W. Austin Gardner
Societies to Support New Missionaries
Soon they had heart-warming news. On the fifth of September came letters from America — the first direct words from home since Luther Rice had left them at Isle of France more than two years ago.
Nothing could have been more encouraging than the news in those precious letters. As soon as the New England Baptists had learned that the Judsons had been baptized, they had begun to form local societies for the support of the new missionaries.
When he arrived in the United States Luther Rice had thrown himself into the work of forming more. Starting in the Southern states, he had soon organized Baptist missionary societies in nearly every state of the union. In May of 1814 a national missionary society had been established in Philadelphia under the name of “The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America for Foreign Missions.”
A Board of Managers had been elected, and the Reverend Dr. Thomas Baldwin of Boston made President, with the Reverend Dr. William Staughton of Philadelphia Corresponding Secretary. One of its first actions had been to appoint Adoniram its missionary.
Rice was also appointed a missionary, but for the present placed in charge of setting up new missionary societies and raising funds in the United States.
Courney Anderson, To the Golden Shore