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T. G. Steward (Theophilus Gould), 1843-1924
Fifty Years in the Gospel Ministry from 1864 to 1914. Twenty-seven Years in the Pastorate; Sixteen Years' Active Service as Chaplain in the U. S. Army; Seven Years Professor in Wilberforce University; Two Trips to Europe; A Trip in Mexico.
[Philadelphia: Printed by A. M. E. Book Concern, 1921?].


Fifty Years in the Gospel Ministry is the autobiography of Theophilus G. Steward, a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church and a prominent theologian of the late nineteenth century. The first part of the book relates Steward's life as an itinerant pastor in the A.M.E. Church and his experience as an army chaplain. Steward preached to A.M.E. congregations in Charleston, S.C., Macon, Ga., Wilmington, Del., Haiti, Brooklyn, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pa., and Washington, D.C. He explains his successes and failures as a pastor and church-builder in each of these places. As he describes his life in these years, Steward also relates events that effect the A.M.E. Church on a larger scale. He offers information concerning the issues discussed at the annual General Conferences, as well as information concerning the various notables involved with the Church's decision-making process. As Steward relocates throughout the eastern half of the United States, he discusses the failures of Reconstruction in the South, argues against the segregation he encountered in the North, and advocates strongly for African American Civil Rights.

As an army chaplain, Steward was stationed in Montana, Colorado, the Philippines, Nebraska, and Texas. He recounts some of the racist incidents he encountered while in the army, and praises those who act against segregation and racism in the military. Before being sent to the Philippines, Steward wrote a history of black soldiers, The Colored Regulars. In the Philippines, Steward was involved with the expansion of schools for Filipinos, and he describes his contact with various Filipinos and Filipino customs.

In the second part of his book, Steward describes his travels through Scotland, England, France and Italy. At each stop, he offers historical and social background on the country and people. He offers his impressions of museums, universities, churches, and numerous other cultural highlights along the way. Steward also notes the more liberated racial climate in Europe as opposed to that of the United States. Finally, Steward concludes his book with a return to London and a description of the Universal Races Congress in 1911.

Andrew Leiter

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