Lewis C. Sheafe: Apostle to Black America

Lewis C. Sheafe: Apostle to Black America

by Douglas Morgan


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Born Just as the Civil War Began, Lewis Sheafe grew to manhood at a pivotal moment in American history. But instead of racial equality, the nation offered its freed slaves further oppression and injustice. Sheafe-strong-willed, dynamic, and seemingly tireless-had but two main objectives: Uplift his people spiritually and socially, and consistently adhere to biblical principle in all aspects of life.

His thirst for truth led him first to the Baptists, where he became both an eloquent minister and a prominent leader of the Black community. Then his poor health led him to Battle Creek Sanitarium, where he encountered Seventh-day Adventism. Sheafe saw in the Adventist message the tenets of race relations he already championed, and he embraced it wholeheartedly. He was sent to lead the Black work in Washington, D.C., in 1902, and his evangelistic campaigns drew standing-room-only crowds of both Black and White listeners.

But during his turbulent years of Adventist ministry, he and church leaders could not agree on how to apply biblical principles of racial equality. The conflict eventually proved fatal to his ties with the denomination.

In this gripping biography Douglas Morgan pieces together the life of this forgotten leader whose story sheds light on the reason that no lasting, separate Black Adventist denomination ever formed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780828023979
Publisher: Review & Herald Publishing Association
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 11

Acknowledgments 13

Preface 17

Section 1 "Go Preach to Your People" 21

I From West Dedham to Wayland Seminary 23

II Pastor to Minnesota's Black Pilgrims 29

III Social Center for a Proscribed People 38

IV For Progress and Strength 46

V Early Struggles for Civil Rights 59

Section 2 "Eminent Baptist Divine": The Ohio Years 69

VI Pulpit Orator 70

VII Christian Endeavorer 84

VIII Race Advocate 96

Section 3 "This Message for All My People" 112

IX Obedient to Present Truth 113

X Into the South 126

XI Mission to the "Talented Tenth" 142

XII "Is There a Place in This Message for the Negro With the White Man?" 150

XIII Camp Nelson, School Plans, and South Carolina 156

XIV The 1901 General Conference Session and an Uncertain Aftermath 164

Section 4 "Noted Apostle of Seventh-day Adventism" 177

XV A New Faith in the Nation's Capital 178

XVI The Daniells Plan 185

XVII From Nashville to Washington, D.C., via Des Moines 193

XVIII Thousands Hear Him 202

XIX Color Line Drawn Between Adventists 208

XX At the Center of Black Culture 226

XXI The "Right Mold" for Washington 245

XXII To Stand United Before the World 255

XXIII Delicate Harmony and Renewed Opportunity 268

XXIV The People's Church: Profound Possibilities and Hard Questions 279

Section 5 "The Separation was a Sad Mistake" 290

XXV Confrontation Over Racial Injustice 291

XXVI The People's Church Declares Independence 304

XXVII "Stop Right Where You Are" 312

XXVIII Equivocal Freedom 325

XXIX Reconciliation Initiatives 341

XXX A Marriage and an Olive Branch 357

XXXI Return From Midian 365

Section 6 "One Minister Who Thinks for Himself" 371

XXXII Shifting Ground in Southern California 372

XXXIII The "Volume 9" Puzzle 385

XXXIV Free Seventh Day Adventists 392

XXXV Reversals at the People's Church 401

XXXVI "The People's Minister" or "Dangerous Apostate"? 410

XXXVII Adventist Garveyite 417

XXXVIII The Quest for Broader Connections 422

XXXIX Legacy 434

Index 441

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