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Reverand Banfield was a minister of the United Church of Canada. In 1901 he was sent to Nigeria with the Pioneer Party of the Africa Industrial Mission (also known as the Sudan Interior Mission). For many years he worked among the Nube people in interior Nigeria. In 1905 he returned to Canada to marry Althea Priest. In 1915 he was appointed General Secretary for West Africa for the British and Foreign Bible Society of London, and during that period he traveled all over the continent, including one trip of 11,500 miles completed in seven and a half months. He and his wife returned to Ontario, Canada c. 1930.