John Gibson Paton bigraphy, stories - British missionary

John Gibson Paton : biography

24 May 1824 - 28 January 1907

Rev. Dr. John Gibson Paton (24 May 1824 - 28 January 1907), born in Scotland, was a Protestant missionary to the New Hebrides Islands of the South Pacific. Paton undertook a tremendous work which would yield little fruit for decades, convinced of the absolute sovereignty of God to build his church. Constantly under threat of death, Paton preached faithfully to the islands of the New Hebrides, raising a family there. As well as his missionary journeys, Paton raised great support for world missions at home in Scotland and inspired hundreds of missionaries to also take up the Great Commission and make disciples of all nations.

References and external links

  • by Joel Beeke
  • Paton, John G. (1891). (German). In: Johannes Paul (Edit.): Von Grönland bis Lambarene. Reisebeschreibungen christlicher Missionare aus drei Jahrhunderten. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Berlin 1951, 1952, 1953 (p. 83-96) and Kreuz-Verlag, Stuttgart 1958 (p. 79-92). Former published in: John G. Paton: Missionar auf den Neuen Hebriden. Eine Selbstbiographie. Leipzig, publisher H. G. Wallmann 1891.

Category:Translators of the Bible into Polynesian languages Category:Scottish Christian missionaries Category:Scottish Presbyterians Category:Presbyterian missionaries Category:Christian missionaries in Vanuatu Category:People from Dumfries and Galloway Category:Australian people of Scottish descent Category:1824 births Category:1907 deaths

Visit to Australia and Scotland and Second Marriage

From Aneityum, John G. went first to Australia, then to Scotland, to arouse greater interest in the work of the New Hebrides, to recruit new missionaries, and especially to raise a large sum of money for the building and upkeep of a sailing ship to assist the missionaries in the work of evangelizing the Islands. Later he raised a much larger sum with which to build a mission steamship.

During this time in Scotland, on 17 June 1864, in Edinburgh, Scotland, John G. married Margaret (Maggie) Whitecross, a descendant of the so-called "Whitecross Knights".

Early life

John Gibson Paton was born on 24 May 1824, in a farm cottage at Braehead, Kirkmahoe, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. He was the eldest of the 11 children of James and Janet Paton.

James Paton was a stocking manufacturer and later a colporteur. James and his wife Janet and their three eldest children, moved c.1828/1829 from Braehead to Torthorwald in the same county. There, in a humble thatched cottage of three rooms, his parents reared five sons and six daughters.

John G., from the age of 12, started learning the trade of his stocking manufacturing father and, for fourteen hours a day, he manipulated one of the six "stocking frames" in his father's workshop.

However, he still studied during the two hours allotted each day for the eating of his meals.

During these years, John G. was greatly influenced by the devoutness of his father who would go three times a day to his "prayer closet" and who conducted family prayers twice a day.

During his youth John G. heard the call of God to serve overseas as a missionary. Eventually he moved to Glasgow (Forty miles on foot to Kilmarnock then by train to Glasgow) where he undertook theological and medical studies. For some years he also worked at distributing tracts, teaching school, and labouring as a city missionary in a degraded section of Glasgow.

Paton was ordained by the Reformed Presbyterian Church on 23 March 1858. On 2 April, in Coldstream, Berwickshire, Scotland John G. Paton married Mary Ann Robson and 14 days later, on 16 April, accompanied by Mr. Joseph Copeland, they both said farewell to bonnie Scotland and set sail for the South Pacific.

Return to the New Hebrides

Arriving back in the New Hebrides in August 1866, John G. and his new wife Maggie established a new Mission station on Aniwa Island, the nearest island to Tanna. There they lived in a small native hut while they built a house for themselves and two houses for orphan children. Later, a church, a printing house, and other buildings were erected.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine