In 1896 Mathilde Kohm (Kohn?) became the first overseas missionary sent from the Evangelical Mennonite Church, United States, 10 years before the first male missionary of that denomination. From 1896 through 1910 she did pioneer evangelistic work in the Belgian Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo) under the auspices of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. This period included four years of teamwork with Alma Doering, marriage to a missionary widower Alvin Stevenson (1904), the birth of four children and the burial of one, and the deaths of two close missionary colleagues.
From 1910 through 1912 she and her husband, who joined her church, were influential in the founding of the Mennonite mission board later known as Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (Congo Inland Mission). She stayed with her children in Illinois while Alvin Stevenson went back to the Congo in 1912 to identify a field of work for the new agency. He died there in February 1913; she remained a strong promoter of missions throughout the denomination.
"Alvin James Stevenson," two-page published obituary including picture of the family in 1911, N.p., copy in Evangelical Mennonite Church historical files, Fort Wayne, IN.
Loewen, Melvin J. Three-Score. Elkhart, IN: Congo Inland Mission, 1972: 31-41: The origins of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, including references to Mathilde Kohm and Alvin Stevenson.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 495. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Nussbaum, Stan. "Kohm, Mathilde ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K634.html.
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