Mary Slessor: Mirroring The Unique Leadership Qualities of the Old Testament Deborah – A Paradigm for Today’s Women Leaders towards Nation Building


Experience has proven that goodness does not hide and consequently, goodness cannot die! This is true about Mary Slessor, a missionary who came to Nigeria and left so much positive impact behind. The good life of this missionary has kept her ever relevant and prominent not only in the pages of history but physically in the sands of Nigeria and psychologically in the minds of people even after more than 100 years. She came for religious reasons but also ended up impacting meaningfully in political and social restructuring. Today, people still wonder where she drew her inspiration and motivation from. Even in the face of challenges of social status, race bias, language barrier, health issues and cultural difference etc, as a religious, Mary Slessor’s contributions to politics and social life were outstanding and could have very few precedence. One of such is the only female Biblical judge, Deborah. Motivated by the need to keep her legacy alive and, above all, desiring to project her religious background as the basis for her successful service to humanity, this article, using the Historical and comparative methods, highlights and appreciates the leadership qualities of Mary Slessor as mirroring those of the Biblical Deborah in Judges 4. The findings of this comparative study are revealing and impressive. Apart from the fact that an interesting correlation between Deborah and Mary Slessor which proposes to be a subject of further research and scholarship is discovered, Mary Slessor’s personal achievement assumes a more credible status and, as projected, becomes a paradigm for women leaders today.

Keywords: Mary Slessor; Leadership Qualities; Old Testament Deborah; Women Leadership; Nation Building

Article Review Status: Published

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