Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.

Bisseux, Isaac (A)

South Africa

Isaac Bisseux was a pioneer French Protestant missionary in South Africa. Recommended to Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (PEMS) by Reformed pastor Antoine Colani of Lemé, Aisne, France, in 1829 he sailed for southern Africa with two other PEMS missionaries, Prosper Lemue and Samuel Rolland. Afrikaners of French descent inhabiting the Wagenmaker Valley invited Bisseux to evangelize their Khoi (Hottentot) slaves. Though it was originally unplanned, the PEMS allowed this venture to proceed, and the first conversion took place in 1831. When slavery was abolished three years later, the black Christian community numbered fifteen baptized members. It moved to Wellington in 1842, where Bisseux established a school. When he retired in 1881 in Montagu, Cape Province, his congregation joined the Dutch Reformed Church.

Jean-François Zorn


Robert Cornevin, “Isaac Bisseux (1807-1896),” in Hommes et Destins, vol. 2 (1977), pp. 92-93 ; C. J. Kriel, “Bisseux, Isaac,” in Dictionary of South African Biography (1968), pp. 79-80; “Quelques souvenirs du missionnaire Bisseux,” Journal des mission évangéliques 72 (1897): 131-136; Jean-François Zorn, Le grand siècle d’une mission protestante: La Mission de Paris de 1822 à 1914 (1993), pp. 363-369, 518.

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.