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Mary Johnson and Ida Anderson

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“Free-Free” Missionaries of the Scandinavian Mission Society USA to Natal, South Africa

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Mary Johnson (1884–1968) and Ida Anderson (1871–1964) are described in pentecostal historiography as the first pentecostal missionaries sent from America. Both of these Swedish-American missionaries experienced baptism of the Spirit, spoke in tongues, and were called as missionaries to Africa by God, whom they expected to speak through them to the native people. They went by faith and completed careers as missionaries to South Africa. But who were these two figures of which relatively little has been written? They were Swedish-American “Free-Free” in the tradition of August Davis and John Thompson of the Scandinavian Mission Society—the first Minnesota district of the Swedish Evangelical Free Mission, known today as the Evangelical Free Church of America. This work examines the lives of these two female missionaries, their work in South Africa, and their relationship with Swedish Evangelical Free churches in America, particularly its pentecostal stream of Free-Free (frifria).

Affiliations: 1: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois


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