Because of the offering in her name, Charlotte Digges Moon, Lottie Moon to all of us, is the SBC’s most heroic figure, a completely subjective opinion.
Regina Sullivan wrote the latest biography of LM (cover image is shown above). A previous biography, 1980, was written by Catherine Allen. I bought the former and was generously sent a copy of the latter by Wanda Lee, WMU president. I read Sullivan’s but haven’t had time to read Allen’s. Some in the SBC have blithely dismissed Sullivan’s work as a feminist reinterpretation. I call it a pretty good, non-hagiographical treatment of Lottie Moon.
A new kids book on LM, Lottie Moon: Changing China for Christ by Nancy Drummond is reviewed by Andrew Wencl here. Moon was an inspiring example, serving in China in pioneering work in some parts of the interior. She lived through the Boxer rebellion, vigorously contended for the faith, and tirelessly asked Southern Baptists for support. Read the book, any of them.
I wouldn’t have any hesitation in naming Lottie Moon as one of my heroes in Christian ministry. In today’s SBC she may be ignored, save for the Christmas offerings, or occasionally marginalized by reason of patriarchy. It is not inaccurate to say that thousands of men now serve and have served overseas on the revenue stream of the offering named for her.
One side note. Why the IMB continues to feature in its online LM information the unattractive “schoolgirl” photograph of jut-jawed Lottie in is beyond me. Regina Sullivan told me that she saw a letter from LM to the board asking that they not use that photograph. There are certainly others available. You would think that they would use a photo of Lottie from her time in the field. The “schoolgirl” photo is almost certainly prior to her time in China. The new kids’ book has artwork based on a later photograph from her time in China.
I’m praying that the LMCO shows an increase this year. This single offering makes up about half of the IMB’s budget and is itself larger than the total budget of any single SBC entity. The 2014 offering was down about one million from the previous year’s record total.
A version of this appeared in 2011 on my witty and insightful if scarcely read, blog.