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"Origin, development, and organization of the International Mission Board"
Origin, development, and organization of the International Mission Board
Sean Wilson
Historians generally agree that the Great Awakening began in New Jersey with the preaching of Gilbert Tennent, a young Presbyterian. The spiritual spark that followed his and others' proclamation of the gospel found its roots among rural and uneducated people. This resulted in a rapid expansion of religious excitement.

The Great Awakening brought missionary and evangelistic zeal to the South, mainly through Separate Baptists. Shubal Stearns, with his strong sense of mission, took Separate Baptists south into Virginia and on to North Carolina. In North Carolina, a Separate church was founded at Sandy Creek that became the mother of forty-two additional churches. Separates practiced Arminian theology and focused attention on the proclamation of the gospel to all men and the obligation of men everywhere to believe. In the South, evangelism and missions were the products of the Great Awakening.

In 1792, a Baptist cobbler named William Carey secured the financial support and prayers of fellow Baptists in England and journeyed to far-off India. His intentions were to "preach the gospel to the heathen." Carey's departure to the East marked the beginning of the missionary concern for the world on the part of Baptists. It was also the beginning of modern missionary movement. Word of Carey's journey and new missionary society made an immediate impact on Baptist churches in America, including those in the South. Minutes of the Portsmouth Association confirmed interest in missionary organizations as early as 1804. Other Baptists in the South participated individually in various missionary societies that were being formed.

In 1810 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Boston was formed. In February 1812, a number of Congregationalist missionaries were sent out to the Far East. Among them was a man named Adoniram Judson Jr. On the way, Judson began studying Scripture on the subject of baptism...

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