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Birthdays on January 23

Amanda Smith (1837 to 1915)
She Blazed a Trail as a Black Evangelist

Amanda Smith was born a slave in Maryland. Years after her conversion, she became a successful evangelist although having three strikes against her: being black, self-taught, and a woman. Amanda wrote an autobiography which remains important to researchers studying the condition of women in America during the late 19th century.

Guido Fridolin Verbeck (1830 to 1899)
American Reformed Church
Extraordinary Missionary Honored in Japan

Guido Fridolin Verbeck was born at Utrecht, the Netherlands. In 1859 he sailed as a missionary from the United States to Japan. At one time he taught highly-ranked Samurai youth. When these young men came to power, they called on Fridolin for advice in reforming the national government. He served as an advisor for nine years. Ultimately, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, third class. This gave him authorization to appear in court.


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