The Rees Odeil and Patti Mattox Bryant Papers are ready for researchers. The finding aid for the papers is now available on DigitalCommons@ACU and the digitized selections are also available on DigitalCommons@ACU.
These papers document the Bryant’s involvement in missions in Nigeria through correspondence, newsletters, financial documents, and photographs. There are also board minutes and information about the African Christian Hospitals Foundation and other organizations the Bryants either founded or supported throughout Africa.
Rees Odeil Bryant and Patti Mattox Bryant were missionaries in Nigeria from 1958-1967. Their involvement in Nigeria and other ministry continued long after they left the Nigerian mission field.
Rees Odeil Bryant was born to Emmett and Nell Bryant in 1930 in Memphis, Tennessee. Patti Mattox Bryant was born to F. W. and Mildred Mattox on 8 April 1933 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They both felt a call to world missions at an early age and met at Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas, and were married the day of graduation.
Rees was the first graduate of Mars Hill Bible School in Florence, Alabama and graduated from Harding College with Bachelors and Masters degrees. He earned another Masters degree and a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary.
After serving congregations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alabama the Bryant family arrived in Nigeria in early 1958 along with their two young children, Sara Jo and William. The Bryants quickly identified the need for healthcare and eventually started the Nigerian Christian Hospital near the Bible Training College. The couple had two other children, David and Rebecca, while serving as missionaries. The Bryant’s third tour of Nigeria ended in 1967 before the start of the Biafran Civil War. The couple continued to be involved with the Nigerian Christian Hospital Foundation which is now known as the International Health Care Foundation.
Rees taught at Lubbock Christian College, Pepperdine University, and Lincoln Christian College. Patti worked as a teacher and secretary and later in life went on to earn her Masters in Theology and Philosophy.
Selected additional Africa mission resources from ACU Special Collections and Archives:
- Bailey, Greg, “Parlez-vous Africa?” (2001). Lectureship and Summit Audio Collection. 2255.
- Broom, Wendell and Williams, Tex, “Darkest Africa Becomes Lightest Africa” (2002). Lectureship and Summit Audio Collection. 2100.
- Chowning, Richard, “Africa’s Major Challenges: Resources for African Missions” (1993). Lectureship and Summit Audio Collection. 3480.
- Church of Christ Missionary Photography Collection
- Davenport, Dewayne and Huffard, Elvis H., “They Will Be Lost! A Mission Survey Report On Liberia, West Africa” (1960). Stone-Campbell Books. 67.
- Van Rheenen, Gailyn, “ACU Missions Department – Africa: The Urgency of Africa” (1998). Lectureship and Summit Audio Collection. 2773.