Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Evangelism and the Syria-Lebanon Mission: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1869-1910

Date Range: 1869-1910
Content: 20,455 pages
Source Library: Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA


The conflict between Christianity and Islam -- a dominant and recurring theme throughout Syria's history -- presented the Presbyterian Church Mission with a diversity of problems unknown in other mission fields. The division of the population along religious lines resulted in internecine warfare throughout Syria/Lebanon, making quite an effect on the Mission's educational, medical and evangelistic work. Despite the turmoil, the Mission was able to effect progress, especially in the area of education and medical assistance. Schools and medical work were a part of the Christian enterprise in Syria throughout the Mission's history. Such institutions as the American School for Girls, the Syrian Protestant College (later known as the American University of Beirut), the Tripoli Girls' School, and the Gerald Institute manifested the Church's educational ministry in Syria. Medical work was carried on in three centers: the Hamlin Memorial Sanitarium for tubercular patients; the Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Tripoli; and the Deir-ez-Zore Hospital in the remote northern desert.

The work of the Presbyterian Church in Syria was conducted through four main stations. These included Beirut, occupied in 1823; Tripoli, opened in 1848; and Sidon, occupied in 1851. The last station, Aleppo, was opened by the Board of Foreign Missions in 1920. In addition to these four stations and their sixty-three outstations, these were several substations. Suk-el-Garb, started by the American Board in 1848, was part of the Beirut station, as was Zahleh. Hama and Deir-ez-Zore were both substations of the Aleppo station. The work of the Syria Mission transcended three distinct states: Lebanon, which encompassed the stations of Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon and the substation of Zahleh; Latakia, where the Mission performed limited work in certain villages; and Syria, where work was conducted in the cities of Hama, Aleppo and Deir-ez-Zore.

Evangelism and the Syria-Lebanon Mission: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1869-1910 provides invaluable content on social conditions in Greater Syria and Lebanon and on efforts to spread the Christian gospel during the nineteenth century.  Documenting the church’s educational, evangelical, and medical work, these are records mainly of incoming correspondence from the mission field and outgoing correspondence from the Board headquarters.

This collection contains a variety of valuable primary source documents:

  • Correspondence
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Receipts of sale and inventories of supplies
  • Diary accounts
  • Annual reports on mission work
  • Personal and field reports including information on the number of newly-organized churches, ordained ministers, and church members

Evangelism and the Syria-Lebanon Mission: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1869-1910 features a wealth of information necessary for research in Religious Studies, Middle Eastern and Near Eastern Studies, Global Studies, and 19th Century History.

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