September in global missions history: It happened today
On this date in world evangelism outreach
"Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses . . ."
-- Hebrews 12:1
Significant world evangelism events regarding locations, people, and movements in
- September 1, 1877 -- Birth of Karl Ludvig Reichelt (1877-1952) in Norway. Reichelt went
to China in 1904 and in 1922, with the goal of evangelizing Buddhists and Taoists, he founded
Ching Fong Shan in Nanjing. After a civil war broke out, he moved to Shatin, Hong Kong where
in 1930 he started Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre. Reichelt is credited with leading hundreds
of Buddhist monks to follow Christ. One of his goals was to create an institute that "as far as
possible corresponds to that of a Buddhist monastery."
- September 2, 2003 -- A house church in Nanyang County, Henan Province of China, was
raided by Public Security Bureau officers. The 170 Christians at the service were fingerprinted,
fined, and released, but 14 leaders were detained on more serious charges. These leaders
faced torture and prison. Nanyang County is one of the strongest Christian areas in China with
perhaps 40-50% of the population believing in Christ.
- September 3, 1889 -- Birth of Sadhu Sandar Singh in Punjab. Raisesd in the Sikh religion,
he converted to Christianity and became a missionary.
- September 4, 1977 -- Trans World Radio's Guam station made its first broadcast from four
100,000-watt shortwave transmitters
- September 5, 1810 -- The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was
founded by the General Association of Congregational Churches. In 1812 the board sent out a
number of missionaries, including Adoniram Judson, Samuel Newell, and Samuel Nott, to
- September 6, 1849 -- E. R. Baierlein, German missionary to the Indians in Michigan, was
ordained and installed. He erected a log church with a belfry and a log cabin for his home. As he
cleared some land, he set some aside as "God's acre" and named the place Bethany. In a
remarkably short time, Baierlein had mastered the Chippewa language and had a book including
portions of the Lutheran Catechism printed in the Chippewa language.
- September 7, 1890 -- Swedish-American evangelist Fredrik Franson arrived in New York
after holding revival campaigns in Germany. On October 14 he began a training course in
Brooklyn with the announced purpose of sending missionaries to China. He taught similar
courses in Chicago, Minneapolis and Omaha. About two hundred young people of Scandinavian
descent attended. From those who offered themselves for missionary service, Franson selected
fifty. By February 5, 1891, all were on their way to China, each supported by local churches.
To direct this undertaking, Franson organized The Scandinavian Alliance Mission of North
America. Today that organization is simply called TEAM -- The Evangelical Alliance
- September 8, 1920 - In an article in his journal Young India, Mahatma Gandi
asserted, "It is my firm opinion that Europe (and the United States) does not represent the spirit
of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan's successes are the greatest when he
appears with the name of God on his lips."
- September 9, 801 - Ansgar, "Apostle to the North," was
- September 10, 2001 -- The Southern Baptist missionary count exceeded 5,000 for the first
- September 11, 1922 -- Death of 91-year-old Robert Henry Codrington, Anglican missionary
to Melanesia who was among the most accomplished of the nineteenth-century missionary
scholars who contributed significantly to the early growth of anthropology and linguistic
research. Among his writings are The Melanesian Languages (1885), The
Melanesians: Studies in Their Anthropology and Folk-lore (1891) and Story of a
Melanesian deacon: Clement Marau (1906).
- September 12, 2000 -- Pastor Yesu Dasu was beheaded in Karimnagar, India, by unidentified
assailants who struck him in the neck with an axe several times before he died.
- September 13, 1888 -- Jonathan Goforth who had arrived earlier in Cheefoo, set out on an
exploratory tour of the North Honan region of China. Goforth was not an easy man to work
with, but he had success in planting churches and was associated with revival among Korean
Christians in the early 1900s and with revival in Manchuria in 1908.
- September 14, 1985 -- Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon released Benjamin Weir, an
American missionary. He had been their captive for 16 months.
- September 15, 1921 -- Raymond R. Brewer sailed for Shanghai, China, where he became
Dickinson College's representative at West China Union University. He started the
- September 16, 1863 -- Robert College opened its doors in Constantinople with Cyrus Hamlin
as its first President. Hamlin -- educator, inventor, architect and missionary -- had gone to
Turkey as a missionary in 1838 where he worked with the Armenian minority and established
Bebek Seminary to train young men to become pastors and teachers among the Greeks and
Armenians living in Turkey.
- September 17, 1597 -- In an uprising against Spanish rule, Guale Indian leader Juanillo went
to St. Catherine's island off the Georgia coast and clubbed to death Spanish missionaries Miguel
de Aunon and Antonio de Badajoz. The two missionaries had ignored warnings from friendly
Indians of Juanillo's insurrection.
- September 18, 1964 -- Congolese rebels ransacked a missionary hospital at Wasolo. They
murdered two of the Congolese nurses -- Constant Kokembe and Boniface Bomba -- and took
Missionary doctor Paul Carlson hostage.
- September 19, 1882 -- The Salvation Army "invaded" India. When the authorities in India
heard that the Salvation Army was coming, they visualized the landing of a formidable force
which might cause communal riots resulting in violence and bloodshed. Consequently, the
Mumbai police lined up in force on the quayside at Apollo Bunder for the Army's arrival. When
the four Salvation Army officers on board the ship stepped ashore, the police superintendent
approached, asking, "When will the rest of your army land?" Major Frederick de Lautour Tucker
replied, "We are the whole Army."
- September 20, 1864 -- Aaron Buzacott, a London Missionary Society missionary to Tahiti,
died. Born in 1800, Buzacott was sent to the South Seas in 1827. He was stationed at Tahiti,
then at Rarotonga. With John Williams and Charles Pitman he translated the Bible into the
language of Rarotonga.
- September 21, 1992 -- Islamic gunmen hit Christian radio station DXAS in the Philippines,
killing pastor-broadcaster Greg Happala and technician Greg Bacabis.
- September 22, 1853 -- Charles Carter arrived in Ceylon as a missionary of the Baptist
Missionary Society. He made such rapid progress in language study that he was able to preach
his first sermon in Sinhalese at Biyanwila just four months after his arrival.
- September 23, 1595 -- Led by Fray Juan de Silva, the Spanish began an intensive missionary
campaign in the North American southeast. In two years time, 1,500 Native Americans
in what is now Florida, Georgia and South Carolina became Roman Catholics.
- September 24, 1939 -- Juji Nakada, Japanese evangelist, died. In 1901 he had invited
Charles and Lettie Cowman of the U.S. to establish a Bible Institute in Japan. As a result of
Nakada's vision, the Oriental Missionary Society (now known as O.M.S. International) was
founded in Tokyo, Japan, that same year. This interdenominational mission organization of
Wesleyan tradition specializes in evangelism, church planting, radio/TV broadcasting and
theological education. Headquartered in Greenwood, Indiana, O.M.S. operates in over a dozen
countries, with a total overseas staff of more than 250.
- September 25, 1856 -- Methodist missionary William Butler reached Calcutta.
- September 26, 2002 -- Jubilation replaces fear within the walls of a U.S.-led MK
(missionary kid) school in battle-divided Ivory Coast, as French troops arrived to evacuate the
mostly American staff and students. For days, nearly 200 residents of the school -- including 160
children ranging in age from 5 to 18 -- had been holed up as gunfire sounded outside their
- September 27, 1995 -- Missionary Sam Sasser died. In 1960 Sasser began serving as a
missionary in the Marshall Islands and Samoa, helping to plant 26 churches. He had requested
that his heart be buried in the Marshall Islands.
- September 28, 1870 -- James Gilmour, Scottish missionary, completed his first Mongolian
trip (from Peking to Kiachta). For much of the next 21 years, he would spend his summers with
nomadic Mongols on the plains of Mongolia and his winters with Mongols in Peking.
- September 29, 1968 -- Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary Betty Ann Olsen, who
is being held captive by the Viet Cong, died and is buried by Michael Benge along a trail. Olsen,
born to missionary parents in Bouake, Ivory Coast, had gone to Vietnam in 1964 as a missionary
nurse. Eventually taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, Olsen and two other missionaries were
chained together and moved north from one encampment to another through mountainous
jungles. The grueling months-long trip took its toll. Physically depleted, the missionaries became
sick from dysentery and malnutrition and were beset by fungus, infection, leeches and ulcerated
- September 30, 1816 -- John Williams (who would eventually be called "the apostle of
Polynesia"), Robert Moffat (Africa) and 7 other young men are appointed as missionaries by the
London Missionary Society.
-- compiled by Howard Culbertson,
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