This devotional is part of the Black Missionary Heroes Past and Present Series.
William Henry Sheppard (1865–1927)
Missionary to Africa
Read 2 Corinthians 5:18–20
Born a freeman in Waynesboro, Virginia, W. H. Sheppard completed his theological studies in 1886. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister, assuming the pastorate of the Zion Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He was later granted permission by the organization’s missions committee to travel to Africa to do missionary work under the supervision of a white minister, Samuel Lapsley. Sheppard traveled along Africa’s Atlantic coast, preaching the gospel throughout villages near the mouth of the Congo River. He would later gain international fame for exposing the violent practices of Belgian investment companies and their manipulative politics among Congolese tribes to profit from slave labor.