Mildred Archie ’90
Takes Advantage of Every Opportunity
Back in the day, a college education wasn’t an option for every child.Finances and parents reluctant to send their child into an alien world kept many good students from following their dreams.
One such student, Mildred Archie, wanted to become a social worker, but instead settled into a job with the Department of Defense at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
“A degree was not required for my position,” Archie said. “But I had always wanted to go to college, so I began taking evening classes at Wittenberg in 1954.”
An opportunity to work at a ballistic missile site in Canada led Archie to set aside her education in 1960. Two and a half years later, she began a similar position with the State Department’s Foreign Service Office.
“I lived in Iceland, Sweden, Vietnam, Nigeria and Tunisia,” Archie said. “I learned to speak Nordic, French and Spanish languages to enable me to function outside the office during the two years I lived in each country.” Depending on the situation in each country, Archie often lived among the local citizens.
After Tunisia and temporary assignments in Australia and New Zealand, she spent four years in six Central American countries, and three years in Bogotá, Columbia, until her retirement in 1984.
Soon after Archie returned to Wittenberg, and in May 1990, one month shy of her 66th birthday, she received her bachelor’s degree in sociology. A short time later, Archie learned that her pastor, Ivan George, had recommended her for missionary work with the American Baptist Church because of her extensive traveling throughout the years.
Archie then spent the next 11 years in South Africa, Zambia and Ghana working with the All-Africa Baptist Fellowship organizing conferences, conducting workshops and training pastors.
“Women receive almost as much training as men today,” Archie said. “We served 100 churches and worked at headquarters and in villages throughout the countries as we opened more seminaries,”
Today Archie serves as historian for St. John’s Missionary
Baptist Church. “I’m currently working on a project for my church,” Archie said, “and I plan to write a memoir of my life and travels.” ”