On this day in 1906, the Fifth International Convention of the Student Volunteer Movement was held at Nashville, Tn.  This meeting, which would last until March fourth, would be referred to as one of only the greatest student conference ever held up to that time. 1

John Mott, the Secretary of the SVM, opened the conference with these words, “The possibilities of this convention are limitless.”  Further on in his opening address, John states:

There is no more remarkable passage in the Old Testament than the one which represents God as looking up and down the world among the lives of people to find those whose hearts are right toward Him. What for? That He may show Himself strong toward them. I pause and tremble, as I think of this passage, that the mighty God thus early in our Convention is searching with His piercing gaze to discover the hearts among this great multitude toward whom He can show Himself strong. May our all-seeing, loving, holy Lord find among us many hearts so pure, so responsive, so humble, so believing, so courageous that He may trust them with a large bestowal of His power. These will be the young men and young women who, going forth from Nashville knowing their God, will be strong and do exploits.

Conference like these held across the nation helped to keep the work of World Evangelism in front of the young men and women in American Universities.  But more importantly, it challenged thousands of these young people to give their lives completely over to fulfilling the battle cry of the Student Volunteer Movement, “The evangelization of the world in this generation”


Students and the Modern Missionary Crusade 1

On this day in 1757, Joseph Badger, known as “The great missionary of the Western Reserve” was born in Wilbraham, Mass.

After fighting several years in the American Revolution, Badger enrolled at Yale University, where he graduated in 1783.  After graduation, he served as the pastor of several churches in New England, but in 1800, he accepted a commission to travel out to the new frontier of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio to work with the Native Americans and new settlements out there.  The wild frontier offered challenges he never faced before in New England.  A biographer, writing from Badger’s diary states:

Badger’s adventures were numerous. At one time he was followed several miles by a wolf. He spent a whole night in a tree watched by a bear. Tying himself to a limb with his large bandanna handkerchief, he remained until the morning. A heavy thunder-storm passed over him while in this position, but the heavy peals of thunder did not avail to drive off the animal. His horse was standing at the foot of the tree, in no way frightened by the bear. As he shook himself in the rain he scared the brute away, so that Mr. Badger, a little after daylight, was able to go on.

Once he got a mission established, he brought his family out to be with him.  He build a solid log cabin and a large farm, which his sons helped him care for.  From his home, he would travel to the scattered settlements and Indian villages, sometime being away from home for weeks or months at a time.  But still Badger labored on.  Despite of sickness, trials, and hardships.  His biographer says, “The humility of the man was one of his prominent traits. No service was too lowly for him, no sacrifice too great, if he might serve his Master.”


The History of Ashtabula, Ohio

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