1807 to 1896
Isaac Bisseux was a pioneer French Protestant missionary in
South Africa. Recommended to Paris Evangelical Missionary
Society (PEMS) by Reformed pastor Antoine Colani of Lemé,
Aisne, France, in 1829 he sailed for southern Africa with
two other PEMS missionaries, Prosper
Lemue and Samuel Rolland. Afrikaners of French descent
inhabiting the Wagenmaker Valley invited Bisseux to evangelize
their Khoi (Hottentot) slaves. Though it was originally unplanned,
the PEMS allowed this venture to proceed, and the first conversion
took place in 1831. When slavery was abolished three years
later, the black Christian community numbered fifteen baptized
members. It moved to Wellington in 1842, where Bisseux established
a school. When he retired in 1881 in Montagu, Cape Province,
his congregation joined the Dutch Reformed Church.
Robert Cornevin, "Isaac Bisseux (1807-1896)," in Hommes et Destins, vol. 2 (1977), pp. 92-93 ; C. J. Kriel, "Bisseux, Isaac," in Dictionary of South African Biography (1968), pp. 79-80; "Quelques souvenirs du missionnaire Bisseux," Journal des mission évangéliques 72 (1897): 131-136; Jean-François Zorn, Le grand siècle d'une mission protestante: La Mission de Paris de 1822 à 1914 (1993), pp. 363-369, 518.
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.