Workers, Friends, Home Church, The Truth, The Way, Meetings, Gospel, Cooneyites, Christian Conventions, Hymns Old & New
First Missions
South America-1919
Revised April 30, 2015

TTT Editor's Notes: The following is an excerpt of an Account by Maurice Hawkins, who was one of the FIRST four workers to go to South America. His brothers Edgar, Willie, Farring, George and sisters, Leah (Beam), Ida and Elizabeth (Bessie) Hawkins were Americans who professed through George Walker in 1906, after he knocked on the door of their parents' home in Brooklyn, Maryland, and all became workers except Willie. 

Jack Jackson is listed on the 1905 Workers list as entering the work in 1901.  He came to America in 1904. Jack Jackson remained in South America as Overseer until his death in 1966. He is buried in the British Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Robert Darling (on 1905 workers list - died June 9, in 1970) and Millie Griffin (1983) are also buried in the same grave with Jack Jackson, where the custom is to bury three bodies in one grave.

[Additional comments added in bold in brackets.]

Jack Jackson [from Ireland but already working in North America for a number of years], Glenn Smith [Nebraska], Herbert Vitzthum [Minnesota] and I [Maurice Hawkins from Maryland] arrived in Buenos Aires [Argentina] on Dec. 19, 1919, after 28 days on a boat from New York. We spent a week there together... then Glenn and Herbert went on to Rosario. Jack and I hunted a room in a private home in Belgrano [neighborhood of Buenos Aires]--quite a task with our limited Spanish. Then we decided to get a job while we learned Spanish, as all our mail was robbed in the Buenos Aires post office. Jack got a teaching job in the National City Bank of New York, Foreign Exchange Division, but had to attend Spanish classes four nights a week, which was fine with me. Glenn and Herbert had the same trouble with their mail in Rosario and their funds were depleted, so Jack advised them to return to Buenos Aires after 3 months. Then Jack and Glenn roomed together, while Herb and I were companions. Glenn got a job at Berlitz, Herbert at Ford Motors.

In November 1920, Ernest Benton [England] and Willie Sutter [not sure where he was from] arrived in Buenos Aires, and the next week Jack and I went to Córdoba, as Jack was anxious to see that area. We were 3 months there, and then we returned to Buenos Aires and had a couple of days in the park there. Jack and Ernest stayed on in B.A., Herbert and Willie Sutter went to Rosario, and Glenn and I went to Santa Fe. This was Feb. 1921. We got a room with an Italian family and little by little met others, amongst them a German family whom we had visited. In June 1921 we rented an empty room which they had, and after a couple of months we made benches, etc., and began meetings two nights a week. We attended the other churches on the other nights, and quite a number of them came to our meetings, and toward the end of November 1921, some 8 adults had decided. We all returned to B. Aires for our gathering in the park again in Feb. 1922. After that, Jack and Willie Sutter--B.A., Glenn and Ernest B. to Santa Fe, and Herbert and I to Rosario. Jack had met quite a few in B. Aires by this time--- amongst them Basilio Alvarez---so in Aug. Herbert went to join Jack and Willie came to Rosario with me. Then Jack and Herbert started meetings and 3 or 4 professed, among them Basilio.  [Basilio was a Spaniard who had emigrated to Argentina at an early age—perhaps with his parents (not sure).  Whatever the case, he was only 21 when he started in the work in Argentina in 1924, the first to start in South America.  Workers from other parts of Europe had preached in Spain before the Spanish Civil War.  After the war, Basilio went back to Spain and spent the rest of his life overseeing the work there until he died in 1985.]

John Pattison [Ireland, son of Goodhand Pattison] and Willie Boles [Ireland] arrived in B.A. early in 1923, and at the same time Ruby Pellett [Minnesota] and Leah Hawkins [Maryland, sister of Maurice] came also, so we had our first real convention in Dalla Rivas' home in Feb. 1923. Bob Darling [Scotland] arrived just a week before, so we had 11 workers and about the same number of saints. It was indeed a humble start. [John Pattison died in Bolivia in 1978.]

Then on Mar, 16, 1923, Jack and I arrived in Santiago, Chile; after a couple of days we got a room in Providencia [neighborhood of Santiago], and after a couple of months we started meetings in our room, and always seemed to have some attend. In Aug. 1923, Willie Walters [South Dakota] and Ernest Hamon [Ontario] arrived in Valparaiso [main port city of Chile], and John P. having crossed from Argentina, the five spent a couple of weeks together. Jack then returned to Argentina, and in a few weeks he and B. Smith [This would be John Robert “Bob” Smith from Virginia, who later married Martha Hogg from Ireland.  Bob and Martha worked in many remote areas of Brazil for many years and were definitely the most successful evangelists among the workers in Brazil during those years.] went to Brazil. Jack returned to the USA for a visit in 1924. John Pattison and Ernest Hamon went to Chillán; Willie Walters and I in Santiago...[These last places are in Chile, where Maurice evidently stayed for the rest of his time in South America.]

[Jack Jackson remained in South America as overseer until his death in Argentina in 1966.  Glenn and Maurice later left the work and returned to USA.  Herbert returned to USA in 1935 and spent most of the rest of his life as overseer of the US Spanish work based in New Mexico, but covering all the Spanish-speaking areas of the Southwest.  Willie Walters and Willie Boles remained in South America until they were very elderly.  Robert (Bob) Darling died in Argentina in 1970, and is buried in the same grave as Jack Jackson.] 

1947 Workers List for

CHILE: Enrique Savage, Carlos Varela, Guillermo Walters, Julio Herrerra, Juan Tuft, Mario Gonzalez, Guillermo Bules
Esther Jones, Muriel McKirdy, Josefina Puebla, Morelia Zapata, Margarita Lewis, Violeta Wilson

ARGENTINA: Alton Myers, Carlos Salkeld, Marcelo Marquez, Edgardo Roderick, Jorge Brunick, Juan Baldini, Esteban Stivers, Custodio Rodriguez, Manuel Gallardo, Juan Jackson, Ramon Lynn, Juan Patterson, Reginaldo Beer, Basillio Alvarez
Ruby Pellet, Maten Rodriguez, Adelina McGovern, Constancia Sposato, Candida Rodriguez, Sara Camelino, Gladys Coburn, Isabel Misdaris, Violeta Carlyle, Guillermina Vargas, Luela Colman, Angela Lopez, Olivia Nelson, Margarita Craig, Mirta Darnell

URUGUAY: Robert Sterling, Leon Parks, Rubustiano Ferreiro, Domingo Rosso, Albysiline Vazquez
Emilia Griffin, Mabel Boles, Adalia Alano, Diamantina Aspiroz

BRASIL: Van Miller, Lyall Kirkup, Carlos Schupbach, Robert Hendy, Carlos Miles, Gilberto Neundorf, Nicolau Chiorniavi, Donald Henderson, Alfred Absalonsen, Enrique Burchill, Lenard Johnson, John R. Smith, Martha H. Smith
Sara Sutton, Carlota Hendy, Rose Sparks, Lourdes Mariano, Noemia Gibson, May Abalsonsen, Irene Iost, Elisa Anacleta, Jenell Wetzel, Lily F. Wetzel, Mabel Tenniswood


List of Countries included in the South American Work: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (UK), French Guiana (France), Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela,

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