Who was Lottie Moon?

Lottie Moon - the namesake of the international missions offering - has become something of a legend to us. But in her time Lottie was anything but an untouchable hero. In fact, she was like today's missionaries. She was a hard-working, deep-loving Southern Baptist who labored tirelessly so her people group could know Jesus.

Why was the offering named for this early China missionary? Throughout her career, Lottie Moon wrote numerous letters home, urging Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement and support. One of those letters triggered Southern Baptists' first Christmas offering for international missions - enough to send three new missionaries to China.

Birth
Born Charlotte Diggs Moon Dec. 12, 1840, in Albemarle County, Va.

Salvation
Lottie rebelled against Christianity until she was in college. In December 1858, she dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, Va.

Education
Lottie attended Albemarle Female Institute, female counterpart to the University of Virginia. In 1861, she was one of the first women in the South to receive a master's degree.

Pre-missionary life
Lottie stayed close to home during the Civil War but eventually taught school in Kentucky, Georgia and Virginia.

Missionary appointment
Edmonia Moon, Lottie's sister, was appointed to Tengchow, China, in 1872. The following year, Lottie was appointed and joined her sister there.

Missionary work
Lottie served 39 years as a missionary, mostly in China's Shantung province. She taught in a girls' school and often made trips into China's interior to share the good news with women and girls.

Letters home
Lottie frequently wrote letters to the United States, detailing Chinese culture, missionary life and the great physical and spiritual needs of the Chinese people. Additionally, she challenged Southern Baptists to go to China or give so that others could go. By 1888, Southern Baptist women had organized and helped collect $3,315 to send workers needed in China.

Lottie's death
Lottie died aboard a ship in the Japanese harbor of Köbe on Dec. 24, 1912. She was 72 years old.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®
In 1918, Woman's Missionary Union named the annual Christmas offering for international missions after the woman who had urged them to start it.

 
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