Rock-Star Atheist Becomes Africa Missionary

Themi Adams
(Father Themi Adams)

Fr. Dr Themi Adams considers himself wilder and braver than his rock star contemporaries. Not because he bites off bat heads or taunts the media with a bad boy image—but because he delivers aid to some of Africa’s most dangerous communities.

Born to Egyptian and Greek parents, Fr. Dr Themi Adams was born as Themi Adamopulous and raised in Australia. Growing up as a staunch Marxist and atheist, Adams turned away from God and picked up a bass guitar in the 1960s. He soon started a band called The Flies.

The Flies went on to become one of the more memorable indie bands of the era. The group toured with The Beatles and gained a global following. Adams eventually found himself in the United States at Princeton and Harvard University.

“It was at this time that I suddenly became moved by the overwhelming needs of the oppressed and disadvantaged people in the Third World” says Adams, who is now a devout and radical Orthodox missionary. Adams has dedicated his life to helping the poor.

“I decided that something needed to be done—and that my current lifestyle was not the most productive in the eyes of God,” Adams continues. He spent the next decade living in the outer slum areas of Nairobi, fulfilling his calling as a devoted missionary.
After 10 years of missionary work, he felt called to address a greater need in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

“The entire world had turned its back on the country, and they were in great need of help,” Adams says. “So, I fought the impossible odds and went into the country, alone, to set up a mission and controversially deliver aid to all who needed it.”

Media around the world have been captivated by Adams’ ability to get things done in hard territories where others have failed. In fact, his authority-defying attitude has earned him many notable relationships with government officials in African countries.

Adams, for example, is a close advisor and personal friend of Ernest Bai Koroma, the fourth president of Sierra Leone. This close-knit relationship led to the formation of Paradise Kids for Africa (PK4A), an organization with a mandate to help some of the world’s poorest people.

“The secret of the mission is to respect the Africans and to understand them,” Adams says. “The war has left so many people disabled, and because of the war there was no vaccinations in the 80s, the polio cases had reached catastrophic proportions. That has contributed to the high number of disabled in the country.”


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