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Horace Banner

Pioneer Missionary to the Amazon Rain Forest

Native tribal man swimming in amazonia rainforest in handmade boat.jpg

Horace Banner
Pioneer Missionary to the Amazon Rain Forest

In the Church at Grappenhall we have a window dedicated to the work of Horace and Eva Banner.  The window is a reminder of the work of Horace and Eva, during 40 years in the service of God, amongst the Kayapo Indians along the River Xingu and its tributaries in the Amazon Rain Forest.

When Horace first arrived in this part of Brazil, he and William Johnson went in search of three missing missionaries who had not been heard of for several months. Those three missionaries are still known to this day as the ‘Three Fred’s’: Fred Roberts, Fred Wright, and Fred Dawson.

The three Freds had gone to work amongst the Kayapo and had travelled up the Xingo and then its tributary, the Rio Zinho. The Kayapo’s only contact with civilisation was through the savage attacks they carried out on the homes of Brazilian settlers often killing the men and carrying off the women back into the rain forest. 

It was an 800-mile journey by boat and motor transport before Horace and William reached the edge of hostile Indian Territory. They then made two attempts with the assistance of armed guards to follow the route up the Rio Zinho taken by the three Freds. Eventually they penetrated 200 miles into Indian Territory to stand below the waterfall known as Smoke Falls to find the sunken motorboat and the clothing remains belonging to the three Freds.

Horace’s party had travelled along the Rio Zinho knowing that they could be ambushed by the Indians at any time. On their return journey to safety, Horace recorded that he had turned to the second chapter of the book of Ezekiel and read: -

“and thou, son of man, be not afraid of them… not afraid of their words, nor dismayed at their looks……Thou shalt speak my words unto them.” 

Words of scripture that Horace would follow, and which would lead to forty years of ministry to the Kayapo Indians. 

For further reading:
“The Three Freds and After”. Horace Banner. Unevangelised Field Missions.

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