More than 125 black missionaries have served the Adventist church all over the globe and most of them have been Oakwoodites, according to a just-released volume by Dr. Carol Hammond.
Precious Memories of Missionaries of Color tells the in-depth story of 49 of these missionaries and gives factual information on the others. The very first black missionary, James E. Patterson, was sent to Jamaica by the Church some 18 years after the first missionary, JN Andrews, was sent to Switzerland.
Anna Knight was sent to India in 1901 and upon her return in 1907 until 1931 there were no missionaries of color serving the church. In 1931, Elder Benjamin and Celia Abney were asked to go to Cape Town, South Africa. Records indicate that for a period of seven more years, no missionaries of color served the Adventist church. The door was opened again when three black pastors Elders G.N. Banks, Dunbar Henri and Phillip Giddings were sent to Liberia, West Africa to see if they could stand the test of time! They passed with flying colors, opening the doors for many who would follow.
Those that followed traveled far from their loved ones and homes to places they had only heard about, to cultures that were sometimes radically different from their own. The people they encountered in the faraway countries welcomed them with open arms and embraced and loved them. At times, there were tense moments of danger and illness, and yet they trusted in God and stood firm in their desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others and to bring health and educational opportunities to those they served.
Some former missionaries who are currently active in Oakwood University life are Dr Ruth Faye Davis, Professor, missionary to Ghana; Jason McCracken, Administration, to Brazil; Dr. Harold Lee, BCBLC, to Trinidad; Dr. Ben Brown, Board member, to Ethiopia; Dr. DeWitt Williams, President, Alumni Association, to Congo, and Burundi; Dr. Timothy McDonald, Administration, to Kenya; Larry Word, Business, to Ivory Coast; and Pastor Craig Newborn, Pastor of Oakwood University Church, to Kenya, Iran and Lebanon.
Precious Memories of Missionaries of Color can be ordered from amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. Dr. Carol Hammond and her husband Dr. James Hammond (301-572-7536) are both retired professors and served in Ghana and Sierra Leone for more than a dozen years. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be used for scholarships
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