Southern Baptists abroad: sharing the faith in nineteenth-century Brazil.North-American Protestants came to Brazil in the nineteenth century, during one of the country's most stable times.
Methodist work started in 1836, only fourteen years after Brazil had become independent from Portugal and five years from the abdication abdication, in a political sense, renunciation of high public office, usually by a monarch. Some abdications have been purely voluntary and resulted in no loss of prestige. of its first emperor, D. Pedro I Pedro I (Dom Pedro de Alcântara) (pā`drō), 1798–1834, first emperor of Brazil (1822–31); son of John VI of Portugal. . Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists arrived around 1860, at the height of the reign of D. Pedro's son (Leonard, 1963; Wedeman, 1977). Southern Baptists arrived in 1881, a few years before the country became a Republic (Crabtree and Mesquita 1937-40). Brazil is one of the Southern Baptists' oldest mission fields and to this day the largest by any measure.
At the time when the first Southern Baptist missionary arrived in the country, Brazil was experiencing a surge in modernization. With the expansion of the world market, the sugar-based economy of colonial days gave way to the modern coffee-export system. Power shifted from the Northeast of the country to the South, and slavery gave way to European and North American North American
named after North America.
North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.
North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus. immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. and free labor the labor of freemen, as distinguished from that of slaves.
See also: Free (Burns, 1980). The rise of the coffee industry, along with the Paraguayan War (1865-70), boosted Brazil's push for modernization (Bello, 1966; Poppino, 1968).
Demand for faster transportation, reliable communication, and industrial production transformed the country during the second half of the nineteenth century. The foundations for change were laid in the 1840s and '50s, with probusiness legislation, new financial institutions (the commercial code in 1850, and the creation of the Bank of Brazil in 1851), and higher import taxes (Burns, 1980; Poppino, 1968; Viotti da Costa The surname da Costa derives from the Portuguese word for coast. It may refer to:
By 1874, there were approximately 800 miles of tracks.... After 1875, construction increased rapidly: in 1875-1879, 1,023 miles of track were laid; in 1880-1884, 2,200; in 1885-1889, 2,500. In 1889, then, trackage totaled approximately 6,000 miles. Fourteen of the twenty provinces had at least some rail service, although most of the trackage was concentrated in the Southeast (Burns, 1980:201).
The boost in communications was equally impressive. In 1880, the post office handled 50 million letters; by 1890, it was handling more than 200 million (Bello, 1966). Six months after the arrival of the telegraph, all southern provinces were linked by telegraph lines. In 1874, Brazil was connected to Europe by transoceanic cable. By 1896, telegraph lines had reached as far in the interior as the Amazon in the North and Mato Grosso Mato Grosso (mä`t grô`s) [Port.,=thick forest], state (1996 pop. in the West. From 10 stations with 40 miles of lines transmitting 233 messages in 1861, Brazil jumped to 171 stations with 6,560 miles of lines processing over 600,000 messages in 1896 (Burns, 1980:199). In the 1880s, phone services were available in at least four major cities-Sao Paulo, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, city, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro (rē`ō də zhänā`rō, Port. rē` thĭ zhənĕē`r , and Campinas. Finally, industrial production grew exponentially. Between 1875 and 1890, factories grew from 175 to more than 600. By 1890, there were more than 50,000 registered industrial workers in the country (Viotti da Costa, 1989:166-67).
The timing of the Southern Baptist arrival in the country could not have been more propitious pro·pi·tious
1. Presenting favorable circumstances; auspicious. See Synonyms at favorable.
2. Kindly; gracious.
[Middle English propicius, from Old French . Even the growing urban centers were an important factor in allowing the missionaries to spread their message quickly and to reach a relative large segment of the population. Along with that, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. provided Brazil with a new model for nation-making.
The Brazilian elites attributed the success of the United States to two factors: the preponderance of Europeans in the racial composition and the adoption of European ideology, political as well as economic. In short, the United States represented in their eyes the triumph of progress in the New World and further demonstrated the means of achieving it (Burns, 1980:209).
Church and State Relations
Why would a Protestant faith be successful in a deeply Catholic country? Catholicism had been part of Brazil for 380 years by the time Southern Baptists arrived. As colony and empire, the country was officially and de facto [Latin, In fact.] In fact, in deed, actually.
This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs that must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate. Catholic. As a colony, the nation looked to the king of Portugal to support and promote Catholicism. After its independence, Brazil adopted the Portuguese system of political patronage of the church (Carneiro, 1950; de Azevedo, 1963). The emperor was deemed the defender of the Catholic faith by the Vatican. In exchange, he was allowed to manage the affairs of the church as if it were a branch of the secular government (Barbosa, 1945; Dornas Filho, 1938). (2)
As a consequence of Brazil's political patronage, the Catholic Church was deeply weakened in its ability to provide religious education and spiritual support to the growing Brazilian population. Dependent on government for all its appointments and constantly lacking in funds, the church found itself internally depleted de·plete
tr.v. de·plet·ed, de·plet·ing, de·pletes
To decrease the fullness of; use up or empty out.
[Latin d by the end of the century, with an inadequately trained clergy and a weak catechetical cat·e·che·sis
n. pl. cat·e·che·ses
Oral instruction given to catechumens.
[Late Latin cat work (Bello, 1966; de Holanda, 1969; Wedeman, 1977). By the time Baptists arrived, the Catholic Church was only a shadow of its former self.
Southern Baptist missionaries were appalled with the religious life in Brazil. They constantly deplored the moral and intellectual mediocrity of the Catholic clergy and the superstitious and quasi-pagan quality of the church's practices, assuming that this was typical of Catholicism everywhere. To them, Brazilians were not Catholic by conviction but simply by tradition. One could find ample reasons for such assessment:
The Catholicism of the greater part of the ruling classes was like that of the Emperor: a sincere deism, a listless and formal observance, a permanent dread of being taken to be papal supremacists or upholders of the Syllabus of Pius IX. In private family life, religious worship had a poetic and traditional form that was in many ways like the Roman worship of household gods. Among the masses, largely slaves and descendants of slaves, religious worship was naturally tinged with vivid reminiscences of African fetishism. In such social surroundings, discipline and customs readily became lax. Cohabitation by priests, especially in country districts, was readily condoned. Some members of the clergy, among them those who led great political battles or were feared as political bosses, unconcernedly flaunted their illegitimate offspring. Not only Statesmen but Catholic priests as well were Freemasons in a state with an official religion that proscribed Freemasonry (Bello, 1966:5).
The Catholic Church alliance with the monarchy also left it open to attacks by the liberal, prorepublican forces at the end of the century. The Catholic Church's opposition to liberal trade policies and devoted loyalty to the monarchical system signaled its commitment to an older era. To the prorepublican groups, only modern institutions could push the country forward, and the church was not one of them (Thornton, 1948; Torres, 1968). To no one's surprise, one of the first decrees of the new republic was the separation of church and state
Another factor contributing to Brazil's greater receptivity of the Southern Baptist message was the massive immigration that took place during the last quarter of the nineteenth century (Burns, 1980; Dawsey and Dawsey, 1998). The new export economy demanded more skilled labor. For the last twenty-five years of the nineteenth century, about 4.5 to 5 million Europeans and North Americans migrated to Brazil (3) (most of the North-American migrants were Southerners and many of them were Baptists). After 1870, the Brazilian government started actively recruiting workers abroad and paying for their traveling expenses. Most settled in the southern provinces (Carneiro, 1950; Willems, 1972).
Immigration contributed to the Baptist missionary efforts in two ways. First, the North American immigrants brought new technologies and new ways of life, giving the impression that all things European and American were more developed, including the faith (Goldman, 1972; Weaver, 1952). North American settlers from former Confederate states are credited with introducing the first trollies, plows, and wagons. They also introduced modern-life amenities such as brick houses, modern stoves, kitchen utensils, the coffee pounder, the kerosene kerosene or kerosine, colorless, thin mineral oil whose density is between 0.75 and 0.85 grams per cubic centimeter. A mixture of hydrocarbons, it is commonly obtained in the fractional distillation of petroleum as the portion boiling off lamp, the sewing machine sewing machine, device that stitches cloth and other materials. An attempt at mechanical sewing was made in England (1790) with a machine having a forked, automatic needle that made a single-thread chain. In 1830, B. , the buckboard, new land-surveying techniques, and four new crops-upland cotton, rattlesnake rattlesnake, poisonous New World snake of the pit viper family, distinguished by a rattle at the end of the tail. The head is triangular, being widened at the base. The rattle is a series of dried, hollow segments of skin, which, when shaken, make a whirring sound. watermelons, grapes, and pecans (Dawsey and Dawsey, 1998; Dunn, 1866; Weaver, 1952).
Second, Protestant settlers pushed for religious freedom in Brazil and for missionary help from home. As early as 1879, E. H. Quillin, was challenging "... some entire Baptist church, including pastor, deacons and clerk," to "emigrate and settle on these favored lands, and establish a large Baptist community." In his view, "they would do a work that could never be forgotten, and by industry and economy under providence, would firmly lay the foundation of an earthly fortune that would shade their declining years and go down to posterity." (4) Soon enough, as more Protestants migrated to the country, the government loosened its restrictions on non-Catholic religions, creating further opportunities for missionary work Noun 1. missionary work - the organized work of a religious missionary
work - activity directed toward making or doing something; "she checked several points needing further work"
da'wah, dawah - missionary work for Islam throughout the empire. (5)
Southern Baptists in Brazil
To early Southern Baptist settlers and missionaries, Brazil offered advantages similar to the U.S. frontier--it was a vast unspoiled land, filled with opportunity. Initial correspondence and official reports were highly optimistic. The denomination had considered Brazil as a mission field as early as the 1850s. The changes that took place during Pedro II's reign created the sense that Brazil was bound to become a modern, powerful nation, not unlike the United States. The first mission report to mention the country in 1859 portrayed the nation as "emerging from insignificance in·sig·nif·i·cance
The quality or state of being insignificant.
Noun 1. insignificance - the quality of having little or no significance
unimportance - the quality of not being important or worthy of note and darkness, and assuming a character and a place among the nations of the earth" (AR, 1859:51). (6) As a liberal nation with a stable government, Brazil showed more promise than "any in the South American continent" (AR, 1859:51). Its territorial size and fertile lands impressed denominational leaders, and the government seemed favorable to immigrants at a time when the country's economy was expanding.
No obstacle seemed insurmountable to Baptist work in Brazil--the country's distance, the Portuguese language Portuguese language, member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). It is the mother tongue of about 170 million people, chiefly in Portugal and the Portuguese islands in the Atlantic (11 million , or the tropical climate A tropical climate is a type of climate typical in the tropics. Köppen's widely-recognized scheme of climate classification defines it as a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above 18°C (64.4 °F). were not deterrents. It was cheaper to transport missionaries to Brazil than, say, to China or Africa. The language shouldn't be a problem to those schooled in Latin. And the climate was "decidedly advantageous to those who are afflicted af·flict
tr.v. af·flict·ed, af·flict·ing, af·flicts
To inflict grievous physical or mental suffering on.
[Middle English afflighten, from afflight, with a tendency to consumption, and not injurious in·ju·ri·ous
1. Causing or tending to cause injury; harmful: eating habits that are injurious to one's health.
2. to others, who observe any tolerable precaution" (AR, 1859:51). Further more, Brazilian laws seemed tolerant of other forms of religion, and trade with the United States was expected to increase over time (AR, 1859:51).
Confederate settlements in Brazil only intensified the country's appeal to Southern Baptists. Enough southern settlers settled in the country to warrant sending ministers to their local church. Even the fact that Brazil was a slaveholding slave·hold·er
One who owns or holds slaves.
slaveholding adj. country at the time was seen as advantageous to Southern Baptist work, for
a missionary from the southern states of America would be free, at least, from this liability [of having to engage in partisan struggle over abolitionism] to embarrassment. He would have nothing to preach to them but the gospel of Jesus Christ-and need not commence by laying a foundation either of practical or theoretical abolitionism (AR, 1859:51).
Brazil's image was still the same twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
2. later, after the U.S. Civil War The U.S. Civil War, also called the War between the States, was waged from April 1861 until April 1865. The war was precipitated by the secession of eleven Southern states during 1860 and 1861 and their formation of the Confederate States of America under President Jefferson Davis. no longer checked Southern Baptist expansion. (7) Southern settlers were "advancing in property and worth," being held in high esteem by the local aristocracy, and receiving ample protection from the imperial government. Brazilian lands were said to be superior and inexpensive (Quillin, 1879). The southern colony was at least 1,000 strong and still actively recruiting in the United States:
If any brother wishes to place his family in a career of life where prosperity will play upon their pathway, and where affluence will accumulate with the advance of years, here is one of those peculiarly favored spots on earth. (8)
The first missionaries arrived in Brazil with a clear agenda. Evangelical in doctrine and conservative in morals, they were driven by conversion-based expansion and autonomous church growth. From the beginning, success was defined in the numbers of individual conversions and organized churches (Harrison, 1954; Taylor, n.d.). The missionaries' first year was spent learning the language and surveying the land for a mission base. Unlike other Protestant missions that chose the most cosmopolitan centers in the southern provinces (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo), Southern Baptists settled in a northeastern town, Salvador, in the province of Bahia. Salvador had been Brazil's first capital and was still the seat of Roman Catholicism in Brazil The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome.
There are an estimated 137 million Catholics in Brazil - the highest number of any country in the world, representing 74% , perhaps the most Catholic city in the country.
The first Baptist church First Baptist Church may refer to many churches: Canada
1. A tin miner.
2. One that makes or deals in tinware; a tinsmith.
Noun 1. tinner - someone who makes or repairs tinware
smith - someone who works at something specified . A year later there were twenty converts and six "preaching points" in the city (Harrison, 1954). The work was hard and unrewarding (Taylor, n.d.). They faced a lot of resistance from the Catholic Church. Barely arrived, they were looking already for areas devoid of Catholic Church control or the influence of city life.
Missionaries in Brazil have found the simple folk of the interior towns and villages much more eager for the gospel than those of the large coast cities. There the power of the priests is not so great, and the people have fewer follies to divert their minds and hearts from their souls' interests. There, also, foreign influences, foreign godlessness, and foreign infidelity have not exerted their power. (9)
To the missionaries, Brazilian Catholicism was nothing more than a folk religion Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. It could be contrasted with the "organized religion" or "historical religion" in which founders, creed, theology and ecclesiastical organizations are , built on superstition, syncretism syn·cre·tism
1. Reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, especially when success is partial or the result is heterogeneous.
2. , and medieval practices (Bagby, 1889; Graham, 1968; Taylor, n.d.). More importantly, it was a false religion lacking the "spiritual power" to lead Brazilians toward progress (Bell, 1965; Crabtree, 1953; Willems, 1967). Those sentiments only heightened as the missionaries arrived in the field. Observing ceremonies and rituals that seemed quite alien to their own culture, the missionaries found in Catholic practices ample evidence to support their prejudices.
In reports back home, missionaries complained about the Catholic Church's disregard for the Sabbath, tolerance for immorality among the clergy and laity, and idolatry Idolatry
responsible for the golden calf. [O.T.: Exodus 32]
Canaanite deities worshiped profanely by Israelites. [O.T. . (10) A chief concern was the effect of church practice on the lives of Brazilian women. The high wedding fees made lawful marriage almost unattainable for the poorer class, "promoting concubinage concubinage
Cohabitation of a man and a woman without the full sanctions of legal marriage. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the term concubine has been generally applied exclusively to women; Western studies of non-Western societies use it to refer to partners who are and illegitimate birth." Women's home life was oppressive and harsh even among the better classes. Most could not read or write. Many husbands kept several households. "What hope is there for womanhood in those lands?" asked one report. "What hope for the nation that has no higher ideal of womanhood?" (11)
Missionaries also blamed religion for the level of social development of the country. They argued that the Catholic faith deprived individuals of all responsibility save that of submitting to a superior authority in matters of religion. Therefore, Catholics could not feel any need for individual improvement through education or for the wise exercise of free choice. Without a freethinking free·think·er
One who has rejected authority and dogma, especially in religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation.
free and educated citizenry, political democracy could not flourish (Crabtree and Mesquita, 1937-40, vol 1:127-29). This would explain E. Y. Mullins's somber comments at the dawn of the Republic, when more hope would be expected of a North American who preached democratic practice:
It would be unwarranted to assert, however, that the Brazilian people as a whole were anxious for a change of government. The few and not the many accomplished this result, as is usually the case in all great movements of advance. The mass of Brazilians then, as now, were indifferent upon the subject of the form of government. In fact, this indifference is a key to Brazilian character in many of its aspects. They are not a patriotic people. They are lovers of pleasure and ease. They are fond of social enjoyment, easy in morals and life. They seem, at least up to the present, incapable of the intense patriotic devotion of may other peoples, as for example, the French. (12)
The missionaries were quite aware that they were trying to change not just the beliefs of Brazilians but their entire worldview world·view
n. In both senses also called Weltanschauung.
1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. . "The message of redemption carried supernatural and socioeconomic implications. Education, thrift and hard work were integral parts of the attitudinal and institutional complex that the missionaries sought to implant among Latin Americans This is a list of notable Latin American people. In alphabetical order within categories. Actors
Nevertheless, the missionaries did have a clear vision of what kind of civil society they wished to see in their new homeland. The dawn of the Brazilian Republic gave them room to extol ex·tol also ex·toll
tr.v. ex·tolled also ex·tolled, ex·tol·ling also ex·toll·ing, ex·tols also ex·tolls
To praise highly; exalt. See Synonyms at praise. the importance of civil liberty, (14) of the separation of church and state, (15) of religious freedom, (16) of political privileges and civil rights (including secular marriages and burials), of immunity from arbitrary police and clerical exactions, of the opportunity to acquire private property, of access to quality education, of liberty of conscience, and of "the many other privileges which . . . are at the bottom of the extraordinary progress of the United States." (17)
In 1884, the Baptist mission expanded its operations by opening a second base in Rio de Janeiro. The transfer to Rio de Janeiro signaled the beginning of Southern Baptist expansion in Brazil. The nation's capital provided Southern Baptist missionaries with access to an educated, cosmopolitan, middle-class population from which they could recruit qualified converts for the propagation of the faith. Eight years after the founding of their first congregation, the missionaries had founded three newspapers, eight churches (in six different areas of the country), and ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. two local ministers. There were now 312 active Baptist converts in Brazil (Bell, 1965; Wedeman, 1977). In 1900 alone, the mission printed 300,000 tracts and leaflets to propagate the Baptist faith.
Mission work, however, had its costs: of the fifteen missionaries sent by the Mission Board to Brazil between 1881 and 1890, three men and four women had to return home because of illness, and a woman died of yellow fever yellow fever, acute infectious disease endemic in tropical Africa and many areas of South America. Epidemics have extended into subtropical and temperate regions during warm seasons. in Rio de Janeiro. (18) The first generation of native workers provided a welcomed relief. Four local leaders--Costa, Mesquita, Soren, and Teixeira--in Rio de Janeiro would help lead Baptist work in publications, foreign missions, proselytizing, and supply preaching for local congregations. All four had been recruited among the rising middle class in the capital city. One of them, Soren, would eventually serve as the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Rio for thirty-three years. By the time the Republic was proclaimed on November 15, 1889, First Baptist Church alone had eighty-nine members (Bell, 1965; Crabtree, 1953; Reis Pereira, 1982).
As the century came to a close, Baptist work continued to grow. The Republican decree separating church and state aided the propagation of the Baptist faith by cutting down on Catholic resistance and allowing Protestants to build large sanctuaries, celebrate valid rituals (baptisms, weddings, funerals) and set up their own network of schools and seminaries (Crabtree and Mesquita, 1937-40, Wedeman, 1977). Theological education allowed more locals to be trained for ministry, contributing to further expansion. By the time the national convention was organized in 1907, twenty-six Brazilian Baptists had been ordained (Bell, 1965).
The first step toward the creation of a Baptist denomination Noun 1. Baptist denomination - group of Baptist congregations
Baptist Church, Baptists - any of various evangelical Protestant churches that believe in the baptism of voluntary believers in Brazil was the formation of regional associations. In 1894, six Baptist churches in Rio de Janeiro organized the first regional association. In 1900, a second association was formed by nine churches in the Northeast. In 1904, seven churches organized the third association in Sao Paulo. Seven churches also organized the fourth association in the Amazon in 1906 (Bell, 1965; Crabtree, 1953). In 1900, Southern Baptists counted 21 missionaries in Brazil running a denomination that had 35 churches and 1,932 members. By the time the Baptist national convention was created in 1907, twenty-five years after the arrival of first Southern Baptist missionary, the denomination had 83 churches in twenty' states with 4,276 members (Bell, 1965; Crabtree and Mesquita, 1937-40). By comparison twenty-one years after the arrival of their first missionary, Presbyterians had 32 churches and 1,729 members. (19)
A Growing Faith
Several reasons can be given for Southern Baptists' success in Brazil. One missionary credited proximity to the United States, weariness of the Catholic Church, and "insufferable obstacles to progress which this denomination continually interposed." (20) Another argued that "science came ahead of us and prepared the way for us. The railroad, telegraph, the steamer, machinery, all Protestant inventions, gave respect to the foreigner, from motives educational, commercial or economic." (21) Clearly, missionary work started at a time of deep religious dissatisfaction in Brazil (Wedeman, 1977), but that alone would not explain why Southern Baptists grew at a faster pace than other Protestant denominations.
One Brazilian scholar argued that four factors distinguished Southern Baptist work from the other American missions:
* The aggressive evangelism and anti-Catholic attitude of Southern Baptists.--While other denominations behaved more diplomatically toward the country's established church es·tab·lished church
A church that a government officially recognizes as a national institution and to which it accords support.
Noun , Southern Baptists pushed forward with the agenda of winning the country's heart and soul.
* The direct recruiting of Southern Baptists.--Instead of relying on the influence of educational work, medical work, or other forms of beneficence beneficence (b·neˑ·fi·s to attract converts, Southern Baptists used evangelism as their main tool of expansion.
* The congregational free-church structure of Southern Baptists facilitated church planting Church planting is a process by which new churches are established. This is usually accomplished with help from a denomination, a church planting center, a local church or churches, a network, an association, and/or other church planting resources. .
* The rigorous ethical stance promoted by Southern Baptist practice.-Baptist churches could expel members who did not live up to their ethical standards. Clear lines of demarcation were drawn in relation to the larger society, increasing the cost of deviance and the amount of internal integration (Mendonca, 1990:43-44).
Mendonca also added two external factors to his explanation: one, the fact that Southern Baptist missions were essentially urban, growing fastest in the largest population centers of the country; and two, that the denomination attracted the Brazilian lower-middle and lower classes by promoting a North American middle-class value system along with a vision of social mobility through education and hard work (Mendonca, 1990:44).
Southern Baptist work in Brazil wasn't always the most effective or efficient of the various denominations. Missionaries had to struggle with their new converts' lack of education and lack of experience in democracy (Crabtree, 1953:103). Brazil's vast geographical distances kept the missionaries from developing a unified approach to the denomination's national needs. No unified program existed for the opening of new stations or for the preparation of religious literature for existing congregations (Crabtree, 1953:61). The push for expansion kept the mission from doing more to preserve its early gains. Many of the early converts and congregations were lost for lack of constant care and attention (Bell, 1965:49). How, then, do we explain the later success of Southern Baptist work?
Willems (1967) argued that Protestantism in Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. was a protest movement against the religious monopoly of the Catholic Church and of the inherited Iberian power structure. If that is so, then the Protestant denomination with the most congregational form of faith would be likely to fare best. Willems's research in Brazil supports his hypotheses.
Of the three denominations--Baptist, Presbyterian, or Methodist-Baptist churches seemed to be most consistent with the aspirations of the common people. Freedom of conscience and freedom from ecclesiastical authority, complete autonomy of the local congregation, and the right of all communicants to decide on church matters in a totally egalitarian way represent ideological and organizational principles that the major institutions of the larger society deny to the lower strata. No matter how humble and unsophisticated, the voice of a Baptist carries as much weight in his congregation as that of anybody else. The pastor is elected by the congregation, and no high-church dignitaries exist to impose decisions and to command obedience. It seems more than mere coincidence that of the three denominations, the Baptists hold the strongest appeal to the lower classes, and they are more militantly anti-Catholic than are either of the other two denominations (Willems, 1967:155).
Even as late as 1965, Baptists had a membership of 235,000 in the country compared to 53,000 for Methodists and 167,000 for Presbyterians (Willems, 1967:154). So, in Latin America, in a country undergoing modernization, the Southern Baptist faith--emphasizing religious freedom and individual accountability, grassroots church democracy, and strong ethical living-found one of its most fertile mission soils. By the turn of the century, Southern Baptists were already the most successful mission among the North American Protestant denominations. More importantly, the Baptist vision had influenced the aspirations of their converts and continued to attract those who were most likely to share a similar desire for a transformation in their homeland.
Editorial Note: The text notes and endnote See footnote. system used in this article differ from our usual style; we trust that they will not create any inconvenience for you.
(1.) I am grateful to Edie Jeter, director of the Records Center of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention Noun 1. Southern Baptist Convention - an association of Southern Baptists
association - a formal organization of people or groups of people; "he joined the Modern Language Association"
Southern Baptist - a member of the Southern Baptist Convention in Richmond, Virginia Richmond IPA: [ɹɯʒmɐnɖ] is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. , and to John Trotti, head librarian at the William Smith William Smith may refer to: People
leave, leave of absence - the period of time during which you are absent from work or duty; "a ten day's leave to visit his mother" during the 1999-2000 academic calendar.
(2.) "Among the positions to be filled through political patronage were those of the Church. Following colonial precedent, the government proposed to the Vatican the names of those to fill the archbishopric arch·bish·op·ric
1. The rank, office, or term of an archbishop.
2. The area under an archbishop's jurisdiction; an archdiocese. of Bahia and eight other bishoprics. Parish priests were similarly nominated to the bishops and promotions or transfers depended on political commitment. Although the Church could summon loyalties in its own right, it meshed with other institutions through the structure of patronage. The State collected and kept the tithe tithe
Contribution of a tenth of one's income for religious purposes. The practice of tithing was established in the Hebrew scriptures and was adopted by the Western Christian church. and paid only modest salaries to churchmen. Other ordained clergy sought employment as chaplains on fazendas or for wealthy lay brotherhoods in the cities. Patrons, whether private or public, expected deference from the clergy as from their other clients. Whereas in earlier times churchmen actively engaged in rebellions, by the middle of the century they preached order and obedience to constituted authority" (Graham, 1989:143).
(3.) Precise numbers vary, but Burns provides us with a good idea of how large the flow was: "The last quarter of the nineteenth century was a period of intensive European immigration, when approximately 40 percent of all immigrants arrived. Between 1891 and 1900 the yearly average reached 112,500. ... the figures for the total number of immigrants arriving in Brazil between 1820 and 1930 vary, but a conservative estimate would place the number between 4.5 and 5 million of whom roughly 3.5 million remained" (Burns, 1980:362). Also, the numbers of immigrants rise as the century comes to its close. While in 1850 the country received only 2,072 immigrants, by 1888 that number had jumped to 133,253" (Burns, 1980:264).
(4.) Letter from Santa Barbara Santa Barbara (săn'tə bär`brə, –bərə), city (1990 pop. 85,571), seat of Santa Barbara co., S Calif., on the Pacific Ocean; inc. 1850. , October 18, 1879 (Records Center of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention).
(5.) "Thousands of European immigrants to Brazil and Chile were Protestants--something that would have been inconceivable in colonial Brazil In the History of Brazil, Colonial Brazil comprises the period from 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese, until 1822, when Brazil became independent from Portugal. or Chile. Nor would Protestant clergymen and missionaries have been admitted by the colonial authorities whose zeal in excluding heretics seems comparable only to the watchfulness that port authorities port authorities npl → autoridades fpl portuarias exhibit toward carriers of contagious diseases contagious diseases: see communicable diseases. . Thus the arrival of the first Anglican, Congregational, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist missionaries, the profuse pro·fuse
1. Plentiful; copious.
2. Giving or given freely and abundantly; extravagant: were profuse in their compliments. distribution of Bibles and religious tracts by colporters, the preaching of the Gospel in public, and the founding of the first Protestant congregations composed of converts from Catholicism--these and similar events were possible only in a climate of changing social attitudes characterized by uncertainties and restlessness, by the weakening of social controls that for three centuries had effectively prevented the forces of the Protestant Reformation from penetrating the monolithic societies of Latin America." (Willems, 1967: 57-58).
(6.) 14th Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions to the Southern Baptist Convention, May 6, 1859, Richmond, Va.
(7.) The denominational journal cites at least three clear reasons for Baptist work in Brazil:
"1. An emperor is on the throne in that country who, though at the head ora State Papal Church, is so broad-minded and sagacious sa·ga·cious
Having or showing keen discernment, sound judgment, and farsightedness. See Synonyms at shrewd.
[From Latin sag that he invites Protestant missionaries to his country, and puts the high premium on their coming of proffering, we understand, to pay their passage from the United States to his capital city.
2. Citizens of our Southern states Southern States
government of 11 Southern states that left the Union in 1860. [Am. Hist.: EB, III: 73]
popular name for Southern states in U.S. and for song. [Am. Hist. , many of whom took refuge in Brazil after our civil war, are said to be specially desired by the people there ....
3. Our Southern business men are exercised by the fact that, while our country only furnishes seven millions of the imports of Brazil, the Valley of the Mississippi, and the mills of Alabama and Georgia, and of the Carolinas and virginia, can produce the whole one hundred millions of commodities annually imported. Thus might our country also, instead of receiving only thirty-nine millions of the exports of that country, be enriched by a large part of the two hundred and twelve millions. The increasing commerce between the countries is destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to bind together the twin Americas more strongly than the ligaments of an isthmus isthmus (ĭs`məs), narrow neck of land connecting two larger land areas. Since it commands the only land route between two large areas and is on two seas, an isthmus has great strategical and commercial importance and is a favorable situation , which, by the way, is being clipped by the Panama canal Panama Canal, waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic (by way of the Caribbean Sea) and Pacific oceans, built by the United States (1904–14) on territory leased from the republic of Panama. ." Editorial "Our Missionaries to Brazil" Foreign Mis, sion Journal 12, no.ll (February 1881): 1.
(8.) E. H. Quillin, letter from Santa Barbara, October 18, 1879 (Records Center of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention).
(9.) W. B. Bagby, letter from Salvador, January 16, 1884 (Records Center of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention).
(10.) Several missionary reports to the Board describe "the flaws of Catholicism." Among them, E. H. Quillin's "Romanism in Brazil," Foreign Mission Journal 11, no.12 (March 1880); J. B. Howell's "Romanism in Brazil--Virtual Heathenism hea·then
n. pl. hea·thens or heathen
a. One who adheres to the religion of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
b. ," Foreign Mission Journal 18, no. 12 (July 1887); John A. Barker's "From brother J. A. Barker," Foreign Mission Journal 20, no. 11 (June 1889); and W. B. Bagby's "Brazil," Foreign Mission Journal 15, no. 9 (April 1884). Seldom does a report from Brazil not condemn the Catholic Church during that period. W. B. Bagby (Brazil's first Southern Baptist missionary), for instance, is quite indicting: "As is well known, the millions of Brazil are under the blighting, fatal shadows of Romanism. No Saviour, no 'repentance from dead works; no regeneration no enforcement of Godly god·ly
adj. god·li·er, god·li·est
1. Having great reverence for God; pious.
god lives--only images by the thousand, shrines, crosses, genuflections, penances, chantings, masses, amulets, charms, processions, fire-works, immoral and ignorant priests, superstitious and deluded multitudes, sunk in sin and error, and moral night!" ("Religion and Morals," Foreign Mission Journal 13, no. 12 [March 1882]: 3).
(11.) The Southern Baptist Mission Board's reports to women's organizations This is a list of women's organisations. International
WMU Woman's Missionary Union (Southern Baptist Convention)
WMU Waste Management Unit
WMU World Maritime University (Malmö, Sweden) Prayer-Card Topic for September, 1890: Brazil," Foreign Mission Journal 22, no. 2 (September 1890); "WMU Mission-Card Topic for September 1894: Brazil," Foreign Mission Journal 26, no. 2 (September 1894); and Mrs. Taylor, "Our Cause in Brazil," Foreign Mission Journal 15, no. 2 (September 1883).
(12.) E. Y. Mullins, "Views of Brazil," Foreign Mission Journal 47, no. 2 (June 1896): 61.
(13.) Peter Flynn provided one of the best analyses of the importance of kinship in nineteenthcentury Brazilian society: "There is widespread agreement as to the importance of the family in Brazilian social development and, in particular, of the parentela, the extended family or 'clan,' so prominent in rural areas. This group was made up not only of all recognized relatives on one's father's and mother's side and all those of one's husband or wife--a bilateral extension of relatives--but also of the members of what has been called the 'ancestor-oriented family,' a wider group related to some prominent person in the past and usually bearing his name. The parentela has been described as 'traditionally the most important single institution in Brazil, with due emphasis on the role of the parentela in the political system ....
While, however, the parentela linked the elite groups horizontally, with each other, rather than with those below them, the mechanism of political control was reinforced vertically by yet another element, compadrio. This in Brazil, as in varying degrees in other Catholic cultures, was the social aspect of the duties accepted by the godfather and godmother in a child's baptism. The godparents godparents npl the godparents → los padrinos
godparents npl the godparents → le parrain et la marraine
godparents npl were now bound not only to the child, but equally to the child's parents, as compadre com·pa·dre
n. Chiefly Southwestern U.S.
A close friend or associate; a companion.
[Spanish, joint father, godfather, friend, from Medieval Latin compater, and comadre, relationships which could be further extended through confirmation and other religious ceremonies or quasi-religious rituals. Since these new duties were often taken very seriously, it was clearly the parents' concern to acquire for their child the best-place godfather and godmother they could find, a guardian who would provide some protection and security in what was for most poorer Brazilians a very insecure world. In a society where education did not provide a vehicle for social mobility and the influence of the state was still small, such structures had real, direct significance." (1979: 36-37).
(14.) "The value of free government, so akin to our church policy, cannot be overestimated in forecasting the progress of Baptist missions. Our principles are equal to overcoming the disadvantages of the most tyrannical and oppressive systems of government and religion; but it is in the atmosphere of civil liberty that they promise the liveliest and most vigorous advancement" (45th Annual Report, Foreign Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, May 9, 1890, Fort Worth, xl).
(15.) Z. C. Taylor, letter from Bahia, June 12, 1883 (Records Center of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention).
(16.) E. H. Soper, letter from Sao Christovao, Rio de Janeiro, August 20, 1888 (Records Center of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention).
(17.) Report, "Progress in Brazil," Foreign Mission Journal 21, no. 2 (September 1889): 4.
(18.) Editorial, "Our Brazilian Mission," Foreign Mission Journal 22, no. 2 (September 1890): 35.
(19.) Foreign Mission Journal 14, no. 11 (May 1883): 4.
(20.) E. Y. Mullins, "Views of Brazil,' Foreign Mission Journal 47, no. 2 (June 1896): 60.
(21.) Z. C. Taylor, "Signs of the Times in Brazil" Foreign Mission Journal 47, no. 2 (June 1896): 63.
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New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : Columbia University Press Columbia University Press is an academic press based in New York City and affiliated with Columbia University. It is currently directed by James D. Jordan (2004-present) and publishes titles in the humanities and sciences, including the fields of literary and cultural studies, , 1980.
Carneiro, Jose Fernando. Imigracao e Colonizacao no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade do Brasil Universidade do Brasil was created on September 7, 1920, by President Epitácio Pessoa, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the former capital district of Brazil. Initially it was named Universidade do Rio de Janeiro, then it was renamed Universidade do Brasil, on July 5, 1937. , 1950.
Carneiro, Julio Cesar Julio Cesar could refer to those people:
Crabtree, A. R. and Antonio Mesquita. Historia dos Batistas do Brasil. 2 vols. Rio de Janeiro: Casa Publicadora Batista, 1937-40.
Crabtree, A. R. Baptists in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro: Baptist Publishing House, 1953.
Dawsey, Cyrus B. and James M. Dawsey, eds. The Confederados: Old South Immigrants in Brazil. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press The University of Alabama Press is a university press that is part of the University of Alabama. External link
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Leonard, Emile-G. O Protestantismo Brasileiro. Sao Paulo: ASTE ASTE Alaska Society for Technology in Education
ASTE Association of Staff in Tertiary Education
ASTE Association pour le Développement des Sciences et Techniques de l'Environnement
ASTE American Society of Test Engineers, Inc. , 1963.
Mendonca, Antonio G. "Evolucao Historica e Configuracao Atual do Protestantismo Brasileiro" in Antonio G. Mendonca and Procoro Velasques Filho, eds., Introducao ao Protestantismo no Brasil (Sao Paulo: Edicoes Loyola, 1990), 11-60.
Pinto, Luis de Aguiar Costa. Lutas de Familias no Brasil. Sao Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1949.
Poppino, Rollie E. Brazil: the Land and People. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.
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Taylor, Zachary Taylor, Zachary (zăk`ərē), 1784–1850, 12th President of the United States (1849–50), b. Orange co., Va. He was raised in Kentucky. C. The Rise and Progress of Baptist Missions in Brazil: An Autobiography Unpublished manuscript. Richmond: Foreign Mission Board Archives, n.d
Thornton, Mary C. The Church and Freemasonry Freemasonry, teachings and practices of the secret fraternal order officially known as the Free and Accepted Masons, or Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Organizational Structure
in Brazil, 1872-1875 Westport: Greenwood Press, 1948.
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Viotti da Costa, Emilia. "1870-1889" in Leslie Bethell, ed., Brazil: Empire and Republic, 1822-1930 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 161-213.
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Weaver, Blanche. "Confederate Emigration emigration: see immigration; migration. to Brazil" Journal of Southern History 18 (1952): 446-68.
Wedeman, Walter. "A History of Protestant Missions to Brazil, 1850-1914." Ph.D. diss diss
Variant of dis.
Slang, chiefly US to treat (a person) with contempt [from disrespect]
Verb 1. . Lousville: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary References
Willems, Emilio. Followers of the New Faith. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press Vanderbilt University Press, founded in 1940, is a university press that is part of Vanderbilt University. External link
Willems, Emilio. "Immigrants and Their Assimilation in Brazil" in T. Lynn Smith and Alexander Marchant, Brazil: Portrait of Half a Continent. Westport: Greenwood, 1972. H. B. Cavalcanti is associate professor of sociology and anthropology, University of Richmond, Virginia.