Billy Graham Center

Interview with Paul Adrian Buyse - Collection 478

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions


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

Lists of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes


Brief Description.
Interviews with Buyse, Africa Inland Mission worker in the Belgian Congo/Zaire. Topics covered include childhood and youth as the son of AIM missionary parents in the Congo; education at Rethy Academy, Northwestern Schools, and Moody Bible Institute; work with North Arkansas Gospel Mission, spiritual hardships of being a missionary; his work in the Congo among pygmies; development of the Africa Inland Church in the Congo, transition from missionary to national authority; gender roles in the Congolese church; the Congo's independence, Belgium's colonial administration of the Congo; communications between AIM's US office and the fields; chaplaincy at AIM's Media Retirement Center.
Vol.: 4 Reels of Audio Tape

Collection 478
[April 25, 2007]
Buyse, Paul Adrian; 1926-2017
Interview; 1993

4 Reels of Audio tape

Restrictions: None


Full name: Paul Adrian Buyse

Birth date: August 26, 1926, in Aba, the Belgian Congo, to workers of Africa Inland Mission

Death Date: June 7, 2017

Parents: Leonard J. and Daphne Angeline Buyse
Siblings: Helen Jean, John, Robert, Marian
Marital Status: Married September 1948

Conversion: January 1937 at the age of eleven at an AIM missionary conference

1932-1938 Attended Rethy Academy in the Congo through the 6th grade
1938-1944 Attended Westervelt Academy in South Carolina and public high school in Minnesota
1945 Briefly attended Northwestern Bible School in Minneapolis, Minnesota
1945-1948 Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois
1948-1950 Internship with North Arkansas Gospel Mission in Hasty, Arkansas
1950-1952 Baptist pastorate in Garden City, Minnesota
1952-ca. 1955 AIM mission station at Biasiko, work with pygmies
1955-1957 Work in the Mwende Ruwenzori Mountains
1957-1959 Furlough in the United States and Belgian (language study)
1959-1962 AIM station at Blukwa, Congo
1962-1964 Lalia, Congo, work among the pygmies
1964-1966 Furlough in the United States
1966 AIM station at Oicha, Zaire
1967-1989 AIM station at Rethy, Zaire. Was involved in church planting and mobile eye clinics
1989-1992 AIM United States headquarters at Pearl River, New York. Worked in finance department, coordinator for the AIM headquarters relocation committee
1992 Moved to the AIM's Media Retirement Center in Florida, served as chaplain

Other significant information: Family was on furlough in the United States (1928-1929); family was at Blukwa (1929-1932); family was at Rethy (1932-1938). Ordained minister in the Conservative Baptist Denomination (ca. 1950).

Scope and Content

Paul Buyse was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on January 18 and 19, 1993, at the Africa Inland Mission Media Retirement Center in Clermont, Florida. The events described in the interview cover the time period ca. 1926-1993.

T1 (62 minutes). Birth in the Belgian Congo of missionary parents; father's work of church planting and church visiting at Blukwa and Rethy; childhood memories of worship services in an outdoor fenced-in enclosure; memories of his parents and their love for Christ; growing up at Rethy station; barriers to playing with African children; toys; Buyse's siblings; memories of Mabel and John Buyse; John Buyse's trip to French Equatorial Africa in the early days of the twentieth century; experiences as a missionary kid; description of the mudbrick home the family lived in; life at Rethy; attending Rethy Academy; modes of travel for returning to the United States in 1938; experiencing the Zamzam sinking (his parents and younger siblings were on board) from South Carolina; stories his parents told about the experience; Buyse's conversion at a 1937 AIM Congo field conference; Belgian colonial government's attitude toward Protestant mission work; corporal punishment by the Belgians; Buyse's decision to become a missionary in Africa; struggling over whether Africa was the right place for him to go to; decision to move from Northwestern Bible School to to Moody Bible Institute; William Bell Riley; memorable professors at Moody; men's dormitories on campus; Christian service assignments at Moody; leading High-BA club meetings for high school students; meeting his future wife and marriage

T2 (20 minutes). Serving as pastor of a church in Minnesota; Buyse and his wife's work with the North Arkansas Gospel Mission working with young people in the schools and in clubs; joining Africa Inland Mission, ca. 1949; deputation work to raise funds to go to Africa; lack of any orientation program before going to Africa; Buyse's background in optical work during high school and Bible school in Minnesota; working with the pygmies and their "owners" (Babila or Ababua tribe) in Biasiko, Congo; relations between pygmies and their overlords; obstacles to evangelism among the pygmies

T3 (63 minutes). Traveling through the forest; pygmy attitudes toward the forest; pygmy church leaders Noah Mungalah (?) and his son Balos Epaineto, African missionaries to the pygmies; their speaking abilities; presentations of the Christian gospel to the pygmy people; building a bridge at Biasiko; pygmy hanging bridges; evangelism among the workers in the gold mines; move to Mwende and his work there; Florence Stauffacher; visiting churches in the mountains; licenced and ordained African pastors; progression from planting churches to organizing churches to advising; turning affairs over to African leaders and working with them as subordinates; meetings of the AIC council meetings; getting Africans to accept younger missionaries; furlough 1957-1959; co-workers at Blukwa; co-workers at Mwende; organizing churches around Blukwa; organizing an African church along American lines; tribal elders as church leaders; the independence movement in the Congo, the expectations of the Congolese and the resulting chaos; Belgian expectations about independence; missionary evacuation in 1960; second evacuation in 1961; situation in the Congo just before the Simba rebellion in 1964; reaction of African Christians to the missionary evacuation; the mission station at Lalia and establishing churches in the area; on furlough in the United States from 1964-1966; correcting vision problems among the African church leaders at Oicha and Rethy; speaking at weekend church conferences; serving as advisor on various AIC church councils; conflict over the title "bishop" in the AIC during the 1980s; the continuing eye work carried on by people Buyse trained

T4 (62 minutes). Decree against Christian names; pleasures of church planting and organizing; development of Congolese church leaders; field directors of the Congo mission and their duties; Paul Stough; George Van Duesen; programs of the annual field conferences; speakers (William Culbertson, Sir Arthur Smith, etc.), conflict over creating AIM-Air; conflict over schooling; Carl Becker; Peter Brashler; Don Dix; the joys of working closely with Africans on a small mission station; discipline problems in the church; problems caused by polygamy; place of women in the AIC churches; time involved in working with short term missionaries; more reflections on long term vs. short term missionaries; changes for the worse Buyse has observed in the American church; the spiritual life of a missionary; replacement of missionaries by Africans as teachers in the lower schools; similarities between missionaries of 1950 and 1990; returning to the United States in 1989 and working in the home office at Pearl River; coordinating plans for the move of the mission headquarters; reasons for the move; reason for the decision not to move and reaction in the mission; problems of new recruits from different environments than in the past; communication between the home office in the United States the fields in Africa; Buyse's enjoyment of evangelistic work; the needs of retired missionaries; Buyse's duties as chaplain at the Media Retirement Center.


The material in this collection was given to the BGC Archives by Paul Buyse in January 1993.

Accession: 93-11
June 18, 2001
Robert Shuster

Accession: 93-11
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIOTAPE file.

T1 - Reel, 3 ips, 62 minutes, one side only. Interview of Paul Buyse by Paul Ericksen on January 18, 1993, at the Media Retirement Center in Clermont, Florida.

T2 - Reel, 3 ips, 20 minutes, one side only. Continuation of the interview of Paul Buyse by Paul Ericksen on January 18, 1993, at the Media Retirement Center in Clermont, Florida.

T3 - Reel, 3 ips, 63 minutes, one side only. Interview of Paul Buyse by Paul Ericksen on January 19, 1993, at the Media Retirement Center in Clermont, Florida.

T4 - Reel, 3 ips, 62 minutes, one side only. Continuation of interview of Paul Buyse by Paul Ericksen on January 19, 1993, at the Media Retirement Center in Clermont, Florida..

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Last Revised: 6/18/01
Expiration: indefinite