The part of the reading that I found most intriguing was the account by Francis Le Jau, in chapter three of Milton C. Sernett’s African American Religious History: A Documentary Witness. His account of his church and of his efforts to convert various members of his community was eye-opening as to the difficulties posed by the resistance of society and by the planters within the society (Sernett 25). Francis Le Jau struggled to convert more members to his church despite the resistance, though he faced great trepidation throughout society regarding the effect of educating the slaves. He did manage to convert and baptize a few, a success he recorded with pride in his letters. It was also interesting to read the measures that Francis Le Jau put in place in order to satisfy the reservations of society, such as requiring the consent of the planter who owned the slave, as well as ensuring that he clarified the purpose of baptism before proceeding to baptize the converted new member of the congregation (Sernett 26).
Le Jau’s account stood out from the other readings for this week due to his focus on his religion and spreading it despite the resistance from those around him. The other accounts we read this week involved accounts of native religious practices, as well as the adaptations and changes that happened within those practices, but it was interesting to read of Le Jau’s lack of focus on native religions but rather on the best methods of converting as many people as possible to his church. His clear focus and sense of purpose, which prevailed even over the obstacles before him, provided a fascinating contrast to the perspectives of the other readings.
I found a picture of Francis Le Jau’s church: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/csas200803881/.