Williams, John
( 1796-1839 )
   pioneer missionary to the South Pacific
   John Williams was born at Tottenham High Cross, London, England, in 1796 and apprenticed to an ironmonger as a youth. He joined the Moorfields Tabernacle, a church established by George Whitefield in the previous century, and in 1814 offered himself to the London Missionary Society (LMS) as a missionary for the South Seas. He was ordained a Congregationalist minister and married shortly before sailing.
   After a long trip, he arrived at Moorea in the Society Islands in 1817. He settled in Huahine in 1818 but left in a disagreement with certain LMS policies and launched work on Raiatea. He learned the language, and in 1821 purchased a schooner, the Endeavour, to extend his missionary work to other islands. He introduced Protestantism to the Hervey Islands and visited the islands of Rurutu and Rimatara in 1823.
   In 1827, Williams visited Raratonga, in the southern Cook Islands, and while there translated part of the Bible into Rarotongan; he also built a new boat, the Messenger of Peace, to further extend his work. While in Tonga, in 1830 he negotiated an important agreement with the British Methodist leadership on a division of labor to prevent competition among the different missionary agencies then at work in the Pacific region. In 1834, he sailed to England, where he oversaw the publication of his Rarotongan New Testament by the British and Foreign Bible Society. He took the opportunity to publish an account of his work, speak widely on the mission cause, and raise the funds to buy a new ship.
   Williams returned to the South Seas and continued to found new LMS mission stations. In 1839, while traveling in the New Hebrides, he landed at Erromanga in what is now the nation of Vanuatu. The island's residents attacked his group, and he was among those killed.
   Williams was widely revered as a martyr for the missionary cause. Over the years, no fewer than seven LMS mission ships were named after him.
   See also South Pacific.
   Further reading:
   ■ Cecil Northcott, South Seas Sailor: the Story of John Williams and His Ships (Fort Washington, Pa.: Christian Literature Crusade, 1965)
   ■ Basil Mathews, John Williams the Shipbuilder (London: Humphrey Milford, 1915, 1947)
   ■ John Williams, Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands (London: John Snow, 1839).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Williams, John — (1796–1839)    Missionary.    Williams was born in London. In 1817 he was sent by the London Missionary Society to Polynesia. He worked diligently and by 1834 it was said that no significant island within two thousand miles of Tahiti had not been …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • WILLIAMS, JOHN —    missionary and martyr, born near London; brought up an ironmonger; offered his services to the London Missionary Society; was sent out in 1816 to the Society Islands; laboured with conspicuous success among the natives; came home in 1834, and… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Williams,John Towner — Williams, John Towner. Born 1932. American composer and conductor best known for his film scores, including Jaws (1975) and Star Wars (1977). * * * …   Universalium

  • Williams, John D. — (1886 1941)    Born in Boston, John D. Williams worked for producers Abraham L. Erlanger and Charles Frohman. When Frohman died on the torpedoed Lusitania in 1915, Williams began producing plays on his own, including Justice (1916), Our Betters… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Williams, John Henry — ▪ American economist born June 21, 1887, Wales died Dec. 24, 1980, Southbridge, Mass., U.S.       American economist, banker, and government adviser who achieved world renown as an expert on international trade.       Williams was educated at… …   Universalium

  • Williams, John (Towner) — born Feb. 8, 1932, New York, N.Y., U.S. U.S. composer and conductor. Williams studied music at UCLA and Juilliard. He began his career as a jazz pianist but began to compose for TV and film in the 1960s. He has scored over 75 films, including… …   Universalium

  • Williams, John (Towner) — (n. 8 feb. 1932, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Compositor y director de orquesta estadounidense. Estudió música en la UCLA y en la Juilliard School. Comenzó su carrera como pianista de jazz, pero en la década de 1960 comenzó a componer para la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • John Towner Williams — John Williams im Mai 2006 John Towner Williams (* 8. Februar 1932 im New Yorker Stadtteil Flushing, N.Y.) ist ein US amerikanischer Komponist, Dirigent und Produzent von Filmmusik. Der mehrfache Oscar und Grammy Gewinner z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Williams (Musiker) — John Williams im Mai 2006 John Towner Williams (* 8. Februar 1932 im New Yorker Stadtteil Flushing, N.Y.) ist ein US amerikanischer Komponist, Dirigent und Produzent von Filmmusik. Der mehrfache Oscar und Grammy Gewinner z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Towner Williams — John Williams (compositeur) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Williams et John Williams. John Williams …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

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