Blest be the Ties that Bind

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David Rood, the American Board Mission in Natal and Adams College

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David A. Rood, Jr. is a descendant and namesake of the one about whom he writes.  The author’s meticulous archival research uncovers the long and faithful history of a little known, and never before written about, American Board missionary in Natal.

The Reverend David Rood (1818-1891) is the founder of Adams College (est. 1853), educational and spiritual font of many of southern Africa’s most prominent Black nationalists (Lembede, Matthews, Buthelezi, Nkomo and Khama), four of whom served as president of the African National Congress (Dube, Seme, Gumede and Luthuli).

The book expands from biography to a prominent mission’s history that began in 1835, and further, to a country’s prenatal history.  Though biographical and missiological, the text above all is ‘relational’ in that it emphasises the intricate web of relationships, horizontal and lateral, familial and ecclesiastical, that linked north Americans to each other and to southern Africans thus making his text a chronicle of the ties that bound people together to contribute substantively to southern Africa’s current modern democratic dispensation.

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David A.Rood, Jr.