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Collection 060 Papers of Andrew and Martha Ruch

Identifier: CN 060

Scope and Contents

Collection contains a typed manuscript of letters written by Andrew and Martha Ruch to family and other correspondents during their service in Kenya, chiefly 1922-1925, as pioneer missionaries among the Kikuyu people at the Gathugu mission station, located in the Kikuyu reserve. Topics covered in the correspondence include: experiences in Africa and the African culture, their work in education, evangelism, and medicine, the Kikuyu people and other mission-related topics. Prominent people mentioned include missionary /explorer Dr. David Livingstone. Several letters written by nationals to the Ruchs are included. Includes a preface and appendix which form a draft to submit for publication as a book about the Ruch's African experiences.


  • Created: 1921-1936

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Andrew and Martha Ruch were missionaries to Kenya, then a British colony, particularly to the Kikuyu tribes of the Kikuyu reserve. They were sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Thorne Tjader, a devout Christian and a philanthropist who, with her husband, founded their own International Missionary Society.

Andrew was born and reared in New Jersey, while Martha's home state was Ohio. They met while attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, and later were married. In addition to training at Moody, Martha had finished nurses' training. On December 16, 1922, they sailed from New York to Africa via London.

On the Kikuyu reserve in Kenya, Andrew and Martha ran a mission station. Here they taught school to the native children, conducted church services, and did medical work. They continued to do this until Martha's health deteriorated and they had to return to the United States. As much as they wanted to return to Kenya, the doctors advised against it.

In the States, Andrew was pastor of the Church of the Sea and Land in New York City while attending school at the Eastern Baptist Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. In 1927, Andrew became pastor of the Temple Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where he served for thirty-nine years until his sudden death on June 15, 1966. Andrew and Martha had one child, a daughter named E. Louise. In 1979, Mrs. Ruch made her home in Fort Wayne, PA.


1 Box (DC)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of Material

The letters date from December 16, 1921, to March 31, 1936, and contain accounts of their departure from the United States and their first experiences in Africa in 1922. Succeeding letters told of their African experiences relating to language study, adjustments to the new culture and people, and of their work in education, evangelism, and medicine at their mission station.

There are descriptions of the Kikuyu people--their way of life, their values and aspirations, and many of the superstitious and witchcraft practices which were a part of their daily lives. Of particular interest is the account relating to Dr. David Livingstone. Andrew and Martha were able to talk to Matthew Wellington, the last living porter who was responsible for locating and transporting the body of Livingstone from the heartland of Africa on to the coast of Zanzibar and finally to London.

There are one or two letters included which were written by natives to the Ruchs. A preface and an appendix, written by Martha Ruch, are included, as this was an attempt to create a book about the Ruch's African experiences. In the preface, Martha mentions an article she wrote entitled "The Night of Witchcraft."

These letters were retyped by Martha Ruch. In a June 15, 1979, letter to the Archives, she stated, "The enclosed copy is verbatim from our letters with repetitions and personal family matters deleted."

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Martha. Ruch in June, 1979.

Accession: 79-63

Robert Shuster

A. Labiano

G. Gallup

Retyped, December 30, 1986

J. Nasgowitz

Collection 060 Papers of Andrew and Martha Ruch
Bob Shuster
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US