13 January 1915 – Missionary Mary Slessor died at age 66 in Use Ikot Oku, Calabar (present day Nigeria).
28 January 1907 – Missionary to the New Hebrides, John Paton, died at age 82 at Canterbury, Victoria, Australia.
5 February 1812 – Adoniram Judson, Congregational missionary, married Anne Hasseltine. Together Adoniram and Anne Judson became America’s first foreign missionaries to Burma.
18 February 1781 – Henry Martyn was born at Truro, Cornwell, England. He became a pioneer Missionary and Bible translator to India and Persia.
22 February 1807 – The Abolition Bill was passed in the House of Commons by an overwhelming 283 votes to 16 against. It was the culmination of a 20-year crusade led by William Wilberforce.
26 February 1835 – Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar, forbade the preaching of the Gospel. Ultimately many Christians were imprisoned, or martyred under her cruel regime.
1 March 1854 – Dr. Hudson Taylor stepped ashore for the first time in Shanghai, China, to begin his missionary work. For years Hudson Taylor’s heart had burned with a fervent compulsion to carry the Gospel to China. The civil war began the week he arrived and his first six months in China were fraught with danger and loneliness. No one could have guessed that He would become one of the greatest Missionaries the world have ever known.
2 March 1900 – The new nation of Australia inserted the words: “humbly relying on the blessings of Almighty God” into the Constitution, promising religious freedom by prohibiting the government from establishing a religion, or imposing religious tests on citizens’ beliefs and activities.
3 March 1834 – Fanny Crosby left home to attend the school for the blind. She became one of the most prolific Hymn-writers in history.
6 March 1901 – Amy Carmichael, Missionary to India, rescued and sheltered her first temple run-away, a young girl who had been dedicated to Hindu gods and forced into prostitution to earn money for the priests. Technically this made Amy Carmichael a kidnapper. For the next many years, she rescued many other children, often at the cost of extreme exhaustion and personal danger.
7 March 1804 – The British and Foreign Bible Society was formed to translate, publish and distribute and translate the Bible. It was the first of many Bible Societies that would be formed throughout the world. Key supporters of this young society included William Wilberforce, Zachary Macaulay and Hannah More. Within 100 years, the British and Foreign Bible Society distributed over 200 Million pieces of literature. Among its many successful projects was helping to fund the printing of translations of the Bible completed by Missionaries William Carey, Robert Morrison, the first Protestant Missionary to China and Henry Martyn’s translation of the New Testament into Persian.
10 March 1747 – Slave trader, John Newton, surrendered to Christ in the midst of a storm at sea. He went on to become an Abolitionist and a Minister of the Gospel, writing one of the world’s most beloved Hymns: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now I am found; was blind, but now I see.”
11 March 1888 – Samuel Zwemer, who would become “the apostle to Islam”, preached his first public sermon, to an African-American congregation in Michigan.
14 March 1873 – A 200-year old Edict against Christianity was revoked in Japan after Commodore Perry of the United States Navy forced Japan to open its ports. Western Diplomats had complained of the persecution of Christians in Japan and forbidding of Missionaries.
19 March 1813 – David Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Scotland. He became one of the most influential Missionaries, authors and explorers in history.
20 March 1858 – Johannes Gossner died in Berlin. A convert from Catholicism to the Protestant Faith, he was influential in evangelising Russia and founding an International Mission which took his name.
22 March 1758 – Jonathan Edwards, the greatest Theologian in American history and a man most closely associated with the Great Evangelical Awakening in North America, died from smallpox vaccination, after serving just one month as President of Princeton University.
23 March 1858 – John Paton was ordained as a Missionary from Scotland. He first worked in the slums of his own nation and later as a missionary to the cannibals of the South Pacific Islands.
1 April 1815 – William Chalmers Burns was born in Forfarshire, Scotland. He was a Scottish Evangelist and Missionary to China with the English Presbyterian Mission. Along with Robert Murray M’Cheyne, he was associated with the Revival in Scotland in 1839.
1 April 1860 – Jonathan Goble and his wife, arrived at Kanagawa, Japan, becoming some of the first Protestant Missionaries to enter Japan. Goble is accredited with inventing the Rickshaw.
2 April 1952 – American Missionary to the Muslim Middle East, Samuel Marinus Zwemer died in New York City. He had set up four mission stations in the Middle East. The National Evangelical Church of Bahrain, which he established, continues to this day. Through the work of the Student Volunteer Movement, with which he was strongly connected, over 14,000 young people were mobilised to the Mission field.
3 April 1826 – Bishop Reginald Heber died in India. Amongst his influential hymns composed, are: “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains,” which was reputed to have inspired more people into foreign missions than any other hymn in history.
4 April 1868 – Scottish Missionary, William Chalmers Burns, died in Niu Zhuang, China. He worked together with Hudson Taylor, evangelising in the Chinese interior. During his preaching the Gospel in China, Burns was imprisoned in Guangzhou and died in Liaoning province.
5 April 1811 – Robert Raikes, one of the founders of the Sunday School movement, died on this day.
8 April 1868 – George Matheson, a blind hymn writer, was ordained pastor of Clydesdale Parish. He wrote the Hymn: “O Love that will not let me go.”
8 April 1901 – Missionaries, James Chalmers and Oliver Tomkins were martyred on the Fly River in New Guinea. They were clubbed, boiled and eaten by this previously unreached tribe.
10 April 1829 – William Booth was born. A Methodist, he founded the Salvation Army to reach those working in the slums, who were missed by the churches. He wrote the book In Darkest England.
11 April 1836 – George Muller opened his first orphanage in Bristol, taking in 26 orphans. 40 years later, his orphanages housed 2,000 children. Muller ran a Faith Mission which did not engage in fundraising, but trusted the Lord to provide through free will donations.
12 April 1850 – American Baptist Missionary, Adoniram Judson, died at age 61, at sea in the Bay of Bengal. He was a pioneer Missionary to Burma and succeeded in translating the Bible into Burmese and planting over 100 churches with 8,000 believers. He also compiled the first ever Burmese-English dictionary.
12 April 1867 – Samuel Marinus Zwemer was born in Vriesland, Michigan, USA. He became known as the Apostle to Islam. He was an American missionary to Muslims in the Middle East.
16 April 1858 – John Paton and his wife sailed from Scotland to become missionaries to the New Hebrides islands. His wife soon died, along with their infant son, both of whom, Paton had to bury. He wrote: “But for Jesus and His fellowship, I must have gone mad beside that grave and died.”
18 April 1874 – The remains of Missionary, Dr. David Livingstone were interred at Westminster Abby in London, nearly a year after he had died in Africa.
21 April 1855 – Dwight L. Moody was converted to Christ by the Sunday school teacher Edward Kimball. Moody went on to become a powerful Evangelist.
1 May 1873 – Missionary, Dr. David Livingstone died in Chitambo Village in Kazembe, in what is today Central Province, Zambia. He was 60 years old and the cause of death was malaria and internal bleeding due to dysentery.
9 May 1848 – Andrew Murray was ordained on his 20th birthday and sent as a Missionary to the Voortrekkers to be based in Bloemfontein in the Orange River Colony. He became a prolific author and revivalist.
10 May 1887 – Ion Keith-Falconer was martyred in Aden, Yemen, for his Gospel ministry. Before he died, he said: “While vast continents are shrouded in almost utter darkness and hundreds of millions suffer the horrors of Heathenism and Islam, the burden of proof rests upon you to show that the circumstances wherein God has placed you were meant by Him to keep you out of the foreign mission field.”
12 May 1789 – William Wilberforce introduced a bill for the Abolition of the slave trade before the House of Commons, in the Palace of Westminster, London.
12 May 1792 – William Carey published an 87-page book, An Inquiry into The Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen. This book launched the greatest century of Missions.
12 May 1838 – CMS Missionary Samuel Marsden died at age 72 at Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.
14 May 1901 – Althea Brown, an African-American, was commissioned as a missionary to the Congo. She persevered in preparing a grammar of the Bukuba language.
20 May 1861 – Missionaries George and Ellen Gordon were martyred by the chief of the Island of Erromanga (today called Vanuatu).
21 May 1832 – James Hudson Taylor was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England.
22 May 1885 – In Uganda, 32 Christian boys were publically executed by King Mwanga after they refused to submit to his sodomite demands. The immediate cause of the killings was the refusal of the pages to engage in homosexual practices. The king, who by tradition had the power of life and death over his subjects, was angered by this refusal to obey his wishes to submit to homosexual perversion. In Buganda same-sex relations were institutionalised. Young men served in the royal courts and provided sexual services for visitors and elites.
In the week leading to the executions, the Christian Matthias Gayinga rejected the sexual demands of Mwanga's close friend, the Muslim Lutaya, to whom the king had sent him for that purpose. For this he was severely punished.
This action was followed by the refusal of another convert, Anatole Kirrigwajjo, to accept nomination to a high post "which he could only exercise at the peril of his soul".
While many of the Christian pages often arranged to be missing when Mwanga wanted them, or refused his demands outright, one page Muwafi did comply. Mwanga is said to have caught another page teaching Christianity to Muwafi.
He saw this as an attempt "to rob him of his favourite and so far always compliant toy by teaching him the religion which made them prefer death to submission to his shameful demands". Mwanga summoned the pages and asked those who were Christians to stand to one side. These, most of whom were between 15 and 30 years old, were then taken on a long journey to execution by being burnt alive.
By displaying what courage Christianity demanded, these martyrs removed any notion that the new Faith was inconsistent with traditional ideals of heroism. As a result many more Bugandans converted to Christianity.
23 May 1891 – Rev. Boston Smith launched the idea of Chapel Rail Cars, 10-feet wide by 60-feet long, which provided churches in remote parts of the Wild West until permanent buildings could be built. It was said that these Chapel Rail Cars did more to tame the Wild West than all the gunmen who dominated Hollywood films.
24 May 1824 – John Gibson Paton was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. He became a Protestant Missionary to the New Hebrides Islands of the South Pacific. He was the eldest of 11 children of James and Janet Paton.
24 May 1830 – Missionary John Williams sailed as a Missionary to the South Sea Islands where he learned numerous native languages and built a 60-foot boat, to enable him to pioneer the Gospel in Samoa and the New Hebrides.
24 May 1844 - Christian inventor, Samuel F. B. Morse demonstrated the first practical telegraph with the message: “What hath God wrought?”
25 May 1803 – The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society first published The American Baptist, which continues as the oldest surviving religious magazine in the United States.
16 July 1931 – WEC Missionary, C.T. Studd died at age 70 at Ibambi, Belgium, Congo. Amongst other things, CT Studd is famous for having declared: “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” And “Only one life, it will be soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” He founded the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade (WEC).
3 August 1823 – Frederick William Baedeker was born in Germany. He became a pioneer Missionary to Russia.
5 August 1876 – 28-year old Scottish Presbyterian Missionary, Mary Slessor, set sail on the SS Ethiopia for Calabar, West Africa.
9 August 1788 – Adoniram Judson was born in Malden, Massachusetts, USA. He became the first Protestant foreign Missionary sent from North America.
9 August 1883 – Pioneer London Missionary Society Missionary Robert Moffatt, died at age 87 in Leigh, Kent, England. He translated the whole Bible and Pilgrims Progress into Setswana. Moffatt’s was the first complete translation of the Bible into an African language. He served as a missionary in Southern Africa, based at Kuruman, for over 50 years.
17 August 1761 – William Carey was born in the Hamlet of Pury End in the village of Paulerspury, Northamptonshire, the oldest of five children, born to Edmond and Elizabeth Carey (who were weavers by trade). William was raised in the Church of England, but later converted through a Baptist congregation.
19 September 1810 – Adoniram Judson was appointed by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions as a Missionary to the East.
9 October 1906 – Germany Missionary Frederick William Baedeker died at age 83. He had ministered throughout the most remote regions of Russia and Siberia, evangelising and planting Bible study and Prayer fellowships, in some of the most remote areas of Asia.
16 October 1812 – Anglican Missionary Henry Martyn died at age 31 in Tokat, in the Ottoman Empire. He translated the New Testament into Urdu and Persian.
24 October 1826 – Anne Hesseltine Judson died at age 36 in Amherst, Burma (now Myammar). She was married to Adoniram Judson, America’s first foreign Missionary. Anne wrote the first Catechism in Burmese and translated the Books of Daniel and Jonah into Burmese. She was the first Protestant to translate any of the Scriptures - the Gospel of Matthew, into Thai. Her letters home were published in the American Baptist Magazine and as devotional books, inspiring and mobilising many into the mission field.
28 October 1787 – William Wilberforce, Member of Parliament, wrote in his diary: “God Almighty has set before me two great objectives, the suppression of the slave trade and the Reformation of society.”
10 November 1871 - A date with destiny, as Henry Morton Stanley met Dr. David Livingstone, on the 236th day of his expedition, after having departed from Bagamoyo, on the coast, Henry Morton Stanley ordered the American flag unfurled. With Asmani leading with the flag, Stanley ordered guns fired to announce their arrival. As the only two white men in all of Equatorial Africa, from the Zambezi to the Nile, met, Stanley walked deliberately towards the older man, took off his hat and said: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” “Yes,” replied Livingstone with a smile. He lifted his cap slightly, then Stanley shook hands declaring: “I thank God, Doctor that I have been permitted to see you.” Livingstone replied: “I feel thankful that I’m here to welcome you.” Dr. Livingstone reported that Stanley had arrived at a most opportune time. Arab slavers had robbed him of all his supplies. Livingstone was desperate, sick and destitute. The friendship which began so formally grew and deepened over the next four months where they were in daily contact. Stanley later reported that he was surprised and captivated by the courtesy, dignity, patience and high morals of Dr. David Livingstone. Writing of Livingstone later in life, Stanley noted: “Lowly of spirit, meek in speech, merciful of heart, pure in mind and peaceful in act… during health or sickness… he was, consistently noble, upright, pious and manly, in all the days of my companionship with him.” Livingstone’s patience and perseverance impressed Stanley the most.
11 November 1793 – Baptist Missionary, William Carey, stepped ashore at Calcutta, India, beginning an incredibly important 42-year Mission of Bible translation, establishing Christian schools and the first Christian college in Asia, Serampore College.
20 November 1839 – London Missionary Society Missionary, John Williams died, killed by cannibals in the South Pacific, on the Island of Erromanga. For over 20 years, he had planted churches and schools, translating the Scriptures into local languages.
2 December 1848 – Mary Mitchell Slessor was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mary became an effective Missionary to Nigeria.
2 December 1860 – Charles Thomas Studd, known as C.T. Studd, was born in Spratton, Northamptonshire. He would go on to become a world famous English cricketer and pioneer Missionary to China, India and the Congo.
11 December 1824 – Samuel Ajayi Crowther was baptised and took the name of the Vicar of Christ Church, Newgate, London, Samuel Crowther, one of the pioneers of the Church Missionary Society.
21 December 1795 – Robert Moffat was born in Ormiston, East Lothian, Scotland. He became a pioneer Missionary to Africa under the London Missionary Society.
22 December 1789 – Anne Hesseltine Judson was born in Bradford, Massachusetts. She was the first woman American foreign Missionary.
25 December 1814 – CMS Missionary Samuel Marsden conducted the first known Christian worship service in New Zealand, at Oihi Bay.
31 December 1891 – Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther died in Lagos, Nigeria. He had been rescued from Portuguese slave traders by the British Royal Navy. He was educated and converted in Sierra Leone. He became a pioneer Missionary of the Church Missionary Society.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
The full Day by Day Calendar of Missionary History is taken from The Greatest Century of Missions and Victorious Christians Who Changed the World, by Dr. Peter Hammond. It is available from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, Tel: 021-689-7478, Fax: 086-551-7490, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.