These churches began to take hesitant but what proved to be significant steps in three new directions in the 1820s. The first step was to open missionary work. When black lay preacher John Stewart commenced his ministry in 1819 among the Wyandot Indians of Ohio, the Methodist missionary movement was under way. The same year a mission board was established in New York City. It was made an official part of the Methodist Episcopal Church by the General Conference of 1820. The first Methodist overseas mission was born when Melville B. Cox arrived in Liberia in 1833. The second foreign mission was to Brazil and Argentina. Methodist missionaries reached China in 1847. The Missionary Society of the Evangelical Association was established in 1839 and opened its first overseas mission in Germany in 1850. Sierra Leone was the first foreign mission of the United Brethren missionary society, which was founded in 1841. In addition to their overseas activities, all these societies conducted extensive home missionary work--among others, with Scandinavian sailors in New York City beginning in 1835 and with Hispanics in New Mexico in 1853.
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