White, John
1866-1933; e.m. 1892

WM missionary in Africa, born on 6 January 1866 at Dearham, near Whitehaven. He trained for the ministry at Didsbury College, where a visit by David Hill persuaded him to offer for service overseas rather than at home. After two years in Transvaal, he moved to Rhodesia (now Zambia), where work had begun in 1891, and served there from 1894 to 1932, mainly in Mashonaland, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). His Shona NT was published in 1907. As District Chairman 1901-26 he travelled extensively, establishing new work north of the Zambezi and among uprooted Africans in the new mine compounds. At Nenguwo he established the Waddilove Institution and was for many years its Principal. Although he attacked brutal African and European practices alike with the same passion for justice, he was known, and in some white circles hated, as a friend of the voiceless, voteless African, notably in the 1896 Shona rebellion, the 1922 famine and the persistent arguments about African land rights. In spite of ill-health he was the acknowledged leader of the regular Missionary Conferences which were influential in the life of the colony. He died in Birmingham on 7 August 1933.

  • Methodist Recorder, 10 Aug. 1933
  • C.F. Andrews, John White of Mashonaland (1935)
  • Horton Davies, Great South African Christians (Cape Town, 1951) pp.169-80