to listen to an audio file of this interview (70 minutes)
This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Stanley Roy Kline (CN 477, T2) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing.
Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcript was made by Ruth Estell, Arnila Santoso and Wayne D. Weber and was completed in March 2003.
Collection 477, T2. Interview of Stanley Roy Kline by Paul A. Ericksen, January 18, 1993.
KLINE: And then there were two ladies, had the second floor front, and then there was one working man that has the second floor back, so it was all complete. And all my father had to do for his rent free was to take care of the house and so forth and so on. And the fires and cleaning around and so forth. So then I saw things coming along that way when we moved there. And so I had heard my [future] wife was already interesting in going to Africa and she was going to go out, she went out in 1937 to the field. And then before that I had contact with AIM and they had heard I was interested first in the Sudan Interior Mission because I had heard people like Tommy Titcomb, different people of SIM, but there...when I wrote to them they said I'd have to come to orientation school for at least three months in New York where there headquarters.... And I couldn't do that because I was the only supporting member of my family and so I kind of lost interest in SIM. Then I heard that the AIM when I wrote them that they had a committee that you had to visit or go to their meetings and they were...you had to be approved by the Philadelphia committee before you could be approved by the New York committee. And so then I started going to those meeting in about 1938. And they also had them in town in downtown Philadelphia for working people and they use to meet from about 5:30 till 7 o'clock. And they had a group of men that were very godly men at that time. And they were all businessmen and pastors. And so I started going to their monthly meetings and then finally I asked for papers, and then I had to be passed by that committee, and from that committee I went on. But the beginning of my Christian life when I started going to Dr. MacPherson church. My [future] wife had already started...she was a member of the same year but I never saw her at young peoples very often because she was always busy. And so I would always ask, "What's she doing?" And they said, "Well, she's quite a soul winner and she...she sees the need of other people and she's always busy she doesn't come to young people's on Sunday nights." And so I found out later when I was [at] young people's, they invited her to come and speak in our young people's group to talk about her work. And I was wondering what kind of work was it she couldn't come to young people. So I found out that my [future] wife had been going...she was born and raised in south Philadelphia, my wife was an Italian girl. She...she was Roman Catholic background, and she had studied for the stage. She was with...she was...studied under the Hedgegrove Theater with Jack Verjeer [?], who was then called the Geor...George Bernard Shaw of America. And she had been led to the Lord and she was working in Stelaburgs [?] bookkeeping department. And after she was saved she wanted to witness for the Lord and her father ordered her out. She...she came to the Lord...she was ordered out of her house by her father and she never went back home again. And she lived near the Bible Institute of Pennsylvania and she had...when she came to our church, she had a desire to...she saw the newspaper that the Gypsies who lived in south Philadelphia storefront, taking fortune tellers that the...the city was after them because there children were not going to school. And she saw a picture of these kids that were suppose to be in school so she said...well she felt that would [tape distortion] they should go to school, they should also hear the Word. So she went down on Sundays and she started...she went to them and she had learned the Gospel on five fingers. And so when she went to the first Gypsy store house...storefront they thought she wanted her fortune told and they told her to come in and she went in and she told them the Gospel on her five fingers and they were surprised at that. And all the kids that were in that place, they all came and they wanted to listen to her. And she started a work among the Gypsies and her group grew every Sunday 'til she had about forty-five children meeting in Sunday school in one of those Gypsy homes. And so then she came to young people's that night. She was there in our church and she talked about this work and she asked for volunteers and I was one of her volunteers. That's how I got to know her more. And so we worked among the Gypsies and that work just grew and grew and grew until we had our own storefront. We had our own building and so forth. And then from that work a woman in our church started working in the same storefront with Jews and another person started working with Polish people in the area. And they...when my wife went to Africa, we carried on and after I went to Africa, carried on. And another couple went to South America carried on another person went to Africa and carried on and the work grew. The Gypsies moved out and many of them come to know the Lord, I don't know where they went all this time. And the work grew into a big Black work. The area changed and it grew into a Black work and today that's an organized church. The young people that were saved in there they have their own pastor, our church supported them, and they're still going strong. In fact when I was there one time, I had a boy that was in Sunday school class, a Black boy and I found him...he was the organist in this big church. He said, "You taught me in Sunday school years ago and I came to the know the Lord." And that work has just continued and continued on. The church no longer supports it. They run their own work in this Black work. So in the church we always had a great missionary outlook. And our own church Dr. MacPherson said to us in 19...even before we went into the Church of the Open Door in the 1930s we had a young people's prayer group and he use to come. We use to have it from 7 to 8. And he would look in the door he said, "You know, you people, you pray for missionaries, it won't be long before you'll all be missionaries yourself." [laughs] And that was almost true. We found almost everybody in our prayer group that we prayed for, other missionaries, that all of us went out to the mission field in time. As so we've always had that kind of missionary outlook on things.
ERICKSEN: Now I'm curious how you had said earlier that [Percy] Crawford had said that one of the hardest places to witness was is in your home. And then you began thinking about missionary work. How did your family respond to your witness?
KLINE: Well, after...after we moved to 19th Street, when I was back with my mother and father, that would have been [pauses] when I was in Bible school. I was saved in 1932. In 1935 my mother and father...I had witnessed to them but I found it very difficult. My sister, of course as I said before, she kept on in the Methodist church. She lived in the area, she got married, she never had any children, later her husband died but she always kept going to this Methodist church. She didn't live near us so I saw very little of my sister. My mother and my father I found it very difficult and Percy use to always say, "Just sow to seed, let the seed sink in, and don't push, and don't get them upset about things." I used tact in many different ways and then when I was in Dr. MacPherson's church this girl, Dorothy Moore, finally turned her Sunday school class of boys over to me. And this one boy, Edwald Thomas he's a, his...his parents were born in Wales and he was in my Sunday...in her Sunday school class and became in my Sunday school class and when my father got this house on 19th Street this boy Edwald Thomas moved in the top floor with his father.
KLINE: And so this boy was always there. My mother liked him 'cause he would do things for my mother. Going to the store and doing this and doing that and so forth. And he...he was a very fine boy and very out-going. And he was well-liked by my father and my mother, but my mother especially. And she always found because he didn't have a mother, that his father...we always found his father very different. He...if he was born, he was born when his father was old because the man was older. He was...he never paid any attention to his son, he never had any time for him. He just...he barely said good morning or good night to you if you ever met him. And so Edwald would be down at our house quite a lot in our first floor. And my mother would feed him and give him things, and stuff like that. So Edwald...when we had special meetings in 1935 at our church, we had a man name John Linton. Now I don't know where he originally came from. He was a Bible teacher. I think he came from Canada. He was a good friend of Albert Yeus, that I mentioned before. In fact, I think there were two Linton's. I think John Linton's brother was a Christian lawyer, too, but I'm not sure on that. But John Linton spoke at our church a week of meetings. And I remember that I felt, that I had been praying if my...to see if I could get my parents to go. And I asked my mother, and she said, "No, I don't want to go. I don't want to do that." We were still downtown, see, then, this is in the old church yet. And so then he started his meetings on Sunday, and of course I was there. And it was broadcast through our review [unclear] broadcast was on Sunday nights. And when I arrived home that night, my mother said that she had tuned in on that broadcast and heard this man. And she said to me, "Will that man be at your church tomorrow?" And I said, "Yes, he'll be there all week." And she said, "I would like to go with you." And that's the first time I'd ever heard her say that she would go to church. And so I...I called up the Gibler's [?], that was the sexton and his wife who lived next door to the church, and I said, "My mother...it's a real answer to prayer...my mother's coming to church. You be alert. So...if she accepts the Lord or not." And they said they were so glad to hear that. So she went with me that night and of course we lived at 19th Street, and that's at Broad Street, which is 14th Street. So we could walk wherever we went. And that night my...my mother accepted the Lord. And so when she came home, and my father heard it, my father got very upset about it. He said I was trying to make my mother religious and so forth, and he didn't like it at all. There were times when he wouldn't talk to us even. But my mother then started growing in the Lord. And Mrs. Gibler, when my mother went forward, she went to...did personal work and she also visited my mother and got her interested in the things of the Lord. My mother continued on with the Lord from that time, but my father never did for a long time. So then, I remember what Percy said, and I said, "Well, I thank the Lord that my mother came to know the Lord, and now I wanted my father and my sister." Of course, my sister...I could deal with my sister in some ways, but she thought I was very fanatical. And my sister couldn't understand. She said, "I don't know why you think you have to read the Bible and pray all the time." She said, "I go to the Methodist Church, I teach Sunday School and I don't even own a Bible." And I said, "Well, that...that church wouldn't help you any if you don't have a Bible." And she said, "Well, we have the quarterly. We...I...I teach from the quarterly. I don't teach from a Bible, I teach from the quarterly." I could never understand that. I asked questions about that, and they said, "Well, some churches do that." So my sister always thought that she was alright, she didn't need anything further. My father, when I came to the place where I was going to go to Africa, my father had come out of this. As I said, when he took over this apartment house, I felt the door was opening for me to go to Africa. I had started to get interested in the mission, and my father also felt at that time that he could take another job. And so my father looked for work, and he became an elevator operator downtown. And so he could still take care of the house, and then he had money coming in. So then I was released from that part of it, of...of supplying the money that was needed to take care of the house. And so that's how it carried on through that time. And then when I was accepted by the mission in 1939, I...I think that was about September, of '39. And in 19...in January of 1940 is when I left for Africa.
ERICKSEN: What did your folks think of your going to the mission field?
KLINE: They...I had talked to them about it when I saw that my father was...was much better. He thought I was crazy, and the office where I worked thought I was crazy, because I had a good job, I was making good money, according to those days, I thought. These days you wouldn't be like that, of course. But I...I...I was sure that the Lord wanted me to go to the field. And I asked Dr. MacPherson about it, I asked different people about it, and so forth and so on. And I know there were several thought maybe I was going to the field because of this girl that had gone to the field. But I didn't...I never expressed myself on that question for a while because I didn't want to feel that if I wasn't going to the field, that I didn't want to do anything. And so when I became interested in going to the field, I had mentioned this to Dr. MacPherson, and he said, "Well, I have been following all of the young people in my church." And he said, "You know, I always felt that if you're going to...if you really know the Lord, you must begin your work at home. And I have found that you have been a faithful witness like that. You did your work in the home. You've gone...you've helped in mission work, you've had Sunday School work, your mother came to know the Lord, and I've seen the growth of different young people. In fact, all of us that went to the young people's group, were all in the Lord's work around. And he said, "That's always a good sign." And he said, "And the young people that are in this church, I...I approve anybody that the Lord leads out to the ministry. But, he said, "I don't have any time for young people that I don't know that come in and say, 'Will your church support me?' And I don't know them." He said, " I feel that they must come from my...this church." He said, "I can't say that I'll be able to support you because of the conditions in the church," and so forth and so on.
ERICKSEN: I'm curious, when did you start to be interested in the gal who became your wife?
KLINE: Well, I...when we started working the Gypsies, she was not...she was not a girl that I said...she had no boyfriend at that time, that I know of. And as I went along, I was a person...I had...I was...I had different girlfriends. I mean....and she probably thought I was interested in somebody else, I don't know what she thought. But anyhow, I had...we had a lot of friends in our church, a lot of young people. And I was kind of open, I mean, I didn't have interest in anybody special. Before I was saved, I went with a girl who was from Baptist Temple for a long period of time. We used to go to dances and all together. But when I became a Christian, I dropped her. I never went on with her. After that I knew several girls. I had dates with them and things like that. But I was never serious with anybody, and I always liked her because of the fact that she was a witness for the Lord and her...she was interested in the Lord's work. And she never talked to me about...you know, "I'm going to the field, and maybe you should come to the field," or something like that. I never had any idea of marrying her at that time. And then when I heard that she was going to sail in September 1st, when I heard that she was going to the field then, and that our church was going to take on some of her support, I think they took on her full support, as I remember. That she was going to leave on September 1, 1937, that I was going to go see her off. She...she had been accepted by the mission. Of course in the monthly meetings...I had seen her go to the monthly meetings. And she had been already passed by it and she'd already been accepted by the New York office headquarters. And [coughs] I remember in her testimony that she said that she was looking to the Lord to lead her and that she knew definitely that she was going to leave. This was about three months before or four months before, that she was going to leave September 1, 1937. And I always thought she was very strong on that point. How does she know she was going to go that day? And she said she had always made that her goal. And so Dr. MacPherson never mentioned anything about supporting her until it was almost during the summer. And he said, "You know," he said, "Miss Anthony is thinking about going to the field. We haven't done anything about it yet, but she says she's going September 1st." And he said, "We should be ready for anything." And so she said, yes, she was going to go. And we'd already come out of the Presbyterian Church, you know everything was new and kind of building up you know. I wasn't long, there wasn't not a lot of pile of money, or anything like that, you know. But she said she's looking to the Lord, and so she got word that...that the church would help her with her support and she already had four other...four or five other people that were interested in helping her. And I think it's our support, in those days, it used to be about 40 dollars a month or 50 dollars a month, I think. So anyhow, she left September 1, 1937, like she said. And a group of us from the church went to see her off. She sailed from New York and we always talk about it because she left on a boat called the Chee-Cha [?], which means, "a bed bug." And it was a freighter. And she went out on the field with Miss Gertrude Greese, who's here, she's here, who went to Kenya. And she went with Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lasse, who are both with the Lord now. They...they were the four who went out together, and the Lasse's had two boys. And so she left. And I remember, especially, that when I went there, I didn't get a chance to talk to her because she had another man, another young man following her around on the boat and talking to her most the time. So I always gathered that she was interested in another person. That was my way of thinking. I remember saying goodbye to her. I remember seeing her and she was...I talked with her. But the fellow was always there. He was always there. And I knew him because he...he came to our church. He was not a member of our church, but he also had been saved. I don't know if you've ever heard...I'm trying to think now...a man that was in New York led him to the Lord and he started a work...his name was Martin Walsh. There were two brothers, Martin Walsh and Mickey Walsh. And the were both shady people when...before they were saved. And this man in New York, his name was Bennett, led them to the Lord. And he started a work at a rescue mission work, called John 5:24 Mission in Philadelphia. And he started coming to our church. And when I started going to the AIM meetings, I found he was going to the AIM meetings. And so I thought that must be a connection. If he's interested in her, that's why he's coming to the meetings. So when I saw her off, I thought, "This is the end." And then Martin Walsh hardly ever came to our church. Once in a while he came, but he still came to the AIM meetings every month. He visited in 1937, and then in '38, '39, '40. I was still
in school and things like that...studying. And so I...when I was accepted, I wrote to her. And all the letters we received at the church, letters that I got from her, she never mentioned another man. She never mentioned this fellow. And so I didn't know just what the connection was. So when I was accepted, I really proposed in the mail. I wrote to her, and I said to her, that now that I knew that I was going to the field, I explained that I...I didn't want to say anything before because I didn't want to...I didn't know for sure if I would be able to go to the field or would I be accepted, or so forth and so on. And so now I would...I knew I was. And at that time she worked at the station called the Aungba, with Austin Paul. I don't know if you ever heard of Austin Paul. Mr. and Mrs. Austin Paul were at that station and I knew Austin Paul because he was one of the speakers. Austin Paul, Harry Stam, those people were always outstanding missionaries that I had heard with AIM through my early days. And she worked for them. And when I wrote to her, she must have gone and talked to the Pauls. And so then I knew Austin Paul and so I wrote him a letter and I said what I had done. And I said, "Can you give me any idea? Can you give me an..if...if she'd be interested." And I said, "I can't tell because I'm here and she's over there." And he...I remember, he...if you knew Austin Paul, or knew anything about him, he was...he was a great humorous person and he always said...he wrote back. He said, "I'm not saying much now, but I think you have a good chance." [Both laugh.] And so then I, when I wrote and asked her, she accepted me. And so then I had planned to go out to Africa, and I remember so well, when I knew for sure that this was the Lord's will for me, that I told Dr. MacPherson. And I remember the Sunday very well, when he announced it in church, this fellow was there. And he was so mad, he wouldn't talk to me. He walked out...he walked out. He never came back to an AIM meeting, and this Mr. Bennett that led him to the Lord said to me later, he said, "I always told him that he was going to Africa because of Miss Anthony, not because the Lord calling him there. His work was with rescue mission work. He's not material for that work," although I maybe disagree with some of those things. But he said, "He got the material for it, and I'm just glad that...that you are engaged to Miss Anthony because that puts him out of that picture that I thought he falsely was doing." Which I think was very true. He married, he married a very lovely woman after that and so forth and so on. But that hurt him, whatever interest he might have had. But I found out later that Carmel (her first name was Carmel) she had no interest in that fellow at all. He just pestered her on the boat that day. [both laugh.] That's all there was to it. And so then I felt that I had the opportunity to go, and so I told everybody.
ERICKSEN: Now did the mission have any kind of regulations on engagement and that sort of thing?
KLINE: I would say in the early days, they never held up on a man getting married if he went new to the field. But he felt...they always felt that if a girl went to the field new, and she was only there a short time, then you would have to wait for a period of time because of language studies, because of acclimation to the country. They felt that a woman should have more time. I think that was the idea. So when you let them know, then they...the home office would notify the council in Africa and when Carmel's...understanding she had already been there, so she had her language studies, she was in her work, and there was nothing to hinder me from going to marry her. Although I was...had read in the minutes that in the old days, if you were going to be married, you had to ask the field director. That's one of the things that I found, that I...was my first thing when I arrived on the field that I had got in trouble with...because the new field...the field director that had been there for years, had not received a new copy of the constitution, which said in the old one that he followed, he'd always kid me and he said, "You know, you can't get married until you ask me." And I'd go back and look at my [copy of the AIM] constitution and it would say I ask the council. When the council met, I would present to them when I wanted to be married. But the council wasn't meeting...I...I arrived in March, and the council wasn't meeting until May. And so he would say jokingly, or write me or something, and say, "You know, you have to ask me. I'm the one that gives permission." And I thought to myself, "What does he mean?" And I'd look at the constitution. So when I finally got to the meeting in May, I brought this out, and at that time the field in 1940, the Central Africa Republic, Uganda, and...and Congo directors all met together with the committee. After a while when the work grew, they were separated. And so we had a man from England, Mr. Valar, who was from Uganda, and when he found out about this, he kind of ribbed our director in the Congo because of the fact that he didn't have the new constitution and that it didn't say I had to ask him, that I was correct. And he asked me if I would bring my constitution to the meeting because I was there and show it to them. And he was quite taken back that he didn't have a new constitution. Of course that could have been because it was the war years. It could have been lost in the mail. A lot of things could have been responsible for things like that.
ERICKSEN: Yeah, a lot of....now did you have orientation before you left the United States?
KLINE: The orientation of AIM was never started till later because we had that you went to the Philadelphia committee, or Chicago committee, or Dallas committee, or you know, whatever committee of these big cities and you had to be passed by them before your papers went to the headquarters. But that was all changed in later years when they started orientation. And the Philadelphia committees and those committees had no authority of giving out papers any longer or anything.
ERICKSEN: Now was the field director that you were talking about George Van Dusen?
KLINE: He was the...he was the field director for a good long time. You have [unclear] all that information already.
ERICKSEN: Maybe this would be a good time to take a little break.
KLINE: Okay, whatever you think.
[tape is stops then startes again]
ERICKSEN: Okay. How was it decided that you would work in the Congo?
KLINE: Well, Miss Anthony worked in the Congo, that would be one reason. [Ericksen laughs.] I knew Austin Paul and Harry Stam, who were missionary speakers who had impressed me, as far as my leading of the Lord to go to Africa. Worked in Congo...you looking for something?
ERICKSEN: I'm fine.
KLINE: I heard...I heard Ralph Davis. Ralph Davis became...you see when I became interested in missions, the officers of AIM were Mr. [Harvey] Wadham [president of AIM American Home Council] and somebody else. But Ralph Davis was the...what do you call it...the general secretary, Ralph Davis. He was a good speaker. It's his widow that's in a nursing home, she's still living. And she was born in Switzerland, and I think she going to be 7-...she's going to be 96 or 97 if she's still living here. She married Ralph Davis. She came from Switzerland. I think she went to Moody and she was saved in the Chicago area. They went to the field, they worked at Aba [Belgian Congo]. Ralph Davis, and he became sort of a general secretary. He was a good speaker and I got to know him, and he worked in the Congo. I think originally they may have gone out under another mission than the one that went....in South Africa General Mission. It used to be called African Evangelical Fellowship, I think it's called now. I think he came from another mission. But he...when I knew him he was with AIM and he was very outstanding in speaking of the needs in Congo. And so I think I leaned more to Congo than I did to any place. And of course in my wife's time, in my time, they didn't push you to study French. And so we never went to Europe...neither of us went to Europe. And so when I was accepted I think I had mentioned that I would like to go to Congo, but I had it in mind that I was...because I knew then that I was going to marry Miss Anthony. And the mission...of course, I informed them that I was too. And so I think Congo was more in my desire to serve the Lord than any other place, although I had been willing to go any other place. I always felt that in a...in a field, as far as knowing, when you go out to serve the Lord anyplace, you don't get the full picture, you don't know what you're facing, you don't know what you're going to be in. And I always found it's far better than what you think it is, if you know what I mean. And I found that true of Africa, too. I...I could never stand people that always talked about the jungles of this or something outlandish that keeps you on the edge of a seat, which I've heard a lot of missionary speakers do. Because it's not really like that. I think every country in every part of the world has its own situations and atmosphere and whatever you want to put in it. So I...I found that Africa was a lot better than I had thought it was going to be, in some ways, too. But I think the Lord doesn't give you the full picture, so that...to see that you're willing to go. Not everybody that says they're going is going because I think the Lord sometimes closes doors, as well as opens doors. And...and if you're willing to go, He...then He may close a door, too. And so I was willing to do whatever the Lord wanted, but Congo was mostly in my desire to go to the field.
ERICKSEN: Was there anything that was surprising? I mean you...you...it sounds like you expected it to be...
KLINE: No, I always thought from...sometimes that I'd heard people speak, that it was more of this jungle idea. But I found that Congo was like parts of...almost like...it looked like...like Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for instance. Or, you know, mountain areas. It wasn't just all jungles. They had the grasslands, they had garden areas, they had mountains. They had [laughs] all kinds of things...a lot different than you would think.
ERICKSEN: Now when you....I assume that you sailed.
KLINE: I sailed on a...I sailed on a...a different way, because if you remember, the war years were just over. I left in 19...in 1940.
KLINE: And so the war was kind of not started or Pearl Harbor...you know, all that kind of came in that time. And so when I was to go, they had no real route of going because of the war, kind of situation. So I sailed on the Moore McCormick Line from New York to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That's the way I had to go. And I always enjoyed it because when I left to go there, I arrived just in time in Rio de Janeiro for the Marti Gras, if you know what...if you've heard of it. Nothing...nothing goes...five days we had to stay in there. There's nothing...nothing. And the streets are packed because that's...that's the festival time. And I never saw such crowds in all my life. I was able, in Brazil, while there, to see [pauses] the various sites. Corcovado, which is well-known, and the Christ on the cross on the top mountain, and all those wonderful things, and the wonderful beach, wonderful city, and we stayed in hotels there, but we weren't allowed to do anything. You couldn't move if you were on the streets. The moving was...the streets were so filled. So then we...Moore McCormick Line brought us there. Then we took a Japanese boat, from there.
KLINE: Yeah, from there to South Africa and up to Mombasa. We already could feel that that thing was the Japanese, if you know what I mean. That thing was a freighter. I traveled with a senior missionary, Mother Probst. Mrs. Probst was going back for her fifth time when I was going out for my first time. There were a Mr. and Mrs. Teasdale who were going back to Kenya. He had the Bible School at Kijabe. And they had three children. I went out with Grace Congleton, from Marcus Hook Baptist Church, who was in our class in 1937 that I pointed out to you in the picture. She was going to the Congo. And a woman by the name of Helena Hayes who was going back to Tanzania. That is what composed our party at that time to go out...
ERICKSEN: Now how did you get...
KLINE: ...in January of 1940.
ERICKSEN: How then did you get from Mombasa to the Congo?
KLINE: Getting off the boat at Mombasa we took a train to Nairobi, through Nairobi, to Kijabe, which is near our Kijabe station. The railroad is just beyond it. And then you go from there [coughs] you go from there up to a certain place. And you get off and then you have to take a boat across a lake to Uganda. And then from there you get on a train again, and you go to Kampala. And then we didn't go to Kampala, we stayed on the train and we...let's see [pauses] no, we didn't take a train. Where's the earth? [pauses, looking at map]...it doesn't have much here. You go up here and you go through the lakes and then from Kampala there's a railroad that goes up a distance, and then we got to take a steamer again to go to a place on the boarder, near Arua. (Where's Arua here?) Near Arua. And there's a lake [Lake Albert] in here and Mrs. King, who's here, was on our party (oh, that's one I forgot to mention), Mrs. King. And we were the only ones who went up, and then she got off the boat at that lake at Mahagi. Mahagi's a port. Then Grace Congleton and myself continued on to Rona [?] Camp. And we get off, and then we go in to Arua. And Mr. Van Dusen and Mrs. Van Dusen and Carmel Anthony met us at Rona Camp with a car. And we came from Arua, I mean from Rhino [?] Camp to Arua. And Arua to Aru. And then from Aru Mr. Paul met us. He was there. He brought Carmel to there. And then I went back with them for a visit to Aungba. And from Aungba, then, when somebody came through from Reda for school, I went to Aba, to study Bangala langauge. And I was in Bangala area for at least three or four months in language study.
ERICKSEN: And that would have been, too, about the time when you were married...sounds like.
KLINE: I was there...that would have been from March until almost June. I came back to Aungba, and we were married in July. I was assigned in May to Aungba. Mr. Paul didn't like that too much because he didn't think that two single people getting married should be on the same station.
KLINE: Well, he thought probably that maybe it wouldn't look good for the Africans.
ERICKSEN: I see. Uh-huh.
KLINE: But they had assigned me there, and I felt that the men of the council knew what they were doing.
ERICKSEN: Uh-huh. And you didn't complain.
KLINE: I didn't complain, no. [both laugh] But I had a terrible time before I got married because stories got around. And I found out later where they came from, that I was not going to marry Miss Anthony, that I was going to marry Miss Congleton, that I sailed out with. That story got around on the field. You know, there's no telephones and no...nothing. Just tele-person. [laughs] And stories got around, even to my [future] wife that she had...a person told Carmel that she had proof that I was not going to marry her, and my wife almost believed it.
ERICKSEN: What was the proof?
ERICKSEN: What was the proof?
KLINE: Well, I don't know what proof was, yet they heard. But anyhow, it was then in April that my wife decided to take a vacation. She had a vacation coming...she had girls work. And so she came to Aba and stayed with Herb and Muriel Cook, who were also at Aba station. And that's where I was assigned. And so she said to this person that she was going to go find out for herself. And so I had a little difficult on that part, because I also heard the story, and it caused a little stir. And my wife was at Aba in 1940, at that time when the council met, and she was going to find out for sure. And I was there, and I didn't know anything about it. I didn't hear anything of this for a long time. You see, nobody told me this. And so when I had my interview with the council, which was then held in the home of Mr. Van Dusen, they asked me what my plans were and what I would like to do, and...quite an interview. And I remember Mr. Pontier was very straightforward and he said to me, [Ericksen laughs] "Are you going to marry Carmel Anthony?" And I said, "Yes, I'm going to marry Carmel Anthony." And he said, "Well, that's not what we hear." [Ericksen laughs] And so that kind of started a discussion. And the thing is, that my wife, when they told me I had to come back that night for my...the rest of my interview, she was going to go with me to find out what they were going to say. But she was not invited, see, and it was kind of a...Aba station is kind of flat and then you go off a mountain like this where his house was. And she went with me and she said, because in those days we all listened to the BBC, war news and all that, you know. And so I decided that...that she shouldn't stay there. And so I left her there. She wanted me to stay there until I was called. And she wanted to be there. And I told her I was not going to stay there. If they wanted me they could call for me, I mean, they could send somebody for me. And she wouldn't come down the hill so I left her there, and that didn't go down with her. And she thought maybe there was something in this story. You see, I hadn't heard about the full story yet.
ERICKSEN: And so you...and you didn't talk with her about it yet.
KLINE: I hadn't talk with her about it yet. Because I didn't know the full thing. I didn't know what was in back of what these men had said. And so, anyhow, when I did that, that made her upset because I left her up there, see, and I came down. So when she came back, then about 10:30 that night, I was called. And these meetings always were long, you know, and especially when the war was on like that. And so I was called, and then I finished and that's when I heard my assignment was to Aungba. So I thought that the thing that I wanted to do was to tell her, you know, because I knew what I was going to do then. And I remember going down to the Cook's house and the lights were out, and....and I knew where she was sleeping because I knew where their guestroom was and so I hollered to her. And she said, "I don't want to talk to you." [laughs] "Don't bother me anymore. I don't want to talk to you anymore. Go back to your place." And I had brought a ring out that I had given to her and she said, "I'll have nothing to do with you. I'll take..." I said.... "I took the ring off and threw it on the floor." And she wasn't staying with the Cooks either. She was staying with Mabel Gingrich, one of the single teachers there, who was a very fine teacher. And Mabel Gingrich heard this, and she was...she told us later, she said, "This is a great lover's quarrel I heard." [laughs] Anyhow, Carmel...we just talked that way. And I could tell she was very upset. So when I came back, I didn't have much time about sleeping, I'll tell you. And I was staying at that time with the Harry Stams. And so Harry Stam...if you ever met any of the Stam family, I don't know. You remember the story of John and Betty... [Stam, missionaries to China]
KLINE: Well, Harry Stam is John's brother, and of course a lot of the Stam's went to Wheaton. I think...I think Harry graduated from Wheaton way back. So Harry Stam saw that I was very upset. And so he said to me, "I would like to ask you a question." And he started to mention this that he had heard. I said, "There's no truth in that!" He said, "We didn't think so either, but," he said, "that's the story we're hearing." And I said, "Well, Grace Congleton was here for language study. I'm here for language study. But," I said, "if I were interested in the girl...I went to Bible College with her four years. My goodness! I could have...I would have been interested in her before this, you know." But I gathered together that going to Bible College, coming out in the same boat, and traveling together, that this story could have gotten to this place because we were the only two young people. Wherever we went, we went to see everything because everybody...Mother Probst would say, "Oh, I've seen that before. I don't want to go." So we were always left to go if we wanted to see anything when we traveled. And so I just put two and two together, that's where these stories came from. And somebody enlarged on it and made this story. And so he said to me, "The council is still meeting. I would go up and tell them that." He said, "You go up and tell them what you want. Because they at first were going to say they were going to assign me to another place. Then they decided Aungba, you see." So he said, "You go up and tell them that because they think there's something going on." And so I...he said...I said, "Well, I...I just told them what I thought because I'm a new missionary. I didn't want to answer them..." He said, "You just tell them." That's the way he expressed it. So I was bold and...and I went up and explained this all to them. And they said, "Well, we're glad to hear it." But he said...they said, "But we were...really thought you were interested in this Miss Congleton and that's why we wanted you at first to go to Maitulu, and then back to Aungba. But," he said, "now you can really go to Aungba, like we said in the first place." And so, that was my...starting out there, of course, with that.
ERICKSEN: Now, when did you get things ironed out with...
KLINE: Well, then the next morning...(I didn't sleep much that night.) The next morning I went down to see her. And at that time we had an old office building that used to be used for a prayer room. And Ralph Davis, who had already gone home before, was getting rid of his things that he had on the field - both him and Mrs. Davis. And he had things for sale for missionaries to buy, you know, things that they had that they didn't want to take home. And so I was walking down, and she had...she was staying with Mabel Gingrich she told me later. She was staying with Mabel Gingrich and she thought this all over this thing about me and she got up early. She thought it was 6:00, or 5:00 in the morning. And she was going down to see Mr. Bower because he was on the council, that's the man from Uganda, and try to find out about me. But when she woke up it was moonlight night, and it was really early. It was only 2:00 in the morning and not 6:00 in the morning. And she wondered why nobody answered, and she saw everything dark and all. And...and the...Mabel Gingrich, and she went down to the Cooks, where Mr. Bower was staying, and there was no lights on there. And so she...she finally decided that it must be early, so she waited. So then, later, she came back down again and Mabel Gingrich heard her get up, and she said, "What's this silly girl going to do?" Two o'clock in the morning, here she was and she had to pass up...down a rock...path where there was a big hibiscuses bush and go down to this house. And so she got her coat and jacket on and she followed her down the path and, "So maybe I thought this young girl might be running away or something after what I heard," she told us all this later. So when she got down she saw she went to the Cook's house, and she wondered what it was. And then she saw her coming back, so she had to quick race up and get back into bed, before she got there. And so then Carmel came down again later, and saw Mr. Bower. Well, Mrs. Bower was with him, and she heard the story and Mrs. Bower [?] said, "Here comes Stanley down the path. You be nice to him, and don't listen to all those kind of stories that missionaries tell." And so when I saw her, I didn't know what she had heard. I was scared to death because I didn't know what she was going to...and this Margaret Stewart, she was there, and so when I greeted her, she was very kind of cold, you know, didn't want to talk to me, and so forth. And I said to her, "Well, I don't know what you heard, but I heard some of the story last night because I talked to Harry Stam, and it's not true, whatever you know about me and whatever you think about me, that's up to you. But I want you to now that I am not interested in Grace Congleton." And so I kind of had my "to do" with that, and I remember Margaret Stewart, she walked off when she...of course she had been talking to Carmel and she walked off and left us both scrapping there for quite a while. [Ericksen laughs] So then she kind of came around to my point of view, when she had heard my story because I didn't know anything about it. I told her, I didn't know a thing until last night of what was going on. And so she really thought it over again. And then Mr. Pontier, who was the man that asked me the questions, he came to me that next morning, and he said that, "The reason I made that bold statement was because of the fact of...of what I had heard, and I thought that must be false, because that wasn't true the way when you came back with the..when you arrived and you were at our house that day, and you arrived off the...off the boat at Uganda and so forth and so on. And I thought there was nothing that I saw," he said, "of you and Miss Carlton being interested in each other." And he said, "I tried to voice that with the rest of the council members. And...and," so he said, "that's why I was very strong in asking you, well, are you really going to marry Miss Anthony." And he said, "You answered very straightforward, and that was proof enough for me." And so then the next morning the council wanted me to come back again. And they said, "Well, this is all finished and we believe this story is true. And...and now we'll give you permission. You can be married. You had asked. We asked you when you were going to be married and you said July. The only thing is that you can't be married until the field director is married, Mr. Van Dusen, you see, he lost his wife and he was going to be married. And he was marrying a good friend of my wife's and so they said, "You can only ask him just before the day he gets married." And so I had to wait until he got his plans all finished and then...and then I wrote him a note and asked him. Because he had the old constitution and I had the new, like I...
ERICKSEN: And so you did have to abide by the old...
ERICKSEN: You just did...
KLINE: Well, they...they let us have the benefit of the doubt, I think.
KLINE: So...because he was getting married, they felt that this was the only right thing. That I should not get married before he got married. And so then I was married soon after him. In fact, we met him coming back from his honeymoon. They had gone down to Kenya, I think, for a trip, and they were coming home when they got...but they were, they didn't stay at our wedding at all. They went back to their station.
ERICKSEN: Was...let's see...you were at language...doing your language work...
KLINE: At Aba.
ERICKSEN: For how many months?
KLINE: I was there...
ERICKSEN: Four? Three?
KLINE: Yeah, I was about three months.
ERICKSEN: Was that enough?
KLINE: Yeah, because I could continue my studies in Bangala. Where I was going I could use it. And Mrs. Paul would...taught Bangala to me there.
ERICKSEN: I see.
ERICKSEN: Who was teaching up in...
ERICKSEN: ...in Aba?
KLINE: Alma Stam, who was the first Mrs. Stam. Mabel Gingrich, the one that my daughter stayed with, and Harry Stam. They were the three teachers that I had. At different times, you know, through the day. Because Harry Stam worked in the Bible School and Mabel Gingrich was a schoolteacher and Mrs. Stam, she worked with the women, but most of her time...she had...they had three or four children she was having to take care of.
ERICKSEN: Now was it just full-time language work at that point?
KLINE: No, nobody had full-time language work, really.
ERICKSEN: What would you do...
KLINE: So I had...I had some sessions in the morning with one, some in the afternoon with somebody else, in the evenings with somebody else.
ERICKSEN: But for you it was full-time language work.
KLINE: Oh yeah, I was full time.
KLINE: I was also told to take in all the services, attend any school sessions, and go out with Edie Schuit, or anybody that's in outstation work, to get acquainted with the...with the work and to listen to the language. It's very amazing with the language, how in studying it, how the words came to...came together so quickly. When you start hearing it, you think you're never going to get it, and then later you get parts of it, and then later you get whole phrases, then sentences, and then before you know it, why, you have most of it. And I studied the Bangala language at that time. But Aba was a place that...the main tribes of Aba, where the Logo people and the Kakwa [?] people were the main tribes. And they had a...a smattering of...of...let's see...they had the Mundo [?] tribe, was another one that was there.
ERICKSEN: Was...was picking up the language easy or hard for you?
KLINE: For me, I didn't find it difficult. I don't know why, because I'm not a...I'm not a person that is clever with languages, at all. But it came very easily, it seemed. For somebody said Bangala was not a hard language, so maybe that has something to do with it. I had learned another language after that, a couple...but I didn't find it as easy as Bangala. But Bangala I used when I started at Aba, and we used Bangala at Aungba where I was assigned. And then later I was moved to Maitulu with my wife. And we used Bangala there, and then from Maitulu we were moved back to Aba again. So my first term on the field was a long term. Hers was a long one because of the war, too. So she went out in '37, and I went out in '40, we were married in '40, and we didn't come home until the later part of '45. So she had a long term for her first one.
ERICKSEN: Yeah, eight years.
KLINE: And two children. Married and two children.
ERICKSEN: Now when you were station at Aungba, what were you doing there, in addition to your language work?
KLINE: Well, I studied language with Mrs. Paul, but it was very kind of hectic because she had children to take care of and things to do, too. But I had some classes with Mrs. Paul, but most of them I had with an African. They had one or two Africans that had some English, not a lot, but I tried to build it up myself, sort of. And my wife was a very big help. My wife had studied Alur first, and then she studied Bangala. And so she was in...she was very helpful. And so I would say my wife was my biggest help in Aungba. Mrs. Paul would help me over the rough things that I didn't understand, and these two Africans that were there that knew a little bit of English, they were helpful. But I...I came along very well when in...in Aungba.
ERICKSEN: Now what was it like...I don't know if AIM has junior and senior missionaries, but do they have that kind of status?
KLINE: I would say that in the assignment, that I always understood...this is very interesting. When I was in Philadelphia, with the Philadlephia committee, I met a man who graduated a student from Bible Institute of Pennsylvania. And he came to the AIM meeting one time, and he stood up to give his testimony that he was going to Africa, and that he was called to be a station superintendent. And I couldn't figure what that was. [both laugh] What is a station superintendent? He was called to be a station superintendent. And so I remember...and that...by the way, that guy never landed in Africa, he became a Methodist preacher. But anyhow, when I got to the field, I had heard in the organization that you had a station superintendent, you had school workers, you had nurses, and you had boy's school workers, and you had station superintendents had all the maintenance work and if there was another man, then he had what they call village work, outstation work, organization, planting churches and so forth. We call it "planting churches." That was never used in my early days. We called it outstation work. And so when I was assigned at that time, as I said, Austin and Betty Paul were, and my wife, were the only three workers at Aungba. So when I arrived, the council assigned me to do boy's school. I wasn't a qualified teacher, but then you could understand that in those days, there wasn't much as far as school goes. Boy's school and village work.
KLINE: So then when I met with Austin Paul (now to get back with Mr. Austin Paul) when I met him, he was...he was a...very strong on evangelism. He'd already organized an African team. He was a musician, so he had already organized [a] brass instrument training school to teach his own quartet, or whatever he had for brass, he being one of the members of the team. And he traveled a lot. He was always going to other stations. He had a Chevy carry-all, in those days they called them, so it could carry him and his team and all that they needed. And so when I landed there in Aungba to take up my work, he told me that he wanted me to know that he was the station superintendent. He was in charge of all the work on the station, and that he would like me, to first thing to do, was to help in the boy's school. And the boy's compound, where the students slept and so forth. And also, that when I had opportunity, that I was to go visit the villages, starting with those that are nearby, and going out as far as I could go. But that every time he came back I had to give a report to him. And so I agreed to this. Betty, of course, had the women, she had some of her children, some of her children had already gone to Rethi Academy, which was a school for missionary children. And when Austin Paul knew I was coming, he was in the process of finishing his house. That he was moving into the first brick house that was built there. And so I moved into a house that he had built, a mud house that he had built in three days. That was our first home. A mud house...three days. A new grass roof, and fixed it all up and so forth. And my wife had lived in another mud place that was no bigger than this room and half of it was her house, and the other half was were she had her girls. And she found out that if she was going to do school for girls and sleep the girls, she had to have a bigger place. But he was always so busy going with his evangelism, and he had...he had a very fine head man of his work. And so she ordered the man, my wife ordered the man to make sun-dried bricks and she built her own building with his help. And of course Mr. Paul didn't like that when he came back, but she said, "I...I've been here a long time, and I...I can't stay in one little place and not have school for my girls and sleep here and myself sleep in one little room." And so...
ERICKSEN: And we should say, too, this room...
ERICKSEN: ...is ten by fifteen, maybe.
ERICKSEN: So, uh-huh.
KLINE: So she and Mrs. Paul agreed to that, even though Austin Paul was not there. So, of course, she got called on the carpet for taking this into her own hands. But she managed to get the building, and I...I believe that...that building stood for years because she was good at taking care of sun-dried bricks. She knew how to keep them varnished, floors and walls and everything. And so she went on with her....got that building that she had it built right across from the house that we were going to live in, this mud house. So we had our little house, punched in windows, in those days you just punched a hole in the mud. We had windows with sort of slat...like these kinds of things, only maybe with slats, sort of. He left out the pull down and so forth and so on. We weren't into the age of screens, yet, or we weren't into the age of glass yet. And so we just had these screens. Sometimes we used these mats, that the Africans used. When the house was good, you could see the...in the bedroom, in dining room, in whatever rooms we had in that little house, you could see the rafters of the house. So then gradually I had poles put across and we used mats to make a ceiling. And mat ceilings were used before we made mud ceilings. And before we made other kinds of ceilings. [laughs] And so we...we had that small house, and we lived there when we were married. And so then I started with the boys. And when I say boys school, I mean anybody from six years old to forty-five. We took in men, everybody because you....and I found that they needed everything. We had to make our own primers. We didn't have any printed primers. We had to make our own printed primers. We had to find any boards that we could find and anything, that's when we...when we came out if we brought anything in a trunk or a box, especially, we used the boards of everything for the things in our house, for the things in the school.
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