The missionary position of the International Story

As we have learned from a previous blog post, the nineteenth-century saw an uptake in British missionary societies, and consequently the International Story is one bound up with stories of missionaries and their impact abroad. One medical missionary whose story is lesser known is that of Dr Robert Reid Kalley.

Robert Reid Kalley

A Glasgow-born physician, Kalley later turned to medical missionary work, initially, but unintentionally, in Madeira and later in Brazil. Persecuted, but persistent  Kalley maintained his links with his Madeiran converts, who as refugees fled religious prosecution in Madeira at around the same time as Kalley, and were transported to the West Indies (Guyana) before being helped to enter the USA, namely Illinois.

Portuguese-speaking Kalley then went to Brazil where he actively engaged in political debates from the abolition of slavery to religious freedom.  He became the founder of the first evangelical church in Brazil in 1858, the Igreja Evangélica Fluminense, and the first indigenous evangelical church in the north-east of Brazil in 1873, the Igreja Evangélica Pernambucana.

If you are interested in sharing your knowledge about our international missionary links, or are interested in researching these links, please get in touch. Applications for Club21 placements on the International Story are still open: http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_274184_en.pdf

All University of Glasgow students are welcome to apply – with the only stipulation that you have an enthusiasm for history!

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2 Comments

Filed under Europe, South America

2 responses to “The missionary position of the International Story

  1. Só uma pequena correção a primeira igreja organizada por Robert Reid Kalley foi em 1858. Igreja Evangélica Fluminense.

    • kamcdonald

      Thank you for that correction – it was indeed 1858. Just checking the significance of the year 1863 – according to “The Wolf from Scotland, the story of Robert Reid Kalley, pioneer missionary” (William B Forsyth, 1988) Dr Kalley’s position as elected pastor was legalised in October 1863 and the church formally decided that the name should be the Igreja Evangélica Fluminense. This was prompted by a government decree that Protestant ministers should be authorised to conduct marriage ceremonies for non-Catholics and register births and deaths with the stipulation that the minister was elected by the local church.
      Thanks again

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