Robert Hill: February 8th

February 8, 1847

African-American Robert Hill had been appointed to accompany some white missionaries to Africa for the purpose of assisting them. On December 17, 1846, they had sailed for the coast of Africa, from Providence, Rhode Island. On this day, February 8, they arrived in Monrovia, Liberia.


February 7: Henry and Bessie McDowell


In a service commemorating fifty years of Congregational missions in Angola, the Galangue mission choir, under the leadership of Bessie McDowell, introduced a new song. It is Bessie’s own Ovimbundu translation of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” African-Americans called “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” — which had been composed in 1900 by the brothers James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson — the “Negro National Anthem.” On this date, February 7, Henry Curtis McDowell, Bessie’s husband, wrote to African-American supporters to say that “Galangue has made the first step, so far as I know, in making ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’ the international anthem.” The McDowells had gone to Angola in 1917.

George Lisle (Sharp) February 6



George Lisle (or Liele), sometimes called George Sharp, was born a slave in Burke County, Virginia in 1750 to parents Liele and Nancy.  He was sold to Slave master in Georgia, Henry Sharp, who was a British Loyalist that served as an officer during the American Revolution.  Sharp was also a deacon of Buckhead Creek Baptist Church.  It was there, in 1773 while listening to his pastor Matthew Moore preach, that George Lisle came into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

After being baptized, George found compassion amongst other slaves and began to read hymns and encourage them.  Upon noticing George’s zeal for God’s Word and his ministerial gifts, Buckhead Creek Baptist Church licensed George to preach 1773, making Lisle the first Black licensed Baptist preacher in America.  Subsequently, in order to use his gift more freely, Henry Sharp granted George his freedom from slavery.  This propelled Lisle to also eventually become the first Baptist foreign missionary.

George Lisle spent two years preaching to slaves on plantations along the Savannah River in Georgia and South Carolina.  After Henry Sharp died during the Revolutionary war, it is said that Sharp’s heirs tried to re-enslave George Lisle and would have done so had it not been for British officer.  Also during that time, Lisle gathered a group of new black believers in Savannah, GA and formed what is believed to be the first black church in America as Lisle served as the first appointed elder and preacher.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, Lisle traveled to Jamaica as the indentured servant of English officer Col. Kirkland.  Accompanying him was his wife and four children.  Upon arrival, he began preaching in the street.  Eventually he organized a Baptist Church starting out with 4 other people.  Seven years later he’d baptized 500 converts and by 1791 the church purchased 3 acres of land in Kingsland.  In 1793, the first dissenting church in Jamaica was built, which brought persecution to him and his followers.

In spite of a law in Jamaica from 1805 to 1814 forbidding preaching to slaves, Lisle continued to preach.  It is said that by 1814, Lisle’s efforts produced about 8,000 converts in Jamaica, earning him the name “Negro slavery’s prophet of deliverance.”  Lisle died in Jamaica in 1828.  However, by 1887 the number of Jamaican churches had grown to a membership of 31,000.

From Jude 3 Project


February 5 Amanda Berry Smith

Amanda Smith

February 5, 1884

Evangelist and missionary Amanda Berry Smith (1837-1915) was in Africa after having spent some time in India. In her journal entry for this particular day she wrote: “Second Gospel Temperance meeting. Surely the Spirit of the Lord is with us, and He is blessing us greatly. Not so much liberty in speaking, but God is with us, and we are expecting great things. Oh, Lord, for Jesus‘ sake, answer prayer, and send us the Holy Ghost to quicken and revive us.”

February 4- John Marrant


February 4, 1786

John Marrant, a free black from New York City, preached at Green’s Harbour, Newfoundland, from 2 Corinthians 13:5 to “a great number of Indians and white people.” Marrant’s ministry was cross-cultural with most of it being to Native Americans (or First Nations as they are often called in Canada). He eventually carried the gospel to the Cherokee, Creek, Catawar, and Housaw tribes.

From Good News Florida Website


February 2 Eliza Davis George

Eliza Davis George

February 2, 1911

During a morning devotional hour at Central Texas College in Waco, a teacher, Eliza George, had a vision of black Africans passing before the judgment seat of Christ. Weeping and moaning, many of them were saying to Him, “No one ever told us You died for us.” A few years earlier, while a student at Guadalupe College, Eliza George had responded to an invitation for volunteer missionary service. Now, she felt a vision was prodding her to go to Africa. The Central Texas College president tried to dissuade her: “Don’t let yourself get carried away by that foolishness. You don’t have to go over there to be a missionary — we have enough Africa over here.” It would be two more years before Eliza George got up enough courage to leave her teaching position and head to Liberia. In her resignation speech, she read an original poem: “My African brother is calling me; Hark! Hark! I hear his voice . . . Would you say stay when God said go?” On December 12, 1913, Eliza George sailed from New York as a National Baptist missionary.

February 1: Betsey Stockton

February 1, 1823Betsey_Stockton

Betsey Stockton, a young black woman in company with 13 white missionaries, was on board a ship rounding the southern tip of South America. Those missionaries were on their way to the Sandwich Islands (present-day Hawaii). They had left New Haven, Connecticut in November, having been sent by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, an agency at the forefront of American Protestantism’s burgeoning interest in foreign missions. Betsey Stockton was in the second group of missionaries to go to Hawaii, the first having gone two years before. Besides Stockton, this second group included six couples and a single man, plus three Hawaiian men and a Tahitian. The trip took five months by sea with no stopovers. Like several others on board, Stockton kept a journal of the voyage and of her first couple of months in Hawaii. She had joined the company partly as a missionary and partly as a servant to one of the couples, Rev. and Mrs. Charles S. Stewart, who were expecting a child. However, Betsey’s contract with the American Board did make clear that she was not to be simply a servant but was also to share in the mission’s primary work.

-From Good News Florida Website