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The Life and Ministry of Prophet Garrick Sokari Braide

Elijah the Second of Niger Delta, Nigeria (c. 1882-1918)

Chinonyerem Chijioke Ekebuisi

This study investigates the life and activities of Garrick Sokari Idikatima Braide, an African prophet, missionary and revivalist, in the evangelization of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria from 1890 to 1920. The book focuses on Braide’s revival movement and its impact on the mainstream churches and the grassroots spread of Christianity, which reached over a million people in an area where the progress of Christianity had been very slow. Overall, the book reinterprets reports and publications on Garrick Braide in order to highlight African initiatives in the Christian evangelization of Nigeria. It also traces the chronological developments in Braide’s ministry and the reasons behind his conflict with the Niger Delta Pastorate Board and his persecution by the colonial administration. The book further contributes to the debate on the reasons for the mass conversion of the Igbo to Christianity in the early decades of the twentieth century and the African origin of Pentecostalism in general.
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Chapter Seven: Garrick Braide’s religious legacies and innovations



The innovations and contributions Garrick Braide made to Christianity merit fuller study than has hitherto been given them. James Webster, while studying the African churches, recognized these African initiatives as a kind of ‘Reformation’,1 and Allan Anderson, in his own study of the AICs, has demonstrated how the entire AIC movement in all its many forms throughout the African continent, represented an indigenous reformation and transformation of Christianity on a continental scale unprecedented in the history of the worldwide church.2 The fact that these reformations led by Africans reverberate to the present day makes this chapter cogent.3

There is little doubt that, although Garrick Braide was cut off early from the scene, his qualitative contributions to African Christianity continue through an enduring religious and theological heritage. Unlike some previous works, this book does not view the contributions of Braide’s movement to Christianity in terms of agitation against foreign domination of the NDP ministry by the Sierra Leoneans and Yorubas and the use of the Igbo language in the education of Kalabari Christians. Rather, his contributions are regarded as having had the regenerative capacity of an African perception brought to the received faith. Turner has already acknowledged the faults and excesses of such efforts in his essay, ‘Pagan Features in West African Independent Churches’.4 Also writing about Church growth in ← 185 | 186 → Central and Southern Nigeria in the 1960s, Grimley John and Robinson Gordon comment on the teachings of the early prophets, noting some...

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