The apostle Paul is perhaps the greatest missionary this world has ever seen. He was a devout Jew named Saul who persecuted Christians of the early church, approving of their deaths and organizing efforts to put them in prison. While on the road to Damascus in the middle of these efforts, the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a blinding light, confronted him about persecuting the church, and called him into service as an apostle and missionary to the Gentiles (non-Jews), renaming him Paul. For the rest of his life Paul dedicated himself to the preaching and teaching of the gospel message, bringing the message to numerous cities between Jerusalem and Rome. Almost half of the New Testament writings are letters written by Paul to certain congregations and fellow ministers.