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Jeremy Rich

Congolese evangelist and translator was born in Gombe a village inhabited by Kakwa speaking clans in the northeastern corner of the modern day Democratic Republic of Congo This community suffered greatly from slave raids launched by Zande chieftains like Zémio and Mopoï living to their north in the late nineteenth century However the threat of northern raiders was hardly the only challenge for the young boy His name Akudri signified one who waited since he was born after his mother was pregnant for more than nine months He also bore his father s name Dada which means one who has no family This would indeed be Akudri s own fate since an epidemic of meningitis killed his parents and all his siblings when he was very young The boy barely survived himself A grave was dug to prepare for his funeral by other people in the village but he managed ...

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Patrick Stearns

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 ...

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Charles Emmanuel Grace was of mixed African and Portuguese descent, born in the Cape Verde Islands around 1882, probably as Marceline Manoël de Graça. Grace was among the numerous Cape Verdean immigrants who arrived in the United States during the first decade of the twentieth century. In the Cape Verdean communities of New Bedford and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Grace worked as a short-order cook, a cranberry picker, and a sewing machine and patent medicine salesman.

Grace founded his first church in West Waltham, Massachusetts, around 1919. By the mid-1920s he had moved south, and was holding large, popular revivals and tent-meetings around Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1927 with an estimated 13 000 followers Grace incorporated The United House of Prayer for All People of the Church on the Rock of the Apostolic Faith The church grew rapidly and soon included branches all along the eastern seaboard ...

Article

Andrew Du Bois

Born Stanley Kirk Burrell in Oakland, California, MC Hammer made his album debut in 1988 with the self-produced Let's Get It Started. His style—frenetic beats and chanted lyrics—did not impress the Hip-Hop cognoscenti, but the album sold over one million copies and set the stage for one of hip-hop's biggest surprises. Buoyed by the genial dance floor anthem “U Can't Touch This,” Hammer's second album, Please Hammer Don't Hurt ‘Em (1990) held the top spot on the charts for 21 weeks, becoming the biggest-selling Rap album in history.

Hammer was a better entertainer than a rapper his live shows were energetic spectacles intricately choreographed events that highlighted the hugely popular dance routines of Hammer and his massive entourage The artist s videos distilled the live experience into simple but effective blasts that found heavy rotation on MTV Hammer won three Grammy awards two for U Can ...

Article

Kimberly Burnett

evangelist minister and entrepreneur. Thomas Dexter Jakes was born in South Charleston, West Virginia, and was the youngest of three children. A quiet yet observant child, Jakes learned a great deal from his father, who was a hard-working businessman and entrepreneur, as well as from his mother, a devoted educator. From a young age, he was taught in church, and by age nineteen Jakes had entered the ministry and preached his first sermon. In 1979 Jakes was licensed as a minister and founded Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith, a storefront church that began with only ten members in a small town in West Virginia. Focusing specifically on the often-overlooked issues of women, Jakes's message, titled “Woman Thou Art Loosed,” drew a following that grew exponentially. In 1996 Jakes moved himself along with fifty other families within the congregation to Dallas Texas to establish a multiracial nondenominational church called the ...

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Kevin Ward

Ugandan evangelist and Anglican bishop of Kigezi diocese in the Church of Uganda, was born in Mpororo, which had recently been incorporated into the British Protectorate of Uganda. Mpororo, like many inter-lacustrine states, consisted of an agriculturalist majority (Bairu) and a high-status cattle-keeping minority (Bahima). Kivengere belonged to the Bahima group. He was the grandson of King Makobore, who had first signed a treaty with the British in 1912. In 1930 Kivengere was baptized into the Anglican Church of Uganda, the quasi- established church set up by the Church Missionary Society (CMS). Kivengere attended CMS schools at Kinyasano and Kabale in the Kigezi district of southwest Uganda.

In the 1930s a revival movement known as Balokole Saved People was making a strong impact in this part of Uganda having spread from the CMS mission station of Gahini in Belgian Ruanda Kivengere at first resisted the new movement like many ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Congolese (Brazza-ville) Protestant church leader, was born in the village of Kindamba in the French Congo. Ndoundou’s father Nsemi Ndoundou never converted to Christianity, but his mother Bouanga converted to Christianity and taught her children her faith. A Swedish Protestant missionary church was located very close to Kindamba in the town of Kingoyi in the Belgian Congo. At Kingoyi, Swedish missionaries baptized Ndoundou on 6 June 1923. However, he attended Catholic primary school in the Belgian Congolese town of Kimbenza and at Kingoyi. He then worked as a catechist for the new Swedish Protestant mission at Ngouédi in the French Congo. However, he soon left his ministry to find a job with the Matadi-Léopoldville railroad in the Belgian Congo, although he used some of his wages to pay for classes at a Bible school. On 15 November 1931 in the town of Kinzaba Ndoundou had a dramatic vision ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Congolese Protestant pastor, was born in the Ngbaka village of Isape, now located in the northwestern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His parents died before Pelendo was two years old. The chief of the village of Isape raised Pelendo. He never attended school, and disdained the teachings offered by visiting Catholic priests. His family members claimed that he learned to read and write miraculously when he converted to Christianity, although a more mundane explanation would have been his collaboration with Free Evangelical Church missionaries in 1925 They hired him to do odd jobs once they came to the village of Kala where he now lived However Pelendo continued to rely on two other occupations that had long furnished him with enough merchandise and money to make a living farming and making palm wine His conversion came as the result of several dreams In one vision he heard ...

Article

Moses Chikowero

Zimbabwean educator, evangelist, and early nationalist, was born Mushore Samkange in 1893 in the Zvimba communal area of colonial Zimbabwe (then called Southern Rhodesia). He was a son of Mawodzewa, a renowned hunter of the Gushungo royal clan. Samkange wed Grace Mano at Zvimba’s Madzima Church in 1919 and raised a family of five boys (Stanlake, Sketchley, Don, Edgar, and Ernest) and two girls (Evelyn and Norah).

Samkange moved to the town of Gatooma (now Kadoma) as a migrant laborer in his teenage years, there to encounter the fascination of both the Christian faith and western education. He nurtured these interests upon his return to Zvimba in his early twenties, getting baptized as Thompson and enrolling, in 1915 in Nenguwo Institution later called Waddilove Mission to train as a teacher evangelist under the tutelage of the liberal white missionary John White He completed Standard Six a then envied qualification ...

Article

Aaron Myers

Willie Mae Ford Smith's involvement with the world of Gospel Music started early; the daughter of the deacon of a Baptist Church, she sang in church as a child. As a teen she was the lead vocalist in a gospel quartet she formed with her sisters. The group performed to great acclaim at the National Baptist Convention of 1922.

Smith was ordained as a minister in 1926, but as a woman was forbidden to preach in the Baptist Church, an edict that prompted her departure from that church in later years. In 1932, along with Thomas A. Dorsey and Sallie Martin Smith formed the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses an establishment credited with the nationwide popularization and development of gospel music She then took on a post as the director of the National Convention Soloists Bureau where she was charged with teaching and ...

Article

Mersha Alehegne

third Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, was born on 18 September 1917 in Mahedere Maryam, Gonder; his birth name was Melaku. His parents were Welde Mikael Wondimu and Zewditu Kasa. Welde Mikael met Zewditu in Yerez, Gojjam, when he was in a military service in the area, and took her to Mahdere Maryam, Gonder, where she gave birth to Tekle. But because of the natural death of the father, Zewditu went back to her place of origin with the baby.

Tekle began traditional church education near his home and later, after the death of his mother, in Yerez Michael near Bichena, Gojjam, where he studied church poetry (qene) under Memher Lisane Werq He then went back to Mahedere Maryam the place of his birth and baptism and started serving as deacon But when he did not find things as he wished them to be he ...