Francis Pinnock, from Four Paths, Clarendon in Jamaica entered Calabar Theological College in 1852, then volunteered for Africa with the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS). He was twice turned down but “… when the Jamaica Baptist Union volunteered the sum of L100.00 per annum towards his salary, … he was accepted.” He and his wife left for Africa in 1857, via England. Pinnock served the BMS on Fernando Po at Abo until he had to flee for his life “… when Innes, another Baptist missionary, incited the local ruler against him,” according to Russell.
Pinnock next appears at Victoria, on the Cameroon coast in 1860, where he became the second principal of the school, as well as pastor of the church. Letters to the BMS in London indicate that he was in Victoria until September 1868. From October he writes from Cameroons, or Bethel. When the BMS opened work in the Congo, Pinnock shifted his service there becoming one of the BMS pioneers to that field. His last letter in the BMS records, dated July 1878, is to Quentin Thomson, another Baptist missionary, saying that the allegations of sexual impropriety between George Grenfell and Rose Edgerley were true. Grenfell later resigned from the mission and married Rose. He would later be accepted back by the BMS and became the great explorer-missionary of the Congo Mission. Pinnock’s connection with the BMS was severed sometime in 1879, he thus returned to Jamaica.
A son of Francis Pinnock, John, followed his father in ministry with the Mission in 1887, and served in the Cameroons and later in the Congo, at least until 1908. Some of the Jamaican settlers who had gone to the Cameroons in 1843 and their descendants had remained on Fernando Po and the Cameroons, and became a part of the foreign civilization there, as stated by Sir H. H. Johnston, later the British Consul for the Cameroons. Pinnock’s son John seemed to have remained when his parents returned to Jamaica.
Lloyd A. Cooke
Cooke, Lloyd A.* The Story of Jamaican Missions: How the Gospel Went from Jamaica to the World*. Kingston, Jamaica: Arawak Publications, 2013.
Jamaica Baptist Union.* Liberty and Progress*. Kingston, Jamaica: 1938.
Russel, Horace O. Foundations and Anticipations: The Jamaica Baptist Story: 1783-1892. Columbas, GA: Brentwood Christian Press, 1993.
Tucker, Leonard. Glorious Liberty. London: Billing & Sons Ltd. Baptist Missionary Society, 1914.
This biography, received in 2014, was adapted from the manuscript of Lloyd Cooke’s book, The Story of Jamaican Missions: How the Gospel Went from Jamaica to the World (Kingston: Arawak Publications, 2013). Lloyd Cooke grew up in Jamaica and served as a missionary in Dominica with the International Missionary Fellowship. He is currently a lecturer at Regent College of the Carribbean and assists local churches in evangelism and church growth strategies.