A year-by-year look at Church history from the perspective of its global expansion
"World missions is incredibly tied in to the story of the Bible. Moreover, it represents
the main theme: Christ's mission to save us and our mission to pass that on to others." -- Anthony
Note: Earliest dates must all be considered "approximate."
30 - Pentecost and birth of the Christian church
34 - Church scattered by persecution. In Gaza, Philip baptized a convert, an Ethiopian who
was already a Jewish proselyte.
39 - Peter preached to the Gentiles
42 - Mark went to Egypt
49 - Jerusalem Council on admitting Gentiles into the Church 48 - Paul (formerly known as
Saul of Tarsus) began his first missionary journey to modern-day Turkey.
51 - Paul began his second missionary journey, a trip that took him through Turkey and
on into modern-day Greece.
52 - Apostle Thomas arrived in India and founded a church that subsequently became the
Indian Orthodox Church (and its various descendants).
54 - Paul began his third missionary journey
60 - Paul, sent to Rome under armed guard, evangelizes on Malta after shipwreck.
66 -Thaddeus established the Christian church of Armenia
72 - Traditional date of the Apostle Thomas' martyrdom in India
100 - First Christians reported in Monaco, Algeria, and Sri Lanka
112 - Traditional date of martyrdom of Sharbil, Babai, and Barsamy in Edessa,
Mesopotamia. Pliny the Younger reported rapid growth of Christianity in Bithynia
117 - Emperor Hadrian executed thousands of soldiers who had converted to
150 - Gospel reached Portugal and Morocco
166 - Bishop Soter wrote that the number of Christians had surpassed the Jews
167 - At the request of Lucius of Britain, missionaries Fuganus (or Phagan) and Duvianus (or
Deruvian) were sent to convert the Britons to Christianity
174 - First Christians reported in Austria
177 - Churches in Lyon and Vienne (southern France) reported being persecuted
180 - Pantaenus preached in India
196 - Bar Daisan wrote of Christians among the Parthians, Bactrians (Kushans), and other
peoples in the Persian Empire
197 - Tertullian wrote that Christianity had penetrated all ranks of society in North
200 - First Christians reported in Switzerland and Belgium
206 - Abgar, King of Edessa, embraced the Christian faith
208 - Tertullian wrote that Christ had followers on the far side of the Roman wall in Britain
where Roman legions have not yet penetrated
250 - Denis (or Denys or Dionysius) sent from Rome along with six other missionaries to
establish the church in Paris
270 - Death of Gregory Thaumaturgus, Christian leader in Pontus (modern-day eastern
Turkey on the Black Sea). It was said that when Gregory became "bishop" there were only 17
Christians in Pontus while at his death thirty years later there were only 17 non-Christians
280 - First rural churches emerged in northern Italy. Christianity was no longer exclusively in
287 - Maurice from Egypt killed at Agauno, Switzerland for refusing to sacrifice to pagan
295 - Dudi (David) of Basra evangelized in India
300 - First Christians reported in Greater Khorasan (what is today northeastern Iran). An
estimated 10% of the world's population was Christian. The Bible was available in 10 different
304 - Armenia made Christianity its state religion
306 - The first bishop of Nisibis (in modern-day Turkey) was ordained
314 - Tiridates I of Armenia converted by Gregory the Illuminator
327 - Emperor Constantine baptized shortly before his death
328 - Frumentius took the gospel to Ethiopia
332 - Two young Christians, shipwrecked in the Red Sea, were taken as slaves to Ethiopia to
serve in the royal court. Given freedom to preach the gospel, their witness gave birth to the
333 - Ethiopian King Ezana of Axum made Christianity an official religion
334 - The first bishop was ordained for Merv in Transoxiana
340 - Ulfilas began work with the Goths in present-day Romania
350 - The Bible was translated into Saidic, an Egyptian language
354 - Theophilus "the Indian" reported visiting Christians in India. Philostorgius mentioned a
community of Christians on the Socotra islands, south of Yemen in the Arabian Sea
364 - Conversion of Vandals to Christianity during the reign of Emperor Valens
370 - Ulfilas translated the Bible into Visigothic, the first Bible translation done specifically
for missionary purposes
378 - Jerome wrote, "From India to Britain, all nations resound with the death and
resurrection of Christ."
381 - Roman Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the official state religion
382 - Jerome commissioned to translate the Bible into Latin
386 - Augustine of Hippo converted
390 - Nestorian missionary Abdyeshu built a monastery on the island of Bahrain in the
397 - Ninian evangelized the Southern Picts of Scotland. Three missionaries sent to the
mountaineers in the Trento region of northern Italy were martyred
410 - New Testament was translated into Armenian
420 - An Arabian Bedouin tribe was converted under sheik Peter-Aspebet
425 - The first bishops were ordained for Herat (Afghanistan) and Samarkand
430 - Ninian became the first known Christian missionary in Scotland
432 - Patrick went to Ireland as missionary
"Because Patrick took the
time to fully understand the Celtic culture and language, the Celts launched as missionaries
themselves. Evangelistic efforts were exponentially multiplied, all because Patrick took the time
to really know the Celts." – Karen Allore, Nazarene Bible College student
350 - First Christians were reported in Liechtenstein.
496 - Conversion of Clovis I, king of Franks in Gaul (present day France, Luxembourg,
Belgium, most of Switzerland, and parts of Northern Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany), along
with 3,000 warriors
499 - Persian king Kavadh I, fleeing his country, met a group of Christian missionaries going
to Central Asia to preach to the Turks
500 - First Christians reported in North Yemen
508 - Philoxenus of Mabug began translation of the Bible into Syriac
528 - Benedict of Nursia destroyed a pagan temple at Monte Cassino (Italy) and built a
535 - The Hephthalite Huns - nomads living in northern China, Central Asia, and northern
India who were also known as the White Huns - were taught to read and write by Nestorian
542 - Julian (or Julianus) from Constantinople began evangelizing Nubia (a region along the
Nile river) accompanied by an Egyptian named Theodore
563 - Columba sailed from Ireland to Scotland where he founded an evangelistic training
center on Iona.
565 - The first report of a Loch Ness monster after the Irish missionary Columba visited the
Loch. Columba described an animal that broke the surface of the 800 foot-deep loch with a loud
roar and an open mouth
569 - Longinus, Bishop of Nobatia, evangelized Alodia (in what is now Sudan)
578 - Conversion to Christianity of An-numan III, last of Lachemids (Arab princes)
592 - Death of Irish missionary Moluag (Old Irish Mo-Luóc)
596 - Gregory the Great sent Augustine and a team of missionaries to (what is now)
England to reintroduce the gospel. The missionaries settled in Canterbury and within a year
baptize 10,000 people
600 - First Christian settlers in Andorra (southwestern Europe, between France and
604 - A church is reportedly planted on Thorney Island (where Westminster Abbey now
627 - Edwin of Northumbria becomes the first Christian king in the north of England
629 - Amandus of Elnon consecrated a missionary bishop. He evangelized the region
around Ghent and went on missions to Slavs along the Danube and to Basques in Navarre
631 - Conversion of the East Angles (one of the seven kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon
635 - First Christian missionaries (Nestorian monks, including Alopen, from Asia Minor and
Persia) arrived in China. Aidan of Lindisfarne began evangelizing in the heart of Northumbria
637 - Lombards, a German people living in northern Italy, became Christians
638 - A church building was erected in Ch'ang-an (north-central China), then perhaps the
largest city in the world
650 - First church organized in Netherlands
673 - Irish monk Maol Rubha founded a training center at Aprochrosan that would serve as a
base for missionary outreach into Scotland
680 - First translation of Christian Scriptures into Arabic
689 - Pagans killed Irish missionary Kilian near Würzburg in what is now Germany. His
remains were buried in a Benedictine abbey in Würzburg.
692 - Willibrord and 11 companions crossed the North Sea to become missionaries to the
Frisians (modern day Netherlands)
697 - Muslims overran Carthage, capital of North Africa
720 - Caliph Umar II put heavy pressure on the Christian Berbers to convert to Islam
722 - English missionary Boniface went to the Germanic tribes
724 - Boniface cut own the pagan sacred oak tree of Thor at
Geismar in Hesse (Germany)
740 - Irish monks reached Iceland
754 - Boniface is killed by pagans in Frisia
781 - Nestorian Stele erected near Xi'an (China) to commemorate the propagation in China
of the Luminous Religion, thus providing a written record of a Christian presence in China
787 - Liudger begins missionary work among the pagans near the mouth of the Ems river (in
modern day Germany)
822 - Mojmír I of Great Moravia (parts of modern-day Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland,
Hungary and Serbia) converted to Christianity
826 - Ansgar from France sent by Roman papal authority to Denmark as a royal chaplain
828 - First Christian church in present-day Slovakia built in Nitra
828 - First missionaries reached the area that is now the Czech Republic
830 - Scotch-born Erluph was evangelizing in (what is now) Germany when he was killed by
859 - Execution of Eulogius, proponent of confrontational Christian witness in Muslim
societies. Opposed to any feeling of affinity with Muslim culture, Eulogius advocated using a
missiology of martyrdom to confront Islam.
863 - Cyril and Methodius were invited by Rastislav to evangelize in Great Moravia and the
Balaton Principality (southwestern Hungary)
864 - Conversion of Prince Boris of Bulgaria
867 - The Serbian and Montenegrin peoples embraced Christianity
878 - Last definite reference to Christians in China before the Mongol era
880 - First Slavic archbishopric established in Great Moravia with Methodius as its
900 - Missionaries reach Norway
912 - The Normans became Christian
948 - The leader of the Magyars converted to Christianity
957 - Princess Olga of Kiev baptized
965 - Harold I of Denmark converted to Christianity and smoothed the way for the
acceptance of Christian faith by the Danish people
981 - Nestorian monks visiting China found no traces of Christian community left
988 - Baptism of Kievan Rus' under Vladimir I
997 - Adalbert of Prague dies as a martyr in Prussia
1000 - Leif the Lucky evangelized Greenland
1007 - The Keraites, a Turco-Mongolian tribe, were converted to the Nestorianism branch of
1008 - English misionary Sigfrid (or Sigurd) baptized King Olof of Sweden
1009 - Bruno of Querfurt beheaded in Prussia where he had gone as a missionary
"We must be willing to give everything to spread the Gospel!" -- Jill
Height, Nazarene Bible College student
1010 - Tthe church in the unified Kingdom of Georgia became autocephalous
1015 - Russia was said to have been "comprehensively" converted to the Orthodox faith
1017 - The Danish king Canute converted to Christianity
1099 - Christian Crusaders capture Jerusalem and massacre 70,000 Muslims as well as
1200 - The Bible was available in 22 different languages
1219 - Francis of Assisi presented the Gospel to the Sultan of Egypt [
more on Francis
1220 - Dominican Order established
1223 - Franciscan Order established
1251 - King Mindaugas of Lithuania baptized
1252 - Franciscan William of Rubruck began his journey to the Mongols
1266 - Mongol leader Khan sent Marco Polo's father and uncle, Niccolo and Matteo Polo,
back to Europe with a request to the Pope to send 100 Christian missionaries (only two
responded and they turned back before reaching Mongol territory)
1276 - Ramon Llull opened training center to send missionaries to North Africa
1289 - Franciscan friars began mission work in China
1294 - Franciscan Giovanni di Monte Corvino went to China
1303 - Arnold von Koln arrived in China to assist Giovanni di Monte Corvino
1321 - Jordanus, a Dominican monk, arrived in India as the first resident Roman Catholic
1322 - Odoric of Pordenone, a Franciscan monk from Italy, arrived in China
1323 - Franciscans made contacts on Sumatra, Java, and Borneo
1326 - Changatid Khan Ilchigedai granted permission for a church to be built in Samarkand,
1329 - Nicea falls to Muslim Ottoman Turks
1368 - Collapse of the Franciscan mission in China when the Ming Dynasty abolished
1379 - Stephen of Prem traveled north toward the White Sea and settled as a missionary
among the Finno-Ugric speaking Komi peoples living between Pechora and Vychegda Rivers at
1382 - Bible translated into English from Latin by John Wycliff
1386 - Jagiello, king of the Lithuanians, was baptized
1410 - Bible was translated into Hungarian
1435 - Attempts to forcibly convert Jews in Spain
1448 - First Christians reported in Mauritania
1453 - Constantinople fell to the Muslim Ottoman Turks who made it their capital
1462 - Johannes Gutenberg began printing the Bible with his movable-type printing process.
Pope Pius II assigned the evangelization of the Portuguese Guinea Coast of Africa to the
Franciscans led by Alfonso de Bolano
1485 - After having come into contact with the Portuguese, the King of Benin requested that
a church be planted in his kingdom
1486 - Dominicans became active in West Africa, notably among the Wolof people in
Senegambia (modern-day Senegal and Gambia).
1489 - Baptism of Wolof king Behemoi in Senegal
1491 - The Congo saw its first group of missionaries arrive. Under the ministry of these
Franciscan and Dominican priests, the king was soon baptized and a church built at the
1492 - Birth of the church in Angola
1493 - Christopher Columbus took Christian priests with him on his second journey to the
1494 - First missionaries arrived in Dominican Republic
1495 - The head of a convent in Seville, Spain, Mercedarian Jorge, made a trip to the West
1496 - First Christian baptisms in the New World took place when Indian chief Guaticaba
along with other members of his household were baptized on the island of Hispaniola
1497 - Forced conversion of Jews in Portugal
1498 - First Christians reported in Kenya
1499 - Portuguese Augustinian missionaries arrived at Zanzibar. Their mission ended in
1698 due to the Oman-Arab conquest.
1500 - Franciscans entered Brazil with Cabral
1501 - Pope Alexander VI granted to the crown of Spain all the newly-discovered countries
in the Americas with the condition that existing indigensous populations be given religious
1502 - Bartolome de Las Casas, who later became an ardent defender of the indigenous
peoples of the Americas, went to Cuba. For his military services there, he was given an
encomienda, an estate that included the services of the Indians living on it.
1503 - Mar Elijah, Patriarch of the East Syrian church, sent three missionaries "to the
islands of the sea which are inside Java and to China."
1506 - Mission work began in Mozambique
1510 - Dominicans began work in Haiti
1515 - Portuguese missionary Francisco Álvares was sent on a diplomatic mission to Dawit
II, the Negus or Emperor of Abyssinia (an old name for Ethiopia)
1516 - Three Franciscans were killed by cannibals in northeastern South America, in the area
of Colombia and Venezuela
1517 - The Mughal Rulers of Delhi opened the door of Bengal to Christian missionaries
1518 - Don Henrique, son of the king of the Congo, was consecrated by Pope Leo X as the
first indigenous bishop from Black Africa
1519 - Two Franciscans accompanied Hernán Cortés in his expedition to Mexico
1520 - German missionary Maximilian Uhland, also known as Bernardino de San Jose, went
to Hispaniola with the newly appointed Bishop Geraldini.
1521 - Pope Leo X grants Franciscan Francis Quiñones permission and faculties to go as a
missionary to the New World together with Juan Clapión
1522 - Portuguese missionaries established a presence on coast of Sri Lanka and begin
moving inland with Portuguese military units
1523 - Martin Luther wrote a missionary hymn based on Psalm 67. Titled "May God Bestow
on Us His Grace," it has been called "the first missionary hymn of Protestantism."
1524 - Martin de Valencia went to New Spain (much of North America, northern parts of
South America and several Pacific Ocean archipelagos, namely the Philippines and Guam) with
12 Franciscan friars
1525 - Italian Franciscan missionary Giulio Zarco was sent to Michoacán on the western
coast of Mexico where he became very proficient in Indian languages
1526 - Franciscans entered Florida. Twelve Dominican friars arrived in the Mexican
1527 - Missionary Conference of Augsburg -- Organized by the Anabaptists, it was the
first-ever Protestant missionary conference
1528 - Franciscan missionary Juan de Padilla arrived in Mexico. He accompanied
Coronado's expedition searching for the Seven Cities and eventually settled among the Quivira
(now called the Wichita)
1529 - Franciscan Peter of Ghent wrote from Latin America that he and a colleague had
baptized 14,000 people on one day.
1530 - In his On Translating: An Open Letter, Martin Luther laid out some
principles of correct Bible translating
1531 - Franciscan Juan de Padilla began a series of missionary tours among Indian tribes
southeast of Mexico City.
1532 - Evangelization of Peru began when missionaries arrived with Francisco Pizzaro's
1533 - First Christian missionaries arrived in Tonkin, Vietnam
1534 - The entire caste of Paravas on the Coromandel Coast were baptized -- perhaps 10,000
people in all
1535 - German Franciscan missionary Maximilian Uhland (also called Bernardino de San
Jose) spoke before the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith about the wretched
condition of Indians in the New World
1536 - Northern Italian Anabaptist missionary Hans Oberecker (also spelled Overacker and
Overakker) was burned at the stake in Vienna, Austria
1537 - Pope Paul III ordered that the Indians of the New World be brought to Christ "by the
preaching of the divine word, and with the example of the good life."
1538 - Franciscans entered Paraguay
1539 - The Pueblos of what is now the U.S. Southwest were encountered by Spanish
Franciscan missionary Marcos de Niza
1540 - Franciscans arrived in Trinidad and were killed by cannibals
1541 - Franciscans began establishing missions in California
1542 - Francis Xavier went to the Portuguese colony of Goa in South India. Franciscans
reached what is now New Mexico
1543 - Anabaptist Menno Simons went as a missionary from the Netherlands to
1544 - Franciscan Andrés de Olmos, a veteran missionary in Mexico, went northward into
the Texas wilderness. After gathering a group of Indian converts, he led them back south
1546 - Francis Xavier traveled to the Indonesian islands of Morotai, Ambon, and
1547 - Wealthy Spaniard Juan Fernandez became a Jesuit. He wound up in Japan as a
1548 - Francis Xavier founded the College of the Holy Name of God in Baçaim on the
northwest coast of India
1549 - Dominican Luis Cancer, who had worked among the Mayans of Guatemala and
Mexico, landed at Tampa Bay, Florida with two companions. They were immediately killed by
the Calusa within sight of the ship from which they had disembarked.
1550 - Printed Bibles available in 28 languages
1551 - Dominican Jerome de Loaysa founded the National University of San Marcos in Lima
(Peru) as well as a hospital for the Indians
1552 - Founder of Jesuits, Spanish missionary Francis Xavier, died awaiting admission to
1553 - Portuguese missionaries built a church building in Malacca Town, Malaysia
1554 - 1,500 converts to Christianity reported in Siam (now called Thailand)
1555 - John Calvin sent Huguenots to Brazil
1556 - Dominican Gaspar da Cruz arrived in Guangzhou, China
1557 - Jesuits arrived in Ethiopia
1558 - The Kabardian duke Saltan Idarov converted to Orthodox Christianity
1559 - Missionary Vilela settled in Kyoto, Japan
1560 - Goncalo da Silveira, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, visited the Munhumutapa
Empire, where he quickly made converts
1562 - Diego de Landa burned the libraries of the Maya civilization
1563 - Jesuit missionary Luis Frois, who later wrote a history of Jesuit activity in Japan,
arrives in that country. Omura Sumitada became the first daimyo (feudal landholder) to convert
1564 - Legaspi began Augustinian work in Philippine Islands
1565 - Jesuits arrived in Macau.
1566 - The first Jesuit to enter what is now the United States, Pedro Martinez, was clubbed
to death by fearful Indians on the sands of Fort George Island, Florida
1567 - Missionaries Jeronimo da Cruz and Sebastiao da Canto, both Dominicans, arrived at
1568 - In the Philippines, Diego de Herrera baptized Chieftain Tupas of Cebu and his
1569 - Jeronimo da Cruz was murdered along with two newly-arrived missionaries
1570 - Ignacio Azevedo and 39 other Jesuit missionaries were killed by pirates near Palma,
one of the Canary Islands, while on their way to Brazil
1571 - Capuchin friars of the 'Strict Observance' arrived on the island of Trinidad with
conquistador Don Juan Ponce of Seville.
1572 - Jesuits arrived in Mexico
1573 - Large-scale evangelization of the Florida Indian nations and tribes began with the
arrival of Franciscan friars
1574 - Augustinian Guillermo de Santa Maria wrote a treatise on the illegitimacy of the war
that the Spanish government was waging against the Chichimeca in the Mexican state of
1575 - Church building constructed in Kyoto. Built in Japanese architectural style, it was
popularly called the "temple of the South Barbarians."
1576 - Jesuit missionaries entered the land of the Bengalis following Portuguese
1577 - Dominicans entered Mozambique and penetrated inland, burning Muslim mosques as
1578 - King of Spain ordered the bishop of Lima not to confer Holy Orders on mestizos
1579 - Jesuit Alessandro Valignano arrived in Japan where, as "Visitor of Missions," he
formulated a basic strategy for Catholic proselytism in that country. Valignano's adaptationism
attempted to avoid cultural frictions by covering the gap between certain Japanese customs and
Roman Catholic values.
1580 - Japanese Daimyo (feudal landholder) Arima Harunobu became Christian and took
the name Protasio
1581 - Luis de Valdivia became a Jesuit. After finishing his studies, he was sent to
1582 - Jesuits began mission work in China, introducing Western science, mathematics,
1583 - Five Jesuit missionaries -- Rudolph Acquaviva, Peter Berno, Francis Aranha,
Alphonsus Pacheco and Anthony Francisco -- were murdered near Goa in India.
1584 - Matteo Ricci and a Chinese scholar translated a catechism into Chinese under the title
T'ien-chu sheng-chiao shih-lu (A True Account of God and the Sacred Religion)
1585 - Carmelite leader Jerome Gracian met with Martin Ignatius de Loyola, a Franciscan
missionary from China. The two signed a vinculo de hermandad misionera -- a bond of
missionary brotherhood -- by which the two orders agreed to collaborate in missionary work in
Ethiopia, China, the Philippines, and the East and West Indies.
1586 - Portuguese missionary Joao dos Santos reported that locals kill elephants to protect
their crops in Sofala, Mozambique.
1587 - All foreigners ordered out of Japan. Manteo became the first American Indian to be
baptized by the Church of England
1588 - A Dominican missionary arrived in the Philippines
1589 - Francis Solano went to Peru as a missionary
1590 - A book by Belgian pastor Hadrian Saravia had a chapter arguing that the Great
Commission was still binding on the church today because the Apostles did not fulfill it
1591 - First Roman Catholic church building constructed in Trinidad. First Chinese admitted
as members of the Jesuit order
1593 - The Franciscans arrived in Japan and established St. Anna's hospital in Kyoto
1594 - First Jesuit missionaries arrived in Pakistan
1595 - Dutch East India Company chaplains expanded their ministry beyond the European
1596 - Jesuit missionaries traveled across the island of Samar in the Philippines to establish
mission centers on the eastern side
1597 - Twenty-six Japanese Christians were crucified for their faith by General Toyotomi
Hideyoshi in Nagasaki, Japan. By 1640, thousands of Japanese Christians had been
1598 - Spanish missionaries pushed north from Mexico into what is now the state of New
1599 - Jesuit Francisco Fernandez went to what is now the Jessore District of Bangladesh
and, with the permission of King Pratapaditya, constructed a church building there
1600 - French missionaries arriveed in the area of what is now Sault Ste. Marie,
1601 - Matteo Ricci went to China. First ordination of Japanese priests
1602 - Chinese scientist and translator Xu Guangqi was baptized
1603 - The Jesuit Mission Press in Japan commenced publication of a Japanese- Portuguese
1604 - Jesuit missionary Abbè Jessè Flèchè arrived at Port Royal, Nova Scotia
1606 - Japanese Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu banned Christianity
1607 - Missionary Juan Fonte established the first Jesuit mission among the Tarahumara in
the Sierra Madre Mountains of Northwest Mexico
1608 - A missionary expedition into the Ceará area of Brazil failed when the Tacariju killed
the Jesuit leader
1609 - Missionary Nicolas Trigault went to China
1610 - Chinese mathematician and astronomer Li Zhizao was baptized
1611 - Two Jesuits began work among Mi'kmaq Indians of Nova Scotia
1612 - Jesuits founded a mission for the Abenakis in Maine
1613 - Missionary Alvarus de Semedo went to China
1614 - Anti-Christian edicts issued in Japan
1615 - French missionaries in Canada opened schools in Trois-Rivieres and Tadoussac to
teach Native American children with the hopes of converting them
1616 - Nanjing Missionary Case in which the clash between Chinese practice of ancestor
worship and Catholic doctrine ended in the deportation of foreign missionaries. Missionary
Johann Adam Schall von Bell arrived in China
1617 - Portuguese missionary Francisco de Pina arrived in Vietnam
1618 - Portuguese Carmelites went from Persia to Pakistan to establish a church in Thatta
1619 - Dominican missionaries founded the University of St. Tomas in the Philippine
1620 - Carmelites entered Goa
1621 - The Augustinians established themselves in Chittagong, Bangladesh
1622 - Pope Gregory VI founded the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the
1623 - A team of workers digging near an ancient Christian church and monastery in
Ch'ang-ngan (Si-ngan-fu), China unearthed an ancient stone monument over 9 feet tall, 33 inches
wide, and 10 inches thick. The text, in both Chinese characters and Persian script, begins with the
words, "Let us praise the Lord that the [Christian] faith has been popular in China." The
inscription had been written by Ching Ching (Adam), a Syrian monk in AD 781. It told of the
arrival of a missionary, A-lo-pen (Abraham), in AD 625. He had arrived "bearing the sacred
books, braving difficulties and dangers." Christianity was described as "The Illustrious Religion,"
and the text included a doctrinal overview and a list of Christian worship practices and ethics. It
also mentioned a succession of Emperors who were greatly supportive of the Church, and the
names of 67 priests in both Persian and Chinese.
1624 - Persecution intensified in Japan with 50 Christians being burned alive in Edo (now
1625 - Vietnam expeled Christian missionaries
1626 - After entering Japan in disguise, Jesuit missionary Francis Pacheco was captured and
executed at Nagasaki
1627 - Alexander de Rhodes went to Vietnam where in three years of ministry he reportedly
baptized 6,700 converts
1628 - Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples established in Rome to train "native
clergy" from all over the world
1629 - Franciscan missionary Benavides founded Santa Clara de Capo on the border of
Apache Indian country in what is now New Mexico
1630 - An attempt was made in the El Paso, Texas area to establish a mission among the
1631 - Dutch missionary Abraham Roger, who authored Open Door to the Hidden
Heathendom, began 10 years of ministry among the Tamil people in the Dutch colony of
Pulicat near Madras, India
1632 - Zuni Indians murdered a group of Franciscan missionaries who had three years earlier
established the first mission to the Zunis at Hawikuh in what is now New Mexico
1633 - German Lutheran Church sent Peter Heyling as first Protestant missionary to
1634 - Jesuit missionary Jean de Brèbeuf traveled to the Petun nation (in Canada) and
baptizes a 40-year-old man.
1635 - An expedition of Franciscans left Quito, Ecuador, to try to penetrate into
Amazonia from the west. Though most of them were killed along the way, a few managed
to arrive two years later on the Atlantic coast.
1636 - The Dominicans of Manila (the Philippines) organized a missionary expedition to
Japan. They were arrested on the Okinawa islands and wwere eventually condemned to
death by the tribunal of Nagasaki.
1637 - When smallpox killed thousands of Native Americans, tribal medicine men blamed
European missionaries for the disaster
1638 - Official ban of Christianity in Japan with death penalty. Influential Puritan Richard
Sibbes writes The Fountain Opened in which he said that the gospel must continue
its journey "til it have gone over the whole world."
1639 - The first women to New France as missionaries -- three Ursuline Nuns -- boarded the
"St. Joseph" and set sail for the area now known as New England and Quebec.
1640 - Jesuit missionaries arrived on the Caribbean island of Martinique
1641 - Jesuit missionary Cristoval de Acuna described the Amazon River in a report
to the king of Spain
1642 - Catholic missionaries Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil were captured by Mohawk
Indians as they returned to Huron country from Quebec. Goupil was tomahawked to death while
Jogues was held for a period of time as a slave. He used his enslavement as an opportunity to do
1643 - John Campanius, Lutheran missionary to the Indians, arrived in America on the
Delaware River. Reformed pastor Johannes Megapolensis began outreach to Native Americans
while pastoring at Albany, New York
1644 - John Eliot began ministry to Algonquin Indians in North America
1645 - After thirty years of work in Vietnam, the Jesuits were expelled from that
1646 - After being accused of being a sorcerer, Jesuit missionary Isaac Jogues was killed by
1647 - The Discalced Carmelites began work on Madagascar
1648 - Helena and other members of the imperial Chinese Ming dynasty were baptized.
1649 - The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel In New England was formed to reach
the indigeneous peoples of New England
1650 - The destruction of Huronia by the Iroquois put an end to the Jesuits' dream of
making the Huron Indians the focal point of their evangelistic efforts.
1651 - Count Truchsess of Wetzhausen, prominent Lutheran layman, asks the theological
faculty of Wittenberg why Lutherans were not sending out missionaries in obedience to the Great
1652 - Jesuit Antonio Vieira returned to Brazil as a missionary where he championed the
cause of exploited indigenous peoples until being expelled by Portuguese colonists
1653 - A Mohawk war party captureed Jesuit Joseph Poncet near Montreal. He was tortured
and finally sent back with a message about peace overtures
1654 - John Eliot published a catechism for American Indians
1655 - Jinga, princess of Matamba in Angola, was converted. Later, she will write to the
Pope urging that more missionaries be sent
1656 - First Quaker missionaries arrived in what is now Boston, Massachusetts
1657 - Thomas Mayhew, Jr., was lost at sea during a voyage to England that was to combine
an appeal for missionary funds with personal business
1658 - After the flight of the French missionaries from his area, chief Daniel Garakonthie of
the Onondaga Indians, examined the customs of the French colonists and the doctrines of the
missionaries and openly began protecting Christians in his part of what is now New York
1659 - Jesuit Alexander de Rhodes established the Paris Foreign Missions Society
1660 - Christianity was introduced into Cambodia
1661 - George Fox, founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) sent three
missionaries to China (although they never reached the field)
1662 - French Jesuit missionary Julien Garnier sailed for Canada
1663 - John Eliot's translation of the Bible into one of the Algonquian languages was
published (the New Testament came out two years earlier). This Bible was the first complete
Bible to be printed in the New World
1664 - Justinian Von Welz, author of three powerful pamphlets on the need for world
missions, went to Dutch Guinea (now called Surinam) where he died three months later.
1665 - Japanese feudal landholders (called Daimyo) were ordered to follow the shogunate's
example and to appoint inquisitors to do a yearly scrutiny of Christians
1666 - John Eliot publishes his The Indian Grammar, a book written to assist in
conversion work among the Indians. Described as "some bones and ribs preparation for such a
work," Eliot intended his Grammar for missionaries wishing to learn the dialect
spoken by the Massachusett Indians.
1667 - The first missionary to attempt to reach the Wuaorani (or Aucas), Jesuit Pedro Suarez,
was slain with spears
1668 - In a letter from his post in Canada, French missionary Jacques Bruyas lamented his
ignorance of the Oneida language: "What can a man do who does not understand their language,
and who is not understood when he speaks. As yet, I do nothing but stammer; nevertheless, in
four months I have baptized 60 persons, among whom there are only four adults, baptized in
periculo mortis. All the rest are little children."
1669 - Eager to compete with the Jesuits for conversion of the Indian Nations on the western
Great Lakes, Sulpilcian missionaries Dollier de Casson and Galinee set out from Montreal with
twenty-seven men in seven canoes led by two canoes of Seneca Indians
1670 - Jesuits established missions on the Orinoco River in Venezuela
1671 - Quaker missionaries arrived in the Carolinas
1672 - A chieftain on Guam killed Jesuit missionary Diego Luis de San Vitores and his
Visayan assistant, Pedro Calungsod, for having baptized the chief's daughter without his
permission (some accounts do say the girl's mother consented to the baptism)
1673 - French trader Louis Jolliet and missionary Jacques Marquette visited what is now the
state of Illinois, where the latter established a mission for Native Americans
1674 - Vincentian mission to Madagascar collapsed after 25 years of abortive effort
1675 - An uprising on the islands of Micronesia led to the death of three Christian
1676 - Kateri Tekakwitha, who became known as the Lily of the Mohawks, was baptized by
a Jesuit missionary. Her tribes-people jeered and stoned her for her new faith, and she eventually
went to a missionary settlement in Canada
1678 - French missionaries Jean La Salle and Louis Hennepin discovered Niagara Falls, that
stupendous series of waterfalls on the Niagara River between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie
1679 - Writing from Changzhou, newly arrived missionary Juan de Yrigoyen described three
Christian congregations flourishing in that Chinese city
1680 - The Pueblo Revolt began in New Mexico with the killing of twenty-one Franciscan
1681 - After arriving in New Spain, Italian Jesuit Eusebio Kino soon became what one
writer described as "the most picturesque missionary pioneer of all North America." A bundle of
evangelistic zeal, Kino was also an explorer, astronomer, cartographer, mission builder,
ranchman, cattle king, and defender of the frontier
1682 - 13 missionaries went to "remote cities" in East Siberia
1683 - Missionary Louis Hennepin returned to France after exploring Minnesota and being
held captive by the Dakota to write the first book about Minnesota, Description de la
1684 - Louis XIV of France sent Jesuit missionaries to China bearing gifts from the
collections of the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles
1685 - Consecration of first Catholic bishop of Chinese origin
1686 - Russian Orthodox monks arrived in China as missionaries
1687 - French activity began in what is now Côte d'Ivoire when missionaries landed at
1688 - New Testament translated into the Malay language (the first Bible translation into a
language of southeast Asia)
1689 - Calusa Indian chief from what is the state of Florida visieds Cuba requesting
1690 - First Franciscan missionaries arrived in Texas
1691 - Christian Faith Society for the West Indies organized
1692 - Chinese Kangxi Emperor permited the Jesuits to freely preach the Christian message,
converting whom they wish
1693 - Jesuit missionary John de Britto was publicly beheaded in India
1694 - Missionary and explorer Eusebio Kino became the first European to enter the
Tucson, Arizona basin and create a lasting settlement
1695 - China's first Russian Orthodox church building was consecrated
1696 - Jesuit missionary Francois Pinet founded the Mission of the Guardian Angel near
what is today Chicago, Illinois. The mission was abandoned in 1700 after missionary efforts
seemed to be bearing no fruit
1697 - To evangelize the English colonies, Thomas Bray, an Anglican preacher who made
several missionary trips to North America, began laying the groundwork for what will be the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts
1698 - Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge organized by Anglicans
1699 - Priests of the Quebec Seminary of Foreign Missions established a mission among the
Tamaroa Indians at Cahokia in what is now the state of Illinois
1700 - After a Swedish missionary's sermon to an Indian tribe in Pennsylvania, one Native
American posed such searching questions that the episode was reported in a history of the
Swedish church in America printed in 1731. The interchange later inspired Benjamin Franklin's
Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America (1784), in which Franklin has
an Indian reply to a sermon on original sin: "What you have told us ... is all very good. It is
indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all into cyder."
1701 - Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts officially organized
1702 - George Keith, Scotch Quaker, arriveed in America as a missionary of the
newly-organized Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts
1703 - The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts expanded to the West
1704 - French missionary priests arrived to evangelize the Chitimacha living along the
Mississippi River in what is now the state of Louisiana
1705 - Danish-Halle Mission to India began with Bartholomew Ziegenbalg and Henry
1706 - Irish-born Francis Makemie, who had been an itinerant Presbyterian missionary
among the colonists of America since 1683, was finally able to organize the first American
1707 - Maillard de Tournon made public in Nanjing the Vatican decisions on rites,
including the stipulations against the veneration of ancestors and of Confucius. Clergy who do
not conform were to be excommunicated. Emperor Kangxi was furious. To him, the Pope was a
foreign sovereign who had no right to interfere in Chinese affairs. Italian Capuchin missionaries
reached Kathmandu in Nepal
1708 - Jesuit missionary Giovanni Battista Sidotti was arrested in Japan. He was taken to
Edo (now called Tokyo) to be interrogated by Arai Hakuseki
1709 - Experience Mayhew, missionary to the Martha's Vineyard Indians, translated the
Psalms and the Gospel of John into the Massachusett language. It was considered second only to
John Eliot's Indian Bible in terms of significant Indian-language translations in
colonial New England
1710 - German Bible Society founded by Count Canstein
1711 - Jesuit Eusebio Kino, missionary explorer in southern Arizona and northern Sonora,
died suddenly in northern Mexico. Kino, who has been called "the cowboy missionary," had
fought against the exploitation of Indians in Mexican silver mines.
1712 - Using a press sent by The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the
Tranquebar Mission in India began printing books in the Portuguese language
1713 - Jesuit Ippolito Desideri went to Tibet as a missionary
1714 - New Testament translated into Tamil (India). A missionary training college was
established in Copenhagen
1715 - Eastern Orthodox Church missionary outreach was renewed in Manchuria and
1716 - The establishment of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio was authorized by the
viceroy of Mexico. The mission was to be an educational center for Native Americans who
converted to Christianity.
1717 - Chen Mao wrote to the Chinese Emperor about his concerns over Catholic
missionaries and Western traders. He urgently requested an all-out prohibition of Catholic
missionaries in the Qing provinces.
1718 - Bartholomew Ziegenbalg constructed a church building in India that is still in use
1719 - Isaac Watts wrote the missionary hymn "Jesus Shall Reign Where'er the Sun"
1720 - Missionary Johann Ernst Gruendler died in India. He had arrived there in 1709 with
the sponsorship of the Danish Mission Society
1721 - Mission San Juan Bautista Malibat in Baja California was abandoned due to the
hostility of the Cochimies Indians, as well as to the decimation of the local population by
epidemics and a water shortage
1722 - Hans Egede went to Greenland
1723 - Robert Millar published A History of the Propagation of Christianity and the
Overthrow of Paganism
1724 - Yongzheng Emperor banned missionary activities outside the Beijing area
1725 - Knud Leem arrived as a missionary to the Sami people of Finnmark (Norwegian
1726 - John Wright, a Quaker missionary to the Native Americans, settled in southeastern
1728 - Institutum Judaicum founded in Halle by Francke as first Protestant mission center for
1729 - Roman Catholic missionary Du Poisson became the first victim in the Natchez
massacre. On his way to New Orleans, he had been asked to stop and say Mass at the Natchez
post. He was killed in front of the altar
1730 - Lombard, French missionary, founded a Christian village with over 600 Indians at the
mouth of Kuru river in French Guiana. A Jesuit, Lombard has been called the most successful of
all missionaries in converting the Indians of French Guiana
1731 - A missionary movement was born when Count Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf attended
the coronation of King Christian VI of Denmark. For the first time, Zinzendorf met a
non-European who talked about only recently hearing the name of Christ. By the following year,
the movement with which Zinzendorf was associated, the Moravians, launched missionary
outreach in the Caribbean.
1732 - Alphonsus Liguori founded the Roman Catholic religious order known as the
Redemptorist Fathers with the purpose of doing missionary work among rural people
1733 - Moravians went to Greenland
1734 - A missionary convinced a Groton, Connecticut church to lend its building to the
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe for Christian worship services.
1735 - John Wesley went to the Indians in Georgia as missionary with the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts
1736 - Anti-Christian edicts in China. Moravian missionaries at work among Nenets people
1737 - Rev. Pugh, a missionary in Pennsylvania with The Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel in Foreign Parts, wreote home to London to say that he had begun ministering to blacks.
He noted that the masters of the slaves were prejudiced against them becoming Christian.
1738 - Moravian missionary George Schmidt settled in Baviaan Kloof (Kloof of the
Baboons) in the Riviersonderend Valley of South Africa. He began working with the Khoikhoi
people, who were practically on the threshold of extinction.
1739 - The first missionary to the Mahican (Mohegan) Indians, John Sergeant, built a home
in Stockbridge, Massachusetts that is today a museum.
1740 - Moravian David Zeisberger started work among Creek people of Georgia
1741 - Dutch missionaries started consdtructing Christ Church building in Malacca Town,
Malaysia. It took 12 years to complete.
1742 - Moravian Leader Count Zinzendorf visited Shekomeko, New York and baptized six
1743 - David Brainerd started ministry to North American Indians
1744 - Thomas Thompson resigned his position as dean at the University of Cambridge to
become a missionary. He was sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign
Parts to New Jersey. Taking a special interest in the slave population there, he later
requested to begin mission work in Africa. In 1751, Thompson would become the first S.P.G.
missionary to the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana).
1745 - One day in late December, David Brainerd, missionary to Native Americans, wrote in
his journal: "After public worship was over, I went to my house, proposing to preach again after
a short season of intermission. But they soon came in one after another; with tears in their eyes,
to know, what they should do to be saved. . . . It was an amazing season of power among them,
and seemed as if God had bowed the heavens and come down ... and that God was about to
convert the whole world."
1746 - From Boston, Massachussets a call was issued to the Christians of the New World to
enter into a seven-year "Concert of Prayer" for missionary work
1747 - Jonathan Edwards appealed for prayer for world missions. Birth of Thomas Coke, the
"Father of Methodist Missions"
1748 - Roman Catholic Pedro Sanz and the four other missionaries were executed, together
with 14 Chinese Christians. Prior to his death, Sanz reportedly converted some of his prison
guards to Christianity.
1749 - Spanish Franciscan priest Junipero Serra (1713-1784) arrived in Mexico as a
missionary. In 1767 he went north to what is now California, zealously converting native
1750 - Jonathan Edwards, preacher of the First Great Awakening, having been banished from
his church at Northampton, Massachusetts went as a missionary to the nearby Housatonic
Indians. Christian Frederic Schwartz went to India with Danish-Halle Mission
1751 - Samuel Cooke arrived in New Jersey as a missionary for the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts
1752 - Thomas Thompson, first Anglican missionary to Africa, arrived in the Gold Coast
1753 - Searchers in Labrador looking for Moravian Johann Christian Erhardt found the body
of one of his traveling companions. The disappearance of Erhardt and six companions had led to
temporary abandonment of Moravian missionary initiatives in Labrador.
1754 - Moravian John Ettwein arrived in America from Germany as a missionary. Preaching
to Native Americans and establishing missions, Ettwein traveled as far south as Georgia.
Eventually, he became head of the Moravian church in what is now the United States.
1755 - The Mahican Indian settlement at Gnadenhutten, Pa. Was attacked and destroyed.
Moravian missionary Johann Jacob Schmick who pastored a group of Indian converts, remained
with the Mahicans through exile and captivity despite almost constant threats from white
neighbors. Schmick joined his Indian congregation as they sought refuge in Bethlehem,
following them as captives to Philadelphia, and remaining with them after they settled in
1756 - Civil unrest forced Gideon Halley away from his missionary work among the Six
Nations on the Susquehanna River where he had been working for four years under the
supervision of Jonathan Edwards with an appointment from the Society for Propagating the
Gospel among the Indians.
1757 - Lutherans reportedly began ministering to Blacks in the Caribbean
1758 - John Wesley baptized two African-American slaves, thus breaking the skin color
barrier for Methodist societies
1759 - Native American Samson Occom, direct descendant of the great Mahican chief
Uncas, was ordained by the Presbyterians. Despite poor eyesight, Occom became the first
American Indian to publish works in English. These included sermons, hymns and a short
1760 - Adam Voelker and Christian Butler arrived in Tranquebar as the first Moravian
missionaries to India
1761 - The first Moravian missionary in Ohio, Frederick Post, settled on the north side of the
Muskingum in what is now Bethlehem township
1762 - Moravian Missionary John Heckewelder confered with Koquethagacton ("White
Eyes") at the mouth of the Beaver River (Pennsylvania)
1763 - The Presbyterian Synod of New York ordered that a collection for missions be taken.
In 1767 the Synod will ask that this collection be done annually.
1764 - The Moravians made a decision to expand and began publicizing their missionary
activity, particular in the British colonies. Moravian Jens Haven made the first of three
exploratory missionary journeys to Greenland
1765 - Suriname Governor General Crommelin convinced three Moravian missionaries to
work near the head waters of the Gran Rio. They settled among the Saramaka near the Senthea
Creek in Granman Abini's village where they were received with mixed feelings.
1766 - Philip Quaque, a Fetu youth from the Cape Coast area of Ghana who spent twelve
years studying in England, returned to Africa. Supported as a missionary by the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, Quaque was first non-European ordained priest in the
Church of England
1767 - Spain expeled the Jesuits from Spanish colonies in the New World
1768 - Five United Brethren missionaries from Germany, invited by the Danish Guinea
Company, arrived in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), to teach in the Cape Coast Castle schools
1769 - Junípero Serra founded Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first of the 21 Alta California
1770 - John Marrant, a free black from New York City, began ministering cross-culturally,
preaching to the American Indians. By 1775 he had carried the gospel to the Cherokee and Creek
Indians as well as to groups he called the Catawar and Housaw peoples.
1771 - Francis Asbury arrived in America. David Avery was ordained as missionary to the
1772 - After visiting Scilly Cove in Newfoundland, Canada, missionary James Balfour
described it as a "most Barbarous Lawless Place"
1773 - Pope Clement XIV dissolved the Jesuit Order. Two Dominican order missionaries
were beheaded in Vietnam
1774 - Moravian missionaries Christoph Brasen and Gottfried Lehmann drowned when their
sloop sank in a storm off Greenland
1775 - John Crook was sent by Liverpool Methodists to the Isle of Man
1776 - Cyril Vasilyevich Suchanov constructs first church buildig among Evenks of
Transbaikal (or Dauria) in (Siberia). The first baptism of an Eskimo by a Lutheran pastor took
place in Labrador.
1777 - Portuguese missionaries constructted a church building at Hashnabad,
1778 - Theodore Sladich was martyred while doing missionary work to counter Islamic
influence in the western Balkans
1779 - Charles Simeon was converted while a student at King's College, Cambridge. Twenty
years later he helped found what became the Church Missionary Society.
1780 - August Gottlieb Spangenberg wrote An Account of the Manner in Which the
Protestant Church of the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren, Preach the Gospel, and Carry On
Their Missions Among the Heathen. Originally written in German, the book was translated
into English in 1788.
1781 - In the midst of the American Revolutionary War, the British so feared Moravian
missionary David Zeisberger and his influence among the Lenapi (also called Delaware) and
other Native Americans that they arrested him and his assistant, John Heckewelder, charging
them with treason,
1782 - Freed slave George Lisle went from the USA to Jamaica as missionary
1783 - Moses Baker and George Gibbions, both former slaves, left the U.S. to become
missionaries in the West Indies
1784 - Thomas Coke (Methodist) submited his Plan for the Society for the Establishment of
Missions Among the Heathen. Methodist missions among the "heathen" began in 1786 when
Coke, destined for Nova Scotia, was driven off course by a storm and landed at Antigua in the
British West Indies.
1785 - Joseph White's sermon titled "On the Duty of Attempting the Propagation of the
Gospel among our Mahometan and Gentoo Subjects in India" was published in the second
edition of his book Sermons Containing a View of Christianity and Mahometanism, in their
History, their Evidence, and their Effects. The sermon had first been preached at the
University of Oxford.
1786 - John Marrant, a free black from New York City, preached to "a great number of
Indians and white people" at Green's Harbor, Newfoundland. Marrant's cross-cultural ministry
led him to take the Gospel to the Cherokee, Creek, Catawba (he called them the Catawar), and
1787 - William Carey was ordained in England by the Particular Baptists and soon began to
urge that worldwide missions be undertaken
1788 - Dutch missionaries began preaching the Gospel to fishermen in Bangladesh
1789 - The Jesuits, established Georgetown University in present-day Washington, D.C., as
the first US Roman Catholic college
1790 - Prince Williams, a freed slave from South Carolina, went to Nassau, Bahamas, where
he started Bethel Meeting House
1791 - One hundred and twenty Korean Christians were tortured and killed for their faith. It
began when Paul Yun Ji-Chung, a noble who had become a Christian, decided not to bury his
mother according to traditional Confucian custom. A ferocious persecution of Christians began
this was reported to the authorities.
1792 - William Carey writes his Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use
Means for the Conversion of the Heathen and formed the Baptist Missionary Society to
support him in establishing missionary work in India.
1793 - Frontier missionary Stephen Badin left Baltimore on foot for Kentucky, reaching his
destination seven months later.
1794 - Eight Russian Orthodox missionaries arriveed in Alaska
1795 - The London Missionary Society formed to send missionaries to Tahiti
1796 - Scottish and Glasgow Missionary Societies established. In India, Johann Philipp
Fabricius finished translating entire Bible into Tamil
1797 - Netherlands Missionary Society formed. The Duff, carrying 37 lay and pastoral
missionaries, dropped anchor in Tahiti. Twenty-one-year-old William Pascoe Crook of the
London Missionary Society was left at Vaitahu on the Pacific island of Tahuata. The first
missionary to visit Hiva, he was not well received by the islanders.
1798 - The Missionary Society of Connecticut was organized by the Congregationalists to
take the gospel to the "heathen lands" of Vermont and Ohio. Its missionaries evangelized both
European settlers and Native Americans.
1799 - The Church Missionary Society (Church of England) was formed. John Vanderkemp,
Dutch physician went to Cape Colony, Africa. Religious Tract Society organized
1800 - New York Missionary Society formed
1801 - John Theodosius Van Der Kemp moved to Graaff Reinet to minister to the Khoikhoi
(Hottentots) people. Earlier he had helped found the Netherlands Missionary Society. In 1798, he
had gone to South Africa to work as a missionary among the Xhosa.
1802 - Henry Martyn heard Charles Simeon speak of William Carey's work in India and
resolved to become a missionary himself. He sailed for India in 1805
1803 - The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society voted to publish a missionary
magazine. Now known as The American Baptist, the periodical is the oldest
religious magazine in the U.S.
1804 - British and Foreign Bible Society formed. Church Missionary Society enters Sierra
1805 - The first Christian missionaries arrived in Namibia, brothers Abraham and Christian
Albrecht from the London Missionary Society
1806 - Haystack prayer meeting at Williams College. Andover Theological Seminary
founded as a missionary training center. Protestant missionary work began in earnest across
1807 - First Protestant missionary to China, Robert Morrison, began work in
Guangzhou (formerly called Canton)
1808 - London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews founded
1809 - National Bible Society of Scotland organized
1810 - The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was formed
1811 - English Wesleyans entered Sierra Leone
1812 - First American foreign missionary, Adoniram Judson, arrived in Serampore and soon
went to Burma
1813 - The Methodists form the Wesleyan Missionary Society.
1814 - First recorded baptism of a Chinese convert, Cai Gao. American Baptist Foreign
Mission Society formed. Netherlands Bible Society founded. Four Native Americans from
beyond the Rocky Mountains went east to St. Louis, Missouri seeking information on the
"palefaces' religion." First missionaries arriveed in New Zealand, led by Samuel Marsden
1815 - American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions opened work on Ceylon.
Basel Missionary Society organized. Richmond African Missionary Society founded.
1816 - Robert Moffat arrived in Africa. American Bible
1817 - James Thompson began distributing Bibles throughout Latin America
1818 - Missionary work began in Madagascar with the reluctant approval of the king
1819 - John Scudder, missionary physician, joined the Ceylon Mission. Wesleyan
Methodists started work in Madras, India. Reginald Heber wrote words to clssic missionary
hymn "From Greenland's Icy Mountains"
1820 - Hiram Bingham went to Hawaii (Sandwich Islands)
1821 - African-American Lott Carey, a Baptist
missionary, sailed with 28 colleagues from Norfolk, VA to Sierra Leone. Protestant Episcopal
Church mission board established.
1822 - Paris Evangelical Missionary Society established
1823 - Scottish Missionary Society workers arriveed in Mumbai (known then as Bombay),
India. Liang Fa, first Chinese Protestant evangelist, was ordained by Robert Morrison. Colonial
and Continental Church Society formed. African-American Betsy Stockton is sent by the
American Board of Missions to Hawaii. She thus becomes the first single woman missionary in
the history of modern missions.
1824 - Berlin Mission Society formed
1825 - George Boardman went to Burma
1826 - American Bible Society sent first shipment of Bibles to Mexico
1827 - Missionary Lancelot Threlkeld reported in The Monitor that he was
"advancing rapidly" in his efforts to disseminate Holy Scripture among Indigenous Australians of
the Hunter and Shoalhaven Rivers.
1828 - Basel Mission began work in the Christiansborg area of Accra, Ghana. Karl Gutzlaff
of the Netherlands Missionary Society landed in Bangkok, Thailand. Rhenish Missionary
1829 - George Mueller, a native of Prussia, went to England as a missionary to the Jews
1830 - Church of Scotland missionary Alexander Duff arrived in Kolkata (formerly
Calcutta). William Swan, missionary to Siberia, wrote Letters on Missions, the first
Protestant comprehensive treatment of the theory and practice of missions. Baptism of
Taufa'ahau Tupou, King of Tonga, by a western missionary
1831 - American Congregational missionaries arrived in Thailand, withdrawing in 1849
without a single convert. Presbyterian Church mission board established. Trinitarian Bible
1832 - Teava, former cannibal and pioneer Pacific Islander missionary, was commissioned
by John Williams to work on the Samoan island of Manono.
1833 - Baptist work in Thailand began with John Taylor Jones. American Methodist
missionary Melville Box arrived in Liberia. Free Will Baptist Foreign Missionary Society began
work in India.
1834 - American Presbyterian Mission opened work in India in the Punjab
1835 - Rhenish Missionary Society began work among the Dayaks on Borneo (Indonesia).
Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta calls India's caste system "a cancer."
1836 - Plymouth Brethren began work in Madras, India. George Müller began his work with
orphans in Bristol, England. Gossner Mission formed. Leipzig Mission Society established.
Colonial Missionary Society formed. The Providence Missionary Baptist District Association
formed, one of at least six national organizations among African-American Baptists whose sole
objective was missionary work in Africa.
1837 - Evangelical Lutheran Church mission board established. First translation of Bible into
Japanese (actual translation work done in Singapore)
1838 - Church of Scotland Mission of Inquiry to the Jews: four Scottish ministers including
Robert Murray M'Cheyne and Andrew Bonar journey to Palestine.
1839 - Entire Bible published in language of Tahiti. Three French missionaries martyred in
Korea. English Protestant missionaries murdered on Erromango (Vanuatu, South Pacific)
1840 - David Livingstone was in present-day Malawi (Africa) with the London Missionary
Society. American Presbyterians entered Thailand and labored for 18 years before seeing their
first Thai convert. Irish Presbyterian Missionary Society formed. Welsh Calvinistic Methodist
Missionary Society founded
1841 - Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society formed. Welsh Methodists began working
among the Khasi people of India
1842 - Gossner Mission Society began in Berlin
1843 - Baptist John Taylor Jones translated New Testament into the Thai language. British
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews formed
1844 - German Ludwig Krapf began work in Mombasa on the Kenya Coast. First Young
Men's Christian Association (YMCA) formed by George Williams. George Smith and Thomas
McClatchie sailed for China as the first two CMS missionaries to that country
1845 - Southern Baptist Convention mission organization founded
1846 - The London Missionary Society established work on Niue, a South Pacific island
which westerners had named the "savage island."
1847 - Presbyterian William Burns went to China, translates The Pilgrim's
Progress into Chinese. Moses White sailed to China as a Methodist medical
1848 - Charles Forman went to Punjab. German missionaries Johannes Rebmann and Johann
Ludwig Krapf arrived at Kilimanjaro. Initially, their story of a snow-covered peak near the
equator was scoffed at.
1849 - Just weeks after arriving on the Melanesian island of Aneityum (or Anatom),
missionary John Geddie wrote in his journal: "In the darkness, degradation, pollution and misery
that surrounds me, I will look forward in the vision of faith to the time when some of these poor
islanders will unite in the triumphant song of ransomed souls, 'Unto Him that loved us, and
washed us from our sins in His own blood.'"
1850 - On the occasion of Karl Gützlaff's visit to Europe, the Berlin Ladies Association for
China was established in conjunction with the Berlin Missionary Association for China. Work in
China will commence in 1851 with the arrival of Hermandine Neumann in Hong Kong.
1851 - Allen Gardiner and six missionary colleagues died of exposure and starvation at
Patagonia on the southern tip of South America when a re-supply ship from England arrived six
1852 - Zenana (women) and Medical Missionary Fellowship formed in England to send out
single women missionaries
1853- The Hermannsburg Missionary Society, founded in 1849 by Louis Harms, finished
training its first group of young missionaries. They were sent to Africa on a ship (the Kandaze)
which had been built entirely with donated funds.
1854 - London Missionary Conference. New York Missionary Conference. Henry Venn,
secretary of the Church Missionary Society, set out ideal of self-governing, self-supporting and
self-propagating churches. Hudson Taylor arrived in China.
"Hudson Taylor's story reminds me that God's promises are always greater than our
problems and God will never let anything come to you that He and you cannot handle together." -
- Victor Patterson, Northwest Nazarene University student
1855 - Henry Steinhauer was ordained as a Canadian Methodist missionary to North
American Indians and posted to Lac La Biche, Alberta. Steinhauer's missionary work had
actually begun 15 years earlier in 1840 when he was assigned to Lac La Pluie to assist in
translating, teaching and interpreting the Ojibwa and Cree languages.
1856 - Presbyterians started work in Colombia with the arrival of Henry Pratt
1857 - Bible translated into Tswana language. Board of Foreign Missions of Dutch
Reformed Church set up.
1858 - John G. Paton began work in New
Hebrides. Elizabeth Freeman martyred in India. Basel Evangelical Missionary Society began
work in western Sumatra (Indonesia) Publication of David Livingstone's book Missionary
Travels and Researches in South Africa.
1859 - Protestant missionaries arrived in Japan.
1860 - United Lutheran Church began work in Liberia. Liverpool Missionary Conference.
Cyrus Hamlin laid groundwork for the establishment of Robert College in Constantinople.
1861 - Protestant Stundism arose in the village of Osnova of modern-day Ukraine. Sarah
Doremus founded the Women's Union Missionary Society. Episcopal Church opened work in
Haiti. Rhenish Mission went to Indonesia under Ludwig Nommensen.
1862 - Paris Evangelical Missionary Society opens work in Senegal
1863 - Robert Moffat, missionary to Africa with the London Missionary Society, published
his book Rivers of Water in a Dry Place, Being an Account of the Introduction of
Christianity into South Africa, and of Mr. Moffat's Missionary Labours.
1864 - Baptists entered Argentina
1865 - The China Inland Mission was founded by James Hudson Taylor. James Laidlaw
Maxwell planted first viable church in Taiwan.
1866 - Theodore Jonas Meyer (1819-1894), a converted Jew serving as a Presbyterian
missionary in Italy, nursed those dying in a cholera epidemic until he himself fell prey to the
disease. Barely surviving, he becomes a peacemaker between Catholics and Protestants. Robert
Thomas, the first Protestant martyr in Korea, was beheaded giving a Bible to his
1867 - Methodists started work in Argentina. Scripture Union established. Lars Skrefsrud
and Hans Barreson began working among the Santals of India.
1868 - Robert Bruce went to Iran. Canadian Baptist missionary Americus Timpany began
work among the Telugu people in India.
1869 - The first Methodist women's missionary magazine, The Heathen Women's
Friend, began publication
1870 - Clara Swain, the very first female missionary medical doctor, arrived at Bareilly,
1871 - Henry Stanley found David Livingstone in central Africa. George Leslie Mackay
planted church in northern Taiwan.
""People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa.
Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply acknowledging a great debt we owe to our God,
which we can never repay?. . . It is emphatically no sacrifice. Rather it is a privilege." --
David Livingstone, speaking at Cambridge University in 1857
1872 - First All-India Missionary Conference with 136 participants
1873 - Regions Beyond Missionary Union founded in London in connection with the East
London Training Institute for Home and Foreign Missions. First Scripture portion (Gospel of
Luke) translated into a language of the Philippines (Pangasinan). Lottie Moon appointed as
missionary to China
1874 - Lord Radstock's first visit to St. Petersburg and the beginning of an evangelical
awakening among the St. Petersburg nobility. Albert Sturges initiated the Interior Micronesia
Mission in the Mortlock Islands under the leadership of Micronesian students from Ohwa.
1875 - The Foreign Christian Missionary Society was organized with Isaac Errett as
president. It served a network of churches within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and
Church of Christ movements.
1876 - In September, a rusty ocean steamer arrived at a port on the Calabar River in what is
now Nigeria. That part of Africa was then known as the White Man's Grave. The only woman on
board that ship was 29-year-old Mary Slessor, a missionary.
1877 - James Chalmers went to New Guinea
1878 - Mass movement to Christ in Ongole, India. Evangelical Association Missionary
1879 - H. F. Reynolds enters the ministry. He became responsible for the global missionary
work of the new Church of the Nazarene in 1907.
1880 - Woman missionary doctor Fanny Butler went to India. Missionary periodical
The Gospel in All Lands was launched by A. B. Simpson
1881 - Methodist work in Lahore, Pakistan started in the wake of revivals under Bishop
William Taylor. North Africa Mission (now Arab World Ministries) founded on work of Edward
Glenny in Algeria
1882 - James Gilmour, London Missionary Society missionary to Mongolia, went home to
England for a furlough. During that time he published a book: Among the Mongols.
It was so well-written that one critic wrote, "Robinson Crusoe has turned missionary, lived years
in Mongolia, and wrote a book about it." Concerning the author, the critic said, "If ever on earth
there lived a man who kept the law of Christ, and could give proof of it, and be absolutely
unconscious that he was giving it to them, it is this man whom the Mongols called 'our
1883 - Salvation Army entered West Pakistan. A.B. Simpson organized The Missionary
Union for the Evangelization of the World. The first classes of the Missionary Training College
were held in New York City. Zaire Christian and Missionary Alliance mission field opened.
1884 - David Torrance was sent by the Jewish Mission of the Free Church of Scotland as a
medical missionary to Palestine
1885 - Horace Underwood, Presbyterian missionary, and Henry Appenzellar, Methodist
missionary, arrived in Korea. Scottish Ion Keith-Falconer went to Aden on the Arabian
peninsula. "The Cambridge Seven" -- C. T. Studd, M.
Beauchamp, W. W. Cassels, D. E. Hoste, S. P. Smith, A.T. Podhill-Turner, and C. H.
Polhill-Turner -- went to China as missionaries. Ugandan troops killed Anglican bishop James
Hannigton and the Africans traveling with him.
1886 - Student Volunteer Movement launched as 100 university and seminary students at
Moody's conference grounds at Mount Hermon, Massachusetts, sign the Princeton Pledge which
says: "I purpose, God willing, to become a foreign missionary."
1887 -Dr. William Cassidy, a Toronto medical doctor, was ordained as the Christian and
Missionary Alliance's first missionary preacher. Unfortunately, en route to China, he died of
smallpox. However, Cassidy's death has been called the "spark that ignited the Alliance
1888 - Jonathan Goforth sailed to China. Student Volunteer Movement for foreign missions
officially organized with John R. Mott as chairman and Robert Wilder as traveling secretary. The
movement's motto, coined by Wilder, was: "The evangelization of the world in this generation".
Scripture Gift Mission (now Lifewords) founded
1889 - Samuel Moffatt sailed from US for Korea to establish the Presbyterian Mission there.
North Africa Mission entered Tripoli and started the first Protestant mission in Libya
1890 - Central American Mission founded by C. I. Scofield, editor of the
Scofield Reference Bible. The Scandinavian Alliance (now The Evangelical Alliance Mission)
founded. Methodist Charles Gabriel wrote the missionary song "Send the Light". John Livingston
Nevius of China visited Korea to outline his strategy for missions: 1) Each believer should be a
productive member of society and active in sharing his faith; 2) The church in Korea should be
distinctly Korean and free of foreign control; 3) The leaders of the Korean church will be
selected and trained from its members; 4) Church buildings will be constrcuted by Koreans with
their own resources
1891 - Samuel Zwemer went to Arabia. Helen Chapman sailed for the Congo (Zaire). She
married a Danish missionary, William Rasmussen, whom she met during the voyage.
1892 - Redcliffe Missionary Training College founded in Chiswick (London)
1893 - Eleanor Chestnut went to China as Presbyterian medical missionary.
Mission founded by Rowland Bingham, a graduate of Nyack College
1894 - Soatanana Revival began in Madagascar and lasted over 90 years
1895 - Africa Inland Mission formed by Peter Cameron Scott. Japan Bible Society
established. Roland Allen sent as missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in
Foreign Parts to its North China Mission.
1896 - Ödön Scholtz founded the first Hungarian Lutheran foreign mission periodical
1897 - Presbyterian Church (USA) began work in Venezuela
1898 - Theresa Huntington left her New England home for the Middle East. For seven
years she worked as an American Board missionary in Elazig (Kharput) in the Ottoman
Empire. Her letters home were published in a book titled Great Need over the
1899 - James Rodgers arrived in Philippines with the Presbyterian Mission. Central
American Mission entered Guatemala
1900 - American Friends opened work in Cuba. Ecumenical Missionary Conference in
Carnegie Hall, New York (162 mission boards represented). One hundred eighty-nine
missionaries and their children were killed in China's Boxer Rebellion. South African Andrew
Murray wrote The Key to the Missionary Problem in which he challenged the church
to hold weeks of prayer for the world
1901 - Nazarene John Diaz went to Cape Verde Islands. Maude Cary sailed for Morocco.
Disciples of Christ opened work in northern Luzon (Philippines). Oriental Missionary Society
founded by Charles Cowman (his wife is the compiler of popular devotional book Streams
in the Desert). Missionary James Chalmers killed and eaten by cannibals in Papua New
1902 - Swiss members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Missions in Many Lands
(CMML) entered Laos. California Yearly Meeting of Friends opened work in Guatemala.
1903 - Church of the Nazarene entered Mexico
1904 - Premillennialist theologian W.E. Blackstone began teaching that the world has
already been evangelized, citing Acts 2:5, 8:4, Mark 16:20 and Colossians 1:23
1905 - Gunnerius Tollefsen was converted at a Salvation Army meeting under the preaching
of Samuel Logan Brengle. Later he became a missionary to the Belgian Congo and then first
mission secretary of the Norwegian Pentecostal movement.
1906 - The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) opened work in Venezuela with T. J.
Bach and John Christiansen
1907 - Harmon Schmelzenbach sailed for Africa. Presbyterians
and Methodists opened Union Theological Seminary in Manila, Philippines. Bolivian Indian
Mission founded by George Allen.
1908 - Gospel Missionary Union opened work in Colombia with Charles Chapman and John
Funk. Assemblies of God entered Rome and southern Italy
1909 - Pentecostal movement organized in Chile. Nazarenes entered Argentina
1910 - C.T. Studd established Heart of Africa Mission (now called WEC
International). Edinburgh Missionary Conference held in Scotland, presided over by John Mott,
beginning modern interdenominational cooperation in world missions
1911 - Christian & Missionary Alliance entered Vietnam
1912 - Conference of British Missionary Societies formed
1913 - African-American Eliza George sailed from New
York for Liberia
1914 - Large-scale revival movement in Uganda
1915 - Founded in 1913 in Nanjing, China as a women's Christian college, Ginling College
officially opened with eight students and six teachers. It was supported by four missions: the
Northern Baptists, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Methodists, and the
1916 - Rhenish missionaries are forced to leave Ondjiva in southern Angola under pressure
from the Portuguese authorities and Chief Mandume of the Kwanyama. By then, four
congregations existed with a confessing membership of 800.
1917 - Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association (IFMA) founded
1918 - James L. Barton, head of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions, asked missionaries who had served in the Ottoman Empire for detailed reports of the
horrors they had witnessed of the Armenian Genocide
1919 - The Union Version of Chinese Bible translation was published. Nazarenes entered
1920 - Baptist Mid-Missions formed. Church of the Nazarene entered Syria
1921 - Founding of International Missionary Council (IMC). Norwegian Mission Council
1922 - Nazarenes entered Mozambique
1923 - Scottish missionaries began work in British Togoland
1924 - Bible Churchman's Missionary Society opened work in Upper Burma. Baptist
Mid-Missions began work in Venezuela
1925 - E. Stanley Jones, Methodist missionary to India,
wrote The Christ of the Indian Road
1926 - Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, was converted through Bible verses he
1927 - Near East Christian Council established
1928 - Cuba Bible Institute (West Indies Mission) opened. Jerusalem Conference of
1929 - Christian & Missionary Alliance entered East Borneo (Indonesia)
1930 - Christian & Missionary Alliance started work among Baouli tribe in the Côte
1931 - HCJB radio station started in Quito, Ecuador by Clarence Jones. Baptist
Mid-Missions entered Liberia
1932 - Assemblies of God opened mission work in Colombia. Laymen's Missionary
Inquiry report published
1933 - Gladys Aylward (subject of movie "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness") arrived in
1935 - Frank C. Laubach, American missionary to the Philippines, perfected the "Each one
teach one" literacy program, which has been used worldwide to teach 60 million people to
1936 - With the outbreak of civil war in Spain, missionaries were forced to leave that
1937 - After expulsion of missionaries from Ethiopia by the invading Italian army,
widespread revival erupted among Protestant (SIM) churches in south
1938 - West Indies Mission entered Dominican Republic. Church Missionary Society forced
out of Egypt. Madras World Missionary Conference held. Dr. Orpha Speicher supervised
construction of Reynolds Memorial Hospital building in central India
1939 - A sick missionary, Joy Ridderhof, made a recording of gospel songs and a message
and sent it into the mountains of Honduras. It was the beginning of Gospel Recordings
1940 - Marianna Slocum began translation work in Mexico. Military police in Japan arrest
the executive officers of the Salvation Army.
1941 - The steamship Zamzam, sailing from New York with 140 missionaries bound for
various African mission fields, was sunk by the Germans. All the missionary passengers were
1942 - William Cameron Townsend founded Wycliffe Bible
Translators. New Tribes mission founded with a vision to reach the tribal peoples of Bolivia
1943 - World Gospel Mission (National Holiness Missionary Society) entered Honduras.
Five missionaries with New Tribes Mission martyred. Nazarenes entered Virgin Islands. Eleven
American Baptist missionaries were beheaded in the Philippines by Japanese soldiers
1944 - Missionaries returned to Suki, Papua New Guinea after withdrawal of the Japanese
1945 - Mission Aviation Fellowship formed. Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC)
founded. Evangelical Foreign Missions Association formed by denominational mission boards.
Nazarenes entered Australia, Bolivia, Guyana and the Philippines
1946 - First Inter-Varsity missionary convention (later called simply "Urbana"). United Bible
1947 - Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society began work among the Senufo people
in the Côte d'Ivoire
1948 - Alfredo del Rosso merged his Italian Indepdendent
Holiness Mission with the Church of the Nazarene, thus opening Nazarene work on the European
continent. Don Owens opened work for the Church of the Nazarene in Korea. Southern Baptist
Convention adopted program calling for tripling of the number of missionaries (achieved by
1949 - Southern Baptist Mission board opened work in Venezuela
1950 - Paul Orjala arrived in Haiti. Radio station 4VEH, owned
by East and West Indies
Bible Mission, started broadcasting from near Cap Haitien, Haiti
1951 - World Evangelical Alliance organized. Bill and Vonette Bright created Campus
Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) at UCLA
1952 - Church of the Nazarene entered New Zealand. Trans World Radio founded
1953 - Walter Trobisch, who published I loved a girl in 1962, began pioneer
missionary work in northern Cameroon. Nazarenes entered Panama
1954 - Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities opened work in Cuba. Argentina Revival
broke out during a Tommy Hicks crusade.
1955 - Donald McGavran published Bridges of God. Dutch missionary
"Brother Andrew" made first of many Bible smuggling trips into Communist Eastern Europe.
Sydney and Wanda Knox went to Papua New Guinea as Nazarene
1956 - U.S. missionaries Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Edward McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger
Youderian died at the hands of the Waorani on the Curaray River in Ecuador. Assemblies of God
opened work in Senegal
1957 - Nazarenes entered Malawi
1958 - Rochunga Pudaite completed translation of Bible into Hmar language (India) and was
appointed the leader of the Indo-Burma Pioneer Mission. Nazarenes entered Brazil and
1959 - Radio Lumiere founded in Haiti by West Indies Mission (now World Team).
Josephine Makil becomes the first African-American to join Wycliffe Bible Translators.
1960 - Kenneth Strachan started Evangelism-in-Depth in Central America. In Morocco,
18,000 people replied to a newspaper ad by Gospel Missionary Union offering a free
correspondence course on Christianity. Loren Cunningham founded Youth with a Mission
1961 - Nazarenes entered Zambia
1962 - Don and Carol Richardson went to Sawi tribe in Papua
New Guinea. Operation Mobilisation founded in Mexico by George Verwer
1963 - Theological Education by Extension movement launched in Guatemala by Ralph
Winter and James Emery
1964 - In separate incidents, rebels in the Congo kill missionaries Paul Carlson and Irene
Ferrel as well as brutalizing missionary doctor Helen
Roseveare. Carlson is featured on December 4 TIME magazine cover. Hans
von Staden of the Dorothea Mission urged Patrick Johnstone to write the book now titled
Operation World. | Roseveare's fondly-remembered story
about a hot-water bottle and a doll
1965 - Evangelist Juliet Ndzimandze was ordained in Swaziland, the first woman in Africa
to be ordained by the Church of the Nazarene
1966 - Red Guards destroyed churches in China. Berlin Congress on Evangelism.
Missionaries expelled from Burma. God's Smuggler published
1967 - A million Christians were killed in the Biafra civil war. Church of the Nazarene
entered the Netherlands
1968 - Wu Yung and others formed the Chinese Missions Overseas to send out
missionaries from Taiwan to do cross-cultural ministry
1969 - OMF International began "industrial evangelism" to Taiwan's factory workers
1971 - Gustavo Gutierrez published A Theology of Liberation
1972 - American Society of Missiology founded with journal Missiology.
Nazarenes entered Ecuador and St. Lucia
1973 - Church of the Nazarene entered Argentina, Indonesia, Namibia, and Portugal. First
All-Asa Mission Consultation convened in Seoul, Korea with 25 delegates from 14 countries.
Founding of the American Society of Missiology
1974 - Missiologist Ralph Winter talked about "hidden" or unreached peoples at Lausanne
Congress of World Evangelism. Lausanne Covenant was written and ratified. Guatemala Las
Verapaces became the first Phase 4 Nazarene district outside of the USA, Canada and Great
1975 - Missionaries Armand Doll and Hugh Friberg were imprisoned in Mozambique after
communist takeover of government
1976 - U.S. Center for World Mission founded in Pasadena, California. In Hong Kong, 1600
Chinese assembled for the Chinese Congress on World Evangelization. Islamic World
Congress called for withdrawal of Christian missionaries. Peace Child appeared in
1977 - Evangelical Fellowship of India sponsored the "All-India Congress on Mission and
1978 - Nazarenes entered Switzerland. LCWE Consultation on Gospel and Culture in
1979 - Production of JESUS film commissioned by Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for
Christ. PIONEERS was founded, the first missionary agency with a sole focus on the "unreached
people groups" paradigm
1980 - Philippine Congress on "Discipling a Whole Nation." Lausanne Congress on World
Evangelism Conference in Pattaya.
1981 - Colombian terrorists kidnapped and killed Wycliffe Bible Translator Chet Bitterman.
Project Pearl: one million Bibles were delivered in a single night to thousands of waiting
believers in China
1982 - Third World Theologians Consultation in Seoul. Story on "The New Missionary"
made the December 27 cover of TIME magazine. Andes Evangelical Mission
(formerly Bolivian Indian Mission) merged into SIM (originally Sudan Interior Mission).
1983 - Nazarenes started work on St. Kitts-Nevis
1984 - Founding of STEM (Short Term Evangelical Mission teams) ministry by Roger
Petersen signaled the rising importance of Short-term missions groups.
1985 - Nazarenes started work in Cyprus
1986 - Entire Bible published in Haitian Creole language. Nazarenes entered Egypt and
1987 - Second International Conference on Missionary Kids (MKs) held in Quito,
1988 - Wycliffe Bible Translators completed their 300th New Testament translation
(Cotabato Manobo language of the Philippines). Nazarenes started work in French Guiana,
Senegal, and Uganda
1989 - Adventures In Missions (AIM) Short-term missions agency founded by Seth Barnes.
Lausanne II, a world missions conference. Concept of 10/40 Window emerged. "Ee-Taow"
video released by New Tribes Mission. Nazarenes entered Thailand
1990 - Church of the Nazarene entered Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Liberia,
Rwanda and Tanzania
1991 - The Marxist government of Ethiopia was overthrown and missionaries were able to
return to that country. Regions Beyond Missionary Union was dissolved.
1992 - Nazarenes started work in Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Romania,
Russia, Solomon Islands and Ukraine.
1993 - Church of the Nazarene entered Albania, Eritrea, Lesotho, Madagascar
1994 - Liibaan Ibraahim Hassan, a convert to Christianity in Somalia, was martyred by
Islamic militants in the capital city of Mogadishu. Church of the Nazarene entered Bulgaria and
1995 - Nazarene missionary Don Cox was abducted in Quito, Ecuador. Church of the
Nazarene started work in Fiji and Palau
1997 - Nazarenes entered Burkina Faso and Sao Toma
1998 - Nazarenes entered Benin, Nepal and Togo
1999 - Trans World Radio went on the air from Grigoriopol (Moldova) using a
1-million-watt AM transmitter. Veteran Australian missionary Graham Stewart Stains and his
two sons were burned alive by Hindu extremists as they slept in a car in eastern India.
2000 - Militants detonated two bombs in a Christian church in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, killing
seven persons and injuring 70 others.
2001 - New Tribes Missionaries Martin and Gracie Burnham were kidnapped in the
Philippines by Muslim terrorist group. Baptist missionary Roni Bowers and her infant daughter
are killed when a Peruvian Air Force jet fired on their small float-plane. Though severely
wounded in both legs, missionary pilot Kevin Donaldson landed the burning plane on the
Amazon River. Six masked gunmen shot up a church in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, killing 15
2002 - Militants threw grenades into the Protestant International Church in Islamabad,
Pakistan, during a church service. Five persons were killed and 46 were wounded
2003 - Church of the Nazarene started work on Reunion
2004 - Four Southern Baptist missionaries were killed by gunman in Iraq
2006 - Abdul Rahman, an Afghan Christian convert, was forced out of Afghanistan and into
exile in Italy by local Muslim leaders.
Not every year has something connected to it. If you know of something for
one of the missing years, let me know. I'll be glad to add it. It needs to be said that I'm part of
the Church of the Nazarene. So, that's the reason events connected with my "tribe" appear here
and there in this chronological unfolding of gospel outreach.
-- compiled by Howard Culbertson
"The stories of missionaries, like William Carey, Robert Morrison, and J. Hudson
Taylor left me questioning the depth of my own faith and passion for seeing others come to
Christ. I want faith like they had -- unwavering faith -- and a passion for the lost." -- Kaitlin
S., chilldren's pastor
What happened in Great Commision fulfillment on specific days of the year?