Alfred Buxton was a missionary in Belgian Congo (Zaire) and Ethiopia. He was born in Japan, the second son of Barclay Fowell Buxton. In 1913, before completing his medical course at Cambridge, he volunteered to go with his father’s old friend, C. T. Studd, to a new work in the Congo, which became the Heart of Africa Mission, later the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade. He married Studd’s daughter, Edith, in the Congo in December 1917. The Buxtons lived at Ibambi in the Ituri Forest, two days’ journey from Studd’s center at Nala. In 1924, a rare tropical illness caused a partial physical collapse, and Buxton continued to be troubled by attacks for the rest of his life. When differences arose between the strongly individualistic Studd and his colleagues in the 1920s, Buxton felt obliged to differ with his father-in-law. He traveled to the United States in 1927 to try to repair relationships with their American supporters. He was then dismissed by Studd as “disloyal,” although Buxton’s and Studd’s personal links were never broken. Buxton and some other former Congo missionaries linked with T. A. Lambie and the Sudan Interior Mission to open new work in Ethiopia and Somalia. Buxton also encouraged the Bible Churchmen’s Society to evangelize in northern Kenya. The Italian invasion of Ethiopia necessitated returning to England, and the Buxtons were living in Devon when World War II broke out.
Still involved in church and mission enterprises, Buxton also spent time in London. He arranged for the publication of a revised translation of the Amharic Bible. In October 1940 he and his brother Murray were in a committee meeting at Church House, Westminster, when it was struck by an air raid, and they died together.
B. Godfrey Buxton, The Reward of Faith in the Life of Barclay F. Buxton, 1860-1946 (1949); Edith Buxton, Reluctant Missionary (1968); Norman Grubb, Alfred Buxton of Abyssinia and Congo (1942).
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.