The first of the 1,000 mission books passed on to me by Redcliffe College features one of my favourite missionaries, Adoniram Judson. Not only was he instrumental in founding no less than two mission societies in the United States but his superb translation of the Bible into Burmese has proved foundational to the growth of the church in Myanmar. This volume reflects on Judson’s legacy.
Howard B. Grose & Fred P. Howard, The Judson Centennial 1814-1914. Philadelphia: The American Baptist Publication Society, 1914. Hbk. pp.305. Click to download.
A bibliography of works on Adoniram Judson and his wives is available on the main Missiology.org.uk website.
I – Historical Introduction
One Hundred Years of American Baptist Missions
Adoniram and Ann Judson landed in Rangoon, July 13, 1813. Nearly a year later, on May 21, 1814, the General Missionary Convention was formed and, assuming the support of the Judsons and Luther Rice, accepted Burma as the foreign mission field of American Baptists, the English Baptists having headquarters at Serampore near Calcutta across the Bay of Bengal. Within the next five or six years two other missionary enterprises were undertaken cooperation with American Negro Baptists in work on the west coast of Africa in the region of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and work among the American Indians in what is now the middle West. Active participation in the work in Africa ceased about 1840, while work among the Indians was continued until about the time of the opening of the Civil War.
The first twenty years of the work in Burma were marked by the laying of foundations slowly but surely. The intense opposition of the Burman Government prevented large expansion. By the year 1833, however, three important centers-Rangoon, Moulmein, and Tavoy, had been occupied, with several outposts at Mergui, Amherst, and in Arrakan. The report of that year records twenty-two missionaries and 371 church-members.
The period of four or five years, beginning with 1833, marked a distinct era in Baptist foreign missionary work. A strong missionary interest prevailed among the churches. The Convention met at Richmond in 1835 with all obligations provided for and a substantial balance in the treasury, and enthusiastically adopted the following resolution: [Continue reading…]