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This is a complete and accurate transcript of the third oral history interview of Paul Pinney Stough (CN 89, #T3) 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 transcription was made April-May 1986 by Fran Brocker and Robert Shuster, revised June 1990, revised by Shuster August 1992.
Collection 89, Tape #T3; Interview of Paul Pinney Stough by Robert Shuster, August 26, 1980.
SHUSTER: This is an [knocks microphone] interview with Reverend Paul Stough by Robert Shuster for the Missionary Sources Collection of Wheaton College. This interview took place at the Graham Center on August twenty-six, 1980 at two-thirty pm.
STOUGH: Sounds right [chuckles].
SHUSTER: Just about. Reverend Stough what were your responsibilities as field director for Congo, Uganda, and French Equatorial Africa when you held that position?
STOUGH: Well, this was back in the days before the church had very much autonomy. They had autonomy for local church administration and some intercommunication with the other congregations, but the church itself was not highly organized on a field wide basis and ultimate responsibility in the church rested with the mission.
SHUSTER: This is the African Inland Church.
STOUGH: The African Inland Church, yes. When I was elected to be field director, I was taking the place of a man who had gone home on furlough and he had been field director for, oh, between twenty and twenty-five years, and it's always difficult to replace a person who's held an office that long. I remember when I was appointed, the question was raised in the field council, "Is Mr. Stough being appointed field director or is he being appointed acting field director during the absence of Mr. [George] Van Dusen?" The answer to that was that he was being appointed as field director because it was quite uncertain whether Mr. Van Dusen would return to that position. He had expressed himself as hoping to be relieved of it after so many years, and so that was the way it was left, that I was appointed as field director. My responsibilities, of course, were to coordinate the work of the mission, that is, under the direction of the field council, and to visit the mission stations, to visit the missionaries and if they had any problems to try to help them solve their problems. Our field at that time included the Belgian Congo, also the west Nile district of Uganda where our mission served, and also the corner of Central African Republic (used to be called French Equatorial Africa). So the field was a very long one. It extended about eight hundred miles from one end to another and required considerable driving, of course, over roads that were not always the best, but my ministry was one primarily to minister to the missionaries. And then I undertook to do something that had not been done before. As I went from station to station I undertook to interview and meet with the elders of the churches on each of the stations where I visited. This was an innovation because the...my predecessor had never felt a responsibility to the church. He felt that his primary responsibility was to the mission, its relationship with the home councils, and with the missionaries. So this was a bit of innovation that I undertook, and it...I must say it was an innovation that was greatly appreciated by the leaders of the church. They felt then that they had a representative to the field council, one who could present their opinions and their needs to the council of the mission. So the church leaders greatly appreciated this interest that I took in that particular phase of the work.
SHUSTER: How did you decide to start doing it?
STOUGH: Well, I just felt that it was a need. I felt that the emphasis had always been on the...the missionaries and...by the leadership of the mission, and I felt the leadership of the mission could...should take cognisance of their responsibilities to the church. I had been engaged in church work up until that time on a local basis, that is in the...with our...on our local mission station and in language area conferences and so forth, but that's the reason that I felt that it...in this position I ought to take more interest in the work. And I'll say that we went home on furlough after two years and Mr. Van Dusen took up the work again. He changed his mind [chuckles] and he took up the work again, and when we went home on furlough, and then we came back and went into town work in the town of Bunia, and he carried on as field director till the time of his death. It was a very difficult time (emotionally, shall we say) for the missionaries to choose a successor for Mr. Van Dusen, and Dr. Carl Becker was eventually chosen to hold that office, that responsibility. Dr. Becker is a very godly man and although he was fully engaged or occupied in his medical work at Oicha yet he undertook the administrative part with the assistance of an associate or an assistant field director. And since that time...after that time Mr. Peter Brashler was selected to carry on as field director (he's a younger man than I) and he also then carried on that relationship with the church, and as he visited in the stations, he visited not only the missionaries, but he visited the church leaders too, tried to draw them together into a cohesive unit. So basically that was what my work was. I met with the missionaries, with each individual missionary on the mission station, (we had, oh, something like a hundred and twenty-five missionaries at that time), and talked with them, discussed their work with them, asked if they had any problems, and have prayer with them; and basically that was our ministry, except as we called the elders of the church together and brought them a short message from the Word [the Bible], had prayer with them, asked if they had any problems.
SHUSTER: So your work basically was coordination or...
STOUGH: Coordination, yeah. Administration.
SHUSTER: Was there a field council you had to report to or...?
STOUGH: Yes, we had a field council, and...well, it was rather informal, I mean as far as the reports were concerned. I'd tell them what I'd do...what I was doing; and if they passed any "legislation," (quote unquote) it was my responsibility to see that it was carried out. I did also always try to go over the field council minutes with the people on the various stations (the missionaries), because sometimes minutes are very terse and they don't explain themselves. They leave a lot of questions in people, "What in the world did they do this for? Why did they do that?" And I felt that the missionaries were being represented in the council, had a right to know the background and the reasons why things were done. So we always tried to explain things so that everyone understood and knew, whether they agreed or not [chuckles], they at least understood why certain actions were taken. [clears throat]
SHUSTER: Were you involved in any time when you were in Africa with AIM's educational work?
STOUGH: Only very slightly, except...well, I...I mean I taught in the...the (what would you call it)...the junior high school. I taught a few classes in junior high school for a year or so, but I never was engaged full time in educational work, but it was a very interesting thing. The Africans in our Congo field will tell you that while Bwana Paul (that's me) was responsible for the growth of the educational work in our Congo field. I had been on...our mission representative on the Congo Protestant Council at a time when the Protestant churches were just beginning to receive government subsidies for education. Previous to this time the Belgian government had subsidized schools, but only the Roman Catholic schools, because according to the constitution of Belgium, Roman Catholicism was the official state religion so stated, but the Treaty of Berlin, by which Congo was...or Belgium was given sovereignty over the Congo, guaranteed religious freedom. And there came a time when certain socialist representatives in the Belgian parliament began to insist that there should be equality of treatment as far as the government subsidies for education were concerned and this legislation eventually went through the Belgian parliament and we were granted equality with the Catholics as far as receiving government subsidies. Well, there was a great deal of discussion, pros and cons. Should we take subsidies? Should we not take subsidies? If we take subsidies from the government does that give government control over our schools? Can the government influence the religious impact in our schools? These questions were handed back and forth and sometimes rather warmly and I heard all of these arguments at the Congo Protestant Council. Finally after one of the sessions I came home and presented to our AIM field conference the question of subsidies and suggested that we accept them from the government, because that would mean that our schools then were fully recognized by the government and would not operate, shall we say, in an unofficial way, privately. As I say this was brought up in a field conference with a bit of hesitation, and I say a quite a bit of hesitation [laughs] on the part of some who felt that this was a dangerous step to take. So I said, "I'll tell you what. I'll be the guinea pig and we will a...be willing to accept subsidies in our missions schools at Blukwa," (that was the station at which I was the superintendent in charge). And the conference agreed that we could try it with one of our schools at Blukwa, and so we did and the government then paid us our subsidies and we brought our school up to standard according to government standards and it was a beginning. It was the camel's nose in the tent and eventually the whole mission school system was recognized by the government and accepted subsidies. And...and for that reason, although I was never in education work, the Africans often say that Bwana Paul Stough is responsible for the growth of our educational work in the AIM.
SHUSTER: Those hesitations, of course, are very similar to the feeling here at the [Wheaton] college about accepting any kind of government money.
STOUGH: Yes, well, it...it is dangerous and fortunately it worked out rather happily with the Belgian government. They didn't try to impose restrictions on our schools. They did have certain standards and we had to bring our schools up to those standards. Certain courses had to be followed and there was a certain standard of excellence required, but that would be only normal. [coughs] Now, I'm not going to discuss the name of this other mission, but there was another mission adjacent to ours who refused to accept subsidies. They believed in complete separation of church and state, and they refused consistently to accept government subsidies. This meant that they were not compelled to come up to government standards, of course, although they tried to do that, but it left an impression amongst the Africans in that area that their missionaries, or their mission were opposed to the most complete educational program for their people. The unhappy result of that in the long run was that the church split and a certain segment of that church pulled out, formed their own conference and their own field and carried on by themselves. They accepted government subsidies and it left this denominational mission in a very awkward position. And feeling is still high, because even after (What would it be? Almost...over twenty years) that division is still there between the group that pulled out and the group that...the denominational mission that stayed in.
SHUSTER: How was...who went to AIM schools? Could anybody attend or was it children of members of the church?
STOUGH: Oh no, anyone could attend. Any child that lived within...within the area, I should say. I was...I was going to say within walking distance, but we had boarding schools and young folks from farther away could come and live in a boarding school. There's no restriction on that. The Catholics had their schools about five miles away, and, of course, Catholic youngsters would go to the Catholic mission, and ours would come to our mission, or those who were indifferent, weren't anything, could come. There generally were not too many indifferent ones, shall we say, neutral ones. The Catholics were very aggressive. They were very dominant. I mean, the priest would go into a village with these little amulets, you know, metals that they wore around their neck and he'd gather the children around. Then he'd toss these metals out and any child that picked one up would immediately be contacted by the priest and his name would be written on the list and he'd be considered as one of their followers, And you know how children are. Any...any sort of a little medallion or what have you is...well, it's just something that interests a youngster, had no religious significance at all, but once they picked up one of these and the priest came and said, "What is your name?" and he would give his name. He'd write the name down on the list. That child felt that legally and morally he was obligated to go to the Catholic school because his name had been written down and when your name is once written down, you know, you can't get away from it. Well, as I say, the position of Catholic and Protestant was pretty well polarized, and there were very few neutral ones. So we got primarily the children who had declared themselves as Protestants. They probably attended the little village schools that we had established. When I was at Blukwa (our mission station at Blukwa where I served for almost twenty years) we had about three hundred fifty of these...we called them out schools, these little preaching centers in the villages round about. And these children would attend. The teacher would get out and pound his drum in the morning, early...
SHUSTER: He went out and pounded his drum?
STOUGH: Yeah. They....
SHUSTER: Was that like ringing a school bell?
STOUGH: No, they didn't have school bells.
SHUSTER: I say...but it's like ringing a school bell?
STOUGH: It's like ringing a school bell, yes. He...they're called with a drum instead of with a bell. So he'd get out and pound the drum early in the morning and the kids would hear this and they'd get out and come over to school and they'd sing some hymns and they'd learn some Bible verses and then they would get their basic readin', writin', and 'rithmetic. Usually just about through the second grade. That's about what most of them amounted to. And then those youngsters would come in to follow through in the mission station schools.
SHUSTER: And the station schools would go up to an equivalent high school, or...?
STOUGH: No, the station schools would go up through fifth grade, I think it was, and then they would go to a special sort of a junior high school. They called it a [phrase in French], which means "adjusting course," preparing them for high school for primar...for secondary school. And these were special schools. [French phrase repeated] was a special school and there were several of them located in strategic areas of the field. They didn't have on every station because the number of children who attend that level was much fewer so we couldn't afford a school like that on every station, but they'd be chosen to go to these schools and then they went on into a secondary school.
SHUSTER: And was that as high as the AIM schools went?
STOUGH: Yeah. AIM didn't take them any higher than the secondary school, [pauses] but some of our young men have gone on from our secondary school. They went on to higher schools and we have...I don't know if it's two or three of our people now who carry PhD's in degrees which...and several others have their college degrees. One of them's a doctor, a medical doctor. So they have gone on even though the AIM itself didn't carry them to this higher degree of...of learning.
SHUSTER: How did Scott Seminary start?
STOUGH: Scott...well, Scott was started over in Kenya. [Chuckles] I happened to be visiting down there in Kenya one time when I was still working in Congo and the field director over there and I were very good friends, Eric Barnett. So he said, "Would you like to go out to Machacos to this station? We're having a meeting with the church board out there to discuss education." And I was very interested so I went along. And [laughs] it was really funny to hear these Africans who had practically, oh, I say practically no education. They had high school, perhaps, education (maybe they only had junior high school education) asking about missionaries who taught in the Bible schools. They said, "What degree does he hold?" [Chuckles] And they said, "Well, he's a graduate of the Bible school." Like Moody Bible institute or a similar Bible institute in this country. "Ah yes, but what degree does he hold. Does he have a BA degree or BS degree or..." so on. It was very amusing for me to hear these Africans who knew (so far as I knew)...knew so little about education insisting that they wanted teachers who held collegiate degrees. Well, out of that discussion there gradually developed Scott Theological Seminary, which was to be a...a theological school on a higher level than the ordinary area Bible school. You see, our mission...our mission has done two...two things that are of special emphasis. One of them is a translation of the Scriptures and we have always placed great emphasis on the necessity for the people to have the Word of God in their own language. And so we have translated...in the Congo we've translated in Pazande and Bangala, in Kakwa, Logo, Lugbara, Baletha.
SHUSTER: They're all in the Congo?
STOUGH: Congo/Swahili. I'm not sure there may have been another one. Anyway, seven or eight languages which were reduced to writing and translated...the Scriptures were translated. The other thing that we've always tried to do is to have a school...a Bible training school, but in the earlier days, of course, our Bible training schools were ministering to people of very limited education and I remember at one time the requirement for entrance to a Bible school was that they must have finished second grade. Well, that [chuckles] doesn't sound like very much so then we came along and said, "No, we've got to raise our standards now. We've got to raise it to third grade." And then we had to raise it to fourth grade, and finally we raised the entrance requirement for the Bible schools to fifth grade, which was the last grade before the [French phrase], the junior high school. So gradually we've ungraded, but we always had Bibles, always emphasized Bible school training. I have a picture on my desk at home. It is very interesting. I don't know how it got out...out of an album, but it's sitting on my desk there and I pick it up and look at it and put it down again periodically. It's a picture of a man and his wife standing beside him and he's holding a wheelbarrow, a homemade wheelbarrow. The wheel was cut out of a...a section...cross section of a log, and a hole burned in the middle of it and a spindle put through it for an axle. And in the wheelbarrow are two children, little tots. And this man when he went off to Bible school (this was many years ago, of course)...when he went off to Bible school, he wheeled...pushed that wheelbarrow with his two children in it three hundred miles over native paths to get to the Bible school at Aba.
SHUSTER: And his wife walked with him?
STOUGH: His wife walked with him. I suppose she pushed the wheelbarrow part of the time [chuckles], but they and we both felt that the urgency the necessity for Bible training, and so our mission has always had Bible training schools. But then the...as the countries developed and education increased and contact with the outside world increased, the church leaders began to want something better for their people and so eventually Scott was...was started and Scott was on the post primary school level, and it's called Scott Theological College. "College," of course, doesn't have the implication that college has in America. "College" in the European mind is most any kind of a school, maybe a post primary school, now they call it a college. Now Eton College...you know Eton College in England?
SHUSTER: It's a public school?
STOUGH: Is a...it's a public school, but it isn't on...on collegiate level as we understand it's a college, yes, but it has kids in primary school, junior high there on up, so the term college is rather confusing to the American mind because we think of one on the university level. So Scott Theological College was started and the mission then agreed that they would find missionaries with collegiate degrees in...with theological training to teach in that school. Now we have another school similar to that in the Congo at Bunia, which is also a post primary theological college if you want to call it that.
SHUSTER: What is the name of that school?
STOUGH: I can't tell you the name of it just off hand. I don't know that it has a particular name. They just call it the theological school, Eccole Theologie...
SHUSTER: School of Theology.
STOUGH: ...in Bunia. And the head of that school now Pierre Marini holds a Phd degree from University of Paris, I think; he got it in France anyway. So he's a Phd, Dr. Marini.
SHUSTER: And he is African?
STOUGH: Yes, yes. He's one of our AIM men.
SHUSTER: Church man?
STOUGH: Uh huh. Got his start out in the village. When the teacher beat the drum he came from herding his goats, probably, [laughs] to sit and learn his letters and so on, but he's gone on with his education and now he's got his doctorate and heads up the...the theological school there in Bunia.
SHUSTER: What was the AIM's literature distribution work?
STOUGH: What do you mean?
SHUSTER: Well, I was reading that...in one of their brochures describing AIM's work it listed education, church founding, evangelism, literature distribution as one of it's main ministries.
STOUGH: Yes, well, of course we...we prepared text books and...for our schools and we prepared devotion...some devotion books that we...have been written, distributed. We never published a magazine in Congo, although there was a magazine there called Neno la Imani [Swahili phrase] which means the "Word of Faith" and it was originated by...actually by my brother-in-law, Bill...William Deans and it...that was in Swahili. And then he started another one in the Lingala language called Litatoli and they had a rather wide distribution. In fact, between the two of them they pretty much covered all of Congo, the two major language areas of Congo, and they were...they contained some news items and interesting devotional articles, and it...they were illustrated. They came out every month, and, of course, we got behind that and pushed that. I wrote many articles for them.
SHUSTER: What did the distribution system...how did you...
STOUGH: Oh well...
SHUSTER: ...get them out?
STOUGH: ...sometimes they would send them in bundles to a station and the station would sell them so they had a...a rather wide subscription list and they were mailed out individually just like any magazine would go through the mail.
SHUSTER: Was there one central press for all of Africa?
STOUGH: Yeah. Oh, no. The...this was the Emmanuel Mission (that's Plymouth Brethren). The Emmanuel Mission had their big press there at Nyankunde and Mr. Deans was the manager of the press. He was the sponsor, the...the spark behind it and raised the money, and they had some very, very fine equipment...printing equipment. They had a big Heidelberg press before they were through. They started with a flat bed press, a small one, but they eventually got themselves a very, very fine Heidelberg press which you know is the Cadillac of printing presses. And they did...they had two linotype machines for setting up type run by Africans, of course. Africans were taught to operate the linotype as well as the operate the presses. The Africans did most of the work there. Mr. Deans was the final editorial authority, because he was the one who had the most experience. But we've always emphasized literature. We've done a lot of...I've done some writing in the African language for devotional books and...reader...readers for schools, actually, they were.
SHUSTER: Where were the Bibles printed that were translated?
STOUGH: Bibles were printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society in London. BFBS did ...printed all of our Bibles so far as I know.
SHUSTER: And how were the Bibles distributed? Were they also just sent to the different stations to be...?
STOUGH: Yeah, the Bibles would be mailed out, of course, in big mail bags, and they would be sent to a central bookshop, a central storage place and then each station had its own little bookshop and as they needed books they would send to the central bookshop for their supplies, Bibles.
SHUSTER: Did AIM missionaries make any use of the records or tapes of Gospel Recordings?
STOUGH: Oh yes, yes. We...we used Gospel Recordings' records a great deal. When we lived in Bunia, my wife and I, Betty used to have the...go out with a team of women once a week (they had a woman's prayer meeting), and then after the prayer meeting they'd scatter. They'd go out through the town of Bunia holding Gospel meetings and she had...we had a phonograph and I remember one time she told me she had sixteen....she had Gospel Recordings in sixteen different languages, and so they'd stop at one of the homes of the Christians and set up a table and phonograph and say to the people going by, "Would you like to hear something in your own language?" And they'd say, "Yes." or "We'd love to." "What language is it?" Well, they would say, "Kakwa," "Logo," "Lugbara," whatever. And then she'd find a record in their language and put it on. Pretty soon you'd have a crowd around. Those Gospel Recordings were a great attraction. We used to go out with them in the villages.
SHUSTER: Why was that?
SHUSTER: Why was it...why was it such a great attraction?
STOUGH: Well, for primitive people to hear the machine talk to them in their own language is something very intriguing, to say the least [chuckles]. I wouldn't use the word mysterious anymore because they understand that it's a mechanical thing, but it is intriguing to hear the records talking to you in your own language. Yes Gospel Recordings has done a very fine work and....
SHUSTER: The Archives has thirteen hundred of their tapes...
SHUSTER: ...in different languages.
STOUGH: Tapes or records?
STOUGH: Tapes. They've probably put them onto tapes now. The earlier days when there was only records, records were bulky, and they were heavy, and they broke so it was difficult to get them, but tapes make it much simpler. Yes I remember...well, I've...I've known Joy Ridderhof off and on through the years since the very first days that she started. She's done a tremendous work.
SHUSTER: How did your work in the prisons in the Congo begin?
STOUGH: [laughs] Well, we just felt that this was a ministry that we should undertake.
SHUSTER: This was in the late 50s that you...?
STOUGH: Yeah in the 50s. When I went to Bunia actually, that was a town and it had a big prison there. I just felt that this was a ministry that we ought to undertake, and so we asked permission to go into the prison. They wouldn't let us in at the gate.
SHUSTER: This was you and your wife or...?
STOUGH: No, I and some of the African pastors. They wouldn't let us in at the gate. Said, "You got to get permission." So we went back to the administrative headquarters...government headquarters and asked the Belgian who had charge of prisons, and so he said, "Sure, sure, be glad to have you go in." So he wrote out a piece of paper...a pass sort of thing. He said, "This is to certify that Mr. Paul Stough and his disciples have permission to enter the prison." Was interested that these men were called my disciples [chuckles]. Anyway we would go in and we would go in the evening when the men were back from their work and before they got their supper. They were...the prison was built in a quadrangle and the central part was an open sort of a plaza thing, and the...they would...we'd blow a whistle or call to order anyway. The guards would go around and say, "Sit down now. Sit down. Sit down. You're going to have your meeting." And they'd all sit very quietly and we would sing a hymn. And I was surprised how many Protestants there were in prison who knew the words to the hymns [laughs].
SHUSTER: I wonder what that means.
STOUGH: Well, we used to laugh about it, but you know being in prison doesn't have the stigma in Africa that it has in...in the [United] States. You could get into prison for almost any little offence. You didn't pay your taxes in time, or you got walk...caught walking without proper permit, so on. Any number of things could get you into prison that were not criminal. There were those in there who were in for murder and robbery and so on, but a lot of them were there for just minor things. Anyway, we used to laugh about the Protestants in prison, but we would sing a few hymns and then bring a Gospel message, give an invitation. And we almost always had some response to the invitation. And we would go into one of the inner rooms of the prison and have a little after-meeting with them explaining it better, the way of salvation a little more clearly and reading something from the Scripture for them. We...I've forgotten now...as I recollect...and you've got to remember this was a long time ago.
STOUGH: Of course we've been home four years now. We were twelve years in Kenya so this is sixteen, seventeen years ago. But I remember counting up one time something...the response was something like eight hundred in the course of a year.
SHUSTER: You mean eight hundred people were converted or...
STOUGH: Yes, eight hundred people responded to the invitation to accept Christ. It was fruitful.
STOUGH: Now I'm not one for figures. I don't care about figures. They don't mean anything. I mean even Billy Graham, with all due respect to him, I'm sure he would admit that a large percentage of the people who make profession of faith in his meetings don't know what it's all about and they backslide and we would say the same thing. And so we don't put too much credence in numbers, but we trust that...we always trusted that the Lord would work in some hearts and some of the people would be changed, changed for eternity. But it was a...it was an interesting and a gratifying work.
SHUSTER: Did the prisoners ever begin organizing their own services or their own...?
STOUGH: No, I don't think so. They wouldn't have opportunities. See they would be under rather rigid discipline at other times. I don't think the government would trust them to call groups together for meetings on their own. The government would suspect that they were trying to foment a revolution or something or revolt in the prison.
SHUSTER: What were the conditions like in the prisons?
STOUGH: Well, the...around the perimeter of this little plaza...the...the quadrangle were rooms, and these rooms had just board...boards set up on bricks to lift them off the floor. And each prisoner was given...of course he was given a pair of shorts. He was given a sweater and a blanket, and that was all. That was all he had. And at night they just go in, lie down on the boards, and cover up with a blanket and go to bed. The daytime they stand roll call in the morning. They take them out to work...work on the roads and...things like that.
SHUSTER: Did they seem to get enough to eat or...
STOUGH: Oh yes. Going to prison was really not a bad deal, because if you get caught doing something, trespassing or something of that sort and you were put in prison, you were assured that if you didn't have a...a shirt, or you didn't have a good pair of shorts that you would be given a pair of shorts and a sweater, and if you didn't have a blanket you would be given a blanket to sleep under, and you got two meals a day. You got something to eat in the morning and something to eat in the evening, so they were taken care of. A lot of them were far better off in prison than they would have been back in their villages.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that there were people there for all sorts of reasons, some just for not paying their taxes and all. How long are most people in prison?
STOUGH: Oh, most of them I suppose...oh, I say...I wouldn't know percentages, but a lot of them were in there just for three months, some of them for six months. Some for a year, two years. Long term prisoners were sent away to a provincial prison, that is like murderers and so on.
SHUSTER: That's more like a maximum security prison?
STOUGH: Uh huh.
SHUSTER: I notice in reading some of the literature that you were for a period the African area secretary for the Evangelical Literature Overseas...
STOUGH: Oh yes.
SHUSTER: ...program. What did that involve?
STOUGH: Yes. Well, I was...I was home on furlough here one time and (now don't ask me dates because I don't fix those in mind), but [clears throat] I got in contact with Harold Street. Harold Street was just beginning the work of ELO as its secretary...executive secretary. And Peter Gunther, and Ken Taylor, and...oh dear, what was his name...Ray from the Sudan Interior Mission their field director. Anyway there were several of them who were interested in the ELO and I went along and I was elected, if you want to call it that...chosen to be on their international council for a period of time. And then when...
SHUSTER: The council was more or less an advis...advisory group?
STOUGH: Yeah, it was an advisory thing. Then one of the purposes of the ELO (Evangelical Literature Overseas) was to coordinate the literature production... translation work and literature production in the various fields, and so when I went back to Congo after this furlough, ELO asked if I would organize literature language conferences in the various areas of Congo.
SHUSTER: Between the different missions or the...
SHUSTER: ...different churches?
STOUGH: Now there was a Lingala area and there was a Swa...Congo Swahili area and there was a Kituba area. I've forgotten now. There were five of them and I organized these various language...literature conferences. I got in touch with representatives of all the missions that worked in that particular language area, and set up the place and the date and had them choose their delegates and then Harold Street came out and (representing ELO)...and then we went to the various areas...the five areas of Congo and had these conferences. Well, what it amounted to was this: here was the Kituba area and we found that the Berean Mission was working in that language and we found that the Baptists...the American Baptists were working in that area, and...well, whatever missions were working in that...the American Mennonites are working in that area. So we got them all together said, "Now what are you doing, and what are you doing, and what are you doing?" And we found that there was an overlapping, that the same people were doing. I mean different people were doing the same thing. And the purpose was to try to get them together so that there wouldn't be this duplication, which is such a waste of effort. And we got them to allocate a particular job to a particular area or a particular mission committee and let them go ahead with that job and another job we would give to another group in a different mission and eventually we got the work all done without duplication. That was the purpose of the conferences and we did organize, as I say five different conferences and it proved very successful because folks appreciated it, the fact that they weren't duplicating. I mean when you sit down and you're...you're spending hours and hours and hours in translation work and you get it all almost done and you suddenly discover that a guy down here a hundred miles away is doing the same thing, it's rather discouraging. [laughs] And so we eliminated that. The area in the Congo Swahili was called ALESCO (what do they call it?) Association Literature Swahili Congo and I was secretary of that and then I kept in touch with the folks in our own language area...Congo Swahili area to prod along, get the work done, to see that there wasn't duplication there. We got out a little pamphlet periodically, little sort of a newsletter we sent out to them tell let them know what was happening. So I carried on then in our own language area. I didn't have anything more to do in these other four. They then elected their secretaries and carried on in their areas and they coordinated their work.
SHUSTER: So you were only involved with this in the Congo. It wasn't Africa-wide.
STOUGH: No, no. No, no. This was only in the Congo.
SHUSTER: How did you choose which missions to invite to the...these seminars or conferences? Were...
STOUGH: Well, we invited....
SHUSTER: ...they all Protestants or all Evangelical or all...?
STOUGH: No we invited any Protestant mission that was in that language area.
SHUSTER: I see. And the work still continues today?
STOUGH: I don't know whether they carry on that way anymore. The revolutions in Congo disrupted a lot of things. Communications became so bad that it was almost impossible. Mail services degenerated to almost nil, you know, within the country, that is in Congo, and I doubt if it's carried on since then. May have down in the lower Congo where the distances are not so great. It may have carried on. But it was a good start.
SHUSTER: From the...say, the mid '50s till '64 when you (I believe it was '64 when you) left...
STOUGH: Yeah, I left.
SHUSTER: ...the Congo, what were your duties?
STOUGH: Let's see during those...those years I was living in...in a place called Bogoro which was just outside of Bunia about five miles. And that was a mission station. My responsibilities there were general oversight, village evangelism in connection with the African evangelists and the local teachers, pastors. And it was at this time I was carrying on this literature business. I wrote...was writing articles for this magazine called Neno la Imani, and...and in coordinating the, the work of the church. I was also what they call a church advisor. The church was...the field was divided into five areas and I had the area which was called the forest area, which was the southernmost area, and my responsibility there was to get out into all the churches in that area, help them to get organized. We held...I may have mentioned this before....
SHUSTER: These were churches that had already been begun?
SHUSTER: These are churches that had already been founded?
STOUGH: Yeah. These were little local congregations, and we helped them to get organized, to choose their elders and their deacons and get themselves self-governing. I suppose that's is what we're thinking about.
SHUSTER: And then you moved on to Kenya in '64?
STOUGH: No, then we moved on to the town of Bunia and our ministry there was a...a town work. Part of that time I was legal representative of the mission and....
SHUSTER: What did that involve?
STOUGH: That involved mission correspondence with the government, the Belgian government.
SHUSTER: Was that...what were the primary concerns between the government and the mission?
SHUSTER: What were the main topics of...?
STOUGH: ...usually it was a matter of land concessions and things of that sort where we had to be legally represented to the government. You see the...the government was...wanted one spokesman for the whole organization, and if there are one hundred twenty-five or one hundred fifty missionaries the government wasn't going to talk to all of them, so they had one and he was called the legal representative of the mission chosen by the missionaries and he carried on all correspondence.
SHUSTER: When the Congo became independent, did the Belgian government involve the mission at all in the preparations for independence...
SHUSTER: ...or did they kind of...?
STOUGH: ...there wasn't any preparation for independence. That was the problem in the Congo. That's why the thing just kind of fell apart, because there was no preparation. It was a sad, sad situation. The...they held a conference in Brussels and they had representatives from various parts of the Congo meeting with the Belgian government in Brussels. Patrice Lumumba was the chief, most vocal spokesman there. He was a communist, and very aggressive. So I remember talking with one of the chaps who was at this conference and came from our area. He was a AIM man, (had been). And he said, "Bwana," he said, "we didn't want independence. We just went there to demand independence, hoping that the Belgians would...would arbitrate with us and dicker with us and lay out a program whereby we could have independence eventually. And so we went there...." And the Belgians have an expression about you go someplace and you pound the table. You insist on having something. Pound the table vigorously to....
SHUSTER: Start with your maximum position.
STOUGH: Yeah and he said, "We were all absolutely astonished when the Belgian arbitrator said, 'Okay, you can have independence right now.'" He said, "We didn't want it. We were scared to death, but we had demanded it and then they gave it to us. And we were totally unprepared." And we used to hear our people after independence came and after chaos came and things began going down hill, our people used to say, "Well, when is this independence going to end? [laughs] When are the Belgians going to come back and start...set things right again?" So it was an interesting experience. As I say they didn't actually want independence when they demanded it so vigorously. They would have settled for a timetable. But...so they weren't prepared; there was no preparation.
SHUSTER: You mentioned Lumumba?
STOUGH: Lumumba. Patrice Lumumba.
SHUSTER: Yes. Did you ever hear him speak or meet him?
STOUGH: I never...no I never met him. I've seen him. I...he came to our town of Bunia, harangued the people, but I never met him.
SHUSTER: Was he...what kind of speaker was he?
STOUGH: Well, he's a fire eater, you know sort of an Adolf Hitler type, emotional. And he could promise all sorts of things which of course he couldn't fulfill, like most politicians. [Chuckles]
SHUSTER: [Chuckles] When you went to Kenya, you managed the Mayfield Home?
STOUGH: Yes, we went over to Kenya, and at that time we knew that the door was definitely closing...closed in Congo, and ...
SHUSTER: Why was that?
STOUGH: Well, because of the violence, the anti-European attitude was so strong that we knew that we wouldn't be able to be back there for a while. So all of our missionaries left, all of them. And we got over into Kenya and the council met and we decided that any missionary who had been on the field more than two years should take his furlough, and so that eli...took about half of them, and the rest of them (amongst whom were my wife and I) had less than two years or just about two years and so we asked if the Kenya field could absorb us and let us stay on.
SHUSTER: You mean two years since your last furlough?
STOUGH: Yeah, yeah. And so the Kenya field absorbed those who had less than five...or two years, and we offered, I offered to do...to work on the Keshur [unclear] publications, and my wife offered to teach in Rift Valley academy. For both jobs we were qualified, but the field council felt they had a need in the Mayfield guest house. The folks who were operating the guest house at that time were taken out of (I was going to say mission work)...taken out of language area work...I mean working with...tribal work (let's put it that way). They were taken out of tribal work and put into the guest house, because there was no one else, and they were anxious to be relieved, and so the field council said, "Well, let's see...in the Congo the Stoughs used to do a lot of entertaining at Bun...Blukwa and their house in Bunia was sort of a crossroads and they used to entertain a lot of people there. Maybe the Stoughs could run Mayfield guest house?" So they asked if we would do it and we said, "Yes we would.
SHUSTER: Who were the Mayfields?
SHUSTER: Who were the Mayfields or who was Mayfield?
STOUGH: [laughs] Oh, Mayfield was a name. There was a Miss Field and there was a lady. I don't know what her other name was, but her first name was May. And they contributed the first funds for a missionary guest house in Kenya. So they combined their names May and Field and called it Mayfield, and it's had that name ever since. [Chuckles]
SHUSTER: This was in Nairobi?
STOUGH: Yeah, that was in Nairobi.
SHUSTER: And who would stay at the house?
STOUGH: Who stayed there? Well, anyone who wanted to. Oh, originally Mayfield guest house had one guest room. And now...the missionary staff was much smaller in those days. But, people used to come from their mission stations to the city and they wanted a time of change and a time of rest and so the lady who operated this home would just take them in, let them have this guest room and they could stay there for a couple of weeks and rest up. Well, it gradually grew and they moved a couple of times. Finally they bought an old colonial mansion sort of thing, and then they added a wing onto it so we had (how many rooms did we have anyway? Twelve, twelve rooms, twelve rooms in the extension and one, two, three...three rooms in the main house) so we had about fifteen rooms. We could accommodate...by doubling up we could accommodate about thirty-five people and anyone was welcome as long as we had room. So we took, instead of just AIM folks, we took missionaries primarily from any mission that wanted to come. We had a Catholic sister who...she did some sort of medical work, I think, in one of the Catholic missions, and she used to come there regularly and she was always very courteous and she enjoyed fellowship with the Protestant missionaries and somebody said to her, "Why don't you go down to the Catholic place and stay?" She said, "I like it here." [chuckles] "I like the atmosphere and she would...quite often she would...we were just about seventy-five yards from the Baptist Church and she used to go down to the Baptist Church on Sunday mornings and attend. So we had a real impact on her life. But generally our...our guests were AIM or other Protestant missionaries. We would take non-missionaries if we had room, but our order of preference were AIM missionaries, then missionaries from other fields...stations...or missions; and then non-missionaries. The non-missionaries were few and far between around there. Interesting thing though, we were able to operate this guest house on a very economic basis. When I went to Africa in 1928 our mission treasurer gave us the equivalent of five dollars a day to pay hotel and meals. We had to stay in Khartoum or some place like that, on the way and that would pay your hotel. A pound a day was considered the more...the right allowance back there in 1928, but in 1976, almost fifty years later, we were entertaining people at Mayflower guest house, full board--room, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner--for three dollars and seventy-five cents a day. [laughs]
SHUSTER: How did you manage it? Did you have your own gardens or...
STOUGH: No...just shopped carefully, never wasted anything, and the Lord helped us. Let's put it that way. But I've often thought in 1928 five dollars a day covered it, and in 1976, three dollars and seventy-five cents a day covered it.
SHUSTER: Of course five dollars in 1928 would be worth much more.
STOUGH: Oh sure.
SHUSTER: I've got to ask you a little about the government of the mission now. When you first came to Africa in '28, what was the relationship between field councils and home councils?
STOUGH: Well, the home councils at that time had responsibility for recruiting missionaries. They represented the mission in the homelands. We had one in...in Australia, and one in London, as well as one in the [United] States. Later on we had one in Canada, Toronto. Their work was largely representing the mission in churches and arranging for missionaries' out-going, acceptance of candidates, and helping the missionaries with their business affairs, getting their tickets and things of that sort. But their relation with the field was very tenuous . It was distinctly understood that the field council was operating the mission of the field and the home council didn't...didn't attempt to interfere, didn't attempt to dictate policies or anything of that sort. The field council...the...yes, the field councils were largely autonomous. When I first went, the field councils would appoint a missionary to his job. If a missionary was appointed to be a station superintendent, then he automatically became a member of the field council because the council at that time was made up of station superintendents, so that it was really a self-appointing, self-perpetuating body. They wanted someone to be on the council, they'd make him [chuckles] a station superintendent, but eventually there were rumblings and finally the...the fields changed their organization and membership in the field council was by election. The area...the field was divided into areas according to language areas. There was a Kingwana area and a Bangala area and a Pazandi area, so forth, [coughs] and they...they were...and then of course the West Nile Uganda area the Central African Republic...French Equatorial Africa area, and then the people in those areas would elect their representatives to the council. So that's how the organization gradually changed and that's the way it was up until the time...well, it still is I think...up until the time when the church took control of the administration.
SHUSTER: So it sounds like when you first came to Africa there was no central overall authority in the mission that....
STOUGH: No. No. That's true. The field council was the authority in the f...in the Congo field, and in the Kenya field, and in the Tanganyika field and so on.
SHUSTER: Was there any coordination...how was coordination between different field councils carried on?
STOUGH: They formed...finally there was a step forward, and they formed what they called the interfield directorate (these terms I haven't thought of for years). The interfield directorate. And each field would choose so many delegates to attend a meeting which would be composed of representatives of all of the fields, and they get together and discuss problems of mutual common interest. Then they change the name of that...oh, then there was ...then they changed the name of that to the central field council. It was much the same personnel (that is representatives of each) but there was a...an interfield general secretary. And he sort of headed this thing up and coordinated the work of the central field council and....
SHUSTER: But he was not a chief executive. He was more a coordinator.
STOUGH: No, he was more of a coordinator.
SHUSTER: When Charles Hurlburt was director, was he more of the central authority for the mission?
STOUGH: He was the authority. [chuckles]
SHUSTER: But no one replaced him after he...he....
STOUGH: No, no. When he resigned, then the mission didn't have any more general directors.
SHUSTER: I know that you heard Hurlburt when he spoke at Wheaton...
SHUSTER: ...one time. Did you...of course you came after he had resigned...
STOUGH: That's right.
SHUSTER: ...but did you ever have any personal contact with him?
STOUGH: No, no. Well, I met him years and years later in Los Angeles, but I never had any contact with him.
SHUSTER: How did Africa Inland Church develop?
STOUGH: Well, as I say we had these church advisors and our responsibility in our various areas was to get the church developed, and we would have, say a conference within our area, and that united all the churches in that particular area. As I said I was the church advisor for what we called the forest area because the southern part of our field impinged on the...the Ituri forest, so we just named it that. Then there was the field just to the north of us, the Re...[coughs]...Blukwa, Rethy, Kasengu area. Well, each church advisor sort of helped to coordinate the churches within his area, and then they...the churches in this area, would represent...would elect a representative to a central church council and then this central church council which was to be composed of, say, three representatives...no, one representative from each station [pauses] no.... I can't give you the figures. I'm sorry, I've forgotten. But anyway representatives came from these areas to a central council, and they in turn had their own executive. They elected their own executive. So gradually over the years the church structure was formed with their central committee...executive committee and their central council reaching out then to all of the areas and then the areas in turn would reach out to the individual churches.
SHUSTER: What kind of representation if any did the church have on the various field councils?
STOUGH: Well, the church never had any representation on the chur...on the field councils.
SHUSTER: They were two separate organizations.
STOUGH: Yeah, they were two separate organizations. And now since I've left the field, there's been a change in that organization, and the church council (I'm speaking of Congo now), the church council...or the central council is composed of elected representatives from the various areas, and these representatives may be missionaries or pastors or elected representatives. So your central council now is composed of both missionaries and Africans.
SHUSTER: Generally what were the relationships between the AI...African Inland Church and the mission?
STOUGH: I don't know how you're speaking: field, Africa-wide or...?
SHUSTER: Well, from your experience in Congo and Kenya.
STOUGH: Well, as I say I haven't been in Congo...
SHUSTER: Well, from...
STOUGH: ...for sixteen years [chuckles].
STOUGH: And all this has developed since I left. As secretary to the field council in Kenya, I was a member of the mission...the executive committee, and as a member of the executive committee I sat in on all of the rather hot meetings [chuckles] between church leaders and the field council, and....
SHUSTER: What were the issues between them that...?
STOUGH: Autonomy. This all came after, say, Kenya and Congo had been given political independence and this whole spirit of independence was rampant throughout the church and they...they wanted independence. They had some amongst them who...who were hot heads and some amongst them who didn't think too clearly, and they sort of felt that they were being imposed upon, that we were colonialists and we were trying to dominate them, not realizing that our whole purpose in...in being there was to get people saved and get churches established and get churches organized, and we had worked on that and...for twenty years. The church in Kenya had been fully organized and had their central church council and dealt with all things concerning the church and the mission did not interfere in matters concerning the church. But they felt that they wanted to control the whole thing.
SHUSTER: Which was what, the schools or the...?
STOUGH: Which would be...which would be the schools, and the hospitals, and the printing press, and the medical work . (I differentiate between medical work and hospitals because on the individual stations they would have dispensaries with a nurse in charge as well as on some of the stations they had a full hospital.) They just felt that they wanted to control the whole thing, and not least, as I observed it and as I listened, not least was a desire to control the money. And always it came back to having one treasurer. All the money should be pooled. Whatever department it was: the medical work, or the printing press, or pioneer work, or whatever the money was designated for, they wanted to pool it.
SHUSTER: Now this was just money generated in Africa or also the money that came from...
STOUGH: Came from home...came from the States. And some money that came from school subsidies. There again you run into a problem. Now this is Kenya I'm speaking of. When we operated a school the teachers...the missionary teachers in that school received from the government a salary based on the government salary scale, but there were missionaries who had their support from churches in America or England and therefore they didn't require the money that was paid by the government in...called salary. So these funds that came in for teacher's salaries were put in a separate fund and they were used at various times for putting up residences for teachers, putting up school buildings, or anything of that sort, any improvements in the schools. These funds that came in under the designation "teacher's salaries" were used in a general way for maintenance and capital expenditure of the mission. Well, gradually as the schools were taken over by the...the government and they took control and more and more of our teachers...missionary teachers withdrew from that type of work. These funds coming in from the government under the designation of teacher's salaries became less and less 'til finally they dwindled down to almost nothing. But I think that part of the...was in the minds of the people was that all of these funds that were coming in should be handled...were given to the church. There are good reasons why that shouldn't be because when you start subsidizing a church program like that, people don't give. England is a good example of that; the Church of England. The Church of England that...sup...is supported by investments, is not a giving church. I mean I'm...I've spoken and, and I've seen the offerings in Church of England congregations in...in London where the offerings are just [a] pittance. People just don't give. They don't have to. I attended a little Congregational church in England. I spoke there, the Orange Street Congregational Church and it was a very small congregation. I don't suppose there were thirty people there. That was the congregation. They owned a tremendous bit of real estate right down the heart of London and they got tremendous income from it, rentals and so forth. One time one of...part of the property was rented to a nightclub and they got the income from this to maintain all their property and so forth. Nobody had to give, and so the...the offering was, you know, a pound or so, twenty shillings, four dollars, three dollars. And...
SHUSTER: Not much.
STOUGH: ...and we didn't feel that a church in...in Kenya or anywhere should support itself with government funds. It should be self-supporting in the truest sense, sacrificial giving by the church members. But anyway these folks thought that there was a lot of money available somewhere so they...one, [sound of a train passing by] they wanted one head, church and mission, and they wanted one council, and they wanted one treasury. Those were the things that they always mentioned [laughs], and there was always a lot of bitter feeling. I remember one time there they were talking about...they had a book store in Nairobi. And this book shor...store was started on a shoe string. Goo...goods were received on consignment and were paid for as they were sold. You understand that?
SHUSTER: Uh huh.
STOUGH: Tyndale House gave books on consignment. Zondervan's gave us books on consignment and the African presses as they printed literature was given to us on consignment. Well, turnover, you know, shelves full of books, sold them over the counter, money comes in, goes into the cash register and the conception that the Africans had was that this is a growing concern. They're making a lot of money. And they weren't, of course, and they couldn't understand that these goods that were on the shelves were not paid for, that they were then on consignment. And so they insisted that they wanted to take over the bookstore. So eventually, to make a long story short, they did. And when they began the bishop began to handle the finances...to understand the finances they realized that it wasn't the lucrative thing that they thought it was. Pretty soon the manager of the bookstore demanded an increase in salary and so they gave it to him...the church council gave it to him. The clerks demanded more salary, so they gave it to them, you know. And pretty soon they were bankrupt. They didn't have any money at all. So then we put in a missionary business manager who got a hold of things and pulled it together again. They began to become more solvent. But they just don't understand some of those things, and I remember one of the fellows in his bitterness said "You just want to hang on to the bookstore and some of these other things. It's like having a cow that we...that you're going to sell to us, and you want to keep the cow until she runs dry, and after the cow's dry you'll [laughs] give it to us. There isn't any more money." But they're...they're learning. They're learning the hard way through bitter experience, but they are learning. But these are some of the things that...there was suspicion, there was lack of mutual confidence, but these things are largely ironed out now. They have learned and we have learned, and I think the future is...is rosy. I think we need to be optimistic about it.
SHUSTER: What was the history of the Congo Protestant Council?
STOUGH: The Congo Protestant Council (we haven't got enough tape for all that) the Congo Protestant Council was a...a council formed in the Congo by missionaries...missions who were working in the Congo. Out of the Congo Protestant Council in this ecumenical effort, mutual help, and so forth, grew the Edinburgh Mission Conf...Conference. (When was that? 19....)
SHUSTER: 1910, I think.
STOUGH: 1910. That grew out of the Congo Protestant Council.
STOUGH: And the Edinburgh Missionary Conference then was the seedbed of the International Missionary Council, which eventually became...developed into the World Council of Churches, but the...it didn't lose it's identity, and it wasn't until much later that the International Missionary Council was designated as the missionary committee of the World Council of Churches, but it's an interesting thing that the Congo Protestant Council, really, way back was the root of the World Council of Churches [chuckles]....
SHUSTER: I nev...I never realized that.
SHUSTER: Now you served as...on the...as AIM representative on the Council.
STOUGH: I was AIM representative for several years on that. I was president of it at one time. I remember we were having troubles...what I want to say...there's a lot of feeling between the Evangelicals and some of the more liberal ones, and ...
SHUSTER: On the Council?
STOUGH: On the Council, yes. The American Baptists and the Disciples of Christ, and a couple of other missions were more liberal, [pauses] adhere to World Council principles, and some of us who were more Evangelical felt that we should have no outside affiliations. We felt that the Congo Protestant Council should not be affiliated with the International Missionary Coun...Council, because International Missionary Council was an arm of the World Council of Churches and there are a lot of our people, missionaries and home constituency who were deadly anti-World Council. So we said because it's a divisive issue, we felt that we the Congo Protestant Council should withdraw its membership from the International Missionary Council, because it was an embarrassment to a lot of the missionaries and their home constituencies. Well, just at that time I was president of the CPC, we called it, and there was one man who was a strong ecumenicist, Baptist fellow [laughs], and he...he was determined that he was going to make things miserable for me. And so I took over gavel and called the meeting to order. He immediately began to jump up and began picking some extraneous portions and I've always thanked the Lord for my training in the Excelsior Literary Society of Wheaton College where we had parliamentary drill every week, every meeting. And we learned something about Robert's Rules of Order [laughs] and parliamentary procedure, and I gavelled that guy down, and he'd try to say something and I gavelled him down again. Finally he gave up, in astonishment...astonishment that anybody from a little dinky faith mission knew enough about Robert's Rules of Order and parliamentary procedure to put him in his place. So I was always interested in what we...the training that we'd had here in the literary societies here when I was in college.
SHUSTER: What finally resulted on the Council?
SHUSTER: How did the...?
STOUGH: I don't think they ever did...they ever did withdraw, but then came independence, and then came African membership. The Congo Protestant Council was composed of missionaries, it was not church. And then the it was changed over to become a church council, and then it became the central council of the Church for Christ in Congo, which is the central Protestant church in the Congo.
SHUSTER: I see. And AIM stayed on the council?
STOUGH: I'm not sure whether...well, it wouldn't be AIM anymore, it would be...it would be our church...the church, the African Inland Church, and they still have representation. We're hoping that the next time there's an election of a general secretary of the Congo Protestant Council that one of our AIM men will be elected. This Doctor Marini...Pierre Marini, that I was speaking of....
SHUSTER: How is his last name spelled?
STOUGH: M-A-R-I-N-I. Pierre of course is French for Peter. the last time they had an election, there was a lot of funny business going on of the present incumbent, but Pierre Marini received, I don't know how many votes, seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen votes to become secretary, and yet his name had never been talked about, he was just so respected that and people had confidence in him that they felt that he would be a good man, and it's possible that next time somebody like that may go in and that'll change the whole complexion of it.
SHUSTER: I recall in reading the African Inland Mission papers that... a great deal of correspondence from the 50s about the furor over...AIM was listed in some WCC publications as a supporting member of WCC. I suppose because of their membership...
STOUGH: That's right.
SHUSTER: ...in the Congo Protestant Council.
STOUGH: Well, you know this was condemned because of associations. No matter what your own stand is, your own principles are, you get condemned because of associations. Oh, that...that was a fight and I happened to be chairman of it those years. It wasn't the most pleasant thing.
SHUSTER: But it....
STOUGH: The sad thing in all that was that ninety, ninety-five percent of all of the missionaries in the Congo were Evangelical. Your Presbyterians, your southern Presbyterians, and your...your Methodists, the southern Methodists; besides all the so called faith missions, the Mennonite missions. I believe that of the missionaries themselves, ninety-five percent of them are from thoroughly Evangelical....
SHUSTER: What...what was the influence of Runandism [apparently mispronounced]?
SHUSTER: Ruandism. Yes.
STOUGH: Oh yeah. Let me see what is it called? What is that...what you call it in this country)? [shuffles papers]
SHUSTER: Well, this is from the AIM papers [in the Billy Graham Center Archives, Collection 81]....
STOUGH: [breaks in] Of course they call it the Ruanda Revival Movement now. The Ruanda Revival [knocks microphone] Movement.
SHUSTER: Is Ruanda an African word?
STOUGH: Ruanda is the name of a country.
STOUGH: There used to be...the Belgians had the Belgian Congo and then after World War One they took over Ruanda...Rundi, which was...Ruanda Rundi was one and they took them away from the Germans, and the British then got Tanganyika. They took that from the Germans. And the Belgians got Ruanda Rundi from the Germans. So there were two countries there. I can't give you the dates on it, [knocks microphone] but there came a time in the history of the church in Ruanda that people suddenly realized that not all Christians workers were Christians, if you know what I mean. They suddenly realized that not every missionary was a saved person, that not every Anglican priest was a saved man. And some of these people suddenly realized their need for a personal commitment to Christ, and they...they were saved. Now they used to say [laughs] in England...it was traditional that the first son in a family got the estate, the second son went into the army, and the third son went into the clergy. And there was a lot of that, going into the clergy as a profession and so a lot of people (well, maybe I shouldn't say a lot), some people went into the clergy as a profession without ever knowing the Lord. It was just a profession. Some of their missionaries came out. They came out as dedicated social workers in the name of the church, and some of them were saved. Some of the Africans went into the...the church work and they weren't saved, and then suddenly some of them realized that they weren't saved, and they began their own little group. They...they got together then, the ones who came out of the church and were saved. They formed....
SHUSTER: These were the Africans?
STOUGH: Yeah, Africans. Well, it was led by a...a fellow named Joe Church too, who was a medical doctor, but he apparently also had this experience. And...I'm not condemning anyone. I'm just trying to explain the...
STOUGH: ...reasons behind it. I hope I'm being lucid. They called themselves, "the saved ones". The term that they used in Kili...Luwanda[?] or...or Aganda[?]...anyway whatever language it was, they called themselves "Abolikele." And Abolikele means in their language "the saved ones," and they began then a movement to see that other people were saved, and trying to...to impress on people the necessity for accepting Christ as their savior and not simply coasting along on a church membership or a professional relationship to the church. And it started out as a very fine movement, and I'm not condemning it now, but it did go to excesses. Amongst the excesses was the fact that they insisted on confession...public confession of sin. And people would get up in the meetings and they would say, "Well, I did so and so and so and so and I never was saved and now I'm saved [claps hands] and I praise the Lord that I'm saved." And then others would say, "Well, I'm saved, but I fell into sin, and I did such and such a thing and I repent of my sin. I want to make things right with the Lord." And so they would confess their sin. Well, gradually the emphasis came over onto this public confession of sin, which of course is always a dangerous thing. It titillates imagination amongst other things. I remember in one of our meetings a...a...a meeting...I said one of our meetings...one of their meetings on one of our AIM mission stations.... Because they used to meet at night, apart from the regular church program. One of our missionary ladies involved with this group and one of the missionary men had gone simply to observe what was going on in this meeting, and this missionary lady got up and said...publicly confessed that she had had impure thoughts and desires toward this missionary man who was there in this meeting. Well, he was a...a fine man and he didn't fall for that, but that same thing was done by Africans. And an African man would get up and say that he had had impure thoughts and desires toward a certain African girl and then in the darkness of the meeting they would get up one by one and go outside to be together. Well, that was the danger of it, because...and I remember one of our men telling us, he said a fellow, one of his workmen came to him said, "Look Bwana," he said, "last month you paid me two shillings too much in my pay." Is that...? [reel of tape running out.]
SHUSTER: Just about. Let me flip the tape over. [tape runs out on one side and the reel is flipped over] This is a continuation of an interview with Reverend Paul Stough. You were talking about Ruandism and how come workers would come to their bosses and say that they had been overpaid the week before.
STOUGH: Yes, and this was a member of this particular group and the missionary in charge, who did the paying was an accountant and he knew how to keep his books alright, so he went back and looked over his books and he found that [knocks microphone] he was not short any money, but he felt that this man wanted to have something to confess at the meeting, so he was willing to pay two shillings back [chuckles] to the mission treasury in order to be able to confess. Well, I think there's a danger in that where the emphasis is placed on public confession of sin, it leaves a wrong impression. It leads people to confess things that perhaps they're not guilty of, and especially in public confession of immorality or immoral desires. It's a very dangerous, dangerous thing. Well, tension became very strong between those who were Abolikele and the those who were just ordinary church members, who were just ordinary missionaries. And the Abolikele found it difficult to recognize that anyone who was engaged in mission work and was not a member of their group could truly be a Christian. And I remember one time I...I went over to Kampala with one of our pastors and I was staying with a...an Anglican missionary friend and our pastor went to stay with the chaplain of the hospital there. And the chaplain was an Abolikele man. And they visited in the evening and this chaplain quizzed our pastor and quizzed him and quizzed him into the late hours of the night. And the pastor told me that the next day this chaplain finally decided that maybe he was saved. He never had been through the Abolikele routine but he decided that maybe somebody could be saved who wasn't a member of their group. But that was...you see having had it's origins in unsaved professional missionaries or priests, Anglican priests, they felt that everybody must have followed that same pattern. They must have gone out there without knowing the Lord. And so it lead to a lot of tension and a lot of bad feelings. I know that on one of our mission stations the Abolikele group used to gather after the morning church service on Sunday and they had megaphones, they used to shout insults to the people who came out of the regular church service and accuse them of being devils and of being lost and that sort of thing. They used to insult the missionaries, what not. So.... Now, I don't say that they were all bad, but these were the excesses that were demonstrated in some ways. Now you got a man, Festo Kivengere, who came out of the Ruanda movement. I don't say he's left it, but he had his roots in the Ruanda revival movement and he's a fine godly man. And he hasn't gone to these excesses. But on the other hand, there was another chap (maybe I shouldn't mention his name) who was also a leader, and I met him at an Urbana conference [mission conference held triannually in Urbana, IL by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship] and I was introduced to him and I said...somebody said, "This is Mr. Stough. He was a missionary in Africa." And this chap, he said, "Oh, that's good. Where were you a missionary? And I said...I told him. He said, "What mission?" And I said, "The Africa Inland Mission." "Oh." He turned on his heel and walked away. He wouldn't even greet me because the AIM had had some unhappy experience with some of the Abolikele people and so.... But I'm sure Festo is not that way.
SHUSTER: What...did the Abolikele become institutionalized as a church?
STOUGH: No, I don't think so, but they had their own groups. They used to have their group meetings.
SHUSTER: Do they still continue today?
STOUGH: Oh yes, yes, yes.
SHUSTER: So it is almost a separate tradition.
STOUGH: And some of the...the strong (what do I want to say).... The ones who...who really stood...I say, some of those who really stood during the Mau Mau problems in Kenya were Abolikele people...were Ruanda revivalists. They knew...they knew the Lord. They were saved and they knew the Lord and that.... It was just this business, this feeling that everybody should follow their pattern.
SHUSTER: Is that still true today?
STOUGH: To a lesser degree probably.
SHUSTER: Did you know a John Stauffacher...Stauffacher?
STOUGH: John Stauffacher?
STOUGH: No. Well, I met him, but he...he was a generation before me. I knew his son Raymond and his son Claudon.
SHUSTER: Who were also African missionaries?
STOUGH: Yeah. They were with Africa Inland Mission.
SHUSTER: What kind of leader was George Van Dusen in the Congo?
STOUGH: Well, its hard for me to say. He was a good man, a godly man. He was also a business man, and he was field treasurer for some time. His interests I think was tilted a little bit toward the business side, and the administrative side, but he was a...he was a good man. As I say, he was field director over twenty years.
SHUSTER: Did you have much contact with Henry Campbell?
STOUGH: When I first went to the field, Henry Campbell was...he was the American home secretary and I met him just before I went to the field. I couldn't say I had any intimate contact with him. I wouldn't know anything about him.
SHUSTER: How about Ralph Davis?
STOUGH: Well, I knew Ralph Davis off and on for many years. I knew his wife before he did. [laughs] She was a Swiss girl who came over to this country...I guess she...to go... she came over to Moody Bible Institute. Her sister also came out...came over first, and then her sister went to Africa. I remember going down to the old LaSalle Street Station with a group to bid her Godspeed. I was just a young fellow then. And she was about the first missionary that I actually said good-bye to, or to her sister Edith Ortlieb[?]. She came out and married Charles Hurlburt and then she died at Ankunde[?]. She had only been out there a year or so. And Ellen (that was Ralph Davis' wife) met Ralph. But you don't want all I know about Ralph Davis [laughs].
SHUSTER: Wha...what kind of administrator was he of the mission?
STOUGH: He was a good Irishman. He was never at a loss for a joke, and he could make people feel good. I guess he was a good administrator, and he...now see, when he...when he finally came home from the field, he stepped into the Brooklyn office of our mission, as home secretary, and there's the break. You see. We were on the field, we were doing our thing on the field, and he was home doing his representative work there at home, and sort of "never the twain shall meet" thing, and so I wouldn't have known anything about his administrative ability here but he must have been quite successful because the mission grew and he was involved in the formation of NAE actually.
SHUSTER: Uh huh.
STOUGH: He was one of the first group that met in forming the NAE. Where did they meet? In St. Louis or someplace?
SHUSTER: The constitution...
STOUGH: He was very well accepted and well received here at home.
SHUSTER: ...the constitution of AIM was revised in the 1950s.
SHUSTER: Were there any overriding issues involved in that revision? Or what was the reason for that?
STOUGH: Well, I think it was just to try to make the old constitution a little bit more workable. I've forgotten exactly what all the issues were now. I was on the committee for redoing the constitution. There was a small committee out there in east Africa. I'd be from Congo and Ken Downing was on the committee from Kenya. And we went over the constitution just...just trying to arrange it to make it more workable. Do you have it there?
SHUSTER: No, no.
SHUSTER: So you don't think it was a major...?
STOUGH: I don't think it was a major thing, no.
SHUSTER: Well, just one last question, or two related questions. When you came back to the U.S. on furlough and...and when you retired from Africa what kind of impression did you get as to Americans' understanding of Africa, and as to Christian's understanding of the church in Africa?
STOUGH: Well, if you speak of the Christians as the general run of folks who go to church, I would say that the majority of them don't know too much. They hear a missionary talk and it goes in one ear and out the other. They don't store information away in their minds, their hearts about it. They're interested in statistics, they're interested in stories that you can tell of conversions and other stories you can tell. They're entertained. But, if you ask if the average Christian has a real understanding, I would say probably no. If they know anything about Africa, if they have anything in their minds about Africa, it probably would be the Africa of fifty years ago. When they think of jungles and people running around in loincloths more or less and that sort of thing, and I think the average person doesn't...doesn't keep up with what has been developing in Africa. Here's an illustration of this. I...I showed some pictures one time in London to a very small group, and I got all through. I showed pictures of mountains, forests and all that sort of stuff, you know. Then I had one of the dear old ladies said, "Do you have any mountains in Africa? Well, what kind of country is this?" And I've just been showing all this, all this on a screen. It hadn't percolated. She just didn't know. So I think that a lot of people...they see these pictures but it just doesn't make an impression, they don't remember what they have seen. I don't say that in a condemnatory way, because we're that way about a lot of things. Things come in one ear and out the other, and we don't feel it necessary to store them away in our minds. It's like the ads you see on television. Sometimes a song gets into your mind. But it goes in one ear and out the other. It goes in your eyes and out whatever it is, in one eye and out the other. [Laughs] But I think...I think we...we fail to store things away, important things.
SHUSTER: Well, those are all my questions. Did you have something you'd want to add...?
STOUGH: No. You asked about the Abolikele. I remember one time we had an outbreak of something, I can't name it. We called it the Roho movement. "Roho" means spirit. And we called it the spirit movement. And there were manifestations at that time....
SHUSTER: That's Roho, R-O-H-O?
STOUGH: R-O-H-O, Roho. Means spirit. There were all sorts of manifestations and people had visions and they had special messages from the spirits and so on. And they would get together in groups and they would sing, and they would sing the same song over and over and over again. One of the songs they used: "Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing blood?" I think it is in English. [Sings the melody] dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?" And they used to sing that over and over and over again, and the great crowd swaying together, you know. And it was sort of self-hypnosis. And sometimes they would fall over in a trance. One man climbed up a tree and refused to come down, and we said, "Why don't you come down?" And he said, "The Lord is coming. I just want to be closer to Him when He comes." Another man would say, "Put up your arm." The guy would put up his hand. "Okay, you can't take your hand down until I tell you to." This guy walked around with his hands in the arm, in the air, you know, hypnotized. He couldn't put them down if he wanted to.
SHUSTER: Who would say that? The preacher? The evangelist?
STOUGH: Oh, one of these so-called prophets, the prophets of the Roho, the Spirit. Finally he would say "Okay, you can take it down," and the fellow would bring his hand down. Then they would have revelations. One revelation was God the Father and God the Son were having a quarrel in heaven because the Son wanted to return to earth, the Second Coming, as...as he promised. And the Father wouldn't let Him. The Father said, "It isn't time." And so the Father and the Son were having a quarrel in heaven. [laughs] Ridiculous things, sacrilegious things like that. Blasphemous things like that. And, well, it had all sorts of weird manifestations. It was accompanied with drums. And they sing these songs to the accompaniment of drums. And they would...and they would go out as a crowd, the drums would beat and the people would trot along the road. And they'd trot for miles and miles and miles, hypnotized with the sound of the drum. And of course, I...we...we preached against it. I called our people together and we...we talked to them. We taught them from the Word that Satan's emissaries can come as angels of light and deceive the very elect, if it were possible. And we fought against this thing. But on the other...other hand, there were one or two of our missionaries who felt that it was alright. They thought that it was a revival coming. Well, I...I couldn't be convinced that revival came with anything that was contrary to the Word of God. So then, this man (I mentioned his name, Dr...Dr. Joe Church) happened to be passing through our field one time with this other African whose name I don't mention and they heard about this thing and they were very, very critical of those of us who had tried to control this thing. I remember one time these folk were gathered down at the workman's village in our station of Blukwa and I went down to see if I could disperse them and they wouldn't disperse. And one man came up to me, he put his face in my face, was shouting at me and so forth. And I slapped his face, just as you would a person who was hypnotized or a person who was under the influence of...of liquor. And I slapped his face and he wilted just like that. And when I did that, the whole crowd dispersed. They dropped...stopped singing, they stopped the dancing, they stopped the drums and they just dispersed. Well, I'm not a person given to violence, but just as you sometimes slap the face of a person of a face...or the face of a person who is in a trance or something, it brought...brought him out of it. Well, then we called our teachers in.... Oh, I was going to say Dr. Joe Church and these...this other man came through to...to see what was going on because they had heard about this movement. Well, they were highly critical, and they said, "You can't limit the Spirit of God and how He works." And my answer to that is, I can't limit the Spirit of God as to how he works, but the Spirit of God is limited in how He works by the Word of God. And the Spirit of can...God can't do anything that is contrary to the Word of God. He can't, by his very nature. But they felt we were wrong in suppressing this. Maybe we should have let it go on. Well, I received, or rather our legal representative at that time received a letter from the government thanking me for the strong stand I had taken in suppressing this thing, because it was becoming un...unruly, they were defying the government.
SHUSTER: How were they defying the government?
STOUGH: Well, they were gathering in groups in the town of Djugu and they were having their.... The government has a time, a set time once every two or three months when all of the chiefs come in and all of the legal affairs, complaints of one sort or another are brought before a central tribunal.
SHUSTER: This is in the Congo?
STOUGH: In the Congo. And they were meeting here. They were trying to discuss these cases that were coming before them, the chiefs were all there and these people were marching up and down in front of the tribunal with their drums and singing and making such a racket that [sound of train in the background] the...the tribunal had to disband. They couldn't carry on. The government tried to stop it, but they couldn't stop it, and so we were able to put a stop to that sort of thing.
SHUSTER: By...just by preaching against it and by...?
STOUGH: Yeah. Preaching against it and calling the people in, the teachers that were involved and so forth, calling them in and teaching them and helping them, and we eventually got the thing stopped, and the government actually wrote a letter to our legal representative in which they expressed their appreciation for what we'd done in controlling this thing because they saw that it was getting out of hand.
SHUSTER: About when did this occur?
STOUGH: Oh, I've forgotten the year now...when it was. I couldn't tell you the year.
SHUSTER: Would it have been after the...World War II?
STOUGH: Yes I would say so. Well, we called every teacher and we had three hundred fifty of them. We called every teacher in before the elder's board and explained. Dealt with them individually, and asked them their position, and if they had been involved in this thing, we tried to help them and show them where they were wrong and so on. One of them, I remember, told us that that time had...under the influence of the Spirit he had been told he should put his wife away and he could go off and live with another girl. That the Spirit had given him permission. Well, I mean, that shows what kind of spirit it was. It was a spirit of darkness, it was not a spirit of light. It was a tricky thing for...for some months, but we were able to control it finally, through teaching and the Word of God. You know, I was interested...this has nothing to do with the tape but I was interested. At that time, there came across my desk a copy of a magazine called Asia, Asia Magazine, (just like there was an Africa magazine) given to studies in Asia. And one of the articles that I read at that time mentioned the...what do you call it? The bringing into being of...of spirits?
SHUSTER: Oh, seance?
STOUGH: No. Materialization. The materialization of spirits. And they told about going up somewhere on the borders of Tibet. And this man went up there and they promised him that he would see a materialization of spirits. So he went up there and these people all at night, they all gathered in a circle. And the drums started. And they went on and on during their seance or whatever it was. And eventually something materialized and this man saw it. And he was a reporter, a journalist from the West. But he mentioned in this article that in all these dealing with evil spirits, the drum is essential. It's the drum that does something to the human mind and the human body, that vibrates right through the body and the drum is basic in all this dealing with evil spirits. And as I read that I said, "Oh, how true it is. In this thing that we're having, it's the drum. And they gather together and they beat the drum and they're mesmerized by the drum and they can dance until they'll...they'll fall down in exhaustion to the message of the drum. They can run down the road at night for miles to the message of the drum. It is the drum that stimulates them." It is an interesting thing and...and it came, you know how the Lord does. These things come to your attention just at the time you need them and this came to my attention at that time and I was able to use this as an illustration with the African church leaders to show them that.... I have nothing against a drum, but in the normal way, but when a drum is used to mesmerize or to materialize or to encourage the works of evil spirits, them I'm agin [sic] it.
SHUSTER: Did any sect or church ever go...grow out of this Roho...
SHUSTER: ...movement. It just died completely?
SHUSTER: Died as quickly as it rose?
STOUGH: But it...it swept up some of our strong leaders.
SHUSTER: And it was just in the Congo, or was it also in...?
STOUGH: No, it was in the...just in the Congo, just in our field as far as I know. You see, we were praying for revival. Our whole church was praying for revival, "Lord, send a revival. Send something that we can see that we'll know the Spirit of God is working." When you start praying that way the devil...he can give you counterfeits. And that's what he did. The devil said, "Oh, they want to see something. Okay, here's something they can see, and we'll say that it is the Holy Spirit." [Chuckles]
SHUSTER: Great danger. Well, thank you once again for....
STOUGH: I don't know whether what we said has been useful at all, but....
SHUSTER: I think very.
END OF TAPE