Henry Venn (February 10, 1796 - January 13, 1873), was an Anglican clergyman who is recognised as one of the foremost Protestant missions strategists of the nineteenth century. He was an outstanding administrator who served as honorary secretary of the Church Missionary Society from 1841 to 1873. He was also a campaigner, in the tradition of the Clapham Sect, who frequently lobbied the British Parliament on social issues of his day, notably on ensuring the total eradication of the Atlantic slave trade by retaining the West African Squadron of the Royal Navy.[1] He expounded the basic principles of indigenous Christian missions later addressed and made widespread by the Lausanne Congress of 1974.

Venn and Rufus Anderson of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions were the first to use the term "indigenous church" in the mid-nineteenth century. They wrote about the necessity for creating churches in the missions field that were self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating (Venn used the term "self-extending").[2] Venn is often quoted as encouraging the "euthanasia of missions," which meant that missionaries were to be considered temporary workers and not permanent.[3]


  1. Shenk, Wilbert R. (1977). "Henry Venn's legacy". Occasional Bulletin of Missionary Research 1 (2): 16, 17.
  2. Terry, John Mark (2000), "Indigenous Churches", in Moreau, A. Scott, Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, pp. 483–485 
  3. Shenk, Wilbert R. (1977). "Henry Venn's legacy". Occasional Bulletin of Missionary Research 1 (2): 16–19. 

See also


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.