The dynamics of Methodism in Sierra Leone, 1860-1911 : Western European influence and culture in church development
The thesis is a study of the dynamics of nineteenth century missions in Sierra Leone generally and that of the Wesleyan Methodists in particular. It has uncovered the responses to the enterprise, influence and impact of the missionaries. It attempts to relate the impressions of outsiders, to the "inner life" and discipline of the Wesleyan Mission and its people over 51 years of mission activities; and surveys the achievements of the Missionary Society, as a funding agent, and the District as a daughter church in the process of educational, political, social and economic change. Consideration has been given to both the co-operation and the competition with other Missionary Societies and Mission Boards. The first chapter gives an extensive description of the state of the Wesleyan Mission, particularly its chapels, in the 1860s, and this is compared with the state and condition of the WMMS sister Society - CMS. The second chapter deals with the leadership of two people who gave form and character to Wesleyan Methodism at the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Tregaskis, and Charles Knight, the first African Chairman. The third chapter deals with aspects of mission education as an instrument of evangelism and progress. Chapter four looks at the mission's hinterland exploit. Its progress was slow till the first decade of the twentieth century, when the mission gained a firm footing in the Protectorate. The Hut-Tax war of 1898 and its effects on missions is examined in Chapter five. Chapter six is a special study of the Krio, their efforts in "City Mission", and their financial contributions in support of hinterland missions. Chapter seven deals with the period of development and consolidation of the Wesleyan Mission, moving from "mission" to "church". The thesis concludes with a treatment of the concept of indigenisation and autonomy; a policy is offered that will enable African ministers and missionaries as well as national church leaders to appreciate and respond to ethnically plural and multicultural settings.