Tun Maung I (1909–1975)

By Timothy Muna Paul

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Timothy Muna Paul, M.A. in religion (Spicer Memorial College, India), has served as a pastor and administrator since 1983. Currently he is president of Myanmar Union Mission. He is married to Daw Cho Cho David and has a daughter and twin sons.

First Published: January 4, 2022

Tun Maung I was an Adventist administrator, teacher, and minister from Myanmar.

Early Life, Education and Marriage

Tun Maung I was born on April 15, 1909, at Asai Sa Phyu Su, Ingapu, in the Hinthada District of the Ayeyarwaddy (formerly Irrawaddy) Region of Myanmar (formerly Burma). His parents were Po Lwin and Hla Thwe. He was the eldest among six siblings who included four brothers, Tun Sein, San Chi, Dallah, and Ah Po, and one sister, Nan Khin. Tun Maung was baptized in 1923.1

Tun Maung passed the 10th standard at Meikhtila Adventist Technical High School and continued studying business courses, including shorthand, typing, and bookkeeping, for five months more. He married Hla Nwe in 1932. They had nine children: Henry Tun, Norma Tun, Danny Tun, Naw Hklar, Tennyson Tun, Jenny Tun, Benjamin Tun, Benton Tun, and Saw Htoo Htoo.2

Ministry

In March 1929, Tun Maung started his educational career at Karen Mission School in Kamamaung, Shwegon, by working in the office and teaching part-time. In 1934, he was sent to Yangon (formerly Rangoon) and served there for one year. He returned to Karen Mission School in 1935 to serve the school3 as a teacher. Again, he served only for a year as he was called to the Burma Union Mission office as an office employee where he worked for nineteen years from 1936 to 1955.4 His excellent work at the union mission led to an invitation to serve in the Ayeyarwaddy Mission, teaching in a seminary from 1955 to 1957.5 Then, he was sent to Hpa-an, Tanintharyi (formerly, Tenesserim) region for another teaching opportunity from 1957 to 1958.6

In addition to teaching, Tun Maung became a chaplain from 1958 to 1962 at the Yangon Seventh-day Adventist Hospital.7 In 1959, he was ordained to the gospel ministry.8 Following his ordination, he was promoted to the presidency of the Ayeyarwaddy (formerly Delta) Mission from 1963 to1964,9 followed by the Tanintharyi (formerly Tenesserim) Region from 1964 to 1966,10 and the Central Myanmar Mission from 1967 to 1970.11 His ability to speak three local dialects (Sgaw Karen, Pwo Karen, and Burmese) and one foreign language (English) fluently contributed to his success as a minister.

Later Life

Tun Maung served the Seventh-day Adventist Church for forty-two years. His ministry ranged from teaching and office work to Bible study,12 chaplaincy, evangelism, and mission administration.13 He retired on April 1, 1971.14 He enjoyed retirement for four more years before his death on January 11, 1975, at Hpa-an, Karen.

Sources

Burma Union Committee Minutes, 1963-1969. Myanmar Union Mission archives, Dagon, Myanmar.

M. Po. “New Churches Project Central Burma Orbit.” Southern Asia Tidings, 1971.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1935-1970.

Notes

  1. Workers Service Record, retained in the file for employing organization.

  2. Ibid.

  3. “Karen Mission School,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1935), 235.

  4. “Burma Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1945), 178.

  5. “Irrawaddy Delta Section,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1957), 172.

  6. “Irrawaddy Delta Section,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1959), 183.

  7. “Rangoon Seventh-day Adventist Hospital,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1960), 294.

  8. Ibid.; Workers Service Record.

  9. Burma Union Committee Minutes, 1963, Action No. 63-6.

  10. “Tenasserim Section,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1967), 218; Burma Union Committee Minutes, 1965, Action No. 65–7.

  11. Burma Union Committee Minutes, 1967, Action No. 67-6; 68-260; “Central Burma Section,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1970), 232.

  12. P. A. Parker, “Fruits are Ripening,” Southern Asia Tidings, 1964, 2.

  13. M. Po, “New Churches Project Central Burma Orbit,” Southern Asia Tidings, 1971, 1.

  14. Ibid.; Workers Service Record.

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Paul, Timothy Muna. "Tun Maung I (1909–1975)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 04, 2022. Accessed September 25, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIU4.

Paul, Timothy Muna. "Tun Maung I (1909–1975)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 04, 2022. Date of access September 25, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIU4.

Paul, Timothy Muna (2022, January 04). Tun Maung I (1909–1975). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 25, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIU4.