Aubert, Suzanne, Founder of the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion, born St-Symphorien, Lyon, France 19 June 1835, died Wellington, New Zealand 1 October 1926. Determined to be a nursing nun, she trained in Paris, nursed during the Crimean War, and joined Bishop Pompallier in New Zealand in 1860. She worked with Maori girls in Auckland and in 1871 moved to Napier where she nursed, developed herbal remedies, catechized, and edited a Maori Prayer Book (1879). From 1883 she developed a remote congregation at Jerusalem on the Wanganui River where she broke in a farm, ran a dispensary, gathered babies and children, published A Manual of Maori Conversation (1885) and founded The Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion (1892). Moving to Wellington in 1899 she set up the Home of Compassion and went to Rome (1913-1920) to gain papal recognition for her Order and its mission.
Jessie Munro, The story of Suzanne Aubert, Auckland University Press, 1996. A H McLintock, ed., An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, Government Printer, 1966.

Machen, John Gresham, Orthodox Presbyterian leader, born Baltimore, USA, 28 July 1881, died Bismark, North Dakota, 1 January 1937. He was educated at John Hopkins and Princeton and traveled in Europe before teaching New Testament at Princeton (1906-1929). He was ordained by the New Brunswick Presbytery, June 1914 and took a strong reformed stand in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. His Christianity and Liberalism (1923) remains in print. He helped lay the basis for Westminster Theological Seminary founded in Philadelphia in 1930 and in 1935 was expelled from the PCUSA for his leadership of the Independent Board of Foreign Missions. It was widely recognized that the PCUSA had overreacted, but many left to form the Presbyterian Church of America, later the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Machen was a careful scholar remembered also for his political libertarianism.


Mather, Cotton, New England Puritan and theologian, born Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 12 February 1663, died 13 February 1728, Boston. The son of Increase Mather, he entered Harvard at 12 and gained his MA at 18. He was ordained in 1685 as a colleague to his father and remained a pastor at the Second Church Boston throughout his life. He published 469 works, including a church history of America Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), and a handbook for ministerial graduates on doing good, love affairs, poetry and style, Manuductio ad Ministerium (1726). He defended ministerial leadership in society, despite the social changes which made that difficult, and anticipated later patterns of evangelical activism. He believed in the existence of witchcraft, though he sought to moderate claims of evidence. He was interested in science and medicine and was a strong supporter of smallpox inoculation.


Mather, Increase, Puritan leader, born Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 21 June 1639, died Boston, Massachusetts, 23 August, 1723. He entered Harvard at 12 and graduated at 17. He studied at Trinity College Dublin, was ordained teaching pastor of the Second Church Boston (1664-1723), and became president of Harvard (1685-1701). A defender of the old Congregational way, he was supported by his son Cotton who was his colleague for 40 years. In 1688 he was sent to England to thank James II for his declaration of liberty for all faiths and remained long enough to secure the removal of the governor of Massachusetts. Mather’s support for the new governor and the charter of 1691 proved unpopular. He was blamed for contributing to the Salem witch trials of 1692, though his cautions about spiritual evidence had been ignored.

Maurice, Frederick Denison, Anglican theologian and Christian socialist, born Normanstone, near Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, 29 August 1805, died London, 1 April 1872. The son of a Unitarian minister and brought up in a home full of religious disputation, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Exeter College, Oxford. He was ordained in 1834 to the curacy of Bobbenhall, Warwickshire and became chaplain of Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1836 where he lectured on moral philosophy and wrote The Kingdom of Christ (1838). In 1840 he was elected professor of English at King’s College, London and in 1846 became professor of theology. With J M F Ludlow and C Kingsley he helped form the Christian Socialist movement. His rejection of the endlessness of hell punishments focused opposition to his theology and led to his dismissal from King’s College in 1853. He started a Working Men’s College in 1854 and was professor of moral philosophy at Cambridge from 1866 until his death.

McGavran, Donald Anderson, Founder of the church growth movement, born Damoh, India, 15 December 1897, died 10 July 1990. He graduated from Butler University, Yale Divinity School and Columbia University (PhD) and served as a Disciples of Christ missionary in India (1923-1954). Stimulated by the work of Wascom Pickett, he sought to discover the “reproducible principles” contributing to church growth. In 1961 he established the Institute of Church Growth in Eugene, Oregon, and in 1965 became founding dean of the School of World Mission and Institute of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. He had the knack of asking uncomfortable questions, was taken seriously by ecumenical and other critics, and challenged the individualism of the evangelical tradition. If he found it hard to provide answers to some more penetrating theological concerns, he remains significant for his questions, and the inspiration of his commitment that God’s lost people should be found.

Melville, Andrew, Scottish Presbyterian leader, born Baldovie, Angus, Scotland, 1 August 1545, died Sedan, France, 1622. Educated at St Andrews University he went to France, studied at Poitier and then under Beza in Geneva. He returned to Scotland in 1574 and was appointed principal at Glasgow University. He was moderator of the General Assembly in 1578, 1582 (twice), 1587 and 1594. Taking the mantle of Scottish church leadership after the death of John Knox in 1572, he worked to establish presbyterianism and oppose state interference, and the Second Book of Discipline (1578) was largely his work. He was accused of treason in 1584 but became rector at St Andrews (1590-1597) until again in conflict with the King. The English Privy Council confined him to the Tower of London (1607-1611) before he was allowed to go to exile in France where he taught biblical theology at Sedan.


Moody, Dwight Lyman, Evangelist, born East Northfield, Massachusetts, 5 February 1837, died Northfield, Massachusetts, 22 December 1899. He was converted in Boston and moved to Chicago in 1856 becoming a successful shoe salesman. A Sunday School he started in the slums in 1858 became a church in 1863. He worked under the YMCA, organized Sunday School Teacher’s conventions, and visited England in 1867. A preaching tour (1872-1875) to Britain accompanied by the singer, Ira D Sankey brought an enthusiastic response, as did their Sankey and Moody Hymn Book (1873). After similar missions in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, Moody founded the Northfield Seminary for Young Women in 1879 and the Mount Hermon School for Young Men in 1881. A second tour to Britain (1881-1884) included universities. In 1889 he helped found what became the Moody Bible Institute.


Mott, John Raleigh, American Methodist layman, student leader and international ecumenical statesman, born Livingston Manor, New York State, 25 May 1865, died Orlando, Florida, 31 January 1955. He attended Upper Iowa University and Cornell University where he was converted. Influenced by D. L. Moody, he championed the Student Volunteer Movement’s call for “the evangelization of the world in this generation.” His gifts of leadership were demonstrated in the YMCA (intercollegiate secretary 1888-1915, general secretary 1915-1931) and the founding of the World Student Christian Fellowship (general secretary 1895-1920). A key organizer and the chair of the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, he was a central figure in the International Missionary Council (chair, 1928-1946) and the groups which formed the World Council of Churches (1948). He shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 and is buried in Washington Cathedral.


Newbigin, James Edward Lesslie, Bishop, missionary, ecumenist, theologian, born Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 8 December 1909, died London, 30 January 1998. He was educated at Cambridge, a Student Christian Movement traveling secretary and ordained by the Church of Scotland to be a missionary in India (1936). He served as village evangelist (1936-1947), Church of South India Bishop in Madura and Ramnad (1947-1959), secretary of the International Missionary Council (1959-1961), WCC associate general secretary (1961-1965), Bishop in Madras (1965-1974), professor of ecumenics and mission, Selly Oak Colleges (1974-1979), and minister, Winson Green United Reformed Church (1980-1988). He received a CBE in 1974 and was moderator of the United Reformed Church (1978-1979). His publications including The Other Side of 1984, (1983), Foolishness to the Greeks, (1986), and The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (1989) were a major contribution to the “Gospel and Culture” movement. His autobiography, Unfinished Agenda, was published in 1985 and 1995.


BDCM:  Gerald H. Anderson, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1998.

DAC: John Chew, David Wu and Scott Sunquist, eds., Dictionary of Asian Christianity, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans (forthcoming).

DCA, Dictionary of Christianity in America.

DEB: Donald M. Lewis, ed. The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1730-1860. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995.

DEM:  Nicholas Lossky, et al, eds. Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans / Geneva: WCC, 1991.

DSCHT: Nigel M. de S. Cameron, ed. Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1993.

EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1999.

IBMR: International Bulletin of Missionary Research

ML: Gerald H. Anderson, et al, eds. Mission Legacies.  Biographical Studies of Leaders of the Modern Missionary Movement, Maryknoll: Orbis, 1994.

ODCC: F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford, 1997.


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