Mission Promoter Extraordinaire
Mary Clarke Nind became a member of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church in Winona, Minnesota, in 1866, and in 1879 joined the Minneapolis Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church.
Two of the Nind’s five children were in the mission field in the 1880s – Emma Nind Lacy in China, and George Nind in the Madeira Islands. Because of her deep passion for foreign missions, Mary held offices in the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society for thirty years, organized many Minnesota societies, traveled extensively, promoting the WFMS and visiting new mission fields. She helped establish women’s work in Singapore and Malaysia, including the Mary C. Nind Home in Singapore, which was named in her honor, organized “flag festivals” to procure American flags for every mission station, and pioneered in promoting equal rights for women.
In October 1887, she was elected the first lay woman delegate to General Conference by the Minnesota Conference, receiving the largest number of votes for any delegate even though she was not present at the election. However, the 1888 General Conference refused to seat her and four other women.
Mary Nind was known as “the little bishop” for her missionary sermons and as “Mother Nind” to the missionaries. A book, Mary Clarke Nind: A Memorial, written by her children, was published in 1906.
Adapted 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.