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Carl Jacob Bender

1869-1935. Pioneer missionary in Africa. Born in Germany, he emigrated to America at age twelve. After studying at the German Baptist Seminary in Rochester, New York, he was appointed to the Cameroons in 1899 under the Berlin- based German Baptist Missionary Society and supported by American churches. He served first in Douala, and in 1909 took charge of the Soppo station on Mount Cameroon. Besides establishing a school and missionary rest center, he engaged in evangelistic work in the area, and founded more than two dozen outstations during the next ten years. Since he held American citizenship, the Benders were the only German missionaries permitted to remain in the Cameroons during World War I. When they left in 1919 the work was left entirely in indigenous hands. After pastoring churches in the United States, he returned in 1929 to supervise reconstruction at Soppo, where he died.