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Lawrence Wharton: Pioneer in Disciples Mission to the “Heathen” and Window into Nineteenth-Century Disciples’ Understanding of Cross-Cultural Missions

Author: C. Philip Slate
Published: Summer–Fall 2017

MD 8.2

Article Type: Conference Article

The North American Churches of Christ/Disciples of Christ had started missionary societies in 1849 and 1874, but their focus was chiefly on “Christian” nations. In 1875 the Foreign Christian Missionary Society was formed specifically to go out to the “heathen” in foreign lands. Green Lawrence Wharton (1847-1906) was sent to India in 1882 and became the pioneer in North American Disciples’ efforts to reach the “heathen.” He was exemplary in character and diligent in work. His twenty-three years of work reflected the Disciples’ understanding of cross-cultural evangelism at the time.

In the earliest days of the nineteenth-century North American Restoration effort, little was done in the way of what is now called “missions.”1 The chief concerns were in the evangelization of North America.2 The American Christian Missionary Society was formed in 1849 with the motto, “to promote the spread of the gospel in destitute places of our own and foreign lands.”3 Since Green Lawrence Wharton was not sent out until 1882, twenty-three years later, how can he be referred to as a “pioneer” in Disciples of Christ missions?4 The society sent J. T. Barclay to Jerusalem for seven years (1851–1854; 1858–1862),5 J. O. Bardslee to Jamaica (1858–1866; discontinued for lack of support), and Alexander Cross to Liberia (1854; died after a few months). Thus, at the twenty-fifth anniversary of that 1849 society (c. 1874) “the speaker of the occasion said that in the wide field destitute of the gospel, the Disciples of Christ do not have a single herald of the cross. Jerusalem and Jamaica had been deserted, Liberia had been forgotten. Calls were made for men to go to China, Africa, Norway, and Germany, but there were no responses. Year after year the society said, ‘Who will go for us? And whom shall we send?’ There was no man to say, ‘Here am I, send me.’ ”6

Although the ACMS of 1849 had largely failed in its first twenty-five years to attract sufficient interest in and workers for “heathen” lands, a renewed effort emerged to advance its work. The Disciples’ convention of 1874 unanimously adopted this resolution: “That we fully recognize the obligation to preach the gospel to every nation, and that we will by earnest prayer, exhortation and persistent appeals to the brotherhood, do all in our power to hasten the day when we shall renew our missionary effort in Foreign Lands.”7 That same year (1874) the Christian Women’s Board of Missions was organized, and by the following year a new missionary society was formed, designated as the Foreign Christian Missionary Society (1875). It is with this group (FCMS) that I am chiefly concerned because of its focused effort to reach the “heathen” in other lands, and because Green Lawrence Wharton was the first person sent out by that society to those they classed as “heathen.”

The ACMS had indeed sent out workers. H. S. Earl went to England where he enjoyed some success, but it was regarded as a “Christian” country already. A medical doctor, A. O. Holck, living in Cincinnati was asked to return to his native Denmark. He went but enjoyed very little success. Jules Delaunay and wife were asked to return to his native country, France, in 1877. He was a good man but unsuited for the task. An Armenian medical doctor, G. N. Shishmanian, was converted in Texas and attended the College of the Bible [Lexington, KY] for 2 years. He was sent to Turkey in 1879. Others were sent later, but eventually that work was abandoned. Francisco de Capdevila was sent from England to his native Mexico in 1880, but little came of that move. At that time the society operated on a seriously flawed principle: “whenever a [Christian] native of some foreign country was found, it was thought that he should be taken up and sent back as a missionary.” By 1919 McLean could report, “That notion prevails no longer.”8 Among other things, the FCMS learned that it was one thing to select people and ask them to go, but quite another to send people who volunteered. McLean wrote that “the Board has come to believe that the only persons fitted for the self-denial and holy consecration involved in true missionary work are the ones who offer themselves voluntarily to the Lord.”9 Trial and error was the method of operation by the FCMS. There was little sense of “missionary preparation.”

The new society (1874) sought the full cooperation of both the 1849 ACMS and the newly formed Women’s Board (1874) as it desired explicitly to focus on foreign fields. Several men were asked to go to India, Japan, Italy, and Germany, but none were sent. “At the close of the sixth year of the society’s existence there were twelve persons connected with the work in England, Denmark, France and Turkey,” all sent out, as noted, by the 1849 society. McLean, the corresponding secretary of the FCMS, felt that was a paltry performance for half a million Disciples.10 He pointed to several reasons for the slim performance during that time, among them a financial depression, apathetic churches, and lack of teaching on the subject. Initially, the society had funded itself by membership subscriptions, and “it was not until 1878 that the society decided to ask the churches for collections for foreign missions.”11 In order to address the apathy among the churches and their lack of concern for the heathen, the convention urged that preachers preach on the subject and that editors of the papers carry articles of promotion and teaching. That emphasis led to a new and more church-involved emphasis on global evangelizing.12

The 1880 convention sought to re-emphasize the need to reach pagans. A Report from that convention observed that

the work we are doing abroad, most of it at least, is not strictly foreign missionary work; it is not done for the Christianization of the heathen; its end is not the salvation of men and women from idolatry, with all its abominations. It is largely changing people from one Protestant faith to another; not attacking the strongholds of Satan in heathen and idolatrous countries, which is the one object for which foreign missionary societies should exist. We seem not to have had hitherto the true idea of foreign work, or, if had, to have departed from it largely in practice.13

It was observed that England was giving more to support missions to the heathen than any other country, “Yet we, with but a few thousand dollars for the maintenance each year of foreign missionary work, give the greater part of that to the support of men in England. How absurd!”14 Thus, in the 1881 convention emphasis was placed on a new mission to work on “distinctively heathen ground, either in Japan, or India, or China.” It was after this emphasis that Green Lawrence Wharton enters the picture.

Wharton’s Story

Like many young men born in 1847, Green Lawrence Wharton grew up on farms and had meager educational opportunities. His blended family consisted of parents and seventeen siblings, most of whom became Christians. Already before Wharton entered Bethany College in 1871 he had begun to preach in Carbondale, IL, while studying at a college there. At Bethany he studied under C. L. Loos, Robert Richardson, and W. K. Pendleton, and according to his wife he “deeply imbibed the spirit and genius of the Restoration movement.”15 In his junior year he met Emma Virginia Richardson, youngest daughter of Robert Richardson, whom he later married in 1878 and shared a delightful life with her. He graduated in June of 1876 and “accepted a call to become the pastor of the church in Buffalo, New York.”16

Emma claimed that during the years they were in Buffalo there was “a transition period, the time of missionary awakening, the church’s coming into consciousness of its obligations in regard to world-wide evangelization.” Of the earlier era she wrote: “At that time the interest of the church was altogether local; there were even few pastors who preached missionary sermons, and seldom was a public prayer offered in behalf of the perishing heathen. The harmony of fellowship had been disturbed by unprofitable controversy over means and methods but with the organization of the Foreign Christian Missionary Society and the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions in 1874, the church took on new life and growth.”17

Lawrence Wharton attended none of the conventions, but he read their reports and articles in the church papers, like the Christian Standard. He had preached missions sermons, however, and in Buffalo had been “privileged occasionally to meet and hear returned missionaries of other churches.” He preached a series of Sunday evening sermons on concrete cases of successful missionary efforts, “and he had remarked afterwards that the study had made at least one complete convert to foreign missions—and that was himself.”18 His wife was fully sympathetic with his interests since as a child she had read a number of biographies of missionaries in the children’s library—of people like Adoniram Judson.19 She heard her father pray “almost daily” that “the glory of the knowledge of the Lord might cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.”20

In the early fall of 1881, an important event occurred that added to Wharton’s already growing interest in missions. A former Methodist missionary to India, Albert Norton, came from his home in Richville, New York, to talk with Wharton about the Disciples. He had read an article by Wharton that appeared in the Christian Standard concerning the Disciples. Since “Norton’s views were already mainly in sympathy with that doctrine, he and his wife shortly afterwards became members of the church in Buffalo.” Isaac Errett wrote that Norton was an immersionist Methodist, “and his converts in India were immersed.”21 Many visits took place between the Whartons and Nortons, and they enjoyed Norton’s stories about India. “Very naturally this intercourse with one who had been on the field and expected to return aroused in them a deep interest in foreign missions, especially in India.”22 The FCMS put out a call for people to go to India, assuming that the Nortons would be sent by the society. The FCMS felt others needed to go with the Nortons to learn from them.

Wharton was thoughtfully prayerful about offering himself for service. After waiting for a while and learning that no one else had volunteered for work in India, he wrote to the FCMS, offering his services. He stated in his letter that “he felt disqualified in the matter of age (being thirty-four years old), that neither he nor his wife were robust physically, and felt themselves otherwise unfit to be pioneers of such a cause in a heathen country, but that if no more worthy candidates presented themselves, they were willing to go.”23

They were accepted, and in 1882 the Board passed a resolution indicating that the two couples would be sent to India as soon as funds could be raised. At the same time the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions had recruited and obligated itself to send along with Wharton and Norton four single women to work with them: Mary Graybiel, Laura Kinsey, Ada Boyd, and Mary Kingsbury. It was Norton who suggested that the young women go as “Bible readers,” which meant that they would serve as zenana workers,24 evangelists, teachers in the day schools and in the Sunday schools. They were to care for the orphans and for the dependent. Thus their work was mostly to be among women and children. The eight people left in September 1882 and arrived in Bombay the same year. “The society was seven years old, and now for the first time missionaries were sent into the non-Christian world.”25 There was much rejoicing among the churches, and the society received increased amounts of money.

The Disciples of Christ were latecomers to India.26 More than forty Protestant societies had preceded them, not to mention the legendary work of the Apostle Thomas, the incursions of the fifth-century Nestorians, and the Roman Catholics. One hundred seventy-seven years earlier two young German Pietists, Bartholomäus Zigenbalg and Heinrich Plütschau, had been sent by the Danish mission to Tranquebar in July 1706.27 William Carey (1793), Alexander Duff (1830), and many others had broken ground.28 Apart from the previous missionary experience of Norton, the Disciples seemed to have no independent thought about location, preparation for the task, or methodology. To their credit, they wanted to preach Christ where he had not been named, so they settled in the Central Provinces where a population of about sixteen million (principally) Hindus and Muslims lived. Initially they settled in Harda “because of its accessibility and healthfulness, and because of the needs and disposition of the people.”29 Located 416 miles northeast from Bombay, they found no city in the area more suited as a base of missionary activity and operation.

About the time the group settled on Harda, Norton separated himself from the group because “he was conscientiously opposed to the idea of receiving a fixed salary,” and his temperament rendered him unable to work “pleasantly and effectively with his associates.”30 The group had no idea about what is today called “team building” and psychological screening. The chief qualification seems to have been a believer’s willingness to be sent. The society did not falter after Norton’s departure, however, though he was to be their guide in India mission; the following year they appointed and sent Morton D. Adams and wife to join the group to help with education.

McLean’s account of the work indicates they followed a “mission station” approach. That is, the missionaries lived in their compounds of homes, schools, and clinics, and went out from there to do other work. “The missionaries at all the stations employed the same methods,” claimed McLean. They strove initially to achieve a working knowledge of the language. As soon as they were able, they began preaching in the streets and bazaars, far and wide. Literature was produced and distributed. “They went out among the people and talked about sin and about salvation through Christ.”31 They cast their nets broadly—“touring,” they called it.32 They opened Sunday schools and day schools where the teaching was done in English. Wharton opened a bookstore on a busy street, and it proved to be a good place to meet people who would never attend a chapel. Several local people were hired to serve in different capacities, including the preaching of the word. In 1889, the first medical missionary, Dr. C. S. Durand, was sent to Harda, principally, but not exclusively, because the missionaries were otherwise sixty-eight miles from the nearest physician. A hospital was erected. Dr. Durand worked with lepers, and Wharton baptized a number of them and formed a congregation on the outskirts of town. In 1892, Bethany College graduate John G. McGavran was sent as an evangelist. Others were sent to work in education and medicine. In 1900, George William Brown and family were sent to India, he to serve as educational missionary. In 1893, a Bible training school was begun in Harda with eight students. Wharton was the president and the faculty.

Wharton had long dreamed of starting a training college for the training of a local ministry. Such a school opened in 1905 with eighteen students in Jubbulpore. Wharton planned to write a book on “modern missions” as a means of “creating an evangelistic spirit among native Christians.”33 Wharton gave himself to the school, but he would spend only one year with it. He died the following year, Nov. 4, 1906, after a long illness and was buried in Calcutta. Of his work, Archibald McLean wrote:

The Disciples of Christ owe much to this man of God. He led the first group of missionaries to India. Their going was an event in the history of this people. In addition to the work he did in India, he stirred the churches in Australasia and America as they have never been stirred. His burning eloquence led many to give of their money, and some to give their lives to the service of Christ in the regions beyond. Under his teaching many thousands were caused to see that the mission of the church is missions. His life has been written by his wife and has been widely read, and has perpetuated and increased his influence. He rests from his labors, and his works follow after him.34

Although he followed the methods employed by the Protestants of the era, he was indeed a “pioneer” among the Disciples in the sense that he was the first to go into what they regarded as “heathen” territory to do initial evangelization.

Assessing Disciples Missiology

Initially, it appears that Wharton and the four single women simply followed the methodology recommended by the former Methodist, Alfred Norton. In the twenty-three years Wharton worked in India, the methodology seems to have been the routine Protestant approach: broad preaching, literature production, schools, orphanages, leprosaria, and other medical work. Yet, by the time Wharton went to India, some constructive thinking regarding effective methods was taking place among Protestants. “As early as 1854, Henry Venn (1796–1873), the prescient Secretary of the Church Missionary Society in London, had spoken in terms of the aim of the mission as being the calling into existence of self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating Churches; and of the euthanasia of a mission.”35 He sensed that many of the missions’ works would collapse should foreign funds and foreign leadership be withdrawn or be forced out. Almost simultaneously, Congregationalist Rufus Anderson (1796–1880) of the USA reached the same conclusion for the same reasons, and he had written extensively about his concepts of missions long before Wharton and others went out.36 One insight that would have been relevant to the society’s work, for example, was that working among undifferentiated people and preaching “about sin and about salvation through Christ”37 was not a strategic approach to Hindus.

McLean was the secretary of the FCMS from 1882 until its end in 1920 and had a strong hand in the policies and implementation of the society, but his writings reveal minimal understanding of the missiological thought of that era. In 1897, he showed an awareness of the concept of churches that were self-supporting and self-governing,38 but if he gave a rationale for its practice I have not found it in his major books on missions.39 Interestingly, he seems not to have mentioned self-propagating. The mission station approach requires most of the effort to be on maintaining the various components of the work rather than focusing chiefly on the development of churches. Compassionate service was solidly joined with proclamation. It is not clear whether their approach was simply following what they saw among existing works or whether they made use of outside resources. In 1913, Mrs. Wharton showed an awareness of The Encyclopedia of Missions,40 which contained a discussion of methods as then understood.41 That encyclopedia article, however, does not interact with the seminal thought of Anderson and Venn, for example. Nor do I detect awareness among early Disciples of other cutting-edge resources, such as the Missionary Review of the World, which first appeared in the 1830s (its second series began in 1888) or the Allgemeine Missions-Zeitschrift, which Gustaf Warnack and others began publishing in 1874 to discuss theology, world religions, and methods.

Indeed, there is little indication that the missionaries knew what to do among people of such different worldviews as Muslims, Hindus, and animists. Not until 1920 was a College of Missions established by the Disciples in Indianapolis by the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions, and then it was chiefly for women. Like the a cappella churches of that period, from whom J. M. McCaleb went to Japan in 1892, we must conclude provisionally that little attention was paid to an existing body of missions theory and practice.42 Their strengths were their theology of salvation by Christ and their concern for people who hurt. Historically, the Disciples had a stronger biblical ecclesiology than most Protestants of the era,43 but, curiously, they seem to have underplayed the importance of church planting and development as a missions priority. They rightly placed emphasis on learning the local languages. Apart from doctrinal differences with other groups on salvation and ecclesiology, however, the missionaries of that era tended to imitate the methodology they saw among fellow Protestants. More detailed understanding of their notion of methodology will involve sifting through many pages of contemporary periodicals like the Christian Standard, Christian-Evangelist, Missionary Intelligencer, Gospel Advocate, and others. All in all, though, Lawrence Wharton and his associates demonstrated little understanding of the dynamics involved in cross-cultural evangelizing and church growth. This provisional conclusion takes nothing away from the wholesome influence realized through their dedication to Christ and their hard work. Wharton was a pioneer chiefly in the sense that he led the first group of missionaries to what the Disciples regarded as “heathen.”

Post Script

Although serious rethinking of cross-cultural evangelizing was already in progress by several Protestant missions leaders, the Disciples did not know that they were on the cusp of a period of vigorous missiological thinking. The Edinburgh Missions Conference occurred in 1910, and out of that came the International Review of Missions and the Hartford Seminary Foundation in the USA. Roland Allen’s famous Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours appeared in 1912, eight years after Lawrence Wharton’s death. Allen’s Spontaneous Expansion of the Church: And the Causes that Hinder It came out in 1927. Even among the Disciples a reconsideration of mission methods and practices took place at that point.

John G. McGavran, a Bethany College graduate, joined the work in India in 1892, a decade after Wharton arrived. Eventually he and his wife had five children. Among them was a son whom they named Donald Anderson (1897). He was homeschooled into his middle school years, but graduated from high school in the USA. He moved forward with his education in the USA, earning an BA from Butler, an MA from the College of Missions in Indianapolis, a BD from Princeton, and eventually a PhD in Education from Columbia University. He returned to India to make his contribution to missions in the field of education. Through his research with Methodist Bishop J. Wascomb Pickett, McGavran was forced to raise many serious questions about his inherited missiology.44 While the Disciples were growing by only a few percentage points per year, other churches were growing by more than two-hundred percent. McGavran found it necessary to move away from the method of combining education, evangelism, medicine, and agriculture as the means of evangelizing. He developed, alternatively, a means of evangelizing people in groups, penetrating specific castes, and measuring durability of missions efforts by the number and strengths of churches. His missionary society did not accept his views and assigned him to work as an evangelist, rather than administrator, among the low-caste Satnami people (1935–1954). While he did not see a whole people movement come to Christ,, his teaching ministry brought about the conversion of a thousand people in fifteen churches, all without the trappings of the mission station.45 Out of that experience and the earlier research with J. W. Pickett, he wrote Bridges of God (1955), which affected mission strategy worldwide. McGavran eventually became a missiologist of international note and exercised an enormous influence on Protestant missionary endeavors, all because he was willing to go where the research lead. It was not a matter of changing the biblical message, but of making better ministry decisions.

Lawrence Wharton and his original team opened up work in the central part of India. In the same area, second-generation McGavran developed new methods that ideally called for serious revision in the efforts to establish viable, long-term effects. Initially, most of McGavran’s fellow missionaries did not accept his formulation, and he was given a new assignment in the society. As decades passed, however, his careful analysis of the Indian context and social structure proved to be a superior way of achieving the desired results.

C. Philip Slate is a missions consultant for Churches of Christ worldwide and an adjunct teacher at Harding School of Theology. He holds a DMiss from Fuller Theological Seminary and has authored and co-authored numerous popular and scholarly works. Dr. Slate was a missionary in Great Britain for over a decade. He has also served as the dean of Harding School of Theology and subsequently as chair of the department of missions at Abilene Christian University.

Adapted from a presentation at the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars’ Conference, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, June 7–9, 2017.

1 See Thomas Olbricht, “Missions and Evangelization Prior to 1848,” Discipliana 58 (Fall 1998): 67–79.

2 New religious movements often postpone global work. The fifth-century Nestorians were a glowing exception for understandable reasons. During the first two hundred years of Protestantism, little was done in global evangelism. The Moravians began global work from Germany in the mid-eighteenth century, but their spiritual heritage was rooted in the mid-sixteenth century. Oddly enough, and somewhat inaccurately, William Carey is often called the “father of modern Protestant missions,” though he worked in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, almost three hundred years after Luther’s ninety-five theses were posted.

3 Archibald McLean, The History of The Foreign Christian Missionary Society (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1919), 22. This work makes the task of assessing the work of Lawrence Wharton much easier.

4 McLean wrote: “He led the first group of missionaries to India. Their going was an event in the history of this people.” McLean, History, 189; Emma Richardson Wharton, Life of G. L. Wharton (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1913), 43.

5 Thirty eight years later when McLean visited Jerusalem on his trip around the world he devoted two sentences to Barclay’s work: “Dr. Barclay spent three and a half years here. His great book is still regarded as one of the best on Jerusalem.” Archibald McLean, A Circuit of the Globe (St. Louis: Christian Publishing Co., 1899), 316. For a substantive assessment of Barclay’s work see Clint Burnett, “A Missiological and Historical Reevaluation of James T. Barclay’s Jerusalem Mission,” Restoration Quarterly 54, no. 3 (2012):149–67.

6 McLean, History, 23.

7 Ibid., 33.

8 Ibid., 60.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid., 66.

11 Ibid., 70.

12 Emma Wharton described the late 1870s and 1880s as a new era in which the churches came to accept their responsibility for evangelizing. She reported that her husband’s reading Conference reports and articles in the Christian Standard helped to fuel his interest in missions. Wharton, Life, 39-41.

13 As reported in McLean, History, 79.

14 Ibid.

15 Wharton, Life, 31–32.

16 Ibid., 36.

17 Ibid., 38.

18 Ibid., 40.

19 The British in particular often wrote two versions of missionary biographies, one a more serious version for adults, and a smaller one for children. That was one way they had of building a missionary force in the future. Many who later became missionaries reflected that their initial interests were stirred by reading missionary biographies of William Carey, David Livingstone, John Paton, and many others.

20 Wharton, Life, 40–41.

21 Ibid., 42, quoting the Christian Standard, Jan. 21, 1882.

22 Wharton, Life, 41.

23 Ibid., 43.

24 A zenana is the private quarters of women in a household. “The women of the better classes never appear in any public assembly. If they are ever reached it must be in their own homes and by members of their own sex,” McLean wrote later. McLean, History, 149.

25 McLean, History, 84.

26 McLean rehearsed what had been done in India from the earliest days until the time of Wharton’s going out. McLean, Circuit, 212ff.

27 Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, vol. 3, Three Centuries of Advance: A.D. 1500–A.D. 1800 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970): 278–82.

28 Stephen Neill, A History of Christianity in India: The Beginning to 1707 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Stephen Neill, A History of Christianity in India: 1707–1858 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002). Sadly, Neill died before completing the third volume.

29 McLean, History, 85.

30 Ibid., 86.

31 McLean, History, 88.

32 Donald A. McGavran, The Satnami Story: A Thrilling Drama of Religious Change (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1995), 25, 28.

33 Wharton, Life, 196.

34 McLean, History, 189.

35 Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Mission, The Pelican History of the Church 6 (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1964): 259–60.

36 See bibliography in “Anderson, Rufus,” Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Simon & Schuster and Prentice Hall International, 1998), 20; R. Pierce Beaver, ed., To Advance the Gospel: Selections from the Writings of Rufus Anderson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967). Anderson’s Outline of Missionary Policy (Boston: ABCFM) appeared in 1856.

37 McLean, History, 88.

38 McLean, Circuit, 99.

39 In addition to McLean, History, and McLean, Circuit, see Archibald McLean, Missionary Addresses (St. Louis: Christian Publishing Co., 1895); Archibald McLean, The Primacy of the Missionary and other Addresses, 2nd ed. (St. Louis: Christian Board of Publications, 1921).

40 Wharton, Life, 59. Her book appeared in 1913, so it is not clear whether she was referring to the first edition (New York : Funk & Wagnalls, 1891), edited by Edwin Munsell Bliss, or to the second edition (New York : Funk & Wagnalls, 1904), edited by Henry Otis Dwight, H. Allen Tupper, and Edwin Munsell Bliss.

41 See “Methods of Missionary Work,” Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., 468–70.

42 See C. Philip Slate, Lest We Forget: Mini-Biographies of Missionaries From A Bygone Generation (Winona, MS: J. C. Choate Publications, 2010), 110–12, for information up to 1933.

43 Already, several decades of nondenominational missionary societies, such as the American Board of Commissioners for Missions and the London Missionary Society, had underplayed the place of the church. The influence of the Enlightenment produced an emphasis on ”converting individual persons.” David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Missions, American Society of Missiology Series 16 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991), 331. He quotes C. C. Carpenter as saying that societies influenced by the Evangelical Awakenings had been preaching “a gospel without a church.”

44 Much of this information is drawn from Gary L. McIntosh, “Celebrating Donald A. McGavran: A Life and Legacy,” Evangelical Missions Quarterly 51, no. 4 (October 2015): 424–31,

45 McGavran relates the story in his Satnami Story.

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