Tule, Mary

Alternate Names: Mary Branton
South Africa , Liberia

Mary Branton Tule Mary Tule was a black Baptist missionary in Canada, South Africa, and Liberia. Born in Chatham, Canada West (now Ontario). Mary Branton joined the First Baptist Church, Amherstburg, as a teenager. In 1890 she became president of the Women’s Home Mission Society of the Amherstburg Association. She went on to study at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. As a National Baptist Convention missionary, Mary Branton taught in southern Africa from 1897 until 1911, when she married a South African, John Tule. She founded the Mary Branton Tule School in Cape Town in 1911. During this period, the South African government implemented legislation that denied blacks the franchise and stripped them of their land. With her husband, Mary Tule vigorously condemned these racial policies. In 1922 the South African government barred Mary and John Tule from returning to the country after a speaking tour in Europe and North America. They went on to minister in Liberia instead, where Mary Tule established a school in Monrovia. She died in Liberia.

Paul R. Dekar


Dorothy Shadd Shreve, Pathfinders of Liberty and Truth (1940).

——–, The Afri-Canadian Church: A Stabilizer (1983).

Walter L. Williams, Black Americans and the Evangelization of Africa, 1877-1900 (1982).

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.