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All students received 50 cents a month from their student accounts to be used as "candy money." As can be imagined, this "candy money" was valuable beyond its worth because of the rare treat that it brought into the hands of early Judson women. Yet, students regularly sacrificed at least 10 cents and sometimes all 50 cents of their "candy money" in order to support missions. (2) These young women, like many Baptist women throughout history, sought out and participated in creative opportunities to aid in the good work of missions. The nineteenth century marked the beginning of major American missionary enterprises as Christian groups throughout the nation joined forces in an effort to evangelize the world. Following the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1810, voluntary missionary societies sprang up across the nation to promote the cause of missions. Most of these independent organizations were Protestant, but few were controlled by denominational hierarchies in the beginning. Their primary purposes were to educate their members and the greater public about missions and to raise funds to support missionaries. Before the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention (1845), the Woman's Missionary Union (1888), or the Baptist Student Union, these grassroots groups (largely comprised of women) constituted the primary form of missions activity among Baptists in America. As time marched swiftly on, however, denominations perceived worldwide evangelism as another means by which to compete with one another for power and prestige. Thus, each denomination instituted its own missions organizations, and what was primarily a female network was soon overwhelmed by male-oriented hierarchies.

22 mars
Baptist History and Heritage Society

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