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American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions



  • Existence: 1810 (date of establishment)
  • Existence: 1961 (date of dissolution)

Historical Summary

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) was among the first American Christian missionary organizations. It was created in 1810 by recent graduates of Williams College. In the 19th century it was the largest and most important of American missionary organizations and consisted of participants from Reformed traditions such as Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and German Reformed churches.

After some secessions due to the slavery issue and the movement of New School Presbyterian-affiliated missionaries to the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, the ABCFM was left as a Congregationalist body after 1870.[1] The American Board, as it was known continued to operate as a largely Congregationalist entity until the 1950s. In 1957, the Congregational Christian church merged with the German Evangelical and Reformed Church to form the United Church of Christ. As a part of the organizational merger associated with this new denomination, the ABCFM ceased independent existence and merged operations with other missions entities to form the United Church Board for World Ministries, an agency of the United Church of Christ.

Found in 56 Collections and/or Records:

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions reports from missionaries, 1884-1891. : [manuscript]

Identifier: RG4908
Scope and Contents Papers date from 1884 to 1891 and consist of handwritten and type-written pages. Collection is in good condition and has been housed in an acid free folder.Papers consist primarily of letters from female missionaries living and working in girls’ schools in Turkey and India. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including: missionary life; observations regarding the culture of respective host countries; discussions of school organization, curriculum, and students; and...
Dates: 1884-1891