Student Mission Legacies: Robert and Grace Wilde

The Student Mission story is always unfolding. With every new story of salvation and answered prayer, there is another story of someone committing to pray to see a move of God in the student generation. Some of these stories are hundreds of years old, with people whose names we may not know, making a huge impact on the student mission narrative we are a part of today. To highlight the story you're a part of, we're sharing some stories from years before. Check out this one below. 

In the summer of 1886, Luther Wishard of the YMCA organised for D.L. Moody to lead a one month Bible conference at Mt. Hermon Conference grounds in Massachusetts to a group of over 250 college men from eighty nine U.S. universities. Princeton student Robert Wilder, who founded the Princeton Foreign Missionary Society, along with his older sister Grace, prayed fervently before the conference that it would result in a national missionary movement and that God would raise up 100 men who would commit themselves to missionary service. Together, they drew up a statement for people to sign: “We declare ourselves willing and desirous, God permitting, to go to the unevangelized portions of the world.”

Whilst the conference was originally intended for Bible study, Robert organised daily prayer meetings dedicated to missions on the side. God used him to ignite something in many people, and he even ended up hosting a night of the conference where the spiritual needs of 10 nations were presented to those gathered.

On the last day of the conference, 100 students signed Robert and Grace’s declaration - their prayers had been answered! The “Mt. Hermon 100”, including Robert, became mobilisers and missionaries, envisioning students about global mission and going overseas. Grace began recruiting girls to this movement, seeking to enlist girls from each one of the 600 colleges where women were educated. She eventually travelled to India herself to be a missionary. These students formed the foundation of the eventual Student Volunteer Movement upon which 100,000 students over the next forty years would be recruited to reach the world. These firebrands amended the phrase to the title of the book “The Cambridge Seven” had penned: “The Evangelization of the World… in This Generation!”


Fusion Team

The vision of Fusion is to champion and catalyse church based student movements that see the student world reached and transformed by the gospel.