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Swatson, John
c. 1855 to c. 1925
Methodist
Ghana

African missionary evangelist.

Born in the Gold Coast (Ghana), Swatson worked as a clerk in Nigeria, retired to his hometown of Beyin, and then in about 1911 became the Methodist "agent" at Aboisso, Côte d'Ivoire. Consecrated by William Wadé Harris in 1913, "Bishop Swatson" carried his work to Sanwi in the interior, then to Sefwi in the Gold Coast. He made many converts despite opposition from chiefs and colonial officials who accused him of causing social and political unrest. During 1915-1916, with help from Anglican missionaries E. D. Martinson and Archdeacon G. W. Morrison, his converts were accepted as Anglicans by Bishop O'Rourke of Accra. They became the foundation of the strong Anglican presence there today.

Gordon M. Haliburton


Bibliography:

G. M. Haliburton, "The Anglican Church in Ghana and the Harris Movement in 1914," Bulletin: Society for African Church History 1, nos. 3-4 (1964): 101-106, and The Prophet Harris: A Study of an African and His Mass-Movement in the Ivory Coast and the Gold Coast, 1913 - 1915 (1971); Paul Jenkins, "The Anglican Church in Ghana, 1905 - 1924," Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana 15, nos. 1-2 (1974): 23 -39, 177 - 200.

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.