What is the DACB?
The DACB is an international undertaking
aimed at producing an electronic database
containing the essential biographical facts
of African Christian leaders, evangelists,
and lay workers chiefly responsible for laying
the foundations and advancing the growth of
Christian communities in Africa. An international
team of scholars and church leaders—primarily
of African citizenship—is facilitating the
project. Contributors are drawn from academic,
church, and mission communities in Africa
and elsewhere. Work began in 1997 and is expected
to continue through 2010. The Overseas Ministries
Study Center of New Haven, Connecticut, under
the directorship of Dr. Jonathan Bonk, provides
administrative and technical support.
While the growth and character of Christianity in Africa is without historical precedent, information on the major creative and innovative local figures and leaders of this growth—from local evangelists and pastors to nationally known Christian leaders—is sadly lacking from the standard historical and biographical reference works.
The dictionary will cover the whole field of African Christianity from earliest times to the present and over the entire continent. Broadly interconfessional, historically descriptive, and exploiting the full range of oral and written records, the dictionary will be produced in English, and ultimately in French, Portuguese, and Swahili.
The dictionary is intended to stimulate local data gathering and input. As a non-proprietary electronic database, it constitutes a uniquely dynamic way to maintain, amend, expand, access, and disseminate information vital to an understanding of African Christianity. Being non-proprietary, it is possible for material within it to be freely reproduced locally in printed form. Being electronic, the material will be simultaneously accessible to readers around the world.