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Ipema, Peter | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Ipema, Peter

Historical Note:

Peter Ipema was born 16 September 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to William B. and Gladys E. (Buterbaugh) Ipema. He graduated from Calvin College in 1944 and Calvin Theological Seminary in 1948 and began his career in missions to the Tiv People of Nigeria. From 1951-1963 he served the Church of Christ in the Sudan among the Tiv which became the fastest growing Christian mission effort in the world. He returned to the United States in 1981 to serve as the director of the Middle East Fellowship Center in Chicago, and from 1987-1987 served as a parish minister in Terra Haute, Indiana.

During his time in Nigeria he became a scholar of Islam, earning a Ph.D. in Islamic Thought from Hartford Seminary in 1971.  Internationally he came to be recognized as an authority on Islamic thought. In addition, he was a scholar of Tiv People history and language.  His facility in language also enabled him to teach foreign languages to others.

Ipema married Alice Jean Steenmeyer (1924-1989) in 1942, they had three children: William B., Philip D., and Loretta A.  In 1990 he married Martina Van Staalduinen, a fellow missionary in Nigeria since 1962.

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