Looking at 5 American black theologians, pastors and missionaries

Jennifer Grisham at Logos in February looked at the American history where there got something to move in the 18 and 19th-century black community.

When white people came to the New World they took their religion from the Old World into the New World, first trying to stay convinced in what they learned at the European continent; But they found out that there were many differences between all those churches the European continent was rich off.

The slaves they brought into the Americas also came into contact with those many different churches and started to have an interest in that Book of books the Bible.  the negro slaves did not wait until the civil rights movement to read and examine the Scriptures and to find godly ways for themselves.

Jennifer Grisham writes

Knowing the history of the Black church is essential because it’s family history. Black history isn’t merely a recap of the past or rehashing of past sins. Rather, Black history — and all history — offers us wisdom for our past, present, and future.

In the United States of America in February it was Black History Month, also called African American History Month, an annual observance  where those American try for a month long to think about those coloured people they brought into the New World. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, in October.

The idea for a Black History Month was first conceived by the historian Carter G. Woodson and members of his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History). Together they organized a Negro History Week, beginning in February 1926. They selected the month of February for this celebration because it was close to the birthdays of U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln, and the African American orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Wendell Phillips

Abolitionist Wendell Phillips speaking against the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 at an antislavery meeting in Boston. In the rigorous moral climate of New England, slavery was anathema, and much of the fire and righteousness of the Abolitionist movement originated there. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

In western Europe and the Americas, the abolitionist movement was chiefly responsible for creating the emotional climate necessary for ending the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery. In Britain, Granville Sharp secured a legal decision in 1772 that West Indian planters could not hold slaves in Britain, since slavery was contrary to English law. In the United States, all of the states north of Maryland abolished slavery between 1777 and 1804. But antislavery sentiments had little effect on the centres of slavery themselves: the great plantations of the Deep South, the West Indies, and South America.

Abraham Lincoln, byname Honest Abe, the Rail-Splitter, or the Great Emancipator equated his success with the North’s rejection of their right to practice slavery and became responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation, that freed the slaves of the Confederate states in rebellion against the Union.

This year’s commemoration of African American history and achievements she wanted to encourage her readers to consider history with these three analogies:

  • A journal revealing where we’ve been and how we arrived at today
  • A coach that teaches us love and compassion for one another
  • A map that helps us end patterns of sin in our past by showing us where we’re going together

For the Bible student movement several black preachers played an important role in the development of thought and building of churches. Lots of their writings were coveted by the non-trinitarian and trinitarian Baptists.

Coming closer to the end-times it is important to have many voices resound in the world bringing people to think about God, Jesus and the coming Kingdom. We do know there is still a long way to go because the Church is not yet build up by children of God who love each other no matter what skin colour or from which background. At the moment there are also not enough people who realy know Jesus Christ, the sent one from God. We still find to many churches where they take Jesus as their God instead of accepting him as the beloved son of God who gave his life for our sins and presented his ransom offering to his heavenly Father. Lots of people still have to find a way to become like Christ and to get to see him as he is (1 John 3:1–3). It is by such writers as those black preachers that thoughts could be shared with many and that devotions could touch hearts. They, too, equipped others for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.

Whilst God allows several voices to reach people in different ways He is making us one in love. The work started in the East continued in the Wild West with some Africans working as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, Their hope was then like our hope is still today, that all would attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. At the moment when we look at the present church it is still tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. White man thought for a long time they were superior to the other races. But the wisdom and insight of the coloured people proved otherwise.

Today many Biblestudents all over the world try to bring people to come to know the way to God, by showing who Christ Jesus really is. As that 17th-century and 18th-century searchers of the truth, we should not be afraid to go out preaching the Word of God. With the knowledge that there is still a long way to go we still can use words of those  ancient preachers who were , like us, also speaking the truth in love, trying themselves to grow up and helping others to grow up in all aspects according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah, who is the head.

Throughout the times the whole body is framed together and compacted by all the junctures and lovers of God continuously have tried to build the Church by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causing the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Eph 4:11–16) and worship (Rev 7:9–10).

Today there is still too much rivalry and discussions going on about certain teachings. But we will one day stand in front of God’s throne fully united and at the same time fully ourselves —

“every nation, tribe, people, and language” (Rev 7:9 CSB).

Jennifer Grisham thinks also that our future reality is just that — future ans says:

But Scripture teaches us to pray and work to reflect God’s already-and-not-yet kingdom in our world (Matt 6:10). Growing together as one body of Christ requires growing in love and understanding — in short, knowing all of our history, including Black history.

Therefore she asks this year to look back at the American history by learning about these five Black theologians, pastors, and missionaries who were influential in American and Christian history.

In the next five articles Jennifer Grisham shall present to us five Afro-American preachers: George Liele, Henry Highland Garnet, Alexander Crummell, Richard Allen and C. P. Jones.

5 thoughts on “Looking at 5 American black theologians, pastors and missionaries

  1. Pingback: George Liele | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  2. Pingback: Rev. Henry Highland Garnet | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  3. Pingback: Rev. Alexander Crummell | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  4. Pingback: Richard Allen | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  5. Pingback: Charles Price Jones better known as C. P. Jones | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

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