ABCFM South Africa Mission
The beginnings of the American Board of Commissioners South Africa Mission
As the younger ‘sister’ of the London Missionary Society (LMS), the ABCFM was in regular communication with LMS and when they settled in South Africa and despaired of having sufficient personnel to deal with the Zulus in the east.
John Philip, their mission leader, wrote to ABCFM asking for a delegation to come from the United States. The ABCFM responded by recruiting six mission couples in 1835. These six split up, only to have the inland group marooned after a Boer attack on the African tribe where they worked.
With the upsets and warfare around those first ABCFM missionaries, it was twelve years before they had their first baptized convert, Mbulasi Makhanya, who was mother to one of the first Zulu ministers of the churches founded by the missionay Ira Adams Nembula.