Moon, Charlotte Lottie

( 18 4 0 - 1912 )
   prominent Baptist missionary in China
   Possibly the most famous of the thousands of missionaries sent out by the Southern Baptist Convention, Lottie Moon was a diminutive (4' 3") woman who completed 40 years as a missionary in China. She was born in December 1840 in Albemarle County. An uncle, James Barclay, had been the first missionary to Jerusalem of the Disciples of Christ movement, but her family were active Baptists.
   Lottie attended the Virginia Female Seminary and the Albemarle Female Institute, from which she received a M.A. in classics in 1861, making her one of the most educated women in America at the time. After the Civil War, she chose work as a schoolteacher rather than marriage and homemak-ing, and in 1872 became one of the first unmarried women accepted for foreign service by the Southern Baptists. She moved to Tengchow and for the next 40 years worked there and in Pingtu, teaching children and evangelizing Chinese women.
   Moon used her many celebrated letters home to mobilize Southern Baptist women in America to launch their own missionary efforts. Answering her call, in 1888 a handful of women founded the Woman's Missionary Union and instituted an annual Christian offering for missions, named for Moon in 1919. During its first century, it raised more than $1 billion. The union is now the largest Protestant organization for women in the world, with a membership in excess of 1 million, as well as the largest organized lay organization in the Southern Baptist Convention.
   Moon's letters to the Board of Baptist Foreign Missions helped push the group toward a greater utilization of female talent and led them to institute regular home furloughs for missionaries. She encouraged a greater identification with the target peoples, and criticized her fellow Baptists for their neglect of African Americans in the southern United States while they were sending missionaries to Africa.
   Moon died on December 24, 1912, while sailing for a rare visit home.
   See also Armstrong, Annie.
   Further reading:
   ■ Catherine Allen, The New Lottie Moon Story (Nashville, Tenn.: Baptist Sunday School Board, 1980)
   ■ Janet Benge, Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China (WYAM Publishing, 2001)
   ■ Irwin T. Hyatt Jr., Our Ordered Lives Confess (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976)
   ■ Helen Albee Monsell, Her Own Way: The Story of Lottie Moon (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1958)
   ■ Lottie Moon, Send the Light: Lottie Moon's Letters and Other Writings, ed. by Keith Harper (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2002).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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