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Subject Guide: African Methodism


Welcome to the African Methodism Research Guide! Here you will find general information to help as you begin research on Methodism in Africa. This Getting Started page offers some helpful web links and general resources from Drew's Methodist Library collection. Each subpage focuses on a particular country. Other nations not represented by subpages may have some materials in the Methodist Library, too. In addition to print books in the Methodist Library collection, sources on African Methodism can be found in the pamphlets, conference journals, and manuscripts of the Methodist Library, as well as the collections of The General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church. Research questions can be emailed to


Jackie Chipongo and Chantel Makarawa.

The African Methodism research guide exists because of the invaluable work of Jackie Chipongo and Chantel Makarawa, Drew Theological School students (class of '25) and Methodist Library assistants.

Jackie: "The Guide allowed me to learn more about Methodism in Africa, especially the contributions that were made by my fellow Africans to religious, social, and political movements throughout history. The stories of resilience and determination by the missionaries and indigenous people in adversity were truly inspiring. I hope the guide serves as a gateway for further exploration and research into the broader themes of faith, community, and activism within the African community. It was rewarding to select materials that not only informed but also engaged the reader, offering a glimpse into the voices and experiences of those who lived through these pivotal moments."

Chantel: "Through the researching and organizing of the guide I gained some knowledge that I did not know existed in such a rich way. My hope is that others will find it useful and a good starting point for their various research journeys. My favorite part was that of a missionary in Angola who used to carry a saw to play hymns whilst leading meetings on evangelistic tours." 









A Note about Colonialism, Racism, and Sexism

The spread of Methodism in Africa occurred in conjunction with colonialism. Missionaries came from and often cooperated with colonialist powers. Because of this, some resources on Methodism in Africa reflect colonialist attitudes, including disparaging descriptions of African peoples and colonial place names. In addition, the narratives of Methodism in Africa often focus on the contributions of individual men, both missionary and indigenous. We want to acknowledge the limitations these sources bring to a project like the African Methodism research guide, which highlights the resources held in the Methodist Library. We hope that this guide can spur research to elevate the stories of those who have not typically received attention in the rich history of Methodism in Africa and emphasize the unique ways African peoples have made Methodism their own. 


Map of Africa noting regions of colonial activity and contemporary geographic names. Map title reads:.

Map from J. S. Mills, Mission Work in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House, 1898. The Methodist Library.

Side by side maps of Africa from 1805 and 1905, noting colonial developments in the latter. Map title:

Map from Wilson S. Naylor, Daybreak in the Dark Continent, New York: Young People's Missionary Movement, 1905. The Methodist Library.

Map of Africa, noting numerous place names, with additional markings indicating

Image from Hartzell, Joseph Crane. Women’s Work for Women in Africa. New York: Africa Diamond Jubilee Commission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1909. The Methodist Library Pamphlet Collection.

Online Resources

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