Raaflaub, Fritz

Basel Mission

Fritz Raaflaub was a Basel Mission (BM) missionary in Cameroon and BM secretary for Africa. Raaflaub was born of farming parents in Gstaad, Canton of Bern, and trained at Unterstrass Teachers’ Seminary in Zurich. After joining the BM he worked as an ordained pastor and as a teacher and inspector of schools in Cameroon (1932-1945, 1947-1950). During his home leave he received a D. Phil. from the University of Zurich with a dissertation on BM schools in Cameroon (1947). In 1950 he was called to serve on the BM home board as the first secretary for Africa who had experience on a mission field. On his several visits to the partner churches in Ghana and Cameroon he encouraged them in their initiative to become independent. He also launched the beginning of BM work in northern Nigeria in cooperation with the Church of the Brethren (U.S.). In 1964 he was elected president of the Council of Swiss Missions (Schweizerischer Evangelischer Missionsrat: 1964-1976) and after his resignation from the presidency acted as its secretary (1976-1984). He received an honorary D. Theol. degree from the University of Basel in 1976.

Waltraud Ch. Haas


Fritz Raaflaub, Gebt uns Lehrer: Geschichte und Gegenwartsaufgabe der Basler Missionsschulen in Kamerun (D.Phil. diss., Univ. of Zurich, 1947). Der bleibende Auftrag: 150 Jahre Basler Mission (1956), ed., Basel Mission Schools Become Presbyterian Schools (1966), and Kirche, Kakao und Kliniken: 150 Jahre Missionsarbeit in Ghana (1978). Raaflaub authored numerous articles and reports in Evangelisches Missions Magazin, L’Actualité Missionaire (1965; 1966) and in various BM publications. Correspondence and reports from Cameroon are in the BM archive, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.