughs] That's always been I guess my nature.
KLEM: Was there a...not a big push, but was there a strong missions emphasis in the college for recruitment?
STOUGH: Well, there was always a strong mission emphasis. I'm not sure about the recruitment part of it.
KLEM: I see. That's an interesting distinction.
STOUGH: Well, yes, it, it is a distinction because you place the emphasis but recruitment...a representative of a board comes and tries to sell the student on his board and the field and so forth, but I don't think that that existed. We had a number of the children of missionaries in the student body too, and so we had that contact.
KLEM: Are there any teachers that stand out in your mind who may have influenced you either for the Lord's work in general or missions in particular?
STOUGH: no. No, but I...I'll never forget dear old professor Straw. He was a teacher of rhetoric and logic and literature and not literature really, but he was rhetoric and logic. And I wrote a paper for him and didn't do very well. And I was getting very discouraged and I finally quit. I dropped out my freshman year. I don't know if this is all the kind of stuff you want on these tapes or not, but anyway and dear old prof. Straw came around to see me in my home, and he was very kind and very sympathetic and he urged me to come back and not to drop out.
KLEM: Of school or just...
STOUGH: Of school.
KLEM: ...this course.
STOUGH: Of school.
KLEM: Oh my.
STOUGH: So, well, there again you've got the Lord. You've got the Lord dealing in your life, and your heart. He used Prof. Straw to influence me and to bring me back to the school. Well, I finished the first semester with ten hours of credit, which was the minimum. If you had less than ten hours you couldn't go on. You had to have at least ten hours. So I...I came back and did get my ten hours of credit. And the Lord really worked then in my life and switched this things around and I went on and finished the...the rest of my course of two and a half years. I finished Wheaton in 3 years...
STOUGH: ...with a 6 hour deficit at the end of the first semester. [laughs] So there wasn't much time for much of anything else extracurricular stuff...
KLEM: well, I see that you were in the men's glee club, the Excelsior association, and the Tiger association.
STOUGH: Oh the Tigers were...was just a play thing a sort of a joke. But the Excelsior, the literary society, is where a real benefit here at Wheaton...I'm sorry when they disappeared, but apparently they don't fit into our modern culture, but they stood me in good stead. I remember when I was elected president of the Congo Protestant Council in the Congo, and there was a man on that council, representative of another board, who was quite liberal, and he and I had crossed swords and other meetings, differing on ecumenicalism particularly, and the influence of the International Missionary Council and he was determined that he was going to make me look like a fool as I started to preside as president of the Congo Protestant council. And so he made some very stupid motions and I gaveled him down on all of them because he was out of order. And he sat down and looked at me with a look of great respect. He had no idea that this Paul Stough, who had ever heard of him, from the Africa that makes you live a little old fake mission up in the boonies [boondocks or very remote regions] there of eastern Congo. What does he know about things. And when I gaveled him down as being out of order parliamentarily, he was quite astonished and I owe that to the Excelsior Literary Society because that's where we got training in...in parliamentary order. We studied our Robert's Rules of Order diligently and we had practice debates and we took turns presiding at the meetings and so on. It was a terrific training.
KLEM: Now that was an informal activity rather than a official class program.
STOUGH: No, no that was informal, informal; met every Friday night. But there was another thing; there was another society called the Beltonians. And the Beltonians was made up largely of people who were going to be ministers and they were the very serious minded ones and the Excelsior literary society were the fellows that went out for football and track and...
STOUGH: So it was always gratifying to know that some of the Excelsiors went to the mission field and became ministers too. Well, that was, that's entirely by the book, by the by, except that those things influence and all work...
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: ...together to influence...
STOUGH: ...one's lives.
KLEM: I think at a lot of schools you have the so called pious or outwardly committed group, and then another group that seems to take some of the service appearance with a grain of salt and I...I've been told by some of the prof.'s that they like to see how the people go after they graduate and very often those who go through without a great outward show of piety end up struggling for the Lord's cause with every bit as much energy as some of those...
KLEM: ...who so outwardly serious.
STOUGH: Yes, well, Harry Stam for example was a class mate of mine and he was also a member of the Celts as we called them (Excelsior society) and he was...went out to the mission field in 1924 I think and served out there until his health gave way; went up taught missions at Northwestern schools in Minneapolis and was very much used there and then he...he finally went back in his latter years; went back to the field again. And there are a good many from our society who have made their marks for the Lord.
KLEM: Do you stay in touch with any of them?
STOUGH: Oh yes. More or less. I see Harry when ever he comes home. And we worked on the same field out there.
KLEM: Now I notice you graduated from Wheaton 1923 and you left for Zaire or the Congo at that time, 1928. were you working with your dad in the time in between?
STOUGH: [laughs] Well, I worked with dad as a song leader and taking care of minor business details, song leader and soloist. And those are the years I'd like to forget. I worked with him and then I left dad, and I went to Florida on my own. And that was my, my "trip to Tarsish..."
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: [laughs] ...and I've often said how I...I got completely away from the Lord, and but the Lord never left me, and He kept His hand on me in spite of what I did, for which I'm ashamed. Now in spite of everything the Lord kept His loving hand on me and eventually he nudged me back into the pack. And I've often been impressed with that verse in John: Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you so that you shall go and bring forth fruit. Now not everyone reads it with that emphasis, but I read it with that emphasis that God ordained. God ordained that Jonah should go to Nineveh, and he got there in spite of the fact that he got into bad company and went off toward Tarsish and got chucked in the ocean and so forth and swallowed by a whale. And I started off to Tarsish, but the Lord kept His hand on me and he ordained that I should go and when God ordains something it comes to pass.
KLEM: Was that an experience in your own ministry or out of the ministry so to speak?
STOUGH: What do you mean?
KLEM: Were you running a Christian ministry in Florida...
STOUGH: No, no, no...
KLEM: ...or out of...
STOUGH: ...no. I was off in the world...
KLEM: ...the Lord's work. I see.
STOUGH: ...the world of flesh and the devil. And as I say I...I'm ashamed of it. I blush to remember those years, but you know a very interesting thing, brother Klem. God is gracious and I burned up. (1925, 26, 27) I burned up four years. Wasted them as far as the kingdom was concerned, wasted them, and God in his graciousness has given them back to me.
STOUGH: That if a man retires at sixty-five, I'm seventy-eight, will be seventy-eight next month and I had thirteen years added on to a normal man's ministry that God gave very graciously gave back to me to make up for those years that I wasted, and I praise God for that.
KLEM: There any lessons you've learned as a result of those years that have paid off in your ministry?
STOUGH: I suppose compassion is one of the lessons, and shall we say tolerance, being unjudgemental of other people's weaknesses. I know on our mission field people who...Africans who get off the track and they get into sin and they commit adultery or they get into a cruel [to] wives and various things, they drink and so on. And some of our missionaries were very harsh and judgmental in cases like this. And I never could be, cause I always remembered what the Lord had done for me.
KLEM: Amazing. I've noticed that some of the men in Africa have.... The wives have a custom of leaving their husband for a year or two after the birth of a baby, and then the husband is under extreme pressure to back either to a second wife or some other kind of arrangement and I think sometimes we've been quick to judge and almost end a man's ministry if under that kind of pressure he gets into some kind of trouble, and I've not had it in me to be harsh when I found out the, the exact circumstance and wonder if we can't keep some of these men in the ministry if they repented and came back to the Lord just out of sympathy for the pressure they have which maybe we don't.
STOUGH: We don't understand them. Yes, well, I think that probably those are the lessons that came...have come to me through the, this experience. See I was always a rebel. At sixteen I went off and joined the army in World War I, and.... A bunch of us fellows were talking one time in high school, I said.... We were talking about the war, and I said, "I'd enlist if I had anyone to go with me," and one fellow said, "I'll go with you." And so next day we went to Chicago and made the rounds of recruiting stations and finally I got signed up. And....
KLEM: At sixteen.
STOUGH: At sixteen. I had my seventeenth birthday in the army. I made the grade of corporal, because I was literate. [both laugh] And so I was.... At seventeen I was a corporal. Then they asked if we wanted to go over to the army of occupation. I said, "No." I had sense enough to say no. I said I'll go back to high school, finish my education. So I did. But I was sort of a rebel that way. And I think.... Those are character traits of the Lord can use. You have to go someplace?
KLEM: [pauses] No. [tape recorder turned off and turned on]what were some of your early impressions of arriving in, in the Congo, then the Belgian Congo?
STOUGH: Yeah, well, we...we sailed from New York on a freighter and sailed over to Port Sudan down in the Red Sea. We went by train over the Nubian Desert to Khartoum, and then by train up to (what's the name of that place).... Anyway we picked up the Nile boat there and went on up to a town called Rejaf, which was the head of navigation. it took us about ten days, two weeks on the Nile on this old paddlewheeler you know care pushing barges and through the swamps, the suds and so forth. So we got to Rejaf and then we got on a truck and drove a hundred and twenty miles or so over into Congo, got there just the day after Christmas actually. Congo was very, very primitive in those days. It was just about as primitive as any country could be. The people didn't have clothes. There's one tribe the Lugbara tribe that we drove through on our way to the station were the men didn't wear anything. I repeat anything. [laughs] Finally the Belgian government decided that they would compel these people to wear something, and they made it mandatory. That they either had to buy a pair of shorts or at least wear a loin-cloth. And other tribes were more or less the same state of nudity. And so it was just about as primitive as it could be. And it had only been a few years before that there had been intertribal warfare. On the station I went to, the station of Blukwa, there had been intertribal warfare and the Walendus were fighting with one another and it had just barely settled down when I had got there. We...I was given language study to do at first. They wanted me to study the tribal language which was a very; its a very difficult language. Difficult both in the fact that it was tonal and apparently none of the missionaries who had studied the language realized that it was tonal.
STOUGH: [chuckles] And they said, "Well, you...you sp...don't understand how they do it but you spell the sent...the same word b-u [pronounced] boo, and they had different ideas about how this difference in thought was conveyed. And they didn't realize that it was a tonal language.
KLEM: wow. What language was this?
STOUGH: Kilendu they call it. The language of the Lendu people. If you want to call it by its tribal name you'd call it Balleda, which means the language of the people. But its a.... Grammatically it was very difficult because the order of words was just reversed from the way we would say them in English. for instance they would say"a good man" they's say "Blo cunakay," which means "good man who is"..."is who"...."good man is who."
KLEM: They said "blok"?
STOUGH: Blo, blo, blo.
STOUGH: Blo. It was a monosyllabic language actually. Blo ku na ke. "Ke" means "he"; And "na" is"who"; and"ku" is "is"; and "blo" is "good." So you say "a blo ku na ke" that's exactly reversing the words, "he who is good"...
KLEM: That's not where...that's not where the British got the term bloke is it? [laughs].
STOUGH: I don't know they could have [laughs], but it was a very difficult language, and it was tonal and I studied it for a time because I was told to. And finally I found out that my work was going to take me other tribes not only the Walendu tribe. So I...I learned the trade language which wasn't too difficult, but which was understood by the people of the other tribes as well.
KLEM: And what language was that?
STOUGH: That was.... We called it Kingwana., its a...a very simple corruption of Kiswahili.
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: In the early days the Swahilis were the soldiers who went in with the explorers like Stanley and they had a people, the Bangwanas who were the sort of carriers and slaves, but they all spokes Kiswahili and when Stanley and some of the others left, some of these people stayed behind, the Bangwanas, and they simplified the Swahili, taking away a lot of the grammatical, the complex grammatical forms, and produced a language called Kingwana; Ki means "the language of", so Kingwana means the language of the Ingwana people, the Banguanas. And that then spread throughout that whole area clear up to Stanleyville and all the way almost down to Elizabethville, covered a tremendous area, and it was a simplified form of Kiswahili. So that was the language that I used for...for many, many years there because I was working with many different tribal groups.
KLEM: Now how did you choose the, AIM [African Inland Mission] as a mission board?
STOUGH: Well, as I said this Charles Hurlburt was here at the college and at that time my fiancee's sister was going with the African Inland Mission and boards didn't make any difference to me really there all the same, and so we just decided that we might as well go to that one.
KLEM: And did they choose Zaire or the Congo because that was their main field or was there another reason for your...
STOUGH: No, I chose it. They, they permitted the missionary candidates to choose which field they preferred to go to, and I chose Congo as being more primitive than Kenya.
KLEM: Did you need French before going?
STOUGH: Not at that time, no. We needed French later, but at that time we didn't. We had very little to do with the government officials. We were isolated, we didn't need French. The Africans, none of them spoke French and so it wasn't necessary. Later on we did do some work in French and then when I had correspondence to do (I was superintendent of the station there) and all the dealings with the government were in French, and I had to learn up on French.
KLEM: Did they require any special studies before you...
STOUGH: The mission?
STOUGH: No. No, we appeared before a Chicago committee that was composed of (...oh what's his name) John Camp, Mr. Gaylord of the Moody faculty, and they examined us as far as our Biblical knowledge was concerned and that was all that was necessary.
KLEM: And there was no orientation study at that time...?
STOUGH: There wasn't at that time. You've got to remember this is...
STOUGH: ...fifty odd years ago.
KLEM: There's probably no material.
STOUGH: There wasn't any material. No, anthropology had not been heard of at that time. [chuckles] as far as missionary studies were concerned.
KLEM: So you started off doing general evangelistic work.
STOUGH: yes. I was appointed to what was called an, an out school worker. And an out.... We had little preaching centers all through the area, and my responsibility was to travel, safari work all through the area covered by our station and visit these evangelists and encourage them and see if they had any problems, and do some preaching although the Africans evangelists were better qualified to preach than I was, because they could preach in their own tribal tongue.
KLEM: Did they do much preaching in Kikwanda?
STOUGH: K-i-n-g-w-a-n-a, Kingwana. Kingwana. They didn't do much because it was their own language and they would preach in their own language, if I preached, I would preach in Kingwana. And if they thought it was necessary they could translate, but I did my preaching in Kingwana and local people did it in their own language.
KLEM: Now were most of the intertribal wars finished before you got there or did they...
STOUGH: Most of them yes. There, there weren't any serious outbreaks after we got there.
KLEM: Did you see much of...I think you answered...you didn't see much of the government officials...
STOUGH: Not too much.
KLEM: ...in your....
STOUGH: There was a paramount chief who lived about two miles from us and we used to see him and if we had any local matters we would take them to him. We seldom saw the government officials. It wasn't until several years later that the Belgians stepped up their personnel and they had more officials around the country.
KLEM: Now did you find you had prestige as a foreigner in the country.
STOUGH: Oh yes. In those colonial days you had prestige automatically if your skin was white. And that didn't always work out well. I remember talking to a young missionary who came to us assigned to our station, and I said to him "Now look remember you've got to earn the respect of these people, you won't have the respect of the people just because you're white. Those days are gone and you have to earn it." And I said, "Some of these men that you will be working with, the...." We call them evangelists, they were village... located in one village and they would have a little school, they'd teach first and second grade, or teach reading, writing, arithmetic, that was the main thing the three R's, and they always had their Gospel services in the morning and the evening and they were the witness in the villages and I said "If you're going to minister with them you've got to earn their respect." And he set out to do that.
KLEM: Now why did these men teach the three R's along with their evangelistic work? Was this a general mission policy...
KLEM: for evangelists?
STOUGH: It was general mission policy because no one can grow in the Christian faith unless he can read the Scriptures. And we taught reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, the three R's, so that they'd be able to read and understand the Scriptures. That was the main purpose of it, and our mission has always emphasized the Scriptures, and in our mission in the Congo.... We are responsible for translation of the New Testament or parts of it, New Testament, no the whole New Testament, the whole Bible in Pazande, Bangala, Kakwa, Logo, Lug...well, there's a Lugbarian, Alur, Kingwana, Baletha. Our mission was responsible for translating the New Testament or the whole Bible into eight different languages in our field, because we felt that it was absolutely essential that our people have the word of God. It was because of our feeling the Scriptures were essential to the growth of the church that we had these simple schools and they were taught to read.
KLEM: Did you find it had a positive impact on the evangelization process?
STOUGH: Well, yes, because the children would come for the schools and they would get the Gospel and they were encouraged to accept Christ as their savior and the church, the growth of the church largely had its roots in the schools, the children.
KLEM: In these two to three year schools?
STOUGH: Uh huh.
KLEM: Were the evangelists supported then by school fees from the students or government or church?
STOUGH: In those days, the early days, the evangelists supported themselves. If the church had any extra funds (which they didn't have in those days because they were yet taught in stewardship to any great extent)they would give some to the evangelists, and usually it was accepted only as a token, but they supported themselves with their gardens and often the children in the school or the adults who worshipped with them would help them work in their gardens to produce their food and their crops if they had to build a house or repair their house, or build a school building, the chapel, they would all help and do that, and they were not paid for it, but it was all contributed labor.
KLEM: Were they mostly young men or were they mature leaders?
STOUGH: The evangelists?
KLEM: The evangelists.
STOUGH: Yeah. They were.... Well, they were both. They were young men, but of course as they carried on through the years, they grew up and matured, and some of them became grey headed and died in th...in the work. It was truly a self-supporting thing in that the pastors supported themselves like Paul did making tents, and the other people fellowshiped and worked around the house and in the gardens and so forth.
KLEM: So there wasn't an attempt to have a professional clergy as a we might call it.
STOUGH: No, no. after passing of a few years, a very few years, a man might be selected as a pastor on the mission station, where there was a large church, and these men were selected from graduates of our Bible school. Now you've got to remember this is fifty years ago and the men who were sent to our Bible schools a were men who maybe had had only second grade education, possibly third grade, but usually only second grade. Gradually we tried to raise that until the entrance requirements were considerably higher. But in the early days they had second grade education they read haltingly, and they went to these schools where nothing was taught, but the Bible and they got the training in the Bible and then they would come back and go into the work again and one of them might be selected as the pastor of a church. Now they weren't ordained pastors. They served as pastors. And the reason for that was because ordination had a civil implication to it. An ordained man could perform a marriage which was binding by the courts, by the laws of the land, and therefore we didn't go in for ordination as such in those days. If there were any marriages to perform the missionary pastor had to do it. You'd be interested one time I had a whole set of weddings at the end of the school term the girls had finished their school in the girls home and we lined them all up you know and they took the vows, the first one, second one, third one. Right on down the line to the sixth one. Here was a bride left over. Standing there with her white dress and her bouquet in her hand [laughs]. No groom.
KLEM: He had, he had left or...
STOUGH: Well... [laughs]
KLEM: ...she had high hopes?
STOUGH: ...he had been there I think; he had decided at the last moment that he had to go home and change his shirt or something, and he had gone to his folks' which was just over the hill, was a mile or two away. He ran over there to change his clothes and he didn't get back before the service was over. [laughs]
KLEM: Dear. Now would, would some of these people have there ceremony validated or negotiated according to any wealth exchange systems...
STOUGH: They were all validated that way. We wouldn't marry anyone unless he had satisfied the requirements of customary law.
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: And his tribal law. A man had to pay so much dowry we tried to control it as much as we were able to so that the fathers wouldn't get greedy and demand too much, and there was a, a basic dowry set down by the, the tribe, and they had to meet that basic dowry. As I remember now it was five cows.
KLEM: Uh huh, so there was a harmony between the traditional negotiations phases and fa...family agreements.
STOUGH: Oh yes.
KLEM: ...the western...
STOUGH: We never married....
KLEM: ...civil ceremony
STOUGH: I never remember marrying anyone through a proper ceremony who hadn't paid the proper dowry.
KLEM: Did you find any opposition to that? Was that a universal policy?
STOUGH: That was the policy in our mission.
STOUGH: Yes, because.... Well, you got to understand their culture. A girls would feel that if a husband hadn't paid her father the proper amount of dowry, that he didn't really regard her very highly.
KLEM: A problem of respect.
STOUGH: Yeah, and she would feel that she would walk off and leave her [train whistle in background] any time they had a quarrel and go back to her father because she would say to him,"You never paid for me. You didn't raise a dowry. Why should I listen to you?" And the dowry then having gone to the father, and then if there was a squabble and the wife went home to her father, the father could put pressure on her to go back to her husband and live with him the way that she was supposed to. So you always had that side of it to consider.
KLEM: Now when... (can I change the subject a bit)?
STOUGH: Yeah, change it.
KLEM: When people were converted, what were the value changes you most wanted to see?
STOUGH: Well, I have a question mark on that...
STOUGH: What you mean by value changes? Conduct?
KLEM: Definitely. Conduct, priorities.
STOUGH: Well...well, we expected them of course to give outward evidence of a changed heart and a changed life. And it was expected that they wouldn't involve themselves in, in village customs which were heathenish; which were pagan. That they refrain from that sort of thing. We tried to encourage them to see that witchcraft wasn't always in back of what people did. And we tried to encourage them not to practice witchcraft things on folks that they didn't agree with. We of course tried to encourage them, we did encourage them...the church had rules about the drinking and the use of tobacco and engaging in native dances, because most of the native dances were dedicated to demon worship and that sort of thing and there's a very fine line there between when is just fun and when it's definitely demon worship. So the church had made up those rules and tried to maintain them. We had a lot of things too (I shouldn't say a lot of things).... we had customs in our church too,where by marital problems, quarrels between church members, infringement of garden rights accidents that might happen between two families like one child throws a rock or something and hits another child and draws blood, we tried to have all these things cared for by the church.
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: The elders of the church used to meet at my office for years. The elders met in my office every Thursday afternoon, and we met in my office because it was secluded, it was private, and you wouldn't have everybody and his brother listening at the windows and so on. And they met there to consider any of the problems. Now [laughs] I remember one time when a woman came to us. She said.... They said what's the matter? She said, "I got an accusation to make against the children of Bwana Stough." And the elder said, "Well, what is it?" "Well," they said that one of the Stough boys threw a piece of mud at me and I think it hit her head or something and it splattered. She got mud in her eyes and she was very angry about it." And the elders said "Yes." They said, "Bwana, can you call the boys?" So we called the boys and the boys came in there very much subdued, I can tell you. They were, I suppose, ten or twelve, very much subdued and the old pastor he said "Did you do this?" And the boy said "Yes." ."Well, why did you do it?" " Well, she was calling us names and she was doing thus and so and thus and we didn't know what to do so we threw this piece of mud." " Well, that was very bad, cause you shouldn't do that. If somebody calls you names like you say this woman did and she does something wrong to you, you should go and tell your father, and your father will tell us and we will deal with it. But you mustn't throw mud around." [laughs] I don't think our kids have ever forgotten that. They have been baptized out in the mudhole right along with the Africans, and they have been received, given the right hand of fellowship of the church right along with the Africans, and they were under the discipline of the elders. [laughs] And they got into this scrape; they elders took it up very understandingly, but you mustn't do it again. [laughs]
STOUGH: So that's the sort of thing that would come up.
KLEM: You felt pleased with the pastoral level with which the...the national church pursued the issue?
STOUGH: Yes. Now when we in America think of pastors....and the French used to think this way and some of the denominational boards,I think especially the British Baptists who were way ahead of us educationally.... They would say, well, a man who couldn't speak French and a man who hadn't studied overseas and finished high school and so forth, wasn't worth to be called the pastor, but ours didn't meet those qualifications. We couldn't speak French and they had never been overseas, and they didn't have higher level education, but they were spiritual men. And that's what we tried to develop more than anything else, was a spiritual leadership image. I is far more important than knowledge [train noise in background] of French.
KLEM: Well, the fact that you were able to submit your children to the process I think speaks well for the process as well as the positive impact that has on their lives .
STOUGH: Yeah. Well, I don't know what to say but that we always tried to develop the spiritual side and to approach these things from the spiritual side. And, oh, we'd get a case for instance for instance. This woman would come in and say that this woman over here tried to poison me. We have out there what they call millipedes, there about that long and they got a thousand legs and they're black and they got a crusty shell. You touch them and they curl up in a little ball; you know what they are, and they used to take those things and...and dry them, when they're dead they'd dry them and grind them up and put them in somebody else's food. And I don't know whether it was actually a poison, I don't think it was but it was a psychological thing, and they would say, "So and so tried to kill me. By putting millipedes in my food." Whether they did put it in or they didn't they were sometimes accused of it. And some maybe they did sometimes too, I don't know, but this was wrong, and the church always tried to deal with such things and try to satisfy both parties and to get them to pray together and forgive each other.
KLEM: Was there a conscious effort in the early days to introduce Christian values and a foundation for development of industry and trade and... or economic development, or was that seen as a separate issue, or...?
STOUGH: Well, I don't think that we had any trade or development or economic, economic development amongst our people. later on some of our people got some skills, our son Bill had a...a school, a vocational school where he taught carpentry and what not, and some of these graduates went back to their mission stations and worked for the mission in building which was very necessity, necessary. Some of them went off and started little shops of their own and there they were able to put Christian practices to use. Aside from the fact that that's out of their earnings, we tried to encourage them to give to the Lord His share. There was one question in this paper that you gave me, oh, let's see...
KLEM: The type of economy?
STOUGH: Yeah, you asked about the type of economy in our area, and the per capita income. That's kind of a joke. Ours was an agricultural economy. It was a subsistence economy. they had some goats and cattle and sheep, but they were primarily for dowry purposes. They seldom killed them to eat themselves unless it was an occasion for a feast, but their economy was largely agricultural. They raised enough to feed themselves; they needed a house they went out in the bush and cut grass and sticks and built themselves a house. They were very self-sufficient in that way. They didn't need money particularly. I remember in the earlier days when our men... a workman for six hours work per day receive sixty centimes. Sixty centimes of a franc, and a franc at that time was two American cents.
KLEM: Oh wow.
STOUGH: So they got the equivalent of one point two American cents for a six hour day's work. But three francs would buy them a yard of cloth, six cents would buy them a yard of cloth, and so for two days work they could buy themselves enough cloth to make a wrap around or to make a loin cloth or something for their wives. So things were cheap...
KLEM: Two days work would buy how many yards? One or two?
STOUGH: (Six...) I think it's two days work was a yard of cloth...
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: ...as I remember. But then they wear the yard of cloth for a year. So the whole economy was, was on the, the lowest possible, yet they had all that they, they needed or they thought they needed in their economy. It wasn't until modern wages came in and then people became very dissatisfied and, the materialistic spirit came in. They just wanted more and more. And it wasn't that they needed it, but they...they (I mean to live by) but they wanted all the extras. And of course as missionaries I remember at that time my total annual income for myself, my wife, and two children was two hundred and twenty dollars.
KLEM: Two hundred and twenty dollars a year?
STOUGH: That was my yearly income at one time.
STOUGH: It was supposed to be more, but that was all we got. The funds...
STOUGH: ...didn't come in. Now when you got a wife and two children; we had to live simply too. And we would buy a couple yards of America... of khaki, and my wife would cut it out and she would make shorts and shirts for the kids, and she'd make shorts for me, and so on, and we got along. Khaki wears a long time. And we had our own gardens, and we got most of our vegetables out of the gardens, sometimes we had chickens which we raised, but we lived very simply too. Now, you asked a question something to the point of the disparity between our living conditions and the African's living conditions. That never was an issue in our area. It never was an issue. And I remember one woman in [unclear], Heart of Africa Mission, she lived in a mud house, just like the Africans, same kind. She went home on furlough, and when she came back, she found that the African's had got together they pooled their labor and money and they had made bricks, and they had built her a brick house with glass windows, and a sheet iron roof. And they said, "We're tired of our missionary living like an African."
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: You see. To them it didn't make any difference. They knew that that was the type of a house that a white man was accustomed to living in. And the wanted their missionary to be like other white people.
KLEM: And they sacrificed [unclear]...
STOUGH: They sacrificed and did it all on their own. She came back' she was astonished. And they said, "Here's your house. We want you to live in it."
KLEM: That's a beautiful story.
STOUGH: Yes it is.
STOUGH: And our home was always open to Africans. Yes we had a nice.... We had a big living room. And we had a brick house. We had glass windows. We had dirt floors, but we had native mats on the floors. It was clean; it was nice. And we had chairs like these that I had made in the carpenter shop. Everything we had we had made. And it was never a barrier, 'cause they knew that they were welcome. We, Betty and I, were the first missionaries in our mission who ever invite the elders of the church to come into their home, sit at the dining room table and eat with knives and forks and plates and eat just the way we do.
STOUGH: And we served them just the way we would a white guest. And that made a tremendous impression on them. But we were the first ones that dared to step out and do something a little different, you know.
STOUGH: [chuckles] I told you I was a...
STOUGH: ...little bit of a rebel.
KLEM: Well, praise the Lord for that.
STOUGH: Well, the result was that there weren't barriers. And I tell you this in all shall I say humility. Many of our Africans have said to me, "Bwana," they said, "you know your blood is half black."
KLEM: [laughs] Great.
STOUGH: [laughs] I thought it was a real compliment. And I did try to understand their problems and they realized that, and I never.... We as a family never were put on airs with them. They were welcome in our homes as anybody else. I know one missionary lady, whenever an African came into her home, they were not allowed to sit in a chair, they had to sit on the floor; as these girls (she worked with girls), these girls came to speak to her they had to get down on their knees and crawl across the floor on their knees to talk to her and so forth. And I said, "Why do you do that?" "Well," she said, "in their villages when they had to talk to their chief they had to get down on their knees and approach the chief on their knees." And I said, "But you're not a chief."
STOUGH: Well, there you are. There's differences in culture, differences in understanding of culture, but the main thing, to...for successful missionary work is a sympathetic heart, an understanding heart.
KLEM: No trouble agreeing with that. I think the Holy Spirit uses that as much as anything; that's, that's what He is, I think...
KLEM: ...to us.
KLEM: The whole point of the incarnation, Jesus. Did...did you encounter any specific values of the Gospel?
STOUGH: Well, the only barriers that you encounter would have been witch doctors or people of that sort who felt you were a threat to them.
KLEM: No...Maybe I should have asked this first. Did you find it an open area for evangelism?
STOUGH: Yes. It always was until independence.
KLEM: Uh huh.
STOUGH: Then of course people became suspicious of anybody that was white.
KLEM: Out of fear of recolonization or...?
STOUGH: Yes. As a result of colonial administration. You see we went through the whole thing. When I went out there women were practically naked you know with a string down the back and a bunch of leaves down the front and nothing else on. And the men were very skimpily clad. They lived in their primitive conditions right up to the time now when one of our friends when he built himself a house in, on the mission compound in Bunia. He made it of mud and poles of course and grass roof, but he made it with a half a dozen rooms, and with windows and he had a, he had all the conveniences...most of the conveniences that folks could have in those days. [coughs] Now they live in brick houses, and they've developed materially that way. [coughs]
KLEM: Did you find your own ministry was complicated by the colonial system or did you find that the people saw you very different from the administrative...
STOUGH: No, they distinguished. They distinguished because they knew that Belgians were colonial administration, and they knew that we were not there...we were not traders. We were not profiting from them. We were not there with rods in our hands to enforce laws like the Belgians were, and we were not there like the Greek traders to make money off them. They knew that we were there to serve. As far as the administration was concerned, the answer I suppose would be, yes, that the Belgian administration did throw road blocks in the way because Belgian by constitution is a Roman Catholic country and we were only there by sufferance because the Treaty of Berlin when Belgium was granted authority over the Congo, said that there had to be religious freedom. So they tolerated us.
KLEM: Now that was a U.N...?
STOUGH: [simultaneously] But they favored the Catholics.
KLEM: That was a U.N. regulation...
KLEM: ...then or world regulation....
STOUGH: The Treaty of Berlin which was signed back in the nineteenth century sometime...
STOUGH: ...when Belgium was given administration of the Congo.
KLEM: At the end of World War I?
STOUGH: No, no, no, long before that...
KLEM: The Berlin treaty?
STOUGH: Before that. King Leopold [Leopold II of Belgium reigned from 1865-1909] you know, took over the Congo as a private concession because the Congo didn't want it, and he exploited it shamefully, and eventually public opinion, world opinion was so strong against him that they convinced the Belgium government to take control. And at that time they held a, a conference at Berlin where various colonial areas were assigned to European countries. And the Congo was given to Belgium under this Treaty of Berlin as it's called. And one of the provisions was freedom of religion. But they never favored us. They always favored the Catholics in that if there ever was a difference of opinion or a problem they always favored the Catholics, because the government administrators were all Catholics and it was their, their own religion, naturally they would favor them. We were not only not Catholics, w`e were not even Belgians. We were foreigners so and we got the short end of the stick most of the time. And that was one thing we had to do. I had to fight with these administrators to be sure that we got what the law permitted us. We didn't ask for anything more.
KLEM: Did they see you as undermining the Belgian control?
STOUGH: No, no, no. They saw us as undermining the Catholic church.
KLEM: Which of course you would not totally deny either.
STOUGH: No, no, no. Well, we were not seeking to undermine the Catholic church, but we would go into a village and preach the Gospel and talk to the chief and say, "Don't you want a permanent chapel here and a little school to teach your children to read and write?" and the chief would say yes. Well, then on occasion a Catholic priest would come into this village and he would see the beginnings of a chapel, a Protestant chapel, and if you were the arrogant type, he would go over and pull the poles out of the ground himself and throw them away and say to the...the chief, "You may not build this chapel." And the chief would say, "Well, who says so?" He said, "I say so." And the chief would answer, "But the state says that they have a right here." And the Catholic priest would say, "I am the state." "I am the state and you are not to build it." Well, you have problems like that. The chief would not dare to build it. And so the teacher would come to me and say, "What are we going to do about it?" And I would have to get into touch with the local official and say, "This is the situation, we insist on our right to put a chapel in this village no matter what the priest says. If the priest wants to build one at the other end of the village that's up to him, but we have a right to this," and so we were forcing him to obey the law. That's what it amounted to.
STOUGH: Yeah that's the sort of opposition we had for years and years. Then there came a liberal government in Belgium and this... one of the senators insisted that the Protestants should be given the same rights as the Catholics were given. Catholics schools were subsidized by the government, supported wholly by the government, and Protestant schools got nothing. We supported all of our work ourselves. And even the mission didn't have money to give us for supporting our work. We took it out of our pockets, out of our...
KLEM: ...personal money...
STOUGH: ...minuscule allowances.
KLEM: Oh, not even out of special funds....
STOUGH: No, no, the mission didn't have any special funds.
KLEM: Wow, so that was...
STOUGH: We were as poor as church mice, and so naturally we were interested in seeing the work go forward and if it meant digging in our pockets, we dug, but that's the way it worked. And in the village of course you'd get the village people to do the work themselves because it was their chapel. They were going the have the teacher and the school, and they would do it. That didn't cost us anything particularly, except the safaris. But the Catholics got millions and millions poured into their coffers and they put up lovely brick buildings and so on, and we had a little old mud and waddle down at the other end of the.... But that worked out you know, because the people were discerning. Just across the hill from us latterly the government had a hospital, and it was a very elaborate thing, laboratories and...and they had wards, big wards and dispensaries and hugh medical supplies and men who were...Africans who were trained, and...as well as government men, doctors, and sanitary agents they called them (para...paramedics maybe you'd call them) and the people would come walking right past that big government hospital dispensary. They'd come two miles around the hill to our back porch. And on our back porch I had a long box about four inches thick and opened...that opened up, and we had some homeopathic medicines in these things and some lineaments and what not. And they's come over and stand on our back porch to get medicine with love. We asked them why they did it. I said, "There's a government hospital you walk right past it. Why didn't you go there to get your medicine? "Oh Bwana, but they don't treat as nice over there. And we know that if we come over here we get medicine with love."
KLEM: Incredible. Praise the Lord.
STOUGH: Well, that's the difference. That's the difference. We didn't know anything. My wife had a little course in Bible school missionary medicine, she didn't know much. We had a little book about that thick and about that size [laughs], a directory on homeopathic medicine. And you'd read in this little book, "This, this remedy treats certain symptoms and this remedy treats these symptoms," and so on. You'd treat the symptoms. Nobody practices homeopathy anymore. But homeopathy is a...a harmless treatment. You say it can't possibly do any harm, but it might do some good.
STOUGH: And that was what we practiced on our back porch. I used to pull teeth, lance abscesses. I don't know why so many women had these abscesses in their breasts, but they did. They'd come to me, "Oh, Bwana my breast hurts so." And I'd feel it; yeah there's a hard lump in there, and I'd....I only had one scalpel about that long and a blade about that long. And I sharpened the thing up and put it in alcohol and just go "pshh," like this and nothing would happen and I'd go down a little bit farther until I got to it and all of a sudden the pus would pour out you know, and we'd sort of squeeze it a little bit, and get all of the pus out and stick in an iodoform [pauses] gauze down into the thing so it would drain out through this iodoform, put a little band-aid sort of thing on the outside and that was all.
KLEM: It would have been...the iodoform dressing would come out eventually?
STOUGH: Oh yes. Sure. It's like a wick you know to pull out the pus the...of the abscess, and well, I don't know haw many breasts I've lanced and teeth I've pulled. I never had any training. [laughs] Oh well.
END OF TAPE