1829 to 1871
South African minister.
Born in Eastern Cape Colony, Soga went to a mission school and later received more advanced education at Lovedale. He also spent two periods studying in Scotland under the auspices of Scottish Presbyterian missionaries, qualifying first as a teacher and later as a minister at the University of Glasgow. In 1856 he was ordained in Scotland in the Presbyterian Church--the first black South African to be ordained to the Christian ministry. Back in the eastern Cape, he served as a minister at Mgwali (1857-1868) and at Tutura from 1868 until his untimely death. His missionary approach was typical of the time, concentrating especially on preaching and rudimentary teaching. He had, however, a stronger interest than most in the healing dimension of Christian mission.
John A. Chalmers, Tiyo Soga: A Page of South African Mission Work, 2d ed., (1878); H. T. Cousins, From Kafir Kraal to Pulpit: The Story of Tiyo Soga (1899); W. Saayman, "Tiyo Soga and Nehemiah Tile: Black Pioneers in Mission and Church," Missionalia 17, no.2, (1989): 95-102; D. Williams, Umfundisi: A Biography of Tiyo Soga, 1829-1871 (1978) and ed., The Journal and Selected Writings of the Rev. Tiyo Soga (1983).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.