Christians mark David Livingstone’s bicentenary

Christians have been remembering the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone, as today marks 200 years since his birth.

A conference was held in Edinburgh on Saturday to consider Dr Livingstone’s legacy.

He was born in the Scottish town of Blantyre and went to Africa as a medical missionary in 1840.


He felt his mission was to reach new peoples in the interior of Africa and introduce them to Christianity, as well as free them from slavery.

Dr Livingstone returned to Britain in the late 1850s as a national hero, before returning to Africa.

Much of his work as a missionary and doctor was in what is now Malawi.


The Right Reverend James Tengatenga, Bishop of Southern Malawi, said Dr Livingstone was different to other missionaries of his day because of the respect he showed for indigenous cultures and languages.

He said that many Christians in Malawi trace their faith in some part back to the missionary.

Bishop Tengatenga said the story of his church “is not complete without giving David Livingstone a place or role in it.”


“I can’t tell the story of my faith without telling the story of David Livingstone”, he said.

The president of Malawi, Dr Joyce Banda, came to visit the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre at the weekend as part of celebrations to mark the bicentenary of his birth.

She also attended a church service with First Minister Alex Salmond.