Mary Slessor was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1848. She is well known for being a five-foot, red haired Scottish missionary who pioneered her way into the jungles of Africa. She wanted to share the gospel to people who lived in the most remote areas of Calabar which is now called Nigeria. The inhabitants were accustomed to witchcraft, slavery and
murder. She faced many challenges living with the villagers, and at times, even had to be a peacemaker between tribesmen.
Mary was about eleven years old when her family moved to Dundee, Scotland. Her father, Robert was unable to hold a steady job. She had to find work at a cotton mill to help provide for the family. Her pay check helped to make ends meet as she sometimes worked ten to twelve-hour days.
When Mary was about twenty years old, in 1868, she would gather young boys and girls to attend Sunday school. One day she her faced a gang of boys who would not let her and the children pass. The leader of the gang started to threaten her by whipping around a weapon make of string and weights. As it got closer and closer to her head Mary did not budge. All the children watching became frightened not knowing what to expect next, but the leader backed down impressed by her determination and courage and he eventually let her through. Mary invited the leader and the other gang members to attend the bible lesson with them and they did. Years later, the leader of the gang became a Christian. He reflected that moment in his life as a turning point for him.
Mary Slessor died on January 13, 1915 from a fever in her mud hut in Africa. She was sixty-six years old.
• Born December 2, 1848 in Aberdeen, Scotland. She was the second of seven siblings. and her family lived in poverty.
• Father was a shoemaker.
• Prayed with her mother continually for God ‘s provision and protection.
• Became a Christian at a young age.
• Not well educated but learned to read, and loved reading the Bible.
• Influenced by another missionary, David Livingstone.
• Gathered boys and girls to attend Sunday school in Dundee, Scotland.
• Encountered a gang who would not allow her to teach a bible lesson.
• Bully threatened her with weapon but Mary never budged. She thus gained respect of the leader of the gang and Mary invited them all to join in with the other kids to attend Sunday school .
• In 1875 went to Nigeria (formerly Calabar) on a missions assignment and lived with the Okoyong tribe and shared the gospel with the villagers.
• In 1902, among the Okoyong people, eleven youngsters were baptized including seven of her adopted children.
• Died January 13, 1915 in Nigeria (formerly Calabar), Africa from a fever.