Early Congregationalists took God's call to mission seriously. The most notable missionary to the American Indians was John Elliot, a teacher at the church in Roxbury, MA. He learned the Native American languages and eventually founded fourteen communities of Praying Indians.
In 1806, several Congregational divinity students were caught in a summer thunderstorm and took refuge under a nearby haystack. As they waited for the storm to pass, they talked about the need for foreign missions and each pledged his life to the foreign mission field. Four years after this Haystack Meeting, Congregationalists formed the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign missions.
The present Missionary Society was established in 1954. In 1961, it became a division of the corporation for the National Association of Congregational Christian churches. The Missionary Society strives to select projects that are Congregational Christian in faith and polity. The missions currently supported are listed above. Click on the names to get more information on each one. Overall, this program of Christian missions is holistic, ministering to the needs of the whole person; the spiritual, the physical, and the relational. All missions are under regular review and evaluation. The needs are genuine, and the projects are worthy of your prayerful and generous support.
Your gift to the Missionary Society goes directly, dollar for dollar, to the work on the mission fields. Nothing is withheld for administrative purposes. Your National Association works for you in this regard, giving basic office support to the missions program through the national office. The Missionary Society also has it's own administrative fund so that every dollar given to missions goes to missions.
Internationally, all of our projects are led by indigenous missionaries. These nationals know the language and culture from birth, saving the expense of extensive travel and years of specialized training. They serve more effectively, and at a fraction of the cost, than foreign missionaries who might come from abroad.
We believe that our Association offers a balanced missions program worthy of your support. You may designate gifts to a specific mission if you wish. Please also remember tht the Missionary Society needs undesignated gifts that can be used where most needed.
As you plan your mission giving, or as your Church prepares its budget for global ministries, we are happy to provide information of timely or urgent needs both at home and abroad. Please contact the National Office for assistance.