June in global missions history: It happened today!
On this date in world evangelism outreach
- Missionary William Carey sailed from Great Britain for India in
- Frank Laubach, known as the Apostle of Literacy, passed away in June.
- In June, Adoniram Judson, one of the first missionaries sent out by churches in the USA,
baptized his first convert in what is now Myanmar.
- In June of 2003, Time magazine ran a cover article on missionaries going to
the 10/40 Window
"Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses
. . ." -- Hebrews 12:1
Significant events, locations, people, and movements in world evangelism
- June 1, 1823 -- Reginald Heber (1783-1826), author of 60 sixty hymns, including the classic
"From Greenland's Icy Mountains," was commissioned as a
missionary to India. He became the Anglican missionary Bishop of Calcutta which meant
he supervised Anglican work in all of India, Ceylon, Mauritius, and Australasia.
- June 2, 1901 -- Throat cancer took the life of Canadian Presbyterian missionary George
Leslie Mackay. Mackay left his mark on Taiwan, where his close
identification with the Taiwanese led him, in contravention of
the moral code of his time, to marry a "Chinese lady." Professor Chen Chi-Rong said of him, "He
was very committed to this land in a way that was different from that of other missionaries." One
of Mackay's ambitions was to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Taiwan. Although Mackay
saw medicine simply as a tool in evangelism, he has acquired fame among trivia buffs for pulling
over 22,000 teeth.
- June 3, 1837 -- Arthur Tappan Pierson, missiologist, was born
in New York City (d. 1911). A graduate of Hamilton College and Union Presbyterian Seminary,
he pastored in New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, as well as London,
England. An authority on missions and a prolific writer, Pierson edited the classic
Missionary Review of the World (1888). He died immediately after returning from
a trip to the Orient. A. T. Pierson's association with D. L. Moody and his Northfield Conferences
were the breeding ground for Pierson's determination to see the world evangelized in his
- June 4, 1948 -- Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), which was founded in Shanghai in
1947 by John Broger and Bob Bowman, relocated to Manilla in the Philippine Islands.
- June 5, 754 -- Boniface was preparing a group of Friesland (in
what is now the Netherlands) converts for baptism when they were attacked by pagan warriors.
All of the baptismal group, including Boniface, were killed.
- June 6, 1756 -- John Roth, born February 3, 1726, in Germany, was commissioned for
Moravian missionary service in a Pennsylvania "colony" of single brethren. When they arrived at
Bethlehem, John Roth immediately began ministry among the Native Americans at Nain.
He learned the Delaware language. In due course, he was ordained, and in 1756 became
assistant to David Zeisberger, veteran missionary in Ohio during the American Revolution and the
early years of the new nation.
- June 7, 2002 -- An American missionary, Martin Burnham, and a Filipino nurse were killed
when the Philippine military launched a raid to rescue them from the Islamic radicals that had held
them captive in the jungle for more than a year. Burnham's wife Gracie was freed
but suffered a gunshot wound.
- June 8, 1950 -- The Fitkin Memorial Nazarene Bible College was launched in Benque Viejo
in what is now Belize. Missionary David Browning was the school's first director.
- June 9, 1888 -- The 10-day Centenary Conference on the Protestant Missions of the World
opened in London. Participating were 1579 delegates of 10 different nationalities representing
139 denominations and societies -- more than has ever been assembled under one roof. After a
century of British leadership, the conference marked the coming of age of North American
Protestant missions. Participants included historian Philip Schaff, A. T. Pierson, J. Hudson
Taylor, and even billionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt II.
- June 10, 1925 -- The Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
acknowledged that it was in dire financial straits. Members issued a call to prayer "that
Southern Baptists may realize the emergency and be faithful with their money and that the
pastors and people spread the information of the urgent need of the board."
- June 11, 1970 -- Goodbye to Frank Laubach, Apostle of Literacy. Laubach had become
aware of the importance of literacy while serving as a missionary among Maranao Moro Muslims
in the Philippines. Poverty and injustice crushed their lives. Much of it could be remedied, he
decided, if only the people could read. The "Apostle of Literacy" and his wife Effa are buried in
Benton, Pennsylvania. Their tombstone reads "World Missionaries."
- June 12, 1878 -- Missionary Alexander Mackay arrived at the Victoria Nyanza in Uganda,
- June 13, 1793 -- William Carey, pioneer Baptist
missionary who is sometimes referred to as "the father of the modern missionary movement",
sailed for India.
- June 14, 1910 -- The World Missionary Conference was called to
order at the Assembly Hall of the United Free Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. Of the 1200
delegates, over 80% were from Britain and North America. One hundred and seventy were from
the European Continent. Just 18 came from the rest of the world. It was one of the last
moments in history when "worldwide Christianity" would mean Christian Europe and North
America reaching out to the rest of the world.
- June 15, 1755 -- African-American John Marrant, the future missionary to Native
Americans, was born in New York.
- June 16, 1980 -- Opening of Consultation on World Evangelization in Pattaya, Thailand.
The 800 participants hammered out 17 landmark reports on evangelizing such people groups as
the urban poor, Chinese peoples, Jews, Secularists, Hindus, Buddhists, Animists, Muslims,
nominal Orthodox believers, nominal Protestant Christians, and nominal Roman Catholics.
- June 17, 1869 -- John Boden Thomson was ordained at Trinity Presbyterian
Church, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Born April 14, 1841, at Kirkpatrick, Kirkcudbrightshire, he
studied at Western College and Highgate Missionary College. The same year he was ordained,
Thomson married Elizabeth Edwards. Shortly after his ordination, the London Missionary
Society appointed him to Matabeleland (the western portion of what is now Zimbabwe). Thomson
and his wife sailed on August 9, 1869, and arrived at Inyati, Matabeleland on April 29, 1870.
- June 18, 1999 -- A Southern Baptist missionary, his 11-year-old daughter, and two young
summer missionaries died in a swimming accident on Mexico's southern coast. Gary Sloan, 37, his
daughter, Carla, and summer missionaries John Weems, 21, of Nacogdoches, Texas, and Joy
Murphy, 19, of Pelham, AL., drowned in the ocean near Tapachula. The four had gone with
Sloan's wife, Gloria, the Sloans' three other children, and three other summer missionaries to
celebrate a family birthday.
- June 19, 1859 -- Ashbel Green Simonton, missionary to Brazil with the Presbyterian Board
of Foreign Missions, sailed from Baltimore on the merchant ship Banshee. He
arrived in Rio de Janeiro on August 12. In November, 1864, Simonton took the lead in the
establishment of the Impresna Evangelica, a
semi-monthly evangelical newspaper.
- June 20, 1880 -- Death of Samuel R. Brown, the first American-appointed missionary to
Japan. Born in East Windsor, Conn., on June 16, 1810, Brown went first to China as a
missionary for nearly a decade. After a decade back in the U.S., he then sailed for Japan in 1859
as a missionary of the Reformed (Dutch) Church. He assisted in the Japanese translation of the
New Testament, which was completed just before his death.
- June 21, 1851 -- Birth of Lillias Horton Underwood (physician, missionary). She went to
Korea in 1888 as a single Presbyterian medical missionary. In 1908 she wrote an account of her
first 15 years in Korea, titling it: Fifteen Years Among the Top-Knots or Life in
- June 22, 1767 -- August Friedrich Kemmerer, missionary to India, was born in
Wusterhausen, Brandenburg, Germany (died 22 October 1837). Educated at Halle, he was
ordained in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1789. He began his missionary service in 1791in
- June 23, 1951 -- The Saturday Evening Post published an article titled "The
Conqueror of the Congo." It recounted the work of William Alexander Deans, missionary with
Christian Mission in Many Lands. Deans (1908-1999) worked in northeast Belgian Congo (now
Democratic Republic of Congo), especially in publishing Christian literature in African
- June 24, 1809 -- William Carey completed translating the Bible into Bengali.
- June 25, 592 -- Irish missionary Moluag died. A contemporary of Columba, Moluag (also
called Lugaidh) brought Christianity to the Island of Lismore and parts of northeastern
- June 26, 1892 -- Pearl S. Buck, Presbyterian missionary to China and author of the
best-seller book The Good Earth (1931), was born.
- June 27, 1819 -- Adoniram Judson baptized the first Burman believer, Moung Nau, in what
is now Myanmar. That day, Judson wrote in his journal: "Oh, may it prove to be the beginning
of a series of baptisms in the Burman empire which shall continue in uninterrupted success to the
end of the age."
- June 28, 1810 -- Four young men -- Adoniram Judson, Samuel Mills, Samuel Nott, and
Samuel Newell -- walked six miles to present to the General Association of the Congregational
Ministers of Massachusetts a formal resolution in which they offered themselves for missionary
service. The following day, the resolution was approved, and the first foreign mission board in
the USA was formed.
" As Samuel Mills and his friends challenged the status quo and encountered obstacles,
God's Spirit burst forth even more broadly and powerfully than they had imagined." -- Jim
Butkus, Northwest Nazarene University graduate student
- June 29, 1900 -- Missionaries to China with the Swedish Holiness Mission along with Chinese
believers were killed by Boxer agitators in what came to be known as "The Soping
- June 30, 2003 -- Time magazine ran a cover article on missionaries going to
the 10/40 Window area.
-- compiled by Howard Culbertson,
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