Tag Archives: africa

203 – July 21 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Saker, Alfred

Oh, that I had another life to go to Africa

Alfred Saker, as an old emaciated missionary stood before a united assembly of Baptists in Glasgow, Scotland in 1879 and said, “Oh, that I had another life to go out to Africa. The field is white, and the multitudes are in darkness still.”

The Dark Continent’s best-known missionary, David Livingstone, wrote concerning him, “Take it all in all, specially having regard to its many sided character, the work of Alfred Saker at Cameroons and Victoria is, in my judgment, the most remarkable on the African Coast,” having served on the Western Africa coast for 37 years.

He was born on July 21, 1814 in Kent, England. He was a thin, frail boy from a large family. Though he loved reading it was necessary for him to enter the work force with his father as a millwright and engineer which served him well in Africa years later. He was saved at 16 years old when he wandered into a gospel service in Sevenoaks. He was baptized in 1834 in his hometown. Upon his father’s death, he moved to Devonport and in 1839 married Miss Helen Jessup.

They offered themselves to the Baptist Missionary Society for service in Africa. In a group of eight they landed in Feb. 1844. One by one the others were forced to leave but Alfred, frail though he was, seemed to have inexhaustible energy. Though he suffered from fever and other diseases he persisted in working with the tribes at the mouth of the Cameroon River. In 1849 a church was formed. The Spanish Govern. Insisted that the Baptists depart so he led his entire church to Amboises Bay where they began a new colony with homes and gardens, etc. He translated the Bible into Dualla in 1862. He passed into the Lord’s presence in March 1880. His life’s text was, “For thou art with me.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 298-300.

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55 – February – 24 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

George Grenfells

 

He knew not retreat

 

1876 – George Grenfell, Congo’s Pioneer and Explorer, having just married, sailed with his new bride for Africa.  Within a year she succumbed to dysentery, and sometime later George remarried his second wife Rose, who was able to travel with him on many of his most thrilling journeys.  George had been reared in a very religious Anglican home in England but was influenced by a Baptist Sunday school at the Heneage Street Baptist Church at Birmingham.  It was during this time that he read Livingstone’s Travels and dedicated himself for service in Africa.   He then entered Bristol Baptist College in 1873, but learning that his missionary hero, Alfred Saker was in England, after connecting through correspondence, accompanied him to the Cameroons, beginning his work in Africa at twenty-five years of age.  In August 1877, Henry M. Stanley, having been sent to find Livingstone, appeared at the mouth of the Congo, and the world was electrified in that it had taken him three years to go from the east to the west coast.  Even though the Cameroons were six hundred miles north of the Congo River, Grenfel was immediately burdened to plant the message of the cross through this great waterway.  In God’s providence, a wealthy man in England provided a ship to penetrate Central Africa with the gospel that was made available for Grenfell’s use.  With untold sacrifices and privations he gave himself to the work.  He buried his children in Africa and grieved continually over the deaths of his fellow missionaries.  But he wrote, “God’s finger points ONWARD! FORWARD! What caused him the most pain was the indifference of the home churches to sending missionaries.  When his mission agency considered receding, he wrote, “It is either advance or retreat; but if it is retreat, you must not count on me, I will not be a party to it, and you will have to go on without me.”  Grenfell died on July 1, 1906.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 76.

 

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10 – January 10 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

She literally gave of herself

 

1886 – Louise (Lulu) Celestia Fleming was appointed by the Woman’s American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society of the West. Lulu Fleming had heard the story of her grandfather’s capture in Africa and enslavement in Florida. After she was brought to a saving faith in Jesus Christ and baptized in 1877, while in her teens, she had dreamed of returning to “her people”, and began to plan her life with that reality in mind. She was educated at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. Then with the encouragement of Dr. Kellsey of the Sixth Av. Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the financial assistance of the “Young Ladies Home Mission Society,” she enrolled in Estey Seminary Course, graduating as the class valedictorian in 1885. After a great revival had broken out in the Congo, she answered the call for young women to come to assist in the training of new converts. She set sail in March of 1887 and arrived on the field in May. She served in Palabala as a matron for the station girls and a teacher in the schools. She wrote on Jan. 10, 1891, “…More people have been reached this past year, and some have turned from sin and darkness into light.” Her health failed and she had to return to the states in 1891. While there she enrolled in the full medical course at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1895. Having united with the Grace Baptist Church of Philadelphia, she returned to the Congo the same year with full support from her home church. She literally gave herself for her “own people” and contracted the dreaded African Sleeping Sickness and died. Miss Fleming was buried in Philadelphia on June 14, 1899.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 13-14.

 

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330 – Nov. 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

They called her “Mama”

 

 1943 – The Baptist Mission Society of Great Britain passed a resolution in the memory of Lydia (Lily) Mary De Hailes, the first single lady missionary to be appointed by them. It read in part, “She loved the African with a deep and passionate devotion and she longed with her whole life that he might be brought to Christ…” Lily was born into a fine Christian family in North London, and in her youth she was introduced to the cause of missions, even hearing Dr. Robert Moffatt, the pioneer missionary to Africa. After her school years, a severe case of smallpox left her permanently scarred, and she also suffered a lifelong bout with headaches, but nothing kept her from her goal of missionary service. A study of medicine, and her families uniting with Pastor James Stewart’s Baptist Chapel in Highgate, which was a hotbed of missions, that during his tenure saw fifty-one of his members leave for missionary service, prepared her even more for her life’s work. Next she moved to Edinburgh Scotland to train at the Simpson Memorial Hospital in 1881-1882 where she met Rev. Alexander Cowe, who planned to serve in the Congo. In 1885 they were engaged with the understanding that she would follow him in about a year. Tragedy struck, however, as he fell sick and died after just five weeks in Africa. The Mission Society refused to send a young woman to the field, thus her hopes were doubly dashed. However, in 1889 Lily was allowed to go as a nurse with other missionaries, and this started her forty year ministry in Africa. They called her “Mama”, and she received the Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II from Belgium. [Edna M. Staple, Great Baptist Women (London: Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1955), p. 97. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 647-49]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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202 – July 21 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Oh, that I had another life to go to Africa

 

Alfred Saker, as an old emaciated missionary stood before a united assembly of Baptists in Glasgow, Scotland in 1879 and said, “Oh, that I had another life to go out to Africa. The field is white, and the multitudes are in darkness still.” The Dark Continent’s best-known missionary, David Livingstone, wrote concerning him, “Take it all in all, specially having regard to its many sided character, the work of Alfred Saker at Cameroons and Victoria is, in my judgment, the most remarkable on the African Coast,” having served on the Western Africa coast for 37 years. He was born on July 21, 1814 in Kent, England. He was a thin, frail boy from a large family. Though he loved reading it was necessary for him to enter the work force with his father as a millwright and engineer which served him well in Africa years later. He was saved at 16 years old when he wandered into a gospel service in Sevenoaks. He was baptized in 1834 in his hometown. Upon his father’s death, he moved to Devonport and in 1839 married Miss Helen Jessup. They offered themselves to the Baptist Missionary Society for service in Africa. In a group of eight they landed in Feb. 1844. One by one the others were forced to leave but Alfred, frail though he was, seemed to have inexhaustible energy. Though he suffered from fever and other diseases he persisted in working with the tribes at the mouth of the Cameroon River. In 1849 a church was formed. The Spanish Govern. Insisted that the Baptists depart so he led his entire church to Amboises Bay where they began a new colony with homes and gardens, etc. He translated the Bible into Dualla in 1862. He passed into the Lord’s presence in March 1880. His life’s text was, “For thou art with me.”

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 298-300.

 

 

 

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314 – Nov. 10 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


“The Father of Western Africa Missions”

November 10, 1828 – Lott Carey, “The Father of Western Africa Missions” died of an accident less than ten years from the time that his little missionary group sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, aboard the “Nautilus” for Liberia, on Jan. 23, 1821. His farewell sermon, preached in the meeting-house of the First Baptist Church had made a lasting impression on Deacon William Crane who had begun a school for black men in 1815. Classes were held 3 nights each week. 20 black men were enrolled, including Lott Carey. The regular course was supplemented with articles on missions. Now here was the result of that effort taking root in the hearts of this black slave who had lived so frugally that he had purchased his and his two children’s freedom for $850. He purchased a farm for $1500 and worked for an annual salary of $800. He was offered a 25% raise to stay instead of going to Africa which he rejected. Crane had recommended Carey and Colin Teague, another former slave, to the American Board of Foreign Missions and they were both accepted. Teague had told Crane that he should be surprised to hear Carey preach. Carey preached from Rom. 8:32. Mr. Crane said that he had such a vivid memory of it that Carey “at the close dwelt on the word, freely, and rang a succession of perhaps a dozen changes upon the word in a manner that would not have dishonored Whitfield.” In Liberia, Lott planted the Providence Baptist Church, which was the first Baptist church in Africa. He served as medical officer, soldier, and governmental inspector while leading his church in evangelism and education. He had been intemperate and profane as a young man but had been converted through the preaching of Rev. John Courtney, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Richmond Virginia.

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