Elizabeth Hall was an African American missionary in Congo and Jamaica. Born in Augusta, Maine, orphaned early, and adopted by a Christian woman in Boston, she decided from childhood to be a missionary. She graduated in 1891 from the Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago, where, for the first time, she was designated “colored.” In 1893 she married William Hall, a Jamaican Baptist missionary, and returned with him to the Congo, serving at several stations before spending 13 years at Palabala, where the work of “Mama Hall” with children and the sick was long remembered. Although she recovered several times from blackwater fever (which usually proves fatal), it eventually necessitated her withdrawal from Africa. Later she worked in Jamaica (1918-1932), where for 18 months she operated a private isolation hospital for victims of alastrim, a disease like smallpox, all the while refusing remuneration. A founder and organizing secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Women’s Federation, for seven years she had an orphanage for twelve children in her own home, raising most of the money for their support herself, by lectures and assistance from friends abroad. The Garland Hall Children’s Home in Anchovy, Jamaica, was built in her memory. Her last 14 months were spent as a very sick patient in Graduate Hospital, New York City, where her witness and influence reached every level of the hospital community. She was buried in Westchester County, New York.
Beryl J. Russell
Beryl J. Russell, “A Biographical Study of the Life and Work of Elizabeth Garland Hall” (M.A. thesis, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1996).
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.