Ref NoBFSS/1/5/1/3/2
Alt Ref NoBFSS/FC/Belize
TitleBelize [British Honduras]
Extent1 item
AdminHistoryBy the early 1800s Belize (British Honduras) was home to hundreds of British colonists. The Baptist Missionary Society began work in Belize City in 1822, to convert their slaves and freedmen. The first Baptist Church was set up in 1825. Alexander Henderson arrived in 1834 to continue the work of evangelism in Belize Town. He was assisted by other missionaries from England during the 1840s, but as he practiced "closed communion" several new recruits from the Baptist Missionary Society refused to work with him. Henderson was forced to resign from the Mission in 1850, but he organised the Independent Baptist Mission of Belize with the support of most of his former members. Consequently, the BMS decided to abandon Belize, recalled its missionaries and sold its properties, leaving Henderson as the uncontested leader of the Baptist movement. In 1850, Baptist work in Belize included two organized churches, seven preaching stations, three day schools, five Sunday schools, and about 230 baptized members. Henderson pioneered the founding of the Queen Street Baptist Church in 1850, which he pastored from 1850 to 1879.
During the late 1830s Frederick Crowe (born in 1819 to English parents in Belgium), became interested in Henderson's work, was converted to Christianity and joined the Baptist Church. Crowe, with some formal education in English and French, became a teacher in the Baptist school and later served as an evangelist and missionary with the Belize Baptist Mission. Between 1841 and 1846, Crowe was a traveling agent for the British Honduran Bible Society; in 1843, he became the first Protestant missionary to work in Guatemala. Although Crowe was expelled from Guatemala by the government in April 1846, he and Henderson, together with other helpers, distributed at least 2,000 Spanish and 500 English New Testaments during the mid-1840s in both countries. Henderson retired in 1879 due to ill health. [] [abridged]
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