Tributes Written in Memory of Virgil Moneysmith

On the Occasion of a Hundred Years After His Birth

Phil Fogle (who lived with the Moneysmiths at Crampel and Mid-Maples)

Thanks for giving me this opportunity. Uncle Flip was one of my "other" dads when I was away from my own dad. In total days of my life, I was probably under his roof equal to, or more than, I was under the Fogle roof! So, I do have some great memories.

In Africa, I remember so well his playing ball with us and teaching us softball and tag football. He was the pitcher in softball, and most often he was the quarterback as we learned a little about football. He would throw the football underhanded (as they did when he played at Mishawaka High) and was quite accurate with it. He taught us the art of drop-kicking which I thought was pretty neat. As a result of his teaching, at Wheaton Academy, I played quarterback and did kickoffs and field goals. When I played on church softball teams, I was usually the pitcher. I guess I took after Uncle Flip somewhat.

At Mid Maples, he took us to Big Sandy Lake in Minnesota and taught us some things about fishing, and we sure did enjoy the walleye and northern pike he caught. I also remember the wonderful trips to Gull Lake Bible Conference and the skiing he let us do behind the boat.

Uncle Flip was always gentle -- but yet firm. He was disciplined and I think I learned some of that from him also. That applies to physical life as well as my spiritual life. He demonstrated trust in me as I earned it, and I appreciated that very much. I think he was an excellent model for all of us who were under his care.

David Watkins (who lived with the Moneysmiths at Crampel and Mid-Maples) 

Great idea, and Happy 100th Birthday Uncle Flip!

Normally I would comb through all the letters and send you too much stuff, but lucky for you, I don't have the time right now. So here goes with a few memories off the top of my head.

I remember in 1951 when we came back from furlough, how Uncle Flip began to play tag football with us. Then later when Uncle Harold Dark came and we played baseball, there was one time when the two men ran so much that they got Charlie Horses. I remember Uncle Flip telling us to feel the puffiness in his thigh and explaining what a Charlie Horse was. Then, when he used to write our names on the Baseball roster, I remember how he used to make his capital "W". They looked like two perfect cups sitting side by side. I copied that style and still make mine that way. Bet you didn't know that. :-)

Then there was the time Uncle Flip shot a buffalo and was cutting up the meat in the kitchen on a Saturday morning. Dan was out front playing and riding bikes with all the girls. I guess the boys were jealous as it wasn't quite kosher for him to have the girls all to himself, so they went and complained to Uncle Flip. Not long afterward he went out on the porch and called Dan to come in. Dan came into the bathroom to wash his hands and told all the boys with a smirk on his face "Uncle Flip is going to teach ME meat cutting"! Then it was the boys turn to smirk. Not long afterward Dan got tired of his butcher lessons and ended up back out front with all his girl friends. Then there was some more complaining to Uncle Flip. Finally he went out again and told Dan to come in and to "Leave the girls alone."

Shortly after arriving at Mid-Maples, Uncle Flip took me down to Wheaton to help me register for Social Security. It struck me then as necessary but totally useless. I didn't get it then, but I get it now. :-) Then he helped me get a job working at B & G, where it seems I spent most of my free time. Uncle Flip kept all the books for the MKs as I recall and had separate accounts for each one. I didn't realize then what a huge job that must have been. I guess we just took it for granted, like most kids do. And how can I forget that 50th Anniversary celebration in Arkansas!

I'm out of time, but may look quick and paste a few items from our letters. Have a wonderful day of recollection and celebration. Wish we could join you all.
Bangassou Boy

Excerpts of letters from David to his family at Bangassou mission station 


September 2, 1952 [Tuesday]
Fort Crampel, Oubangui Chari
French Equatorial Africa

Dear Mother, Daddy, Paul, Philip, and Linda 

It rained almost all night last night. Some of us kids were telling the others what a happy day it would be when conference came and our parents would come driving up in their trucks and cars.

About a week ago Uncle Flip caught a Tarantula spider in the girls hall. It is a large spider covered all over with hare. It is a poisonous spider but it’s bite is not always effective. When Uncle Flip caught him he put him in a jar. A few nights ago Uncle Flip poured alcohol on him to kill and preserve him. You should have seen the spider fight.


September 8, 1952 [Tuesday]
Fort Crampel, Oubangui Chari
French Equatorial Africa

Dear Mother, Daddy, Paul, Philip, and Linda 

Last night the driver ants came into the dorm. They were so thick that they were about an inch high in some places. Uncle Flip [Moneysmith] got a torch and went all the way around the house and burned them. After a while they moved on. 

[Dan was a bit more descriptive] Last night driver ants came into the house. Aunt Esther and Uncle Flip did not know a thing about it until Uncle Flip went to the bathroom. The Lord somehow made Uncle Flip to look over to the door. There he saw some driver ants all over a scorpion. Uncle Flip called the night guard to get some dry grass so that he could burn the ants. The night guard said that he didn’t have any dry grass. Then Uncle Flip tried to get his torch to work. Aunt Esther got in the car and drove down to the carpenter shop and pulled some dry grass out of the roof. Then Aunt Esther and Uncle Flip burned the ants that were outside. Then the driver ants that were inside went away. 


September 15, 1952 [Tuesday]
Fort Crampel, Oubangui Chari
French Equatorial Africa

Dear Mother, Daddy, Paul, Philip, and Linda 

Last Saturday all of us boys moved the swings out of the way so that we could make a new baseball diamond. It is really pretty nice but all of the cement tile bases are already broken.

Last week Don [Moneysmith] shot another cow. Uncle Flip told him to do it when nobody knew about it because Aunt Esther doesn’t like to hear about it.

Sonya Shirk Peace (who lived with the Moneysmiths at Mid-Maples)

My memories of Uncle Flip are of a gentle soul, deep blue eyes that were kind eyes. I remember him holding his grandchildren, driving the school bus that picked us up at the end of the Mid-Maples driveway.

100 years? Can’t believe that much time has gone by!

I can remember him on his knees in the front flower bed planting tulips in the fall – they were incredible in the spring!I remember how sad I made him when I broke the rules – to my shame to this day. But he was always loving and tender-hearted.

Christmas as Santa. He came in all dressed in the Santa suit from the front porch and passed out presents – never had Christmas before like we had at Mid-Maples.

Some memories are so heart wrenching – his pain at losing his precious son! Can’t get those visions out of my mind. His pain was indescribable! All of you were in indescribable pain! I watched him say his final good-bye and that memory is as sharp as a knife to this day.

I remember family devotions – such a godly man! Going to church in Lombard.

I remember him taking us to see the Ice Capades, the Museums in Chicago – how in the world did he have the energy for all that?

I remember how he detested Notre Dame – or did I remember that incorrectly. I don’t think so.

Robert Porter (a cousin in the family tree)

Virgil and Esther Moneysmith have been my favorite missionaries of all time for a long, long time. When they visited the First Baptist Church in 1939, I was 12 years old.

It was about this time in my life that I began to feel the tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart to enter some area of the Lord's work. Something that my hero, Virgil Moneysmith, said during his Congo, Africa, missionary presentation caused that "tug" to be increased. 

I stayed at their curio table for a long time. The long python skin was captivating to this boy. The disks worn by women, held in place by a stretched strip of their lip flesh were tremendous additions to their curios. I asked a lot of questions. Virgil and Esther were very patient with me. The interest they showed in me had a great deal to do with my taking seriously the matter of missions.

Although I have not been a missionary in the true sense of the word, I have been in ministry for the sake of missionaries for a long, long time. I retired from Lifegate, Inc., exactly sixty years to the day that I started working in the ministry that God gave my father, Ford Porter, author of "God's Simple Plan of Salvation," now in 122 languages, with 620,000,000 distributed by missionaries around the world. To God be the glory.

I have always been proud of the fact that Virgil and I are in the same family tree. Though a little distant, we are cousins in the flesh and very close brothers in the Lord.

Carl and Jean Albright (long time friends in Carol Stream and Arkansas)

Many years ago your dad was teaching a Sunday school class on Revelation 11:9 where it says the world would view the two witnesses. He was asked how this would be possible as this was well before satellites. Your dad didn't know how this would be possible, but the bible stated that it would happen. He was very confident that it would happen, and now we can see how this is possible. 

Another memory we have is your dad never said anything bad about anyone. And when Mike was in the hospital [their son died with a brain tumor when he was sixteen], your mom and dad would come up every evening at supper time and sit with Mike and tell us to go and get something to eat. We have many memories of your dad, and he was very special to us.

From Robert Teachout (who lived with the Moneysmiths at Mid-Maples)

For me Uncle Flip was a man who had an unusually good testimony. I always appreciated his gentle firmness. I personally found him to be a humble and wise man. What I remember most prominently is the way he made me feel special at one of the most vulnerable times in my life. During my high-school senior year, I spent almost a full month down at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. I had a very rare acne condition such as the doctors had never seen before. The amazing thing to me was that Uncle Flip would take the time to visit me virtually every afternoon Monday through Friday. This took much of his time, but he was there for me. I will always be grateful.