United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Commission on Ecumenical Missions and Relations.
Secretaries' files: Central Brazil Mission, 1956-1972
Finding Aid to Record Group 137
3.00 cu.ft.

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516

ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

The Brazil Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the USA was established by the Board of Foreign Missions in 1859. It was the second mission field opened by the PCUSA in Latin America. The structure of Presbyterian mission work in Brazil differed from that of other mission fields developed by the Church throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. While the latter evolved around permanent centralized mission stations, comparatively few such stations were established in Brazil. Because of the vast distances that had to be traveled by itinerant missionaries, the Mission was subdivided in 1871 into two missions: the South Brazil Mission and the Central Brazil Mission. The latter encompassed the stations at Bahia, Cidade de Bomfim, Ponte Nova, Coetete and North Minas. The former included the stations in Sao Paulo, Parana, Matto Grosso, Goyaz and Sante Catharina. In 1938 the two missions were reunited into the Central Brazil Mission.

The nature of the Church's ministry in Brazil was evangelistic, educational, and medical. Though permanent institutions were constructed in the cities, evangelistic work in the vast interior was directed by itinerant missionaries who trained native evangelistic workers to continue the work they had initiated. In the South Brazil Mission, educational work centered in Sao Paulo where primary, intermediate and secondary education courses were taught at the Fscolo Americana and higher education was provided at Mackenzie College. In the Central Brazil Mission, the Farm School of Ponte Nova offered coeducational training. The only medical work of the Central Brazil Mission was conducted at the Ponte Nova Hospital.

The Board of Foreign Missions, in contrast with its policies in other mission areas, encouraged the early establishment and transfer of mission work to a National Church in Brazil. In 1888, the churches that had been formed by the missions of the PCUSA and the PCUS were united to form the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, which encompassed some fifty-two churches and four presbyteries. A growing divergence of opinion on matters of doctrine, policy and methods resulted in a schism in 1903, causing a number of ministers, elders and communicants to withdraw from the new church and to establish their own Independent Presbyterian Church.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Record Group 137 documents the educational and evangelistic mission efforts of the PCUSA's successor, the UPCUSA, in Brazil 1956-1972. The essence of this collection is the Secretaries' Files of the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations, though some materials from its predecessor, the Board of Foreign Missions, are also included. The collection is arranged chronologically.

NOTES TO THE RESEARCHER

Record Group 137 was not given a high quality of processing--the original filing order of the material was left intact. This presents difficulties to the researcher in search of specific materials.

The researcher is advised to examine "Executive correspondence" for papers on any given subject, even when that subject is listed separately. Executive correspondence is not filed separately by subject.

The Commission Representative Annual Report and the Field Treasurer Annual Report are filed with "Institutions," except as noted.

Budget papers for the Mission are filed with "Executive correspondence," except as noted. Budget papers for Institutions are filed with "Institutions."

Some Missionary Personal Reports cover the fiscal year (June-June). These are filed according to the concluding date of the report period.

Related collections include:

RG 86, Secretaries' Files, Brazil Mission

RG 236, Peter Garret Baker Papers

Collection processed and finding aid prepared: 1978
Robert Goldstein, Assistant Records Researcher

Notes added to finding aid: 1983
Frederick J. Heuser, Jr., Archivist

Finding aid revised: March 1992
Stephanie Muntone, Processing Archivist

Box	Folder	Description
1	1	Finding Aid to Record Group 137
	2	Historical and background papers

		1956
	3	Executive correspondence
	4	Institutions--reports, correspondence, minutes
	5	Missionary personnel reports
	6	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	7	Christian literature programs--correspondence

		1957
	8	Executive correspondence
	9	Institutions--reports, correspondence, minutes
	10	MacKenzie College, Sao Paulo--correspondence
	11	Missionary personal reports
	12	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian
		Churches

		1958
	13	Executive correspondence
	14	Institutions--reports, correspondence, minutes
   	15-16	MacKenzie College--correspondence
	17	Missionary personal reports
	18	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian
		Churches
	19	Christian literature programs--correspondence

		1959
	20	Executive correspondence
	21	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	22	MacKenzie College--correspondence, reports
	23	Missionary personal reports
	24	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian
		Churches

		1960
   	25-26	Executive correspondence
	27	Mission budget
	28	Institutions--correspondence
	29	MacKenzie College--correspondence
	30	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	31	Missionary newsletter (scattered issues)

		1961
1   	32-33	Executive correspondence
	34	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	35	MacKenzie College--correspondence
	36	COEMAR Educational survey in Brazil--correspondence, follow-up
	37	Missionary personal reports
	38	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	39	Missionary newsletter, related papers

		1962
2	1	Executive correspondence
	2	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	3	MacKenzie College--correspondence
	4	CAVE (Centro Audio-Visual Evangelico)--correspondence
	5	Missionary personal reports
	6	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	7	Mission property--"Report on Property Records"
	8	Missionary newsletter

		1963
	9	Executive correspondence
	10	Mission budget
	11	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	12	Missionary personal reports
	13	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	14	Missionary newsletter
	
		1964
	15	Executive correspondence, draft guidelines for the Mission
	16	Mission budget
	17	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	18	Buriti Farm and School--correspondence re immigrant resettlement project
	19	Missionary personal reports
	20	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	21	Missionary newsletter

		1965
	22	Executive correspondence
	23	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	24	Missionary personal reports
	25	Cornell Brazil Project--background and planning

		1966
2	26	Executive correspondence
	27	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	28	MacKenzie College--correspondence
	29	Missionary personal reports
	30	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches

		1967
31	Executive correspondence--relations between Mission and Igreja Presbiteriana do Brasil
	32	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	33	Missionary personal reports
	
		1968
	34	Executive correspondence
	35	Institutions--reports, correspondence

3   	1-2	Missionary personal reports
	3	Porto Alegre Urban Mission Project--background, proposal

		1969
	4	Executive correspondence
	5	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	6	Missionary personal reports
	7	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	8	Missionary newsletter (incomplete run)

		1970
	9	Executive correspondence--Radio Cometa affair
	10	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	11	CAVE, Radio Cometa--reports, correspondence
	12	Missionary personal reports
	13	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	14	Missionary newsletter (incomplete run)

		1971
   	15-16	Executive correspondence--relations between Mission and
		Igreja Presbiteriana do Brasil; phase-out of Mission
	17	Institutions--reports, correspondence
	18	Missionary personal reports
	19	Relations between Mission and Brazilian Presbyterian Churches
	20	Missionary newsletter (incomplete run)

		1972
   	21-22	Executive correspondence, COEMAR Representative annual report
	23	Missionary newsletter (incomplete run)
	24	Institution reports, missionary personal reports