Lottie Moon (A Biographical Sketch): Introduction

Recently I have been researching and writing about Lottie Moon the famous Southern Baptist Missionary. I thought I would share some thoughts here this week. I will be posting once a day over the next five days (Monday – Friday) on the life and times of Lottie Moon. For those of you who may not know about Lottie Moon and her mission legacy, here is a brief introduction:

The name, Lottie Moon, is one familiar to most rank and file Southern Baptists church members.  Lottie Moon was a single female missionary commissioned by the Southern Baptist who served in China at the turn of the twentieth century.  Annually the Southern Baptist Convention receives a Christmas offering in her name to support the ongoing work of the International Missions Board. This offering is responsible for funding well over fifty percent of the work of the IMB and is estimated to be the largest offering of its kind.

While the offering is in and of itself noteworthy, the woman who inspired the offering is nothing short of amazing. Some have speculated that she is the closest thing that Southern Baptist’s have to a saint. Catherine B. Allen writes about the legacy of Miss Moon:

Like many other missionaries, Lottie Moon left a legacy that paved the way for succeeding generations. But unlike any other missionary, Miss Moon left a legacy that largely paid the way for the growth of the largest missionary force of any evangelical or Protestant denomination.[1]

Albert Mohler in a lecture series at Southern Seminary in 2008 noted, “It is one of the happiest things about an investigation of the life and missions legacy of Lottie Moon: The more you know, the more you come to understand that this woman represents far more than meets the eye, far more than the Southern Baptist memory can contain.”[2] Even at the time of her death, the Southern Baptist Missions Journal commented that she was, “The best man among our missionaries.”[3] Praise for Lottie Moon is not limited to those within the Southern Baptist denomination. Recently scholars have begun looking at Moons legacy from a feminist perspective and praise Moon for her bold spirit in blazing new trails for women, in a society domineered by men.

[1]  Catherine B. Allen. Allen, Catherine B. “The Legacy of Lottie Moon” International Bulletin of Missionary Research 17, No. 4 (Oct. 1993): 146.

[2] Albert Mohler. “Forum on the Life and Legacy of Lottie Moon.” Lecture, Great Commission Week from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, October 21, 2009.

[3] Miller, Kevin D. “Gritty Pioneers: Six Missionaries Whose Tenacity Changed China ”Christian History 15, No. 4: 36.

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