On this day in 1860, Charles E. Hurlburt, the leader of the African Inland Mission  for nearly thirty years, was born in Iowa.

In 1895, Charles joined Peter Cameron Scott and six other missionaries on a mission expedition into the interior of Africa.  Six years earlier, Charles had left the successful plumbing business that he had started and had been looking for ways to serve the Lord full-time.  He worked in several churches and was heavily involved in the YMCA.  But none of this seemed to satisfy the deep desire he felt.  But when he met Peter and heard of his new mission society, the African Inland Mission, Charles found a place he belonged.

Just a years after the AIM team had been in Africa, Peter died from blackwater fever.  The death of the missions founder so soon after it was founded threatened to completely shut down the entire operation.  But Charles, passionate for the work they had begun, took the reigns of the Mission board and lead it through this turbulent time.

Under Charles’s leadership, the mission saw extensive growth.  It spread from out of Kenya to Tanzania and the Belgian Congo (Zaire).   Hundreds of Churches and Missions were started, as were clinics, hospitals, schools, publishing operations, and radio programs.  The Scott Theological College in Kenya was built to train African church leaders.

Under Charles, the mission took on the mission statement to see “Christ centered Churches established among all African peoples.”  During his life, Charles worked to do just that.


Dictionary of African Christians

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