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Edgar H. Smith Collection, 1916-1958

Collection Overview

Title: Edgar H. Smith Collection, 1916-1958

ID: COLL/235

Creator: Smith, Edgar H. (1907-1976)

Extent: 0.25 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Minister of the Christian Reformed Church and missionary to Nigeria. The collection includes letters, a diary, and articles on missionary activities in Nigeria from Missionary Monthly, The Lightbearer, and Reformed Review.

Biographical Note

Edgar H. Smith was born in London, England on March 5, 1907. Smith initially had a business education and worked in a London office for many years. During this time Smith accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and felt the call to become a missionary. He took a Bible course at the Missionary Training Colony as well as a brief medical course in preparation for his journey to Nigeria. In 1931 he traveled to Nigeria as a representative of the Sudan United Mission. In Nigeria, Smith met a fellow missionary and bride-to-be Nelle Breen of Holland, Michigan. By 1940 the Christian Reformed Church took over the Lupwe-Takum field from the Sudan United Mission.

In 1941 Smith was ordained and was considered a missionary under the Christian Reformed Board of Foreign Missions. As missionaries they would journey throughout the region preaching and attending to the sick and needy. They were able to set up rudimentary grade and Bible schools. They were able to baptize a number of people as well.  Smith also served as the Corresponding Secretary of the Christian Reformed Mission in the Sudan.

Smith wrote articles for the Banner and Missionary Monthly about his experiences. He also wrote a book called, Nigerian Harvest. By 1972 the Smiths retired and moved to Holland, Michigan to live out the rest of their days. After over 40 years of missionary service, Rev. Smith passed away on March 1, 1976. He was survived by his wife and their two children.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Articles on missionary activities in Nigeria from The Missionary Monthly, The Lightbearer, and Reformed Review
Box 1
Folder 1-6: Articles --- 1916-1958
Folder 7: Articles --- dates unknown
Series 2: Correspondence
Box 1
Folder 8: Letters --- 1928
Series 3: Miscellaneous
Box 1
Folder 9: Five-Year Diary of Nelle Breen, photocopy.  (Nelle married Edgar Smith in 1934) --- 1930-1934
Folder 10: Listing of articles that appeared in The Missionary Monthly about the CRC and Nigeria
Folder 11: Unfinished autobiography --- 1976