On this day in 1858, Robert Clark, a pioneer English missionary in the areas of Punjab and Afganistan, married Miss Elizabeth Browne.

Six years earlier, Clark began his missionary work in Punjab along with a fellow missionary, Thomas Fitzpatrick.  Working around the foremost principle that the evangelism was best carried out by national workers, Clark spent much of his time training young men as evangelist.  Within his first two years, he had baptized and sent out twenty-three young men to evangelize and start churches.  He soon started a college and female boarding school, both for the purpose of training young people for service to Jesus Christ.  It was said of Clark that his greatest attribute was the ability “to train young pastors and then step back while delegating responsibilities to them.”  After working in Punjab for several years, Clarke began to work among the Afghan people, being the first missionary to ever reach out to them.

When returning to England of furlough, Clarke was introduced to Elizabeth Brown, the young, beautiful daughter of a very wealthy doctor who had just returned from making his fortune in India.  While in India, Elizabeth had volunteered in prison and hospital missions and grew a deep love for the missionary works.  A bright young woman, she was able to speak four languages and read two others.  She had been following the work of Clarke among the Afghans and became a funds collector for the mission.  This led to correspondents between the too and, when Clarke returned to England briefly, they were finally able to meet.  They fell in love and Clarke asked Elizabeth to marry him.  Her father, however, refused to allow his daughter to return to India as a missionary.  But after several months, he relented and the young couple was happily married.  Because of the delay by her father, they only had a month before they had to sail back to India.  But once they returned, they began a long, happy missionary career together.


Robert Clarke of Panjab, Pioneer and Missionary Statesman

On this day in 1888, women from 12 states met in Richmond, Virginia to form the Woman’s Missionary Union.

The purpose of the society was to help collect funds for missionary work and to help the women of the American churches to get involved with the missionary work in various ways.  The motto of the society was “Go forward.”  Annie Armstrong was chosen as the first corresponding secretary and Baltimore, Maryland was chosen as the headquarters for the board.

The first project undertaken by the board was to raise funds to send a missionary to China to relieve Lottie Moon.


Women’s Missionary Union

Check out bcwe.org