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Collection 509 Oral History Interview with Evelyn M. Camp

Identifier: CN 509

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Evelyn Mildred Camp (1915-1999), missionary work in the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) from 1944 to 1961. Topics discussed include Camp's experience as a child of missionaries, her missionary work in schools for boys and girls at Oicha and Blukwa AIM stations, her family's economic hardships, furloughs, the social life of missionary children, education at Rethy Academy, call to missionary work, training at Columbia Bible College, living at the Westervelt Home, nationalism and paternalism, various missionary colleagues, indigenous church administration, the Congo during Belgian administration and the Simba Rebellion; and her later work at AIM Media Retirement Center in Clermont, FL. The time period covered by the interviews is 1915 to 1995.

Evelyn Camp was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on January 23 and 24, 1995 at the Africa Inland Mission Retirement Center in Clermont, FL.

[Note: In Tape 6 of this oral history series, Evelyn Camp raised the issue of restricting portions of the interview in which she had described certain AIM figures. Camp and the interviewer Paul Ericksen discussed restriction options in the audio recording. Following the recorded interview Camp agreed that no restrictions were necessary, which is reflected in the signed deed of gift.]


  • Created: 1995

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright to the sound recordings in this collection is held by the Billy Graham Center Archives.

Biographical Information

Full name: Evelyn Mildred Camp

Birth: January 10, 1915 in Morris, New York.

Death: June 15, 1999 at Media Retirement Center in Clermont, Florida.


Parents: Earl Irving Camp and Marion May Boyer Camp nee Boyer (d. Dec 28, 1917); stepmother Ellen Bercaw married Earl Camp in Dec. 1918.

Siblings: Ruth, b. 1917; Earl, b. 1919; Norman, b. 1920; Ralph, b. 1927.


1930-1934: High School, Rethy Academy

1936-1940: Westervelt Bible School


1917: Sailed for Africa on July 12th at age 2 with parents and sister Ruth; Camp family eventually settled in the Belgian Congo.

1927-1930: Furlough with family in the United States; conversion while in New York at age 12.

1930-1936: Returned to AIM Rethy station with family after furlough. Attended Rethy Academy during high school. After graduating felt the call to missionary work among the pygmies.

1936-1940: Returned to the United States to attend Bible school. Worked at the Keswick conference center in New Jersey after graduation.

1944-1949: Joined AIM and sailed for Belgian Congo in February to begin mission work. Spent first mission term at Oicha station, where Camp worked at a girls' school and dormitory and continued evangelism among pygmy tribes.

1949-1950: Furlough in the United States.

1950-1956: Spent second term at Oicha Station; worked at the boys's school and was involved in various construction campaigns at the station.

1956-1957: Furlough in the United States. Commissioned by new sending church, Wharton Baptist Church in Glenside, PA in November. Studied French in Belgium before returning to Belgian Congo.

1957-1961: Worked at AIM Blukwa Station from March 1957 to January 1961. Evacuated from the mission field in February during the Congo Crisis.

1961-1972: Worked as a cook at AIM missionary orientation school in Brooklyn, NY.

1972-1974: Transferred to the AIM missionary orientation school in Pearl River, NY.

1974-1979: Worked at Media Retirement Center in Clermont, FL as a cook and house mother.

1979-1999: Retired at Media in December 1979 where she died in June 1999.

Other Significant Information:

Evelyn Mildred Camp was raised in Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1917 until she returned to the United States in 1936 to attend Bible school.

Camp considered evangelistic work among the pygmies her life's mission. She recalls an incident in 1935 or 1936 when she and other missionaries encountered a pygmy tribe while on safari and shared the Christian gospel with them. Though the tribe begged the missionaries to stay longer and explain the gospel further, they were forced to move on. After Camp returned to the United States to attend Bible school, this experience remained a guiding force for her return to Africa and missions work. Camp also cited the work of missionaries John and Betty Stam and Ruth Paxson as influences on her decision for mission work.


6.00 Audio Tapes

416 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The oral history interviews in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Evelyn Camp in January 1995.

Accession 95-17

July 22, 2015

Katherine J. Graber

Collection 509 Oral History Interview with Evelyn M. Camp
Katherine Graber
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

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