Thomas Burchell

Thomas Burchell biography, was a Baptist missionary and a strong advocate for the freedom of slaves in Jamaica. As a young man, Burchell loved to read the testimonies of Chrisitan heroes. He expressed his salvation experience as ‘gaining freedom from the bondage of sin slavery.’ The man who gained freedom from sin slavery worked for the Jamaicans’ spiritual and physical freedom.

Birth: 25-12-1799
Home Calling: 16-05-1846
Homeland: United Kingdom
Place of Vision: Jamaica

While training to be a cloth manufacturer in Nailsworth, Burchell came under the Shortwood Baptist Church’s influence. From then onwards, his thoughts were turned towards the mission field.

Following the footsteps of the missionaries from the same church, Thomas committed himself to work in Jamaica. He arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1822 and served there for twenty-two years.

Thomas Burchell ministry in Jamaica

Burchell was saddened by the prevalent slavery in Jamaica and sincerely wanted to change such a society. He felt that slavery was not only inhibiting people’s personal freedom but also religious freedom. He wrote letters to family, friends, and the missionary society in England about the harsh conditions of slavery. In 1827 one of Burchell’s letters was published in a popular British magazine that came to Jamaican authorities’ notice.

Immediately he was arrested for sedition. Although he was admired by the slaves, he was treated with disdain and contempt by the slave owners for his anti-slavery stance. During the massive slave rebellion in 1831, several of his churches were destroyed by white supremacists. Burchell built churches where he ensured that equality among the people and ministry. The first deacon of his first church was an ex-slave.

After his short stint in Britain, he returned to Jamaica in 1833 and started working to establish ‘free villages.’ Burchell purchased large tracts of land and divided them into smaller lots, which were given to ex-slaves, allowing them to become owners themselves. Sandy Bay, Bethel Town, and Mount Carey free villages are the outcomes of his efforts.

Beloved, have gained freedom from the bondage of sin slavery?

Take away from the article

“Lord, give me a burden to labour for the spiritual well-being of others. Amen!”

Word of Prayer

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