Nazarene Roots

The Call of Susan Fitkin

Fitkin, pioneer Nazarene missions leader and first NMI president

One way or example of how God calls people

"I awoke trembling and greatly moved, and was wondering what it all meant, when I became conscious of the divine presence. It was like a person standing beside my bed, and in an audible voice saying solemnly: 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature!'

"I was astonished, for I was still an invalid, but I at once replied, 'Oh, Lord, I will go, but you know how frail I am. You will have to take all the responsibility.' He assured me that He would, and a great peace filled my soul. This was such a clear call that I never doubted it.'"

After 10 years of preaching, pastoring and starting churches, first for the Friends and then for the Association of Pentecostal Churches, Susan Fitkin was ordained an elder in the new Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, with Dr. Bresee officiating. She later wrote, "This was a memorable occasion but it was only the human sanction to God's work. For, years before, He had definitely spoken His precious words to my heart: 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit,' and has He not verified it again and again?" (S. N. Fitkin, Grace Much More Abounding, Nazarene Publishing House, n.d., pages 10-11, 46.)

As founder and president of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society [now Nazarene Missions International] from 1915-45, Susan Fitkin played a major role in establishing the Nazarene passion for world missions. She frequently visited the mission fields at her own expense. Then, she would write of her experiences and tour in the States telling the church of the needs. In 1956, the memoirs committee of the General Assembly wrote that it would be impossible to fully know "the results of her prayers, her compassion for the lost, and her untiring efforts to send the Gospel to the ends of the earth."

Prepared by Steve Cooley, former director of Nazarene Archives
Published in the Herald of Holiness,. Used by permission.

Picking up Susan Fitkin's mantle

Click hereWanda Knox graduated from college and was married as Susan Fitkin was passing from the scene. Like Susan Fitkin, Wanda Knox would leave a lasting imprint on Nazarene world mission outreach. [ read more ]

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of  Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
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