Bibliographic Resources

This page includes bibliographies with important primary and secondary sources on African Christianity.

Leading reference works on the history of the church in Africa, some of which have supplied stories to the DACB database.

Short Reference Author/Editor Title Publication Information Date
Alberione 1994
James Alberione Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1994.
Anagbogu Anagbogu, Ifeanyi St. Paul's (C.M.S.) College, Awka and Christianization of Igboland (Ph.D thesis) Department of History, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. N.d.
Aren Aren, Gustav The Envoys of the Gospel in Ethiopia: In the Steps of the Evangelical Pioneers. Stockholm, Sweden: Verbum Publishers. 1999
Asaju Asaju, Dapo F. Olabayo - Life and Ministry of an African Prophet Ilorin, Nigeria: Mobolaju Publishing Co. 1996
Bakke Bakke, Johnny. Christian Ministry: Patterns and Functions Within the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Jesus. New Jersey, U.S.A.: Humanities Press. 1987
Balisky Balisky, E. Paul "Wolaitta Evangelists: A Study of Religious Innovation in Southern Ethiopia, 1937-1975" University of Aberdeen, Ph.D. thesis. 1997
Baur Baur, John. 2000 Years of Christianity in Africa: An African History 62-1992. Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications. 1994
BDCM Anderson, Gerald, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 1998.
Bediako Bediako, Kwame. Christianity in Africa: The Renewal of a Non-Western Religion. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. 1995.
Beyer Beyer, Engelbert New Christian Movements in West Africa Ibadan, Nigeria: Sefer Books Ltd. 1998
Boisvert Boisvert, FIC, Raymond and Conlon, AA, James Bakanja Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1996.
Bragotti Bragotti, MCCJ, Joseph Zeinab Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1996.
Bragotti 1980 Bragotti, MCCJ, Joseph and Tiboni, MCCJ, P. Father James Alberione - A Man Who Reached for the Future Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1980.
Brockman Brockman, Norbert. An African Biographical Dictionary. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1994
Buys Buys, Gerhard and Nambala, Shekutaamba History of the Church in Namibia, an Introduction - 1805-1990 Windhoek, Namibia: Gamsberg Macmillan 2003
Checole Checole, Alemu A Global Mennonite History, Volume One: Africa Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Pandora Press 2003
CMS Church Missionary Society Church Missionary Society, Register of Register of Missionaries (Clerical, Lay and Female) and Native Clergy from 1804 to 1904.

Cogswell Cogswell, James A. No Turning Back: A History of American Presbyterian Involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1833-2000 Philadelphia: Xlibris Corporation 2007
Coker Coker, Folarin Nigeria Profiles: The Rt. Reverend Seth Irunsewe Kale. Lagos: CSS Press 1973
Comboni Miss Comboni Missionaries (ed.) Daniel Comboni Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1996.
Contran Contran, P. Neno Ils vous ont guettees Kinshasa: Afriquespoir 2004
Contran-Kalonji Contran, P. Neno et Louis Kalonji Que leur vie soit racontee Kinshasa: Afriquespoir 2007
Coomes Coomes, Anne and Lungu, Stephen Out of the Black Shadows Mill Hill, London: Monarch Books. 2001.
Coptic 1 Atiya, Aziz S., ed. The Coptic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York, NY: MacMillan 1991
Cotterell Cotterell, Peter. Born at Midnight. Chicago, U.S.A.: Moody Press. 1973
Crafford Crafford, Prof. D. Trail-blazers of the Gospel: Black Pioneers in the Missionary History of Southern Africa. Bloemfontein, South Africa: Pro Christo Publications. 1991.
Cullen 1988 Cullen O.S.A., Malachy St. Augustine Nairobi, Kenya: St. Paul Publications - Africa. 1988.
Cullen 1997 Cullen, OSA, Fr. Malachy The Martyrs of Mombasa Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1997.
Dagnino Dagnino, Sr. Maria Luisa Bakhita - From Slavery to Sanctity Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1993.
DAHB Lipschutz, Mark R. and Rasmussen, R. Kent. Dictionary of African Historical Biography. 2nd ed., expanded and updated. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1989.
Dayhoff 1999, vol. 1 Dayhoff, Paul S. Living Stones in Africa: Pioneers of the Church of the Nazarene. Rev. ed. Florida, Gauteng, South Africa: Africa Nazarene Publications 1999.
Dayhoff 2002, vol. 2 Dayhoff, Paul S. Africa Nazarene Mosaic: Inspiring Accounts of Living Faith. 1st ed. Florida, Gauteng, South Africa: Africa Nazarene Publications 2002
Dayhoff 2004 Dayhoff, Paul S. Standing Stones of Africa: Pillars of the Faith in the Church of the Nazarene N.p. 2004
DCB-20th Douglas, J. D., editor Twentieth-Century Dictionary of Christian Biography Carlisle, Cumbria, England : Paternoster Press ; Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books c1995
DEB 1975 Michael, Belaynesh, S. Chojnacki & R. Pankhurst, eds. The Dictionary of Ethiopian Biography. Volume 1: From Early Times to the End of the Zagwe Dynasty c. 1270 A. D. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Institute of Ethiopian Studies. 1975.
Dellagiacoma Dellagiacoma, V. Sudanese Catholic Clergy Khartoum, Sudan: N.P. (Provincial Comboni House) 1997
Doortmont Doortmont, Michel R. The Pen-Pictures of Modern Africans and African Celebrities by Charles Francis Hutchison Leiden, Netherlands: Brill 2005
Douglas 1991 Douglas, James Dixon New 20th Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House. c.1991
Douglas 1995 Douglas, James Dixon 20th Century Dictionary of Christian Biography Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House. c.1995
Dove Dove, Fr. John John Bradburne of Mutemwa. Three Wishes Fulfilled. Gweru, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press 1985
Dube Dube, Doris Silent Laborers Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: Matopo Book Centre. 1992.
EADAB 1 Ofosu-Appiah, L. H. The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography, Vol. 1: Ethiopia-Ghana New York: Reference Publications 1977
EADAB 2 Ofosu-Appiah, L. H. The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography, Vol. 2: Sierra Leone-Zaire Algonac, Michigan: Reference Publications 1979
EADAB 3 Reference Publications The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography, Vol. 3: South Africa-Botswana-Lesotho-eswatini Algonac, Michigan: Reference Publications 1995
Edgar-Sapire Edgar, Robert R. and Hilary Sapire African Apocalypse: The Story of Nonthetha Nkwenkwe, A 20th Century South African Prophet Monographs in International Studies. Africa Series 72. Athens, Ohio and Johannesburg: Ohio University Center for International Studies and Witwatersrand University Press 1999
Eide Eide, Oyvind M. Revolution and Religion in Ethiopia 1974-85 Oxford, UK: James Currey Ltd. 2000
F. J. Verstraelen Verstraelen, Frans J. History of Christianity in Africa in the Context of African History Gweru, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press 2002
Fargher Fargher, Brian L. Ethiopian Revivalist: Authbiography of Evangelist Mehari Choramo. Edmonton, Canada: Enterprise Publications. 1997.
Fargher 2002 Fargher, Brian Bi-vocational Missionary-Evangelist: The Story of an Itinerant Preacher in Northern Sidama by Sorsa Sumamo Edmonton, AB, Canada: Enterprise Publications. 2002.
Faupel Faupel, J. F. African Holocaust - The Story of the Uganda Martyrs St. Paul Publications - Africa 1962
Fish Fish, Burnette C. and Gerald W. The Place of Songs: A History of the World Gospel Mission and the Africa Gospel Church in Kenya Nakuru, Kenya: World Gospel Mission; Kericho, Kenya: Africa Gospel Chruch 1989
Fuller Fuller, Lois. Faith of Our Fathers: Life Stories of Some UMCA Elders. Ilorin, Nigeria: Indemac Publishers, Ltd. 1999.
Gaiya Gaiya, Musa A. B. A Portrait of a Saint: The Life and Times of Pa Yohanna Gowon (d.1973) Jos, Nigeria: Fab Education Books. 1998.
Gerloff Gerloff, Roswith, editor. Mission is Crossing Frontiers: Essays in Honour of Bongani A. Mazibuko Piertermaritzburg, South Africa: Cluster Publications. 2003.
Graaff Graaff, Brandon Modumedi Moleli. Teacher, Evangelist and Martyr to Charity: Mashonaland 1892-96 Gweru, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press 1988
Gunner Gunner, Elizabeth The Man of Heaven and the Beautiful Ones of God / Umuntu Wasezulwini Nabantu Abahle Bakankulunkulu Leiden: Brill. 2002
Hastings Hastings, Adrian The Church in Africa 1450-1950 Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1994.
Hege Hege, Nathan B. Beyond Our Prayers: Anabaptist Church Growth in Ethiopia, 1948-1998. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press. 1998.
Henderson Henderson, Lawrence W. Development and the Church in Angola: Jesse Chipenda the Trailblazer Nairobi, Kenya: Acton Publishers. 2000
IBMR See articles. International Bulletin of Missionary Research New Haven, Connecticut: Overseas Ministries Study Center 1980 -
Ilboudo Ilboudo, S.J., Jean de la Théotokos Raconte-moi la Mission de Koupéla Ouagadougou: Mémoires d'une Eglise Africaine. 2000.
Isichei Isichei, Elizabeth. A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 1995.
Isizoh Isizoh, Denis Chidi The Dawn from on High. A Brief History of the Catholic Church in Ogbunike. Rome, Italy: Tipografica Leberit. 1995.
Kalu Kalu, Ogbu, ed. African Christianity: An African Story Pretoria: University of Pretoria, Department of Church History 2005
Lere Lere, Pauline Rev. Dr. David Obadiah Vrengkat Lot - His Life and Church Development on the Jos Plateau Jos, Nigeria: Jos University Press Ltd. 1996
Marion Marion, Francis New African Saints - The Twenty-Two Martyrs of Uganda St. Paul Publications - Africa 1985 (1964)
Maxwell Maxwell, David African Gifts of the Spirit: Pentecostalism and the Rise of a Zimbabwean Transnational Religious Movement Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press 2006
McLellan McLellan, Dick Warriors of Ethiopia. Heroes of the Gospel in the Omo River Valley Kingsway, Kingsgrove, Australia: Kingsgrove Press Pty Ltd. 2006
Millard Millard, J. A. Malihambe: Let the Word Spread. Pretoria, South Africa: Unisa Press.. 1999.
Mkandawire Mkandawire, Orison Ian Chiswakhata Mkandawire of Livingstonia Blantyre, Malawi: Christian Literature Association 2002
Mwendwa Mwendwa, John The Gospel on a Camel's Back - The Story of Andrew Adano Tuye Nairobi, Kenya: The National Council of Churches of Kenya. 1998
Namata Namata, Joseph A. Edmund John, Man of God: A Healing Ministry Kambah, Australia: Acorn Press 1986
Ndungu Ndungu, Emily Heroines of the Faith Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1997.
Nicoliello Nicoliello, Dominic A. Our Ancestors in the Faith Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1995.
Norris Ferguson, E., M. McHugh and F. Norris. Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, 2nd ed. New York: Garland Pub. 1998.
O'Connell Arinze, Francis; O'Connell, Gerard (interviewer) God's Invisible Hand. Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 2003.
Ofosu-Appiah 1977 Ofosu-Appiah, L. H., ed. The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography. Volume 1: Ethiopia-Ghana. New York: Reference Publications, Inc. 1977
Ofosu-Appiah 1979 Ofosu-Appiah, L. H., ed. The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography. Volume 2: Sierra Leone-Zaire. Algonac, Michigan: Reference Publications, Inc. 1979.
Ofosu-Appiah 1995 Ofosu-Appiah, L. H., ed. The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography. Volume 3: South Africa-Botswana-Lesotho-eswatini. Algonac Michigan: Reference Publications, Inc. 1995.
Osborn Osborn, H. H. Pioneers in the East African Revival. Winchester, U.K.: Apologia Publications. 2000
Oshitelu Oshitelu, G. A. The African Fathers of the Early Church Ibadan, Nigeria: Sefer Books Ltd. 2002.
Otene Otene, S.J., Matungulu The Spiritual Journey of Anuarite Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1998.
Pirouet 1978 Pirouet, Louise Black Evangelists: The Spread of Christianity in Uganda 1891-1914 London: Rex Collings 1978
Quinn Quinn, Frederick African Saints - Saints, Martyrs, and Holy People from the Continent of Africa New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company. 2002.
Rubingh Rubingh, Eugene Sons of Tiv Baker 1969.
Seventh-Day Adventist Encyclopedia. 2nd rev. ed. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald 1996
Sempangi Sempangi, F. Kefa A Distant Grief Glendale, California: Regal Books, G/L Publications 1979
Shaw Shaw, Mark. The Kingdom of God in Africa: A Short History of African Christianity. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. 1996.
Smith Smith, R. Drew Freedom's Distant Shores: American Protestants and Post-Colonial Alliances with Africa Waco: Baylor University Press 2006
Snell Snell, Margaret L. Bernard Mizeki of Zimbabwe Gweru, Zimbabwe: Mambo Press 1986.
Spindler Spindler, Marc Thomas Ekollo, Mémoires d'un pasteur camerounais. Paris: Karthala 2003
Sumamo Sumamo, Sorsa Bivocational Missionary-Evangelist - The Story of an Itinerant Preacher in Northern Sidama Edmonton, Canada: Enterprise Publications. 2002.
Sundkler Sundkler, Bengt and Christopher Steed. A History of the Church in Africa. Cambridge: University Press. 2000.
Tablino Tablino, Paul Christianity among the Nomads: The Catholic Church in Northern Kenya St. Paul Communications / Daughters of St. Paul, Nairobi, Kenya 2004
Ukken Ukken, FSP, Clare Saints for All - Lives of Saints for Every Week Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa. 1990.
Verstraelen Verstraelen-Gilhuis, Gerdien From Dutch Mission Church to Reformed Church in Zambia: The Scope for African Leadership and Initiative in the History of a Zambian Mission Church Wever, Franeker, Netherlands 1982
Wallis Wallis, Hazel Light Shines in the Darkness: The History of the Church in Guinea-Bissau (1940-1974) Bubaque, Guinea-Bissau: Misao Evangelica 1996.
Wotogbe Wotogbe-Weneka, W. O. The Bishopric of Sam. O. Elenwo (1981-1999) Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Link Advertising Ltd. 2000.
Zorn Zorn, Jean-Francois The Transforming Gospel. The Mission of Francois Coillard and Basuto Evangelists in Barotseland Geneva, Switzerland: WCC Publications 2004

The following indexes contain potential DACB subjects, both Africans and missionaries, listed here for reference, to inform and encourage future research.

How to use these pages:

  1. Consult these pages if you wish to write a biography for the DACB and are searching for ideas of people whose biographies do not yet appear in the DACB. A subject without ENG, FR, POR or SWA in the column next to the name indicates that the DACB doesn’t have a biography on that person. Subjects with ENG, FR, POR or SWA in the links columns have biographies. Return to the country page to view the story.

  2. Consult these pages in order to avoid writing a duplicate biography by checking to see whether the DACB has a biography on a specific person. However, we do invite alternate accounts of a subject’s life that enrich and enlarge the biographies already on the website.

Ancient African Church References Complete bibliographic references noted in abbreviated form in the Ancient African Church index.
All Potential Subjects 4911 Potential Subjects
Ancient Christians 590 Potential Subjects
Algeria 60 Potential Subjects
Angola 42 Potential Subjects
Benin 23 Potential Subjects
Botswana 27 Potential Subjects
Burkina Faso 6 Potential Subjects
Burundi 30 Potential Subjects
Cameroon 114 Potential Subjects
Cape Verde 19 Potential Subjects
Central African Republic 11 Potential Subjects
Chad 6 Potential Subjects
[Comoros] 0 Potential Subjects
Democratic Republic of Congo 182 Potential Subjects
Congo 40 Potential Subjects
Côte d’Ivoire 13 Potential Subjects
[Djibouti] 0 Potential Subjects
Egypt 529 Potential Subjects
Equatorial Guinea 1 Potential Subjects
Eritrea 5 Potential Subjects
Ethiopia 652 Potential Subjects
Gabon 92 Potential Subjects
Gambia 12 Potential Subjects
Ghana 133 Potential Subjects
Guinea 13 Potential Subjects
Guinea Bissau 4 Potential Subjects
Kenya 217 Potential Subjects
Lesotho 112 Potential Subjects
Liberia 36 Potential Subjects
Libya 8 Potential Subjects
Madagascar 234 Potential Subjects
Malawi 91 Potential Subjects
Mali 13 Potential Subjects
Mauritania 4 Potential Subjects
Mauritius 9 Potential Subjects
Mayotte 2 Potential Subjects
Morocco 43 Potential Subjects
Mozambique 165 Potential Subjects
Namibia 47 Potential Subjects
Niger 14 Potential Subjects
Nigeria 437 Potential Subjects
Reunion 6 Potential Subjects
Rwanda 36 Potential Subjects
[Saint Helena] 0 Potential Subjects
[São Tomé and Príncipe] 0 Potential Subjects
Senegal 32 Potential Subjects
Seychelles 2 Potential Subjects
Sierra Leone 138 Potential Subjects
Somalia 3 Potential Subjects
South Africa 519 Potential Subjects
Sudan 139 Potential Subjects
Eswatini 56 Potential Subjects
Tanzania 177 Potential Subjects
Togo 45 Potential Subjects
Tunisia 101 Potential Subjects
Uganda 254 Potential Subjects
[Western Sahara] 0 Potential Subjects
Zambia 124 Potential Subjects
Zimbabwe 83 Potential Subjects
Other Subjects 128 Potential Subjects

Newly Redesigned Website for WCC Library and Archives (Parts 1 & 2)

A number of valuable resources in the World Council of Chuches archives have been microfilmed or microfiched and are held at the Yale Divinity Library (among other places.) Microform collections include:

International Missionary Council Archives: 1910-1961: Fiche Ms85)

World Council of Churches records:

World Student Christian Federation Archives:
(held at the World Council of Churches and Yale Divinity Library)  (Yale Fiche Ms1123)

Old and New in Shona Religion Website

A new resource recently unveiled by the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University School of Theology, this multimedia website showcases the photography and work of Dr. M. L. Daneel. His decades of research among the Shona people of Southern Africa have yielded a wealth of photographs and publications documenting African initiated churches and traditional religions. The Old and New in Shona Religion website makes these resources available online.

Yale Divinity Library Special Collections

Strengths of the library’s special collections include, among other things, documentation of the Protestant missionary endeavor. Click here to access the collection.

For those interested in developing an archive, Martha Smalley has developed an Archival Primer.

Yale’s Mission Periodicals Online can be accessed here.

Mission 21 / Basel Mission Image Archive

Photographs taken at the intersection of European, African, and Asian cultures from 1850 to 1950 Selections from the Archive. See

Writing Biography

To read our new articles on writing biography: “The Strengths and Limitations of Biography” by Director Jonathan Bonk and “The Craft of Writing Religious Biography,” by Dr. Dana Robert, DACB Editorial Committee member, click here.

Programs and Associations

Doctoral Dissertations

History of Missiology and AIC Photo Archive

The Theology Library of Boston University has a collection of missionary biographies, reports, sermons and theologies that provide a rich resource for mission studies.

Day Missions Periodicals Listing

The Yale Divinity Library’s NEH-funded digitization project is now substantially complete. More than 5,500 reports and periodical issues have been digitized. Links to the online materials are available at:

Video Resources from James Ault

James Ault is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, author and scholar. He has recently released his African Christianity Rising documentary film series (plus ancillary educational materials) filmed largely in Ghana and Zimbabwe. You can view his materials on his Vimeo site and on his African Christianity Rising webpage. His African Christianity channels can be accessed here and here.

The Story of Africa from the BBC

The Story of Africa, an online resource presented by the BBC.

Evaluating Sources

Guides for evaluating the authority and reliability of information sources found online or in print:

International Mission Photo Archive

The International Mission Photo Archive offers historical images from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections in Britain, Norway, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the United States. The photographs, which range in time from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, offer a visual record of missionary activities and experiences in Africa, China, Madagascar, India, Papua-New Guinea, and the Caribbean.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity

On its Web site, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary offers resources for research and a list of their publications.