Samuel Ajayi Crowther was a legendary African Hero, a linguist, and the first African Anglican Bishop.
Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther was born in about 1807, at Osogun, now Iseyin Local Government Area in Oyo State.
At about 13 years of age, he was captured alongside others by slave merchants and sold into slavery.
On their way to America, where they would be resold, the Ship that was carrying them was intercepted by the British Navy’s Anti-slave trade patrol and was diverted to Freetown, Sierra Leone, where all the slaves on board were set free.
The young captured Ajayi became a Christian while in Freetown, Sierra Leone. And after been baptized, he was adopted by Samuel Crowther, an eminent clergyman in England.
Ajayi Crowther was then taken to England in 1826, to attend St Mary’s Church and the Church’s school.
In 1827, he returned and joined others as pioneer student of the newly opened Fourah Bay College, an Anglican Missionary school.
He studied different languages Greek, Latin and Temne. He also taught in various schools.
Samuel Ajayi Crowther made a remarkable impact in the Niger Expedition. And he was ordained alongside with Henry Townsend and C.A Gollmer in 1843. He then opened a new mission in Abeokuta.
In the production of the Yoruba version of the Bible, Ajayi Crowther played a very prominent role, which set standards for the translations of other African Languages.
In 1851, he visited Britain which influenced the British government, the Public and the Church to direct their attention on Africa.
This, in fact, contributed to his opening a new mission on the Niger Area in 1857.
In 1864 Crowther was appointed Bishop of the countries of Western Africa beyond the Queen’s dominions.
Crowther pioneered an early form of Christian-Muslim dialogue for Africa in the upper and middle Niger territories.
With notable results at different centers, he supervised J.C. Taylor’s groundbreaking work in Igboland and directed the evangelization of Bonny and the Niger Delta Regions.