Born in Bushmills, Co. Antrim, he was received as a preacher in the Irish Primitive Wesleyan Methodist connexion in 1822. He quickly demonstrated a talent for controversial and anti-Catholic pamphleteering. In 1825 he was one of two preachers sent to England by the PWM Conference to assist Mark Robinson and other leaders at Beverley in establishing an English 'Church Methodist' Connexion on similar lines to their own economy. The experiment was short-lived and ended in mutual recrimination. In 1827 MacAfee was received into the Irish WM itinerancy and subsequently gained some celebrity by his Letters to Daniel O'Connell (1840). He died in London.