December 2, 1848 - January 13, 1915
From Aberdeen, Scotland
Served in Use Ikot Oku, Calabar, Nigeria
Affiliation: United Presbyterian Church of Scotland
"Prayer is the greatest power God has put into our hands for service — praying is harder than doing, at least I find it so, but the dynamic lies that way to advance the Kingdom."
"I have always said that I have no idea how or why God has carried me over so many funny and hard places, and made these hordes of people submit to me, or why the Government should have given me the privilege of a Magistrate among them, except in answer to prayer made at home for me. It is all beyond my comprehension. The only way I can explain it is on the ground that I have been prayed for more than most. Pray on, dear one — the power lies that way."
Mary Slessor was a hard working Scottish mill girl and an unorthodox Sunday School teacher, who, inspired by David Livingstone, became a missionary in Calabar, Nigeria, an area where no European had set foot before. Despite several bouts of illness and constant danger, she lived with the tribes, learned their language, and traditions, earning their respect and putting an end to some barbaric practises, such as the killing of twins. She adopted many Nigerian children (particularly twins) who had been left to die.
When Southern Nigeria became a British Protectorate, she became the first ever female Magistrate in the British Empire and a skilful diplomatic emissary.
Mary died in 1915, aged 67, with great mourning amongst the tribes to whom she had dedicated her whole life.
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