BMS - World Mission
In 1909 the church's Student Pastor Rev Allan Burnett Palmer left Northchurch to go to the Belgian Congo, where he was a Missionary for the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) for well over 20 years.
An Australian, A B Palmer was based in the remote interior of Belgian Congo, (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) - 1000 miles from the nearest dentist! His work included teaching and translating the bible into one of the native languages. He has the distinction of introducing Australian couch grass to the Congo, this having spread successfully from a single sixpenny packet of seeds.
NBC's involvement with the Baptist Missionary Society goes back at least 125 years.
At the Annual Church Meeting on 19th December 1889 a letter was read out from the Baptist Missionary Society, asking NBC and other Baptist Churches to devote the first collection of each new year for the widows and orphans of Missionaries. This was at a time when central Africa was accurately described as "the white man's grave" and mortality amongst missionaries and their families was very high. NBC agreed to this request and for many years designated a guinea to be given to the BMS widow's and orphans fund. This fund was still being supported in 1920.
From 1961 BMS contributions from NBC have included the Birthday Scheme whereby individuals (who have joined the Scheme) are prompted on their birthday to give to Medical Missionary causes within BMS. In 2013, recognising the specific link the church had with Gary and Susan Anderson, who were in Albania with BMS, the Birthday Scheme was amended for a time to encompass both medical causes and Gary and Susan until the couple left Albania in 2015.
For more details of BMS see their website.