John Smith Moffat
1835 to 1919
South Africa / Zimbabwe
John Smith Moffat was a London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary
in South Africa. Born in Kuruman, South Africa, he was the
son of Robert and Mary Moffat.
Educated at Cheshunt College and New College, London, he was
ordained in 1858 and returned to Africa in the company of
LMS recruits. In Africa he remained with them as an unofficial
assistant in their work among the Amandebele people in present-day
Zimbabwe. In 1862 he was officially recognized as a missionary
by the LMS. In 1865 he moved to Kuruman and began working
with his father, but because of his wife's ill health he went
to Cape Town in 1867. He returned in 1868 and for four years
worked with his father on the revision of the Tswana Bible.
His wife's health then forced a further withdrawal until 1874.
In 178 he resigned from the LMS and became a colonial official, serving the administration of what is now Botswana with distinction until his retirement in 1895.
Andrew C. Ross
Moffat published a massive biography of his parents, The Lives of Robert and Mary Moffat (1885). Details of his career can be found in Richard Lovett, The History of the London Missionary Society, 1795-1895 (1899).
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.