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Lizzie L. Johnson (1869-1909)

Raised Funds for Mission

From her home in Casey, Illinois, Lizzie Johnson raised over $120,000 for missions. A back injury at age thirteen steadily worsened until, at age twenty-seven, she was unable to raise her head from the pillow. She could move only her hands and forearms. Interested in mission work, she wanted to help. For six months Lizzie endured the pain of putting many stitches into a quilt to sell in order to raise money for missions. The quilt didn’t sell! Disappointed and physically exhausted, she did not start another money-making project until four years later when, with the help of her brother and sister, she made and sold bookmarks to every state in the union and sixteen foreign countries, netting $20,000. The profits aided workers overseas as well as in the United States. Bishop Francis Wesley Warne, missionary bishop to India, heard of Lizzie’s efforts, borrowed the quilt and circled the world three times telling the story of Lizzie and her love for others. Donations placed on the quilt totaled $100,000. After Lizzie’s death, her father and sister raised another $5,000 to help build a church in Cawnpore (now Kanpur), India, which continues to be supported by the Casey United Methodist Church.

Taken from They Went Out Not Knowing… An Encyclopedia of One Hundred Women in Mission (New York: Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 1986). Used with permission of United Methodist Women.

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