Faust, Aletha Knapp (1904-1998)

Faust, Aletha Knapp (1904-1998)

Pioneer Missionary in Nigeria

For forty years, Aletha Knapp Faust served as a pioneer missionary in Nigeria, Africa, spanning the years 1930 to 1970. Born in Holton, Kansas, she graduated from North Central College, Naperville, Illinois, and earned a master’s degree at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. During their first eighteen years with the Pero tribe in Nigeria, Aletha and her husband learned the language, shared in putting it in writing and in starting schools. She assisted in writing school books and in translating portions of Scripture. She was the first to encourage Pero women to become Christian. She taught them to read and write, and organized the first Pero Christian Women’s Fellowship. Similar fellowships were soon started in villages and among other tribes, and a young Girls’ Brigade was begun. Work among the Pero women and their response to the Christian message became the basis of her book, These Things Have Happened, published in 1945. For the last five years in Nigeria, Aletha was on the staff of the Women’s Department of the Theological College, a cooperative seminary for pastors and their wives.

Taken from They Went Out Not Knowing… An Encyclopedia of One Hundred Women in Mission (New York: Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 1986). Used with permission of United Methodist Women.