Fukien Mission (1917–1920)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: April 13, 2022

The Fukien 福建 (or Fujian) Province of China was entered by Seventh-day Adventist missionaries in 1905. Winferd Hankins (漢謹思) and his wife settled on the tiny island of Kulangsu 鼓浪屿 (Gulangyu), which was adjacent to Amoy 廈門 (Xiamen). Kulangsu was populated with many Europeans. A Chinese Seventh-day Adventist, N. P. Keh (Guo, Ziying 郭子颖), and his family were also living on the island.1 He proved to be a stalwart in advancing the cause of the mission, first as an interpreter and later as a leading evangelist. On October 13, 1906, the Kulangsu church was organized with a baptized membership of 17 adults.2

Another missionary, Benjamin Anderson (安理純), joined the evangelistic endeavors about 1906.3 Hankins was first named superintendent of what was called the Southern Mission Field in 1910, and Anderson was designated as the secretary of the education department.4 Literature distribution, public evangelism, and elementary schools were the three avenues for advancement. Separate schools were conducted for boys and girls. By 1914 Anderson had organized five schools with a total enrollment of 212 students.5

Mission efforts extended north to the coastal city of Foochow 福州 (Fuzhou) where, in July 1914, a second church was organized with 55 charter members.6 N. P. Keh and family had transferred to this city to nurture and strengthen the believers. It was reported in 1915 that the membership had grown to 87 and a small boarding school was functioning.7 Pioneer canvassers had also crossed to the island of Formosa (Taiwan) and were having success obtaining subscriptions for Shi Djao Yueh Bao (Signs of the Times).8

The Kulangsu and Foochow members met in rented chapels. The first church community in the Fukien Mission 福建区会 to acquire ownership of a chapel were the members at Chioh-be (Jiaomei) on the mouth of the Jinlong Jiang River in 1915.9

In 1917 the South China Mission was renamed the Fukien Mission, a subdivision of the South China Union Mission. Hankins remained the director with headquarters still at Kulangsu.10 In that same year a typhoon ripped through the area, destroying most of the mission property and forcing a rebuild.11

Development of the school system became a major focus. In February/March 1918 Elder William Prescott visited Amoy to conduct an institute for young men training as evangelists.12 In the same place the elementary school for boys had an enrollment of 140 and there were almost 100 in the school for girls.13 A two-story intermediate school was erected in Amoy. In 1919 this institution, known as the Sino-American Middle School of Amoy, enrolled nearly 100 students. Floyd Bates was the principal.14 Another intermediate school was conducted in Foochow by principal Clarence Morris with an enrollment of 120.15

With the reorganization of the China mission field in 1919, a division was made along language lines creating the Amoy Mission, with Hankins remaining as director at Kulangsu,16 and Morris installed as director of the Foochow Mission.17 This arrangement existed until 1922 when the Amoy Mission was renamed the South Fukien Mission18 and the Foochow Mission was renamed the North Fukien Mission.19

Sources

Anderson, Benjamin L. “Amoy, South China.” Asiatic Division Outlook, October 15, 1917.

Anderson, Benjamin L. “Foochow General Meeting.” Asiatic Division Mission News, September 1, 1914.

Anderson, Benjamin L. “South China Mission.” Asiatic Division Mission News, January 1, 1915.

Bates, Floyd E. “The Sino-American Middle School of Amoy.” Asiatic Division Outlook, August 1, 1919.

Hankins, Winferd C. “Another Church Organised in China.” ARH, January 17, 1907.

Hankins, Winferd C. “Entering Amoy, China.” ARH, August 31, 1905.

Hankins, Winferd C. “First Church Building in Fukien.” Asiatic Division Mission News, November 1, 1915.

Hankins, Winferd C. “Good General Meetings in Fukien.” Asiatic Division Mission News, October 1, 1915.

Hankins, Winferd C. “Primary Schools in the Fukien Province.” Asiatic Division Outlook, August 1, 1919.

Porter, Roscoe C. “Incidents of Travel.” Asiatic Division Mission News, October 15, 1915.

Prescott, William W. “The Institute at Amoy, South China.” Asiatic Division Outlook, April 1, 1918.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1906-1920.

Notes

  1. Winferd C. Hankins, “Entering Amoy, China,” ARH, August 31, 1905, 13-14.

  2. Winferd C. Hankins, “Another Church Organised in China,” ARH, January 17, 1907.

  3. “China Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1906), 87.

  4. “China Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1910), 133.

  5. Benjamin L. Anderson, “South China Mission,” Asiatic Division Mission News, January 1, 1915, 7-8.

  6. Benjamin L. Anderson, “Foochow General Meeting,” Asiatic Division Mission News, September 1, 1914, 3.

  7. R[oscoe] C. Porter, “Incidents of Travel,” Asiatic Division Mission News, October 15, 1915, 1.

  8. Winferd C. Hankins, “Good General Meeting in Fukien,” Asiatic Division Mission News, October 1, 1915, 2.

  9. Winferd C. Hankins, “First Church Building in Fukien,” Asiatic Division Mission News, November 1, 1915, 2.

  10. “Fukien Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1918), 163.

  11. Benjamin L. Anderson, “Amoy, South China,” Asiatic Division Outlook, October 15, 1917, 5, 7.

  12. William W. Prescott, “The Institute at Amoy, South China,” Asiatic Division Outlook, April 1, 1918, 3.

  13. Winferd C. Hankins, “Primary Schools In the Fukien Province,” Asiatic Division Outlook, August 1, 1919, 4.

  14. Floyd E. Bates, “The Sino-American Middle School of Amoy,” Asiatic Division Outlook, August 1, 1919, 2-3.

  15. Photograph, Asiatic Division Outlook, August 1, 1919, 5; “Foochow Intermediate School,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1919), 199.

  16. “Amoy Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1921), 115.

  17. “Foochow Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1921), 116.

  18. “South Fukien Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1923), 137.

  19. “North Fukien Mission, “Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1923), 137.

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Hook, Milton. "Fukien Mission (1917–1920)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 13, 2022. Accessed May 25, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CJGJ.

Hook, Milton. "Fukien Mission (1917–1920)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 13, 2022. Date of access May 25, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CJGJ.

Hook, Milton (2022, April 13). Fukien Mission (1917–1920). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 25, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CJGJ.