November missions history: It happened today
Exam study guides
1600 to the present
William Borden story
African martyr's commitment
Mission trip fund-raising
10 ways to
ruin a short-term mission trip
On this date in Missions history
"Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of
witnesses . . ." -- Hebrews 12:1
Key events, locations, people and movements in world evangelism
- November 1, 1998 -- In thick fog and a torrential downpour, a Living Water Teaching plane
crashes in southwestern Guatemala, killing 11 including the organization's founder Jim Zirkle.
The organization, founded in 1979, focuses on Bible schools and medical and evangelistic
campaigns in Central America.
- November 2, 1982 -- Almost 8,000 "missionary bottles" are launched from the "Loarraine
W." 50 miles off the California coast. The bottles contain gospel tracts. A year earlier the same
organization had launched 20,000 "missionary bottles" stuffed with Christian literature. A letter
from the Philippines was the only response ever received from the thousands of "missionary
bottles" launched into the Pacific Ocean on three occasions.
- November 3, 1784 -- Thomas Coke lands in New York with instructions from John Wesley
to ordain the first elders and bishops for the Methodist movement in the U.S. One of the first to
be ordained was Francis Asbury.
- November 4, 1859 -- Dutch-born, American-trained Guido Fridolin Verbeck arrives in
Nagasaki, Japan. In 1871 the Japanese Emperor took the extraordinary step of conferring on this
missionary the Order of the Rising Sun.
- November 5, 1858 -- John and Mary Paton land on the island of Tanna in the New Hebrides
(now called Vanautu). Earlier he had been warned that he might be eaten by cannibals on the
island. His response: "If I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord
Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether my body is eaten
by cannibals or by worms."
- November 6, 1832 -- Melville Cox sails for Liberia aboard the Jupiter as the first
missionary sent to a foreign field by America's Methodists.
- November 7, 739 -- Willibrord, a missionary monk who was trained in Ireland and traveled
over northwestern Europe, dies. Called the "Apostle of Frisia," he was highly instrumental in the
conversions of Germany and Scandinavia.
- November 8, 1741 -- David Brainerd receives a letter from Ebenezer Pemberton of the
Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge asking if he will consider becoming a
missionary to the American Indians.
- November 9, 1793 -- William Carey lands in Calcutta, India to begin his missionary
- November 10, 1890 -- The Central American Mission is founded by C. I. Scofield in Dallas,
Texas. In 1975 it changed its name to CAM International because of expansion into Spain.
- November 11, 397 -- Martin of Tours, a bishop responsible for the evangelization of Gaul
(modern-day France), dies.
- November 12, late 500's -- Day for celebrating Machar (also called Mochreiha or
Mochumma), a Irish missionary companion of Columba in 561 when he founded a training
center at Iona to use as a base for evangelizing Scotland. In 580 Machar was sent by Columba to
found a church at Aberdeen, Scotland.
- November 13, 877 -- Death of Devenick, a missionary sent from Whithorn in southern
Scotland to the Picts of the Dee Valley and Caithness. He founded churches at Lower Banchory
and Methlick (Scotland).
- November 14, 1998 -- At an evangelistic rally on the steps of a government building in
Montevideo, Luis Palau speaks to a crowd of 20,000, calling the nation of Uruguay to Jesus
- November 15, 1893 -- Missionary to India and prolific writer Charlotte Tucker makes the
last entry in her diary (she died on December 2). Her nom de plume or pseudonym
was A.L.O.E. (A lady of England).
- November 16, 2002 -- A religion law goes into effect in Belarus forbidding unregistered
religious activity. It requires censorship of religious literature, does not allow foreign church
leadership and puts tight restrictions on what organizations can be registered.
- November 17, 1634 -- Giordano Ansalone, missionary to Japan, is martyred in
- November 18, 1882 -- Kate and Frank Mills, American Presbyterian missionaries, arrived in
Shanghai on the steamer Hiroshima Maru. From there they traveled to Hangchow (now
called Hangzhou), where they began their missionary work.
- November 19, 1827 -- Johann Gottlieb Christaller, West African missionary and Bible
translator, was born in Wuerttemberg. Sent to the Gold Coast by the Basel Mission Society, he
served in what is now Ghana from 1853 to 1868. He founded the scientific study of West African
languages and translated the Bible into Twi (Tshi).
- November 20, 1839 -- John Williams is martyred on on the island of Erromanga (Vanuatu)
- November 21, 1866 -- African missionary-scholar Tiyo Soga finishes an adaptation of
Pilgrim's Progress into the Xhosa language. He believed that the book, with its
vivid imagery, would do more to win souls than any other he could prepare.
- November 22, 1939 -- Nurse Dorothy Davis is appointed as a Nazarene missionary to
Swaziland. After six weeks at sea crossing the Atlantic, which was then a World War II
battlefield, Davis would arrive in Africa on June 4, 1940. Because of her role in training Swazi
nurses, she will become known as "the Mother of Swazi Nurses." One of her former students,
Martha Zubuko, said, "Dorothy was not only a nurse; she was a preacher." For her service, by
order of Queen Elizabeth II, Davis -- though an American citizen -- was honored with the
Member of the British Empire award.
- November 23, 615 -- Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus dies in Bobbio, Italy. One of
the greatest missionaries of the Middle Ages, he established monasteries in Anegray, Luxeuil,
- November 24, 1965 -- A Lutheran Social Service Center in Taipei, Taiwan, is officially
- November 25, 1742 -- The New York correspondents of the Society in Scotland for
Propagating Christian Knowledge approve David Brainerd as a missionary. By April, Brainerd
will be working among Native American Indians at Kaunaumeek, about 18 miles southeast of
what is now Albany, New York.
- November 26, 1705 -- The Lutheran Mission to East India is founded through the persuasive
efforts of a preacher in King Friedrich IV's court in Copenhagen
- November 27, 1900 -- The first American Protestant missionaries arrive in Guam
- November 28, 1978 -- Independent Baptist missionary James Dearmore is ambushed in
Rhodesia by about 50 terrorists. Though suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, he will
- November 29, 1847 -- Missionary physician Marcus Whitman, his wife, and 12 others are
killed by American Indians in Washington's Walla Walla valley. Whitman had recently returned
from a 3,000-mile journey where he had convince the American Board of Commissioners for
Foreign Missions not to close down one of his three mission stations. However, when he returned
to Washington, he unfortunately (and unknowingly) brought with him the measles virus. Many
Indians died of the disease, some because Whitman gave them vaccinations. Accusing Whitman
and other missionaries of black magic, the Indians put them to death.
- November 30, 1846 -- Presbyterian missionary John Geddie and his family set sail for
Polynesia. When Geddie died in 1872, his memorial tablet said simply: "When he landed in
1848, there were no Christians here, and when he left in 1872 there were no heathen."
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