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College Archives

Current Exhibits

Current Archives Exhibits include:

Traveling through the Archives: Egypt and Arabia Petrea - located outside of the Archives (Jenks 217) on the 2nd floor of the Jenks Library

Eliot's Bible: Celebrating 100 Years of the Vining Collection - located in the small gallery in the Barrington Arts Center; open through Dec. 9th

One Body: Preserving a Diverse Legacy - located in the Reference Room of Jenks Library

Eliot's Bible: Celebrating 100 Years of the Vining Collection

Portrait of Edward Payson Vining

Eliot's Bible: Celebrating 100 Years of the Vining Collection

Curated by Damon DiMauro


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of the Vining Collection. It was bequeathed as a memorial to Edward Payson Vining (1847-1920), who himself had been, according to the institution’s 1921 catalogue, “sympathetic with the scholarly work and evangelical loyalty of Gordon College.” The collection consists of some 7,000 books, manuscripts, and letters, ranging from the 12th century to the early 20th century. It boasts over 900 Bibles in 140 languages. It is also rich in Shakespeareana, Early Americana, geography, travel literature, ethnology, and especially philology—with vast holdings in indigenous languages.

Vining had made his fortune as a “railroad man,” serving for many years as freight manager of the Union Pacific Railroad and later as general manager of the San Francisco street-railway system. His career took him far and wide, putting him literally on the map, for the town of Vining, Kansas was named in his honor. After his retirement in his early 50s, he devoted the remainder of his life to book collecting and research. Vining authored an eclectic array of scholarly studies and had working knowledge of some fifty languages. In his most ambitious foray into philology and ethnology—an 800-paged monograph titled An Inglorious Columbus (1885)—he contended that Buddhist monks from Afghanistan had first discovered America in the 5th Century. As a scholar, Vining is mainly remembered for his work on Shakespeare. He was a founding member of the New York Shakespeare Society and edited the Hamlet volume of the organization’s republication of the Bard’s collected works (1888). In The Mystery of Hamlet (1881), his most significant contribution to the field, Vining advanced the unorthodox theory that the dithering “prince” was in fact a woman who posed as a man to preserve the succession of the Danish throne. His hypothesis shaped Danish actress Asta Nielsen’s 1920 version of Hamlet for the silver screen and also earned him a fleeting mention in James Joyces’ Ulysses (Ch. IX). Vining was an autodidact and never attended college. He did, however, receive an honorary A.M. from Yale University in 1886 and was granted an LL.D. degree from William Jewell College in 1908. He was also a trustee at the University of Chicago (1886-88).

Image: Photo of Edward Payson Vining

Photo of Charles Otis

Charles Otis

In 1919, well into his seventh decade, Edward Payson Vining sought to donate his library of rare books to the Tremont Temple Baptist Church in Boston. The minister at the time, Cortland Myers, declined, citing lack of space and suggesting the books “should be somewhere of real usefulness.” The following year, Vining was struck by an electric car while crossing the street in Brookline and died less than two months later, leaving the collection without a home. As former Gordon President Nathan Wood later wrote, “An unplanned episode occurred out of the clear blue sky when Charles Otis of New York telephoned and asked if Gordon wanted the Vining Library.” Otis was Vining’s son-in-law and the publisher of the Wall Street Journal. In accepting the bequest, the college saw itself as the “custodian” for “the benefit of scholars at large as well as those within its own walls,” so that “Generations of scholars for the ministry and mission field [might] multiply the influence of the Christian scholarship of Edward Payson Vining.” At the same time, Otis became a trustee and dedicated himself to the school for the remaining twenty-five years of his life. According to Wood, a main feature of Otis’ devotion to the “Gordon College of Theology and Missions was that his ‘tithing’, which he interpreted as a tenth of the gross, not the net, income of the business.” This “led to steady giving to the School of some thousands of dollars a year, which as he said ‘didn’t cost him anything, because they were there, waiting to be assigned.’” On more than one occasion, when the institution was in financial straits, Otis came to the rescue with his largess.  

Image: Photo of Charles Otis

Photo of A.J. Gordon as a young man

Eliot's Influence on A.J. Gordon

Adoniram Judson “A. J.” Gordon (1836–95) was a Boston-based Baptist minister. Through his writing, speaking, and hymnology, he became one of the most influential religious leaders of his era. In 1886 he addressed the Northfield Conference when the initial 100 student volunteers launched what became the Student Volunteer Movement. It was, however, at the 1888 London Centenary Conference on the Protestant Missions of the World that Gordon emerged as a leading apologist for worldwide evangelization and indigenous church planting. Recognizing the desperate need for laborers in the harvest, he founded the Boston Missionary Training School in 1889. After his demise, the school was renamed Gordon in his honor.

A. J. Gordon’s first known brush with the legacy of John Eliot was also his first known foray into the realm of education. As a young civic-minded pastor in Jamaica Plain, he served as head of a committee overseeing the construction of a new edifice for the Eliot School, named after John Eliot, who in 1689 had given 75 acres of land, stipulating that the proceeds were to be used “for teaching and instructing of the children of that end of town (together with such negroes or Indians as may or shall come to said school)…” Gordon, speaking at the opening ceremony, noted that some had objected to the final design which resembled too much a church. Although not conscious of the resemblance at first, he nevertheless quipped how “appropriate it was for a school founded by John Eliot.”

Later in life, A. J. Gordon was wont to make pilgrimages to the gravesites of previous heroes of the faith. Regarding David Brainerd’s tomb, he maintained that he had “never received such spiritual impulse from any human being as from him whose body has lain now for nearly a century and a half under that Northampton slab.” It is known that he also visited Jonathan Edwards’ tomb and indeed John Eliot’s burial place to draw inspiration from their example.

In one of his most well-known sermons, If Ye Continue in my Word, he refers to Eliot’s example: “I sorrowfully own that I make many failures in the Christian life: but the secret has often been too much work and too little prayer. I believe in the maxim of John Eliot: ‘Prayer and pains through faith in Christ can do all things.’ Yes, if we only keep the two yoked together, and always moving with equal footstep.” The maxim in question is found on the last page of Eliot’s Indian Grammar.

Image: Photo of a young A.J. Gordon

Portrait of John Eliot

John Eliot

Image: Portrait of John Eliot.

Painting of John Eliot

Eliot the Man

John Eliot graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1623, where he had shown a special talent for languages. His religious thinking was profoundly influenced by Puritan divine Thomas Hooker, the future founder of the Colony of Connecticut. Eliot immigrated to Massachusetts Bay in November 1631. After serving the Boston Church for a year, he was ordained at Roxbury in November 1632, and remained in the pastorate there until his death, serving over half a century.

John Eliot developed an interest in missions to first peoples and began to study Wampanoag, a dialect of the Algonquian language. He enlisted the help of a native named “Cockenoe,” who had been captured in the Pequot War of 1637 and who had become indentured to an English settler. “He was the first,” affirmed Eliot, “that I made use of to teach me words, and to be my interpreter.” With Cockenoe’s assistance, he was able to translate the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and other religious material. In 1646, while still serving the Roxbury church, Eliot set about to preach to native populations. His first evangelistic overtures were unsuccessful. He then resorted to what in modern parlance would be called “adult education”: after an opening prayer and sermon, he entertained general questions—the cause of thunder, the ebbing of the sea, the changing of the wind. Sometimes the questions became more pointed: “Do not English spoil their souls when they say that a thing costs them more than it did cost, and is not that all one as to steal?”

In 1651, Eliot petitioned the General Court for a tract of land in Natick on which to establish a native community. He eventually assisted in organizing fourteen such communities, known as “Praying Towns,” complete with their own form of government and educational system, combining literacy as well as vocational skills. Eliot’s venture flourished for over 20 years until the advent of King Philip’s War (1675-76), led by Wampanoag chief Metacom in a last-ditch effort to stop English settlement, bringing this rather utopian state of affairs to an abrupt and tragic end.

Eliot’s passion for education is evident in a prayer he once offered before the Assemblies of the Puritan Church: “Lord, for schools everywhere among us! That every member of this assembly may go home and procure a good school to be encouraged in the town where he lives! That before we die, we may be so happy as to see a good school encouraged in every plantation of the country.” His educational legacy endures to this day: he founded the Roxbury Grammar School and he donated 75 acres of land to support the Eliot School in what was then Roxbury’s Jamaica Plain district. Eliot’s donation required the school (renamed in his honor) to accept both African American and Native American students without prejudice.

Eliot died, nearly 86 years old, on May 20, 1690. His ultima verba were, “Welcome—Joy!”

Image: Painted portrait of John Eliot

Title page of the New Testament in Eliot's Indian Bible. Text is in Algonquian.

Eliot's Bible

The crowning achievement of John Eliot’s ministry was his “Indian Bible” (1663), a project which he undertook because he felt that native peoples were more receptive to hearing the Scriptures in their own tongue. It has well been styled “a wonderful monument of patience, industry and faith.” Its superlatives are several:

The first complete Bible printed in the Western Hemisphere and printed on the first press brought to the American colonies.

The largest printing project ever undertaken in 17th-century Colonial America.

The first time the entire Bible was translated into a language not native to the translator.

The earliest known example of the translation of the Bible into a new language of no previous written words.

For the printing of his translation, Eliot had the financial support in England of the newly formed “Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England.” In the end, £16,000 were raised, all from private donations. After much toil and travail, Eliot learned enough of the local dialect of the Algonquian language to begin his grand endeavor. He was most certainly aided by native-speaking Christian converts John Sassomon, Job Nesuton, and James Printer. Eliot first published the New Testament in 1661. He then published the entire 66 books of the Bible in 1663 under the title Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up Biblum God (“The Whole Holy His-Bible God”). It took him and his cadre of artisans a little over fourteen years.

Eliot did not deem the indigenous term for the Deity sufficiently removed from superstitious misconceptions, and rendered it as “God” or “Jehovah” as the English Bible would have them accordingly. For proper nouns or objects known only to the oriental world, he employed the English term, with proper native inflections. Eliot’s translation is also known for its additive multiword structures. “This Language,” as Eliot noted, “doth greatly delight in Compounding of words”:

Nummatchekodtantamoonganunnonash (32 letters, “our lusts”)

Wutteppesittukqussunnoowehtunkquoh (34 letters, “kneeling down to him”)

Kummogkodonattoottummooetiteaongannunnonash (43 letters, “our question”)

Many copies of the original edition of Eliot’s “Indian Bible” were destroyed during the King Philip’s War (1675-76)—hence its great rarity today, for only 37 copies are known to exist. In 1685, after some debate, the Society for the New England Company decided to support the publication of a second edition of Eliot’s Indian Bible (1685), of which there are 53 surviving copies.

Pictured: Editio princeps of John Eliot’s “Indian Bible” (1663). The first Bible published in British North America and a translation based on the Geneva Bible. The New Testament, whose title page is presented here, was printed earlier in 1661.

Image: Title page of the New Testament (Vining BS 345 .A2 E4 1663).

Conserved Eliot Bible. It is bound with brown leather decorated with a straight border along the edges with small, floral designs in the corners. The spine is briefly visible with

Eliot Bible Conservation

In the Summer of 2021, the Eliot Bible was conserved by Jim Reid-Cunningham. The Bible was in rough condition originally and had split into three separate sections. Thanks to Jim's conservation work, the Bible has been fully rebound and whole once more. You can see the video of Jim's conservation work on the Jenks Library YouTube page. 

Image: The conserved Eliot Bible with new binding

Painting title “Eliot’s Indian Bible” by Elijah M. Haines (1888) showing Eliot preaching to the Natives

“Eliot’s Indian Bible” by Elijah M. Haines, 1888

Image: Painting of John Eliot preaching to the Natives. 

Title page of the 1685 edition of John Eliot's bible. It is written in Algonquian and lists the Old Testament and New Testament.

Eliot's Bible (1685)

Second edition of Eliot’s “Indian Bible” (1685), in the preparation of which he was assisted by John Cotton (1640-99), the younger, of Plymouth, who also had a wide knowledge of the native tongue.

Image: Title page of the 1685 Bible (Vining BS 345 .A2 E4 1685)

Title page of Eliot's Gospel of Matthew

Gospel of Matthew (1680)

This edition of Eliot’s Gospel of Matthew (1680) might have been rebound as a remnant of a New Testament that had fallen apart, as often happened. Or, it could possibly have been printed by Eliot as a trial run, as he had done with both Genesis and Matthew while preparing the first edition of the “Indian Bible.”

Image: Title page of Eliot's Gospel of Matthew (Vining BS 345 .A2 Matthew 1680)

Leaf fragment from the Gospel of John in Algonquian.

Eliot Bible Leaves

Through heavy use and the depredations of time, few entire Eliot Bibles survive. Many individual leaves, on the other hand, have been carefully preserved.

Image: Leaf from John (Vining BS 345 .A2 E4 1685 John)

Leaf fragment from Isaiah in Algonquian

Eliot Bible Leaves - Isaiah

Image: Leaf fragment from Isaiah (Vining BS 345 .A2 E4 1685 Isaiah)

Leaf fragment from Acts in Algonquian

Eliot Bible Leaves - Acts

Image: Leaf fragment from Acts (Vining BS 345 .A2 E4 1685 Acts)

Title Page of John Eliot's

Eliot the Philologist

The early English settlers were fascinated with indigenous languages. In addition to John Eliot’s seminal work on Algonquian, Roger Williams’s A Key into the Language of America (1643), John Cotton, Jr.’s Diary and Indian Vocabulary (1666-78), Josiah Cotton’s Vocabulary of Massachusetts (or Natick) Indian Language (1708), and Jonathan Edwards, Jr.’s Observations on the Language of the Muhhekaneew Indians (1778), all attest to this keen and enduring interest in native philology.

When indigenous peoples began to articulate Christian doctrine in their own idiom, as the Eliot Bible and other catechetic materials came into their hands, it also elevated the status of native philology itself in English eyes. At the same time, colonial philologists discovered that native languages were coherent systems, structured by their own grammatical rules. They were equally surprised to find that indigenous tongues evinced novel ways of ordering language, which caused them to question their own linguistic superiority.

Ever the pioneer, John Eliot’s own Indian Grammar (1666) contains important reflections on the Algonquian language, which he describes as differently ordered than European tongues, with its own inner logic, yet just as expressive and sophisticated. As Eliot reminds his readers, “Grammar is the art or rule of speaking.” Which is why the word “RULES” is emphatically foregrounded on the titlepage: it declares that the recognizable verbal patterns of first peoples put them on a par with their European counterparts. Eliot’s radical contention is even more piquant in that it came at a time when English itself was considered lacking in consistency (cf. Edmund Spenser: “Why a God’s name, may not we, as else the Greeks, have the kingdom of our own language?”).

In attempting to track the operational rules that govern Algonquian propositions and inflections, Eliot is keen to point out their unique features: “no other Learned Language (so farre as I know) useth.” He lauds these as “elegancies.” In essence, Eliot claims to have discovered “new ways of Grammar,” namely new possibilities for organizing language and thinking grammatically.

Finally, Eliot finds a spiritual richness in Algonquian that reveals God’s presence. For instance, instead of the usual masculine-feminine construct of many languages, Eliot notes that Algonquian operates on an animate-inanimate distinction. “The first kinde of Noun is, when the thing signified is a living Creature, the second kinde is, when the thing signified is not a living creature.” For Eliot, this trait indicates that native peoples were allied with Puritans in their preoccupation with the nature of the soul.

Image: Title page of The Indian Grammar 

Example pages showing the Optative Mode in the Praeter Tense in Algonquian and English.

Reprint of Eliot's "Indian Grammar" (1822)

Reprint of Eliot’s 1666 Indian Grammar. (Boston: Printed by Phelps and Farnham, 1822.) The republication is notable because it is edited and prefaced by comparative linguists Peter Stephen Du Ponceau (1760-1844) and John Pickering (1777-1846). Pickering, in particular, notes that the work of “the venerable Eliot” gives the lie to prejudiced colonial views “that savages, having but few ideas, can want but few words, and therefore that their languages must necessarily be poor.”

Image: Example pages showing the Optative Mode in the Praeter Tense in Algonquian and English.

Title page of the second printing of Eliot's Indian Grammar

Second Reprint of "Indian Grammar"

Second reprint by Pickering and Ponceau of Eliot’s 1666 Indian Grammar, this time for the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston: From the Steam Power Press Office, W.L. Lewis, Printer, 1832).

Image: Title page of the second printing of Eliot's Indian Grammar (Vining PM 1737 .E43w 1832)

Example pages from the

Algonquian Devotionals

Eliot published a series of devotional manuals in Algonquian, which form what is now called the “Indian Library.” Among these instructional and pedagogical texts intended to promote conversion and the ability to read were the Indian catechism (1653) and A Primer or Catechism (1654). Later, The Indian Primer, comprising an exposition of the Lord’s Prayer and a translation of the Larger Catechism, was also published (1669). It is reprinted here under the editorial superintendence of John Small of the University of Edinburgh (1877).

Image: Alphabet pages (Vining PM 1739 .E6)

Relief of John Eliot and Natives

Eliot the Apologist

During his initial encounters with first peoples, John Eliot recorded many of the impromptu queries they put to him, and at times his responses as well. These candid probings were what led him to translate the Scriptures, which, he believed, had a special virtue to quicken the understanding, into the indigenous language.

“Why the English call them Indians, because before they came they had another name?”

“Whether they should believe Dreames?”

“How doth much sinne make grace abound?”

“What is the effect of your religion? We have no contentions about property, and no man envies his neighbor?”

“Why did not God give all men good hearts, that they might be good?

“Why did not God kill the devil, that made all men so bad, God having all power?”

“How they should know whether their faith was good, and when their prayers were good prayers?”

“Whether they in Heaven see us here on Earth?”

“Why some men were so bad that they beat those men that would teach them good things?”

Question: “Whether Jesus Christ did understand, or God did understand Indian prayers?”

Answer: “Jesus Christ and God by him made all things, and makes all men, not onely English but Indian men, and if hee made them both… then hee knew all that was within man and came from man, all his desires, and all his thoughts, and all his speeches, and so all his prayer; and if hee made Indian men, then hee knowes all Indian prayers also.”

Question: “Whether the English men were ever at any time so ignorant of God and Jesus Christ as themselves?”

Answer: “There are two sorts of English men, some are bad and naught, and live wickedly and loosely, and these kind of English men wee told them were in a manner as ignorant of Jesus Christ as the Indians now are; but there are a second sort of English men, who though for a time they lived wickedly also like other prophane and ignorant English, yet repenting of their sinnes, and seeking after God and Jesus Christ, they are good men now…”

Question: “What get you, say they, by praying to God, and beleeving in Jesus Christ? You goe naked still, and you are as poor as wee, and our Corne is as good as yours, wee take more pleasure than you; did we see that you got anything by it, wee would pray to God and believe in Jesus Christ also as you doe?”

Answer: “First, God giveth unto us two sorts of good things, one sort are little ones, which I shewed by my little finger; the other sort are great ones, which I shewed by my thumbe… The little mercies are riches, as clothes, food, sack, houses, cattle, and pleasures, these are little things which serve but for our bodies a little while in this life; the great mercies are wisdome, the knowledge of God, Christ, eternall life…”

Image: Relief of John Eliot with natives

Portion of the Massachusetts' Seal

Eliot's Hagiography

From the earliest New England histories until relatively recent times, John Eliot was heralded as “the Apostle to the Indians” for his linguistic and humanitarian work. Modern sensibilities have made him ipso facto an imposer of western values on indigenous cultures. The reassessment of Eliot’s work has also been colored by the legacy of the King Philip’s War (1675-76), which saw the native “Praying Towns” razed and their inhabitants forcibly removed to Deer Island, a barren strip of land off Boston Harbor. Eliot rowed to the island, bringing supplies to his interned flock, but came away distraught: “The Island was bleak and cold, their wigwams poor and mean, their clothes few and thin.” Today, descendants of the Nipmuc tribe visit Deer Island every October to hold a memorial ceremony.

Prior to the conflict, however, Eliot was highly effective in his mission to native peoples, and early biographies tend to depict him in a haloed light. The first recorded account is found in Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), which details the religious development of New England colonies from 1620 to 1698. Among the hagiographic biographies of Puritan ministers, none receive higher praise than John Eliot. In narrating Eliot’s call to ministry, Mather reveals that he felt moved by “pity for the poor Indians” whenever he looked upon the Massachusetts Bay Colony seal (1629). This features a native figure holding a bow in one hand and a down-turned arrow in the other. From his mouth issues an appeal “COME OVER AND HELP US,” a reference to Acts 16:9, in which a Macedonian appears to Paul in a dream and implores him, “Come over into Macedonia.”

Mather mentions Eliot’s quaint belief that the Indians belonged to the lost tribes of Israel and that their language conserved traces of Hebrew, the language of heaven. Mather describes this notion as not “so much guess as wish—wherein he was willing a little to indulge himself.” As for Eliot’s translation of the Bible into Algonquian, Mather considered it a milestone that added luster to the glory of New England and hastened the approach of the Millennium: “Behold, ye Americans, the greatest honour that ever you were partakers of! This Bible was printed here at our Cambridge; and it is the only Bible that ever was printed in all America, from the very foundation of the world.” Moreover, “The Bible being justly made the leader of all the rest,” noted Mather, “a little Indian library quickly followed,” which included primers, grammars, catechisms, and theological treatises.

A vestige of Eliot hagiography still survives today, in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA), which remembers him with a feast day on May 21.

Image: Portion of the Massachusetts' Seal

Mural titled

Mural in the Massachusetts Statehouse

In terms of latter-day depictions of Eliot, hagiography’s last gasp might be found in a mural adorning the Massachusetts Statehouse, “John Eliot Preaching to the Indians.” It was painted by neo-classical artist Henry Oliver Walker. Unveiled in 1903, it presents an ethereal scene with sunlight pouring down from heaven on Eliot and receptive native peoples at his feet.

Mural titled

Natick Post Office

By 1937, the portrayal was quite different. In a mural titled John Eliot Speaks to the Natick Indians, commissioned for the Natick Post Office under a New Deal works program, artist Hollis Howard Holbrook captures the very moment the Natick Indians are deported in chains to Deer Island. They await a word of solace from their pastor. He offers them his Bible, while a foregrounded English settler clutching a gun leads the captive band away.

Event Poster for a Screening of the Film

Eliot's Bible and Its Afterlife

Eliot’s “Indian Bible” has had something of an afterlife. It has served, however ironically, as an instrumental resource for the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, where it is being studied alongside the English Bible in order to relearn Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) vocabulary and grammar.

In 1992, Jessie Little Doe Baird, a citizen of the Mashpee tribe of the Wampanoag Nation, had dreams of her ancestors, conversing in a language she could not comprehend. Baird eventually enrolled at MIT, where, with the help of eminent linguists, she made use of the Eliot Bible and other 17th- and 18th-century documents to revive her long-unspoken language. Wôpanâak, one of a group of roughly three dozen dialects in the Algonquian language family, had not been used for 150 years when the project began. After studying these early documents, a Wôpanâak dictionary soon burgeoned to 10,000 words. Out of some 4,000 Wampanoags, an estimated 200 have taken a Wôpanâak class, and seven are now said to be proficient. Baird’s linguistic efforts were chronicled in the 2011 documentary “We Still Live Here” by Anne Makepeace.

In a recent development, the American Recovery Act has set aside $20 million for the preservation of native languages, which will help continue the revival of Wôpanâak. The language is also currently being taught to high school students in the Mashpee Public School system.

Image: Event Poster for a Screening of the Film "We Still Live Here"

Screenshot of Ted Hildebrandt's YouTube video. It shows a portrait of John Eliot as the image and lists the title of the exhibit underneath the image.

Life and Works of John Eliot

To learn more about the incredible life and works of John Eliot, you can view the video created for this exhibit by Ted Hildebrandt titled John Eliot, Gordon College Vining Exhibit, 9/28/21. You can also visit Ted's website Biblical eLearning and he has plans to include a section about John Eliot soon. 

Photo from the Play

Song on the Wind

Closer to home, the story of the 17th-century convergence of English and native cultures was the subject of a musical “Song on the Wind” by David MacAdam, Artistic Director of New Life Fine Arts in Concord, MA. The title is in special reference to Eliot’s first convert, Waban (lit. “wind” in Algonquian), who came to faith after hearing Eliot preach a sermon on the Valley of Dry Bones from Ezekiel 37:9: “Prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” As Gordon Professor Graeme Bird, who took part in a production of “Song on the Wind,” recalls the musical’s climatic moment: “Eliot is singing/preaching from Ezekiel, and then Waban joins in in a magnificent sort of counterpoint, expressing his inner questions and conflict and final conversion.”

Image: Photo from a production of "Song on the Wind"

Title Page of the Massachuset Psalter (1709)

The Massachuset Psalter (1709)

The Massachuset Psalter (& Gospel of John) is a diglot in parallel columns, Algonquian and English, published by Experience Mayhew (1673–1758) for the Wampanoag of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. After Eliot’s “Indian Bible,” it is the most important monument of the indigenous language. The publication of the Gospel of John also constitutes the first printing of any part of the New Testament in English in the colonies—since the British Crown countenanced only the “Authorized Version” in King James’ English and did not permit its printing in the Americas. Mayhew’s choice then to reproduce the Geneva version of the English Bible (often used by dissenters) could have been viewed as a seditious act.

The Mayhew family is largely responsible for the evangelization of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It has been called one of the “longest most persistent missionary endeavors” in the annals of Christendom. An English colony had been established on the islands by 1642 by Thomas Mayhew the Elder (1593-1682), one of the editors of the Bay Psalm Book (1640), the first book published in British America. Relations between the Wampanoag tribe and the early settlers were relatively harmonious, especially compared to those between the English and Native Americans on the mainland.

Thomas Mayhew the Younger (1618-57) is credited as the moving force behind the Indian mission. When a native named Hiacoomes expressed curiosity about Christianity, Mayhew invited him into his household and instructed him in English and the faith, while Hiacoomes, in return, taught Mayhew the native tongue. Hiacoomes is said to be the first Christian convert in the colonies. When Mayhew felt proficient enough in Algonquian to converse, he was known to “walk 20 miles through uncut forests to preach the Gospel… in wigwam or open field.” There was little progress among the Wampanoag at first, yet, by 1652, there were 283 converts, as well as an Indian School. Mayhew related his missionary activity amongst the Wampanoag in several tracts for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, who financially supported his work.

Thomas Mayhew’s grandson Experience learned to speak the native language from Hiacoomes. He continued the missionary work and began preaching to the Wampanoag at the age of 21. He was ordained a Congregational minister and had oversight over several assemblies of “Praying Indians.” His ministry lasted 64 years. Experience Mayhew’s Massachuset Psalter was printed in 1709 in Boston by Bartholomew Green and his apprentice James Printer (alias Wawaus, a member of a prominent Nipmuc family and Christian convert).

Image: Title page of the Massachuset Psalter

Example pages of the Psalms in Algonquian and English. Each page is split in two with Algonquian on the left and English on the right.

Massachuset Psalter - Example Pages

Image: Example pages from the Massachuset Psalter (Vining BS 345 .A2 Psalms 1709)

Stained glass window depicting Rev. Thomas Mayhew, Jr. baptizing Hiacoomes

Stained Glass Window

Image: Stained glass window in the baptismal font in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. depicting Rev. Thomas Mayhew, Jr. baptizing Hiacoomes.

Title page of the John Eliot section

Magnalia Christi Americana

First edition of Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana (London: Printed for T. Parkhurst, 1702). Notable sections include his treatment of the recent Salem witch trials, from which he attempts to distance himself; his account of the escape of Hannah Dustan, a well-known captivity narrative; and the founding of Harvard College. Mather's early history of New England has often been described as "the most famous American book of colonial times."

Image: Title page of the John Eliot section (Vining F 7 .M41)

Early 18th-century map of New England

Map from Magnalia Christi Americana

Recognized as the first 18th-century map of New England, it was used to illustrate Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana. It covers the expanse from the Hudson River Valley east to Cape Cod and from Long Island north to Casco Bay. Mather makes reference to the map in his work, as “An ecclesiastical map of the country” showing colonies, counties, and congregations.

Image: Map from Magnalia Christi Americana (Vining F 7 .M41)

Example pages from Shepard's

The Sincere Convert (1689)

Thomas Shepard’s popular catechism, The Sincere Convert: Discovering the Small Number of True Beleevers, and the Great Difficulty of Saving Conversion, was first printed in London in 1641. He was also considered one of the premier New England divines, for he was quoted by Jonathan Edwards more often than anyone else. The translation of this work into Algonquian was a joint effort, undertaken by John Eliot, Grindal Rawson, and presumably one or more native interpreters. This original Algonquian edition of The Sincere Convert [literally: “Man who stands turned-about”] was published by Samuel Green in Cambridge in 1689. Green had come to Massachusetts Bay with John Winthrop in 1630, and also had a hand in printing the 1663 Eliot Bible.

Image: Example pages from The Sincere Convert (Vining PM 1739 .S5)

Example pages of Cotton's

Reprint of "Vocabulary of Massachusetts (or Natick) Indian Language" (1708)

Reprint of Josiah Cotton’s Vocabulary of Massachusetts (or Natick) Indian Language (1708). (Cambridge [Mass.]: E. W. Metcalf and Co., 1829.)

Image: Example pages from Cotton's Vocabulary (Vining PM 1738 .C7)

Cover of Eames' bibliograhic notes. Eames signed it with a note to E.P. Vining in the top right corner

Wilberforce Eames

Wilberforce Eames (1855–1937) was a librarian and bibliographer at Lenox Library (NYC) and the New York Public Library. In 1924, The New York Times called Eames “The greatest living scholar of books in America.” He was a correspondent of Edward Payson Vining and signed this complimentary copy of his work on Eliot’s Bible to him.

Image: Cover of the text. There is a note in the upper right corner that Eames wrote to E.P. Vining (Vining Z 8260 .E12)

Example page of the Lord's Prayer in Massachusetts (language of the tribes of Massachusetts Bay)

Algonquin Versions of the Lord's Prayer

Notes on Forty Algonkin Versions of the Lord’s Prayer by J. Hammond Trumbull (New Haven, CT: The American Philological Association, 1873). This publication is a testament to the increasing interest in native-American languages as worthy of scientific study. James Hammond Trumbull was an American historian, philologist, bibliographer, and politician. A scholar of American Indian languages, he served as the first Connecticut State Librarian in 1854 and as Secretary of State from 1861 to 1866.

Image: Example pages of the Lord's Prayer in  Massachusetts (language of the tribes of Massachusetts Bay) (Vining PM 609 .T8)

First page of the Eliot biography

John Eliot Biography

An early John Eliot biography printed for the Massachusetts Historical Society and “collected from manuscripts and books published the last century, by one of the members of the Historical Society” (Boston: Munroe & Francis, 1802).

Image: First page of the Eliot biography (Vining E 78 .M4 1802)

Title page for

Sketch of the Life of John Eliot

A Sketch of the Life of the Apostle Eliot: Prefatory to a Subscription for Erecting a Monument to his Memory by Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn (Roxbury: Norfolk County Journal Press, 1850). Dearborn was an American soldier, lawyer, author, and statesman. He was the first President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the author of many books.

Image: Title page of the text (Vining E 78 .M4 E525)

First page of

"The Indian Tongue and its Literature, as Fashioned by Eliot and Others"

The Indian Tongue and its Literature, as Fashioned by Eliot and Others (Boston: Osgood, 1880) by J. Hammond Trumbull.

Image: First page of the text (Vining PM 1736 .T87w 1880)

The Flood Narrative showing drawings and text

The Flood Narrative

Ephraim George Squier, “Historical and Mythological Traditions of the Algonquins, with a Translation of the ‘Walum-Olum,’ or Bark Record of the Linni-Lenape” (America Review 9, 1849).

Image: The Flood Narrative (Vining PM 1033 .S6 1849)

Example pages in Algonquian

"The way of the cross, for the use of the Roman Catholic Indians of the mission of the Lake of the two mountains"

"The way of the cross, for the use of the Roman Catholic Indians of the mission of the Lake of the two mountains," translated into Algonquin-Nipissing by Pierre Richard (Moniang [Montreal]: Takkwabikichkote L. Perrault, 1843).

One Body: Preserving a Diverse Legacy

Photo of the exhibits wall showing photo panels and descriptions as well as the exhibits case

One Body: Preserving a Diverse Legacy

The Gordon College Archives and the Multicultural Initiatives Office (MIO) is proud to present a collaborative exhibit celebrating the stories of diverse students throughout Gordon College's and Barrington College's history. 

This exhibit couldn't have been completed without the help of the following Archives and MIO interns:

Claire Hoag (2022)
Olivia D'Souza (2021)
Joanna Echtenkamp (2021)
Brianna Rivera (2022)

Gordon College Archives Manager, Sarah Larlee St.Germain, also created a Scot Talk for Homecoming 2021 to talk a little bit about the exhibit. You can check out the video on the Gordon College YouTube page. 

Map of the world in yellow with black dots on certain countries. These countries match up where people featured live(d).

Where in the World?

This map gives an overview of where in the world the alumni highlighted in this exhibit come from. 

  • Alice (Wentworth) Douglin - Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Daniel Janey - United States
  • Deighton Douglin - United States
  • Emmanuel Arango - United States
  • Freda Obeng-Ampofo - Ghana; United States
  • Ingrid Orellana Mathew - El Salvador
  • Marie Patfoort - Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Patricio Confesor - Philippines
  • Samuel Tsoi - Hong Kong; United States
  • Sastra Chim-Chan - Cambodia
  • Silvio Vazquez - Argentina; United States
  • Sumant Ramteke - India
  • Veronica Lanier - United States

Yearbook photo of Patricio Confesor (1926)

Patricio Confesor (1926)

From: Cabatuan, Iloilo, Philippines

Patricio “Pat” Confesor (1900-after 1955) graduated from Gordon College in 1926. After graduating, Confesor traveled back to his home in the Philippines and became a pastor of a Baptist Church. During the early 1940s, he contracted tuberculosis and had to step back from his ministry work. Around this same time, World War II began, and Pat and his family, his wife and four children, joined the underground resistance group on the island of Panay and he quickly became the leader of the group. He soon learned that the air in the mountains that the resistance group was located in was good for his tuberculosis and he made a speedy recovery. At one point, his eleven-year-old daughter was captured by the Japanese, but she was able to escape captivity and reunited with her family on Easter.

On October 20, 1944, General Douglas MacArthur landed in Leyte, Philippines. MacArthur then put Confesor in charge of reorganizing the Filippino government. Confesor when on to serve as Governor of Iloilo Province in 1945 and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1949 where he served a term from 1950-1953. Through his time serving in the House, Confesor continued with ministry.

Article about Patricio Confesor in The Gordon

Twenty-Five Years Later – Article on Patricio Confesor

Article in the June 1951 edition of The Gordon, an alumni publication, featuring an update on Patricio Confesor since his graduation from Gordon 25 years earlier. The article elaborates on his experience as an underground leader in the Philippines including when his 11-year-old daughter and her nurse were captured by the Japanese.

Yearbook photo of Sumant Ramteke (1940)

Sumant Ramteke (1940)

From: Kolhapur, India

Before coming to Gordon, Sumant Ramteke (1889-1955) grew up in Akola, India, where, at age seventeen, he was one of the founders of the Marathi Christian monthly magazine, Suvrutta Prasar. This magazine would later become the “mouth-piece of all the missions in Berar and Khandesh.”

After graduating from Gordon College in 1940, Ramteke returned to India where he became pastor of the Wilder Memorial Church in Kolapur. He also served as the Secretary of the Christian Endeavour Union of India, Burma and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from 1943-44. Over the next eight years, he served as District Superintendent (Evangelist) of Kodoli District.

Starting in July 1952, he served as the pastor of Christ Church in Poona. Besides working in ministry, Ramteke wrote and translated an abundance of Christian literature, served on the Revision Committee of Pandita Ramabai’s Bible and the Marathi Hymn Book. He also enjoyed painting, writing poetry, and playing the organ.

The strain of working in a “large, and not always united, city church” had taken a toll on Ramteke. He was taking insulin regularly and doctors warned him that his “heart might give way at any moment.” Despite, all this, he continued on, undaunted. On December 4, 1955, Ramteke preached twice and then went to preside over a special function. It is noted that, “Before his message concluded he was visibly having difficulty, but insisted on finishing.” As he was pronouncing the “Amen” of the benediction, he collapsed on the floor and died while on route to the hospital. At his funeral, the officiating pastor remarked that Ramteke was like “Jonathan, who fell on the battlefield with sword in hand.”

Read a short write-up on Ramteke written by Fred Schelander. Fred's article/letter starts on page 54.

Article in the Gordon Alumni News that speaks about Sumant's death

Indian Pastor and Christian Leader Dies After Preaching – Article about Sumant Ramteke

Article in the February 1956 edition of the Gordon Alumni News relaying the information about Sumant Ramteke’s death. It gives information on the life of Sumant as well as an abridged version of the letter received from Sumant’s wife notifying the College of his death.

Yearbook photos of Deighton and Alice (Wentworth) Douglin (1950B)

Deighton and Alice (Wentworth) Douglin (1950B)

From: Lowell, MA (Deighton); Watsa, Congo Belge, Africa (Alice)
Majors: Pastor’s Course (Deighton); General Bible Course (Alice)

Deighton and Alice (Wentworth) Douglin met at Barrington College where they graduated from in 1950. After graduating, Deighton went to Taylor University to be trained as a teacher and Alice went to Belgium. Eventually, he mailed Alice an engagement ring and her American roommate placed the ring on her finger. In July of 1953, Alice and Deighton were married in New Jersey and from there they started on their journey as missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During their time as missionaries they were often at great personal risk from robberies, attacks, and even volcanic eruption, but this didn’t stop them from serving as school teachers and administrators in Goma.  

In 1974, they took a two-year furlough from the missionary field, when their son, David, began attending Gordon College. Deighton also took this opportunity to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 1992, they left the Congo, only to return two years later in 1994 to help Rwandan refugees in the Congo. They stayed for a short period of time and returned to Massachusetts.

Alice also wrote an autobiography titled Daughter of the Commandant: An Autobiography of Alice Wentworth Douglin in 2005. It tells her story from being adopted by American missionaries, working in a medical clinic, coming to America, meeting and marrying Deighton, to serving as missionaries in the Congo.

In 2016, the Douglin’s were awarded the A.J. Gordon Missionary Service award for their decades of missionary work.

Pages from the 1950 Barrington Yearbook titled Torch. It features a photo of Deighton Douglin in the bottom row as well as a small note that he wrote to the former owner of the yearbook.

1950 Torch Yearbook (Barrington)

Page from the 1950 Barrington College Torch Yearbook featuring Deighton Douglin. His photo is in the bottom row on the right page and is signed with a note from him.

Cover of Alice (Wentworth) Douglin's autobiography

The Commandant's Daughter

Alice’s autobiography follows her life from childhood to present (as of 2005) from being adopted by American missionaries, working in a medical clinic, coming to America, meeting and marrying Deighton to serving as missionaries in the Congo. On loan from the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library. This copy is a circulating copy so if you are interested make sure to check it out in the new year.

Image: Cover of The Commandant's Daughter

Yearbook photo of Veronica Lanier (1954)

Veronica "Ronny" Lanier (1954)

From: West Medford, MA

Veronica “Ronny” Lanier (1918-2014) graduated from Gordon College in 1954. While at Gordon, she was active in the literary society and Commuters Fellowship as well as the Children’s Chapel leader, Sunday School teacher, and Assistant worship leader at the First Baptist Church in Medford. She also served as a Girl Scout Leader in West Medford.

After graduating from Gordon, Lanier was commissioned as a missionary by the American Baptist Home Mission Society in 1957 and served in Denver, Chicago, and Sacramento. She then joined the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts and oversaw the children’s curriculum and teacher training. In 1964, she had a severe heart-attack and was told by her doctor that she would have only 30 minutes left to live. However, that was not the case and Lanier was later ordained by the American Baptist Church in Massachusetts in 1970. She was only the second black woman to be ordained by an American Baptist Church in Massachusetts and only the seventh woman to be ordained by a Baptist denomination in the decade leading up to her ordination. 

Other roles that she filled through out her life time include, Pastor Emeritus at First Baptist Lynn for 16 years, interim pastor for several churches, and received an honorary doctorate from the American Baptist Seminary of the West. Lanier was also a “do it yourself person” and had self-taught skills such as building furniture, sewing, knitting, pattern design, and rug-hooking. She even taught herself how to play the organ.

Learn more by visiting

Yearbook photo of Marie Patfoort (1967)

Marie Patfoort (1967)

From: Belgian Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Major: Education

Marie Patfoort graduated from Gordon College in 1967. Before coming to Gordon, Patfoort lived in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) where she meant alumnus Dr. Winifred Currie ‘45. Currie was working at the Assembly of God mission where Patfoort spent her teen years helping to educate the younger children there. Unfortunately, in 1960, her education came abruptly to a halt as the Congo Crisis began. The Congo Crisis was a period of political upheaval occurring immediately after the country became independent from Belgium and lasted until 1965. Due to her mixed heritage, Patfoort was in danger and Dr. Currie smuggled her out of the Congo to the United States. Not long after escaping the Congo, Patfoort graduated with a degree in education and was the first Congolese woman to receive a college degree in education.

After graduation, Patfoort found herself as a 5th grade teacher in Whitefield, Maine. Two years later, she was asked by the government of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) to return to Africa to teach. She did return, but only stayed for two years in order to return to the US before her window of opportunity to become a citizen closed. Once she was back in the United States, she went on to continue teaching in Maine. She retired from teaching in 1994.

You can learn more about Patfoort's story by reading Life History of Marie Patfoort. The site includes photos and audio recordings of Patfoort telling her story. 

Yearbook photo of Daniel Janey (1972)

Daniel Janey (1972)

From: Boston, MA
Major: Social Work

Daniel Janey (1949-2019) graduated from Gordon College in 1972. After Gordon, he worked for two years at the Roxbury Children Services and volunteered at the Hawthorne Youth Community Center where he later served for thirty years as Chairman of the Board.

In 1975, he received a Master’s in Social Work from Boston College while working for the Department of Mental Health for the Commonwealth of MA. He worked as a forensic social worker for thirty-two years. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Janey worked at the Dorchester Court Clinic and later became the director. After retiring from the Commonwealth, Janey represented Quincy Mental Health Care Center and worked with inmates in Norfolk County to ensure that they were connected with services after they were released. 

Janey also worked on political campaigns, for the national and Boston chapters of the Black Social Workers organization, and as an adjunct professor at Lesley University (1995-1998) and Bunker Hill Community College (1999-2001).

Amongst his many talents, Janey was also an “avid fisherman, collector of knives, sweater vests, kitchen equipment, music, black bags, and knowledge.” He was also famous at his church for his bread.

Yearbook photo of Silvio Vazquez (1987)

Silvio Vazquez (1987)

From: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Skillman, New Jersey
Major: History

Silvio Vazquez is a 1987 Gordon alumnus and a first-generation college graduate. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Vazquez grew up in central New Jersey and came to faith through the ministry of Young Life. After graduating from Gordon, he began working for Young Life in Ridgefield, CT, directing outreach to junior high and high school students while coaching high school soccer. In 1989, he returned to Gordon College and embarked on a 20-year career with the College.

At Gordon, Vazquez served as an Admission’s Counselor (1989-1992) before moving into the role of Director of Annual Giving and Special Gifts (1992-1995). From there, he worked as the Director of Alumni, Parent, and Church Relations (1995-1998), Dean of Admissions (1998-2003), and Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing (2003-2009). During his tenure in admission and enrollment, the College experienced growth in enrollment, especially among international and underrepresented students. Vazquez was instrumental in helping launch the New City Scholars Program, which today is known as the Clarendon Scholars Program.

Upon leaving Gordon, he worked as a consultant for one of the nation’s top higher education consulting firms, Scannell & Kurz, Inc. In 2011, he became the Dean of Admissions at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California and held that position until 2017, when he was hired as Wheaton College’s first Chief Enrollment Management Officer. A role he holds to this day.

Vazquez received his M.B.A. from Boston College in 2003. He has served as a panelist and speaker at various professional higher education conferences and as an Enrollment Commissioner for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). He has contributed articles to University Business and Private Colleges and Universities as well as alumni publications for Gordon and Wheaton, and has served on the board of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Rockport, MA.

He currently resides in Wheaton, IL with his wife, Tara, and their three sons.

Learn more about Vazquez by reading Telling the Story: Silvio Vazquez Steps into CEMO Role or watch his talk titled The Fragrance of Life.

Yearbook photo of Sastra Chim Chan (1994)

Sastra Chim Chan (1994)

From: Cambodia
Major: Political Science and International Affairs

As a boy, Sastra Chim Chan watched as the Khmer Rouge seized control of Cambodia in 1975 and as Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia in 1979. According to recollections from his father, Chim Chan served as a government soldier under the Vietnamese occupation before joining the anti-Vietnamese resistance.

In 1989, he was accepted into a training program for human rights advocates at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights. He then made his way to Gordon in 1991 and graduated with a degree in political science and international affairs in 1994.

After his time at Gordon, Chim Chan returned to Cambodia to work in human rights and joined the UN Center for Human Rights. Later, he went to Rwanda to investigate human rights abuses. A colleague of Chim Chan’s said, “He went to repay a debt” because he felt that “Cambodia owed the world for all the help it had received from other countries.” Tragically, Chim Chan’s life was cut short at the age of 34, when he was shot in a suspected Hutu ambush on Feb. 4, 1997. He was believed to be the first Cambodian human rights monitor to die abroad. He is remembered for his passion, idealism, and his fearlessness. In June of 1998, a small village in the Kompong Chhnang province of Cambodia opened a primary school, donated by fellow UN workers, named the Chim-Chan Sastra primary school.

Learn more about Sastra Chim-Chan by reading the articles listed below or visit his legacy page.

Cover of the Summer 1997 Stillpoint featuring a photo of Sastra with former Gordon professor Peter Stine.

Stillpoint 1997

Cover of the Summer 1997 Stillpoint which acted as a memorial of sorts for Sastra Chim Chan who had passed away in February 1997. It includes stories, photos, and a touching tribute to Sastra. This edition of the Stillpoint is available on the 4th floor of Jenks Library in the Periodical’s Hallway or can be accessed in the Gordon College Archives. Sastra is pictured on the cover with former Gordon professor Peter Stine.

Photo of Samuel Tsoi

Samuel "Sam" Tsoi (2007)

From: Hong Kong; Boston, MA
Major: International Affairs

Samuel Tsoi graduated from Gordon College in 2007 and was a part of the Clarendon Scholars’ first cohort. Having immigrated to the US from Hong Kong when he was 8-years old, he decided to study abroad at Peking University in China during his time at Gordon. During this time, he “discovered a passion for dialog around racial reconciliation as well as honest and real conversations about who we are as people and as a country with so many differences.”

After graduating, Tsoi went on to get a M.S. in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts Boston (2012); completed a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management & Leadership at Tufts University (2013); and completed advanced courses at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Tsoi worked for a number of organizations involved with immigration, immigrant communities, and international relations. In 2016, he was a part of the RISE San Diego Fellows program which is a “community development organization”. Then in 2017, he began work at Welcoming San Diego which is a city initiative “to effectively integrate immigrants into the economic, civic and cultural fabric of our community.” He was also the Assistant Director or 21st Century China Center which helps prepare future leaders “for constructive dialog on U.S. relations with China.” Most recently, he became the Equity Impact Manager for the County of San Diego’s Office of Equity and Racial Justice.

Learn more about Tsoi by visiting the article about him in The Bell and the article Someone San Diego Should Know

Photo of Freda Obeng-Ampofo

Freda Obeng-Ampofo (2008)

From: Ghana; Worcester, MA
Major: International Affairs

After graduating from Gordon College in 2008, Freda Obeng-Ampofo has kept busy. She has worked with trade, international business, and project management organizations including the European Union, American World Services Corporation, and Futures Group International under the USAID Health Policy Initiative (HPI/HPP). Most recently, she has been working for Kaeme, an indigenous Ghanian beauty and cosmetic company specializing in personal and skincare products offering a range of natural shea butter and liquid black soap products. Obeng-Ampofo was recently featured on the Richard Quest Show through CNN International and CNN Business for the way she handled her workers during the pandemic.

During her time at Gordon she was a part of the Clarendon Scholar’s program then known as the New City Scholar program. She also participated in ISO (International Student Organization), was a part of the Gospel Choir, and was a short distance sprinter for the Track and Field team. As a part of her final year at Gordon, she was able to gain admission to the America Studies Program in Washington, D.C. Of this experience, Obeng-Ampofo recalls, “This experience not only gave me an opportunity to have my feet in the professional world even before I graduated from college, but also allowed me to make lots of contacts and network in DC where I hoped to eventually work after Gordon.”

In her spare time, Obeng-Ampofo enjoys running marathons across the globe not only to keep fit, but to also get to know and learn about other cultures while also raising money for charity. She is also on the Board of Directors and Chair of Programs for Ahaspora, a group of Ghanians who have gone to school or worked abroad and are now “back home to make a difference,” and is a part of the Organizing team for the Accra International Marathon.

Learn more by reading her story on The Bell. You can also watch Freda Obeng-Ampofo Speaks to CNN or Freda Obeng-Ampofo’s Journey as KAEME Business Owner.

Photo of Emmanuel Arango

Emmaneul "Manny" Arango (2010)

From: Boston, MA
Major: Biblical Studies

At age 13, Manny Arango preached his first sermon at a juvenile detention center in Roxbury, MA. Fast forward to 2010 and Manny graduated from Gordon College with a B.A. in Biblical Studies. Shortly after graduation, he was ordained by Jubilee Christian Church in 2011 and is still the Youth Pastor there. He also works for New England Community Services, is the Youth Pastor for World Overcomers Christian Church, and runs a blog. He has also taught in England, Grenada, and Hawaii.

Arango describes himself as “a Bible nerd, a storyteller, a troublemaker, an overcomer, and a revivalist. Passionate about fighting for people who have lost their voice, Manny strives to inspire those who have lost hope or have settled for mediocre.”

Learn more about Arango by visiting his website. You can find more photos, stories, and videos there. 

Photo of Ingrid Orellana Rivera

Ingrid Orellana Mathew (2015)

From: El Salvador
Major: Business Administration

Ingrid Orellana Mathew graduated from Gordon College in 2015. During her time at Gordon, she was the Student Director of the International Student Organization (ISO) for three years. She also played a large role in the development of the International Orientation program and an international mentorship program. It was during this time that “she discovered a love for her fellow international students and a desire to shepherd new cohorts through the process of acclimating to the United States and to Gordon.”

After graduation, she became Gordon’s Director of International Student Services, a role she has held since August 2015. She also received a Master’s of Leadership in Education from Gordon in 2020.

Her favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” She says, “Living in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language – away from family and home was hard but the Lord would always bring to my mind Joshua 1:9 through people, peers, friends, and my own parents so it became the encouragement and the reminder I needed when I was feeling low or overwhelmed.”

Pin that features a blue star with an open bible at the center. Each point of the star has a letter: G B M T S.

Gordon Lapel Pin

A Gordon Bible Missionary Training School (GBMTS) lapel pin (c.1903-1907). The pin features a blue star with an open bible at the center. Each point of the star has a letter: G B M T S. It was given to Waldon Corbett (Class of 1948) by Irene Baker.

Photo of the Dudley Bible Institute Class of 1928. Three men stand in the back row while two women sit in chairs in the front row.

Dudley Bible Institute Class of 1928

The Dudley Bible Institute (later Barrington College) class of 1928. 


(Back Row) Gaetano Buttaro, Edward Cheney, Stephen Ciccorilla
(Front Row) Verna Rapp, Nina Gregg

White t-shirt with blue outlined block letters spelling out Clarendon. 15th Anniversary is written underneath.

15th Anniversary T-Shirt

In 2018, these special t-shirts were printed to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Clarendon Scholars program. On loan from the Multicultural Initiatives Office (MIO).

Commencement sash for students of African descent. It has different African prints in yellows, reds, greens, and blacks.

Commencement Sash (African)

A Commencement sash given out by MIO to all graduating multicultural students. This sash is for African Heritage students. On loan from the Multicultural Initiatives Office (MIO).

Clarendon Scholars Pin. It has a cityscape featured in the middle with

Clarendon Scholars Pin

Clarendon Scholars Commencement pin (2019) given to graduating Clarendon Scholars students. On loan from the Multicultural Initiatives Office (MIO).

Commencement Sash for students of Hispanic descent. It has stripes of colors in hues of green, blue, pink, white, red, orange, black, and yellow

Commencement Sash (Hispanic)

A Commencement sash given out by MIO to all graduating multicultural students. This sash is for Hispanic Heritage students. On loan from the Multicultural Initiatives Office (MIO).

ALANA (stands for African, Latin, Asian, Native, Allies) t-shirt with the logo used for 2013-2019. The logo is triangular with a rectangle in the middle. The outer triangle parts are in blue and the two middle rectangular parts are in yellow and orange.


A t-shirt from the student organization ALANA which stands for African – Latin – Asian – Native – Allies. This shirt includes the old logo that was used from 2013-2019. On loan from the Multicultural Initiatives Office (MIO).

Traveling through the Archives: Egypt and Arabia Petrea

Map of the Arabian Peninsula c.1850s

Traveling through the Archives: Egypt and Arabia Petrea

Curated by Rebecca Leslie (Archives Intern - Summer 2021)


This exhibit showcases items from the Vining Rare Book Collection and the Egyptian Archaeological Collection.

About the Vining Collection

The Vining Collection was the personal library of Edward Payson Vining (1847-1920) and was donated by his family to Gordon College in 1921. The collection consists of over 7,000 books, manuscripts, and letters, ranging from the 12th century to the early 20th century. It contains over 900 Bibles in 140 languages and is rich in Shakespeareana, Early Americana, geography, travel literature, ethnology, and especially philology - with vast holdings in indigenous languages. 

About the Egyptian Archaeological Collection

The collection was donated by Elizabeth Eliot Gren and contains artifacts from a dig performed by W.C. (William Cowper) Prime in 1855. It also includes a 19th century Arabic outfit.


Image: Map of the Arabian Peninsula from The One Primeval Language by Rev. Charles Foster, 1851-54 (Vining PJ 3091 .F7 vol. 1)

Image of William Cowper Prime

On William C. Prime (1825-1905)

William Cowper Prime was a lawyer, journalist, and art history professor at Princeton College. These mummy case fragments and other artifacts from the Holy Land in the Gordon College Archives would have been collected either on Prime's visit to Egypt in 1855 or during Prime's years with the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he served as a trustee from 1873-1891 and Vice President from 1874-1891. Besides many books on on pottery and porcelain (an interest he shared with his wife, Mary Trumbull Prime), and accounts of his travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, W.C. Prime also edited and wrote a biographical preface for the Civil War memoir of General George B. McClellan, McClellan's Own Story, which is also in the Vining Rare Book Collection. Prime's style of travel writing was parodied by Mark Twain in Twain's tale The Innocents Abroad.

Image: Portrait of William C. Prime from The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume XIII, 1906, page 254.

Elisabeth Elliot with students at the Student Missionary Convention in Urbana, Illinois, in 1976

On Elisabeth Elliot Gren (1926-2015)

Elisabeth Elliot Gren was a missionary, author, and speaker. Her husband, Jim Elliot, and four other men were killed trying to bring the Gospel to the Waorani (or Huaorani) tribe in Ecuador. Amazingly, she afterwards returned to the same tribe with her young daughter and another missionary widow and lived with them there. She wrote two books about this experience, along with about 20 other books. She and her second husband, Addison Leitch, both taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary before his death. In 1981, she was appointed writer-in-residence at Gordon College. 

These Egyptian and Arab materials were donated to the Gordon Archives by Elisabeth Elliot Gren and were inherited through her family from the William C. Prime estate, having been originally collected by William C. Prime.

Image: Elisabeth Elliot with students at the Student Missionary Convention in Urbana, Illinois, in 1976. From the Billy Graham Center archives, Wheaton College, Illinois, via The Bell, 2015.

Pages from Egyptian Grammar (1836-41)

Egyptian Grammar

This grammar of the ancient Egyptian language is written in French and uses the Coptic language apparently to make diachronic linguistic comparisons or to provide transliteration and pronunciation aids for the hieroglyphic characters. Jean-François Champollion is famous for his many contributions to Egyptology including the decoding of the Rosetta Stone which contained a bilingual inscription in Egyptian and Greek using three scripts (hieroglyphics, demotic, and Greek) and which proved to be the key to cracking the code for reading the previously indecipherable hieroglyphic inscriptions of Egypt's monuments.


Image: Pages from Egyptian Grammar [Grammaire égyptienne ou Principes généraux de l'écriture sacrée égyptienne appliquée à la représentation de la langue parlée] by Jean-François Champollion, 1836-41 (Vining PJ 1135 .C4)

Mummy case fragment

Egyptian Sarcophagus Piece

Pictured: Fragment of a mummy case (or sarcophagus), the protective box that lay between a mummy and its coffin. It is likely from the Third Intermediate Period (1070-664 B.C.), but may possibly resemble examples from the 22nd Dynasty (c. 943-720 B.C.) in Upper Egypt in both iconography and style. 

Mummy case fragment

Egyptian Sarcophagus Piece

Pictured: Fragment of a mummy case (or sarcophagus), the protective box that lay between a mummy and its coffin. It is likely from the Third Intermediate Period (1070-664 B.C.), but may possibly resemble examples from the 22nd Dynasty (c. 943-720 B.C.) in Upper Egypt in both iconography and style. 

Mummy case fragment

Egyptian Sarcophagus Piece

Pictured: Fragment of a mummy case (or sarcophagus), the protective box that lay between a mummy and its coffin. It is likely from the Third Intermediate Period (1070-664 B.C.), but may possibly resemble examples from the 22nd Dynasty (c. 943-720 B.C.) in Upper Egypt in both iconography and style. 

Title page showing the author in Arab dress and an engraved illustration on the left page (1838)

Journey through the Sinai Peninsula

The Vining Rare Book Collection contains a section devoted to travel literature. This book is a translation of a French account by Léon Laborde of his travels in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and also near Petra, located in the territory of ancient Edom or modern-day Jordan. The title page displays a portrait of the author in Arab dress across from one of the book's numerous engraved illustrations of sights and people, many of which were drawn by the author. The book also contains a map of Arabia Petræa or Stony Arabia. The translator's preface lays out a number of detailed parallels between Biblical prophecies regarding ancient Edom or Idumea and the observations of various travelers and historians which the translator wished to highlight as apparent confirmation of the prophecies' fulfillments.


Image: Title page showing the author in Arab dress and an engraved illustration on the left page from Journey through Arabia Petræa, to Mount Sinai, and the Excavated City of Petra, the Edom of the Prophecies by Marquis Léon de Laborde, 1838 (Vining DS 110.5 .L13)

Image of the linen tunic and outer robe from the Arab Costume

Arab Costume - Tunic & Outer Robe

Pictured: Linen tunic with right side pocket and outer robe. The linen tunic has black, yellow, green, and white stripes and is about 50 1/2" h x 22 1/2" w [chest], and approximately 28 1/2" w [bottom]. The outer robe is made of a thin material and is 50" h x 41" w.


Linen belt with tassels, headband with ties, and one braided cotton piece from the Arab Costume

Arabic Costume - Additional Pieces

Pictured: Linen belt with tassels, headband with ties, and one braided cotton piece. The linen belt includes eight sections of interconnected tassels and is 51" l x 1"w x 1/2" h. The headband, which is 1" w x 12" l (excluding the ties), also has a connected face covering that is 16 1/4" l x 5 1/2" w. Finally, the braided cotton piece is white and is 36" l x 3/4" w x 1/4" h. 

Head or waistband from Arab Costume

Headband or Waistband

Pictured: The colorful, but heavy, folded head or waistband from the Arab Costume. It is 3" w x 36" l.

Wooden musical pipes with six pitch holes

Wooden Pipes

Pictured: Two wooden musical pipes with six pitch holes. It is 8" l x 1/2" w. 

Page from New Testament [Kitāb al-'ahd al-jadīd] (1909)

Arabic New Testament (1909)

This is a copy of the Arabic New Testament, representing the written language of modern-day Egypt. This Semitic language's script is written from right to left.


Image: Page from New Testament [Kitāb al-'ahd al-jadīd], 1909 (Vining BS 315 .A65 1909)

Page from the Coptic Psalter [Psalterium coptice], 1837

Coptic Psalter (1837)

This is a Coptic Psalter edited by Julius Ludwig Ideler (1809-1842), a philologist and naturalist of Berlin, Germany, who wrote books on ancient and modern languages, the natural sciences, and studies of classical Greek and Roman meteorology. The Coptic language is written left to right in a script derived from the Greek alphabet with several Egyptian demotic letters added. It is the fifth and final stage of the Egyptian language but was eventually superseded as a spoken language by Arabic after the Muslim conquest of Egypt (AD 639-646). Today, it is primarily still used as a liturgical language of the Coptic Church.


Image: Page from the Coptic Psalter [Psalterium coptice], 1837 (Vining BS 100 O.T. Psalms .I4w 1837)

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