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Alfred Lee Ridgel
Africa and African Methodism
Atlanta, Ga.: Franklin Printing and Publishing Co., 1896.

Summary

Africa and African Methodism is Rev. Alfred Ridgel's account of his 1893 missionary trip to Sierra Leone in Western Africa. Ridgel describes the country and its people in great and favorable detail. He urges African Americans to take pride in the continent where their roots lie, proposing the theory that the Egyptians, creators of a great civilization, were African. Ridgel writes about the opportunity for the growth of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church and its missions in Africa, and describes the Musilm faith in Africa, which he sees as an obstacle to Christianity.

In the remaining chapters of the book, Ridgel states his opinion on a variety of subjects pertaining to the A.M.E. Church, preaching, and his race. He argues that to be effective, preachers must be inspired by the Holy Ghost; he decries the lack of church attendance he has seen during his career; he sets forth that the ministry must be well-educated; and he encourages black Americans to emigrate to Africa. The book concludes with a short history of Methodism in Africa and with biographical sketches of various ministers and Ridgel's wife Fannie.

Courtney Vien

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