Louise (“Lulu”) Cecilia Fleming; Congo (served from 1887 – 1899)

Lulu was born 1862 as a slave in Florida. In 1887 she became a missionary teacher in Congo. The students were being introduced to Jesus because of Lulu’s ministry to them. The school had 49 students and many of them came to Christ through Lulu’s ministry to them.

This seems a poor report…and perhaps many may think the work almost discouraging, but to us whom God has given the privilege to labor here it is very encouraging. [It] fills us with unspeakable joy.

Lulu combined her teaching with weekend evangelistic work in the towns and within a year she had learned Kikongo and no longer required a translator. When Lulu saw that women needed to be reached, she began making home visits while urging the mission society (American Baptist Foreign Mission Society of the West) to send more women.

In 1891 Lulu return to the USA as a student at the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia, Lulu returned to the Congo in 1895 as a medical missionary.

Known now as Dr. Fleming, she was stationed at Irebu, further up the Congo River where she needed to learn a different language. The power of Dr. Fleming’s ministry came from her identification with those among whom she served. The Baptist Missionary Magazine described her as “particularly successful in winning the hearts of the Congo people, putting herself in close touch and sympathy with them.” She passed away in 1899 from complications from African sleeping sickness.