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As told many times over, the story of Southern Baptists began with an ironic co-mingling of desires involving both missionaries and slaves. In 1845, the controversy surrounding the refusal of the Triennial Convention to appoint slaveholders as missionaries pushed white Baptists of the South, or rather their educated elite, to form the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). William B. Johnson, architect and first president of the SBC, described their Northern brethren's evil as "FORBIDDING US to speak UNTO THE GENTILES." (1) The SBC immediately established domestic and foreign mission boards. For the next fifty years, missions persisted as the SBC's primary endeavor. Scholarship regarding Southern Baptist missions during this period has focused on China, but in 1846 Liberia counted as the denomination's only other foreign field.