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Collection 552 Papers of Raymond and Lillian Braun

Identifier: CN 552

Scope and Contents

Correspondence and other papers of Raymond and Lillian Braun, missionaries with Baptist Mid-Missions in the Central African Republic between 1926 and 1972; also includes photographs, manuscripts, reports, etc., a few papers of Lillian's brother Paul Young, letters from fellow missionaries in Africa and a friend in India, and some material on missions in South America, particularly Ecuador, where Paul worked. Correspondence predominates, much of it describing the Brauns' everyday life and work.


  • Created: 1923-1975

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Full Name: Raymond Albert Braun

Birth Date: January 26, 1894

Death Date: June 18, 1962


Parents: Adam and Amanda Lou Braun

Siblings: Milton L. Braun

Marital Status: Married Lillian Isabelle Young, July 30, 1924, Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania

Children: None

Conversion: As a child, between the ages of five and seven.


Until 1902 - Buffalo Public Schools, New York

Until 1907 - Asheville Public Schools, North Carolina

1908-1912 - Wilson Memorial Academy, Nyack, New York

1920-1921 - Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

1921-1924 - Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina


Until 1920 - Grocery work; shop production, Westinghouse Electrical, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1921-1926 - Salesman, Wear-Ever Aluminum, Greenville, South Carolina

1926-1962 - Missionary in French Equatorial Africa with work that was to become Baptist Mid-Missions. He pastored and taught and his wife taught in Archambault (Chad), Fort Sibut (Central African Republic), Bangui (C.A.R.) and Pembe-sur Sangha (Congo).

Other significant information: Raymond's older brother, Milton with his wife Mary (Lillian's sister) were missionaries in China.

Full Name: Lillian Isabelle (Young) Braun

Birth Date: November 16, 1901 Death date: November 1975


Parents: John Wesley and Rosa Blasy Young

Siblings: Mary, Paul, John, William, Thomas

Marital Status: Married Raymond Albert Braun, July 30, 1924, Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania

Children: None

Conversion: At Union Gospel Church, Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1913


Until 1920 - Wilkinsburg Public Schools, Pennsylvania

1920-1921 - Missionary Training Institute, Nyack, New York

1921-1923 - Pittsburgh Teachers' Training School, Pennsylvania


Until 1923 - Shop and office work; stenographer, Carnegie Steel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1923-1924 - School teacher, Greenville, South Carolina

1926-1972- see above

Other significant information: Lillian's brothers William, Tom and Paul were also ministers, and Paul served as a missionary in Ecuador and Peru.

Full Name: Paul Young

Birth Date: Unknown

Death Date: 1983


Parents: John Wesley and Rosa Blasy Young

Siblings: Mary, Lillian, John, William, Thomas

Marital Status: Married

Children: Carolyn and Alice

Conversion: Unknown

Education: Unknown


Went to Ecuador in 1918; also worked in Peru and Puerto Rico; served as HCJB pioneers, and United Bible Societies representative.

Other significant information: Paul was Lillian Braun's brother


1.10 Cubic Feet (3 Boxes (DC), Photographs)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

Series 1: Photographs

Photographs in this collection are arranged topically into the following Photo Folders:

BRAUN, RAYMOND AND LILLIAN. Photos of Raymond and Lillian in Central African Republic and in the US, both with their pet monkey Burt, of Raymond showing the effects of Guinea Worm, their home, and Lillian later in life (1970s?). Also includes a large portrait photo, possibly Lillian's mother, Rosa, and several of Lillian's sister Mary, possibly with her husband Milton. 12 b&w.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC. Photos of native African people, some showing deformities, others showing native customs. 8 b&w, 1929.

MISSIONS--CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC. Photos of boat taking missionaries on the river in Skelemba. 1 b&w.


Series 2: Paper Records

Arrangement: Alphabetical by form of document. Although some material when received was foldered with some description of the contents, there was no discernable established order to the papers when they were received and the processor provided the order and folder titles.

Date Range: 1926-1975

Volume: 1.1 cubic feet)

Boxes: 3 (30 folders)

Geographic Coverage: United States, France, Congo, Central African Republic, Chad, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico

Type of Documents: Personal letters, unpublished sermons, meeting minutes, poems and articles, annual reports, booklets, printed materials

Correspondents: Raymond and Lillian Braun, Milton and Mary Young, Paul Young (Lillian Braun's brother), other family members, fellow missionaries Subjects: Missionary work in Africa and South America, and life and culture of the people of Central Africa

Notes: The bulk of the collection consists of letters written by Raymond and Lillian Braun to their families (primarily to Milton and Mary Braun), friends, and the individuals and churches who supported their ministry; also included are letters they received from others. These letters were written as early as their departure for and while traveling into Africa. It appears that Raymond made several copies of the letters for circulation back home, as well as for his own files. Some duplicates were removed from the collection by the processor. In the letters the Brauns described in detail their life and ministry in French Equatorial Africa, the customs and activities of the Africans, the surrounding vegetation and insect life, and recounted anecdotes relating to their work and living conditions. Often their letters decry the difficult mail situation, and they always thank their friends and supporters for their prayers and gifts. As might be expected, these letters among family members are more candid than those designed for public consumption.

The volume and frequency of correspondence is greatly reduced during the World War II years; even during the war, the letters make little if any reference to world affairs or current events. Included in the collection is a small gathering of reports and papers written by Paul Young, Lillian Braun's brother.

Exceptional Items: Folder 1-12 includes a copy of a mission financial report, and a set of the first year of letters that Raymond wrote from Pembe (Congo), including samples of some of his French letters to show his brother.

Folder 2-1 contains letters to Mil and Mary while Raymond and Lillian were on furlough, later in France, and then in Chad and finally Fort Sibut (Central African Republic), dating from 1930 to 1939; copies of support letters are also included.

Folder 2-2, covering 1940 to 1973, contains letters and copies written from Fort Sibut, and then later, letters from Lillian as she returned to Bangui after the 1962 death of Raymond.

Folder 2-4 contains letters from Milton and Mary to Raymond and Lillian, in which among other things Milton discusses Mary's health. These letters were all written from the US during furloughs between 1927 and 1947.

Folder 2-7 contains letters to Lillian's mother Rosa written from Pembe.

The letters from other missionaries in folder 2-3 of special interest are from those who also were serving in the Central African Republic, including letters from the co-workers in Pembe updating them on happenings at the mission during the Braun's furlough, and other friends in Chad, Central African Republic, and India.

The series of articles in folder 1-1 written by Raymond were possibly for submission to mission publications; there are several copies of the articles, which might indicate that he sent them to several recipients. They generally describe life in central Africa.

The poems (folder 2-12) by Raymond span several years during the 1920s.

Among the medical records in folder 2-9, while incomplete, is Raymond's death certificate from Orlando, Florida.

Folder 2-11 contains obituaries of both Lillian and Raymond, as well as letters of condolence.

Folder 2-10 contains miscellaneous clippings, certificates and other things pertaining to the Braun's life and mission work, such as articles about their pet monkey, pages from Raymond's passport, and documents pertaining to their marriage.

Folder 1-2 consists of printed bulletins and minutes from Baptist Mid-Missions, as well as Raymond's and Lillian's commissions to the mission field.

Paul Young's papers (folders 2-14,15,16) pertain to his work in South America, particularly Ecuador, but touch on missions more generally in South America and especially Puerto Rico.

Folder 2-16 contains annual reports from the North Andean Agency of the United Bible Society (Peru and Equador) of 1957 and 1963.

The duplicated material in folders 3-1 and 3-2 relate to two African conferences held in 1966 and 1973; typescripts of messages at the first are African leaders and expatriate missionaries (including Ken Downing and Clyde Taylor), while those for the second include recommendations and reports, especially on the possibility of an African Christian education publishing house, and a typescript of S. Odunaike's address to the 1973 General Assembly of the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar, of which the Christian Education Strategy Conference was a part.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Carolyn (niece of the Brauns and daughter of Paul Young) and John Gillies in 1986

June 21, 2001

Accession 86-33

Susan Hanes

P. Ericksen

R. Shuster

Collection 552 Papers of Raymond and Lillian Braun
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