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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 1136

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). Near East, Records, 1820-1965.

This collection consists of the reference materials used by the ABCFM, later known as the United Church Board of World Ministries. It describes the work of the ABCFM in the Near East from 1820-1965. It includes pamphlets, informational brochures, yearbooks, unpublished reports and a small amount of correspondence.

Dates

  • 1820-1965.

Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Extent

15 boxes

This collection consists of the reference materials used by the ABCFM, later known as the United Church Board of World Ministries. It includes pamphlets, informational brochures, yearbooks, unpublished reports and a small amount of correspondence which describes the work of the ABCFM in the Near East from 1820-1965. The material in this collection describes the schools, hospitals, centers and rural programs that were established by the missionaries. The collection also includes many general reports and articles on Christianity in the Near East, and it touches on the work of other religious organizations which were also working in this area.

Biographical / Historical

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), the first organized missionary society in the United States, was founded in 1810. By the time of its centenary in 1910, the Board was responsible for 102 mission stations and a missionary staff of 600 in India,Ceylon, West Central Africa (Angola), South Africa and Rhodesia, Asiatic and European Turkey, four different regions in China, Japan, Micronesia, the Philippines, and the "Papal lands" of Mexico, Spain and Austria. There were also missions to American Indians, and a mission to Hawaii. The ABCFM began as an inter-denominational society, including Presbyterian and Reformed churches, besides its core of Congregationalists. After some secessions due to the slavery issue and the formation by the Presbyterian Church of its own foreign mission board, the ABCFM was left as a Congregationalist body after 1870. In 1957, the Congregational Christian Churches merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form the United Church of Christ (UCC). On June 29, 1961 the ABCFM was formally concluded, becoming part of the United Church Board for World Ministries (UCBWM), an instrumentality of the new denomination. On July 1, 2000, the UCBWM became Wider Church Ministries, one of the four covenanted ministries of the UCC. (from the finding aid for the ABCFM records at the Houghton Library, Harvard University). The Near East is a geographical term that roughly encompasses Western Asia. The term has fallen into disuse, and has been replaced by the Middle East. Some of the countries included are Armenia, Turkey, Syria, Greece,Albania, and Bulgaria.

Arrangement

Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. ABCFM Near East Reports
  2. ___Subseries A. General and historical topics
  3. ___Subseries B. Special topics
  4. Series II. ABCFM Near East Mission Stations
  5. Series III. Christianity in the Near East; Special Topics
  6. Series IV. Near East Regions and Groups
  7. Series V. Schools, Hospitals, and Centers
  8. Series VI. Writings by individuals

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by the United Church Board for World Ministries .

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 1264, bMS 1003.

Processing Information

Processed by Fran O'Donnell, 2015.
Link to catalog
Title
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). Near East, Records, 1820-1965 (bMS 1136): A Finding Aid.
Author
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
EAD ID
div01136

Repository Details

Part of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School Repository

Special Collections at Andover-Harvard Theological Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies.

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