Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Taiwan Baptist Missionaries (1)
This 1958 group photo of all the male Southern Baptist missionaries stationed on the island of Taiwan, often referred to as The Republic of China, was rare chance to get them all at one time. Here is a little about each of them.
UPPER LEFT: Harland SPURGEON, Britt TOWERY, Bynum AKINS, Alex HERRING, Richard MORRIS, Glenn HIX
FRONG ROW: Harry RAILEY, Carl HUNKER, Charles Culpepper Jr., C.L. Culpepper Sr., Oz Quick
Harland was later a VP of the SBC Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board); Britt and Jody were the third new couple to Taiwan; Bynum and wife were second couple; Alex was born in Henan province China and served there first; Richard and Tena were first couple to study Taiwanese language with SBC, others were all in mandarin Chinese; Glenn studied mandarin, pastored English-speaking Calvary Baptist Church in Taipei; Harry and wife were first missionaries appointed to Taiwan. Up to that point all the missionaries there had come from the China mainland; Charles born on Seminary Hill, Ft. Worth, grew up in Shandong province; C.L. (Charlie) went to China in the 1920s and was the treasurer of the Taiwan Mission; Oz was also in Guilin, China, after being appointed to Japan and being a chaplain in the invasion of Japanese islands during World War 2. Oz and his wife Mary taught university-level English to mainland Chinese students in Yan'tai (old Chefoo) after retiring.
The men are sitting on a small amphitheatre beside the auditorium for the summer conference grounds at Ling Tou, north of the city of Taipei. Bertha Smith and Martha Franks began and ran the summer conferences. Bertha was the first SBC missionary to Taiwan from China. She went there to see if work was possible soon after 1948 when it became apparent the Communist would be taking control of all of China.
The first missionaries for SBC to Taiwan were women from the Mainland: Pearl Johnson, Ola Lea, Josephine Ward, Katie Murray, Lola Marie Conners, Clifford Barrat, Lois Glass, Addie Cox, Mary Demarest, and Irene Jeffers. Later Gladys Hopewell (only SBC missionary murdered, Tainan); Mary Sampson; Lorene Tilford; Jennie Alderman; Inabelle Coleman, was The Commission Magizine editor before going to teach English at the Hu Jiang Baptist College, Shanghai, where she had tremendous influence on future preachers and leaders both in church and government.
Ivan V. and Edith Drotts Larson were the first couple also came over from the China mainland. Most of their ministry was in Shandong province. Ivan was interned by the Japanese and repatriated in 1942. They began churches in Chia Yi (Jia Yi) City, Taiwan, and were joined by the Akins in 1958.
The Mission was slow to get into Taiwanese language work as the Presbyterians had been there for over one hundred years and had churches in all major cities. Also, the Conservative Baptist out of Denver already had a Bible School with Taiwanese preachers and missionary preaching in Taiwanese. Jim Cummings was one of these who had a real good grasp of the language and people. Being single he had lived with a Taiwanese family for a while. On a furlough he found the perfect mate: Maggie, who at the time was a guide at DisneyLand.
Other SBC missionaries who were early into Taiwanese work were Hunter and Patsy Hammett, B.L. Lynch and wife, and others whose names have slipped from my memory at present.
Posted by Britt Towery at 1:33 PM