Famous Black Spiritual & Religious Leaders

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 1 
T. B. Joshua
(Televangelist, Faith Healer)
T. B. Joshua
7
Birthdate: June 12, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arigidi, Nigeria
Died: June 5, 2021

Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist T. B. Joshua is the founder of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN). He is extremely popular across Africa and Latin America, and his YouTube channel, Emmanuel TV, has over a million subscribers. He is considered one of the most influential people from Africa and is the recipient of several awards. 

 2 
Stella Immanuel
(Physician, writer)
Stella Immanuel
10
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Cameroon
 3 
Bernice King
(Minister)
Bernice King
8
Birthdate: March 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Bernice King is an American minister best known as the daughter of the popular activist and leader Martin Luther King Jr. Over the years, Barnice King has supported many noble causes for which she has been honored with several awards. In 2009, she was honored at the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Convention for her service to women.

 4 
Ralph Abernathy
(American Civil Rights Activist and 2nd President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1968 - 1977))
Ralph Abernathy
4
Birthdate: March 11, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Linden, Alabama, United States
Died: April 17, 1990
American civil rights activist Ralph Abernathy collaborated with Martin Luther King Jr to create the Montgomery Improvement Association.  Abernathy, who also served as an advisory committee member of the Congress on Racial Equality, addressed the United Nations about world peace in 1971. During the Wounded Knee incident of 1973, he helped broker a deal between the FBI and Indian protestors.
 5 
Denmark Vesey
(Early 19th Century Free Black Pastor and Community Leader Accused of Planning the 1822 Slave Revolt)
Denmark Vesey
4
Birthdate: 1767 AD
Birthplace: Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Died: July 2, 1822

Sold as a slave in childhood, Denmark Vesey adopted the surname of his master. He later purchased his freedom with the money he had won in a lottery. Earning a living as a carpenter, he simultaneously launched a slave rebellion and planned a coup but was eventually hanged to death.

 6 
Enoch Adeboye
6
Birthdate: March 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ifewara, Osun State, Nigeria

Better known as Daddy Go, Nigerian pastor Enoch Adeboye serves the Redeemed Christian Church of God and has millions of followers. However, the media has often called out his sexist attitude, reflected in his social-media posts, one of which advised men to marry only women who could cook.

 7 
John Sentamu
(Politician, Priest, Cleric)
John Sentamu
3
Birthdate: June 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kampala

Born in Uganda, John Sentamu was a Supreme Court lawyer in his country before he fled to the U.K., having faced jail for criticizing President Idi Amin. He later devoted himself to theology and became the Archbishop of York, thus also becoming first black Archbishop of Britain.

 8 
Wilton D. Gregory
(Religious leader)
Wilton D. Gregory
5
Birthdate: December 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

Wilton D. Gregory, the Archbishop of Washington, is widely known as the first African-American cardinal. He had aspired to become a priest even before being baptized at age 11. One of his greatest contributions was his efforts to counter incidents of child sex abuse within the church.

 9 
Francis Arinze
(Nigerian Cardinal of the Catholic Church)
Francis Arinze
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Onitsha
Francis Arinze is a Nigerian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. One of the leading advisors to Pope John Paul II, Arinze remained close to the pope until his demise in 2005. Francis Arinze has also published many books including God's Invisible Hand and Religions for Peace.
 10 
Wovoka
(Religious leader)
Wovoka
5
Birthdate: 1856 AD
Birthplace: Smith Valley, Nevada, U.S.
Died: September 29, 1932

Native American leader Jack Wilson, or Wovoka, was the man behind the cult of the Ghost Dance. He believed the dance was a way through which the living Native Americans could unite with the spirits of their dead ancestors and make them fight on their behalf to drive out the Whites.

 11 
Peter Turkson
(Cardinal)
Peter Turkson
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wassaw Nsuta, Western Ghana

Peter Turkson is a Ghanaian cardinal of the Catholic Church. From 2009 to 2017, he was president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. In 2017, he became the first Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.  Pope John Paul II made Turkson a cardinal in 2003, and he is widely regarded as papabile. 

 12 
John Chilembwe
2
Birthdate: 1871
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chiradzulu, Malawi
Died: February 3, 1915
 13 
Janani Luwum
(Archbishops)
Janani Luwum
0
Birthdate: 1922 AD
Birthplace: Kitgum, Uganda
Died: February 17, 1977
 14 
Simon Kimbangu
(Religious Leader)
Simon Kimbangu
2
Birthdate: September 12, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nkamba, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Died: October 12, 1951
 15 
Abune Paulos
(Ethiopian patriarch for Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (1992-2012))
Abune Paulos
2
Birthdate: November 3, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Adwa, Ethiopia
Died: August 16, 2012

Ethiopian religious leader Abune Paulos, who led the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church for 2 decades, began his journey as a trainee deacon in his youth. He later joined the doctoral program at the Princeton Theological Seminary. His humanitarian work earned him a Nansen Medal from the UNCHR.

 16 
Alexander Crummell
(American Scholar and Episcopalian Minister)
Alexander Crummell
2
Birthdate: March 3, 1819
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 10, 1898

Alexander Crummell was an African-American minister, African nationalist, and academic. He studied at the University of Cambridge with the support of abolitionists and developed the concepts of pan-Africanism while studying at the university. He worked towards educating Africans and spent 20 years in Liberia. He is also credited with founding St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

 17 
Leon Sullivan
(American Human Rights Activist Known for His Work to Help Create Job Opportunities for African Americans)
Leon Sullivan
2
Birthdate: October 16, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Charleston, West Virginia, United States
Died: April 24, 2001

Born into a poor neighborhood, Leon Sullivan later bagged an athletic scholarship but had to abandon his sports career due to an injury. He later became a Zion Baptist Church pastor and was actively involved in the civil rights movement and Operation Breadbasket, the latter meant to uplift Blacks economically.

 18 
Malidoma Patrice Somé
(West African writer and workshop leader, primarily in the field of spirituality)
Malidoma Patrice Somé
0
Birthdate: 1956 AD
Birthplace: Dano, Burkina Faso
 19 
Sarah Ann Gill
(Social and Religious leader in Barbados during the era of slavery)
Sarah Ann Gill
1
Birthdate: February 16, 1795
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barbados
Died: February 25, 1866
 20 
Alysa Stanton
1
Birthdate: August 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
 21 
Peter Akinola
(Former Primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria)
Peter Akinola
1
Birthdate: January 27, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Abeokuta, Nigeria
Peter Akinola is the former Primate of the Anglican church in Nigeria. He was also the first Archbishop of the Abuja Province. In 2006, Peter Akinola was named among the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine under the Leaders and Revolutionaries category.
 22 
Fred Luter, Jr.
(Religious leader)
Fred Luter, Jr.
1
Birthdate: November 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
 23 
Bernard Mizeki
(Religious Leader)
Bernard Mizeki
0
Birthdate: 1861 AD
Birthplace: Portuguese Mozambique
Died: June 18, 1896
 24 
Emmanuel Oshoffa
(Pastor and Spiritual head)
Emmanuel Oshoffa
0
Birthdate: December 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Porto-Novo, Benin
 25 
Arnold Josiah Ford
(Spiritual leader, recognized as a pioneering figure of the Black Hebrew movement)
Arnold Josiah Ford
1
Birthdate: April 23, 1877
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barbados Island, Barbados
Died: September 16, 1935
 26 
Mai Chaza
(Church leader)
Mai Chaza
1
Birthdate: 1914 AD
Birthplace: Buhera, Zimbabwe
Died: December 26, 1960
Alexandre José Maria dos Santos
0
Birthdate: March 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zavala, Mozambique
Died: September 29, 2021
 28 
Philippe Ouédraogo
0
Birthdate: January 25, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Konéan Burkina Faso
 29 
Thomas Kilgore, Jr.
(Religious leader)
Thomas Kilgore, Jr.
0
Birthdate: February 20, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Woodruff, South Carolina, United States
Died: February 4, 1998
 30 
Ririkumutima
(Queen Regent of Burundi)
Ririkumutima
0
Birthplace: Kingdom of Burundi
Died: July 28, 1917