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Merrill and Verona Ferguson Family
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Rev. Frederick Merrill Ferguson (1909-1984) was a United Church missionary in Angola with his wife Verona Ferguson. M. Ferguson was born in Durham County, Ontario and from an early age was interested in church work. In 1925 he became a candidate for ministry and served as a student minister for the Board of Home Missions in Saskatchewan and Ontario during his summers off from university. During his studies, he worked as student minister in Scarborough, Ontario. He was ordained in 1933 alongside his brother Clarence, by the Bay of Quinte Conference. He subsequently worked for the Board of Home Missions in Cadomin-Mountain Park Pastoral Charge in Alberta. In 1934 he was appointed to the Angola Mission and also married Verona Ferguson (nee Clemence). In October 1934 he and V. Ferguson left for Angola where they both served as missionaries for the next twenty five years. In Angola they served at Chissamba, Camundongo and Dondi mission stations. Aside from his missionary work, M. Ferguson also organized boys’ work, taught village leaders, helped in the Portuguese church while studying Portuguese, served as president of the mission council and as a government liaison. In 1959 the Ferguson’s resigned from the mission for health and family reasons and returned to Canada. Upon his return, M. Ferguson served at the following charges until his retirement in 1979: Parkview United Church Stratford, Cosburn United Church Toronto East and Kings view United Church Oshawa.
Verona Irene Ferguson (1910-2005) was born in Stayner, Ontario. She was brought up in the Methodist Church. After high school she relocated to Toronto and studied to become a nurse. After graduation, she obtained a position in Northern Ontario with the Canadian Red Cross Society and spent over a year at Dryden. In 1934 she married M. Ferguson and for the next twenty five years served with him as a missionary in Angola. Upon the family’s return to Canada, V. Ferguson commuted to Toronto and did home visits with Portuguese speaking households. She passed away in 2005 at the age of ninety-four.
M. and V. Ferguson had four children. Their eldest daughter Helen Voutt (b. 1937) continued in their footsteps and worked with Angola Memorial Scholarship Fund.
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