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The Paradox of the Margins

The Story of American-Based Seventh-day Adventism in Africa

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Author:
Gabriel Masfa Department of Religious Studies, Babcock University Ogun State Nigeria

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Abstract

The early growth prospects of the American-Based Seventh-day Adventist Church in Africa were blurry because of challenges that early missionaries encountered. However, against all odds, the denomination on this continent shook off setbacks related to its difficult beginnings in the 1900s. Through the investigation of familiar and unfamiliar themes, this article seeks to raise awareness about new dynamics in the context of global Seventh-day Adventism. Adventism would not cease to be a thing of Western origin, but its future can be decisively determined by the hands of its non-Western adherents, who naturally share little of Western culture. The change in the Adventist landscape is not simply a matter of new names of Black origin being added to the church records, but of imposing new realities that necessitate a new way of life, a new vision of leadership, new strategies for mission, and new thinking accommodative of cultural shifts.

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