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Collection 480 Oral History Interviews with Margaret L. Clapper

Identifier: CN 480

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Margaret L. Clapper (1912-2005), missionary with Africa Inland Mission in Belgian Congo/Zaire from 1939-1980. Topics covered in two sessions include her youth, conversion, Bible school education at Moody Bible Institute, missionary work in central Africa, Belgian administration of the Congo, work among pygmies, Zaire politics and government, independence of the country in 1960 and the Simba rebellion, transition from mission to national authority, singleness, role of women in church and mission, the transition of churches from mission to national Christian leadership and spiritual hardships of missionary work. The time period covered by the interviews is 1912 to 1993.

Margaret L. Clapper was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on January 19 and 22, 1993 at the Africa Inland Mission Media Retirement Center in Clermont, Florida.


  • Created: 1993

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: Margaret L. Clapper

Birth Date: February 13, 1912, in East Canton, Ohio, to a family of farmers

Death Date: December 19, 2005

Family: Parents: Alph and Emma (Schramm) Clapper

Siblings: Fourth of ten children

Marital Status: Single

Conversion: ca. 1928 through her pastor, David Sellers


1935-1938 Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois


1938 Joined Africa Inland Mission

April 1939 Sailed to Africa (landing at Mombasa) with a party of missionaries.

1939-1940 Girl's home at Kasengu in the Belgian Congo

1940-1950 Worked in the girls' school and home in Rethy in the Belgian Congo

1945 Furlough in the United States

1950-1955 Biasiko among pygmies in forest 1955-1963 Taught at Bible school in Oicha, Belgian Congo, later Congo, continued to work among the pygmies until 1960

1963-1964 Furlough

1964-1966 Could not return to Zaire because of the Simba rebellion, so worked in Kenya at Nyakach, then Ogada

1966-1970 Taught at Bible school in Oicha

1970-1974 Taught at Bible school in Linga, Zaire

1974-1980 Returned to Oicha and taught in the Bible school

1981 Moved to Media Retirement Center in Florida. Became involved in an evangelistic work to Mexican migrant workers in Groveland and Mascotte, Florida, and also visited local prisoners.

Other significant information:

While she was growing up, she and her family were members of the German Reformed Church. Later moved to the Canton Christian Home in Canton, Ohio where she led the Bible study and was otherwise active in ministry.


4.00 Audio Tapes

204 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Margaret L. Clapper in January 1993.

Accession: 93-10

January 4, 2001

Robert Shuster

Collection 480 Oral History Interviews with Margaret L. Clapper
Bob Shuster
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

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