“The necessity of a vehicle for communication with the southern churches, in carrying on the missionary enterprise, has been for several months past, seriously felt, and admitted by all.” (June 1846)
The SBMJ was a short-lived joint publication of the Foreign and Domestic Mission Boards. It was published monthly from June 1846 to May 1851 as a journal of roughly 25 pages, and annually as an indexed bound volume. H. K. Ellyson of Richmond, an FMB trustee, served as editor and published the annual volumes at his own expense.
As indicated by the opening sentence of the first number, quoted above, the purpose of the journal was to allow the leaders of the Southern Baptist mission boards to communicate with Southern Baptist churches. Each number included articles and editorials on the subject of missions, extracts from letters from missionaries, solicitations of prayer and financial support, and missions-related news from other denominations and outlets, such as the American Baptist Missionary Union, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (Presbyterian), the Baptist Missionary Society (Great Britain), the Church Missionary Society, the American Baptist Publication Society, the American and Foreign Bible Society, and others. During the years of the SBMJ’s publication, the FMB’s two fields were China and Africa (including the modern-day countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria).