Essays in this section:
missionaries came to the
Right after emancipation took place the missionaries were used as a means of communicating with the free people about what was going to be expected from them as civilization was and the hardships that would follow. There is no doubt that they were influential because the plantation owners came to see them as a way of trying to keep the workers in the plantations. The government was afraid of rioting or rebellion and made it clear to them how they wanted them to behave.
Many changes began to surface following the abolition of slavery. In some cases, village prayer became an important part of the freemen’s daily activities. “After the people became free their village prayer-meetings could be better regulated than formerly. Early morning prayers were also held in several villages, where the people used to be up at dawn, and no longer being required to work before sunrise could profitably spend half an hour in devotional exercises.”.  These meetings became a means of bringing the church to the home and it also helped them to be more united. This unity also encouraged them to keep records of important events like marriages, baptisms and deaths. Both the missionaries and the formerly enslaved desired to build new, free communities.
desire of the missionaries, at least, was becoming part of the missions
that traveled to other places were slavery was either still active
or recently abolished. “The day of jubilee has come, and the arrangements
have been made for sending back her long exiled sons to the land of
her fathers that they may assist in diffusing throughout the African
continent the blessing of wisdom and of the fear of the Lord”.
Despite their efforts, white missionaries had experienced
only limited success in
promised ex-slaves equality, yet the majority could neither occupy
office, nor vote to select representatives.
Many missionaries were, at least in the
early years after 1834 (emancipation) and 1838 (the end of apprenticeship)
unconcerned with such issues. Instead, they focused on forcing the former
slaves to meet a set of European-derived norms of behavior. The emancipated were called the peasantry of
Education was another important factor tied to the church. For the missionaries it was a way to ensure that true spiritual change existed, it also worked as a monitor on belief, lifestyle and progress. Education was also tied closely to religion because the students were mainly taught from the Bible, which meant that most were now given the opportunity to read. There are a lot of reasons why the missionaries supported education: perhaps to have more church members, more ministers and money. Most schools were built next to or in the vicinity of a church. The church members built these schools and gave voluntary donations to support them. “The opinion that religion consisted only in an occasional attendance at the parish church is no longer general. It begins to be regarded as a daily and personal concern, and has become the subject of conversation in families where a little time ago it would have been considered ridicule or contempt.”  The schools also introduced more sanitation and gave girls at least some opportunity to seek an education as well.
Now that the Sabbath was accessible to all, missionaries expected all to attend and make it their first priority. However, many people refused. Others were part of the church yet held on to African-derived beliefs about such things as cures, remedies and superstitions. Others moved away from the white people and the plantations because they reminded them of their life as slaves. This could be a result of these people being taken away from their lives, forced into an inhumane life and now being pinned and persuaded to a lifestyle that was not theirs. On the other hand these people were exposed to Christianity from an early stage. So by the time emancipation came to light, they were very shaped around this concept because they had nothing else to look forward to. They embraced religion as a support system; many were attracted to the message of equality, which stood in such contrast to the life of slavery. On the positive side of things, the missionaries helped those who were worn out and hopeless to believe in something. They helped them adjust to the real world, to celebrate and enjoy their freedom in a nonviolent form. They brought them towards education and work that would not be abused with its wages. The bible was no longer a foreign book and lines of people waiting to attend services daily replaced going to church on special occasions.
Hope Masterson Wadell, Twenty-nine
years in the
 Phillipo, 114.
 Phillipo 145.
 Wadell, 59
 Phillipo, 162. This quote refers to the improvements the missionaries’ efforts brought to the newly freed people.