MARY SLESSOR

Born DECEMBER 2, 1848

Mary Slessor. [PD-1923]

Mary Slessor. [PD-1923]

Mary heard someone in the village screaming. She knew it came from the center of the nearby crowd. She ran to the gathering, pushing her way to the front. To Mary’s horror, a woman lay on the ground, tied to stakes, a man standing above her about to pour scalding oil over her. Mary threw herself between the man and the help-less female. The man danced angrily around Mary with the hot oil in hand. Her bravery eventually rescued the woman from the inhumane ritual, winning Scotland native, missionary Mary Slessor, a voice among Africa’s Okoyong people.

FOLLOWING DAVID LIVINGSTONE

Mary didn’t seem at first to be missionary material. The woman who dubbed herself “wee and thin and not very strong” was timid in many ways. But her first 28 years had prepared her for the rigors of the mission field. She survived a difficult childhood, raised in poverty with an alcoholic father. Beginning at age 11, Mary worked half of every school day in the local mill. As a young adult, she served at a local mission

Mary had become a devoted Christian in her teen years. In 1873, when she learned that David Livingstone, missionary to Africa, had died, it deeply moved her. She read that before his death, he gave a general challenge for others to “carry out the work I have begun.” Mary felt led to respond to the challenge.

Mary applied to the Foreign Mission Board. She volunteered to go to the Calabar people of Nigeria. Following five months of preparation in Edinburgh, Scotland, Mary boarded a ship for Africa

UP THE CALABAR RIVER

Nigeria in West Africa. Photo by Tzzzpfff.

Nigeria in West Africa. Photo by Tzzzpfff.

Mary’s work began at a mission post in Duke Town. She found herself in a strange land in West Africa where alcoholism, ritualistic torture, and witchcraft devalued human life. Shortly after her arrival, she contracted malaria. Could the petite, redheaded missionary beat the odds on the dangerous mission field?

The fever sometimes sidetracked Mary. But she always forged ahead. She relocated further up the Calabar River to a mission in Old Town. To Mary’s advantage, she  mastered the regional Efik language.

The Calabar River and the Efik language kept taking Mary to new places. She spent more and more time in the villages. She connected with the people, letting them know she cared about what mattered to them. She brought medicine for their illnesses. She let her light shine in both actions and words, gaining the title of respect “White Ma.”

ONWARD TO THE OKOYONG

After a furlough that ended in 1885, Mary left her mother and sister ill in Scotland. She returned to Nigeria where she served for a while at a mission station in Creek Town. Mary had always wanted to travel further inland. In 1886, when word came that her mother and sister had died, Mary fought back the loss and loneliness by venturing further.

The mission board reluctantly sent Mary to a people who practiced human sacrifices and cannibalism. Mary made the trip on the river with these reflections: “I am going to a new tribe up-country, a fierce, cruel people, and everyone tells me they will kill me, but I don’t fear any hurt—only to combat their savage customs will require courage and firmness on my part.”

Mary Slessor and adopted children. [PD-1923]

Mary Slessor and adopted children. [PD-1923]

One of Mary’s greatest ministries was rescuing twins from death. Superstitious belief concluded twins to be a bad omen. They were often left alone in the wild to die. Mary took some of them as her own, raising many sets of twins at one time and proving the error of the superstition.

She eventually brought a dignity to the Okoyong women and children that didn’t formerly exist.

TRUST AND HONORS

Mary defined the self-sacrificing missionary. She ate what the natives ate and lived under the same primitive conditions they did. Mary loved the people to Jesus, providing them with medical care, schools, and churches. Another way she advanced their lives was through her involvement with the Hope Waddell Institute, which trained Africans in trades.

Both the Nigerians Mary served and the British Government trusted her while not trusting each other. The British appointed her a magistrate for the area. Mary won favor with both sides through her astute and always fair decisions. In 1913, the Government acknowledged Mary’s service; they awarded her the Maltese Cross from the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

Mary Slessor Memorial, Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen, Scotland. © Copyright Bill Harrison. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.

Mary Slessor Memorial, Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen, Scotland. © Copyright Bill Harrison. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.

Just as meaningful were designations of honor from the Africans Mary served. Along with “white ma” the Nigerians complimented her with the title”Mother of All the Peoples.”

Mary’s health declined after 1905. Her pioneer spirit once withstood jaunts through the dangerous jungle and risky encounters with locals, but that stamina and strength were ebbing. One final struggle with fever took her to her Heavenly reward in early 1915.

Two of Mary’s many statements about her missionary service were “Christ sent me to preach the gospel and He will look after the results” and “I am ready to go anywhere, provided it be forward.”

LET ME KNOW: How has Mary’s story informed, encouraged, or otherwise helped you? I welcome your comments.

Bibliography—————————————————————————————————————

Books-

Videos-

Youtube videos about Mary are on this page- http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=missionary+mary+slessor.

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8 WONDERFUL SALVATION STORIES (pt. II)

Unique circumstances led some of Christianity’s outstanding leaders to salvation. Here’s the second set of four such stories. Discover each person’s greatest contributions to Christianity and what God used as the decisive factor to bring them to Himself

 JOHN NEWTON

John Newton (1725-1807)

John Newton (1725-1807)

His Role In Christianity— John’s influence went far beyond penning his spiritual testimony in song, the hymn Amazing Grace. In the late 1700s, his preaching and his mentoring of some religious leaders of his day helped set the tone for England’s improved faith, especially within the Church of England.

His Pre-Conversion Life— John lived as he pleased, guided by two misconceptions: that he could freely indulge in all the sins he wanted and that he could only profit from selling other human beings as slaves. Suffering from malaria— a disease that killed many slaves traders—was one incident that told him otherwise.

John’s Decisive Factor:  A violent storm at sea. He awoke one evening aboard a slave ship that was beginning to rip apart in a violent storm. The storm continued for two days. During that time, John and others worked the pumps to free the ship of water. Then John was charged to steer the ship. During that storm, he denounced his wickedness to follow Jesus. John thereafter called that date his “great turning day.”

To learn more about John’s service to God, read here.

 

CHARLES SPURGEON

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

His Role In Christianity— His preaching drew listeners like a magnet. Charles’ mental prowess and sermon delivery never hinted at the fact that he had no formal training to preach. Today, volumes of his collected sermons (over 5,000 messages) and the books he wrote (at least 135) will easily fill a bookshelf. Over 120 years after his death, Charles Spurgeon remains “the prince of preachers” for those who continue reading his words.

His Pre-Conversion Life— When he was a baby, Charles’ parents faced extreme financial problems. He was sent to live with his grandparents. Since Charles’ grandfather was a pastor, Charles grew up in an environment of Bible reading and prayer.

Charles’ Decisive Factor: A snowstorm. One winter morning when he was 15, Charles walked to church. A snowstorm prevented him from reaching the one he planned to attend. So he ducked into a nearby chapel. A lay minister delivering the sermon continually emphasized Isaiah 45:22: “Look unto Me and be saved.” He accepted Jesus’ death for him that day. Walking home amid the falling flakes, Charles rejoiced that his sins were now white as snow.

To learn more about Charles’ service to God, read here.

 

BILLY SUNDAY

Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

His Role In Christianity— Billy became the leading evangelist of the first half of the 2oth century. His dynamic style, including what some termed “theatrics,” helped hammer home his strong message to repent and turn from sin. Billy pioneered many of the techniques used today by ministries around the world to preach to large crowds.

His Pre-Conversion Life— Billy and his older brother spent their childhood in the Civil War Soldiers’ Orphan Home. When Billy was 20, playing baseball in a local league in Marshalltown, Iowa, a professional player discovered him. Billy eventually signed a contract with the team known in 1883 as the Chicago White Stock-ings. He played with the team for seven seasons.

Billy’s Decisive Factor: hymns he recognized from his childhood. Billy and some other ball players went to a tavern one afternoon. When they returned outdoors, they sat on the curb to listen to the Christian song service being held across the street. Recognizing some of the hymns his mother use to sing made Billy cry. A Christian worker saw his reaction and crossed the street to invite him to the Pacific Garden Mission. Billy willingly went. There, he accepted Jesus as his savior.

To learn more about Billy’s service to God, read here.

 

DAWSON TROTMAN

Dawson Trotman (1906-1956) (Image: courtesy of the Navigators-http://www.navigators.org/us/)

Dawson Trotman (1906-1956)
(Image: courtesy of the Navigators-http://www.navigators.org/us/)

His Role In Christianity— Dawson founded the discipleship organization The Navigators. After impacting the military, Dawson wrote the materials for altar workers in Billy Graham crusades. His scripture memory program at the root of The Navigators also enhanced the work of Campus Crusade and Wycliffe Bible Translators.

His Pre-Conversion Life— As a teenager, Dawson led the life of a Christian hypocrite. His popularity as high school student body president attracted his classmates to attend church with him when he invited them. They didn’t know he was stealing money from the student body funds. After graduation, he turned to openly drinking and gambling.

Dawson’s Decisive Factor: a policeman’s warning. One night, a police officer stopped Dawson for drunk driving. Instead of a ticket, he gave Dawson a heart-to-heart talk. The young rebel began attending church. In the youth group, he excelled in a scripture memorization contest. The verses Dawson memorized eventually took root in his heart. He became a Christian and grew in his faith based on the word of God he’d memorized.

To learn more about Dawson’s service to God, read here.

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You can read about the unique decisive factors that brought Adoniram Judson, D. James Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, and Lottie Moon to God in “8 Wonderful Conversion Stories (Pt. I).” 

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8 WONDERFUL SALVATION STORIES (pt. I)

God sometimes uses surprising twists in calling individuals to make life’s most important decision. Often at the end of a string of whispers and appeals from the Holy Spirit, there’s a unique decisive factor. That element comes as a new sight, sound, or situation in the person’s journey to faith. Here are the uncommon experiences for four well-known Christian leaders.

ADONIRAM JUDSON

Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)

Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)

His Role in Christianity— Adoniram and Ann Judson were America’s first foreign missionaries. In Burma, Adoniram faced a variety of harsh conditions, including imprisonment, to win the Burmese people to Jesus. His legacy includes translating the Bible into the Burmese language.

His Pre-Conversion Life— In college, Adoniram abandoned his religious upbringing to become a Deist. Apart from refusing to believe in a personal God, he had a brilliant mind. After graduating class valedictorian at age 19 wanderlust led Andoniram to join a theatrical group.

Adoniram’s Decisive Factor:  A dying friend. The night he checked into the inn, the manager told Adoniram there was a very sick man in the room next to him. He heard the man moaning throughout the night. The next morning, he learned the man had died. What shook Adoniram to the core was the dead man’s identity: the very friend who swayed him to accept Deism as superior to Christianity. He retreated to his home town, attended the church his father pastored, and returned to the Christian faith.

To learn more details of Adoniram’s service to God, read here.

 

D. JAMES KENNEDY

D. James Kennedy (1930-2007) Courtesy of http://www.djameskennedy.org/.

D. James Kennedy (1930-2007) Courtesy of http://www.djameskennedy.org/.

His Role in Christianity— He formulated one of Christianity’s most successful witnessing programs, Evangelism Explosion. After founding the vibrant Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Jim became a familiar voice in the battle to restore conservative values to America. He did so through his radio called program, Truths that Transform, his  television ministry The Coral Ridge Hour, and the more than 50 books he wrote.

His Pre-Conversion Life— Jim never heard the gospel presented until he was 23. He became a skilled dance instructor at an Arthur Murray studio. He met his future wife, Anne, when she came to the studio for lessons. After they started dating, Jim believed all was well.

Jim’s Decisive Factor:  A radio alarm clock. Jim slept in one morning with a hangover after an all-night dance party. His radio alarm clock awakened him, but not with music. He heard a radio  preacher asking the question, “Suppose you were to die today and stand before God, and He were to ask you, ‘What right do you have to enter into My heaven?’ — what would you say?” Jim wasn’t sure. That began his quest to discover why God should welcome him into Heaven and how to prepare for it.

To learn more details about Jim’s service to God, read here.

 

C. S. LEWIS

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)  Image: butterfunk.com

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)
Image: butterfunk.com

His Role in Christianity— Clive Staples Lewis shared God with the world by sharing his God-given intellect with the world. He turned important Christian truths into profound non-fiction and fiction, each volume full of creativity and wit. Reading Clive’s writings sharpens our minds and our spirits. He showed us by example how to apply both the left and right sides of our brain to present Christianity to a non-Christian world.

His Pre-Conversion Life— Clive lived as an atheist for almost half of his life. During both childhood and his teens years, people Clive cared about died unpleasant deaths. His involvement in World War I added to his doubt that God really existed. As a person who greatly loved books, Clive chose a career teaching at Oxford University.

Clive’s Decisive Factor:  A Ride to the Zoo. First, he had to admit that God existed. God used the Christian faith of some of Clive’s fellow teachers who were also personal friends. A long walk and talk one night with J. R. R. Tolkein and another Oxford instructor brought Clive to conclude at least that God existed. Two years passed before he accepted Jesus’ death for his sins. While riding to a zoo in the sidecar of his brother’s motorcycle, every-thing clicked in Clive’s mind and heart. When they reached the zoo, he fully believed that Jesus died for the sins of the world, including his sins. He surrendered.

To learn more about Clive’s service to God, read here

 

LOTTIE MOON

Lottie Moon (1840-1912)

Lottie Moon (1840-1912)

Her Role in Christianity— The single female missionary stood four-foot-three but cast a giant shadow in China and around the world. Lottie set a standard for missionaries by enduring austere living conditions and prejudice. Among her frequent correspondence to the missions board, she suggested churches receive an annual Christmastime offering for missionaries. In 1919, the Southern Baptist Convention renamed that offering the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Her Pre-Conversion Life— Lottie, the Civil War era Southern belle, had a pleasant, privileged upbringing. But she didn’t adopt her parent’s faith. Lottie graduated from boarding school then attended an all-female institute. She chose not to attend church and scoffed at the students who did.

Lottie’s Decisive Factor:  A barking dog. Lottie surprised her peers one evening when she appeared at revival services being held across the street from the school. A noisy dog outside her window kept Lottie awake most of that night. Her wandering thoughts returned again and again to the teachings of Christianity. By dawn, Lottie had decided to follow Jesus. That second evening of revival services, she went forward during the altar call. The next night, she was baptized.

To learn more about Lottie’s service to God, read here.

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In “8 Wonderful Conversion Stories (Pt. II),” you’ll discover the unique ways God captured the hearts of  John Newton, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, and Dawson Trotman.

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D. JAMES KENNEDY

Born NOVEMBER 3, 1930

D. James Kennedy. Courtesy of http://www.djameskennedy.org/.

D. James Kennedy. Courtesy of http://www.djameskennedy.org/.

It wasn’t a great start! When he concluded his first twelve months pastoring he’d reduced his congregation from 45 to 17. That’s how gung-ho seminary graduate, Dennis James Kennedy, ended his first year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

How did he get to be a pastor? How did he rise above the disappointments of that first year to become so influential around the world? The answers help define one of Christianity’s great success stories of the Twentieth Century.

DANCING TO A DIFFERENT TUNE

D. James Kennedy, commonly known as Jim, didn’t become a Christian until age 23. When he was 20, the Tampa, Florida resident took a job as an Arthur Murray dance instructor. Skilled at what he did,  Jim expected to make his career on the dance floor.

One day while giving lessons, Jim met his future wife. He became Anne’s dance instructor. They started dating. They agreed on many things, but didn’t see eye to eye concerning church. When she tried to get him to attend with her, Jim told Anne, “You don’t have to go to church to be a good person.”

Photo by Joe Haupt.

Photo by Joe Haupt.

One morning after an all-night dance party, Jim’s views began to change. He was sleeping in from a hangover. His radio alarm clock did more than wake him; it gave Jim a spiritual wake-up call. It wasn’t music that poured from his radio that morning in 1953; it was a preacher’s voice.

The radio preacher, Donald Grey Barnhouse, stated firmly, “Suppose you were to die today and stand before God, and He were to ask you, ‘What right do you have to enter into My heaven?’ — what would you say?” That ended Jim’s restful sleep, but the question sent him on a search.

Jim went to a local newsstand looking for a religious book. He purchased a copy of The Greatest Story Ever Told. When he finished reading it, Jim got on his knees, asked God’s forgiveness for his sins, and committed the rest of his life to following Jesus Christ.

THE STEPS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN

Bethel Presbyterian Church, Clearwater, Florida.  © by James G. Howes.

Bethel Presbyterian Church, Clearwater, Florida.
© by James G. Howes.

Jim plunged into his new life with fervor. He read the Bible, memorized portions of scripture, and was soon leading the Sunday school class he’d started attend-ing.  Jim quit his job as a dance instructor and began preaching at a mission church, Bethel Presbyterian Church in Clearwater.

Some highs and lows awaited Jim in those early years. On August 25, 1956, Jim and Anne were married. He worked on his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Tampa.  They moved to Fort Lauderdale where Jim severely reduced his number of parishioners that first year. But hope awaited just around the corner, give or take a few hundred miles.

A friend from seminary invited Jim to his church in Atlanta to hold evangelistic services. Part of the agreement included the two of them visiting people in their homes. Not just visiting, but witnessing. Jim learned from those house calls that he didn’t know how to do it well.

However, the education he received from the experience burned something into Jim’s soul. Back in Fort Lauderdale, he turned what he’d learned into a witnessing training program. He named it Evangelism Explosion. That plan, also known as “E.E. turned around the attendance at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Other pastors heard about it and wanted to repeat Jim’s success in their churches. Jim held the first E.E. clinic for other pastors on February 20, 1967. The successful program began spreading across the country. In 1970, Tyndale Publishers released the book Evangelism Explosion based on Jim’s master’s thesis. The program’s impact increased.

SOME BIG SHOES

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.            © by Jimmy Baikovicius.

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
© by Jimmy Baikovicius.

As Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church continued growing, so did its influence.

In 1974, Jim’s book, Truths That Transform, led to the church’s radio program, Truths That Transform. In 1978, TV broadcasts of the Sunday morning services began under the title The Coral Ridge Hour. The content of Jim’s sermons made him a strong voice for conservative Christianity, which led to national magazines quoting him and to invitations to interviews on national television.

Jim Pastored Coral Ridge for 48 years. During that time, the sermons he preached and the 50-plus books he wrote clearly detailed Biblically based themes that he presented as God’s Cultural Mandate.

 

James Dobson has called Jim, “A giant in the battle to restore traditional values in our nation.

FINAL STEPS

During his time at Coral Ridge, God helped Jim build the congregation from 17 members to over 2,000 per Sunday.

On February 23, 1996, E.E. became the first ministry to reach into all 221 countries of the globe.

In 2005, Jim was inducted into the National Religious Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame.

Following a heart problem in December of 2006, Jim officially retired. He died in his sleep September 5, 2007.

LET ME KNOW: How has Jim’s story informed, encouraged, or otherwise helped you? I welcome your comments.

Bibliography—————————————————————————————————————

Books-

  • You can find books by Jim at Christianbook.com here- http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=D.+James+Kennedy&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1&search=.
  • Books by Jim at Amazon.com begin on this page- http://www.amazon.com/D.-James-Kennedy/e/B001IXO3BK.

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BOB PIERCE’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

Born October 8, 1914

Bob Pierce. ©2013 World Vision.

Bob Pierce. ©2013 World Vision.

 

Today would have been the 100th birthday of the man who started two important relief organizations.

Below are six essential facts about the life of Bob Pierce. Following each statement is a question concerning detailed information about that fact. The answers to all the questions can be found here.

 

The prayer-slogan that guided Bob’s life is  “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”                                                                                                               (What dramatic incident brought about that prayer?)

In 1944, Bob and Billy Graham were two of twelve young evangelists who launched a national organization that ministered to youth.                                                                              (Can you name of the organization?)

Bob started World Vision in 1950, the year the Korean War began.                                   (After the war, to what segment of Korean society did World Vision minister?)

When Bob resigned from leading World Vision for health reasons, the organization  continued growing and making a difference.                                                                           (World Vision eventually gained what status among America-based charities?)

In 1970, Bob started a second relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse.                              (What does the organization’s mission statement say is the purpose for all it does?)

Bob died in 1978 at age 64.                                                                                                            (What disease led to Bob’s death?)

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CATHERINE MARSHALL’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

 

Born SEPTEMBER 27, 1914

To celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday this weekend, here are the highs and lows of Catherine Marshall’s life in 10 statements.

Image: courtesy of Peter Marshall Ministries. http://petermarshallministries.com/legacy/catherine-marshall/.

Image: courtesy of Peter Marshall Ministries. http://petermarshallministries.com/ legacy/ catherine-marshall/.

1936

  • At age 22, Catherine Wood—graduate of an Atlanta, Georgia women’s college— married Atlanta Presbyterian pastor, Peter Marshall.

1939

  • At age 25, Catherine gave birth to their only child, Peter Marshall Jr.
  • Later that year, she contracted tuberculosis. It lasted for nearly three years.

1949 

Peter’s death left Catherine a 35-year-old widow with a young son to raise.

1955

When she was 41, the biography she’d written about her husband, who’d been a U.S. Senate chaplain, became a Hollywood movie.

1959

45-year-0ld Catherine married Guideposts magazine editor, Leonard LeSourd.

1967 

She was 53 when Christy, a novel she based on her mother’s younger days became a best seller.

1980

At age 66, Catherine published her autobiography, Meeting God at Every Turn.

1983

Catherine Marshall died at age 68.

1984

She would have been 70 the following Fall when Christy became a TV series.

For more details about Catherine’s life, including answers to the following five questions, read here.

  • What speaking engagement did Catherine and Peter share before they started dating?
  • How did Catherine know she would be healed of tuberculosis?
  • What happened the morning Peter died?
  • What Christian publishing company did Catherine and Leonard form with John and Elizabeth Sherrill?
  • What is the Christy Award?

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THE BRITISH INVASION of Christian Faith

The United Kingdom's Union Jack     [Photo by Vaughan Leiberum]

The United Kingdom’s Union Jack
[Photo by Vaughan Leiberum]

Fifty years ago the Beatles landed in America from England. Their songs soon dominated our popular music. They were followed by dozens of other groups and solo singers with British accents and cultural sway.

The invasion of singers from across the pond influenced aspects of our culture. other than music. The young fans who purchased records, posters, and concert tickets also imitated the singers’ hair-styles, clothing styles, and attitudes.

For decades there’s been a quieter British invasion on Public Television. It influences some of America’s entertainment tastes, from the plethora of “Britcoms” to TV detectives and ever-regenerating Dr. Who episodes to period pieces like Downton Abbey.

What about the Christian faith? Yes, there has been an undeniable infiltration of Christian influence from the UK to the USA. Most of it occurred somewhere between Paul Revere’s warning of the original British invasion and Ed Sullivan introducing the Beatles on his TV program in February of 1964.

That influx of British Christian influence has definitely impacted the spiritual life of the United States. The following list is far from exhaustive, but it’s a good sampler of how the United Kingdom has left its mark on the United States with positive, eternal consequences.

IT PROVIDED US CHRISTIAN SONGS TO CHERISH

  • -Charles Wesley gave a young America and its descendants enduring church standards-

Charles Wesley  [PD-USA]

Charles Wesley
[PD-USA]

While attending Oxford, brothers John and Charles Wesley were known for their methodical Christian disciplines. The Methodist Church eventually spread throughout North America. Its legacy  includes the doctrinally strong lyrics of Charles Wesley’s hymns.

Do you know which two of Charles Wesley’s holiday-themed songs are most strongly favored in the hymnals of various denominations?

For the answer to this question and other facts about Charles Wesley, read here.

  • -John Newton’s personal testimony in song became an American favorite-

1807 portrait of John Newton [PD-US]

1807 portrait of John Newton [PD-US]

He was once a wicked slave ship captain. When God captured his allegiance, John changed completely. As a pastor and a writer of hymns, he spent the rest of his life rescuing others from the slavery of sin.

Do you know, which Christian political leader is the subject of the 2006 movie titled, Amazing Grace, which features John Newton as a supporting character?

For the answer and to learn more about John Newton and the popularity of “Amazing Grace,” read here.

IT PROVIDED US CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES TO ADOPT

  • -Robert Raikes became known as “The father of Sunday schools”-

Robert Raikes.  [PD-USA]

Robert Raikes.
[PD-USA]

He was a Christian newspaper man. He used his influence to promote important social causes, including a Sunday classroom environment to help trouble-prone young men.

Do you know which American Christian leader included Sunday schools in the slums of Chicago in the late 1800s?

To find out and to learn more about England’s influential Christian named Robert Raikes, read here

  • -William Booth gave the world the Salvation Army-

William Booth  [PD-USA]

William Booth
[PD-USA]

William & Catherine Booth were a team dedicated to helping England’s poor. They improved their home country’s religious and social climate, then began making a difference in the United States.

Do you know in which United States city the first fundraising Christmas kettle was used?

To learn the answer and much more about William and Catherine Booth’s ministry, The Salvation Army, read here.

IT PROVIDED US CHRISTIAN BOOKS TO DEVOUR

  • -More of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons and other writings are available to read than those of any preacher that ever lived.-

Charles Spurgeon [PD-USA]

Charles Spurgeon
[PD-USA]

He introduced a preaching style in London different from the flowery eloquence of his day. Charles spoke in common language, used dramatic gestures, and included humor. He once explained his preaching plan as “I take my text and make a bee-line for the cross.”

Do you know what weather conditions led to a young Charles Spurgeon’s salvation experience?

For the answer and to learn more about his life and influential preaching and writing, read here.

  • -Oswald Chambers’ words fill the best-selling devotional of all time-

Oswald Chambers                    [PD-USA]

Oswald Chambers
[PD-USA]

He preached as an evangelist, a missionary, a leader of a Bible college, and as a chaplain. The once-aspiring artist knew how to paint word pictures. Many of his picturesque statements found their way into “My Utmost for His Highest.”

Do you know what happened to Oswald in 1917 that led to his death at age 43?

To find out and to discover more about Oswald Chambers and how “My Utmost for His Highest” came to be, read here.

  • -C. S. Lewis wrote prose and fiction that taps the imagination and teaches-
C. S. Lewis. Image: butterfunk.com.

C. S. Lewis. Image: butterfunk.com.

He was an atheist until age 33. He married in his late 50s. The avid reader-turned Oxford and Cambridge instruct0r-turned prolific Christian author, survived some emotionally painful experiences that helped him write about the human experience.

Do you know what The Searcher Centenary Statue, erected in Belfast in 1999, depicts?

To find out and to learn much more about Clive Staples Lewis, read here

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If you’ve enjoyed this article or any of the links it contains, please share this post with others. I hope you’ll also be inspired to discover other ways God has used his servants in the United Kingdom to spiritually influence the United States.

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