Mid Africa Ministry

Scope and Content

General Secretary's Department: Committee minutes, 1944-1953; Medical Department: Medical Committee minutes, 1938-1960; records of the Finance Division; annual letters of missionaries, 1940-1959.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Mid-Africa Ministry, originally named Ruanda Mission (CMS), began as part of the Church Missionary Society [CMS] and its two pioneer missionary worked for the CMS before going to Rwanda [Ruanda].

Dr. Leonard Sharp and Dr. A. C. Stanley Smith were convinced of God's call to work in Rwanda and offered to CMS for that work. They were sent at first to Mengo Hospital in Uganda, but in December 1916 made an exploratory visit to Rwanda. In 1917 the CMS Uganda missionary committee received an appeal for medical help from Rwandans in Rwanda and Kigezi. The CMS committee in London were unable to agree to this expansion of work because of the lack of funds, but the two doctors began to raise funds independently and by 1919 were able to guarantee support both for four years' work and for a hospital. There were some remaining difficulties over staffing and finally the Kigezi district of South West Uganda was suggested and agreed as a place to start rather than beginning in Rwanda itself.

In 1920 the CMS Committee in London accepted the doctors' offer, the work to be accountable to their Uganda missionary committee. In the early days support was given and organised by Friends of Ruanda, but 1926 the Ruanda Council was formed as a CMS committee in charge of the administration of the work. In 1929 it took full financial responsibility for the mission, though it was not separated from the CMS mission in Uganda until 1933.

The main places of work are Gahini (1928), Shyira and Kigeme (1932), in Rwanda; Kabale (1921) and Bunyoni (1931) in Uganda; Matana and Buhiga (1935) and Buye [Ibuye] (1936) in Burundi. Other places where MAM Mission partners have worked include: Rwanda: Butare (Astrida), Kigali, Nyamata, Shyogwe; Uganda: Budo, Bwana, Bwerinyangi, Gayaza, Kabarole, Kisiizi, Mengo, Ndeje, Remera, Rugarama, Rukingiri; Burundi: Bujumbura, Gitega, Kibimba, Kivimba, Muyebe, Nyankanda and Vugizo (overlooking Bujumbura); Tanzania: Bugufi.

Reference: Rosemary A. Keen, Catalogue of the papers of the Mid Africa Ministry ( 1999 ).

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in 1999.

Other Finding Aids

Please see full catalogue for further details

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

University of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections Department holds other records of missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals. These include the archive of the Church Missionary Society (GB 150 CMS).