Freeman, Thomas Birch

(180 9-1890)
   pioneer Methodist missionary in Africa
   An African who became a pioneer Methodist missionary in West Africa, Thomas Birch Freeman was born at Twyford, Hampshire, England, in 1809, the son of an English mother and a freed African slave, Thomas Freeman. As a young man, he joined the
   Methodists while working as a gardener. In the mid-1830s, he lost his job because of his religion, and he applied to the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society to become a missionary in West Africa. He sailed for the Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1837, arriving early the next year. Several English missionaries had preceded him there, but their work had failed to bear fruit.
   Freeman built a church at Cape Coast, which served as a base from which he moved up and down the coastal plain. He became acquainted with William deGraft, a Fanti, whom he recruited as a colleague in the ministry. Freeman's real breakthrough came from a visit inland to Kusami, the capital of the Ashanti kingdom, where he developed friendships with the head of the nation and a number of chiefs. At the end of the decade, he returned to England for a visit with de Graft. In 1841, he published his journals, which, along with his lectures, made him a celebrity. He was able to increase his support and returned to the Gold Coast with several missionary recruits.
   Upon his return to Africa, he again visited Kusami. He next went to Sierra Leone, where some Yorubans had requested assistance from the Wes-leyans. He expanded the older Wesleyan work at Freetown to the Yoruban territory. He later opened work in Dahomey (now Benin) and in the heart of Yoruba territory in Nigeria (Lagos and Abeokuta). His ability to work was constantly hampered by British attempts to colonize the African coast, and by the limited financial resources available from the Wesleyans in England.
   His far-flung missionary endeavor came to end in 1857. While Freeman was a most capable diplomat, he spent money far beyond his budget. He was accused of financial mismanagement and forced out as superintendent. To repay the mission, he took a government job in Accra. Beginning in 1860, he lived in the Gold Coast as a farmer, and preached as he was able. In 1873, he and the Wesleyan Missionary Society reconciled, and he assumed duties as a missionary at Anam-abu (Nigeria), where he served for six years. For the last six years of his working life he preached in Accra, where he died in 1890.
   Freeman led in the spread of Protestantism in general and Methodism in particular throughout West Africa. He is now given credit for establishing their presence throughout West Africa.
   See also Africa, sub-Saharan.
   Further reading:
   ■ Allen Birtwhistle, Thomas Birch Freeman (London: Cargate Press, 1950)
   ■ Thomas Birch Freeman, Journal of Various Visits to the King- doms of Ashanti, Aku and Dahomi in West Africa (London: John Mason, 1843)
   ■ ----, Missionary Enterprise No Fiction (1871)
   ■ FF Deaville Walker, Thomas Birch Freeman: The Son of an African (London: Student Christian Movement, 1929).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thomas Birch Freeman — (* 6. Dezember 1809 in Twyford, Hampshire; † 12. August 1890 in Accra, Ghana) war ein Missionar der methodistischen Kirche in Westafrika. Leben Thomas Birch Freeman war der Sohn des befreiten Sklaven Thomas Freeman und seiner englischen Frau Amy… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Freeman (Familienname) — Freeman ist ein Familienname. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Freeman — ist der Name folgender Personen: Thomas Freeman (Kapitän), englischer Walfänger Kapitän Thomas Birch Freeman (1809–1890), britischer Missionar Thomas W. Freeman (1824–1865), US amerikanischer Politiker Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas et Ann Borrow — Thomas Borrow, 1762 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thomas Christopher Hofland — Derby from a Field adjoining Abbey Barns Naissance 1777 Wor …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thomas Smith (artiste) — A View of Darwentwater from Crow Park Thomas Smith (mort en 1727) est un peintre paysagiste, père de John Raphael Smith de Derby[1] …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lamorna Birch — La crique de Lamorna (ici en 2005) fut un paysage récurrent de ses tableaux. Nom de nais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Richard Knill Freeman — Église de la Trinité, Blackpool, 1895 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Battle of Birch Coulee — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Birch Coulee caption= partof=the Dakota War of 1862 date=September 2, 1862 place=Morton, Renville County, Minnesota result=Santee Sioux victory combatant1=United States of America combatant2=Santee… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Birch — Louis Charles Birch FAA (8 February 1918 – 19 December 2009) was an Australian geneticist specialising in population ecology and was also well known as a theologian, writing widely on the topic of science and religion, winning the Templeton Prize …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.