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Collection 289 Oral History Interview with G. Paul Groen

Identifier: CN 289

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Paul Groen in which he describes his education at Wheaton College, missionary work the Christian Reformed Church in Nigeria and the Nigerian church, particularly among the Tiv people, and the country's economy, educational system and political history between 1964 and 1973. Other topics discussed include:  Tiv customs and religion, the church among the Tiv and its indigenous leadership and transition of leadership from missionaries, relations with Roman Catholics and Muslims, medical missionary work, the decline of tribalism and the process of urbanization and Westernization, and international relief during the country's civil war. The time period covered by the interviews is 1937-1984.

Dr. G. Paul Groen was interviewed by Brett Westbrook November at Groen's office Carol Stream, IL on November 15 and December 6, 1984.


  • Created: 1984

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Gerritt Paul Groen Jr., known as Paul, was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 9, 1937. His family moved to Wheaton, Illinois, around 1947. Groen was educated at Wheaton Christian Grammar School and Wheaton Academy (1951-1955). He attended Wheaton College (1955-1959), majoring in pre-med and intending to be a medical missionary. While a student, he also participated in sports and was a member of an evangelistic team which presented both music and message. He received his medical training at Baylor College of Medicine (1959-1963), after which he completed his internship at Philadelphia General Hospital (1963-1964).

Groen served as a missionary doctor with the Christian Reformed Church among the Tiv people in Nigeria (1964 to 1973). While based in Mkar for most of his term of service, he also served temporarily in Takum, which was located in a Hausa area. In 1965, he married Maxine Ohlman, also a missionary in Nigeria. He concluded his missionary service in 1973 in order to expand his medical experience. Upon returning to the United States, Groen studied at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, specializing in orthopedic medicine (1973-1976). He then returned to Wheaton, where he joined a medical practice (1976-1980). In 1980, he co-founded Sportsmed, a program combining a sports health club with orthopedic medical services in Wheaton. While living in Wheaton, he also served Wheaton College as one of its campus physicians. In 1992, Groen moved to Brunswick, Georgia, where he joined the staff of MAP International (formerly Medical Assistance Program) as Vice President of Worldwide Services. The Groens had two sons, G. Paul III and Joel.


3 Audio Tapes

139 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by G. Paul Groen in November and December 1984.

Acc 84-137, 84-147

July 9, 1992

Paul A. Ericksen

C. Easley

December 29, 1992

M.L. Wohlschlegel

Collection 289 Oral History Interview with G. Paul Groen
Paul Ericksen
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