An Appeal for Our African Work
Christian Recorder: August 23, 1883
You will be delighted to learn that during the Commencement exercises in June last, at Wilberforce University, the following resolution in substance was adopted by at least forty of the trustees, six Bishops, and a majority of our General Officers, aggregating the most distinguished men and lending characters of our Church:
Whereas, the time has arrived in the Providence of God, that the A.M.E. Church should turn its attention to the civil, intellectual and moral redemption of Africa,
Resolved, that we proceed to raise twelve hundred dollars annually, to constitute a fund for the education and training of young men and ladies to serve as missionaries and teachers upon the continent of Africa.
Rev. Thos. H. Jackson, D.D., on motion, amended the above with the following, which was adopted:
And that Bishop H.M. Turner be the managing collector of said fund.
The above was adopted without a negative voice and marks an era in the career of our Church that has no parallel since its foundation. Now you will see our Church grow and prosper. There will be more revivals, more converted, more join, more sanctified, more churches built, more money raised, ministers better supported, less division and bickering in churches and conferences. Look out for sunshine and triumph all along the line, for God smiles on our Zion today. Lift up your heads, O ye disconsolate, the blazing seraph comes with a coal of living fire in his hand on rolls the chariot of God’s Providence. Stand aside, foolish men and devils. He who mounts the tempest and makes the whirlwind an obedient servant, can and will save his people
In order to carry out the provisions of these resolutions, Rev. James A. Handy, D.D., 1308 16th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C., has been selected as the Treasurer of this fund. All persons, ministers or laymen, who are willing to give one dollar or more to help make up this fund, will please send the same to Dr. Handy, with name and post office address, so he can send you a receipt and record your names for publication in the paper at regular times, as we propose to have no secrets in this business. This is no colonization or emigration scheme; therefore everybody can take hold of it. It is not to send emigrants to Africa, but teachers and missionaries. The man who opposes this measure opposes the church, opposes religion, civilization, commerce, progress. He opposes the Bible, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the God of the Universe. Therefore, all factions and shades of sentiments can unite upon this project. We ought to send Dr. Handy that twelve hundred dollars in a week after this is published so that young persons waiting for this opportunity could enter Wilberforce University at the fall term. To make this a perpetual fund, we need twenty thousand dollars, that the interest at 6 percent could always be on hand. One African king, east of Liberia, begged one of our ministers to take a hundred of his boys and Christianize and educate them for the use of his kingdom. Suppose we were able to send for a half, yes one-quarter of them, what a power for good they would be on their return.
I most respectfully request every pastor in our Church to read this appeal to his congregation. Also, I do hereby appoint every minister’s wife an agent, with full power to collect moneys, organize bands and do such honorable things as may bring success to this the greatest movement of the age, which not only contemplates the education of native teachers and missionaries to labor in that distant field, where two hundred million await the word of life, but the training of the pure African youth for the same great work. Before this appeal is published, I shall have five or ten dollars in the hands of Dr. Handy. Who else will lend a helping hand be the sum ever so small? Other agencies may be put in operation, for this is a great work. For further information write Dr. Handy or myself. I shall lecture upon the same subject, when I can find the time, in all parts of the United States.
H.M Turner, Managing Collector