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Historical Pursuit of the Purpose of God with Reference to West Africa | William Allen Poe, D. D. Ph.D.

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Historical Pursuit of the Purpose of God with Reference to West Africa | William Allen Poe, D. D. Ph.D.

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Historical Pursuit of the Purpose of God offers William Poe’s theological and biblical thoughts, informed by a unique perspective based on his knowledge of what was achieved when a strong missionary society agreed to cooperate with a sympathetic government in advancing Christian schools in West Africa. In the early eighteenth century, the British government was successful in claiming this prosperous part of West Africa, which they identified as the Gold Coast. This period of history, centered in the eighteenth century, came to be known by historians as “the scramble for Africa,” and a scramble it was. Germany gained colonies that were then snatched from her at the end of World War I. Italy, Belgium, Portugal, and others likewise gained colonies, but by any measure, Great Britain gained the upper hand, the largest population, and most prosperous territory. Out of it, France emerged with the largest territory.

Dr. Poe has observed that most African chieftains appear to hold an authentic desire for the best for their people. He is grateful to have served in West Africa at a time when such sentiment was increasingly the case; likewise, concern for women and their role in society was steadily on the rise. God’s purpose was at work, even though less pointed or obvious. One thing about all divine purpose is that it moves at the eternal will, and at His pace, whatever historical situations may develop in the yet unborn cycles of time.


William Allen Poe is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and a graduate of Howard College (now Samford University).  He graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Soon after that, he and his wife, Beth Kelley Poe (now deceased) served as missionaries in West Africa for 14 years. Upon returning to the United States, he received a Ph.D. in European History from the University of Alabama.

His research relating to this was done in England and France. After completing his Ph.D., he taught at William Jewell College in Missouri and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  He has also pastored churches in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama over the years. He now resides in a retirement community in Birmingham, Alabama.


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