William Knibb

1803-1845. Perhaps the best known of the early Baptist missionaries in Jamaica, he arrived in the island in 1824 to manage the Kingston school. In 1830 he went as minister to Falmouth, near Montego Bay, where he remained until his death. His ministry in Falmouth spans momentous years: the slave revolt of 1831-32, the persecution of evangelicals which followed it, emancipation, the shift from plantation to freehold residence-all crowd into the fifteen years of Knibb's ministry. His principal contribution in these events was as propagandist. A vigorous and flamboyant orator, he could always be counted on to flay the devil. In 1832 and again in 1841, when the Baptists badly needed an advocate in England, they sent Knibb. He was a tireless champion of the blacks, in slavery, in apprenticeship, and in freedom, when he risked his personal credit to settle the slaves on their own land. He was also a prime mover in the decision to declare the Jamaica churches independent of the Baptist Missionary Society, in the formation of Calabar College for training ministers, and in organizing the first West Indian mission to Africa.

See H.J. Hinton, Memoir of William Knibb, Missionary in Jamaica (1847) and G.A. Catherall, William Knibb: Freedom Fighter (1972).