BRETHREN HISTORICAL LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES
Title: Work in Scandinavia
Boxes: 2 gray Hollinger boxes
History: In 1876 the District of Northern Illinois sent Christian and Mary Hope to their native Denmark; this was the first foreign missionary work conducted by the German Baptist Brethren. While the work was initiated and supervised by a district, it was recommended through Annual Meeting to the financial support and sympathy of the church at large. Financial support was limited, however, and the mission suffered for inadequate funds.
In 1885 the Hopes extended their work to Malmö, Sweden, where eventually they established congregations in five different towns (Malmö, Vannaberga, Olseröd, Kävlinge, and Simrishamn), in addition to two towns in Denmark (Thy and Wendsyssel). The various mission boards of the Church of the Brethren supported the missions in Scandinavia until 1947, when the board reorganized. The 1955 Yearbook lists members in Scandinavia for the last time.
Over the seventy plus years of work in Scandinavia, the following missionaries served: Christian and Mary Hope (Sweden and Denmark, 1876-1886); Enoch and Anne Eby (Denmark, 1877-1878); Daniel and Julia Fry (Denmark, 1877-1878); A.W. and Alice Vaniman (Sweden, 1901-1905); J.F. and Alice Graybill (Sweden and Denmark, 1911-1942); A.F. and Attie Wine (Denmark, 1913-1917); Ida Buckingham (Sweden, 1913-1929); William and Leah Glasmire (Denmark, 1919-1924); Niels and M. Christine Esbensen (Denmark, 1920-1924; Sweden and Denmark 1945-1947); Glen and Lois Norris (Sweden, 1929-1934).
Description of the Records: These records consist mostly of correspondence between the missionaries and the various mission boards. There is considerable material from Niels and Christine Esbensen right before and right after the General Mission Board ceased supporting the missions in 1947, particularly concerning the selling of mission property in Denmark. For most of the missionaries there are also copies of the applications, statements of faith, and medical records needed to apply to become a missionary. There is some correspondence in Swedish, not all of which has accompanying English translation.
These records also contain a significant amount of correspondence from two men: Christian Hansen and Victor Olson. Hansen was the first man baptized in Denmark by Christian Hope. He went on to become a respected elder and secretary in the Danish church. Much of his correspondence is intermingled with that of Christian Hope. Olson was appointed leader of the Swedish church when the Graybills left Sweden in 1942 on account of World War II. He maintained contact with the General Mission Board until the Esbensens returned in 1945.
As is true for much of the material in the archives, these records are missing correspondence and material from the years 1919-1932. It appears that at some point these records were discarded. As a result, there are letters and documents prior to 1919 and after 1932. While an effort was made to retain original order within the folders, several of the folders were moved in order to
keep correspondence by missionaries together, as well as to maintain approximate chronological order.
Provenance: Accession number 2002.020.
Separations: Separations were made and separation sheets inserted.
Processor: Katie Yelinek, May 28, 2002.
Box 1 Folder 1 Scandinavia Mission Statistics
2 History of the Church in Sweden
3 History of the Danish Mission
4 Denmark Property
5 Map and History of the Danish Mission
6 Christian Century@ Danish Church of the Brethren
7 Correspondence 1916
8 Correspondence 1946-1953
9 Buckingham, Ida
10 Niels and M. Christine Esbensen Applications for Missionary Work
11 Niels and M. Christine Esbensen 1933-1937
12 Niels and M. Christine Esbensen 1943-1945
13 Niels and M. Christine Esbensen Correspondence 1946
14 Niels and M. Christine Esbensen1947-1950
15 Niels and M. Christine Esbensen 1947-1949
16 Esbensen and Graybill Reports 1942, 1947
17 Esbensen Records on Missionaries
18 Enoch Eby 1877-1878
19 Daniel and Julia Ann Fry 1877-1878
20 William and Leah Glasmire
21 Glenn and Lois Norris
22 Glenn and Lois Norris Applications for Missionary Work
Box 2 Folder 1 J.F. and Alice Graybill Applications and Biographies
2 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1912-1918
3 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1933-1934
4 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1935
5 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1936
6 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1937
7 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1938
8 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1941-1952
9 J.F. and Alice Graybill Correspondence 1942-1956
10 Christian Hope
11 Christian and Mary Hope
12 A.W. and Alice Vaniman
13 A.F. and Attie Wine
14 Letters Written in Swedish
15 Articles, Books, and Maps