Based on “Africa and the Bible from A to Z” by Tim Welch and SirNare Animation Studios

Which biblical leaders do your kids admire? Maybe Moses or Paul? Perhaps King David or Joseph? There’s definitely no shortage of strong leaders in the Bible; God has gifted many people throughout history with skill in leadership and raised them up to accomplish incredible things.

But did you know that some of the great leaders in the Bible are Africans? Though figures like Peter, Esther, and Samuel may be better known, these biblical African leaders are deeply important to the story of salvation.

When we teach our children about the people God has used throughout history, it’s important to tell them about these African leaders too. Our kids need to know that God has been using faithful Africans to accomplish his purposes since biblical times, and he’s not about to stop today!

For parents who want to encourage their kids with examples of godly African leaders, the recently-released “Africa and the Bible from A to Z” is the perfect resource. This one-of-a-kind children’s book features faithful biblical teaching from Tim Welch (author of “Africans and Africa in the Bible”) paired with striking illustrations by Kenyan illustration group SirNare Animation Studios.

Each page of “Africa and the Bible from A to Z” shares the important, inspirational ways that African people and places have contributed to the Bible’s story and served as leaders in God’s kingdom. So who are these African leaders? Let’s take a look at three of them:

A is for Apollos:

Apollos was an Egyptian man from the city of Alexandria. Since Apollos was a follower of John the Baptist, he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, but he didn’t know the details of salvation. However, he was a very eloquent speaker with a deep knowledge of Scripture. When Paul’s friends Priscilla and Aquila heard Apollos speaking, they were impressed with his cleverness! They took Apollos aside and told him that God had not only sent his Son, but also the Holy Spirit.

Encouraged and energized by the truth, Apollos travelled to Asia and Europe, where he boldly preached the gospel and helped lead several churches. Many people theorize that Apollos is the unknown author of the book of Hebrews!

P is for Phinehas:

Phinehas was the grandson of Aaron, the brother of Moses. His name means “black man” in Hebrew, which makes us think that his mother was a black African. Once, the Israelites were publicly sinning against God by worshipping Baal. In response, God sent a plague to afflict the Israelites’ camp. Filled with righteous anger, Phinehas boldly acted to stop the people who were sinning. God honoured his courage by stopping the plague, saving thousands of people. God even gave Phinehas a covenant promise that his descendants would always be Israel’s priests.

But Phinehas was not only zealous for God—he was also a patient negotiator. On one occasion, Phinehas prevented a civil war among Israel by helping the tribes communicate with each other. Eventually, Phinehas would become Israel’s third high priest.

S is for Simon Niger:

Simon Niger was one of the main leaders at the church in Antioch. Simon was most likely a native of Tunisia or Algeria—his nickname literally means “black.” At Antioch, Simon became known as a teacher and preacher.

One day, when the Christians in Antioch were worshipping Jesus, the Holy Spirit told Simon and the other elders to pray for Paul and Barnabas, and to equip them to be missionaries. Simon and the elders obeyed, laying hands on the apostles. Before long, they sent Paul and Barnabas off on their first journey. Paul’s world-changing missionary travels began with the prayers of a church leader from Africa!

Who knew there are so many godly African leaders in the Bible? You can learn about more godly Africans in “Africa and the Bible from A to Z!” As your children read this unique book, they will learn that God loves to use African leaders to accomplish his purposes. He’s been doing it for thousands of years, and he wants to use them too!

As Tim Welch writes, “When you follow Jesus, you are part of a long history of African men, women, and children who followed the God of the Bible!”

This book is now out. Get a copy or more of Africa and The Bible from A-Z on Amazon or from Oasis International Distribution partners in Africa.

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