Ministries of Migration: George McGuire, Robert Josias Morgan, and the Transformation of Black Churches in the West Indies and the United States
2023. "Ministries of Migration: George McGuire, Robert Josias Morgan, and the Transformation of Black Churches in the West Indies and the United States", Kingdom Come: The Politics of Faith and Freedom in Segregationist South Africa and Beyond, Tshepo Masango Chéry
Download citation file:
Chapter 4 charts the period between 1914 and 1924 when multiple streams of Caribbean-trained ministers created alternative spaces of spiritual expression steeped in a political theology of racial uplift. The chapter focuses on two pivotal figures, George McGuire and Robert Josias Morgan, and their development of the African Orthodox Church, a denomination associated with Black nationalism. McGuire and Morgan, as with many other West Indian clergy, fled the collapsing economy of the British Caribbean with their parishioners, traveling through circum-Caribbean and settling in the United States. Their work serving British West Indian Christians in Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua suggests that their many diasporic paths helped develop a political theology that sought to address racist structures. The chapter relies on church records to place their experiences and offer an expansive notion of how Africana religion and Black religion more broadly cultivated religious spaces of belonging.