August 4, 2009

Samuel Sharpe, Prophet and Liberator

Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Baptist World Alliance

He was hailed as a prophet during morning worship, and declared as a liberator in the afternoon.

Samuel Sharpe, an educated Jamaican slave and Baptist deacon, led a rebellion that some scholars say hastened the end of chattel slavery in the British colonies in the Caribbean in 1838. The rebellion, which began as a sit-down strike in December 1831, quickly turned violent, against Sharpe's wishes. In the end, more than 600 slaves, including Sharpe, were hanged by the British colonizers by the time the rebellion was put down in May 1832.

On the morning of Wednesday, July 29, the Baptist World Alliance, during its Annual Gathering in Ede, Netherlands, recognized Sharpe as a Baptist prophet, along with British missionary and anti-slavery crusader, William Knibb, and Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader in the United States.

Before his execution, Sharpe declared, "We must be content to die for the benefit of the rest. I, for one, am ready to die, in order that the rest may be free.... I depend for salvation upon the Redeemer, who shed his blood upon Calvary for sinners."

For the full release:

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