Saturday, March 29, 2014

THE ABSTRACT: THE LIFE AND WORK OF THOMAS JEFFERSON BOWEN IN CENTRAL AFRICA AND BRAZIL

Allen Olatunde

ABSTRACT

The essay, “Life and Works of Thomas Jefferson Bowen and the Challenges for Contemporary Nigerian Baptist Missionaries”, is an historical work that reflects on the good, the bad and the ugly experiences of a Southern Baptist missionary, T. J. Bowen and the relevant applications for contemporary missionaries in Nigerian Baptist context. The significance of the study lies on the ability to pioneer missions among the people of strange culture, language, colour and values successfully. This project researches into problems observable in the life and works of Bowen that need clarification. They are problem of contextualizing mission, developing means and strategy for language barriers, mission funding and support, neglecting education as mission tool and ill-health challenges of missionaries which usually truncate dreams. This essay adopts historical method using library research, interview, and online resource tools. Through critical analysis of the adventure of Bowen, it was discovered that he pioneered Baptist missions in Central Africa and Brazil from 1850 to 1860 where he faced war against slavery and gospel. It was observed that Bowen had a good beginning but ended with discouraging and pathetic trauma. In the process of the research, the mission of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) in line with Bowen’s pioneering task was analyzed. It was discovered that the weakness and external threat of NBC missions in comparison with Bowen’ and churches outweighs her strengths and opportunities. The weak points are funding system, welfare of serving and retired missionaries, health matters and unhealthy rivalry with churches on missions. It is however recommended that the Global Missions Board (GMB) of NBC should be pragmatic in strategic making. She should be aware of the psychological welfare of her missionaries and provide a health insurance scheme for serving missionaries. 

The complete work in publication is coming soon.

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