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Clark, Robert Shepherd
1908-1957
Anglican (BCMS)
Uganda

 

Canon Robert Shepherd Clark of the Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society arrived in Karamoja in 1933. The following year he was ordained deacon and married another missionary of the society who had previously worked in Persia. In 1935 he was ordained priest. The Clarks were posted to Lotome after their marriage, the main BCMS center of work in Karamoja, where they remained until 1956, their long-continued service giving valuable stability to the growth of the mission. They built up school-work, and in 1939 completed a preliminary translation of the New Testament into Karimojong. Because of the valuable work Clark was doing, the D.D. refused to allow him to be called up for military service during the second world war. By 1943 there were about 500 baptized Christians in Karamoja, the first man was looking forward to ordination (v. Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society), and others were hoping to become evangelists on demobilization. In the years after the war Clark was increasingly involved in school supervision and in repair and maintenance work as well as introducing agricultural and technical schemes, and giving help in the dispensary. In 1950 he was made an honorary canon of the pro-Cathedral of the Diocese of the Upper Nile. In 1954 he and Mrs. Clark were awarded the Queen’s Medal. Mrs. Clark was headmistress of the Lotome School from 1934-1957, and also did valuable translation work, and prepared an Akarimojong-English Vocabulary. The manuscripts of a revised translation of the New Testament was completed in 1958. Canon Clark died in Nairobi in 1957; Mrs. Clark retired to England in 1959 after spending a short period as headmistress of the Bethany Homecraft Center at Soroti.

Louise Pirouet


This article, used by permission, was written by Louise Pirouet, as part of A Dictionary of Christianity in Uganda (Department of Religious Studies, Makerere University College, 1969), p. 17. Copies available at Africana Section, Makerere University Library (AF Q 276.761 MAK and AR/MAK/99/1); Bishop Tucker Library, Uganda Christian University and in UK at the University of Birmingham; Crowther Centre Library, CMS Oxford and Louise Pirouet Papers, Cambridge Centre of African Studies.