Missionary H.B. Garlock’s 1948 Eloquent Condemnation of Colonialism and Racial Discrimination


This Week in AG History–June 5, 1948
By Darrin Rodgers

Also published in PE News, 4 June 2015

H. B. Garlock, a long-time Assemblies of God missionary to Africa, reported on his extensive travels throughout Africa in an article published in the June 5, 1948, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Garlock provided readers with a vivid description of the colonialism and oppression on the African continent. He recounted, “We saw the black man slapped, cuffed, kicked, abused and manhandled. Thousands of them are caught, and made to work in mines or on roads at very low wages. The commodities that the white man enjoys such as cocoa, tea, coffee, rubber, mahogany, palm oil, gold and diamonds, represent the forced labor, toil, sweat and many times the tears of an enslaved or underpaid black man.”

Responding to these inhumane conditions, Garlock condemned racial segregation and discrimination. He wrote, “to discriminate against a person created in the image of God because of the color of his skin is inhuman, un-Christian, and unpardonable.” He furthermore likened the plight of the African to Christ, noting that the African “bears a heavy cross.”

Notably, Garlock condemned racial segregation and discrimination at a time when racial strife was increasing in America. Anticipating criticism from some American readers who might call him a “race baiter,” Garlock acknowledged the existence of racial tensions in the United States. “Whose fault is it?” Responding to this rhetorical question, Garlock suggested: “Our fathers have eaten green apples and their children have the stomach-ache.”

Garlock carefully contrasted oppressive colonialism to the indigenous church principle practiced by the Assemblies of God. Garlock related numerous stories about mature and effective African Pentecostal leaders, encouraging readers to support Assemblies of God missionaries who work alongside indigenous African churches.

Read H. B. Garlock’s article, “Africa and Her People,” on pages 2-3 and 12-14 of the June 5, 1948, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
• “Healing for All,” by J. M. Mullens
• “Prostrated under Divine Power,” by J. Narver Gortner
And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: archives@ag.org

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