Hazel & Alex Reid
Alexander James Reid (1900-1986) Alex Reid was born on April 24, 1900 in Wilsman, Illinois. The family lived in various communities in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, moving when and where his father’s responsibilities as a superintendent of mines took them. Alex graduated from Bethel Academy and enrolled at Asbury College where he was class chaplain his junior year and president of the ministerial association his senior year. He graduated in 1927.
Hazel Dell Hunley Reid (1901-1981) Hazel Hunley was born in Clay City, Illinois, on November 14, 1901. She too enrolled at Bethel Academy and graduated from Asbury College in 1927.
Alex and Hazel Reid were married in August of 1927, and, after serving in a Methodist pastorate in the U.S., spent a short time as missionaries in Czechoslovakia before moving to the Belgian Congo in October 1929, where they worked as missionaries for forty years. The Reids began much of the Methodist work in the central Congo, pioneering mission stations in such remote places as Lodja and Katako Kombe. During their time in Africa, the Reids shared the Gospel message in more than 250 villages that had never before heard it. They traveled over 200,000 miles on bicycles, on foot, in boats, and later by car.
Hazel Reid entertained Congolese and Belgian officials, missionaries, businessmen, and other visitors. She translated 16 Bible picture books for children into the Otetela language, and in 1930 she organized the Congo Annual Conference for Women. While serving in the Congo, Hazel painted prolifically, specializing in watercolor paintings of African wildflowers, a collection now housed at Asbury College in the Kinlaw Library Archives.
Alex Reid provided 30 years of leadership as superintendant of the Wembo Nyama, Lodja, Tunda, and Katako Kombe Districts of the Central Congo Annual conference of the Methodist Church. For over 20 years he was chairman of the executive committee of his conference. He received an honorary doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1941, was given the “A” Award by Asbury College in 1948, and was made a “Chevalier de la Ordre de Leopold II” by the King of Belgium in 1952.
After retiring from active service on the mission field, the Reids settled in Wilmore, Kentucky, but continued to be involved in mission work, returning eight times to Africa for short-term work, as well as speaking and writing. Hazel Reid died on June 11,1981, and Dr. Alexander Reid passed away on September 7, 1986. Both are buried in the Wilmore Cemetery.
Listen to an audio clip by Dr. Alex Reid from the 1964 Asbury College Missions Conference.
Materials by Dr. Alex ReidAvailable at the Kinlaw Library and/or Asbury University Archives:
Bio Written by Matt Kinnell