Christianity in Early Africa

Greg Strand – June 17, 2013 2 Comments

One of the magazine’s I have appreciated over the years is Christian History. It went out-of-print for a few years, but is now back in circulation and available on-line at no charge.

Their most recent fascicle, #105, addresses the theme of “Christianity in Early Africa: Ancient Traditions, Profound Impact.”

In the “Editor’s Note,” two significant lessons learned from early African believers are highlighted.

The lessons from these stories are many, but two stand out. The first is the high regard in which early African believers held the Bible.

The second lesson is the high regard in which early African believers held the Church – with a capital “C.” Christ’s command for unity was serious, visible, and structural.

These are two truths we continue to value highly today. We do so because the Bible teaches them, and also because in living out our commitment to these truths we give a visible manifestation of the gospel we profess. This reflects our commitment to the doctrinal centrality of the gospel and the functional centrality of the gospel, our commitment to orthodoxy (right belief) and orthopraxy (right behavior).

May our doctrine be true to God’s Word; may our lives reflect that true doctrine.


Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

2 responses to Christianity in Early Africa

  1. What Great Reading. I can relate to the part of the Evangelical movements in Sub-sahara Africa. My country of origin can boast of some of the oldest churches, built through American Missionary movement such as the 190 years old Providence Baptist Church, amongst others. Christianity in West Africa came at the same time Islam was making great inroads in WEst Africa, however lack of support stalled the movement. Liberia is pre-dominatly christians where there was great missionary activity in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s but all her neighbors are pre-dominantly Islam. No one’s to blame but had there been a push further, like it was in Liberia, lots of her neighbors would have probably been Christianized, as Islam did not have a foothold at that time. Great Reading “Christianity In Early Africa,” Greg

    • It is great you could read through this material so quickly, Isaac! And thank you for adding to our historical understanding of the Evangelical movement in sub-sahara Africa, your country of origin.

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