Fonds - Annie Cressman fonds

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Annie Cressman fonds

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  • 1941-1989 (Creation)

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65 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Annie Cressman was born on February 22, 1913 to an Old Order Mennonite family in Elmira, Ontario. She converted to Pentecostalism in 1934 and in 1935 felt a calling to missionary work. To achieve her goal of becoming a missionary, she attended the Western Pentecostal Bible College in Winnipeg and graduated in 1938. She followed this with courses at the Missionary Medical Institute in Toronto. In 1941 she embarked on her first term as a missionary in Cape Palmas, Liberia, which was spent doing general missionary work. During her second term she began doing translation work. She believed that people needed to hear the Word of God in their own language and that it should be written. The obstacle to providing a translation of the New Testament was that the Tchien dialect of the Krahn group of languages was not a written language. Miss Cressman analyzed the language, put it in writing and then translated the scriptures. To enable her to accomplish these tasks, Miss Cressman attended Linguistic Institutes sponsored by the Wycliffe Bible Translators, once in 1946 and once in 1951. With the assistance of other missionaries and interpreters, the Gospel of Mark, Acts, Romans and the General Epistles were translated. She also prepared primers and simple reading materials for literacy classes. In 1958 she began a simplified English version of the New Testament. Some books were published separately but in 1969 "Good News for the World: The New Testament in Worldwide English" was published by Operation Mobilization in India. Supervision of this project was provided by the American Bible Society. In addition to her translation work, Miss Cressman's missionary activities also included teaching bible classes and distributing literature. She retired from mission work in 1978 and settled in Elmira, where she was chaplain of a nursing home. She died on December 2, 1991.

Custodial history

This fonds was donated to the Archives by Larry Broughton, PAOC missionary to Liberia.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the records which document Annie Cressman's life as a missionary in Liberia, most significantly her translation work. Personal papers consist of Overseas Missionary Certificates of Fellowship, insurance documents, passports, travel itineraries and tickets, and a Liberian drivers' license. Correspondence relates mainly to Miss Cressman's mission work as well as her translations. The records also contain clippings and an account book from Liberia. The writings consist of handwritten sermon notes, copies of "The True Servant: The Gospel of Mark in Simplified English" an offprint from "The Bible Translator", dated 1961. Other writings include information about Seo Yar, a Liberian evangelist, drafts and notes, articles, and pamphlets. There are also drafts of "Good News for the World", an introduction to learning Tchien Krahn, Tchien books published by the Assemblies of God, Tchien primers and workbooks, pamphlets in other dialects published by other individuals and organizations, and a New Testament translation done by others. The fonds also contains what is best described as an English-Tchien dictionary, a box of 3"x5" cards arranged alphabetically which correspond to words in the Tchien dialect. While this "dictionary" was in Miss Cressman's records, Joy Hansell's name is on the box.

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Open

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PAOC Archives FileMaker Pro Database

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English; Tchien Krahn

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