About us

Our Vision Statement

“African Moons”….is an organization with the express purpose of providing varied types of religious, educational, and humanitarian support to Tanzania. “African Moons” will also provide college scholarship funding and the funds to assist with the building and maintenance of campus construction at Northern Bible College.

a brief History

The Bruton Heritage

J. Paul Bruton Sr. (1915-1996)

J. Paul Bruton Sr. grew up in Arkansas. At the age of six, he told his parents that he would be a missionary to Africa.

Graduating from Southwestern Bible School in 1934, he married Helen Grant, from Sherburn, Minnesota and began his ministry of evangelism and pastoral assignments in the United States. In 1948 he was appointed by the Assemblies of God Foreign Missions Board to Nigeria, West Africa.

Paul was visionary and the word “cannot” was not often used in his vocabulary. Upon arriving in Rahama, Nigeria he bought a horse for transportation, until his 1948 Chevy arrived by ship from America. He began taking the Gospel to villages and would spend days in the bush preaching.

He spent the rest of his life working and evangelizing across the continent of Africa. He established Bible schools and churches. He provided tools from bicycles to Bibles to train and equip pastors and lay workers from West Africa to East Africa.

His passion and deep love for the people of Africa inspired many to serve in missionary and humanitarian efforts. Assist International, founder Bob Pagett, www.assistinternational.org, Wayne Frances of Calcutta Mercy Ministries, www.buntain.org, and Lorne Cunningham, founder of YWAM, Youth With a Mission www.youthwithamission.org are but a few influenced by his passion to invest their talents and gifts to serve and reach the world with God’s message of hope.

Death has not silenced Paul Bruton. From his heart he set burning fires in innumerable other hearts who continue to spread the “GOOD NEWS” of hope to the people of Africa and beyond.

Helen Grant Bruton (1914 - 2008)

In 1931, at the age of seventeen, Helen Bruton made a decision that would set her life’s course. With forty dollars and a heart full of determination, she left her home in Minnesota to attend Southwestern Bible College in Enid, Oklahoma.

At Southwestern, she met Paul Bruton. Dating was not allowed so they spoke only occasionally. In one conversation, he told her he was going to Africa as a missionary and if she wasn’t willing to go with him there was no reason to pursue a relationship. That was the only marriage proposal she received. They were married the day after graduation in May, 1934.

Fourteen years later, she arrived at her first home in Rahama, Nigeria. Her house was made of mud, a thatched roof, with no running water or electricity. The first year in Rahama, she gave birth to her third child, Mike and sent her first born son, Paul Jr., to boarding school.

With a pioneer spirit inherited from a German immigrant mother and with the wanderlust “genes”
from a great uncle who headed to the Wild West during the Gold Rush, she was fitted to be the perfect complement to her husband who took her to live among some of the most primitive tribes in Africa.

Helen Bruton had one mindset, one heart, one goal and one path; that was to walk with her God. She gladly gave her heart and life for the people of Africa and took her last breath knowing that she fulfilled God’s plan and purpose for her life.


Meet Our Staff

Our amazing staff members have a heart of gold – they are dedicated to continuing the Bruton Heritage legacy, in order to bring positive change to the Tanzanian community. Through their hard work and dedication, our staff is contributing to making sure that individuals within Tanzania have the best quality of life, and can truly thrive. The Bruton heritage’s commitment to giving back and investing in the people of Tanzanian is something that we are incredibly proud of, and we know that our staff members feel this dedication deeply.

Joel Vann

president & founder

Sally Bruton Vann