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Collection 654 Ephemera of Byang Kato

Identifier: CN 654

Scope and Contents

Photocopies of essays, theses, articles, tributes, tracts and sermons written by or about Byang Kato, a Nigerian theologian and the first General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa and Madagascar (AEAM).

Series: Paper Records

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title; arranged by Archives staff

Date Range: 1962-1996, n.d.

Volume: .4 cubic feet

Boxes: 1 letter document case

Geographic coverage: Chad, Kenya, Nigeria, United States,

Type of documents: Essays, Theses, Articles, Tributes, Tracts, Sermons

Subjects: African Theology, Missions in Africa, Black/Liberation Theology, Syncretism and Christianity, Theological Education in Africa, Ecumenism in Africa, Urbana ‘70, World Council of Churches, Association of Evangelicals in Africa and Madagascar (AEAM), Juju religion, African Churches

Notes: This collection was bequeathed to the Archives by Dr. Christina M. Breman who wrote a dissertation entitled "The Association of Evangelicals in Africa: Its History, Organization, Members, Projects, External Relations, and Message" for her doctorate in missiology. This dissertation included a brief biography of Kato and his theology. Apparently she made the photocopies during her research. In his short ministry career, Kato wrote just a few articles and his dissertation, (his master’s thesis on Natural Revelation is included in folder 1-3). He was critical of syncretism (especially in relation to Black/Liberation theology) which arose in African theology and called for correction through more theological education in Africa.

This collection consists of photocopies of articles, essays, sermons and tracts by Dr. Byang Kato as well as articles, essays and theses written about or extensively quoting Dr. Kato, many published posthumously. The order and arrangement were determined by the archivist. Most of the articles come from publications of missions organizations like SIM Witness, Dateline Africa, Africa Now, EMIS’ Africa Pulse, AEAM’s Perception and Evangelical Missions Quarterly. Some materials are in French or Afrikaans (or Dutch?), very few having an accompanying translation, most are in English.

Exceptional items:

Folder 1-2 holds a review and a letter from Paul Bowers, who worked with World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) of Kato’s book Theological Pitfalls in Africa, one of his first publications.

Folder 1-3 contains: Article on the World Council of Churches Assembly which met in Nairobi in 1975. The article was compiled from the beginnings of a report on the WCC Assembly, which Kato had started to write the morning of his death; transcript of a verbal report (on the WCC Assembly) Kato gave at the AIM annual conference in Kenya shortly before he died; brief autobiography in Africa Now that is an account of his family life and involvement in the Juju religion, conversion and his experience in the church; document from the International Congress on World Evangelization which met in Lausanne in 1974, “Notes on Group Discussion” which contains recorded notes and discussion from a paper presented by Dr. Kato called “The Gospel, Cultural Contextualization, and Religious Syncretism” which is in the same folder; monograph called “Tips for Guests in Africa” which was eant to orient a non-African, Christian visitor to Africa and paints a detailed picture of African culture and daily life in the late 1960s. Some of this same information can also be found in a photocopied version of Kato’s book African Cultural Revolution and the Christian Faith.

The tributes in folder 1-7 portray the views and respect that others held for Kato. Breman’s brief biography on Kato and his impact on African Evangelicalism is also among the tributes.

The extensive bibliography (by Dr. Breman) in folder 1-4 would be helpful to anyone interested in reading Dr. Kato’s written works.


  • Created: 1962-1996

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Full Name: Byang Henri Kato

Birth: June 23, 1936, Sabzuara, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Death: December 1975, Mombasa, Kenya in an accidental drowning


Parents: Henri and Zawa Kato, members of the Jaba tribe, practiced tribal religion and Henri was a juju priest

Marital Status: Married to Jummai Gundu

Children: Deborah, Jonathan, Paul

Conversion: In 1948 as the result of Bible teaching in the mission school he attended


1957 - Graduated from Igbaja Bible College, Igbaja, Nigeria

1966 - Received a Bachelor of Divinity from London Bible College, England

1973 - Received a Masters of Sacred Theology and Doctorate of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, USA


1957 - Professor at Kwoi Bible Training School, Kwoi, Kaduna State, Nigeria

1966-1967 - Professor at Igbaja Bible College, Igbaja, Nigeria

1967 - General Secretary of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA)

1973 - General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar (now called Association of Evangelicals of Africa)


1 Box

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center Archives by Dr. Christina M. Breman in August, 1998.

Accession 98-64                                                                                         

April 1, 2010

Noel Collins Pfeifer

Collection 654 Ephemera of Byang Kato
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

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