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Richard Ratcliff and family


BIRTH 16 NOV 1831 • Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA

DEATH 23 JUL 1912 • Rockport, Aransas, Texas, USA

Married 1st:  22 Feb 1866 • Avoyelles, Louisiana, USA

Eunice Providence Hetherwick


BIRTH 7 FEB 1843 • Rapides, Rapides, Louisiana, USA

DEATH 7 DEC 1876 • Santa Barbara, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Daughter of William J. Hetherwick and Matilda Mary Tanner  Eunice's sister, Elizabeth Ann Hetherwick was married to Confederado John Conrad Kennerly in 1864.  They also traveled to Brazil, settling in Santa Barbara d'Oeste. 


Married 2nd:  

Sarah Ella Riggs


BIRTH MAR 1839 • Des Moines, Boone, Iowa, USA

DEATH 1 SEP 1902 • Rockport, Aransas, Texas, USA

Daughter of Stephen Riggs and  (His cousin) Elizabeth Jane Riggs

Sarah Ella born in 1842 in Iowa was the last of the Stephan Riggs Family. In 1886 in Texas she married Richard Ratcliffe & died and was buried in Rockport, Texas.  In later years she was known to her family as Elsie. It is possible she took that name to differentiate herself from an older sister said tobe also named Sarah who reportedly died at age 22 while on an upper Mississippi River trip with friends from a fever contracted on the boat.

No recorded children

Chidren Richard and Eunice:

1.  Eunice Matilda (Maude) Ratcliff

2.  Richard H. Ratcliff

3.  Annice "Annie" Elizabeth Ratcliff

4.  Isaiah Ernest Ratcliff

5.  Cornelia A. Ratcliff


Eunice Matilda (Maude) Ratcliff


BIRTH 04 JUL 1867 • Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, San Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 27 AUG 1921 • Limestone County, Texas, USA

Married:  22 Oct 1912 • Rockport, Aransas, Texas, USA

Edward B Carnal


BIRTH 25 SEP 1850 • Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA

DEATH 20 FEB 1921 • Papalote, Bee County, Texas, USA

Son of William H. Carnal and Margaret Crittenden Wyche


Richard H. Ratcliff


BIRTH 1870 • Santa Bárbara, Sao Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 11 APR 1883 • Limestone, Texas, United States

Died at age 13


Annice "Annie" Elizabeth Ratcliff


BIRTH 26 MAR 1870 • Santa Bárbara, Sao Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 04 JUN 1952 • Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA

Married: 09 Dec 1894 • Tehuacana, Limestone, Texas, U.S.A.

Madison Collett Sanders


BIRTH 18 NOV 1871 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, U.S.A.

DEATH 1922 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, U.S.A.

Son of Bluford Brown Sanders and Martha Ann Reddoch  




Oren David Sanders


BIRTH 22 SEP 1895 • Hancock, Comal County, Texas, USA

DEATH 19 JUL 1963 • San Diego, San Diego, California, USA

Married 1st: 11 Aug 1917 • Logan, Cache, Utah, USA

Eulalia Parier Harned


BIRTH 16 JAN 1893 • Keytesville, Chariton, Missouri, USA

DEATH 20 MAR 1984 • Wilmington, Los Angeles, California, USA

Daughter of Thomas H. Harned and Sarah Ellen Cash



Married 2nd:  1925 • San Diego, San Diego, California, U.S.A.

Marie Otillia Zellmer


BIRTH 12 NOV 1904 • Blue Earth, Minnesota, USA

DEATH 23 NOV 1995 • , San Diego, California, 

Daughter of Barney Zellmer and Kathryn Sanger




Joseph Heatherwick Sanders

BIRTH 17 JAN 1896 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, USA

DEATH 30 SEP 1982 • Calhoun County, Texas, USA

Married:  28 Jul 1916 • Fairfield, Freestone, Texas, USA

Anna Ruth Hancock


BIRTH 30 MAR 1896 • Limestone County, Texas, USA

DEATH 24 APR 1978 • Waco, McLennan County, Texas, USA

Daughter of Benjamin Franklin Hancock and Anna James Smith

































Eunice M Sanders


BIRTH 28 JUNE 1900 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, USA

DEATH 26 MARCH 1970 • Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA

Married:  Abt 1950

Julian Cecil Long


BIRTH 26 JUL 1899 • Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, USA

DEATH 16 NOV 1979 • Cedar Hill, Dallas, Texas, USA


James "Jim" Madison Sanders


BIRTH 10 JAN 1905 • Texas, USA

DEATH 13 AUG 1977 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, USA


Dovie Glover


BIRTH 13 MAR 1904 • Hill County, Texas, USA

DEATH 4 SEP 1991 • Waco, McLennan, Texas, USA



Phil Bluford Sanders


BIRTH 31 JUL 1906 • Limestone County, Texas, USA

DEATH 5 FEB 1942 • Sanatorium, Tom Green, Texas, USA


Lois Elizabeth Sanders


BIRTH 30 OCT 1908 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, U.S.A.

DEATH 17 JAN 2002 • Palestine, Anderson, Texas, USA

Married:  9 Nov 1930 • McLennan County, Texas, USA

Kenneth Aubrey "K. A." Anderson


BIRTH 04 APR 1906 • Wortham, Freestone, Texas, USA

DEATH 3 JAN 1995 • Palestine, Anderson, Texas, USA



Margaret Ellen Sanders


BIRTH 12 JUN 1918 • San Diego, San Diego, California, USA

DEATH 2010


Oren David "Sonny" Sanders Jr


BIRTH 16 NOV 1927 • San Diego, San Diego, California, USA

DEATH 16 JAN 1978 • Gold Beach, Curry, Oregon, USA

Married 1st:  9 Feb 1948 • Snohomish, Snohomish, Washington, USA

Doris Eileen Fredericks


BIRTH 23 JAN 1930 • Seattle, King, Washington, USA

DEATH 24 JUL 1997 • Seattle, King, Washington, USA

Daughter of Johannes Zakarias Fredriksen and Ellen Bertine Watten

Married 2nd:  

Betty Ann Mars


BIRTH 22 MAR 1929 •  San Diego, California, U.S.A.

DEATH 15 JUL 2015 • Guam, USA

Daughter of Andrew James Mars and Bessie Langworthy Bland

Married 3rd:  

Alice Loleta Bowman


BIRTH 1942 • Gold Beach, Curry, Oregon, USA

DEATH 2015 • Gold Beach, Curry, Oregon, USA


Lois Cathrine Sanders


BIRTH 03 MAR 1930 • San Diego, San Diego, California, USA

DEATH 27 JAN 1981 • San Diego, San Diego, California, USA


Robert Bernard Sanders


BIRTH 14 AUG 1933 • San Diego, San Diego, California, USA

DEATH 03 MAR 1955 • North Korea


Josephine Sanders


BIRTH 8 AUG 1917 • Coolidge, Limestone County, Texas, USA

DEATH 2 DEC 1956 • Mexia, Limestone County, Texas, USA

Married:  9 Feb 1933 • Leon County, Texas, USA

Troy Powell Trotter


BIRTH 26 NOV 1913 • Delia, Limestone, Texas, USA

DEATH 1 NOVR 2003 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, USA

Daughter of Eli Washington Trotter and Senora Lavada Williams


Geraldine Sanders


BIRTH 19 MAR 1919 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, USA

DEATH 18 JUN 2009 • Waco, McLennan, Texas, USA

Married:  9 Nov 1937 • Prairie Hill, Limestone, Texas, USA

William "Bill" N. Dyer


BIRTH 29 OCT 1916 • Prairie Hill, Limestone, Texas, USA

DEATH 20 JAN 2005 • Waco, Mclennan, Texas, USA

Son of John D. Dyer and Eva Ferguson


Joseph Heatherwick Sanders Jr


BIRTH 10 JUL 1921 • Coolidge, Limestone, Texas, USA

DEATH 1 MAY 1996 • Winnsboro, Wood, Texas, USA

Married 1st:  29 JUN 1949

Myrtle Martine Shirley


BIRTH 10 APR 1926 • Kelsey, Upshur Texas, USA

DEATH 3 AUG 1974 • Longview, Gregg, Texas, USA

Daughter of Charles Andy Shirley and Mary Rose Pamplin

Married 2nd:  

Laura Louise Bolton


BIRTH 15 JUN 1928 • Lafayette County, Arkansas, USA

DEATH 19 FEB 2007 • Gregg County, Texas, USA


James Eugene Sanders Sr


BIRTH 30 NOV 1924 • Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA

DEATH 19 JUNE 1996 • Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA


Marilyn Napier


BIRTH 23 FEB 1925 • Hutchins, Dallas, Texas, USA

DEATH 13 APR 2020 • Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA

Daughter of Skelton Leroy "Bud" Napier and Ethel Roberta Humphreys


Grant Napier Sanders


BIRTH 2 JUL 1960 • Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA

DEATH 18 FEB 2011 • Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA





Kay Elizabeth Anderson


BIRTH 1 DEC 1940 • Anderson County, Texas, USA

Married:  27 Dec 1964 • Anderson, Texas, USA

Paul Reginald Hable


BIRTH 11 APR 1941 • Dallas, Texas, USA

Son of Paul Reginald Hable and Rose Turner


Carol Annette Anderson


BIRTH 25 AUG 1944 • Anderson County, Texas, USA

Married:  2 Dec 1995 • Angelina, Texas, USA

Robert R Moore




Isaiah Ernest Ratcliff


BIRTH 8 JUL 1876 • Americana, Sao Paulo, Brazil

DEATH 24 APR 1943 • Houston, Harris, Texas, USA

Married:  20 Jun 1898 • Aransas, Texas, USA

Annie Lucretia Ballou


BIRTH 10 JUL 1879 • Lamar, Refugio, Texas, USA

DEATH 17 DEC 1918 • Houston, Harris, Texas, USA

Daughter of Wilford Carroll Ballou and Margaret Elizabeth Myers



Richard Baughn Ratcliffe


BIRTH 14 MAY 1899 • Rockport, Aransas, Texas, USA

DEATH 26 OCT 1944 • Sanatorium, Tom Green, Texas, USA


Anna Lucille Dill


BIRTH 25 NOV 1906 • Arkansas City, Cowley, KS, USA

DEATH 17 AUG 1972 • Webster, Harris, TX, USA



Robert Leon Ratcliff


BIRTH 14 JUL 1903 • Victoria, Victoria, Texas, USA

DEATH 31 MAY 1977 • Houston, Harris, Texas, USA

Married:  4 Oct 1941 • Harris County, Texas, USA

A. Lois Turney


BIRTH 20 FEB 1911 • St Joe, Searcy, Arkansas, USA

DEATH 3 AUG 1998 • Houston, Harris, Texas, USA

Daughter of John Gibson Turney and Flora Rebecca Coffey 


Medora Olive Ratcliffe


BIRTH 12 SEP 1905 • Victoria, Victoria, Texas, USA

DEATH 28 DEC 1964 • Houston, Harris, Texas, USA

Married:  26 Sep 1931 • Lake Charles, Calcasieu, Louisiana, USA

Autry Herbert Randall


BIRTH 25 SEP 1910 • Houston, Harris, Texas, USA

DEATH 29 APRIL 1973 • Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA



Randolph Armour Ratcliff


BIRTH 11 DEC 1905 • Mission Valley, Victoria, Texas, USA

DEATH 7 FEB 1959 • Orleans, Louisiana, USA


Eunice Hetherwick Ratcliffe


BIRTH 14 JULY 1912 • Mission Valley, Victoria, Texas, USA

DEATH 3 JUNE 2001 • Houston, Harris Co, Texas, USA

Married:  16 Jan 1938 • Harris County, Texas, USA

Married:  16 Jan 1938 • Harris County, Texas, USA

Lester Levin Turner


BIRTH 15 OCT 1908 • Upshur County, Texas, USA

DEATH 18 DEC 1977 • Alice, Jim Wells, Texas, USA

Son of Henry Elbert Turner and Minnie Lee Meek



Helen A Ratcliffe


BIRTH 1915 • Mission Valley, Victoria, Texas, USA

DEATH 9 JUN 1985 • Houston, Harris, Texas USA


Patricia Ruth "Patsy" Ratcliff

BIRTH 28 AUG 1925 • Bryan, Brazos, Texas, USA

DEATH 6 MAR 2001 • Webster, Harris, Texas, USA

Married:  21 Nov 1942 • Stafford County, Virginia, USA

Arthur Crook "Art" Goforth


BIRTH 13 JAN 1920 • Bellevue, Clay, Texas, USA

DEATH 20 DEC 2006 • League City, Galveston, Texas, USA


Richard Del Randall


BIRTH 18 FEB 1934 • Houston Harris, Texas, USA

DEATH DEC 1984 • Hampton, Elizabeth, Virginia, USA

Married 1st  :  11 May 1957 • Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany

Sonja E Von Zabuesni


BIRTH ABT 1934 • Augsburg, Bavaria, Ger many

DEATH 26 JUN 2006

Married 2nd:

Yvonne Katherine Simon


BIRTH OCTOBER 23, 1942 • Winona County, Minnesota, USA

DEATH 21 NOV 2013 • Virginia, USA

Daughter of Derald Jerome Sinon and  Grace Genevieve Pierzina


Mary Leslie Turner


BIRTH 02 MAR 1941 • Harris County, Texas, USA

DEATH 8 OCT 2012 • Plano, Collin, Texas, USA

Married:  2 Sep 1962 • Harlingen, Cameron, Texas, USA

Joe Ed Face


BIRTH 13 JUL 1938 • Jefferson, Texas, USA

Son of Ernest  William Face and Edgar Nae Smith


Cornelia A. Ratcliff


BIRTH 1880 • Brazil

DEATH 02 AUG 1904 • Rockport, Aransas, Texas, USA

Married:  28 Dec 1898 • Aransas, Texas, USA

Frank William Young


BIRTH 04 JAN 1879 • Lamar, Aransas, Texas, USA

DEATH 27 JAN 1955 • Rockport, Aransas, Texas, USA

Died of Pulmonary Congestion


Jack William Young


BIRTH 14 NOV 1900 • Rockport, Aransas, Texas, USA

DEATH 13 SEP 1980 • Capitan, Lincoln, New Mexico, USA

Married: 1st  28 Mar 1925 • Harris, Texas, USA

Dorothy Clementine Houser


BIRTH 23 FEB 1906 • Benton, Saline, Arkansas, USA

DEATH 24 SEP 1990 • Ardmore, Carter, Oklahoma, USA

Daughter of George Houser and Ida Blanche Veronica Puthoff























Married 2nd:

Hilda Key


BIRTH 14 JUN 1906 • Weed, Otero, New Mexico, USA

DEATH 1986 • Capitan, Minnesota, USA



Harold William Young


BIRTH 31 MAY 1926 • Laporte, Harris County, Texas, USA

DEATH JUL 1980 • Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, USA

Married 1st:

Alma Lagunia Williams


BIRTH 3 DEC 1925 • Center, Shelby, Texas, USA

DEATH 13 NOV 2009 • Palestine, Anderson, Texas, USA

Daughter of Elmer Thomas Williams and Ruby O. Bailey

Married: 2nd  7 Feb 1949 • Harris County, Texas, USA

Martha Faye Maynard


BIRTH 29 JUN 1919 • Enid, Garfield, Oklahoma, USA

DEATH 3 DEC 1999 • Albuquerque, Bernalillo, New Mexico, USA

Daughter of James Lawrence Maynard and Martha Augusta Smith


Elizabeth Cornelia Young


BIRTH 10 JUL 1904 • Rockport, Aransas County, Texas, USA

DEATH 10 AUG 2002 • Texas, USA


Thomas Allen Smith Sr


BIRTH 28 DEC 1889 • Coushatta, Red River, Louisiana, USA

DEATH 2 OCT 1952 • Alvin, Brazoria, Texas, USA

Thomas Jefferson Bowen_ O primeiro missionário batista no Brasil.JPG

“My feeble efforts among Africa's millions seem like a drop of water in the desert sand. May the Lord convert them like a spark to dry stubble.” —Thomas Jefferson Bowen

The First Baptist Church in Brazil was organized in Santa Bárbara do Oeste, SP, on September 10, 1871. In the context of the celebrations of the sesquicentennial of Baptists in Brazil, it is opportune to honor the memory of Rev. Thomas Jefferson Bowen. He was the first missionary sent by Southern Baptists to Africa. Bowen served in present-day Nigeria, where he learned the Yoruba language. Apparently, he became the first Southern Baptist missionary to preach in a Muslim town, Ilori. He wrote some works, notably Grammar and Dictionary of the Yoruba People, admittedly an academic achievement published by the Smithsonian Institute. Due to health problems, he returned to the United States. However, his work in Africa leaves no doubt of his love for African peoples and his burning desire to preach the gospel.

Most likely influenced by the book Brazil and Brazilians, written by Methodist missionaries Daniel Kidder and James Fletcher, Bowen volunteered to serve in Brazil. He, his wife Lurenna Henrietta Davis Bowen, and their two-year-old daughter Lurenna Henrietta Bowen (the same name as her mother) were sent by the Richmond Board (Foreign Mission Board, now called the International Mission Board) as missionaries to the country. 152 years ago, the family arrived in the city of Rio de Janeiro, on May 21, 1860.

The family came to Rio de Janeiro to start Baptist work. He settled at the Grand Hotel White, in Alto da Boa Vista, Tijuca, where the climate was milder for the family with fragile health and there was a flow of foreigners in the region with whom they could talk. TJ Bowen had a lot of plans. In correspondence with the Junta de Missões, he expressed his desire to work among blacks with whom he was familiar with the Yoruba language, perhaps starting a training school. Bowen wanted to reach people with the gospel, but he faced many obstacles in his mission. The aristocratic elite was a problem, especially in a society that approved of slavery. The opposition of the Roman clergy, always hostile to the Protestants, as well as the indisposition of the press, dominated by traditional families of the city, were humanly insurmountable barriers.

The intention of renting a house in the city, from which the work could begin, was not realized. After months of trying, the family was unable to settle in the city. Resistance to evangelical missionaries was a reality in the Brazilian culture of Roman Catholic formation, whose opening would take place, gradually, from the end of the 19th century. Financial limitations also weighed, but it was health problems that led Bowen to make the difficult decision to return to the United States. “The mission in Brazil didn't last long because Thomas' health took a turn for the worse and the field was tougher than he expected,” reports David Brady.

From his arrival in Brazil, on May 21, 1860, to his return to his homeland, on February 9, 1961, there are only eight months and nineteen days. However, Bowen and family failed in the mission among Brazilians? I do not think so. Sovereign grace triumphed, using mysteriously perfect ways to make the seed of the gospel blossom through Baptists in Brazil. God had greater plans and his designs were never thwarted.

Converted at age 26 (1840), Bowen began preaching and was soon ordained to the ministry of the Word. The Ratcliff family was one of the first he won to Christ before serving a mission in Nigeria. Richard Ratcliff, then a teenager, was converted by listening to Bowen's preaching. Six years after his father in the faith had returned to the US, on January 24, 1867, Richard arrived in Brazil. He would become the pastor of the First Baptist Church on Brazilian soil, founded on September 10, 1871, in the city of Santa Bárbara do Oeste, SP. He came to Brazil as a settler, but ten years earlier he had applied to the Richmond Board to serve in Africa. The plans were interrupted by the American Civil War (1861-1865), but it pleased God that Richard played an important part in the mosaic of Providence in favor of Baptist work in Brazil. Although there were other pastors among the American settlers, Ratcliff had the honor of organizing the church that would ask the Richmond Mission Board to send missionaries to evangelize the country. The exchange of correspondence between the Baptists of Santa Bárbara do Oeste and that organization is a treasure of Baptist historiography and serves as great encouragement for us to continue the work that the pioneers started.

The Baptist Church in Santa Barbara made a historic appeal to the Board of Missions in Richmond, Virginia. The request was that “missionaries to this country” be sent. They were settlers who had come to Brazil after the American Civil War. In the interior of São Paulo, they joined other Americans in a growing community that would give rise to the city of Americana. These early Baptists on Brazilian soil loved Brazil and prayed that the gospel of grace would flourish in the land that had welcomed them. The Southern Baptist Convention had already made efforts to promote the gospel in the country but did not see the possibility of renewing them due to other demands and limited resources.

It pleased God to use one person to mobilize Baptists to lift their eyes to Brazil: Alexander Travis Hawthorne. A lawyer and general in the US Army, Hawthorne had spent a few years in Brazil. Back in his homeland, he was one of the Baptists most enthusiastic about the possibility of resuming missionary activities in the country. He had personally met Emperor Dom Pedro II, from whom he had obtained carte blanche to travel throughout the country. Hawthorne had good impressions of the Imperial government in relation to Protestants. He said: "The government is just and stable, wisely administered, offering ample security of life, liberty, and property, government that recognizes merit, and promptly punishes criminals." In 1880, during the Southern Baptist Convention in Lexington, Hawthorne was designated as rapporteur for the Commission that would present an opinion on the reopening of work in Brazil. With the eloquence of a skilled lawyer, he argued in favor of sending new missionaries, and persuaded the Baptists gathered at that assembly to make the following decision: “That the Board of Foreign Missions be authorized to appoint other missionaries to work in Brazil”. In the following two years, missionaries William and Anne Bagby (1881), Zachary and Kate Taylor (1882) were sent to Brazil to restart Baptist work in the country. ZC In Brazil, Taylor met with Ratcliff and was encouraged by him to deepen his theological studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (presided over by Rev. James P. Boyce). Richard Ratcliff returned to the US eleven years later, after the death of his wife.

Thomas Bowen died in the US on November 24, 1875, at the age of 62. He must have been glad to know that Rev. Richard Ratcliff, his son in the faith, was an instrument in the Lord's hands to organize the First Baptist Church in Brazil and to summon Southern Baptists to send missionaries to evangelize Brazilians. "While TJ Bowen's initial attempt in Brazil may be considered by some to be a failure, his inspiration and influence, especially on Richard Ratcliff, were instrumental in establishing one of the Southern Baptists' greatest missionary successes," says Jim Hardwicke). Thomas Jefferson Bowen sowed the seeds of Baptists in Brazil. The small mustard seed grew into a leafy tree. His tears and trials were not in vain. What I had said about working in Africa was fulfilled in Brazil. His efforts were like a drop of water in the desert, but God turned them into a spark in dry stubble. As David J. Brady stated, “Thomas Jefferson Bowen is to be remembered with great gratitude because he lived, not to bring glory to himself, but to Jesus Christ.”.

"The memory of the righteous is blessed...". Prov 10.7a

May God be glorified among the Baptists of Brazil.



Judiclay Santos

Judiclay Santos is senior pastor at Jardim Botânico Baptist Church in Rio de Janeiro. Graduated from the Baptist Theological Seminary of Southern Brazil, RJ. He completed his Masters in Divinity, with an emphasis on Historical Theology at the Andrew Jumper Studies Center, at Mackenzie Presby-terian University, SP. He teaches at the Martin Bucer Seminary, in São José dos Campos-SP. Founder and Executive Director of Pro Nobis Editora.

Baptists in Brazil


Baptist missionaries are among the first groups of Protestant missionaries in the country, having been preceded by some missionaries from other denominations, especially Congregational and Presbyterian, being also contemporaries of the first Methodist missionaries in Brazil. 

The beginnings of the history of Baptists in Brazil date back to the second half of the 19th century, when foreign missionaries, mostly Americans, arrived in the country to start the work of Protestant evan-gelization, in a nation that until then was officially and socially Catholic. The missionaries spread biblical reading among the population, disseminated Protestant teachings, and founded the first churches with Brazilians who had adhered to the doctrine.


The evangelistic missions were helped by the work of colporteurs, that is, street vendors of copies of the Holy Bible, several of whom were also of foreign origin; colporteurs played a fundamental role in making the Scriptures available to the population of the time, whose access to the sacred texts was precarious.

In addition, the evangelistic work already started by Presbyterians and Congregationalists, especially the missionary couple Robert and Sarah Kelley, contributed to the dissemination of Protestant Christianity among the population, before and during the work of Baptist missionaries. It is worth noting that the Kalley couple, to which the Brazilian Protestant movement as a whole is heir, adhered to the doctrine according to which baptism should preferably be voluntary, according to New Testament teaching, although they preferred not to adhere to any specific Protestant group. , despite its Presbyterian / Congregational origins. 

The first Baptist missionary in Brazil is believed to have been the American Thomas Jefferson Bowen. Previously he was an American missionary in Nigeria, having worked among the native Yoruba tribe.  After some time in Africa, he returned to the United States and was sent, in 1860, to Brazil, as there were many slaves in the country who spoke the Yoruba dialect., as it was the common language among the trafficked blacks, and who therefore could understand the evangelistic message in their own language, with Bowen's help. Eight months later, he had to return to his country, this time permanently, due to health problems and also because Brazilian regional authorities prevented him from preaching the gospel since his message contradicted some teachings of Catholicism, the country's official religion until then.

Subsequently, due to the devastation caused by the American Civil War (1861-1865), thousands of farmers from the southern United States emigrated to places where there was the land of agricultural potential, including Brazil. Soon, in 1867, more than fifty thousand Americans disembarked in Brazilian ports in search of refuge and land for cultivation. Moving to the mainland, they chose the city of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste to acquire land and settle there. Among the émigrés, most professed Protestantism, and many were Baptists. As early as 1870, they published a " Manifesto for the Evangelization of Brazil ". This manifesto, as soon as it was published, had the signatures of Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, and a Baptist, the young pastor Richard Ratcliff, one of the émigrés, whose family had converted through Thomas Jefferson Bowen in the United States. In 1871, Baptists emigrants from the United States organize the " First Baptist Church in Brazil for Foreigners " in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste. Years later, in 1879, another group of emigrants created the second Baptist Church on Brazilian soil, also in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, in the Estação neighborhood, currently belonging to the city of Americana.


Capela do Campo, in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, the city where the first Baptist church in Brazil was founded in 1871 by American immigrants, in the interior of the state of São Paulo.

The Baptists of that time, in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, joined together to ask the Board of Richmond, in the United States, to send missionaries to Brazil. In 1881, the first missionaries arrived: the couple William Buck Bagby and Anne Luther Bagby and the couple Zachary Clay Taylor and Katharine Steves Crawford Taylor. The first missionaries, as soon as they were received in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, joined the existing Baptist church and began to study the Portuguese language, having as their teacher Antônio Teixeira de Albuquerque, who had previously been ordained a Catholic priest at the Seminary of Olinda., however, he had left Catholicism and become a Protestant, later adhering to the Baptist doctrine and being ordained a pastor by the presbytery of the Baptist Church of Santa Bárbara.

It was not long before the two missionary couples, joining Antônio Teixeira de Albuquerque, headed for the State of Bahia, where, on October 15, 1882, they organized in the state capital the first Baptist congregation formed by Brazilians, having called the " First Baptist Church of Brazil for Brazilians ", which would officially be the first Baptist church in Brazil, although there were already two other Baptist churches organized by North American immigrants, residing in the region of Santa Bárbara do d'Oeste and Amer- icana. , in Sao Paulo.  Within a year, that church had seventy members.

From Salvador, the missionaries went to other capitals, planting churches. Back in the state of São Paulo, with other newly arrived missionaries, the Bagby's and Taylors were organizing other new churches from 1899 onwards in São PauloJundiaíSantosJacareí, CampinasSão José dos Campos, among other cities. In 1904, there were seven Baptist churches in the state of São Paulo. These, meeting in Jundiaí, organized, in 1904, the Baptist Convention of the State of São Paulo, then called União Baptista Paulistana. However, it is worth noting that the missionary Salomão Luiz Ginsburghad was the first to suggest, still in 1894, the organization of a national convention of Brazilian Baptists, an ideal that would come to fruition in 1907. 

Prior to the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889, Brazil's official religion was Roman Catholic, as set out in the Imperial Constitution of 1824, and there were limitations on freedom of worship, although worship itself and dissemination (preaching) were permitted. It is worth noting, in this context, that Emperor D. Pedro II held the missionary couple Kalley in high esteem, and never opposed the emergence of Protes-tantism .in the country; on the contrary, he was an avid reader of the Holy Bible, and even listened to the missionaries personally, having been enchanted by the Holy Scriptures. There are even records that when a Protestant colporteur (Bible seller) was arrested, because of his activity, by a delegate in Sergipe, the emperor promptly ordered his release, pointing out that there was no justification for the arrest since the laws of the Empire did not forbid that activity. 

Nevertheless, there was strong intolerance against Protestants among the population; Baptist missionary Salomão Luiz Ginsburg, for example, was in danger of death, because of a crowd that came with hoes and sticks towards him, believing that he was one of the antichrists of the last days, as the local priest had said.   However, in 1891 religious freedom would be enshrined in the new Constitution, but it would still be many decades before Baptists and other evangelical groups were better accepted by society.

In the first twenty-five years of work (since 1882), Bagby and Taylor, aided by other missionaries, and by an increasing number of Brazilians, evangelists and pastors had already organized 83 Churches, with approximately 4200 members. Zacarias Taylor, AB Deter, and Salomão Ginsburg then agreed to proceed with the plan to create a nationwide convention. Then they got the support of other missionaries and Brazilian leaders, including Francisco Fulgencio Soren. Thus, in 1907, in Salvador, with the presence and support of forty-three representatives, delegates, and messengers, sent by thirty-nine churches and congregations, the first assembly of the Brazilian Baptist Convention was held in a solemn session .


The basic motivation for the creation of the Convention was missions, and then there was talk of the evangelization of Portugal, Chile, and Africa. Two Mission Boards were created: one for National Missions and one for Foreign Missions (today World Missions ). In addition to these, several other Juntas was created; altogether seven. The areas of Missions, Religious Education and Publications, Theological Education and Education (in general) were the ones that received the most attention from the conventional ones. Over the decades, Baptist churches grew and multiplied, and evangelism was actively carried out by church members, as well as by pastors and missionaries, both Brazilian and foreign. Hundreds of missionaries were sent by North American churches and boards to the most remote regions of Brazil, and later teachers and educators would come to deepen and consolidate theological teaching in the seminaries, many of which were built thanks to the contribution and funding of American Baptists.

In the 1950s, the first Baptists appeared in Brazil who confessed to the observance and rest of the seventh day of the week ( Saturday ). After the rejection of Ellen G. White's prophecies by some members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Paraná , they founded a church with the name "Evangelical Seventh-day Adventists" in 1913. Because they aligned themselves with Baptist doctrines, in 1950 they adopted the name of Seventh Day Baptist Church in Brazil. In 1965, Brazilian Seventh-day Baptist churches joined the Seventh-day Baptist World Federation.  Currently, the Seventh Day Baptist Church is organized around the Brazilian Seventh Day Baptist Conference.

In the 1960s, the advent of Pentecostal and renewed (charismatic) doctrines and practices, to which some members and churches adhered, and the resulting controversies between those who accepted the new doctrines and those who did not, would culminate in the rupture of several historic Protestant denominations in Brazil, including the Baptists. In this context, in relation to the Brazilian Baptist Convention, those churches that had joined the Pentecostal renewal movement were disconnected; these churches came together to create the charismatic-oriented National Baptist Convention, unrelated to the first convention. [ 33 ]Since then, the first group is labeled by the second as "traditional Baptists", with a pejorative connotation, while the second group is sometimes not considered as authentically "Baptist" by the first. In 2007, the president of the Brazilian Baptist Convention, Nilson Fanini , proposed the possibility that the two conventions could come together again; however, the controversy over Pentecostal doctrines remains a factor of controversy to the present day, not only among Baptists but in Christianity as a whole, even among Catholics. 

Baptist Education in Brazil

Education can be considered a visible mark of the Baptist people. His passion for the study of the Bible developed an interest in religious education, cultivated in the Churches through training organizations and the Sunday School. As a result, Baptist temples became true educational complexes, including the establishment of libraries,  founded in 1907-1908, based in Rio de Janeiro; remains to this day as one of the main centers of Baptist theological teaching in the country.


Along with Religious  Education came Theological Education. Initially through classes given by the missionaries in their homes, then the Seminars emerged: Baptist Theological Seminary of Northern Brazil, organized in Recife , PE by Salomão Ginsburg on April 1, 1902, and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, founded by missionary John Watson Shepard, in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1908. To these two seminaries were added dozens of others spread across the country, with thousands of students. 


The so-called General or Secular Education had the same origin: the desire to open up opportunities for the study of youth and to create schools with the capacity to exert influence over Brazilian society. Taylor Egídio College, founded in Salvador by Laura Taylor and Captain Egídio Pereira de Almeida, was the first to succeed. In 1922 it was transferred to the city of Jaguaquara , where it still exists today..


After him came the Colégio Batista Brasileiro de São Paulo; American Baptist College of Recife; Batista Industrial Institute in Corrente (PI); American College, in Vitória; Baptist Shepard College in Rio de Janeiro; Baptist College Alagoas in Alagoas; Colégio Batista Fluminense in Campos dos Goytacazes; Baptist Mineiro College , in Belo Horizonte. In addition to these colleges, dozens of others were organized with the help of missionaries or on the initiative of churches and state conventions. The contribution of Baptists in the field of education is truly remarkable, considering both quality and quantity. Currently, about two million Brazilians have already attended Baptist schools. 

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