John Day

When he stepped up to the pulpit on that February Sunday in 1859, he wouldn’t get the chance to preach.

John Day prepared for his Sunday sermon just as he would for any other Lord’s Day in Liberia. His passion was the evangelization of Africa. As an African American and the first Southern Baptist missionary appointed to Africa, he was uniquely gifted for the task. He wrote of his service there and his calling: “Let me but be in the path of duty, with the promises of God to sustain me and I can hope against hope and persevere, though mountains of difficulty oppose me. God is omnipotent, and he who is promised is faithful.”

On February 6, 1859, when he stepped to the pulpit to begin his sermon, weakness overcame him and he could not speak. He was taken home to rest and died on February 15. His preaching on earth was over, but his influence in Africa, specifically Liberia, was just beginning.

Get IMB updates to your inbox.