Category: Mission Stories

Alejo Hernandez (1842-1875)
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Alejo Hernandez (1842-1875)

First Ordained Latino Methodist and Missionary to Mexico In 1873, the first train on the new line out of Vera Cruz carried a Methodist bishop and Alejo Hernandez, the first Latino to be ordained in Methodism, who was the bishop’s choice to establish a mission in Mexico City. But the throbbing power in the locomotive’s...

Lucy Rider Meyer (1849-1922)
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Lucy Rider Meyer (1849-1922)

First Priciple of Chicago Training School and “Archbishop of Deaconnesses” It is said of the first college in the United States to award degrees to women, Oberlin (1841), that it is peculiar in that which is good. A compliment equally applicable to an Oberlin graduate, Lucy Jane Rider. She became a physician when most medical...

William Orwig (1810-1889)
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William Orwig (1810-1889)

Advocate for Missions and Education in the Evangelical Association Distinctive bulges on the bridge of Bishop Orwig’s nose appear in Orwig family members to this day, testifying to the persistence of genetic traits. The bishop himself stood out in a debate over another persistent human trait: sin. He defended the position that only those who...

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Emma Lester (1883-1978)

Missionary Teacher in China In September 1904, an Augusta, GA school teacher did not return to the classroom; instead, she left to begin training as a missionary to China.  It was not the safest of career moves.  These were the days just after the Boxer Rebellion of 1898-1901–times in which more than 200 Christian missionaries...

Saratu DanMallam
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Saratu DanMallam

Gracious Host and Teacher to Missionary Community There she was – a petite woman decked out in a colorful African wrapper, T-shirt, head scarf and smile. As we stepped out of the mission airplane onto the dry, brittle grass covering the dusty village airfield, she stepped up and welcomed us “home”. Saratu DanMallam lived across...

McEldowney, James E.
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McEldowney, James E.

Classical Early 20th Century Mission Story James E. McEldowney represents the classical missionary story of the early twentieth century. At a student volunteer meeting in Detroit in 1927, he pledged to be a missionary. Stories of the needs of the people inspired him. He continued his education, thinking that he might be going to China...

Lawson, James M., Jr.
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Lawson, James M., Jr.

Civil Rights Leader and Short-Term Missionary to India Lawson was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in 1928, one of nine children of a U.S. Methodist pastor and a Jamaican mother. He took much of his attitude toward others from his mother, who did not believe in violence. Lawson grew up in Massillon, Ohio, where he became...

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Kawai, Michi (-1953)

YWCA Worker and Educator Kawai was born the daughter of a Shinto priest in a small village near Kyoto. She became a Christian through the influence of an uncle, going first to a Methodist school at age ten and then as a teenager to a Presbyterian school in Hokkaido, where she mastered English. Japanese friends...

Haskin, Sara Estelle
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Haskin, Sara Estelle

Leader in Settlement Work When the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS), began its foray into settlement work at the turn of the twentieth century, it asked Sara Estelle Haskin to take up the post in Dallas. With no equipment and no real pattern to follow, she plunged into the work and began a very successful...

Guerra Olivares, Eleazar
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Guerra Olivares, Eleazar

Bishop and Ecumenist of the Methodist Church of Mexico Guerra was born in Reynosa, Mexico, and studied in the U.S. He ordination in the U.S. was in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He became a district superintendent of the Methodist Church of Mexico and was elected the third bishop of the church in 1938. Although...