What is DACB?

The DACB is an international undertaking aimed at producing an electronic database containing the essential biographical facts of African Christian leaders, evangelists, and lay workers chiefly responsible for laying the foundations, shaping the character, and advancing the growth of Christian communities across Africa. An international team of African scholars is facilitating the project. Contributors are drawn from academic, church, and mission communities in Africa and elsewhere. Work began in 1995 and is expected to continue as long as there is financial support.[1] The Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University School of Theology provides technical and administrative support under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Bonk.

While the growth and character of Christianity in Africa is without historical precedent, information on the major creative and innovative local figures and leaders of this growth—from local evangelists and pastors to nationally known Christian leaders—does not appear in standard historical and biographical reference works on the continent.

The Dictionary covers the whole field of African Christianity from earliest times to the present and over the entire continent. Broadly interconfessional, historically descriptive, and exploiting the full range of oral and written records, the primary language of the Dictionary is English, with growing numbers of entries in the other major lingua franca of African universities: French, Portuguese, and Swahili.

The Dictionary stimulates local data gathering and input. As a non-proprietary electronic database, it constitutes a uniquely dynamic way to maintain, amend, expand, access, and disseminate information vital to an understanding of African Christianity. Being non-proprietary, it is possible for material within it to be freely reproduced locally in printed form. Being electronic, the material is simultaneously accessible to readers around the world.

Dr. Jonathan Bonk, Founder and Director Emeritus
September 2, 2013

[1] Updated February 2023. Dr. Michele Sigg, Executive Director