Cloud of Witnesses

Sybil Mosely Bingham and the Challenges of Missionary Life in Hawaii Sybil’s admission to the mission field reminds me of a scene of a movie. She was asking for directions to her accommodations when a young man offered to take her there. The man, Hiram Bingham, was preparing to leave as a...
Melito of Sardis – Pastor, Theologian, and Poet Melito is not a familiar name today. Until the last century, we could only find a mention of him in Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History , mostly in connection with the controversy over the day in which the feast of Pascha (Easter) was to be celebrated...
Liu Jingwen and Her Quiet Strength The saying is well-known: “Behind a great man there is a great woman.” In the case of Chinese pastor and theologian Wang Mingdao, someone suggested that eighty percent of Wang’s achievement was due to his wife. Was it an exaggeration? A Mature Young Lady Liu...
Gregory I’s Female Correspondents Some of our best sources of information about specific women in the early centuries of Christianity come from the correspondence of church fathers, particularly Jerome at the turn of the fifth century and Gregory I about two centuries later. Jerome’s letters were...
Agnes and Margaret Smith and Their Crucial Discovery Agnes and Margaret Smith lived at a time when scholars were raising new and disturbing questions about the Bible. Is it reliable? Having being copied by hand, how do we know that it is not full of errors or even deliberate variations? And when...
Festo Kivengere and His Message of Forgiveness In 1977, the assassination of Anglican Archbishop Luwum shocked the world. Since his military coup in 1971, the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin had been sowing terror around the country. Being a Muslim, he allowed three forms of Christianity in his country (...
Mary Slessor – An Unconventional Missionary Mary Slessor became a legend in her time and continued to influence a generation of missionaries. Her name is still remembered in admiration both in her native Scotland (her image appeared on a 1997 Clydesdale Bank £10 note) and on her mission field of...
Pablo Besson - For the Gospel and Religious Freedom When Pablo (then Paul) Besson received a request from Mathieu Floris, a Belgian emigrant to Argentina, to help him find an evangelist to spread the gospel in that country, he did his best to promote the cause. When no one answered, he understood...
Helene Kottanner – A Medieval Thriller Helene Kottanner had been a loyal friend and adviser to Queen Elisabeth of Hungary. But when the queen asked her to steal the royal crown, her devotion was severely tested. It all started in 1439, when King Albert II died after fighting against the Ottoman...
George Liele – First Baptist Missionary in Jamaica It has been said that the first American Baptist missionary was not Adoniram Judson, but George Liele, a former slave. Some have quibbled that Liele, although licensed to preach, was not specifically sent abroad by a church. In any case, his life...

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