Born in Béthune into a Baptist family on April 16, 1902, Maurice Farelly was ordained to pastoral ministry in Denain on April 15, 1925. In September of the same year, he left for Douala under the auspices of the Evangelical Missions Society of Paris (Société des missions évangéliques de Paris).
He began his work as a pastoral assistant to pastor Charles Maître in Yabassi. Despite very trying circumstances (two of his children died in infancy, and his wife died in tragic circumstances in 1941), he managed to transform the mission station at Ndiki Somo.
He returned to France in 1945 and left the following year for three years (1946-1949). In 1951 he remarried, and together with his new wife, medical doctor Madeleine Prigent, returned to South Cameroon.
In 1955 he was appointed to work among the Kirdi in North Cameroon, and he established a station at Méri, between Maroua and Mokolo.
He returned to South Cameroon in 1956 and carried on with his work there until his retirement, in 1964.
He died in Sceaux, France, where he had taken his retirement, on July 6, 1985. Maurice Farelly left behind a significant group of books:
“Chronique du pays Banen” [A Chronicle of the Banen Region], 1948.
“Actes des apôtres” [Acts of the Apostles], 1957.
“Perdre la parole” [Losing One’s Voice], 1966.
“Africains d’hier et de demain” [Africans of Yesterday and of Tomorrow], 1967.
This article, reprinted here with permission, is taken from Hommes et Destins: Dictionnaire biographique d’Outre-Mer [People and Destinies: Overseas Biographical Dictionary], published in 1977 by the Académie des Sciences d’Outre-Mer (15, rue de la Pérouse, 75116 Paris, France). All rights reserved.