Jacobus Capitein was one of the first Africans to be educated in Europe, ordained in a Protestant denomination, and commissioned to return to his homeland as a missionary. Although little is known of his African heritage, Capitein was probably born in what is now central Ghana. Orphaned or otherwise separated from his parents, he was enslaved and obtained by Dutch traders when he was about eight years old. His enslavement ended in 1728, when his owner took him to the Netherlands to learn a trade. Capitein's tutors recognized his intellectual gifts, and with the understanding that he would return to Africa as a missionary, his theological studies were supported by Dutch patrons. In 1737 he received a scholarship to the University of Leiden, where he excelled as a student. Capitein completed his studies in March 1742 and was ordained in the Dutch Reformed Church in May. In July 1742 ...
Susan J. Hubert
Born George Baker, in Rockville, Maryland, Father Divine was the son of George Baker, a day laborer, and Nancy Smith, a domestic worker. At age twenty he moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he was active in the Baptist church. He soon began an itinerant ministry that traveled throughout the South. In 1906 he was present at the birth of modern Pentecostalism at the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California.
In 1915 Baker moved with a small group of followers to Harlem, New York, where he preached as Major J. Divine. His Peace Mission Movement evolved here, and Baker became known as Father Divine. In 1919 he bought a house in a white Long Island neighborhood in Sayville, New York, and established it as a cooperative and communal dwelling known as Heavens.
His worship services in Sayville attracted thousands of people. In 1931 ...
Sholomo B. Levy
leader of the Nation of Islam, was born Louis Eugene Walcott in the Bronx, New York City, to Sarah Mae Manning, a native of St. Kitts, who worked as a domestic. Farrakhan's biological father was Manning's husband, Percival Clarke, a light-skinned Jamaican cab driver. By the time young Louis was born, however, Manning had left Clarke and was living with Louis Walcott. Manning hoped her baby would be a girl and have a dark complexion like herself and Walcott. Nevertheless, when the child was born male and with a light complexion, she named him Louis and listed Walcott as the father (Magida, 10). Walcott stayed with the family during their move to the Roxbury section of Boston in 1937, but departed shortly thereafter.Raising two young children alone during the Depression was difficult, but Sarah Mae kept her boys from harm and attended to their ...
Michael L. Krenn
boxer and businessman, was born George Edward Foreman in Marshall, Texas, the son of J. D. Foreman and Nancy Ree. His father, a railroad employee and a heavy drinker, was absent for much of George's childhood. His mother worked several jobs, including as a waitress, to support George and his six siblings.
As Foreman describes it his childhood was marked by intense want and hunger and an anger that often exploded into fighting Even at a young age he was larger than normal and he used his intimidating size to bully his peers He had little love for school although football in junior high school proved attractive for its violence and aggression Foreman did not last long in high school however By the age of fifteen he was spending most of his time on the streets of Houston where his mother had moved the family when he was ...
professional boxer, actor, product spokesperson, and minister. George Edward Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas, to J. D. Foreman and Nancy Foreman. By the seventh grade he had dropped out of school, engaging in petty crimes, such as muggings. At age sixteen he enrolled in a Job Corps training program in Oregon. While working at a conservation camp affiliated with the program, Foreman found that he had a talent for boxing, and he won the Corps Diamond Belt Boxing Tournament.
In 1968 Foreman made the U.S. Olympic boxing team and won the gold medal in the Olympic Games in Mexico City. Vietnam War protests, the rise of black nationalism, and episodes of civil unrest in U.S. cities after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination earlier in the year were a sign of the times. The 1968 Olympics in Mexico City were also the scene ...
better known as Daddy Grace or Sweet Daddy Grace or by his self-proclaimed title, Boyfriend of the World, was one of the more flamboyant religious leaders of the twentieth century. He was born, probably as Marceline Manoel da Graca, in Brava, Cape Verde Islands, of mixed Portuguese and African ancestry, the son of Manuel de Graca and Gertrude Lomba. In the charismatic church that he founded and headed, however, he managed to transcend race by declaring: “I am a colorless man. I am a colorless bishop. Sometimes I am black, sometimes white. I preach to all races.” Like many other Cape Verdeans, Grace immigrated to New Bedford, Massachusetts, around the turn of the century and worked there and on Cape Cod as a short-order cook, a salesman of sewing machines and patent medicines, and a cranberry picker.Also known as Bishop Grace he may have established his first church ...
Jason Philip Miller
professional basketball player, member of the Harlem Globetrotters, and minister, was born George Meadow Lemon III in Wilmington, North Carolina. Neither his parents' names nor their occupations are known. When he was eleven years old, Lemon went to the local movie house and saw a short reel about Abe Saperstein's famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and decided that one day he would be a member. Lemon attended public school in Wilmington, where he excelled at basketball and football. In 1952, while still a high school student, he wrote the Globetrotters to request a tryout and was given one, but he failed to make the team.
That same year Lemon matriculated at Florida A M University but he spent only a few weeks there before he was drafted into the U S Army He spent two years in the service and as luck would have it was stationed ...
Graham Russell Hodges
Peter Williams Sr. was one of ten children born in New York City to George and Diana Williams, slaves of James Aymar, a prominent local tobacconist. Born in an annex to Aymar's cowshed, Williams often said, “ I was born in as humble a place as my Lord!” Encouraged by Aymar to attend services at the newly formed Wesley Chapel, later known as the John Street Methodist Church, Williams worshipped in the slave gallery. At the chapel he married Mary Durham, also known as Molly, who was an indentured servant for Aymar's wife and a legendary volunteer for Fire Company #11. She served hot coffee and sandwiches to the firemen and is shown in a famous painting pulling a fire truck through blinding snow.
During the American Revolution Aymar, a staunch Loyalist, fled to New Brunswick, New Jersey, taking with him his slaves and indentured servants. In 1780 shortly ...