(1640-c. 1690). Missionary and author. He was baptized at Bicknor, Gloucestershire, England, on Dec. 2, 1640. Godwin (sometimes spelled Godwyn) studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated in 1664. He was ordained deacon and priest and began his ministry in Virginia in 1666. Godwin returned to England around 1670 and served several cures before his death. In 1680 he published a book in which he argued for the Christianizing of the African Americans and American Indians. It was called The Negro's and Indian's Advocate suing for their Admission into the Church; or a Persuasive to the instructing and baptising of the Negros and Indians in our Plantations; shewing that as the Compliance therewith can prejudice no Man's just Interest, so the wilful neglecting and opposing of it is no less than a manifest Apostasy from the Christian Faith. To which is added, A brief Account of Religion in Virginia. Like many missionaries of the time, he argued that baptism did not imply manumission and that Christianizing the slaves would help against insurrection. He died near London.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.