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Arianna S. Henderson

(Loosely translated from Portuguese)

Third Presbyterian educator working in Brazil

Arianna or Nannie Henderson, as she was best known, was the first missionary educator sent to Brazil by the Southern Presbyterian Church of the United States and the third presbyterian educator to come to Brazil, preceded only by Mary Parker Dascomb and Harriet Greenman of the Northern Church arrived in 1869. Nannie was born on the 8th of September 1839 near Charlestown, Jefferson County, West Virginia. It was the daughter of Richard Henderson, a descendant of Scots who settled in Maryland and Virginia, and Elizabeth Beall English, whose ancestors were of English origin and included several of the first pastors of the State of Maryland. Nannie received part of her education in Georgetown, District of Columbia, at a women's many years for his aunt, Lydia Scudder English, and later at the Thorndale County of Carroll, Maryland, a school run by the Birnie sisters, Irish women of deep piety and endowed with an ardent and intelligent Presbyterian faith that instilled faithfully in her students.

The desire to be a missionary came from an early age and solidified indelible when she witnessed, at around the age of seven, the consecration of the Rev. John French, from Georgetown, as a missionary to China. Upon reaching adulthood, Nannie registered the vow that if there was ever an opportunity to become a missionary, this should be accepted as an indication of the will of God, despite objections that a young woman from the south was raised in a sheltered home from this similar step. Problems and difficulties resulting from the Civil War postponed the fulfillment of this 1870. At that time, after conversing with the Rev. AC Hopkins, pastor of the Charlestown, Nannie began a correspondence with Dr. John Leighton Wilson of the Nashville Missions Committee.

The chosen field was China or some other Asian country, but, not being prudent sent to that region because of a recent massacre in China, and The need for a teacher in Brazil, Dr. Wilson advised the trip to that country, with the initial appointment being made in 1871. The departure was planned in the autumn of that year, in the company of Mary Brown Morton, wife of Rev. George Nash Morton, who was returning to Campinas. Due to some setbacks, the final appointment occurred on 2 January 1872. Sometime later missionary finally left New York, arriving in Campinas in June. The remainder of the year was spent on the study of the language Port-uguese The previous year Rev. Lane had gone to the United States and combined Nannie's appointment to come to create a school for girls.

Nannie made a favorable impression on her colleagues. Soon after his arrival, the Rev. Morton wrote to the United States expressing the joy of the missionaries for having Campinas. Initially, she taught at a school in the city to learn Portuguese; she stayed in a room at that school, and on weekends he stayed with the missionaries. Nannie started school for girls in January 1873, with only six which rose to 21 in the second half of that year. At the same time, an institution for boys, the International College, by the end of the year had already 54 students. In 1874 Mary Videau Kirk arrived to assist Nannie and John W. Dabney, to teach in high school. After a few years of great growth and prestige, the International College experienced a serious financial crisis at the end of that decade, which resulted in Rev. Morton's removal. The school continued in the 1880s, but its emphasis was on evangelism and the preparation of Christian workers.

With her health agitated by an attack of pneumonia, Nannie went to the States United in 1875 in search of treatment and rest. Two years later, he returned to Brazil. Around 1880 he went back to his country to treat health, affected by the crisis of the International College, and when returning to Campinas it helped for some time Charlotte Kemper, the new educator who arrived at the college in 1882. Then, Nannie happened to dedicate themselves to evangelistic work. In 1886, he went to work with women and girls in the small town of Itatiba. The consumption of Bibles, New Testaments, and leaflets by evangelicals was great and the contri-butions were good. The missionary distributed the literature "The journey of the pilgrim", "Come to Jesus", "The friend of sinners", "The anxious researcher", "Salvo do mar", "Dairy of the milkman", etc.

In 1887, Nannie returned to work in the educational field, this time next to the Mission of New York, of the Church of the North (PCUSA), residing initially in São Paulo. It continued under the jurisdiction of the Nashville Committee, only later transferred to the Board of the Church of the North. In the same year, an anonymous person pledged to donate fifty thousand reis to provide services as a "Bible reader" by visiting a number of families. The teacher can not accept the charge on a permanent basis but stated that would do the work voluntarily, without retribution, visiting about twelve families per week. Once he gave up his salary to help support a new Worker.

Later, Nannie also worked in Botucatu, where she directed the evangelical school founded by Rev. George Landes, at the time when Rev. Carvalho Braga was the church of that city. She was assisted by Clara E. Hough, Salvina Ribeiro, and Lídia de Morais, ending their work there at the end of 1893. Over the years, mission journals The Missionary and Brazilian Missions published many articles written by her speaking on his activities and on missionary work in Brazil. Throughout his career, dedicated missionary exerted a strong influence on some young aspirants such as Erasmo Braga and especially Franklin do Nascimento.  Nannie Henderson retired in 1894 and returned to his homeland. Lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the city where many ex-missionaries in Brazil or their spouses in the last years of life have passed. He died on April 16, 1910, shortly before the arrival of the Rev. Álvaro Reis, the moderator of the newly created General Assembly of the Church Presbyterian of Brazil. Nannie had longed to hear him talk about Brazil before he died. Feeling that death preceded the arrival of the one who would bring him news of his homeland of adoption, took the penalty and filled out a $ 10 check for the Campinas Seminar, but he did not write the letter that would accompany him. His last words were "blood Jesus "(blood Jesus).


• Lessa, Annaes , 183, 285s, 446, 469.

• Ferreira, History of IPB , I: 116, 211, 248; II: 127, 189.

• "Record of Missionaries of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (Southern)",

Board of World Missions, Presbyterian Historical Society (Montreat,

North), 38.

• Bear, Mission to Brazil , 14, 17, 22s.

• McIntire, Portrait , 7 / 21-24, 35

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