The First Word: Blessed Are the Peacemakers
The cover story for Life magazine on December 4, 1964, began
with these words:
Everywhere Dr. Carlson went, the Congolese
called him Monganga Paulo—“my Dr. Paul.” He
was a missionary doctor serving 100,000 people,
and he did so with a genuine love of God and
God’s people. His patients responded to his
warmth. And then he was caught up in a burst
of wanton savagery that stunned the civilized
world—and he paid for his work with his life.
Dr. Paul Carlson graduated from North Park in 1949, completed his undergraduate degree
in 1951 at Stanford University, and subsequently became a physician through studies at
George Washington University School of Medicine.
In 1961 he traveled to Africa for six months with the Christian Medical and Dental Society,
serving on a medical team to Congo. Deeply moved by this experience, he returned again
to Africa for a longer term assignment, this time with his family, in 1963. By the end of the
following year, civil unrest had erupted in the country and Monganga Paulo was caught in
The primary academic building on North Park’s campus is named in Paul Carlson’s honor
and memory; the significance of his dedication to medicine and his life-giving service to the
people of Congo has long been a familiar story for our students.
This dedication to serve the people of Africa, and this commitment to learn from the people
of Africa, continues to be a strong and shaping focus in the education of many at North
Park. This same context for serving and learning is highlighted in this issue of North Parker
through the contemporary stories of North Park alumni.
Monganga Paulo carried a New Testament with him each day as he visited patients in his
hospital, and cared for the health and well-being of all he met each day. On the day before he
was killed, he wrote the date and a single word in the margins of his Bible. The word? “Peace.”