Organizing for mission

  • 1792 Baptist Missionary Society (originally called the ‘Particular Society for the Propagation of the Gospel amongst the Heathen’) formed in Kettering. First society in Britain exclusively for missionary purposes. Marked beginning of greatest period of expansion witnessed by the church since apostolic times. 
  • 1795 London Missionary Society formed. Originally interdenominational, later became identified with Congregational churches. The society sent out 475 missionaries between 1795 and 1845, among them Robert Moffat and David Livingstone. 
  • 1796 First missionary society in Scotland founded in Glasgow. 
  • 1799 Evangelical Anglicans of the ‘Clapham Sect’ formed the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East. 
  • 1813 Leeds District of the Methodists established a missionary society, which led to formation of national Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society in 1818, although John Wesley’s lieutenant, Thomas Coke, had promoted missionary work among the West Indian slaves as early as 1786. 
  • 1824 Church of Scotland commenced its own missionary work, although Scots had already made major contribution to the early years of missionary movement, through service with other societies. 
By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #9 in 1984]

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