Estella Myers was a pioneer missionary of the Brethren Church in central Africa. Born in Williamsburg, Iowa, she was the daughter of John A. and Anna Stoner Myers; her father was a minister in the Brethren Church. After completing high school in Iowa, Myers spent a year at Jennings Seminary in Aurora, Illinois, but was forced to leave because of mental illness. Upon her recovery she completed the nursing course at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines (1907), worked for a time, and then enrolled in Ashland (Ohio) College, where she volunteered to join a Brethren mission that was to begin in Africa. While funds were being raised, she served as a nurse at the Lost Creek, Kentucky, mission and spent a term at the School of Religious Pedagogy in Hartford, Connecticut. Finally, she became one of the first four Brethren Church missionaries in Oubangui-Chari (Central African Republic), Africa, serving from 1918 to 1956. “Mama” Myers worked with faith, dedication, and vision as a nurse, teacher, administrator, preacher, and translator. Her Karre language version of the New Testament was published in 1947, and she was at work on a translation of the New Testament into the Pana language at the time of her death.
Robert G. Clouse
Florence N. Gribble, Undaunted Hope (1932) and Stranger then Fiction (1949); Ruth Snyder, Estella Myers: Pioneer Missionary in Central Africa (1984).
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.