Lloyd and Jan Chinn; 2002 – present

Thank you for reading my blog during Black History Month as I highlighted some of my heroes. I hope that you have learned a lot and that your heart has been turned toward missions. Here’s our story ….

Lloyd and Jan Chinn are native to Texas. Lloyd from Edna, TX and Jan from Houston, TX.

In 1999, Lloyd was invited to Ghana, West Africa on a short term mission. Lloyd and Jan had never even met a missionary and had no desire to enter into missionary service; they scarcely knew where Africa was – and had never heard of Ghana. God provided the funds for the journey and they took that as confirmation that Lloyd was to go. God spoke to Lloyd clearly on that trip that Africa would be his context of ministry.  In 2000 they took all of their children and 22 other people to the same little town in Ghana – and on that trip, Jan’s experience opened her eyes to the need for discipleship in Ghana.

In 2002, Lloyd received his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and that same year they were appointed as long term missionaries with WorldVenture. They moved to Ghana in 2004 with their two sons and opened WorldVenture’s new field of ministry in Ghana. The Chinn’s served in the town of Nkwanta in Ghana’s Volta Region. Their ministry focus was Pastoral Leadership Development. As they became for familiar with the community, they added Orphan Care, Educational Development, Women’s Empowerment and Community Economic Development. They were blessed by The Lord to design and begin the construction of a Leadership Development Center; a Short Term Missions home; and, a Poultry Farm.

In 2013, they returned to the USA on a home assignment which was supposed to last 10 months and during this time, they were asked by the leadership of WorldVenture to take on the role – Global Director for Africa. In March 2014, they stepped in to this new role.

Lloyd and Jan are the first African Americans to serve as Global Directors for WorldVenture. The new role has added 12 additional countries to their Africa ministry life.

Lloyd and Jan are also serving MANI (the Movement for African National Initiatives) as the North America Diaspora Coordinator. They also serve at Crossover Bible Fellowship as leads of the Missions Ministry (Front Door to Frontier).

Lloyd’s firm message to the African American church has been the same from the beginning of their journey: “Pray! Pay! or Pack!”

If you want to serve long term in Africa — WorldVenture is, in our opinion, the best organization to join. Get in contact with us, we will gladly show you the way! Email us at J.Chinn@WorldVenture.com or at missions@crossoverbf.com

https://worldventure.com/pmissionary/4000-110-chinn-lloyd-and-jan/

Henry Highland Garnet. Jamaica, Liberia, New York & Pittsburgh. Served 1842 – 1882

Henry Highland Garnet. Born into slavery in Maryland in 1815, Garnet and his family escaped to New York City when he was nine years old.  In New York City, Garnet attended the African Free School. In the 1830s, Garnet continued his education at several institutions. He eventually ended up at the Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New York where he finished his studies in 1840.  He became a Presbyterian minister and served as the first pastor of the Liberty Street Negro Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York, beginning in 1842.

His “Call to Rebellion” speech in 1843 encouraged slaves to rebel against their owners.  In 1850, Garnet traveled to England and Scotland where he spoke widely against the practice of slavery. He also supported allowing blacks to emigrate to other lands, such as Liberia in Africa, a country made up mostly of freed slaves. In 1852, Garnet traveled to Jamaica to serve as a missionary.  Ill health forced his return to the U.S. in 1855 where he continued his work in the abolitionist movement. In 1856, he begin to serve as pastor of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.

On February 12, 1865, while in Washington, Garnet made history when he was chosen by President Abraham Lincoln to speak to the House of Representatives—making him the first African American to preach a sermon in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1868, Garnet was appointed president of Avery College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Later he returned to New York City as a pastor at the Shiloh Presbyterian Church (formerly the First Colored Presbyterian Church, and now St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem).  

Fulfilling a longtime dream, Garnet traveled to Africa in 1881 where he was appointed as the U.S. Minister to Liberia.  He died in 1882, a few months after his arrival.  Garnet was given a state funeral by the Liberian government and was buried at Palm Grove Cemetery in Monrovia.

The humblest peasant is as free in the sight of God as the proudest monarch that ever swayed a sceptre. Liberty is a spirit sent from God and like its great Author is no respecter of persons.”  

Henry Highland Garnet

Serving Now

This is just a FEW of the currently serving African American Missionaries

Sublime and Rachel Mabiala

Sublime grew up in the Congo. Rachel was born in Detroit, Michigan. They met at Fuller Theological Seminary when they were both studying Missiology and International Development. Rachel’s grandmother prophesied that she would become a missionary when she was quite young; Later Rachel spent many summers on short term trips to Asia and Africa. Sublime carried a family legacy of ministry which was started by his grandfather, and served as a missionary in West Africa, the Arab world and in the USA. The Mabialas became WorldVenture missionaries in August 2017 and are on their way to teach Missiology and Business for Gospel movements within and from Cote d’Ivoire. Learn more about them: https://worldventure.com/pmissionary/4000-004-mabiala-sublime-and-rachel/



Leon and Melanie Best

Leon and Melanie met when in college and then married. They started the Impact Movement at Rice University. And then served at Impact National Headquarters in Orlando Florida. They were invited to serve in South Africa where they are helping to rebuild the campus movement. The Bests say “We have found Isaiah 58:12 to be so true: Your people will rebuild ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwelling.”


Coleman Family

Richard completed his MDiv at Oral Roberts University. He took a short term trip to Uganda while a student and answered his call to missions. While waiting to serve overseas Richard has served as missions director for New Birth Church in Atlanta, GA and he has also led the recruiting and mobilization for TMS with a great heart for recruiting African American people. He also serves on the board of Lausanne. Richard, Amanda and their children have moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he and his wife are helping to mobilize and train Ethiopians for cross cultural missions.


Senga Family

Jean is Congolese & Deborah grew up in Baltimore, MD. They met and married at Deborah’s home church in Maryland. In May 2008 Jean followed the call of God and went ahead of his family to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ministry has been powerful and productive. The Sengas have been in Congo for 10 years. They have started 3 churches and the Kinshasa Christian School. Their mission is: To equip, edify, train, and empower people in our communities by the power of the Holy Spirit, following the teachings, and the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the glory of our Father, the Eternal and living God.

Sherry Thomas. Liberia, Ghana, Mali. Serving now

Minister Sherry Thomas has been a full time missionary to West Africa for about 21 yrs. She has lived and served over 4 yrs. in Liberia; 4yrs. in Ghana; and, she is currently working in Mali, since early 2010 serving in discipleship training and church planting efforts of oral, unreached peoples there.

In the middle of serving, in 2005, Sherry was diagnosed with 3rd stage breast cancer – the Lord healed her and she immediately returned to missions service.

Sherry says “When “life happens” – and it did and will continue to happen, you must hold on to what God has said over your life. No matter what happens, God will see you through until what He has ordained comes to pass.”

If you want to know Sherry better, just send her an email. She’d love to hear from you. E-mail address: sherry.thomas@sim.org

Sarah E. Gorham. Liberia, Sierra Leone. Served 1888 – 1894

Sarah E. Gorham is recorded as the first female missionary of the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church; but she served for 8 years before that as an independent missionary.

In 1880, Sarah visited family in Liberia. Her interest in helping people and pouring into their lives was true and strong and she was described then as a missionary; as a church leader; and, as a social worker. She returned to the United States and was involved in the ministry of the Charles Street AME Church. In 1888, she went to the Magbelle mission in Sierra Leone, where she established the Sarah Gorham Mission School, a place of both Bible teaching and industrial training. In Jul 1894, Sarah was infected with malaria. She was bedridden, and passed away in one month.

Sarah was buried at Kissy Road Cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone.