February is Black History Month

Each week this month, we’ll share about a famous Black minister in American history that helped preach the Gospel and renew the world for Christ. This week, we’ll be honoring John Marrant.
We can’t overstate just how significant John Marrant’s influence was on advancing the Gospel around the world. Largely thanks to his work as a minister and missionary during the 18th century, people from around the globe were able to hear and experience the Gospel, from the tribesmen of the Cherokee Nation in North America to even the Sierra Leoneans on the continent of Africa.
Born as a free man in New York in 1755, John Marrant was a well-educated young man who was also incredibly gifted musically. He was an expert violinist and French horn player, and was called upon regularly to entertain guests at various social events. The trajectory of Marrant’s life forever changed one night, however, when he happened upon a revival meeting held by the famous Methodist preacher, George Whitefield. Marrant subsequently converted to Christianity and gave his life to Jesus. 
Marrant’s ministry led him to live with the Cherokee Nation for roughly two years. He faithfully preached the Gospel during his time there, and helped bring many Native Americans to faith in Jesus. Some historians also credit Marrant as being influential in creating lasting friendships between the Black and Cherokee people. 
Marrant later settled in Nova Scotia to serve a largely Black community of people who fled the United States during the Revolutionary War. There, he started a church and helped forge a robust Christian community. Later, hundreds of his followers joined a group of people who decided to leave North America to resettle in Sierra Leone, and these people helped spread the Gospel they first heard from Marrant to eventually thousands of Africans. 
John Marrant did not live a long life—he died in 1791, only 36 years after his birth. And yet, the world was changed because of his faithful work and witness. This Black History Month, we want to learn from John Marrant’s example and use our numbered days here on earth as well as he did. Let’s endeavor to work hard to make Jesus known through our excellence, our words, and our relationships as John Marrant once did.