February 4, 2024

Celebrate African American and Black pioneers whose lives inspire us to continue the work of solving the world's greatest problem — lostness.

Below you will find helpful resources for planning your church's recognition of this special Sunday.

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Southern Baptists set aside the first Sunday in February to celebrate the work and leadership of African American and Black pioneers such as:
  • George Liele, who many acknowledge as the first overseas missionary from the United States in 1782
  • Lott Carey, who organized African American missions in the 1800s
  • S.M. Lockridge, who was a faithful preacher of the gospel in the 20th century
  • Sid Smith, who was one of the first African American Southern Baptist denominational leaders in the modern era
  • Fred Luter, who was elected as the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
We celebrate the life and work of these men by recognizing that their legacy encourages us to send more African American and Black missionaries. The world’s greatest problem is still lostness and there is no problem that should unify us more because in the gospel, God has given the solution. Together, we get to share the good news of Jesus with people and places who have never heard the gospel.
A missionary you should know
One of the most significant figures in the history of Christian missions is a freed Georgia slave named George Liele. Even though William Carey may be called the father of the modern missionary movement, George Liele left America and planted the gospel in Jamaica a full ten years before Carey left England.
Learn More About George Liele

Watch and share these resources with your church, small group, or friends.

Bulletin Insert

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Activity Sheet

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Prayer Guide

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The Impact of George Liele

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The Story of George Liele

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The Impact of George Liele (1 Minute)

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George Liele Scholarship

The George Liele Scholarship encourages the expansion of international missions knowledge and experiences among Black and African American Southern Baptist churches.

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*Statistic from Open Doors International.