Thomas, John

Thomas, John
   pioneer Methodist missionary to the South Pacific
   John Thomas was born in Worcester, England, and became a blacksmith. Converted by Methodist preaching, he felt a call to the mission field after reading about Henry Martyn. Thomas traveled to Tonga (then called the Friendly Islands) in 1826, arriving as part of a company that included himself, a Tasmanian, a British associate, James Hutchinson, and their wives. He remained in Tonga for 25 years.
   Thomas learned the language quickly, made friends with the chief and leaders of the people, and engaged in evangelism. His work had an initial success in 1831, when Chief Taufa'ahau, who ruled one of the northern Tongan islands, and his wife accepted baptism. Later, Taufa'ahau, who took the name Siaosi or George at his baptism, united the Tongan Islands under his leadership through a series of wars. Thomas participated in his enthronement in 1845 as the first king of all Tonga. He also supported the king's policy of sending Tongan missionaries to Fiji and Samoa.
   Thomas remained in Tonga until 1850. He then returned to England for four years before going back to Tonga when the mission was transferred to the Australian Methodists. He remained in Tonga another six years and then retired to England.
   See also South Pacific.
   Further reading:
   ■ Shalamit Decktor Korn, "After the Missionaries Came: Denominational Diversity in the Tonga Islands," in J. Boutilier, D. Hughes, and S. Tiffany, eds., Mission, Church, and Sect in Oceania, ASAO Monograph 6 (Ann Arbor: university of Michigan Press, 1978)
   ■ Sarah Farmer, Tonga and the Friendly Islands (London: Hamilton, Adams, 1855).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • THOMAS JOHN —    his son (1798 1872); and THOMAS, LORD.    See DUNDONALD, THOMAS COCHRANE …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Thomas, John — (1725 1776)    Born in Marshfield, Mass. Surgeon in a regiment sent to Annapolis Royal, 1746; and in 1747 surgeon, and afterwards lieutenant, in Shirley s Regiment. In 1759 promoted colonel of Provincials, and in 1760 commanded a regiment at the… …   The makers of Canada

  • Thomas John Barnardo — Thomas John Barnardo, circa 1868 Born 4 July 1845(1845 07 04) Dublin, Ireland Died 19 September 1905 …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas John Capel — Thomas Capel Religion Roman Catholic Personal Nationality British Citizen Born O …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas John Watson — Nombre Thomas John Wa …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thomas John l'Anson Bromwich — (* 8. Februar 1875 in Wolverhampton; † 26. August 1929 in Northampton) war ein englischer Mathematiker und Physiker. Leben Sein Vater war der Tuchhändler John l Anson Bromwich. In seiner Jugend zog die Familie nach Natal in Südafrika, von 1888… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas John Ashton, 3rd Baron Ashton of Hyde — JP (19 November 1926 ndash; 2 August 2008) was the eldest son of Thomas Ashton, 2nd Baron Ashton of Hyde and Marjorie Nell Brookes. He succeeded his father as Baron Ashton of Hyde on the latter s death on 21 March 1983.He attended Eton College,… …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas John Ashton, 3. Baron Ashton of Hyde — (* 19. November 1926; † 2. August 2008) war ein britischer Bankier und Peer. Leben und Karriere Ashton war der älteste Sohn von Thomas Ashton, 2. Baron Ashton of Hyde, und Marjorie Nell Brookes. Er folgte seinem Vater als Baron Ashton of Hyde… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas John Hennen — Thomas Hennen Land (Organisation): USA (NASA) Datum der Auswahl: September 1988 (Terra Scout US Army) Anzahl der Raumflüge: 1 Star …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas John Ley — (* 28. Oktober 1880 in Bath; † 29. Juli 1947) war ein australischer Rechtsanwalt, Politiker und Geschäftsmann. Ley war Abgeordneter im Unterhaus des Staates Neusüdwales, Justizminister von Neusüdwales und Abgeordneter im Australischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia