Dictionary of African Christian Biography

Welcome to the DACB-Wiki Project!

What is DACB-Wiki?

DACB-Wiki is a project associated with the Dictionary of African Christian Biography (www.DACB.org) whose vision is to record the memory of the church in Africa. Since 1998 when the DACB first went online, our focus has been to collect the biographies of the key figures of the African church throughout the ages, over the entire continent, and in every denomination that identifies itself as Christian. For more on the DACB’s beginnings  see:http://www.dacb.org/introduction.html and for the DACB’s vision see:  http://www.dacb.org/xnmaps.html.
As an associated project, DACB-Wiki espouses the same vision as the DACB. By establishing this Wiki site, our desire is to make it possible for anyone anywhere in the world to contribute to this effort to keep the memory of the African church alive for present and future generations.

Who can contribute to DACB-Wiki? 

Because it is a Wiki site, anyone can contribute as long as they register and give a working email address. We ask that people indicate the sources of their information when they add to a biography. This could be as simple as listing your grandmother’s name, the place, and the approximate date she told you this or “Interview with Mr. Smith, the local herbalist, (location), (date of interview)” or it could be a reference to a written source such as a funeral booklet or a published work. For more on how to list sources see http://www.dacb.org/FinalInstrManual.pdf, p. 25-36.

DISCLAIMER: As the content here is peer contributed, articles on the DACB-Wiki should not be considered as authoritative academic articles and should be used with great care and a critical eye to the sources listed, the contributors, and the content. These articles are neither created by nor endorsed by the DACB and its editors. 

I want to contribute a biography. How do I get started?

On the DACB-Wiki Home page (this one), click on the “Create new account” link and fill out the required information. As long as you have a functional email address, you can start right away. You need an email address to retrieve the link that will activate your account. Your email address allows DACB-Wiki editors to contact you if necessary. For more information on creating a biography for DACB-Wiki, see http://www.dacb.org/wiki/how-create-biography-guidelines-writers.

What kind of people can be included in DACB-Wiki?

DACB-Wiki guidelines are the same as those of the DACB: Any individual who has played a key role in the birth or growth of the church in Africa can and should be included. This means:
– Any person in the history of the African church all the way back to the time of Jesus
– Individuals from any denomination that calls itself Christian (based on their self definition as Christians): inclusivity is the norm, not exclusivity.
– Individuals from any African country, living in Africa or abroad (diaspora Christians)
– Non Africans: missionaries, for example
– Academics, theologians, politicians, lay people, women, children
– Non Christians who aided the church
– Any person on the local, regional, national or denomination level deemed to have played a role in the church’s planting, watering or growth

In other words, this means that you, as a contributor, decide whether a certain individual merits inclusion in DACB-Wiki for the role they have played in the African church. They must, however, be DECEASED.

Who should NOT be included in DACB-Wiki?

LIVING SUBJECTS: Individuals who are still alive and active in their fields should not be included in DACB-Wiki. The purpose of DACB-Wiki is to record the histories of African church figures—those who have died—it is not meant to be a “Who’s Who” of living subjects whose stories are as yet unfinished. There are also complications and issues of discretion that arise when writing about individuals who are still alive.

In addition, autobiographies are not acceptable.

N.B. Biographies on living subjects and autobiographies will be removed.

What should be included in a biography?

Here are general guidelines for information that should be included in a biography. For more writer resources please see: http://www.dacb.org/resources.html. The article should be written out in full sentences (not bullet points), broken into paragraphs, with sub headings as necessary :

1. Given name(s) of Person. As necessary, provide explanations of these names.

  • Baptismal names
  • Kinship names
  • Nicknames

2. Family names. If there is more than one spouse, list the children under the appropriate mother or father.

  • Ethno-linguistic group
  • Kinship group
  • Father
  • Mother
  • Wife/Wives
  • Husband/Husbands
  • Children
  • Grandchildren

3. Life Story

  • Date or approximate date of birth
  • Place of birth: village, city, province, nation
  • Unusual circumstances associated with birth
  • Formative experiences, such as illnesses, personal misfortunes, tragedies, visions, etc.
  • Education, degrees (including dates)
  • Conversion (including date, if applicable)
  • Calling and/or ordination to ministry (including date)
  • Date or approximate date, place, and circumstances of death

4. Nationality / citizenship
5. Languages, including first, second, third, fourth, fifth, etc.
6. Church affiliation

  • Roman Catholic
  • Orthodox; Coptic
  • Protestant (Conciliar, Evangelical, Anabaptist)
  • Independent (African initiated, Spiritual, Pentecostal / charismatic)

7. Names, locations, and descriptions of churches begun or served by the Subject
8. Ministry details: Where? How long? What happened? Short term and long term impact? (Please provide detailed information wherever possible, including anecdotes, stories, and hearsay)
9. Continuing influence and significance of the Subject
10. Publications, reports, writings, letters, musical compositions, artistic contributions by the Subject
11. Sources of information about the Subject

  • Unpublished
  • Eyewitness accounts (give names and addresses of storytellers who are or were eyewitnesses; include details of their relationship to the Subject) Oral and anecdotal (give names and addresses of storytellers wherever possible, and include details of their relationship to the Subject)
  • Published (include full bibliographic data wherever possible): book title, author, publisher, year of publication; title of chapter within a book, author of the chapter, title of the book, name of the editor of the book, full publication data; title of article in periodical, author of article, periodical title, date of periodical, page numbers of article, place of publication.)

12. Other pertinent information

What will happen to these biographies?

When a biography reaches a certain level of completion and shows adequate source material, we will integrate it into the permanent DACB online database.

Who edits these biographies? 

As this is a Wiki site, the stories are peer edited. The list of sources indicates how many people have contributed to the content of a specific story. As the number of writers increases on DACB-Wiki, certain people will emerge as editors. We encourage those with the knowledge and desire to be actively involved in the Wiki as editors to write us at DACB@OMSC.org.

English is not my native language. Can I write in another language?

At the present time, we only can provide editorial oversight in English and in French, so DACB-Wiki will accept contributions in those two languages. Eventually, we would like to add other languages, as editors in those languages volunteer their services for the site.

Source/Revision Information
04/14/2012 09:04 by admin ()


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