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

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.

John Marrant – Nova Scotia, Massachusetts and London; served from 1769 to 1791

John Marrant, was born June 15, 1755 in New York City. He converted to Christianity at 13 and his family did not agree with his new religion, so he left home – wandering to find a place and was rescued by a Native American hunter. The tribe sentenced him to die, but his prayers and sermons reached their hearts and they spared his life. He lived among the Native Americans many converted. He was only 14 years old when he began this ministry.

In 1782 Marrant started training as a Methodist minister, and was ordained in 1785. He was sent to Nova Scotia to minister to African-Americans who fled to the north. Marrant started a church in the free black town of Birch Town (which Native Americans also attended) with the purpose of igniting a fire among Blacks to walk in their divine destiny and authority. Marrant preached this message consistently during his three years in Nova Scotia.  When Marrant left Nova Scotia he moved to Boston and became chaplain of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons (African Masonic Lodge), one of the first institutions in Massachusetts to call for the abolition of slavery. Due to this group’s work, Boston abolished the slave trade in 1788.

In 1789 while in Boston, Marrant preached one of his few sermons that has been preserved on the equality of all men before God. His stay in Boston and his preaching on the dignity of all men infuriated some people and Marrant lived amidst death threats and mobs.  He travel to London in 1790 and died in 1791 at the age of only thirty-six.

Marrant authored three books. They were often transcribed by white writers and resold with no financial benefit to Marrant.

  1. A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, A Black, 1785. (a popular biographical memoir that printed 17 editions)
  2. A Sermon Preached on the 24th Day of June 1789…at the Request of the Right Worshipful the Grand Master Prince Hall, and the Rest of the Brethren of the African Lodge of the Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons in Boston, 1789. (noting the equality of men before God)
  3. A Journal of the Rev. John Marrant, from August the 18th, 1785, to the 16th of March, 1790.

He died April 15, 1791 in London.

“So we see here the greatest enemies of Christ’s church frequently make a great profession, and have a name or an office in the church, when at the same time are destitute of the vital power of true godliness; they live by a name themselves, and they want a great many names to be set down in their society books to make a fair shew; but they care nothing about real religion; from such religion as this, good Lord deliver us.” John Marrant

Betsey Stockton – Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Canada; served 1822 – 1865

Born into slavery in 1798, Betsey Stockton was an African-American educator and missionary. A servant to Robert Stockton, president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), Betsey was formally freed in 1817.  She remained in the service of the the family as paid household help and was able to take advantage of their extensive library, as well as benefit from their willingness to teach her in their home.

Betsey was commissioned by the American Board of Foreign Missions as a Missionary and became the first single American woman sent overseas. Her contract stated that she was sent “neither as an equal nor as a servant, but a humble Christian friend.”  Betsey traveled in company with 13 white missionaries, on board a ship rounding the southern tip of South America. The missionaries were on their way to the Sandwich Islands (present-day Hawaii). Upon arrival, the missionaries settled in Lahaina, Maui, where Betsey was the teacher of the first mission school at Lahainaluna School for commoners, learning the Hawaiian language while working on the Islands, the first woman to do so. She trained native Hawaiian Teachers who eventually took over her teachings once the missionaries departed.

Though her contract stated she was not to be a servant, the circumstances of people of color in that day determined that she was a servant at least part time to one of the families that she traveled with.  In 1825, the matriarch of the family that she was helping became ill and she return to the USA where she stayed with them for about five years.

Betsey taught briefly at an infant school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, established a school for Native Americans at Grape Island, Canada, and then returned to Princeton in 1835 and taught in its school for blacks.  In 1840, she helped found Princeton’s First Presbyterian Church of Color which in 1848 was renamed the Witherspoon Street Church. Betsey passed away on October 24, 1865 and was buried in Cooperstown, New York. Like many early missionaries, she kept a diary of her travels – versions of which were published in the Christian Advocate in 1824 and 1825.