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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 1264

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. India. 1813-1966.

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 It includes pamphlets, informational brochures, yearbooks, unpublished reports and a small amount of correspondence which describes the work of the ABCFM in India from 1813-1966.

Dates

  • 1813-1966

Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Extent

27 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 It includes pamphlets, informational brochures, yearbooks, unpublished reports and a small amount of correspondence which describes the work of the ABCFM in India from 1813-1966. The first mission for the ABCFM was in India, and they established missions in the west of India in Marathi, in the east in Madura, and on the island of Ceylon. 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 India, and it touches on the work of other religious organizations in India.

Biographical / Historical

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) was founded in 1810, and it was the first organized missionary society in the United States. 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 first mission the ABCFM embarked upon was one to India in 1813 to a region in the west of India referred to as the Marathi mission. In 1816 the Ceylon mission was founded, and in 1834 the Madura mission was founded in the southern part of India. The United Church of Northern India was formed in 1924 by the union of the Congregational Churches of the American Marathi mission with the Presbyterian Church in India.

Arrangement

Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. ABCFM Reports
  2. Series II. The ABCFM Mission in Marathi
  3. Series III. The ABCFM Mission in Ceylon
  4. Series IV. The ABCFM Mission in Madura
  5. Series V. United Church of Northern India
  6. Series VI. Writings by individuals
  7. Series VII. Christianity in India
  8. Series VIII. Church Union in South India
  9. Series IX. National Christian Council of India
  10. Series X. The Journal of the Christian Medical Association of India

Acquisition Information

Gift of the United Church Board of World Ministries.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 1003.

Processing Information

Processed by Fran O'Donnell, 2015.
Link to catalog
Title
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. India. Records, 1813-1966: A Finding Aid.
Author
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
EAD ID
div01264

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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