PODCAST: Whyte House Family Spoken Nonfiction Books #117: “100 Most Influential Black Christians in History” — Charlotte M. Maxeke

Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Nonfiction Books podcast: Black History Month edition episode #117. Today we are celebrating the life of Charlotte M. Maxeke from the book “100 Most Influential Black Christians in History” compiled and edited by the editors of BCNN1.

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Charlotte M. Maxeke
Singer and AME leader

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:12)

Charlotte is an argument for the education of African girls to lead exemplary lives as wives and as leaders of our womanhood to better things…Africa thanks God for Charlotte. (Alfred Xuma on Charlotte Maxeke)

Maxeke was a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first African woman from South Africa to obtain a B.Sc. and the first African woman to be made a probation officer. She may also be called the ‘Mother of Ethiopia’ because of the part that she played in the amalgamation of the Ethiopian Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She was born on 7 April 1872, near Fort Beaufort. Her mother was a teacher and her father a foreman on the road gangs. He was also a lay preacher in the Presbyterian Church. Charlotte attended primary school in Uitenhage and senior school in Port Elizabeth. She planned to be a teacher.

Just before the family moved to Kimberley in 1890 Charlotte and her sister Katy were invited to join the Jubilee singers and tour Britain. This was an exciting time and the choir was even asked to sing for Queen Victoria. During the tour, Charlotte met students from Wilberforce University in America and realised for the first time that in America there were opportunities for black students which were not available in South Africa. The two sisters learned to speak English fluently with a British accent. When they returned home both were given the opportunity of touring America with the McAdoo singers. Charlotte travelled to America to join the choir.

While in America she met Bishop Derrick of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who arranged for her to study at Wilberforce University, Ohio.

Maxeke was a founding member and president of the Bantu Women’s League, a forerunner of the ANC Women’s League. Her husband had been a member of the ANC from its inception so she had the interests of the organisation at heart. Maxeke, through the league, worked for the relaxation of the Free State pass laws.

When the Maxekes moved to Johannesburg, Charlotte’s concerns centered on the church. She involved herself in social action and started an employment bureau. She was made a probation officer, the first African woman to hold such a post.

In 1928 Maxeke was sent to America as a delegate to the AMEC Conference. Busy to the end, she died in 1939.


Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family nonfiction books. You may purchase a copy of this book and any other Christian nonfiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.

Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

May God bless you until next time.

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