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Collection 283 Oral History Interviews with Nancy Folkerts

Identifier: CN 283

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Nancy Wood Folkerts. Topics discussed include her childhood as a pastor's daughter; study at Wheaton College; her marriage; training in London; work as a missionary in British Cameroon (now Republic of Cameroon), especially Bible study and literacy programs for women and 3H clubs for girls; the political and social situation in Cameroon; Cameroon independence; medical problems in Cameroon; the work of her husband, Fred, at the Baptist Teacher Training College and as Field Secretary; operation of the mission guest house; difficulty of sending children away to school, and return from mission field to the United States; relations between the North American Baptist Mission and Presbyterians and Catholics. The time period covered by the interviews is roughly 1932-1984.

Nancy Wood Folkerts was interviewed by Lisa M. Moscati on November 7 and 14, 1984 at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.


  • Created: 1984

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Nancy Wood was born to Robert and Virginia Wood on November 2, 1932, in Pekin, IL. Robert Wood was a Presbyterian minister in Pekin, in Humboldt, TN, and then in Knoxville, TN. Nancy graduated from high school in Knoxville and then attended Wheaton College, where she majored in Christian Education and received her degree in 1954. In 1955, Nancy married Fred Folkerts, who was also a 1954 graduate from Wheaton. Nancy taught school in Chicago while Fred worked for his M.A. at Wheaton and then his B.D. at Northern Baptist Seminary. In 1958, the Folkerts were appointed as missionaries to the British Cameroon by the North American Baptists. After a year of education classes in London, and after the birth of their first child, they headed for the Cameroon and a three-year term.

The Folkerts served in Cameroon from 1959 to 1972. Fred worked as principal of the Baptist Teacher Training College and as North American Baptist field secretary. Most of their term was spent living in Bamenda. Nancy taught her children at home and engaged in general missionary work, primarily with women and girls.

When the Folkerts first arrived in the British-controlled Cameroon, the political situation unstable. In 1960, after four years of insurrection against the French, the French Cameroon received its independence. In 1961 British Cameroon, where the Folkerts were assigned, voted on whether they wanted to join what had been the French Cameroon, now the Republic of Cameroon, or Nigeria, which had also been a British colony. The southern section of the country, in which the Folkerts resided, voted to join the Republic of Cameroon, which then changed its name to the Federal Republic of Cameroon, and the northern section voted to join Nigeria.

In 1972, at the end of their third term, the Folkerts resigned from the mission field due to the illness of Nancy's parents and the desire to be with their children as they entered high school. In 1984, Fred was the Secretary for Overseas Missions for the North American Baptist Conference and Nancy was teaching at Bryan Junion High School, Elmhurst, IL. The Folkerts had four children: Stephen Carl, Mark Robert, Philip, and David Reynolds.

Nancy Folkerts died August 16, 2022 at Windsor Park Retirement Center in Carol Stream, Illinois.


3 Audio Tapes

145 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Nancy Folkerts and Lisa Moscati in November 1984.

Accession 84-128, 84-156

October 27, 1992

J. H. Nasgowitz

E. Diaz

Collection 283 Oral History Interview with Nancy Folkerts
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US