Original Research

The impact of evangelical revivals on global mission: The case of North American evangelicals in Brazil in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Edward L. Smither
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 31, No 1 | a340 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v31i1.340 | © 2010 Edward L. Smither | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 November 2009 | Published: 28 September 2010

About the author(s)

Edward L. Smither, Liberty University, United States


The aim of the current article is to show that an important element behind the establishment of evangelical missions to Brazil – particularly during the pioneering stages – was evangelical revival, especially that which occurred in North America during the nineteenth century. Following a brief introduction to the general relationship between eighteenth- and nineteenth century revivals and evangelical missions, I shall endeavour to support historically the commonly accepted, yet often unsubstantiated, correlation between such movements of revival and mission. Firstly, I will show the significant paradigm shift in missional thinking, which took place in the nineteenth century, as North American evangelicals began to regard Roman Catholic countries in Latin America as mission fields. Secondly, I shall argue that the influence of nineteenth-century revivalist evangelicalism (particularly that sourced in North America) on missions to Brazil and Latin America can best be observed in the Brazilian evangelical identity that emerged in the twentieth century, which has, in turn, propelled the Brazilian evangelical church into its own significant involvement in global missions (Noll 2009:10).


Brazil; Great Awakening; majority world missions; nineteenth century; revivals


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