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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Missionary Activities

In 1855 the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society was formed. Its secretary, who served for 17 years, was H. H. Driver. The field centred on the district of Brahmanbaria in East Bengal, India. The first missionary, Miss Rosalie Macgeorge, pioneered the work at the cost of her health and died in Ceylon on the way home to New Zealand. A second station was opened in 1896 in Chandpur where effective medical and general work was initiated by Dr Charles North, and continued by Drs W. H. Pettitt, Nola Ivory, and others. Since 1936 missionary work has also been carried on amongst adjacent tribes people in Tripura State. The pioneer missionaries in this area, the Revs. H. A. Jones, B. N. Eade, M. J. Eade, Dr D. T. Daintree, and others, saw this work develop rapidly until it has become the most responsive part of the Baptist mission field. The mission areas are now divided by the border between East Pakistan and India. Much attention has had to be paid to Muslim evangelism, one of the New Zealand Baptist missionaries, the Rev. John Takle, becoming a world-authority on Islam. Women of the Churches have given notable support through the Baptist Women's Missionary Union, while lady missionaries who gave over 30 years' service to the mission have been Misses E. Beckingsale, A. L. Cowles, M. A. Bradfield, E. F. Arnold, M. Bush, Dr Nola Ivory, and Mesdames J. Takle, H. A. Jones, and B. N. Eade. On this mission field today there is a Christian community numbering 7,964 with 31 New Zealand missionaries and more than 150 national workers. Support for this work has reached a figure of £3 per New Zealand Baptist member annually. At least 160 New Zealand Baptists are serving with missionary societies in other parts of the world.

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