Collection 248 Papers of William J. Barnett
Scope and Contents
Oral history interviews and booklet of short stories and photographs created by William John Barnett, relating to his upbringing in Kenya as the son of missionaries with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) and his own later medical missionary service in Tanzania, Kenya, and the Comoro Islands from 1950-1990.
Series: Audio Tapes
Oral history interviews with William John Barnett in which he describes his childhood in Kenya with his missionary parents; experiences with members of the Maasai people; attendance at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya and high school in the United States; attendance at Columbia Bible College and Wheaton College; memories of a revival at Wheaton; medical training at Albany Medical College; service as an army surgeon in Korea immediately after World War II; his initial work as a missionary doctor in Tanzania in the early 1950s; the Africa Inland Mission and Africa Inland Church in Tanzania in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly at Kola Ndota; and a revival at Wheaton College in the late 1930s; his work at the hospital in Kijabe, Kenya and later medical work in the Comoro Islands; the effects of British colonialism on Christianity in Africa; detailed descriptions of medical procedures and specific injuries and ailments; legacy of the Kijabe hospital since Barnett’s departure in 1979. The time period covered by the interviews is circa 1920 to 1983.
William Barnett was interviewed by Robert Shuster on March 29, April 5, and May 27, 1983, at the Billy Graham Center and on May 30, 1995 at his son’s home in Peoria, Illinois, April 24, 1998, at his home in Laguna Hills, California, on March 29, 2007 in Laguna Hills, California, and in Peoria, IL on June 7, 2007.
Series: Box List
Booklet of short stories written by Barnett drawing on his childhood memories of Kenya and photographs of Africa from his personal collection, complied by his son, James W. Barnett
- Created: 1983-1997
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Full Name: William John Barnett
Birth Date: May 29, 1917, Kenya
Parents: Albert Edmond Barnett and Elma Elizabeth Nischer Barnett; Africa Inland Mission (AIM) missionaries for twenty-five years
Siblings: Older siblings: Clark (died at 20 months), Erik and Arthur Malcolm (twins), Paul Austin, and Ruth Dorothy
Marital Status: Married Laura M. Lane, June 1944. Mrs. Barnett was trained as a nurse at the Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago and the Russell Sage College in Troy, New York.
Children: Ruth, Theodore, Eileen, Carol Elaine, Martha, James
Conversion: At the age of twelve
1929-1931 - Rift Valley Academy, British East Africa (now Kenya)
1931-1933 - Columbia High School, Columbia, South Carolina
1933-1937 - Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University), Columbia, South Carolina
1937-1939 - Wheaton College, Bachelor of Philosophy degree
1939-1941 - Wheaton College, taking pre-med courses
1942-1945 - Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, Doctor of Medicine degree. While at medical school, he was also enrolled in the U. S. Army’s medical program.
1945-1947 - Surgical residency, Schenectady, New York
1947-1949 - As an army officer, served as orthopedic surgeon at Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina, for a almost a year then chief of surgery of a hospital in Korea
1949-1950 - Anesthesiology residency, Schenectady, New York
1950-1961 - AIM missionary doctor at Shinyanga Hospital, Kola Ndoto, Tanzania
1961-1963 - Furlough, Wheaton, Illinois
1963-1979 - Director of the Kijabe Medical Centre, Kijabe, Kenya. Raised funds for and planned a greatly expanded facility; developed nurses training program.
1979 - Furlough, Wheaton, Illinois
1979-1983 - Hospital work at Mitsamiouli, Grande Comoro, Comoro Islands
1983 - Furlough, Wheaton, Illinois
1984?-1990 - Hospital work at Mitsamiouli, Grande Comoro, Comoro Islands
1990 - Retired to California
1990s - Volunteer medical service in Somalia Other significant information
1933-1937 - President of the Student Association at Columbia Bible College
1937-1939 - President of Student Foreign Missions Fellowship at Wheaton College
1942-1945 - Active in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship while at Albany Medical College
1960s? - Member of the Christian Medical Society
1962 - Elected a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, honorary medical fraternity
1 Box (DC), Audio Tapes
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in March, April and May 1983, May 1995, April 1998, and March and June 2007.
Accession 83-34, 83-37, 83-60, 95-96, 98-21, 07-20, 07-37
November 21, 1986
Frances L. Brocker
Updated January 30, 1997
Updated May 8, 2007, Revised
Wayne D. Weber
Updated November 25, 2013
- Africa Inland Church.
- Africa Inland Mission.
- Animism -- Kenya.
- Barnett, Albert E.
- Barnett, Elma.
- Barnett, William John.
- Boarding schools -- Kenya.
- Boarding schools.
- Buswell, J. Oliver (James Oliver), 1895-1977.
- Children of missionaries -- Education.
- Children of missionaries.
- Christianity and culture.
- College students -- Religious life.
- College students -- United States -- Religious life.
- College students.
- Davis, Ralph T.
- Edman, V. Raymond (Victor Raymond), 1900-1967.
- Evangelistic work -- Kenya.
- Evangelistic work.
- Great Britain
- Great Britain -- Colonies
- Great Britain -- Colonies -- Africa.
- Henry, Carl F. H. (Carl Ferdinand Howard), 1913-2003.
- Hurlburt, Charles E.
- Kenya -- Description and travel.
- Kenya -- Religion.
- Language in missionary work.
- Maasai (African people)
- Maasai (African people) -- Religion.
- Missionaries -- Appointment, call, and election.
- Missionaries -- Australia.
- Missionaries -- Sweden.
- Missions -- Comoros.
- Missions -- Kenya.
- Missions -- Tanzania.
- Revivals -- Wheaton.
- Rift Valley Academy (Kijabe, Kenya)
- Rural missions.
- Stauffacher, John Raymond,
- Tribes -- Kenya.
- Wheaton College (Ill.)
- Women missionaries.
- Collection 248 Papers of William J. Barnett
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note