The missionaries were monks, Vikings who had been converted to Christianity abroad, or bishops accompanying their kings. Stonecrosses raised on several spots inside the area of SD, make this evident.
Church of Norway’s history consists of approx. 600 years of Roman Catholic faith (approx. 900-1537) before converting to the Evangelical Lutheran faith in 1537.
In the beginning of the 19th century, church members of the SD were strongly influenced by the European mission movements of the time, especially those in England and Germany. The Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS) was founded in SD, in Stavanger city, in 1842.
NMS’s first missionary was Hans Paludan Schreuder, who arrived in Natal, South Africa, on January 1, 1844. Since that time, SD has always been strongly linked to missions, and has been in close relationship with the NMS and other mission organizations.
Stavanger has consequently been called “the missions capital” of Norway.