Religious Figure. Lottie Moon is remembered for her contribution during the 19th Century in the foreign mission fields of the Southern Baptist Church. She was a rebellious young lady until December of 1858 when she dedicated her life to Jesus Christ and was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. The daughter of a wealthy and cultured family of the Old South, she and her seven siblings lived on Viewmont Plantation that was built by Joshua Fry, a friend of United States President George Washington. She attended Albemarle Female Institute, the female counterpart to the University of Virginia. As the American Civil War was starting, she was one of the first women in the South to receive a master's degree and was capable of speaking several languages. She stayed near her home during the war but eventually taught school in Kentucky, Georgia and Virginia. Although she had an offer from a Harvard professor, she refused to marry but sought mission work. In 1872 after being appointed by the Southern Baptist Mission Board, she joined her sister Edmonia in Tengchow in northern China where she served for nearly forty years starting several girls' schools. In 1875 her sister became seriously ill, and the two women came home, but after two years, Lottie returned to China. Often she bravely made trips into China's interior where she would witness to the residents about Christ's love for them. She stayed at P'ingtu for a time. The aroma of fresh-baked cookies brought the local people to her home where she shared her faith with them,and she became known as the “Cookie Lady.” To gain their trust, she worn their dress style to lessen their fear of her. She frequently sent letters back to the United States detailing the Chinese culture, missionary life and the physical as well as the spiritual needs of the Chinese people. She requested the Southern Baptist to go to China or give more so other could go, and women in the church stepped-up to raise funds. This effort has raised over billions of dollars over the years for missionaries around the world. Even other Christian denominations have supported her cause with the Methodist donating first and the Episcopal Church donating along with having a feast day on their Liturgical calendar to honor her. During the famine of 1912 in China, she gave away her money and food to starving children. She became sick and was sent home. As she was making her journey to the United States on Christmas Eve, she boarded a ship in the harbor at Kobe, Japan where she died. At her death, she weighed less than 50 pounds, thus died from severe malnutrition. Started in 1918, the “Lottie Moon Christmas Offering” is a special missionary fund named in her honor. She endured the hardship of starvation, plague, the turmoil of the end of the Qing dynasty, the Sino-Japanese War, the Boxer Rebellion, and the Nationalist Rebellion to become one of the first female missionaries of the 19th Century. There is a historical marker at Viewmont Plantation stating that this was her birthplace.
Bio by: Linda Davis
Atop the crest of the marker, this phrase:
"FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH"
At the base of her tombstone, this phrase:
"FOR 40 YEARS A MISSIONARY IN NORTH CHINA"