The entry of Luther Rice into the field of journalism was not based upon his love of writing or his desire to be an editor. Rather, it was an outgrowth of his complete devotion to the missionary outreach of Baptists. Rice had himself experienced the irresistible effect of reading missionary sermons and reports from the mission fields. It was his conviction that the printed page was of incalculable value in promoting missions especially, as well as every other Baptist enterprise.
Because Rice and others felt so keenly the need of a journal to arouse an informed missionary concern, a committee to the Baptist Board to Foreign Missions for the Untied States began publishing the Latter Day Luminary in 1818. Rice became the first editor of this missionary magazine. It was originally published as a quarterly, but became a monthly in 1821.
Rice later became the editor of the first weekly Baptist family newspaper in America—The Columbian Star, begun in Washington in 1822. From the first the paper devoted much space to reporting missionary news.
In response to a need for printed materials suitable for distribution by home missionaries and other workers, the Baptist General Tract Society was established in 1824. Rice served as its first treasurer.
Luther Rice became a Journalist
because he conceived of publications as a means of educating the ministry, of kindling missionary interests among all Baptists, and — above all — of giving the good news of Jesus Christ to those who had never heard.
Luther Rice Memorial