Do you recognize these names:

  • George Washington Carver?
  • Mary McLeod Bethune?
  • Mae Jemison?
  • William Sheppard?
  • John Marrant?
  • George Liele?

Did you do pretty well with the first three names? Struggle a bit with the last three? Here is a little help …

William Sheppard – one of the first African-American missionaries, served in the Congo

John Marrant – ministered cross culturally to Native Americans in the 1770’s

George Liele – considered to be the first American overseas missionary, served in Jamaica

It’s not uncommon to hear about the great contributions of African Americans for secular contributions such as inventions, education, and civil rights. As believers, let’s also remember the service of those committed to fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord even amongst great challenges.

Bonus Question: Who is credited as the first African-American missionary to Africa? (Answer at end.) 

Great Books:

William Sheppard: Congo’s African American Lingstone

By William Phipps

In this comprehensive biography of William Sheppard, William Phipps chronicles Sheppard’s childhood and his incredible journey to the Congo. Phipps details Sheppard’s efforts to challenge human rights violations, presents accounts of Sheppard’s life after he left Africa, and explores some of the reasons behind his departure. In addition, the book describes the African American missionary’s indelible impact on the areas of religion, human rights, education, and art. This important work tells the remarkable story of how an African American born in the South during the era of slavery emerged as on the most distinguished Presbyterian leaders in American history.

African-American Experience in World Mission

By Vaughn J. Walston & Robert J. Stevens

Venture into the world of overseas missions from an African-American perspective. This collection of articles takes you deep into the history of missions in the African-American community. You will learn of the struggles to stay connected to the world of missions in spite of great obstacles. You will read of unique cultural experiences while traveling abroad. You will feel the heart for fulfilling the Great Commission both in the African-American community and beyond.

Buy Now from the William Carey Library

ISBN 10: 0878086099

Bonus Question Answer: Lott Cary