Ernest Creux was a pioneer missionary of the Swiss Mission Church in northeastern Transvaal, South Africa. Creux completed theological studies at the faculty of the Free Church of canton Vaud in Lausanne, Switzerland. Together with Paul Berthoud, he offered his services as a foreign missionary “whether under the tropics or on the northern ice.” In 1875 he and Berthoud established in the Transvaal a station named Valdezia after their home canton, Vaud. In 1879 he left Valdezia and established a second mission in this area at Elim where an important mission hospital and a school were developed.
In 1902 Creux was transferred to Pretoria. Here he embarked on a ministry which was to make the Swiss mission famous: caring for lepers, the imprisoned and the insane. Eventually he was made director of the Swiss mission in the Transvaal. Through his leadership, links were forged between the Swiss mission and other churches in the South African Missionary Conference (1904) and the Transvaal Missionary Association (1905).
J. W. Hofmeyr
J. du Plessis, A History of Christian Missions in South Africa (1911); H. A. Junod, Ernest Creux et Paul Berthoud: les fondateurs de la mission suisse dans L’Afrique du Sud (1933) ; M. I. Mathebula, “The Relationship between Some Ecumenical Bodies and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa (Swiss Mission) (1904-1975): A Historical Study” (M.Th. thesis, Univ. of South Africa, Pretoria, 1989).
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.