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Lottie Moon comes to life during annual Southern Seminary tour

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–For one week each December, Lottie Moon walks the campus of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Cornelia Williams, whose husband is dean of institutional assessment at the school, dresses up like and plays the role of the famed missionary to China.

The hour-long tour includes a brief presentation by Williams on Moon’s life and missions work. Guests then view items that once belonged to Moon, such as eyeglasses, recipe books and a Bible, all of which are part of a collection of Moon items belonging to the school. The English Bible that Moon once carried was donated to Southern Seminary last summer.

Williams also gives a brief presentation for children in which she solicits their help in packing an old suitcase, filling it with items Moon might have taken as she prepared for a missionary journey.

Student-led tours are available throughout the year, but Williams gives her “living illustration” version for one week only.

Williams has spent many years studying the life and character of Lottie Moon and relishes playing the role. The missionary, Williams said, possessed so many amazing qualities — both spiritually and mentally — that she is well worth emulating.

“I do quite a few characters but I must say that Lottie Moon is ideal,” she said. “I would like to be like her. I have studied her life for so many years I feel like I know her.

“I’d like to have her godliness and intellect meshed together because that is a wonderful combination you don’t see very often today. She knew several languages, including many different Chinese dialects and the biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek and was an incredible godly woman.”

Lottie Moon is best known among Southern Baptists for the annual Christmas offering, which for decades has been gathered during the month of December. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions accounts for nearly 50 percent of the International Mission Board’s annual budget.

Born in 1840 near Charlottesville, Va., Moon began serving as a missionary to China in 1873. She spent nearly 40 years in the country and helped found the Christmas offering in 1888. She died in Kobe, Japan, on Dec. 24, 1912.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LOTTIE AT CHRISTMASTIME.

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  • Jeff Robinson

    Jeff Robinson is director of news and information at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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