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March in global missions history: It happened today
On this date in world evangelism outreach
"Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of
witnesses . . ." -- Hebrews 12:1
Ends-of-the-earth outreach: Key events, locations, people and movements in world
- March 1, 1854 -- Hudson Taylor, the eventual founder of the
China Inland Mission, lands in Shanghai, China.
- March 2, 1971 -- E.W. "Hatch"
Hatcher, Missionary Aviation Fellowship's technical training, evaluation, and orientation
director, is killed in an airplane accident near Corona, California. Also killed in the accident was
John Wilson, a potential recruit to MAF. Wilson was being given a check-out flight by
- March 3, 1870 -- Lettie B. Cowman, American
missionary and author, is born in Iowa. In 1901 Lettie and her husband would go to Japan as
missionaries where they founded the Oriental Missionary Society. After her husband's death (1924), Lettie became president of OMS and led the work until her
retirement in 1949. Her devotional guide, Streams in the Desert, first published in
1925, has been translated into fifteen foreign languages.
- March 4, 1970 -- The Theological
Convention of Confessing Fellowships publishes a declaration to counter relativistic positions
being promoted within the World Council of Churches. Peter Beyerhaus was a primary author of
that document which was titled "Frankfurt Declaration on the Fundamental Crisis of
- March 5, 1797 -- After a 207-day voyage from London, the
three-masted Duff arrives in Tahiti's Matavai Bay. The ship, commanded by
Captain John Wilson, carried 37 lay and clerical missionaries of the London Missionary Society
(L.M.S.) along with their families. Their plan was to settle on the South Pacific islands of Tahiti,
Tonga and the Marquesas.
- March 6, 1901 -- Amy Carmichael
takes in her first temple runaway, a young girl dedicated to the Hindu gods and forced into
prostitution to earn money for the priests.
- March 7, 1804 -- The British and Foreign Bible Society is formed.
- March 8, 1698 -- British missionary Thomas Bray and four laymen
found the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (S.P.C.K.) "to advance the honor of
God and the good of mankind by promoting Christian
knowledge both at home and in the other parts of the world by the best methods that should
- March 9, 1931 -- The World Radio
Missionary Fellowship (TWR) was incorporated in Lima, Ohio, by Clarence W. Jones and
Reuben Larson. Today, this interdenominational mission organization, now headquartered in
Florida, broadcasts the Gospel in fifteen languages to South America and throughout
- March 10, 1557 -- French Hugenots preach the first Protestant sermon
(based on Psalm 27:3) to be heard in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- March 11, 1812 -- Fire engulfs missionary
William Carey's print shop in Serampore, India. The fire
destroyed Carey's massive polyglot dictionary, two grammar books, sets of type for 14 eastern
languages, and whole versions of the Bible. Undaunted, Carey said, "The loss is heavy, but
as traveling a road the second time is usually done with greater ease and certainty than the first
time, so I trust the work will lose nothing of real value . . . We are cast down but not in
despair." News of the fire catapulted Carey to fame, bringing in funds and volunteer
"I will remember William Carey and the impact he had. One person might seem
unimportant, but the resulting ripples can be gigantic." -- Melony Paulus, Nazarene Bible
- March 12, 1887 -- James Read Eckard, missionary to Ceylon, dies.
- March 13, 1815 -- Presbyterian medical missionary James Hepburn is born in Milton,
Pennsylvania. Hepburn would compile the first Japanese-English dictionary and supervise the
first complete translation of the Bible into Japanese, which was published in 1888.
- March 14, 1949 -- Robert P. Evans founds the European Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1952, its name was changed to Greater Europe Mission. Today, this interdenominational
evangelical organization engages primarily in evangelism, theological education and literature
distribution. GEM has helped establish new churches in a dozen European nations.
- March 15, 1645 -- Eusebio Francisco Kino, an Italian Jesuit missionary and explorer is born.
Kino would become noted for his success in converting the Pima Indians while respecting their
customs, and for the historical value of his letters, journals, and maps. From 1687 to the end of
his life Kino worked in Pimeria Alta (now southern Arizona and northern Sonora in
- March 16, 1700 -- French missionaries report that lightning has struck a pagan temple in the
Taensa village on Lake Saint Joseph near modern Newellton, Louisiana. When the building
caught fire, the tribal shaman told the women of the tribe to throw their small children into the
fire to appease the angry god who had started the fire. French priest Francois Joliet de Montigny
attempted to stop the women.
- March 17, 461 -- Patrick, missionary to Ireland and that country's patron saint, dies. Irish
raiders captured Patrick, a Romanized Briton, and enslaved him as a youth. Patrick eventually
escaped to Gaul (modern France) but returned to Ireland after a vision called him back to preach.
Patrick had great success as a missionary, and, at his death, only the far south of Ireland remained
"I find it really cool that Patrick used the three-leaf clover to help people in Ireland
understand God being three in one." -- Eric Hokanson, Nazarene Bible College student
- March 18, 1885 -- The "Cambridge Seven" -- young British aristocrats who decided to
become missionaries to China, and thus became celebrities back home -- arrive in Shanghai.
- March 19, 1955 -- Billy Graham begins All-Scotland Crusade.
- March 20, 1747 -- David Brainerd, colonial American missionary, ended his labors among
the Indians of New Jersey and Delaware because of his deteriorating health. He had started two
and a half years earlier but was continually plagued with illness. Brainerd died of tuberculosis
seven months later. His diary, published by Jonathan Edwards, became a major force in
promoting missions work, inspiring missionaries like William Carey, Henry
Martyn, and Thomas Coke.
- March 21, 1863 -- Davis Griffiths, missionary to Madagascar who translated the Bible into
the Malagasy language, dies.
- March 22, 1901 -- "Mark Twain" has brought down upon his head the wrath of the Peking
Missionary Association and the American Board of Foreign Missions. Both organizations are
demanding that the author-humorist retract statements he made in the February issue of
The North American Review attacking missionary W. S. Ament of the American
Board of Foreign Missions concerning monies he collected from rural Chinese in payment for
properties destroyed and people killed during the Boxer rebellion.
- March 23, 332 -- Gregory the Illuminator, who converted a nation before Constantine even
embraced Christianity, dies. Under Gregory's ministry, King Tiridates of Armenia was converted.
When much of the kingdom followed suit, Christianity was established as the national religion
with Gregory as bishop.
- March 24, 1927 -- Chinese Communists seize Nanking. Missionary John E. Williams is
killed. A little more than twenty years later the communists would take control of the whole
country and ban Christianity.
- March 25, 2004 -- Funeral in Cary, North Carolina for Baptist
missionaries Larry and Jean Elliott. The Elliotts, along with two other missionaries, were killed
in a drive-by shooting in Iraq.
- March 26, 809 -- Liudger, missionary to the Friesians and Saxons, dies at about age 66.
Born near Utrecht (Modern Holland), Liudger felt called to missionary work as a result of the
death of Boniface whose work he wished to continue. Ordained a priest in 777, Liudger began a
missionary work near the mouth of the Ems river (in modern day Germany) in 787. Knowing the
language of the peoples there, he was very effective. In 793 Charlemagne offered him the
bishopric of Trier, but Liudger declined, preferring to continue his missionary work among the
- March 27, 710 -- Rupert of Salzburg (also known as Hrodbert, Robert, Rupprecht) dies in
Salzburg. Either a Frankish nobleman or an Irishman, he began his missionary work in southern
Bavaria and Austria. Instead of knocking down pagan temples, as many missionaries did, Rupert
preferred to consecrate them as Christian churches.
- March 28, 1867 -- A missionary sailing ship called Morning Star begins its
work in the Pacific under the command of Rev. Hiram Bingham. It replaces a older ship which
carried the same name. To finance the new ship, children in two thousand Sunday schools over a
period of two years gave more than $28,000. When the ship first arrived in Hawai, two thousand
Hawaiian Sunday school children marched to the wharf to see "their ship" -- for three or four
thousand out of one hundred and fifty thousand of the Morning Star's
"stockholders" were Hawaiians.
- March 29, 1828 -- Adoniram Judson reports in his diary that missionaries George and Sarah
Boardman are moving to Tavoy (now called Tavai) in southeastern Burma. George Boardman
had been educated at Andover Theological Seminary and sent to India by the Baptist Board for
Foreign Missions in 1825. Arriving in Tavoy, he began a
ministry to the Karen people that would be cut short by his death in 1831.
- March 30, 1820 -- The first Protestant missionaries arrive at the Sandwich Islands, now
known as Hawaii, where they are welcomed by King Kamehameha II.
- March 31, 1998 -- In return for an agreement by several Protestant groups not to engage in
active "proselytizing," Israeli parliament member Nissim Zvilli (Labor) announces he will
withdraw his sponsorship of an anti-missionary bill already introduced in the Knesset.
-- compiled by Howard Culbertson
Missions history resources:
Barbarian evangelization Black involvement in world missions
World missions history crossword puzzle
Exam study guides
Monastic strategy Nazarene missions Nazarene Missions International history
PowerPoint presentation: Epochs in world mission
history 1600 to the
present Syllabus Timeline
Viking evangelization William
10/40 Window explanation and
map Searching for God's
will? African martyr's
commitment Mission trip
fundraising Ten ways
to ruin mission trips Nazarene Missions
World missions course materials and syllabi
Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132
| Phone: 405-740-4149
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