James Henderson was a Scottish educational missionary in South Africa. He was educated at Edinburgh University and New College before going to Malawi, in 1895, to serve the Livingstonia Mission. Initially he did pioneer work in what is now Zambia, but then he became head of the Training School at Khondowe, in Malawi. In 1906 he was called to become the third principal of the Lovedale Institution in the Cape Colony, the most important center of African education in the southern hemisphere. Almost as soon as he arrived, he was involved in the foundation of Fort Hare University College. He continued to keep Lovedale at the forefront of African education and a center of ecumenical cooperation. He edited the South African Outlook, in which Africans could express their opinions on any subject to do with Christianity or society in South Africa. At the time of his death he was still actively seeking to give South Africa an educated Christian African leadership whether the state wanted it or not.
Henderson’s letters home from Malawi have been published as Forerunners of Modern Malawi (1968). A very good study of his life is contained in R. W. H. Shepherd, Lovedale, South Africa: The Story of a Century (1941).
Andrew C. Ross
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.