Though virtually unknown today, a century ago Sheafe was by all accounts the leading figure in the rise of Adventism among African Americans. Not only that, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg described him as “a more liberally educated and cultivated man” than “any other Seventh-day Adventist minister,” adding that the church did not have “a white minister that can begin to stand next to him.”
Described by a Washington, D.C. newspaper in 1902 as the "noted apostle of Seventh Day Adventism," Sheafe is the subject of a new biography by Douglas Morgan, published by Review and Herald Publishing Association as part of its Adventist Pioneer Series.
Sheafe organized Adventism’s first predominantly black urban congregation, the People’s Church in Washington, D.C. The evangelistic campaigns that led to the church’s formation in 1903 attracted mixed-race audiences numbering in the thousands, and catapulted Sheafe to prominence in the cultural center of black America.