Barnabas Shaw

Barnabas Shaw biography, was a pioneer missionary to South Africa known for his ministry among Namaqua tribes. Barnabas grew up on his father’s farm tending sheep. He accepted Christ in a Sunday School and by twenty he was preaching publicly. In a Methodist conference of 1814, Barnabas obeyed God’s definite call for missionary service. Although he was preparing himself to serve in India, the Wesleyan Missionary Society sent him to work in South Africa.

Birth: 12-04-1788
Home Calling: 21-06-1857
Native Place: Elloughton
Country: England
Place of Vision: Namaqualand, South Africa

Barnabas arrived in Cape Town with great enthusiasm. But the city Governor flatly refused to allow him to minister unless he had an invitation. What was he to do? Temporarily he ministered at two English military stations.

Yet he was unsatisfied. He knew in his heart that he was called to serve among the heathen local tribes. While all his attempts to meet the ethnic tribes failed, God opened doors for him in a very interesting way.

One day, he was traveling in a wagon towards Cape Town. On the way, he came across a group of tired Namaqua people, an ethnic group of South Africa. When asked, the chief of the group replied, “We have heard about the ‘God’s Word’ and we are on our way in search of someone who could explain it to us.” Oh, Barnabas leapt out of the wagon with joy and immediately offered to teach them about Jesus. How God satisfies the desires of different people wonderfully!

Barnabas Shaw ministry in South Africa

Although the Namaqua tribes were uncivilized, they were innocent people. Barnabas toiled cheerfully preaching to them the ‘God’s Word’ and also taught them to be civilized. The good seed sown by him brought forth abundant fruits. At his request, more missionaries arrived from England, and the ministry spread in all directions of South Africa.

After 10 years of vigorous ministry among the Namaqua tribes, Barnabas returned to England to recover from severe fatigue. Although he wanted to return to Namaqualand but couldn’t because of ill health. Yet, he continued to minister in England till his death in 1857.

Beloved, does your soul yearn to know Christ more? Does it long to make known Christ among the heathen?

Take away from the article

“Lord, help me to know You more and preach about You more. Amen!”

Word of Prayer

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