Classic DACB Collection

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

Moffat, John Smith (B)

South Africa , Zimbabwe

John Smith Moffat was a London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary in South Africa. Born in Kuruman, South Africa, he was the son of Robert and Mary Moffat. Educated at Cheshunt College and New College, London, he was ordained in 1858 and returned to Africa in the company of LMS recruits. In Africa he remained with them as an unofficial assistant in their work among the Amandebele people in present-day Zimbabwe. In 1862 he was officially recognized as a missionary by the LMS. In 1865 he moved to Kuruman and began working with his father, but because of his wife’s ill health he went to Cape Town in 1867. He returned in 1868 and for four years worked with his father on the revision of the Tswana Bible. His wife’s health then forced a further withdrawal until 1874.

In 178 he resigned from the LMS and became a colonial official, serving the administration of what is now Botswana with distinction until his retirement in 1895.

Andrew C. Ross


Moffat published a massive biography of his parents, The Lives of Robert and Mary Moffat (1885). Details of his career can be found in Richard Lovett, The History of the London Missionary Society, 1795-1895 (1899).

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.