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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


MUJERE, Joseph. African intermediaries: African evangelists, the Dutch Reformed Church, and the Evangelisation of the southern Shona in the late 19th century. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.2, pp.133-148. ISSN 2412-4265.

Although some Christian denominations employed more African evangelists than others, African evangelists were quite indispensable in evangelisation of many African communities in the late 19th century. In the end, it was often the case of Africans evangelising other Africans rather than a purely European enterprise. Apart from working as evangelists and lay preachers, early African converts also worked as translators, porters, guides, and aides among other jobs. This article analyses the role played by African evangelists in the evangelisation of areas to the north of the Limpopo River in the period before the colonisation of what is now Zimbabwe. It pays particular attention to the work of African evangelists working with the Dutch Reformed Church and the Berlin Missionary Society. This article also attempts to recover the voices of the African men and women through whose efforts the Dutch Reformed Church and the Berlin Missionary Society were able to establish mission stations and spread Christianity among the southern Shona prior to the colonisation of Zimbabwe.

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