Western missionaries who are African-American (black) - where are you?

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Hello;

Perhaps this is a controversial thread.

But the question begs to be asked, "Of Western missionaries focused on foreign lands, where are all the blacks?" African-Americans are very under-represented proportionately in foreign missions.

Is this due to racism in the US? Is this due to an urban US focus (i.e. missions-minded blacks serving their own communities in US cities)? Is it due to abiding sins on the black churches in the US?

Is this a problem just for blacks or also for all Western ethnic minorities? I know several Latin and Asian, or mixed-Asian missionaries, but hardly any US blacks. In fact, the only black missionary I ever met on US soil was a Islamic imam from Sudan who ws a Muslim missionary to St. Louis.

Why?

What do US churches do? What do our own churches do?

Anyone know any black missionaries, any groups that have a large percentage of their missionaries being black or minority? Any advice on how to enable, empower, help black reformed churches getmore missions-minded?

P.s. I am supported by one black calvinistic church. All my other churches are mostly pasty, lower to midle class suburban or rural whites.



p.s.s. here's some web resources about some of the African-American efforts in the past:

African American Church Intercultural Missions

Black history month: Christian missionaries

Disciples Home Missions Leaders: black ministries

-----Added 1/1/2009 at 08:47:05 EST-----

One possible solution, but I don't know is this:

Most blacks went Methodist, and Methodism went liberal and their missions zeal died...therefore black zeal died.

Therefore, as more blacks become reformed we should see a sky-rocketing statistical increase this decade and next, right?

-----Added 1/11/2009 at 01:52:17 EST-----

80 views but no comments?
 

Zeno333

Puritan Board Freshman
What are you calling under-represented?? if the ratio is close to the ratio of the white to black population, and in particular the ratio of black to white Christians, it would not be under-represented, right?? or are you saying that even based on the racial ratios, it is still under-represented? i ask since i have no idea what the numbers are.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Yes, in total numbers and also proportionately, blacks are under-represented in US mission organization overseas.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I have no idea, I am wondering why. My theories are that (1) a history of racism might make them leary, (2) black churches have fallen disproportionately into health and wealth error, which kills missions, or (3) they serve in US urban settings and not overseas.

I am trying to sort through my hypotheses and gather facts without making anyone mad. I don't think much has been written on this.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I've asked a good friend of mine, a conservative black baptist pastor, this very question. His opinion is that the American black culture has so focussed upon the plight(s) of American blacks that it has become the emphasis.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
pergy,

I read it but I do not fit into the category--Western missionaries who are African-American (black) - where are you? So it's difficult for me to give an answer.

I don't know that it's they went to the Methodist churches, I know many who are Baptist, I don't know how reformed they are, but I think the thing to do would be to ask them personally.

First Baptist Church of Mandarin

African American Ministries*-*Jacksonville Baptist Association

Ebenezer Baptist Church - Welcome to Ebenezer Baptist Church

Florida Baptist Convention

Ervin McWilson first African American DOM in Florida

Here are some PCA Links as well..

MNA: African American Ministries

http://www.pca-mna.org/africanamerican/documents/AAWebDirectory.pdf
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
pergy,

I read it but I do not fit into the category--Western missionaries who are African-American (black) - where are you? So it's difficult for me to give an answer.

I don't know that it's they went to the Methodist churches, I know many who are Baptist, I don't know how reformed they are, but I think the thing to do would be to ask them personally.

First Baptist Church of Mandarin

African American Ministries*-*Jacksonville Baptist Association

Ebenezer Baptist Church - Welcome to Ebenezer Baptist Church

Florida Baptist Convention

Ervin McWilson first African American DOM in Florida

Here are some PCA Links as well..

MNA: African American Ministries

http://www.pca-mna.org/africanamerican/documents/AAWebDirectory.pdf

Thanks, good links.

How do I approach this? Do you believe that this is a sensitive issue?

-----Added 1/12/2009 at 12:34:43 EST-----

Wanted: black missionaries, but how?
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Pergamum;


Thanks, good links.

How do I approach this? Do you believe that this is a sensitive issue?

I would just contact them and ask what you've asked here, and ask if they have any Missionaries who may be willing to go into the field..or if you could send information to them on what your doing..and if they would like to partner with you..and who knows, it may open doors to get more help for you..or get them thinking of things they may not have considered..

As far as it being sensitive, I don't think so..if God is calling someone in their congregations to go...they won't know unless it's brought up and they start praying about it..
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I just received this email from a missionary named Doug Nichols with Action International. He sends out emails almost everyday about various missions subjects. Any, I thought today's was rather interesting and reminded me of this thread. It lists some African American missionaries from the past. Enjoy!


From: Doug Nichols, Founder and International Director Emeritus (ca)
Sent: 1/16/08
Re: Martin Luther King’s Birthday

Dear Friend,

As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday January 19 (real birthday, January 15), it is good to look back how African Americans have been involved in sharing the Gospel and compassionate care among the masses of the world.
Following is information of African American mission involvement taken from Clarence Shuler’s book “Winning the Race to Unity (Is Racial Reconciliation Really Working?)” published by Moody Publishers. We can rejoice in how God used people who were treated so injustly simple because of the color of their skin.
African American Mission Involvement
The following reveals the leadership role African ex-slaves and African Americans played in foreign missions and provide insight into the factors that have resulted in African Americans not being as involved in foreign missions as they once were.
· In 1773, Rev. George Liele became one of the first Amer*ican missionaries overseas. Rev. Liele, a freed slave and Baptist pastor, joined a British merchant going to Jamaica. In 1784, Liele planted the first Baptist church in that country. He planted a church of three thousand and founded the Jamaican missionary society.1 Sharon Harley, The Timetables of African American History: A Chronology of the Most Important People and Events in African American History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 74.

· In 1782, David George pastored the first black Baptist church in America. He also preached in Nova Scotia. In 1792, Rev. George was recruited to settle in Sierra Leone and organize a Baptist church.2 Ibid., 52

· Betsy Stockton was the first American single person to travel overseas as a missionary. She went to Liberia. Originally, she was a slave of Dr. Green, then president of Princeton University, which was at the time a strong Christian college.

· In 1735, Christian Protten, a black from Denmark, went to the Gold Coast (Ghana) and teamed up with Gold Coast missionary Phillip Quaquoe, who became the pri*mary missionary to his own people. He started schools that are still functioning today.

· In 1807, Paul Cuffee, a successful Quaker shipowner of African American and Native American ancestry, advo*cated settling freed American slaves in Africa. He gained support from the British government, free black leaders in the United States, and members of Congress for a plan to take emigrants to the British colony of Sier*ra Leone. Cuffee intended to make one voyage a year, taking settlers to Africa and bringing back valuable car*goes. In 1816, at his own expense, Captain Cuffee took thirty-eight American blacks to Freetown, Sierra Leone, but his death in 1817 ended further ventures.4 Paul Cuffee, Memoirs of Captain Paul Cuffee, a Man of Colour: The Epistle of the Society of Sierra Leone in African & etc. (New York: W. Alexander, 1812—1817)

· In 1807, Lott Carey bought his freedom and pastored a church of more than eight hundred in Richmond, Vir*ginia. In 1815, Rev. Carey helped to organize the Rich*mond African Baptist Missionary Society. Carey and Rev. Cohn Teague sailed for Sierra Leone. Arriving in 1821, they were the first U.S. missionaries to that coun*try. In 1822, the Missionary Society sponsored Carey and twenty-eight other colonists on a journey to Liberia.5 Harley, Timetables of African American History, 74. .

· In 1815, John Steward, of the Sandusky, Ohio area, preached and served as a missionary to the Wyandott Native American Indians through a black interpreter.

· In 1821, Richard Allen—teacher, pastor, and doctor— went to Liberia as a missionary and founded a church.

· Bishop William Paul Quinn, born in Calcutta, India, of black and Hindu parentage, planted forty-seven church*es among the slaves in the central valley of the Missis*sippi. In 1816, he was present at the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He pastored in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. When he submitted his report on the forty-seven churches he established, the General Conference at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, elected him as bishop on May 19, 1844. He became senior bishop on May 9, 1849.6 Bishop William Paul Quinn, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Home page, Internet.

· In 1831, many black ministers who preached a mission*ary vision for Africa were trained as ship captains so that they could take the Gospel not just to Africa, but all over the world.

· In 1843, Sojouner Truth left New York and began aboli*tionist work. She was one of the first black women aboli*tionist lecturers.7 Harley, Timetables of African American History, 76.

· In 1847, Theodore Wright entered Princeton Theologi*cal Seminary. He was the first black graduate of a theo*logical seminary.

· In 1890, William Henry Shepard went to the Congo with medical aid. He became the first black leader of the African Presbyterian Mission.

· In 1882, six black missionaries started a business in West Africa that flourished so much in six months that they were able to use their profits to support other mis*sionaries.

· Samuel Adjai Crowther was born in a West African vil*lage. He was captured and sold as a slave and later dra*matically rescued. He became a Christian and founded many mission stations. He translated the Bible into Yoruba and became the first black Anglican bishop. He also served as a missionary to Niger. He said, “The time has come for Niger.”8 John Milsome, From Slave Boy to Bishop (n.p., n.d.).

· Montrose Waite Crover continued in missions abroad when blacks were not allowed to go on missions anymore by colonial governments. [Pages 80-82]

Sincerely in Christ,
Doug Nichols
Founder and International Director Emeritus


Please respond to Doug's gmail address: [email protected].
Thank you for your help.
 

SemperEruditio

Puritan Board Junior
I left a Black non-denomination/Baptist Church in July of last year. There were quite a bit of missionaries we sponsored who were all Black. All were in countries serving with people of African descent.


I would say more African-Americans are Baptist than Methodist. Not sure what difference that makes. From my experience there is not much talk about missionary work. The argument seems to be that there are enough issues that African-American's face in the US so why go into the unknown; better the devil you know.

The issue I have and have experienced in my short stint in the PCA is the incessant suggestion that it is assumed I am African-American, which I'm not, that I should look into church planting. I am given the song & dance about going into the inner-city and planting a church which, by the grace of God, will attract African-Americans and Latinos. Missions outside of the US are not mentioned. Nothing else is mentioned except church planting in the inner-city.

You know where else African-Americans are underrepresented? Academia. I would opine that the focus should be on proper theology and then wherever their gifts take them. In the African-American church answering "the call" is becoming a preeecha. Efforts are changing at schools like Howard and Virginia Union are advising more students to go into academia and not just the pulpit. One of the problems however is the liberal theology which would make Arminius shudder.

Venturing :offtopic: .....
Efforts into Miami by the PCA have not been too successful. Part of the prolem is Latinos are no different than any other group. Once we get money we prefer to pay someone to evangelize or do missions. However placing a Mexican to plant a church in the heart of Little Havana (Calle Ocho) is ridiculous.
 
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