Golden Age of
Missions 1800-1900
Following the heroic first efforts to evangelized the
unreached, now a systematic and global mobilization
of evangelicals for world evangelism was launched
Status at 1800
The “Great Omission” – 300 years (1800-1517= 283) since reformation
and little or no missions outside of Europe (except for the Moravians)
The total number of Protestant missionaries was 100; 67 languages had
Bible translations
First Awakening was ending: John Wesley’s ministry ended in 1791 and
Charles Finney, of the Second Awakening, was born in 1792.
Most Reformers explained away the Great Commission as apostolic.
Churches were still in a survival mode (persecution, Revolutionary War,
etc) and all American churches had been cut off from British ties.
There was no missionary agency or organization in America or England
Leaders were limited by “provincial ecclesiology” or territorial church
Eschatology of reformers made long-range missions strategy futile
Focus on theological arguments more important than explaining the
gospel to pagans
Terms to
 Un-contacted people: Entire people group has never had a
sustained, friendly, relationship with any evangelical – can
be undiscovered yet
 Unengaged people: a known people group that does not
have or has never had a resident or itinerate missionary
who learned their language, culture and religion in order to
communicate the gospel in a relevant manner.
 Unreached people: The entire population of believing
followers of Christ living in community is less than a total
2% of the population as part of an evangelical church.
 Unevangelized people: The evangelical population living in
community of churches is more than 2% but less than
100% evangelical Christian.
Status of evangelical
world at 1790
The Great Century
New paradigms: Enlightenment, industrialization, exploration,
colonialism, nationalism, inalienable rights, romanticism and
postmillennialism driving missions
Protestant era: American churches grew from 10% to 40%
Slave Trade abolished in Denmark (1792) and England (1807),
which will eventually change America (1864)
The greatest evangelical movement in mission history was started
by a poor Baptist pastor from an insignificant village in England:
William Carey
As he studied the biblical perspective on the world, he became
convinced that the unreached people with no chance to hear the
gospel must be the priority of the church
What can you learn
Colonialism in this picture?
missions took off
Denominational mission agencies formed and recruited
Carey’s example motivated thousands to go
Protestant church established in every continent/country
Passion of evangelism of 2nd Awakening calling sinners to
respond to the Gospel proclamation, gave method,
confidence and skill for reaching the world with the gospel.
Prophecy preaching on 2nd coming as post-millennial – saw
themselves as soldiers of the cross bringing in the kingdom
Colonialism and industrialization gave benefits and
Other Reasons for “Protestant
 Age of Enlightenment: critical thinking, questioning
traditional institutions, values, customs and morals
Led to freedoms, democracy, capitalism, scientific method,
religious tolerance, self-governing republics
 French Revolution gave principles of nationalism,
citizenship, inalienable rights and abandoned absolute
monarchy, feudal privileges and Catholic dominance
As Christians filtered these views into their worldview
Scriptural mandates became personal priorities
Colonial church membership grew from 10% to 40%
Dissolution of state-religious institutions
Occurrences of evangelical revivals gave rise to personal
evangelism and the mandate of the Great Commission
William Carey
Under educated, tri-vocational, poor, unsuccessful in business,
unexciting preacher in a Separatist Particular Baptist movement –
not a likely candidate to become the “Father of Modern Missions”
Published the first global survey of Christian world mission in 1791 –
forced the churches to do something
“If it be the duty of all men to believe the Gospel … then it be the
duty of those who are entrusted with the Gospel to endeavor to
make it know among all nations.” Carey’s response was “Her am I;
send me!”
Calvinism sought to quench personal confrontational evangelism:
"preaching should avoid application to the hearers and appeals to
conversion, lest the preacher interfere somehow in God’s election of
his chosen people” – opposed by Andrew Fuller and Carey
When Carey proposed starting a mission to the heathen, Dr. Ryland
shouted, "Young man, sit down. When God pleases to convert the
heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine."
Carey wrote An Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means
for the Conversion of the Heathens (1792) that would change the world.
Carey to India
Carey wrote, “It only requires that we should have as much love
to the souls of our fellow-creatures, and fellow-sinners, as they
(commercial businesses) have for the profits arising from a few
otter skins, and all these difficulties could be easily surmounted.”
His message: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things
for God.” This was significant because the pastors were all poor,
thus to take on this responsibility meant great sacrifice.
His father considered him mad; his wife, 5-months pregnant with
4th child
this refused to accompany him; mission society had no funds
to send him; East India Company would not give him permission
pictureto capture
enter India
 At the very last moment the problems solved and Carey and
family sailed 5 months to India never to return to England
attempting great things for God
Carey in India
British East India Company had ruled India for 30 years: “the sending out of
missionaries into our Eastern possessions to be the maddest, most extravagant, most
costly, most indefensible project which has ever been suggested by a moonstruck
fanatic. Such a scheme is pernicious, imprudent, useless, harmful, dangerous,
profitless, fantastic”
Carey wrote to John Ryland to start the London Missionary Society (LMS) in 1795
to help missionaries
Seven years for first convert, he fought debt, disease, wife’s deranged mind, and
family deaths
It took 20 years to get British Parliament to approve missionary license
Meanwhile Carey had to live in a Danish colony working in an indigo factory (3
months a year)
In 1812 a fire destroyed his work – determined more so to finish translations
In 1818 formed Serampore College to train indigenous leaders, given royal charter in
By 1834 Carey had supervised 40 translations of Bible, published grammars and
dictionaries, started a dozen mission stations and the first degree-granting college
Robert Morrison –
China (1782-1834)
First Protestant missionary to China, arriving in 1807
Taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew – parents opposed becoming a
Studied medicine, astronomy and Chinese to be ready
His prayer that “God would station him in that part of the field where the
difficulties are the greatest, and to all human appearance the most
Worked for East India Company which prohibited learning Chinese (had to
be done in secret) and evangelizing Chinese
After 7 years came first convert and 11 years to complete Chinese Bible
They would see only 10 converts baptized in 24 years.
There was an Imperial Edict against Christianity in China – spreading faith was
punishable by death
To work in China no British women were allowed, so he worked 6 mo alone
which wife and kids lived in Macao. After 6 years his wife and kids returned
to England for 6 years before returning to China.
After 1 furlough in 27 years he died, but left an influence 20 yrs later on HT
Robert Moffat – S.
Africa (1795-1883)
Patriarch or Pioneer of African missions
Scottish Calvinist converted through Methodist movement
Applied and was rejected by LMS; studied 1 year and reapplied to be accepted.
In 1816 at 21 he sailed to Africa for a 50-year ministry among the Tswana people
– 3 years later his fiancée allowed to marry him
Believed the gospel could change the worst tribesman, so they moved 600 miles
by wagon from Cape Town to Bechuana tribe
Moffat communicated through trade language for years before learning their
language – after which Africans began to be converted = importance of language
Practiced a “paternalistic missiology which produced a dependent constituency”
Moffat’s had 10 children, 7 became adults, 5 became African missionaries
On furlough he challenged a young man named David Livingston to Africa
David LivingstonAfrica (1813-1873)
Only brief theological training, medical midwifery training, but constantly doing
language study
Worked on Moffat’s compound until he returned from furlough
Discouraged with missionary fighting and backbiting, chose to explore the vast
unknown interior.
Married Moffat’s daughter, Mary, who attempted to accompany him on travels,
but too risky, so returned to England with three children.
From 1852-1856 he opened a “God’s highway”, 1500 miles into the interior –
discovering unknown tribes, Victoria Falls, and horrors of slave trade
Convinced that developing commercial markets for tribes would be more valuable
than slave trade, thus eliminate slavery
Despised the attitude of most missionaries: colonial, depreciating blacks
His wife and other missionaries died accompanying him on his travels interior
Final trip was to find the source of the Nile; disappeared for 7 years; found by
reporter Henry Standley, whom Livingston led to Christ; Livingston died a year
later, alone in the bush.
He had caught the vision of a “thousand villages, where no missionary had ever
Livingston’s territory
Second Awakening and
 This Awakening (1790-1830) was much more emotional
than the First, especially in the Western colonies and states.
 Camp ground meeting, where people would stay weeks at a
time, listening to spontaneous, fiery preaching of Finney,
Beecher, Cartwright and Smith.
 Digressed to social issues: prison reform, slavery and
 Some results were:
Major church growth
 Mid-week prayer meeting for revival became the norm
 Enthusiasm for evangelism carried over to missions
 Colleges formed to equip pastors and missionaries
Haystack Prayer meeting
 Samuel Mills challenged other students to pray for
missionaries at Williams College, MA.
 Group of five students got caught in the rain and
prayed under the eves of a haystack.
 Their slogan, “We
can do it if we will.”
 One of Mills’ disciples, Edward Griffin, went to
Andover Seminary, where he met and challenged
another student to world missions: Adoniram Judson
 Griffin became the president of Williams College
challenging a new generation of missionaries.
Adoniram Judson (17881850)
Commissioning of First
American Missionaries in 1812
The New Divinity taught at Andover modified deterministic Calvinism
to allow a free will, under the drawing of the Spirit, through preaching
of the gospel
 "Why, how stupid, stupid I have been! Missions, why, the New
Testament is all missions!"
 Griffin proposed forming ABCFM in 1812, but Judson had to sail to
England for approval with war imminent
England decided American board should be independent
Upon return, two ships were to sail in 2 weeks, but Judson had to be
married: found Ann
British Baptist missionaries sailed to New England to avoid pirates,
providentially accompanied Judson and Rice. Both became convinced
of believer’s immersion
War 1812 with England meant Americans were not welcomed
in India
 Baptized by Carey’s assistant then sailed to Rangoon, Burma.
Adoniram Judson (17881850)
Impressions: “There was not one known Christian in that land of
millions. And there were no friends in that robber-infested,
idolatry-infected, iniquity-filled land … The melancholy ‘tumtum’ of the death drum for the thousands claimed by cholera,
and the firing cannons and beating on houses with clubs to ward
off demons, tormented the sensitive, spiritual souls of this
missionary couple”
Lost first child to cholera; seven years till first convert
British conquered Rangoon and war was declared – Judson
declared an enemy of state, condemned in “Death Prison”
18 months later released, 2 weeks with Ann, then forced to
translate Peace Treaty, meanwhile Ann died!
Spent next 14 years in British province of Tenasserim among
Karen people where Baptist membership doubled every 8 years
for 32 years, little or no growth in Buddhist Burma
Karens had ancient traditions of Creator God that one author
thinks goes back to the Nestorians of the 7th century.
Luther Rice (1783-1836)
Led in the Haystack Prayer Meeting
 Traveling with Baptist missionaries from England helped
persuade Rice of Baptist doctrine
 As the Judson’s headed to Burma, Rice returned to US to advise
of change of doctrine, resign, and organize a new mission
In order to resign from the Congregational mission and start a
new mission they were forced to repay all the funds they had
His tireless effort to get the Baptist churches to cooperate for
world missions led to the Baptist Convention and Mission
 Though accused of not being willing to be a missionary he kept
promoting united mission projects and recruiting missionaries –
by 1832 there were 72 missionaries
 The Baptist membership grew from 8,000 to 600,000 by 1835

Golden Age of Missions 1800-1900