Haystack Prayer Meeting

Haystack Prayer Meeting

The Haystack Prayer Meeting, which was held in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States in August 1806, is viewed by many scholars as the seminal event for the development of Protestant Missions in the subsequent decades and centuries. [ [http://wso.williams.edu/~dchu/MissionPark/revival.html Mission Park: Religious Revival ] ]

On a hot summer day, a few Williams College students gathered in a field to discuss the spiritual welfare of the people of Asia. When a thunderstorm developed over the field, the students took refuge in the lee of a large haystack and continued their prayer meeting. Hence the name, Haystack Prayer Meeting. [ [http://wso.williams.edu/~dchu/MissionPark/meeting.html Mission Park: The Haystack Prayer Meeting ] ] The meeting was led by Samuel John Mills.

Within four years of that gathering, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) was established. In 1812 it sent forth its first missionaries. [ [http://wso.williams.edu/~dchu/MissionPark/missionaries.html Mission Park: America's First Protestant Missionaries ] ]

In 1906, the ABCFM held a centennial commemoration. Several commemorations took place during 2006, including one at the site of the first prayer gathering. Groups considered to be spiritual heirs of the HPM include [http://www.globalministries.org Global Ministries] of the [http://www.ucc.org United Church of Christ] and [http://www.disciples.org Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)] , InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Student Volunteer Movement-2 (SVM-2).

In preparation for the 200th Anniversary, Global Ministries offered resources on the Haystack Prayer Meeting and the study of mission, which are available at [http://www.globalministries.org/resources/mission-study/what-is-haystack/ 200 Years of Mission: The Haystack Anniversary]

In 2005 IVCF established the [http://haystack06.org/home.cfm haystack06.org] website, which includes history, commemoration and motivation centering on the Haystack Prayer Meeting and the movement that developed from it.

Detailed History History of the Haystack Prayer Meeting

Five Williams College students met in the summer of 1806, in a grove of trees near the Hoosack River, then known as Sloan's Meadow, and debated the theology of missionary service. Their meeting was suddenly interrupted by a thunderstorm and the students: Samuel John Mills, James Richards, Francis L. Robbins, Harvey Loomis, and Byram Green took shelter under a haystack until the sky cleared. "The brevity of the shower, the strangeness of the place of refuge, and the peculiarity of their topic of prayer and conference all took hold of their imaginations and their memories."

In 1808 the Haystack Prayer group and other Williams students began a group called "The Brethren." This group was organized to "effect, in the persons of its members, a mission to" those who were not Christians. In 1812, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (created in 1810) sent its first missionaries - to the Indian subcontinent.

Samuel John Mills became the Haystack person with the greatest influence on the modern mission movement. He played a role in the founding of the American Bible Society and the United Foreign Missionary Society.

Through the work of Byram Green, a monument was erected in Mission Park in Williamstown, MA in 1867 to honor the five men involved in the Haystack prayer meeting. In 1906 a gathering took place in Mission Park at Williams College in Massachusetts to remember the prayer meeting of one hundred years before. In the summer of 2006, those committed to mission today will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Haystack prayer meeting

As well as being the first documented resolution ever made by Americans to begin foreign missionary work, the 1806 Haystack meeting has been credited with leading to the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). The ABCFM gave students an opportunity to go abroad and spread the teachings of Christianity.

In its first fifty years, the ABCFM sent out over 1250 missionaries. Most were from the smaller towns and farm villages of New England. Few were affluent, but many were trained in colleges where they received a classical education, which included Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. When they reached the mission field, they were able to translate the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into difficult and often previously unwritten languages. They built educational systems in their lands of ministry and were often called upon to advise foreign governments.

Missionary reports were printed in the Missionary Herald, the magazine of the American Board established in 1821. For many Christians in America, the Missionary Herald was their window to the world. Descriptions of native customs, history, economic activities, and geographical features were included along with accounts of the influence of the Gospel on these far off lands. In a day before TV, radio, or rapid communications, such missionary reports became prime information for many Americans about foreign lands.

The ABCFM saw to it that schools and hospitals were established in all the mission fields. Native leaders were trained to continue the work of the ministry.

In 1961 the American Board merged to form the United Church Board for World Missions (UCBWM). After 150 years, the American Board had sent out nearly 5000 missionaries to 34 different fields, and it all began with five young men praying in a haystack.

In 2000, the UCBWM evolved into [http://www.ucc.org/wcm Wider Church Ministries] of the [http://www.ucc.org United Church of Christ] , which still exists today and is involved in mission around the world through [http://www.globalministries.org] , in partnership with the Division of Overseas Ministries of the [http://www.disciples.org Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)] .

Timeline of Mission

A timeline of the history of mission from that first meeting in 1806 through today.

1806 Original Haystack Prayer Meeting at Sloan's Meadow by five Williams College students in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

1808 Samuel Mills forms The Brethren, dedicated to spreading the message about missionary service

1810 America's first foreign mission society, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) is formed by Congregationalists in Massachusetts

1812 ABCFM sends its first group of five missionaries to India, (including Adoniram Judson and Luther Rice)

1819 ABCFM sends first missionaries to Near East, including Turkey and Palestine, ABCFM sends first missionaries to Hawaii (Sandwich Islands)

1821 The Missionary Herald, ABCFM's magazine of missionary reports is established

1830 ABCFM sends first missionaries to China, including Elijah Coleman Bridgman

1833 ABCFM sends first missionaries to Africa

1854 Byram Green returns to Williamstown, telling of the original meeting and pointing out the site of the haystack. Consequently, Sloan's Meadow is purchased and renamed [http://www.williams.edu/library/archives/buildinghistories/missionpark/contents.html Mission Park]

1856 Semi-centennial of the Haystack Meeting is celebrated

1867 Marble monument is erected and dedicated on the site of the original meeting

1868 Woman's Boards of Missions established

1906 Centennial anniversary of the Haystack Meeting is celebrated in Williamstown

1931 Merger of Congregational and Christian churches, forming Congregational Christian Church, with the ABCFM

1934 Merger of the Evangelical Synod of North America and Reformed Church in the United States, forming the Evangelical and Reformed Church, with its Board of International Missions

1956 157th Annual Meeting of the ABCFM and Sesquicentennial of the Haystack Meeting celebrated in Williamstown

1957 United Church of Christ established by the merger of the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church

1961 ABCFM merges with Board of International Missions to form the United Church Board for World Ministries (UCBWM)

1981 175th Anniversary of the Haystack Meeting celebrated in Williamstown

1995 Global Ministries is established as a partnership between the UCBWM of the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the Division of Overseas Ministries (DOM) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

2000 UCBWM becomes Wider Church Ministries, one of four UCC covenanted ministries. Wider Church Ministries remains in partnership with DOM through Global Ministries

2006 200th anniversary celebration of the Haystack event in Williamstown, MA

ee also

* Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
* United Church of Christ
* Day of Prayer
* Second Great Awakening


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См. также в других словарях:

  • Haystack Prayer Meeting —    A single prayer meeting under a Massachusetts haystack is believed by historians to have been a focal point in America s transition from a missionary target region to a missionary sending country. on an afternoon in August 1806, five students… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Haystack Prayer Meeting —  Хейстакское молитвенное собрание …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Day of Prayer — A Day of Prayer is a day allocated to prayer, either by leaders of religions or the general public, for a specific purpose. Such days are usually ecumenical in nature. Contents 1 World Day of Prayer for Peace 2 Global Day of Prayer 3 National Day …   Wikipedia

  • Williams College — Motto E liberalitate E. Williams, armigeri ( Through the Generosity of E. Williams, Esquire (or Soldier) ) Established 1793 Type …   Wikipedia

  • Christianity in the 19th century — Part of a series on Christianity   …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of Christian missions — This timeline of Christian missions chronicles the global expansion of Christianity through a sampling of missionary outreach events. A more general timeline of Christianity and History of Christianity is also available. Apostolic Age Earliest… …   Wikipedia

  • Samuel John Mills — (April 12 1783 June 16 1818) was born at Torringford, Connecticut. His father was a Congregational minister. He attended Williams College in Massachusetts and there organized the prayer group that held the Haystack prayer meeting. He entered… …   Wikipedia

  • American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions — The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) was the first American Christian foreign mission agency. It was proposed in 1810 by recent graduates of Williams College and officially chartered in 1812. In 1961 it merged with… …   Wikipedia

  • American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions —    The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was the first American Protestant agency to send missionaries to serve in foreign lands. It continued its venerable role well into the 20th century, when it was merged into a larger body …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Luther Rice — (March 25, 1783 September 25, 1836) helped form a missionary sending body that became the modern Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. As a young man at Williams College he became part of a group of young ministers and aspiring… …   Wikipedia

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