This week in Christian history: First black Baptist minister ordained; Pentecostal preacher vanishes; Presbyterian missionary born

Sheldon Jackson born — May 18, 1834

Sheldon Jackson
Sheldon Jackson (1834-1909), a Presbyterian missionary known for his extensive work in the American West and Alaska. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian missionary who traveled much of the American frontier to evangelize, was born in Minaville, New York.

A graduate of Union College and Princeton Theological Seminary, Jackson engaged in extensive missionary work in the Midwest, Northwest, and 26 trips to Alaska.

“Many times Jackson expanded his field beyond the capabilities of Board of Home Missions. The Board voiced their disapproval, but this did not discourage Jackson,” noted the Presbyterian Historical Society.

“With the completion of the transcontinental railroad in the later part of the 1860s, a huge territory was opened to Jackson. In the summer of 1869 Jackson went on a missionary tour using the railroad and stage lines, establishing a church a day.”

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