Goldie, Hugh

Presbyterian , Presbyterian Church of Nigeria (Church of Scotland Mission)

Hugh Goldie Hugh Goldie was a Presbyterian missionary in Jamaica and Nigeria. Goldie was born in Kilwinning, Scotland, and was appointed as a lay missionary to Jamaica in 1840. In Jamaica he first worked as schoolmaster at Stirling, Westmoreland, with Rev. William Niven. In 1844 he moved to Negril, where he was more or less on his own. While in Jamaica he studied under William Jameson, subsequently a missionary in Calabar.

The Jamaica Missionary Presbytery ordained Goldie for service in Africa in 1846. He arrived in Calabar, in what is now southeastern Nigeria, in 1847. His first posting was in Duke Town, the largest of the Calabar communities. In 1856 he went to open a new work among the Efik, at Ikunetu, a settlement some distance up the Cross River, but in 1858 he returned to Calabar itself, succeeding Hope Masterton Waddell at Creek Town. In 1862 he brought out the first translation of the New Testament in Efik. His Efik-English dictionary was published two years later. He remained as “head of station” at Creek Town until his death. In 1890 he published an account of the Calabar mission up to that time. Goldie’s work on the Efik New Testament, with his long and successful ministry in Creek Town, makes him one of the founding fathers of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.

Geoffrey Johnston


Hugh Goldie, Calabar and Its Mission (1890, reissued in 1901) and Dictionary of the Efik Language (1862). Geoffrey Johnston, Of God and Maxim Guns: Presbyterianism in Nigeria, 1846-1966 (1988).

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.