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This study examines the lives and contributions of three African-Americans: George Liele, Moses Baker and David George, and their impact on the Baptist Foreign Missionary Movement. All three men emigrated from what is now the United States in 1782 and 1783. As they settled in their new homelands of Jamaica and Nova Scotia, they planted Baptist churches. The contributions of these African-American antecedents of the Baptist Foreign Missionary Movement have been neglected in the field of missiology. This work will show how the ministries of Liele and Baker influenced the decision of the Baptist Missionary Society to send missionaries to Jamaica, its third and most successful mission frontier. It will also demonstrate that the Baptist Missionary Society planted its second mission field, Sierra Leone, due to the influence of George who emigrated there from Nova Scotia.


“Dr. Brent Ballew makes an outstanding contribution to study of the history of missions in general, and to the genesis of Baptist mission efforts in particular, in his book "The Impact of African-American Antecedents on the Baptist Foreign Missionary Movement (1782-1825)". Ballew examines the lives and contributions of three early African-American Baptist missionaries: George Liele (1750-1825), Moses Baker (1755-1822), and David George (1743-1810). The impact of these men on the origins of the Baptist mission movement has been largely overlooked until now. Ballew’s work offers a needed corrective to this previous neglect in missiological studies … Ballew weaves the stories of these diverse individuals together against the background of the Revolutionary War in America, the struggle for abolition of slavery, and the fledgling but growing commitment of Baptists to engage in foreign missions. The result is an inspiring account of how God providentially united Baptists from different countries, opposing military sides, diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, and distinct ethnic and social groups to play an important role in initiating and extending the Baptist missionary movement. Ballew’s book is meticulously researched. He has done a superb job of identifying and collating primary sources. Factual errors contained in various secondary sources have been revealed and corrected through Ballew’s careful investigation. He is to be commended for clarifying inconsistencies and rectifying mistakes in previous accounts of these important African-American antecedents to the Baptist foreign missionary movement. Ballew provides a thorough bibliography and helpful index, which add to the usefulness of the book … In summary, this is an important scholarly work that makes a significant contribution to the literature of the Protestant missionary movement, with special reference to African-American missionary efforts and the Baptist foreign missionary movement.” – Andy Nix, Ph.D., National Guest Professor, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. George Liele (1750-1825)
2. Moses Baker (1755-1822)
3. David George (1743-1810)
4. Other African-American Antecedents
5. The Influence and Impact of the African-American Antecedents on the Baptist Foreign Missionary Movement

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