Mary Gomer was an African American missionary of the United Brethren in Christ (UBC). Born in Dayton, Ohio, she married Joseph Gomer, and in 1870 they applied for mission work in Africa. They reached Sierra Leone in 1871 and were stationed at the Shenge station. The UBC had begun mission work in Africa in 1855. It had acquired the American Missionary Association station in Sierra Leone, and the Gomers were the first black American missionaries sent there. At Shenge Gomer worked with the women and children. As a teacher, she taught many useful and practical lessons. In her religious and domestic training classes she encouraged her female students to become model wives and housekeepers. After her husband died at his post in 1892, Mary Gomer remained at the Sierra Leone mission for two years. She returned to the United States in 1894 and died in Dayton, Ohio.
Sylvia M. Jacobs
Daniel Berger, History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (1897); Christopher Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone (1962); 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.