Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499
KUMALO, Simangaliso. Meeting the Cowboy Turned Renegade Missionary: William Cullen Wilcox. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2013, vol.39, suppl.1, pp.337-352. ISSN 2412-4265.
The Rev. William Cullen Wilcox is a relatively unknown missionary of the American Board Mission. He left an indelible legacy in South Africa as an initiator of mission stations, a land activist, and mentor to John Langalibalele Dube, the first president of the African National Congress. He lived and worked in South Africa for over 40 years after which he returned home to California with nothing to show for his work among the poor black people of South Africa whom he had served. It was only seventy years later that his story was brought to the attention of the South African church and government, which led to President Zuma bestowing on him the order of the Companions of Oliver Tambo. This article offers a brief profile of Rev Wilcox as a progressive political missionary and highlights his contribution to the struggle of the African people for self-determination.