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Collection 219 Oral History Interview with Bertil A. Ogren

Identifier: CN 219

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Bertil A. Ogren (1914-2006) in which he describes his recruitment as a lay missionary in the Belgian Congo with the Covenant Church from 1948-56; his work there beginning and running the LECO Press, which served the needs of members of the Congo Protestant Council and relations between Africans and Western missionaries. Other topics discussed include: his family and early life, impressions of George Caprenter, independence of the Congo, Belgian influence on the Congo, and various other mission-related topics. The time period covered by the interviews is 1948 to 1956.

Bertil Ogren was interviewed by Robert Shuster on June 22 and August 25, 1982 at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College.


  • Created: 1982

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Bert Ogren was born in 1914 in Lockport, Illinois. His parents, Carl and Almida, were immigrants from Sweden. There were three other children in the family--Clarence, Carl, and Eleanor. While he was in high school, Bert took over a small printing business begun by his brother Clarence while he was in high school. After graduation, Bert expanded it and named it Ogren Press. The family were devoted Christians and he had a conversion experience in 1928 and attended an Evangelical Covenant church. While he was in the hospital for appendicitis at the age of twenty-three, he met his future wife, Jean, who was a student nurse. They had six children: Kathleen, Erik, Mary, Mark, Elizabeth, and Cynthia.

In 1947, the Ogrens volunteered to become vocational missionaries for the Covenant Church. In 1948, they were sent to Leopoldville in the Belgian Congo where Bert was placed in charge of beginning and running the LECO press, a religious press that served all the Protestant missionaries in the Congo by printing school and devotional literature. The family stayed in the Congo until 1956. After returning to the United States, Bert began working for the LaSalle Press in Chicago, where he remained until his retirement twenty-two years later. He died November 30,2006


2.00 Audio Tapes

168 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives in June and August 1982.

Accession 82-91, 82-123

June 13, 1984

Robert Shuster

J. Diller D. Garton

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 219 Oral History Interview with Bertil A. Ogren
Bob Shuster
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US