Episode 025

George Liele, Missions, & Fulfilling the Great Commission

Feb 4, 2022

George Liele is one of the most significant figures in the history of Christian missions—mainly due to his work in 18th-century Jamaica. Also, Pastors Robert Jeffress and James Merritt were among 25 speakers headlining the Synergize 2022 conference aimed at fulfilling the Great Commission by 2030.

Transcript

Southern Baptists set aside the first Sunday in February to celebrate the work and leadership of Black and African American Southern Baptist missionaries and to recognize the legacy of George Liele.

George Liele is one of the most significant figures in the history of Christian missions. While William Carey is recognized as the father of the modern missionary movement, that designation also belongs to Liele. He was a freed Georgia slave who came to Christ in 1773, at the age of 23. In 1782, he and his family left the United States to share the gospel in Jamaica; a full 10 years before Carey left England.

When Liele landed in Jamaica it was a British colony. There, Liele found land and a people who needed a missionary. Slaves were brought from Africa to Jamaica to work on the sugar plantations. These men and women had no real knowledge of Jesus Christ and the gospel. Liele planted a church and held a baptism service every three months. These baptisms were public events in which professing converts were baptized in a nearby ocean or river.

The work of the church and the public baptisms caused persecution. Eventually, Liele was charged with preaching sedition and was thrown into prison. He was later acquitted of these charges. Despite facing these hostilities, during the eight years of preaching, he was able to baptize five hundred people and establish a strong church.

Not only did Liele’s ministry lead to a spiritual impact on the island, but his work also made a social difference for the Jamaican slaves. By July 31, 1838, slavery was eradicated in Jamaica.

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

Pastors Robert Jeffress and James Merritt were among 25 speakers headlining the Global Church Network’s biennial Synergize 2022 conference aimed at fulfilling the Great Commission by 2030.

More than 100 denominations and 60 nations were represented at the event Jan. 25-27 in Orlando, Fla., that drew more than 650 pastors onsite and thousands of online attendees, the Global Church Network (GCN) said in a press release.

Merritt, senior pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga., encouraged pastors to hold to doctrinal truth, remain committed to personal evangelism and to finish the Christian race well, drawing his sermon from II Timothy.

Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, in a Thursday morning message encouraged pastors to avoid landmines that derail ministry and tarnish Christian witness. He pointed out the perils of becoming entrapped by silver, sloth, sex and self, crediting Chuck Swindoll with the alliteration.

The Global Christian Network is targeting 3,000 unreached people groups to share the Gospel with by 2030.

Find more news at BaptistPress.com.

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