This Week in Christian History: Bob Jones, Gay Bishop, Puritan Missionary to Native Americans

John Eliot Preaches to Native Americans - October 28, 1646

John Eliot (1604-1690), Puritan missionary known for evangelizing Native Americans.
John Eliot (1604-1690), Puritan missionary known for evangelizing Native Americans. | (Photo: Public Domain)

This week marks the anniversary of when Puritan missionary John Eliot preached his second major sermon to a Native American audience.

Eliot had preached a sermon the month before in an evangelism effort that he considered a failure, writing later that his audience "gave no heed unto it" and "rather despised what I said."

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However, this second sermon, preached with an interpreter before a Native American audience at Nonantum, Massachusetts, was seen by the Puritans as a considerable success.

"The vistors were pleased by the Indians' responses. After the question and answer session, Eliot offered a second prayer and distributed apples to the children and tobacco to the men," wrote Richard W. Cogley of Southern Methodist University.

After the two-sermon mission trip, Eliot would oversee further evangelism among the Native Americans and eventually translated the Bible into the Algonquin language. 

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