ABSTRACT

‘Methodism was born in song’, so says the opening sentence of the preface to the 1933 edition of the Methodist Hymn Book. That edition, inherited from the Wesleyan Missionary Society from the early nineteenth century, is still in use in many Methodist Churches of British descent in Africa. Using the West African country of Ghana as a case study, this article reflects on select ‘hymns of the Holy Spirit’ in the hymn book. Through these hymns of the Spirit, we capture some of the main theological underpinnings of Wesleyan pneumatology as understood within an African context in which Methodism remains a formidable denomination. The influence of Methodism on Christianity in Africa has been through its hymn-singing culture. The Wesleyan theology of the Holy Spirit as the source of regeneration, sanctification, and empowerment is evident in the pneumatological hymns in the collection.

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