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Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

William Wadé Harris, a Liberian evangelist (known as 'Prophet Harris') preached on the coast for some fifteen months around 1914 before being expelled by the French authorities. In 1923 a British missionary, W.J. Platt, found groups of his converts still worshipping together. Missionaries from Britain, France and Dahomey were sent to consolidate the work, which was at first concentrated in the South-East of the country. Initially part of the French West Africa District, a separate Ivory Coast District was formed in 1957 and became an autonomous Conference in 1984. Its circuits now cover almost all the country and it is the largest Protestant Church in Côte d'Ivoire, reporting a membership of 1,400,000 in 2002, with a community role of 1,400,000. There is extensive educational work and a Methodist Hospital opened in Dabou in 1968, thanks to fund-raising efforts fronted by MAYC. In 2004 the Conference was admitted to membership of the (American) United Methodist Church.

Sources

  • W.J. Platt, An African Prophet: the Ivory Coast Movement and what came of it (1934)
  • G. M.Haliburton, The Prophet Harris (1971)
  • David Shanks, Prophet Harris, the 'Black Elijah' of West Africa (1994)
  • John Pritchard, 'The prophet Harris', in Peter Forsaith and Martin Wellings (eds.). Methodism and History (2010) pp.149-56
  • Methodist Recorder, 12 April 2013, 24 May 2013

Entry written by: JRP
Category: Place

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