Haystack Prayer Meeting
   A single prayer meeting under a Massachusetts haystack is believed by historians to have been a focal point in America's transition from a missionary target region to a missionary-sending country. on an afternoon in August 1806, five students at Williams College, Samuel J. Mills (1783-1818), Harvey Loomis (1785-1825), Byram Green (1786-1865), Francis L. Robbins (1787-1850), and James Richards (1784-1822), assembled for a regular outdoor prayer session. When it began to rain, they sought shelter under a haystack. Mills persuaded the group to pray in support of his dream for a missionary effort overseas, especially in Asia, though Loomis believed the American West should take priority as a missionary field.
   The idea bore fruit two years later when a student society was formed called the Brethren, to promote a mission to the "Heathen." The society moved to Andover Theological Seminary in 1810 where new members joined, including Adoniram Judson (1788-1850), Samuel Newall (1784-1821), and Samuel Nott (1788-1869).
   Judson presented the Brethren's ideas before the General Association of Congregational Ministers of Massachusetts, which in response founded the first organization to send missionaries overseas from the United States, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. At the time of the ministerial conclave, Mills's family was hosting Henry Obookiah (c. 1792-1818), a Hawaiian convert who symbolized the fertile missionary field Mills hoped to reach.
   The American Board took the lead in sending missionaries around the world, first to India and Ceylon and then to Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. They would soon be joined by American Baptists (to whom Judson quickly shifted his allegiance) and the Methodists.
   Further reading:
   ■ Calvin Durfee, A History of Williams College (Boston: A. Williams, 1860)
   ■ "The Haystack Prayer Meeting." Available online. URL: http://wso.williams.edu/Haystack Prayer Meetingdchu/MissionPark/meet-ing.html. Accessed on February 15, 2004
   ■ Haystack Prayer Meeting - The 100th Anniversary of the Haystack Prayer Meeting (Boston: American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1907)
   ■ LaRue W. Piercy, Hawaii's Missionary Saga: Sacrifice and Godliness in Paradise (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1992).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Haystack Prayer Meeting — The Haystack Prayer Meeting, which was held in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States in August 1806, is viewed by many scholars as the seminal event for the development of Protestant Missions in the subsequent decades and centuries. [… …   Wikipedia

  • Haystack Prayer Meeting —  Хейстакское молитвенное собрание …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Day of Prayer — A Day of Prayer is a day allocated to prayer, either by leaders of religions or the general public, for a specific purpose. Such days are usually ecumenical in nature. Contents 1 World Day of Prayer for Peace 2 Global Day of Prayer 3 National Day …   Wikipedia

  • Williams College — Motto E liberalitate E. Williams, armigeri ( Through the Generosity of E. Williams, Esquire (or Soldier) ) Established 1793 Type …   Wikipedia

  • Christianity in the 19th century — Part of a series on Christianity   …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of Christian missions — This timeline of Christian missions chronicles the global expansion of Christianity through a sampling of missionary outreach events. A more general timeline of Christianity and History of Christianity is also available. Apostolic Age Earliest… …   Wikipedia

  • Samuel John Mills — (April 12 1783 June 16 1818) was born at Torringford, Connecticut. His father was a Congregational minister. He attended Williams College in Massachusetts and there organized the prayer group that held the Haystack prayer meeting. He entered… …   Wikipedia

  • American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions — The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) was the first American Christian foreign mission agency. It was proposed in 1810 by recent graduates of Williams College and officially chartered in 1812. In 1961 it merged with… …   Wikipedia

  • American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions —    The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was the first American Protestant agency to send missionaries to serve in foreign lands. It continued its venerable role well into the 20th century, when it was merged into a larger body …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Luther Rice — (March 25, 1783 September 25, 1836) helped form a missionary sending body that became the modern Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. As a young man at Williams College he became part of a group of young ministers and aspiring… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”