Graber, Archie (1901-1997)
Archie Graber was born near Stryker, Ohio. Archie's spiritual nurture during childhood and youth centered in his home and the Lockport Mennonite Church. Convinced as a teenager that the Lord was calling him to missionary service, in 1927 he enrolled in Moody Bible Institute, where he met Evelyn Oyer. They married in 1930 after graduation and applied to the Congo Inland Mission. They left for the Belgian Congo in the same year.
Assigned to Djoko Punda for two terms, Archie constructed a variety of large buildings, including a beautiful chapel. He also gave time to extensive evangelism in the surrounding area. On furlough in 1947, Evelyn died of cancer. Archie returned to Congo alone in 1948 where he began developing a new station on the Kasai River at Tshikapa. He was joined in 1951 by Irma Beitler of Berne, IN, a capable and enthusiastic nurse to whom Archie proposed marriage. At Tshikapa, Archie also built a number of buildings.
In September 1960 refugee problems in the East Kasai assumed crisis proportions and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) personnel turned to Archie for help. While his family remained in Ohio, Archie provided administrative leadership to MCC and United Nations personnel in the southeast in a large refugee camp near Lubumbashi. In 1966, following the rebellion in Bandundu Province of 1964, the Grabers came out of retirement to undertake refugee rehabilitation ministries. In 1968 they moved on to Kinshasa to build a new mission hostel and to help finish a new inter-mission theological training institute. In 1974 the Grabers once again came out of retirement to build a church center at Tshikapa. They retired for the final time in Stryker, Ohio. Irma Graber died in 1995; Archie Graber died 31 August 1997
Bertsche, James E. "Archie Graber goes home." Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. Retrieved 27 January 2006. <http://www.aimmintl.org/A_Graber.htm> Link not active 7 November 2006
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 351. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bertsche, James E. "Graber, Archie (1901-1997)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1997. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G72.html.
APA style: Bertsche, James E. (1997). Graber, Archie (1901-1997). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G72.html.