Black History Month: 20 Stories Christians Should Know
In honor of Black History Month, we remember and celebrate the powerful work of God in and through the lives of influential African Americans. From enslaved Christians and abolitionists through the Jim Crow era to civil rights figures, the believers featured in these articles served as leaders in the church and powerfully impacted society.
In addition to the 20 articles below, you can also read our pieces examining important events in African American Christianity prior to the Civil War, the theology conveyed in spirituals, the dark history of lynching in America, and the impact of the Great Migration on worship music. Finally, you can read “God’s Place in Black History” which discusses how lessons from the past can impact the church today.
Why the Enslaved Adopted the Religion of Their Masters—and Transformed It
The story of early African-American Christianity proves the power of the Resurrection against oppression.
African American enslaved Christians bore witness to the gospel despite the threat of punishment at the hands of fellow Christians.
ALBERT J. RABOTEAU
One April Sunday, Richard Allen and fellow black Methodists decided they wouldn't stand for prejudice anymore.
Phillis Wheatley's inner strength and contributions to African American literature shouldn't be overlooked.
This Black Pastor Led a White Church—in 1788
The remarkable tenure and steadfast faithfulness of Lemuel Haynes.
Abolitionist and women's rights advocate
Trailblazing African American Preacher and 'self-made' woman.
Black abolitionsts were tired of waiting for a gradual peaceful end to slavery.
The Radical Christian Faith of Frederick Douglass
The great abolitionist spoke words of rebuke—and hope—to a slaveholding society.
D. H. DILBECK
The "Moses" of Her People
The origin of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is a story of slow, steady separation.
The Holiness Movement's 'Washerwoman Evangelist'
Meet Amanda Berry Smith, an AME preacher, singer, missionary, and orphans' home founder.
Henry McNeal Turner: Church Planter, Politician, and Public Theologian
How America's first black army chaplain fought for freedom, justice, and democracy.
ANDRE E. JOHNSON
Reprint of Ex-slave’s Theology Book Opens ‘Underexplored Vista’
Charles Octavius Boothe's ‘Plain Theology for Plain People’ is a glorious recovery of African American theological heritage.
Pentecostalism: William Seymour
What scoffers viewed as a weird babble of tongues became a world phenomenon after his Los Angeles revival.
The Anti-Racism Activist That History Forgot
In the Jim Crow era, an African-American newspaper owner made a biblical case against racism.
Finally, Jackie Robinson’s Faith Is Getting the Attention It Deserves
Two books shine a long-overdue spotlight on the Christian convictions of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier.
The Women Who Sang Out for Civil Rights
The heroines of the movement followed a call to “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Martin Luther King Jr.: Exemplar of Hope
The Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy embodies the revolutionary ethic of Jesus Christ.
The Father of Gospel Music Wanted to Be a Secular Star
How Thomas Dorsey decided to give up a thriving jazz career for “Precious Lord.”