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Celebrating Samuel Ajayi Crowther


2014 is the 150th anniversary of the consecration as Bishop on the Niger of a former slave boy, Samuel Ajayi Crowther. On 29 June 1864 in Canterbury cathedral Crowther became the first black Anglican bishop.

Supported and encouraged by CMS, he blazed a trail in indigenous mission in West Africa. Yet he died a broken man in one of the more shameful episodes of CMS history. Even so, he left a remarkable legacy and lived a life that can inspire us all.

Crowther - an extraordinary life
Podcast special

Crowther - an extraordinary life

150 years since he became the first black Anglican bishop, Crowther's dramatic story is told in this special podcast narrated by Burt Caesar.

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Samuel Ajayi Crowther: the unsung hero
Feature

Samuel Ajayi Crowther: the unsung hero

Was Samuel Ajayi Crowther the most outstanding African Christian of the 19th century? And why haven't more people heard of him?

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Crowther Talk: Canterbury Cathedral

Crowther Talk: Canterbury Cathedral

Philip Mounstephen speaks about the first black Anglican Bishop, Samuel Ajayi Crowther. Read more >
Crowther's World: Biography

Crowther's World: Biography

Timeline of the key events in Crowther's life. Read more >
Crowther's World: Sierra Leone

Crowther's World: Sierra Leone

Historian Jeffrey Green sets the scene of Crowther's formative years in Sierra Leone. Read more >
Crowther's World: The Yoruba People

Crowther's World: The Yoruba People

Crowther wrote down a language and became the Father of the Yoruba, writes Gareth Sturdy. Read more >
Crowther's World: Conversion

Crowther's World: Conversion

How did Crowther's missionaries convince the Yoruba to move from the religion of their fathers and embrace Christ? Read more >
Crowther's World: The Niger Mission

Crowther's World: The Niger Mission

Professor Andrew Walls explains how the foundations of Crowther's Niger Mission were laid. Read more >
Crowther's World: Islam

Crowther's World: Islam

Professor Andrew Walls explains how Crowther became a pioneer in relations with Islam. Read more >
Crowther's World: The Cover-Up

Crowther's World: The Cover-Up

A radical mission movement of ex-slaves was almost extinguished when early visionaries at CMS were succeeded by those in thrall to a colonialist - and racist - mentality. Read more >