A great four-volume history presenting in comprehensive perspective, within the limits of a single narrative, the various attempts to plant and develop Christianity in Africa. The method of presentation is chronological rather than regional, taking the whole story forward stage by stage rather than dealing completely with one region at a time. As Groves shows in his continental survey, Christianity is now in the midst of its third great attempt to occupy Africa. Volume I (to 1840) deals with the land and its people; Christianity in the Apostolic Age; the early church in North Africa; Islam; slavery; the formation of Missionary Societies and the arrival of David Livingstone. Volume II (1840-1878) covers the years in which the Christian faith ' following the trail-blazing of Livingstone and Stanley in Central Africa and the Congo respectively ' leaped ahead and became one of the formative factors in African life Volume III (1878-1914) continues the account of the European penetration into Africa and describes the effect of the 'scramble for Africa' on the work of the various Christian missions and the growth of the Christian Churches. Volume IV (1914-1954) surveys the period after the First World War in which startling and momentous changes took place, with upheavals in African society which have permanently affected the spread and influence of Christianity, and goes up to the era of decolonisation, which created an entirely new social and political background for the churches.
Dr Charles Pelham Groves was Professor of Missions at the Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham. He served in Eastern Nigeria as a missionary for thirteen years and was President of the Society for African Church History.