John Day in Liberia: Southern Baptist Missionary and a Founder of the Republic
John Day, older brother to the famous cabinetmaker, Thomas Day, emigrated to Liberia in 1830 as a participant in the American Colonization Movement. As a free person of color, he lived and worked in south side Virginia and Milton, North Carolina until his departure for Africa. In 1845, John Day was appointed superintendent of Liberian missions by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, a post he held until his death in 1859. In addition to his job as missionary, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Liberia in 1847 and served as the second Supreme Court Justice of the country. Between the years 1846 and 1859, John Day wrote over one hundred letters to the secretary of the foreign mission board. This program will examine the content of some of these letters as they relate to Day’s theology, his views of race and slavery, the Liberian people and their culture, the political and social history of the early settlers and the life and role of the missionary.