BRYDE, Lilian Grace (1886-1959) • Australian Dictionary of Evangelical Biography

BRYDE, Lilian Grace (1886-1959)

Ian McDowell, ,

BRYDE, LILIAN GRACE (b. Sydney, NSW, 1886; d. Luanza, Zaire, 1959). Brethren missionary to Africa.

Grace Bryde trusted Christ at an early age through the testimony of a godly home and Sunday school, and assisted in the senior girls' Bible class. Following the visits to Sydney of Dan Crawford of Luanza and John Alexander Clarke of Koni Hill in the Belgian Congo (now Zaire), she offered for missionary service, and her Open Brethren church commended her to our Lord for His work with them. In 1915 she reached 'the beloved strip' of central African Brethren missionary endeavour as the first of many devoted Australian workers.

Grace Bryde worked with the Clarkes until her first furlough. On her return to Africa she worked with the Crawfords. She helped Crawford to finish his thirty-year project to translate the Bible, and his courageous young wife, the first white woman to reach Luanza, acknowledged Grace Bryde's power to keep her mercurial husband at work.

Like other missionary ladies of that time, such as Lilias Salisbury (q.v.) and Lily Myers who arrived from Australia in 1928 and 1931 and spent similar periods in the Congo, Grace Bryde engaged in the full range of field activities. She carried out itinerant medical and evangelistic work in the national villages until the time of her final illness, travelling by foot and bicycle. She assisted in large boys' and girls' boarding schools, and the work among the leper patients in the Dan Crawford Memorial Hospital which Dr E G Tilsley built. Her time was always at the disposal of others, whether fellow missionaries, or national believers. Her labours encompassed 44 years, during which time she took few furloughs. She died on the field and her colleagues buried her next to Crawford.

M H Saxby, Sounding Out (Sydney, 1973); Australian Missionary Tidings Oct 1951, Nov 1951, Oct 1959 (articles by Bryde)


Electronic Version © Southern Cross College, 2004

Content © Evangelical History Association of Australia and the author, 2004


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