Histories of the modern missionary movement frequently assert that converts were more successful missionaries than Europeans yet details of their work remain sparse. This article examines influential factors in the spread of Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa in two ways. It explores the complex and variable processes through life sketches of the African missionaries, Bernard Mizeki, Leonard Kamungu and Apolo Kivebulaya, who worked with the Anglican mission agencies SPG, UMCA and CMS, respectively. It identifies common elements for further scrutiny including the role of travel, translation and communication, and the development of continental centres of Christianity and the trajectories between them and local hubs of mission activity. The transnational turn of contemporary history is employed and critiqued to scrutinise the relations between the local and global in order to comprehend the appeal of Christianity in the colonial era.