Religion: Out of a New England Haystack

One summer day in 1806 a band of pious students at Williams College got caught in a thundershower, huddled under a haystack to keep dry and held a prayer meeting. By the time the downpour ceased they had vowed to carry the Christian message overseas. One of them eventually became a pioneer evangelist to India while others helped create the U.S.'s first two foreign mission boards.

From its unlikely beginning at what became known as the Haystack Prayer Meeting, the U.S. Protestant missionary movement has depended on collegiate enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!