Graf, John Ulrich

1811-1887
Anglican Communion (Church Missionary Society)
Sierra Leone

A missionary of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in Sierra Leone, John Ulrich Graf hailed from Grub, Germany. Born in 1811, he received training at the Basel Seminary before resuming at the Church Missionary College, Islington, in 1835. He arrived in Sierra Leone in 1836 having been ordained into the order of deacons on June 5 by the bishop of Gloucester. Graf spent his first year in the colony at Fourah Bay where he assisted Rev. G. A. Kissling in various departments of the work at the parishes of St. George’s, Freetown, and St. Patrick, Kissy. He also assisted him in the chaplaincy of the military Gibraltar Chapel and in the running of the Christian Institution at Fourah Bay. He returned briefly to London in August 1837, during which time he was ordained a priest on October 29. He also married Mary Taylor. [1]

Graf took over the parish of St. Thomas Church, Hastings, from Rev. John Fredrick Schön in December 1837, having just returned from England with his newly wedded wife. They arrived at a time when the congregation was still in shock from the sudden death of Mrs. Schön. [2] Her death was soon followed by that of Mrs. Graf, four months later, on March 13, 1838. [3] Graf braced up under the painful experience and set out in May to erect a new building to serve the church and its school. As he carried out his ministerial duties he closely observed the issues that prevailed among the general populace and the church members in particular. He quickly identified tension between couples and general laxity of conjugal relationships. Some of these issues became apparent during his interviews with candidates for baptism. [4]

Religious Encounter in a Colonial Environment

Hastings, as indeed the entire colony of Sierra Leone, from the 1820s presented a matrix of religious interaction between mission Christianity and African religions. The dominant presence of “Aku” [5] people in the colony from those years onward and the successful re-creation of their traditional religious cults in exile could not be stopped by the 1831 edict of the governor. And although the cults were functioning in a colonial environment in which mission Christianity held the legitimacy, some of the people who professed the faith of the church did not totally abandon their old faiths. The reason is clear. Life in the colony was precarious and beset by diseases and debilities. Life expectancy was low as there was always one form of threat or another to life. [6] In particular, the problem of social violence among the various peoples and nationalities, indigenous and settlers, was not uncommon. [7] This precarious existence naturally provided the legitimacy for protection, the very function of African divinities. In Hastings, the ministers did not understand how deeply this need for protection was ingrained in their people. All through his time in this village Mr. Graf had only tirades against the practice of charms, fighting them on all fronts.

The Church Relief Company

At the end of the first quarter of 1840 Graf was away to England for nineteen months. He was deeply affected by the welcome he received from the people, church members and non-members, when he returned with his newly wedded wife, Lucy Paris, in October 1841. He observed that “even those…otherwise indifferent in matters of religion” appeared to be willing to see him again at his post. [8] Some of the people took good advantage of his absence to enroll for membership in the church and some were baptized who, otherwise, would have remained longer on instruction. There was also a “steady increase in the number of religious inquirers” while some “indifferent characters” were now connected with the church. And what else could give the missionary more sense of accomplishment than to see young people of both sexes, the future of the church, coming forward to enlist as participants in the life of the church as Sunday scholars, with many of them reading the Bible fluently? [9] If his absence paved the way for the unthreatened entries of those interested but scared and hesitant prospects of the church, it also softened the environment for the church members to warm up to their non-Christian compatriots. The latter development gave Graf anxiety as he lamented “the formation of a set of clubs (called here companies) and a degree of adherence to them on the part of our people, which did not exist to such an extent before.” [10]

The roots of the companies in Sierra Leone dated back to 1824 when a disbanded soldier of the 4th West India Regiment, Abraham Potts, started a Benefit Society in Freetown. From the monthly subscriptions of its members and the fines imposed on them when they ran foul of the society’s rules, the society assisted its sick members and defrayed funeral expenses. Widows and their children were also assisted as the need arose. After the intervention of the colonial authorities in the excesses of the companies, the recaptives transformed them into benefit societies to aid their own speedy rehabilitation in the colony. The result among the Yoruba exiles was the formation of Awujo, a set of clubs called companies. They were run on traditional social values, some of which conflicted with those the CMS was commending to its converts. According to Christopher Fyfe, they “kept alive the customs, particularly burial customs, of their homelands, perpetuating national loyalties and divisions. At nights horns would sound in the villages to summon members to feast; there would be drumming and dancing…” [11]

Graf was of the view that “These companies…not only bring our people into close contact with the very worst character and consequently into very great temptations, but also form bodies of the worst of men, whose proceedings tend to set church discipline at defiance and undermine the very spirit of godliness.” [12]

The companies in Hastings, like the earlier transformation of the benefit societies into parallel governments in the colony, had evolved into a counterforce institution–alternative communities–to Graf’s church, which the missionary also believed had become protective institutions for their members who committed crimes. [13] The importunate missionary would not fold his hands: “I have therefore thought it my duty,” he wrote, “to take decided measures towards breaking such an unhallowed friendship between the members of the church and the very dregs of society…” [14]

After ascertaining the state of public feeling with regard to them he made his move, with “firmness and suddenness,” “for the speedy abolition of the dangerous connection.” At a gathering of the church members called for this purpose, “I enlarged, I admonished, I expostulated, entreated and warned for hours together, taking my bold stand on the plain declarations of Scripture which they could not gainsay…” [15] At length, with fear and trepidation, they agreed to sever their connections with the various companies to which they were in league but on Graf’s promise that he would establish for them an alternative church based company to which he himself would subscribe liberally, “Hastings’ Church Relief Company.” Graf confronted the opposition that arose from outside the church with the threat to prosecute according to law if the church members were harassed by the protagonists of the village companies. [16] The scheme succeeded, and Graf’s fellow missionaries, to whose flocks he also opened the company if they desired to be part of it, subscribed. At the end of the third year of operation, the company had received a total subscription of £78 and had spent not more than £35 on member’s social needs. There was enough left over for “local charities such as Hospital, School of Industry, orphan asylum &c. &c. over and above what they [i.e. church members] contribute to the Church Missionary Society.” [17]

It was not the end of vital connection of the people with their non-Christian compatriots. For Graf, the peril constituted by traditional birth attendants must be avoided if mothers would not in future be tempted to go in the way of “heathenish” traditions as some members had been tempted to do in the past. At the advice of the missionary pastor the women of the church appointed two of their members as birth attendants to serve the congregation and were paid from the church’s relief fund. Graf expressed his sense of gratification when he wrote that by these decisions “one little social improvement after another is introduced which proceeding from and directed by right principles, cannot fail to minister to their moral and social well being.” [18]

In spite of the radical nature of the social significance of the Church Relief Company, it appears its ultimate success was the culture of thrift it eventually developed in its subscribers, which contrasted with values that drove the companies in the wider society. From 1842 when the company was started the members slaughtered at Christmas several bullocks and shared them among themselves. They also funded supper for those who stayed for a week with bereaved families during funerals. Graf overlooked these practices because he did not want to jeopardize the prospects of the company at the very beginning. In 1849 the people took the initiative themselves and abolished them, apparently considering them as unnecessary dissipation of resources. [19] It was the final triumph of mission Christianity and its values among the converts at Hastings. Graf could not but be gratified by its implicit vindication of his exploits among them.

The Shape of Things to Come

In January 1839 the minister of St. Thomas Parish introduced an innovation into his management of the church at Hastings. The population was increasing, and it was clear that two Europeans could not effectively manage the situation. To make “the labors of Europeans more extended and at the same time more energetic in this populous place,” he appointed from among his most consistent church members thirteen men and four women as district visitors. [20] The innovation was the shape of things to come. He assigned them to separate districts of the parish “for the purpose of inducing their respective inhabitants, by frequent visits and by such means as they may find best suited to their country-men, to avail themselves of the public means of grace.” [21]

Beyond the vastness of the population, which justified his innovation, it would seem Graf felt his limitations as a European seeking to communicate a new faith and value orientation to his African parishioners. Although he never showed any flagging disposition in his vehemence against the traditional religious systems and was not disposed to compromise with them, he knew there was still a safe and tolerable threshold he could not cross in spite of his goodwill. But those he had won over, who were familiar with the cognitive world of the unconverted, could not only cross it but also find beyond it resonance with the aspirations of their unconverted kinsmen and women. At this threshold his trusted converts must now be allowed, as the critical mass, to identify and employ, in his own words, “such means …best suited to their country-men.” [22] By this means, Graf unleashed the potentials of the congregation. Although he does not appear to be aware of the deeper significance of his innovation at the time, by it he struck the ultimate chord that would amplify his missionary efforts, three years later, when his parishioners would begin the exodus that would take mission back to their homeland in the Yoruba country. In the meantime, the flux of politics and economy were undermining the demographic situation of the colony.

Changing Times

The political contest between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery partisans in the British parliament often determined the fortunes of the colony of Sierra Leone. At length, it came to a head in 1844 when the government drastically reduced its financial support for the colony. Instead the governor encouraged those who desired to emigrate to West Indies, where their labor was in great demand, to do so. With too many idle hands around and the disembarkation of recaptives continuing in the face of poor economic prospects in the colony, missionaries were at variance whether to encourage emigration or not. As the enthusiasts and the skeptics among the populace and within the missionary circle expressed their opinions, fears gripped the colony.

To clarify the situation among the missionaries the secretary of the Society sent out a questionnaire asking them to respond according to their experiences in the various villages. The responses ranged from optimism through ambivalence to suspicion. Graf, in Hastings, was a total skeptic of the emigration scheme and, perhaps, the only missionary who went out of his way to probe what was involved. He wrote,

I look upon Emigration from this Colony to the West Indies with considerable suspicion generally, and with fears especially for the future treatment of the Emigrants. Upon advising some persons who were thinking to emigrate to Jamaica in Dec. 1841 to ask of the Agent for substantial conditions or Terms of Agreement in print or writing- they were sent away without any. Upon my applying personally to the Agent for the same I was at first told there were no such thing to be had either in writing or print, and it was only on my expressing great surprise at people being carried to West Indies on mere verbal promises that some paper signed by the governor of Sierra Leone was slowly handed over to me. [23]

Graf shared the doubt of some of his colleagues on the sustainability of the promised high wages, but his thought on emigration with respect to the population of the colony was eccentric. He wrote,

I believe the effects of Emigration have hitherto proved neither good nor bad, except in so far as the Colony may have got rid of a set of idle and dissatisfied people who would neither gain nor loose [sic] much by seeking their fortune in the West Indies. The Colony itself, however, would likely be more benefitted [sic] by its population being increased, for it not being half populated the people are not called upon to call forth the resources of the soil. The establishment of new villages would probably have benefitted [sic] the Colony more. [24]

By implication Graf saw emigration as an abortion of the population build-up that was capable of stimulating the agricultural potential of the colony. In relating his own experience as the minister in charge of Hastings and Waterloo, he recounted that sixteen middle-aged persons and a child in Hastings had planned to emigrate to Trinidad in 1842, but seven of them were prevailed upon by their compatriots not to travel after all the necessary papers had been secured. In Waterloo thirteen men and three women had emigrated by the same year. [25] However, the Society’s Local Committee in Sierra Leone did not come to a consensus on emigration although the general skepticism of its missionaries, it appears, was not unknown to the establishment. In England, however, the position of the Society was unambiguous. In the words of Christopher Fyfe,

Official emigration was bitterly opposed. The CMS, indignant at government’s admitting the doctrine that Africans could best be educated in the West Indies, feared losing the converts they counted on to educate Africa. The Anti-Slavery Society opposed anything to help the West India planters. The venerable Thomas Clarkson denounced emigration as reviving the slave trade. In reply Laird raked out the old charges that Sierra Leone was a useless, expensive death-trap, better abandoned, which the British public had been duped into supporting for fifty years. [26]

In spite of the general skepticism of the missionaries some people took advantage of the opening and returned to take their families with them while they encouraged their compatriots to also do the same. [27] Among these was a young man who returned to the colony from Jamaica after twelve months to get married. He and his four friends, all of them young men from the church in Bathurst, put together the sum of £2 and gave it to their minister, Charles Gollmer, as donation to the society towards mission in their native country, Aku. The Yoruba mission was then about to start at Abeokuta. [28] In Hastings, however, Graf did not change his position on emigration in spite of the publicly declared change in government policy towards the colony. He discouraged his people from embarking on it. [29] Happily they had found attraction in the opposite direction, and they had resolved, as he himself was encouraging them, to follow their heart.

The Return of the Exiles

In the first quarter of 1842 the dominant presence of Yoruba people in the colony led the Local Committee of the CMS to consider the need to give priority attention to their language more than those of other peoples who registered comparatively lesser presence in the colony. [30] About the same time, Graf began to study “the Ohku language,” that is Yoruba. Of this modest beginning, he wrote,

I have begun two things: the first is a kind of grammatical scrap-book divided into the different parts of grammar, into which I enter any remarks on the construction of the language; and the second is an English-Ohku dictionary scrapbook into which I enter the translation of words in alphabetical order. But these are but scrap-books to be altered and re-altered many times with much labor and patience before they present anything like literary production worth looking at. [31]

He did not proceed far in this venture, primarily for want of time away from the many pressing duties and meetings he had to attend and secondarily, but most importantly, for the eventual turnout of events pertaining to the emergence of the Yoruba mission. [32]

As he remarked on the preference the Local Committee gave to “the Aku Dialect,” the people had a growing desire to return to their country and he envisaged the possibility of appointing a missionary to accompany them. His awareness of their desire drew from the general stirrings in his local congregation at Hastings in the 1830s, as some of the liberated Africans in the church expressed the desire that the Society send missions to their countries.

The monthly missionary meetings organized by Graf became the forum during which these desires were expressed. Until about 1839 the Society could not respond to this desire as there were no means of communication between the colony and the different countries from where these people came. [33] By that year, however, Yoruba exiles in Sierra Leone had been able to generate enough capital to compete for the purchase of some of the slavers being put up for unction in Freetown. Their success in this regard led to their shuttling along the coast, from Freetown to Badagry, from where some of them found their way back to their homes in the hinterland. By 1842, they had acquired three vessels for the shuttles and the movement homeward became accelerated. [34] With this development and the news filtering back to the colony from those who had returned and reunited with their family members, the desire to return to their country became a present alternative to emigrating to the West Indies. [35]

In Hastings where the Aku members of the church had taken the advice of their trusted minister not to go to West Indies, the alternative of returning home was almost irresistible. The daily increase in the number of recaptives being deposited in the colony and the apparently stagnant economic prospects strengthened their natural desire to reunite with their own people at home. But mindful that the religious instruction and the means of grace they enjoyed in the colony were not available at home, they made a formal request that the Society to send missionaries to their country. Signed by twenty members of the church, they were careful to place before the Local Committee incentives to encourage them to accede to their request. They wrote,

We for our part do believe that our land is, as regard the climates, far superior to Sierra Leone, which many of us can prove; here we have or see diseases of various names which are quite unknown in our land. Here we see young people dying without living half their days, but there, such is seldom seen. In general people live to a good old age in our country… [36]

The prospect of extending their influence into the interior of the continent through these converts was also attractive to the Society. They responded to the request by sending to Abeokuta Henry Townsend, newly assigned from Kent village to assist at Hastings. [37] On November 15, 1842, he sailed free in one of the vessels of the Yoruba recaptives in the company of three men from Hastings, including Andrew Wilhelm, an Egba Christian visitor. While they were away, Graf added his voice to those of his parishioners on why the Society should respond positively to the requests of the intending returnees to the Yoruba country. He was aware of the high preparations the people were making to return to their homeland and the concern of parents that their children might relapse into the prevailing religious traditions at home after their death if they had no missionaries to attend to them. “Under these circumstances and the people themselves feeling the importance of the danger,” Graf wrote,

I could not discourage their wish to ask for Missionary help from the Society. It is not a new mission; it is in reality but the keeping up and nursing a work in their own country for which so many years of arduous labour and so heavy sums have been spent, and so many valuable lives sacrificed; whilst it may afford at the same time one of the most favourable opportunities, resting on the soundest principles of Missionary operations, to spread the Gospel in and from the interior of Africa. [38]

Lest his judgment be considered as arising from partisanship, the proponents of mission to the Yoruba country being essentially those of the Egba stock who had a large concentration in the church at Hastings, Graf added,

These remarks apply to all the Akus in the Colony, hundreds of whom desire to emigrate to the lands of their fathers; but if I plead, I do it with anxious care for the members of my own flock, of whom some of the most steady are making preparations already: why let them depart “as sheep without a Shepherd?” [39]

The team on exploratory visit to the Yoruba country returned to Freetown on April 13, 1843, having been away for five months. The news of their arrival reached Hastings late in the night and created anxiety among the people about what information they brought and what prospects there were to send missionaries to their country. [40] A few people went to Freetown the following day, Sunday, but the majority of the people went on Monday morning to welcome back the team and to accompany them back to the village late in the night. On arrival,

…the whole village got into a state of great excitement, crowds flocking to the strangers’ houses, the firing of muskets and the shouts of the people lasting all night: - The news of our friends’ favorable reception at Understone [i.e. Abeokuta] flew speedily from village to village and filled everyone belonging to the Egba tribe of Akus with the fondest anticipations of a speedy return to their country! [41]

In the euphoria, the village nearly came to a stand still. People became “indifferent to the privileges of [the] colony” and about fifty pupils at the school were not interested in paying their weekly half penny fees as their parents were planning to withdraw them and return to their country. Their parents only made good their obligation when their children were threatened with expulsion according to the rule of the school. [42] Excuses to leave the colony continued to increase, and they were repeated over and again. The colony was disease ridden. It abounded with “the spirit of insubordination and the habit of idleness which the colony born children imbibe and with which they almost come into the world.” Family life was in constant violation and undermined by illicit relationships with impunity. And what else should restrain a missionary assistance when the people claimed that their land was superior to what was obtainable in the colony for agricultural pursuits? [43]

While the return home had been in trickles over the past three years, from April 1843 it assumed a popular dimension. A mass pull out took place after the rainy season when Graf organized a farewell service at St. Thomas Church for the intending returnees to the Yoruba country. On the occasion the assistant native schoolmaster, William Marsh, reminded parents of “their duty to their children” when they returned to their country. In a “plain, but affecting address” Andrew Wilhelm, the visitor, and William Goodwill, “one of the pillars…of [the] church”, addressed the congregation on behalf of those leaving. Both men of unfeigned piety arrived in the colony in 1822. Of Goodwill, Graf wrote, “He had been from my first visit to Hastings in 1837 a steady, upright and consistent member of my church…[and] had proved to me in church matters a most welcome help…[and] besides his sincere, deep piety, I may simply add that to all with whom he had to do he proved faithful to the character implied in his name.” And Wilhelm, he qualified as, “Devoted to God with his whole heart, active and zealous in the promotion of his glory, fearless and undaunted by the persecutions from his…country people…a man of great usefulness, altho’ of limited natural abilities.” [44]

At the same farewell service Graf “proposed a collection for our parting friends to enable them to form at once on their arrival a Church Relief Company” to prevent their becoming too intricately connected with their non-Christian country people. [45] Before the two helpers left the village, they made donations to the church. William Goodwill handed over the sum of 4/- to Graf as his contribution towards the next missionary meeting, although he had a large family for whose passage he had to pay. Andrew Wilhelm and his wife agreed to donate their house and the big land on which it sat to the Society rather than sell them. Graf did not fail to perceive their sense of sacrifice. [46] With their departure to the Yoruba country, some of the workforce he had trained as Christian visitors in Hastings would be extending his influence beyond the colony to another sphere he would be privileged to visit in another eleven years as the Archdeacon of Sierra Leone. [47] For the time being the village, the church, and the school must recover from the loss induced by their exit.

The Remnants of the People

Graf’s plan for those members of his congregation who neither emigrated to the West Indies nor returned to the Yoruba country unfolded in the midst of a controversy his journal report generated in 1845. The crisis can best be understood against the background of the development that had been taking place among the rising generation of colony-born children. And Graf’s panacea for the problem involved may be deciphered from his intellectual resonance with Thomas Fowell Buxton on the remedy for the African condition.

In the late 1830s, while Sierra Leone was still receiving fresh arrivals of recaptives a new generation of young people, colony-born, was rising with distinctive subculture. Some of them had been through church schools but many had not taken advantage of missionary liberality in this respect. If the situation of Hastings’ day school is anything to go by, though by no means representative of the other villages in terms of quality, [48] the opportunity for education was open to all children in the colony. The popular prejudice of parents, the frequent movement of schoolmasters, and the unavailability of decent learning environments were among the factors that slowed the growth of the school in Hastings. The situation began to improve when the new building that served as church and school was opened on June 2, 1839. [49] After eight years of consistent presence of ministers and school teachers among them, a rare privilege in the colony, many parents in Hastings still did not see the need to send their children to school.

Nevertheless, Graf gave the school under his care good attention, and he was particularly interested in developing the children’s musical ability. [50] But in spite of the Society’s efforts to use the school system as a tool for evangelizing the young people and for developing them intellectually and spiritually, many of those who passed through the schools did not turn out right.

Before the arrival of Graf in Hastings in 1837 the church community also ran a sewing school which Mrs. Schön supervised for a year before her untimely death that year. [51] Two years later Graf formally constituted it into the “Female Sewing Association for the Promotion of Industry among the Female Sex and for the Help of the Poor in Hastings.” With a specific schedule of meetings, the association was led by two women communicants who had skills in needlework. The main agenda was to train young women in the church to acquire skills in sewing and making clothes for those children in the church school whose parents were poor. Under the management of Mrs. Graf, from 1841, the girls showed remarkable progress and skills such that she could boast “some of her girls would vie in neatness with any seamstress in England in button hole making, backstitching and hemming.” [52] Graf wished they could be so in mending as well since many of their clients were poor people. The dour missionary wrote,

I have nothing to report of their fancy work, as I consider most of it, such as stitching figures on stretched canvass with colored wools & silks- as mere thrash for these poor Africans, whose conceit and vanity is already but too fast overcoming the bounds of simple usefulness. [53]

Eighteen months later he reported closing down the school after several fruitless remonstrances to the girls for disorderliness and disobedience. The seriousness of the matter soon dawned on them when Graf would not open the school weeks after the closure and their parents had to plead with him to reopen it. It was only after the “bigger girls” came to plead and promised to be of better manners that he opened the school again. But long before he closed the school he had succeeded in removing “fancy work” and “showy bazaar” from their training program and had given priority to “plain, useful work, such as can make them useful seamstresses after leaving school.” [54] It earned him the charge of being narrow-minded.

In his crusade to enforce the maxim, “cleanliness is next to godliness,” he carried out weekly inspections of the day school and sent home poorly dressed pupils to change their dirty and torn dresses for better ones and to bring to the sewing school those that needed mending. The school then furnished the sewing school the material for learning how to mend dresses. [55]

Graf’s assistants were of the view that he was not managing the day school very well because he graduated the bigger pupils early to keep them from influencing the younger ones. The missionary too was disappointed that many of these former pupils did not make progress after leaving school.

It generally happens that the bigger children gradually leave school without giving us an opportunity of following them with a watchful eye to their future sphere. Some go to other towns among strangers, others fall into bad company at home and never seldom visit a place of worship: and thus we are mostly left with a set of new children. [56]

Graf remarked that these children, with the exception of a few, “present a mass of unsanctified intellect…. Some boldly abuse and despise their parents; others, too idle to work, live by hawking, thieving, imposition. Some spend their talents out of the colony at merchants’ factories in dirty concubinage or else help trading in the neighboring rivers in the midst of various vices…” [57] In the wave of migrations to West Indies many of these young people with poor prospects at home travelled out in search of better opportunities. But the missionary remarked that the source of the crises replenished them,

…[T]heir number is increased whenever one of those little beings is born whom the liberated parents fondly call a “creole” and respect as an “Englishman.” The candidate[s] for shop-keeping go begging in numbers, whilst the cultivation of the ground is left to the lower cast of apprentices and their own despised sires, the liberated Africans.–This is knowledge without grace; crude unrestrained intellect, that leaves the propensities of the human heart without the wholesome restraints necessary to make a man a useful member of society. [58]

Graf’s remark jolted the Society in Sierra Leone, evoking a flurry of exchanges and hardening of positions between him and the secretary of the mission, Mr. Warburton. The secretary had “called into question [his submission] in a paragraph appended to his [own] journal after he had heard the statement.” [59] When the secretary would not comply with the advice of a special meeting that looked into the matter, Graf astutely defended his view and backed it with statistics. [60] Much more, he lay bare what he construed as the underlying reason for the perceived embarrassment his submission seemed to have caused the Sierra Leone Mission:

If it be thought that this statement reflects unfavorably on the labors of the missionaries, I need only compare the missionary to a fowler who may think himself well off by having caught some newly hatched birds whom he attends carefully: the time soon comes when they take wings and fly off: The only bearing which it can have on missionary labors generally as carried on in this colony, is perhaps the inference that hitherto too little has been done for Freetown with a view to collect the colony born population. [61]

On the other hand Graf saw his submission as a challenge to address the problem at hand and realize the popular expectations at home concerning the future of Christian mission in Africa:

If it be considered that such statements, because they give an unfavorable aspect of our colony, are injudicious, I beg to say that, palpably true & correct as they are in my opinion, they appear to be peculiarly opportune at a time when Christian public at home seem to be under the impression that the main strength of our churches and our brightest prospects for the future lie in a body of vigorous and zealous colony born Christians, out of which we had but to choose at pleasure the most promising ones to send forth as an active, upright and intelligent “Native agency” over the length and breadth of Africa. [62]

In this regard, Graf identified three social and economic realities that militated against the colony-born youths, which the Society needed to address if its hopes for Africa would be realized. These are,

[W]ant of additional respectable employment suitable for the advance intellect of the colony born population besides mere agriculture…want of proper incentives to industry and encouragement to improved plans of agriculture…[and] want of the introduction of various arts and sciences…to serve as a rational employment for the vacant hours of the day: in one word we want civilization (as a handmaid of religion) as a barrier against temptation and vice. [63]

The contention about what was true or not and what should or should not be said about the colony-born young people remained within missionary circle of the CMS. After the secretary of the Local Committee indicated his objection to Graf’s remarks no one contested the issue with him, and he continued to do his analysis of the situation on the ground.

At the end of the first quarter of 1846 he made another trip to England, thereby giving the people some respite as his trip from 1840 to 1841 did. As it happened then, the outcome of this temporary exit indicated that the colony-born young people might have been scared away from the church by his austerity. For no sooner had he left than they began to accede to the church as in the past when he was away to England. John Müller, who came from the same pietistic tradition and was relieving Graf at Hastings as a catechist wrote about these young people with satisfaction,

I am happy to say, that our colony-born young men, who have been always justly considered to belong to the most corrupt class of people at Hastings, at least, have of late made up their mind to attend church and Sunday Schools regularly, which they formerly used to neglect and despise. I have found these young men of late very attentive both at school and at church… So much is certain, that these colony-born young men lead a more moral life, than they used to do even a few months ago. [64]

This was not a fluke. For after his usual lamentation about the young men, having returned to the colony in December 1847, Graf could see the difference in their rank so that he could write six months later, “about half a dozen of the worst and leading members of the number are caught in the Gospel net: their company broken up; their drums laid aside; their riotous habits forsaken….” He attributed this to “the simple Gospel searchingly & pointedly brought to their consciences in public & private, accompanied by God’s Spirit & God’s providence.” [65] But it was more than that; he had preached the same Gospel “searchingly and pointedly” for more than a decade in the village. It would seem something he did in addition, which he did not connect with the change, was also involved in this transformation.

In his analysis of the crises facing the colony-born children Graf had argued that one of the reasons for their attitude was the “want of the introduction of various arts and sciences…to serve as a rational employment for the vacant hours of the day”. When he was returning in 1847 he brought back to Hastings some literature to start a lending library which would afford young people the opportunity to loan a book at a penny for two weeks. Twenty of them subscribed to the initiative, but their enthusiasm soon dwindled and only a few kept up with their subscription. The reason, according to Graf, was that although the books were written in simple English and for leisure reading, they were “written for the capacity of European children.” [66] And so it was not a very successful venture. But it would seem this initiative spoke volumes to the young people about their minister, more than his many sermons over the years, and sustained the trend of their accession to the church in his absence. Although Graf did not seem to recognize this fact as responsible for the change he perceived in their attitude towards the church, there is no doubt that the initiative bridged the critical disconnect between him and these young people and warmed their heart towards the church. It is amazing that the intrepid missionary could not connect this simple, apparently not-so-religious initiative with the spiritual transformation that began in his absence in the rank and file of the colony-born young people.

Critical and, perhaps, harsh as Graf might appear in his evaluation of the young people, it should be mentioned that the earnestness he exercised in Hastings, which began to bear this fruit of redeemed colony-born youths from 1848, was not found in other villages of the colony. His sharp criticism of the fledgling Creoledom was only disputed by his colleagues but never taken as early, warning signal against the crises ahead.

The irony of the saga of the colony-born youths of mid-nineteenth century Sierra Leone is that only three years before Graf’s unsettling criticism a British Parliamentary Committee on the colony praised the educational achievements of missionary societies there. What was not recognized then was that the education being offered by the missionary societies, for its lack of “local content,” carried with it temptation whose consequences were to begin to unfold in the second half of the century. It inadvertently created a social and cultural dysfunction in which its beneficiaries, particularly the colony-born children, could neither grapple with their African roots nor fully resonate with the values inherent in that education.

Graf himself, for all his critical reading of the situation, did not appreciate the need to imbue his school program with the Africans’ wholesome values that would make them educated, and not necessarily westernized, Africans. His not-very-successful experiment at providing intellectual occupation for the youths through his lending library was an indication that there was a chasm between their innate personalities as Africans, even if they themselves did not realize it, and the cosmopolitan culture being fostered around them. His realizing that his imported literature could not sustain their interest, because they were designed for the capacity of European children, was a deflected indication of this predicament. But Graf was too Eurocentric to appreciate the values inherent in Africans’ seemingly less sophisticated and traditional-religion-pervaded culture in which these young people, at bottom, live, move and have their being.

The consequence was that a crisis of identity dogged successive generations of the recaptives who did not return to the traditional societies from where they were violently torn by wars and slavery. By the middle of the second half of the nineteenth century, especially as the tide of western imperialism reached its high watermarks and the benevolent ethos of mission gave way to paternalism, the prospects of the “Black Europeans” in Sierra Leone diminished. Un-reconciled to the indigenous peoples in the hinterland, in fact perennially at war with them, and loathed by the new colonists for their pretensions to equality with white man the Creole community fell into bad times from which its members never gained the leadership they thought was theirs by privilege of western education and citizenship of British colony. [67] Truly like Athenians, as Gordon Hewitt observed, [68] they toyed with the novelties that came their way- education, print media, fashion and social luxuries- but they did not stamp them with African-ness. They despised manual labor but prized white collar jobs which were not sufficiently available and for which many of them had no qualifications. In the end unfavorable colonial policies destroyed their modest success as merchants and retailers. Feelings of betrayal and frustrations led to bitter ideological struggles with the colonial government but to no avail. [69]

A Vision for Transformation–Civilization as Handmaid to Religion

Providing long-term solution to the situation in Sierra Leone became Graf’s preoccupation during his trip to England in 1846 to 1847, an evidence of which was his collection of materials for the library he intended to establish to serve the younger generation of Africans in Hastings. But beyond this scheme he made a case with the CMS Home Committee for the overall improvement of the material wellbeing of the colony and its people. [70] This enlargement of concern was not an afterthought. For while justifying his criticism of the colony born young people in 1845, he had stated that their poor quality of life was not peculiar. It was a pervasive problem that afflicted the young and the old in the colony. He wrote then that,

It is for want of such incentives to industry and exertion [such as respectable employments, improved agriculture, and intellectual development] that our liberated population remain satisfied with wretched hovels for their habitation and barbarous food (such as foofoo) for their daily bread after forty years’ settlement in the colony; and it is for the same reasons that the colony born will set himself to any employment (or even none at all), wherever and howsoever the pittance may be earned, rather than till the ground. [71]

Against this background of what he considered as a poor economic and outward condition of the people, Graf argued for decisive measures on the part of CMS. In a copious essay, and in the tradition of T. F. Buxton, he set forth a systematic argument that it was not enough to stop the slave trade and deprive its beneficiaries in the interior of Africa of their main source of economic stay. The trade in slavery must be replaced with “the implements of the art of civilized life.” Up till now, the Christian message had been presented in abstract terms, void of tangible evidences without which Africans would not comprehend the temporal value of the gospel:

[A] missionary poring over books or constantly speaking of spiritual things, of things altogether invisible, gives them no exemplification of that religion which has the promises of the life that now is, [Graf’s emphasis] as well as of that which is to come. True, he is better clothed and better fed, Europeans always are–but they ascribe the difference to an order of things to which they do not pretend. [72]

What then is the solution?

[L]et a few steady Christians of their own race back the missionary’s instructions by the introduction of new implements of agriculture, new and easier methods of tilling the ground; let them reap a plentiful harvest for many successive years from one and the same farm, better in quality and more abundant than what they get from their new virgin soil; let them moreover have a fair remunerating market; teach them improved modes of building their houses and of preparing more wholesome foods; teach them the advantage of laying bye for a “rainy day” by the Establishment of Provident Societies and Saving banks; assist them by lending small sums to be spent on objects of improvement; show them that with some knowledge and proper implements they may incalculably improve their outward circumstances, without even working harder than they now do: and the religion producing such effects even on the visible state of society will naturally commend itself to the man of dullest intellect and in cause of time emulate the whole community.- Thus civilization becomes a noble handmaid to religion, whilst religion itself will produce a sanctifying reaction on civilization: a connection of things always necessary to the healthy prosperity of our social being in this world. [73]

Graf’s proposal resulted in several efforts, between 1847 and 1853, to promote agriculture in Sierra Leone by synergizing with friends of the mission in England. With the Honorary Secretary, Mr. Henry Venn, facilitating contacts in England, Graf was able to send two men to England to learn trade in 1853. One of them was Henry “Erugunjimi” Johnson who was sent to the Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, London, and Mr. Robin who was also sent to learn cotton processing business. But there were too many obstacles to make the various initiatives successful. Graf was the main person driving it. While his missionary colleagues appreciated and saw value in his crusade for social and economic transformation of the colony, none was willing to take up additional responsibilities. The problem of acquiring land in Sierra Leone for a botanical garden was daunting. The difficulty of moving plants across the sea was no less responsible for the failure of the various schemes attempted. But the five years from 1848 to 1853 saw many activities in Freetown in the attempt to transform the social and economic fortunes of the colony.

Sunset

In 1853, Bishop Vidal appointed Graf archdeacon of Sierra Leone, newly created along with that of “Abbeokuta” which covered the Yoruba country. [74] Although the Parent Committee had promised to appoint an assistant missionary to serve with Graf, should he decide to retain his superintendence of Hastings along with his responsibilities as the secretary of both the Finance and Central Committees of the Society, it is not clear if he got this help. His additional responsibility as an archdeacon, which the bishop thought would now make necessary the appointment, still did not appear to have changed anything. What is clear is that from 1853, Graf was increasingly absorbed with his assignments in Freetown, and his role at St. Thomas Church, Hastings, gradually diminished.

He had the opportunity to visit the Yoruba mission at Abeokuta and Ibadan, from October 14, 1854, to January 2, 1855, in the company of the bishop. The bishop did not survive the journey; Graf did, but his health too had been impaired by his long residence in the tropical climate. He finally left the colony on March 22, 1855, that is, shortly after returning from the Yoruba mission, and closed his connection with the society. Graf survived long after quitting the field. He died on September 24, 1887. [75]

The Legacy of Ulrich Graf

Graf was one of the most energetic missionaries in the CMS Sierra Leone Mission in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was unassuming and perfectionist. He had something significant to say on the main issues of the day. He was forthright in his conviction, piety and moral discipline. But behind this apparently austere demeanor lay a humanity committed to the wellbeing of the people under his care. His critique of the mission in Sierra Leone was unique, but he went beyond offering critique. He exerted effort and went to great length to provide solutions for the people. In the political, economic and social uncertainties of the age, much of his efforts did not come to fruition, except his most valuable investment in his pastoral watch care over his people.

Barely a decade after the home return of his church members to Abeokuta, having visited in 1854 the Yoruba Mission in the company of his bishop, Archdeacon Graf wrote of how he was affected to see in Yoruba land the people who were either born or trained under his ministry at Hastings, sixty-five of them, employed in various spheres of the mission’s work. “How natural,” he wrote, “that I should gladly avail myself of an opportunity…to see and to behold in their own native land and in their respective sphere of labor, so many who had been for years the objects of my solicitude and affection.” [76] At Ake, Abeokuta, where on a Saturday evening he kept Mr. Townsend’s class for communicants and “with my former visitor, Andrew Wilhelm, as my interpreter, with numbers of my former church members, I could not help being deeply affected, it appeared, living life over again!” [77]

The beneficiaries of his work in Hastings too were not unmindful of the unparalleled success he posted in his nineteen years of service there. Thirty-eight years after he first put to service his church members as Christian visitors, one of those beneficiaries, Henry Johnson, born in Hastings in 1840 under his ministry to Henry “Erugunjimi” Johnson, but now ordained in the service of the Society, complimented him as:

the man who raised Hastings to a pitch as yet unapproached from a certain point of view by any of the towns and villages in Sierra Leone. The natives of Hastings enjoyed great advantage through the instrumentality of Mr. Graf. The result of his labor may be seen (in part) today in the large number of those who fill the ranks of the Native ministry; - one fifth of the ordained having been born in that village. [78]

Kehinde Olabimtan


Notes:

  1. S.v. Graf, John Ulrich. Church Missionary Society, Register of Missionaries, 41.

  2. J. Graf, journal entry, December 9, 1837, CMS C/A1/O105/28a.

  3. J. Graf, journal entry, March 7, 1838, CMS C/A1/O105/28b.

  4. J. Graf, journal entry, April 17, 1838, CMS C/A1/O105/29a.

  5. Before the name “Yoruba” evolved, this was the name by which recaptives from what is south-west Nigeria today were first called in Sierra Leone. It derived from their extensive greetings and courtesies.

  6. J. Graf, journal entry, May 23, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/48a.

  7. As an example, Hastings was in a state of excitement in January 1851 when the Aku boys decided to submit no longer to “the oppressive and unprincipled conduct of the Government Overseer.” Pitted against him and his supporters in the disbanded soldiers and the other nine ethnic groups represented in the village, war was only averted when the factions were broken up and the overseer dismissed, following the governor’s intervention. J. Graf, journal entries, January 13-22, 1851, CMS C/A1/O105/57b.

  8. J. Graf, journal entry, December 23, 1841, CMS C/A1/O105/36a.

  9. J. Graf, journal of the quarter ending March 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/36b.

  10. J. Graf, journal of the quarter ending March 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/36b.

  11. Christopher Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), 170,171.

  12. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending March 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/36b. C. A. Gollmer made the same observation in Bathurst. Journal entry, August 19, 1843, CMS C/A1/M11(1843-1845)/85.

  13. The role played by the mixed company that aided and abetted the excesses of the Government Overseer in Hastings seems to give credence to Graf’s complaint that the companies in the colony were more of a problem than aid to civil governance. He felt vindicated by the dissolution of this particular company in consequence of the intervention of the government in the 1851 crisis between the overseer and Aku boys in the village. J. Graf, Journal entry, January 22, 1851, CMS C/A1/O105/57b&c.

  14. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending March 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/36b.

  15. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending June 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/37b.

  16. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending June 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/37b.

  17. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/50b.

  18. J. Graf, journal entry, August 2, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/49.

  19. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1849, CMS C/A1/O105/55b.

  20. J. Graf, Journal Extract for the Quarter Ending March 25, 1839, CMS C/A1/O105/32a.

  21. J. Graf, Journal Extract for the Quarter Ending March 25, 1839, CMS C/A1/O105/32a.

  22. J. Graf, Journal Extract for the Quarter Ending March 25, 1839, CMS C/A1/O105/32a.

  23. J. Graf to J. Warburton, Queries on Emigration, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/337.

  24. J. Graf to J. Warburton, Queries on Emigration, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/338. Other respondents indicated that the people who had emigrated were of various religious temperaments and commitments. The best and most responsible people as well as the ignorant had emigrated from their villages, and these belong to the CMS congregations and other denominations. J. Beal to J. Warburton, Queries on Emigration, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/345; E. Jones to J. Warburton, Queries on Emigration, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/339.

  25. J. Graf to J. Warburton, Queries on Emigration, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/338.

  26. Christopher Fyfe, A History of Sierra Leone, p. 225.

  27. C. Gollmer to J. Warburton, Queries on Emigration, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/336; Graf to J. Warburton, Queries on Emigration, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/338.

  28. C. Gollmer, journal entry, August 19, 1843, CMS C/A/M11(1843-1845)/85.

  29. J. Graf, Report of a Visit to the Yoruba Mission, March 1855, CMS C/A1/O105/63.

  30. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending March 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/36.

  31. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending March 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/36.

  32. With the exit of many of these people from the colony, and particularly from Hastings, and the appointment of his assistant Henry Townsend as the missionary to begin the work in the Yoruba country, Graf was advised to drop his study of the Yoruba language for Susu in 1843. It is not clear if his motive for studying the language was a personal anticipation of being appointed to “continue” his work among the people in their homeland as he saw the sending of missionaries there as an extension of an existing effort in Sierra Leone. In arguing for the extension in 1842 he remarked that, “It is not a new mission.” J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/39a; journal extracts for the quarter ending September 25, 1843, CMS C/A1/O105/41b.

  33. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/39a.

  34. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/39a.

  35. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O105/39a.

  36. Aku Members of the Congregation at Hastings to the Local Committee of CMS, October 1, 1842, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/331.
  37. Townsend, having earlier perceived the dominant presence of Yoruba people in the colony, had started learning the Yoruba language and culture while he was still at Kent. Although a man who had no interest in any theorization, he made significant progress in the language more than any other missionary. He was first intimated with the desire of the people to have mission sent to their country two months after he resumed in Hastings. He wrote with delight, “It gave me much pleasure to hear one of our communicants say that they (the Akus) had begun to pray that the Lord would send a missionary to their country.” H. Townsend, journal entry, August 27, 1842, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/366; journal entry, March 6, 1842, CMS C/A1/M10(1842-1843)/197.

  38. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O/105/39a.

  39. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending December 25, 1842, CMS C/A1/O/105/39a.

  40. J. Graf, journal entry, April 13, 1843, CMS C/A1/O105/41a.

  41. J. Graf, journal entry, April 18, 1843, CMS C/A1/O105/41a.

  42. J. Graf, journal entry, April 18, 1843, CMS C/A1/O105/41a.

  43. J. Graf, journal entry, April 18, 1843, CMS C/A1/O105/41a.

  44. J. Graf, journal entries, November 17 and 27, 1843, CMS C/A1/O/105/42.

  45. J. Graf, journal entry, November 13, 1843, CMS C/A1/O105/42a.

  46. William Goodwill left behind, but in the charge of Mr. & Mrs. Graf, his daughter Elizabeth who married in Hastings on April 21, 1851, “a respectable young man, a Tailor and Farmer by profession.” J. Graf, journal entries, November 17 and 27, 1843, CMS C/A1/O105/42; journal entry, April 21, 1851, CMS C/A1/O105/58a.

  47. J. Graf, Report of a Trip to the Yoruba Mission, March 1855, CMS C/A1/O105/63.

  48. Hastings’ day school was actually considered inferior to those of other villages.

  49. J. Graf, journal extracts for the quarter ending June 25, 1839, CMS C/A1/O105/33.

  50. W. Marsh, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1844, CMS C/A1/M11(1843-1845)/480.

  51. J. Schön, journal entry, November 7, 1836, CMS C/A1/O/195/49a.

  52. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1844, CMS C/A1/O105/44.

  53. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1844, CMS C/A1/O105/44.

  54. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending December 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/50b.

  55. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending December 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/50b.

  56. J. Graf, journal entry, March 23, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/47.

  57. J. Graf, journal entry, March 23, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/47.

  58. J. Graf, journal entry, March 23, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/47.

  59. Graf agreed to modify his statement, as suggested by a special meeting of the Local Committee, if Mr. Warburton agreed to withdraw his counter statement. With his refusal, Graf also refused to modify his statement. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/48a.

  60. Graf argued that the colony born young men in particular did not show interest in the life of the church like their female counterparts and laid out statistics that showed that out of the total number of 2,103 communicants from eight congregations in the colony, including Freetown, only six were colony-born young men. Of the remaining 2.097 there were 59 colony-born women. The rest were liberated Africans. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/48a.

  61. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/48a.

  62. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/48a.

  63. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/48b.

  64. J. Müller, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1846, CMS C/A1/M12(1845-1846)/565.

  65. J. Graf, journal entry, June 6, 1848, CMS C/A1/O105/52a.

  66. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending March 25, 1848, CMS C/A1/O105/51.

  67. Leo Spitzer, The Creoles of Sierra Leone–Responses to Colonialism, 1870-1945 (Madison, US/Ile Ife, Nigeria: The University of Wisconsin Press/University of Ife Press, 1974/1975).

  68. Gordon Hewitt, The Problem of Success: A History of the Church Missionary Society 1910-1942, vol. 1 (London: SCM, 1971), 8.

  69. Leo Spitzer, The Creoles of Sierra Leone.

  70. J. Graf, Civilization in Africa, CMS C/A1/O105/61.

  71. J. Graf, journal for the quarter ending June 25, 1845, CMS C/A1/O105/48a.

  72. J. Graf, Civilization in Africa, CMS C/A1/O105/61.

  73. J. Graf, Civilization in Africa, CMS C/A1/O105/61.

  74. Lord Bishop to J. Graf, September 30, 1853, CMS C/A1/O105/25; J. Graf to Lord Bishop, CMS C/A1/O105/25.

  75. s.v. Graf, John Ulrich Church Missionary Society, Register of Missionaries, 41.

  76. J. Graf, Report of Visit to Yoruba Mission in 1854, CMS C/A1/O105/63.

  77. The idea of using locally trained converts for outreach as Christian visitors in CMS West Africa was Mr. Graf’s distinctive contribution to the mission. Andrew Wilhelm of his church at St. Thomas Parish, Hastings, he wrote, was the first of such in the colony of Sierra Leone. J. Graf, Report of Visit to Yoruba Mission in 1854, CMS C/A1/O105/63.

  78. H. Johnson, jr. to E. Hutchinson, January 1877, CMS C/A2/O55.

Sources:

Primary

Archives of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.

Colonial Office Records, National Archives London (NAL).

Secondary

Church Missionary Society, Register of Missionaries. Fyfe, Christopher. A History of Sierra Leone. London: Oxford University Press, 1962.

Hewitt, Gordon. The Problem of Success: A History of the Church Missionary Society 1910-1942, vol. 1. London: SCM, 1971. Spitzer, Leo. The Creoles of Sierra Leone–Responses to Colonialism, 1870-1945. Madison, US/Ile Ife, Nigeria: The University of Wisconsin Press/University of Ife Press, 1974/1975.


This article, which was received in 2011, was written and researched by Dr. Kehinde Olabimtan, Coordinator of educational ministries, Good News Baptist Church and Adjunct Teacher, Akrofi-Christaller Institute, Ghana, and a recipient of the Project Luke Scholarship for 2010-2011.