In recent days, I have been reading a narrative history titled The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement (B&H Academic, 2015). Written by three church history professors, Anthony Chute (California Baptist University), Nathan Finn (Union University), and Michael Haykin (Southern Seminary), this volume has introduced me to several intriguing figures and movements. This brief story on page 135 illustrates how God’s power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor 12:9):
The Boston Female Society for Missionary Purposes was open to both Baptist and Congregationalist women who pledged their “mites” (so named after the widow’s offering in Mark 12:42 KJV) to support missionaries. Not only was this the first women’s missionary society formed in America; it demonstrated that physical limitations did not preclude one from having a global impact. Mary Webb had been paralyzed since age five but served as secretary-treasurer of the BFMS for half a century. From her home, sitting in her wheelchair, Webb wrote thousands of letters raising awareness and financial support for missions.
Webb’s story inspires me. If you have not already read The Baptist Story, I encourage you to add it to your 2017 reading list.