The Mission Messenger
Women’s organizations played a significant role in American life during the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Although consigned to the “private sphere” of the home by law and custom, women influenced the “public sphere” of policy and society through organizations dedicated to causes such as temperance, poverty relief, antislavery, suffrage, and a plethora of others. The Woman’s Baptist Missionary Union was one of these; it mobilized women to raise money for Southern Baptist missions around the world. The Mission Messenger was the publication of the Women’s Baptist Missionary Union in Georgia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was published monthly from 1895 to 1921. Reports from local church chapters, programming suggestions, letters to the editor, financial reports, fundraising drives, Bible studies, and reports from Southern Baptist missionaries around the world were regular features of the magazine. The run of this publication spanned significant historical events such as the Spanish-American War, World War I, the Flu Pandemic of 1918, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement; within the pages of the Mission Messenger, historians can thus learn how Georgia women responded to such events. The regular reports in the magazine from missionaries in China, Japan, Italy, South America, Mexico, and Africa shaped how Georgia women viewed the world, even as their support of missions helped to remake the world in the West’s image.
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