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Erik and Ida Pilquist in Chinese custume.

From Adventism in China Digital Image Repository. Accessed December 18, 2019.

Pilquist, Erik Karlsson (1857–1925) and Ida Henrietta (Gran) (b. 1867)

By Michael W. Campbell


Michael W. Campbell, Ph.D., is North American Division Archives, Statistics, and Research director. Previously, he was professor of church history and systematic theology at Southwestern Adventist University. An ordained minister, he pastored in Colorado and Kansas. He is assistant editor of The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia (Review and Herald, 2013) and currently is co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Seventh-day Adventism. He also taught at the Adventist International Institute for Advanced Studies (2013-18) and recently wrote the Pocket Dictionary for Understanding Adventism (Pacific Press, 2020).

First Published: April 20, 2022

Erik and Ida Pilquist were pioneer missionaries to China. Erik’s Chinese name was 畢勝道. He was described as having blue eyes, being rather short, and wearing a beard.1

Erik worked for several Bible societies as an independent missionary. At one point he played a pivotal role in the development of Adventist missions in China. After he discovered the seventh-day Sabbath in Sweden, he became totally self-supporting.

Ida was a stalwart missionary in her own right, although less is known about her life. She served because of a call for more missionaries to China. After marrying Erik, she remained a steadfast advocate on behalf of the women of China, training “Bible women” and starting girls’ schools.

Early Life and Missionary Work

Erik (also Eric or Erick) Karlsson Pilquist (also Pilqvist) was born April 24, 1857, in Stangafallet, Kafalla, Nora Parish, Orebo county, Sweden.2 His mother was Anna Christina Andersdotter (1836-1872). Ida Henrietta Gran was born December 2, 1867, in Stockholm, Sweden.3 In August 1881 Erik joined the Baptist Church in Nora village.4 In 1884 Erik and his employer, Carl Johan Lindblad, became members of a Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Örebro—a region known for its deep pietism and revivalism. He was baptized and became a charter member and one of two deacons elected as part of the Örebro Church in August 1885. (It is presumed that he met Ellen White who visited their community for two days while holding three meetings in October 1885,) On September 3, 1885, he was licensed as an Adventist colporteur. On June 18, 1886, he emigrated to the United States for the purpose of pursuing an education, arriving in New York City.5 He attended an Adventist school in Lincoln, Nebraska, and then John G. Matteson’s (1835-1896) school in Chicago.6 He received a missionary license from the Nebraska Conference in 1889 and, prior to leaving for China, he was a minister in Ottumwa, Iowa.7

Erik came under the influence of the charismatic Fredrik Fransson (1852-1908), a Swedish minister who had held meetings in his home village of Nora, Sweden. In 1890 Franson held meetings in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Omaha.8 It was also in 1890 that Erik was ordained by A. L. Anderson as a minister in the Church of Sweden.9 Franson recruited young Swedes for the China Inland Mission, in response to an 1889 plea by J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) for one thousand missionaries to be sent to China.10 Erik was in Lincoln, Nebraska, and didn’t even return to get his things in Iowa when he left by train within two hours of receiving the invitation to go to China. He left for China with a large group of 35 Swedish missionaries on January 21, 1891.11 Erik went as a representative of the Swedish Alliance (affiliated with the China Inland Mission).12 His future wife, Ida Gran, arrived in Shanghai on April 16, 1893, (where she first met Erik) under the auspices of the Christian Alliance.13 Both Erik and Ida came from very poor families: Erik from a small mining village north of Örebro and Ida from a slum south of Stockholm.14 Eric and Ida met in China and were married on April 1, 1895, at Kuci-hua-Ching by Rev. D. W. Le Lachine.15

As early as 1894 there is a note from Abram La Rue (1822-1903) describing a contact he had with a “Swedish missionary named Pilquist who has embraced the faith and work represented by our people. He is located 1,500 miles up the river from Shanghai.”16 By July 1895 the newlyweds moved to the northwestern province of Kansu, on a small strip of land that goes up to the Gobi Desert into Mongolia. At first they described themselves as discouraged, yet over time they began to search for believers taught by an earlier missionary who had left and they began to share their faith. Erik described preaching to farmers who often brought their farm implements and animals with them into the chapel.17 Meanwhile Ida would play “stringed instruments, and sing hymns, and also tell them [the women and children] the story of God’s infinite, enduring love.”18 Erik’s blue eyes and Ida’s unbound feet were a source of unending curiosity to the people.19

On June 14, 1897, Erik wrote a letter stating that his Sabbath keeping was a reason for separating himself from the Scandinavian Mission Alliance and the China Inland Mission. Erik expressed the hope that he could collaborate with Abram La Rue after he was disfellowshipped.20 In the interim he began work selling Bibles for the British and Foreign Bible Society. Eventually, Erik would play a significant role in the development of Adventist missions in China. A visit to the United States for furlough would provide an opportunity to personally challenge individuals like J. N. Anderson to go to China, and still later formed a catalyst for others to join him in mainland China. His missionary paradigm of self-supporting missionaries who adapted themselves to the people, wearing clothes and learning the customs, utilizing the model of the China Inland Mission, would become a powerful model incorporated by early Adventist missions.

On a personal level, the couple had two children before returning to the United States on furlough. No information exists about the one child other than that she died.21 Another surviving child, Hannah Elizabeth, was born April 15, 1897, in Ning-sha fu.22 Unfortunately, Erik’s health gave way, necessitating that they leave on furlough.23

Boxer Rebellion and Furlough

The Pilquists left China for San Francisco on the Empress of India in the summer of 1899, just narrowly avoiding the Boxer Rebellion.24 They traveled through the United States where they visited the Seventh-day Adventist headquarters at Battle Creek, Michigan. As he traveled, he shared with other Adventists about missionary work in China, appealing for more funds and missionaries, which created quite a stir about both the need and opportunity for Adventist missions in Asia. At one point the Scandinavian believers in Iowa voted to raise funds to sponsor the Pilquists in their missionary work.25 Erik also wrote a series of articles in church periodicals about life in China. Such articles talked about the role of women, particularly the practice of binding girls’ feet,26 the lives of children,27 New Year’s festivities,28 and details about potential mission life.

What initially was supposed to be a furlough of less than a year extended much longer, due to the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901). They next proceeded from Battle Creek to Sweden to visit family. They gave presentations on at least two occasions to Adventist groups meeting in their former home town in Sweden. Once again, they shared about their missionary work, sang several songs in Chinese, and solicited support.29

In addition to repeated calls by Abram La Rue, Erik became a significant catalyst urging the Seventh-day Adventist Church to send self-supporting missionaries to China. In a pivotal article titled “China Our Great Mission Field,” he called upon Adventists to follow the true missionary spirit of Christ to take the third angel’s message to the 400,000,000 beings in the “flowery land of Sinim.”30 Furthermore, the potential missionaries should not think that:

The Chinese language is hard to learn. It is not so. In a few days those hieroglyphics will become his best friends. Their smiling appearances will make him love them; and the thing one loves, he understands very soon, and will never forget. Without a good knowledge of the Chinese language, a missionary is of no account in China; because the Chinese use only their native tongue.31

Adventists had a unique opportunity, from Pilquist’s viewpoint, of starting work in China through self-supporting medical missionary work. He also noted that there was an additional huge opportunity for Adventist publishing. He noted, in the year before he left, that he sold more than 60,000 Bibles or New Testaments and 17,000 Scripture calendars. Publications, medical missionaries, and teachers were what would help Adventism solidify a missionary presence in this land.32

While in Battle Creek, the Pilquists had their second daughter, Ellen Maria Josefina Pilquist, who was born in August 1899. In April 1902 the Pilquists returned to China.33 It appears that at this point they had made the decision to officially affiliate their missionary work under the auspices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Now the British and Foreign Bible Society asked them to locate in Honan Province called Sin Iang Cheo.34 As a result of the visit to Battle Creek, the Foreign Mission Board invited Erik Pilquist “to connect with our mission work in China, as soon as he consistently can do so.”35 Erik noted that if he switched his affiliation that he would be required to refund the Bible Society that sponsored him for his travel.36 As part of the switch, they agreed to replace his wages at $13 per month.37 Part of the delay was due to the British and Foreign Bible Society request that the transition be delayed until they could have another missionary replace him in China.38

Seventh-day Adventist Mission Work

Under the new arrangement, Erik was officially released from the auspices of the British and Foreign Bible Study to work as a Seventh-day Adventist missionary on December 31, 1902.39 Once this arrangement was complete, J. N. Anderson (1867-1958), Emma Anderson (1865-1925), and Ida Thompson (1870-1939) arrived in Hong Kong on February 2, 1902. They exchanged letters and made plans to visit one another.40 This visit finally took place February 4-22, 1903, when Anderson traveled to Sin Iang Cheo, 125 miles north of Hankow. Emma Anderson described the journey:

From Hongkong, we traveled eight hundred miles by steamer to Shanghai, thence by river steamer six hundred miles up the Yangtze River to Hankow. The last one hundred miles from Hankow was made over the Belgian Railway to Sin Iang Chio, whence we were transferred by wheelbarrows to San-li-ti-en. That is, our baggage was transferred. For when we saw the kind of conveyance that had been provided, we ourselves suddenly preferred exercise.41

On Sabbath, February 14, Anderson baptized six individuals in a stream just outside the city wall, and afterward he organized the first Seventh-day Adventist Church in China.42

In Pilquist’s first report of his work to the Adventist denomination after officially becoming an Adventist missionary, he noted his itinerant travels around China to share his faith. He shared with Adventist believers how he had opened up three preaching stations in other cities, besides the work at their headquarters in Sin Iang. In each of these places there were small groups of believers. “I sent them Bible lessons written on a sheet of paper,” he wrote, “and in that way they are able to study by themselves when I have no time to be with them.” He started a boys’ school with a teacher, Mr. Fan, and an evangelist, Chai.

My wife also takes part in the work. While I am out traveling, she leads the meetings at home. She also travels with me sometimes. Then she and the two girls ride on the wheelbarrow while I walk…. We are here to work, not to seek pleasures. I am glad we are able in this way to proclaim the last warning message to China’s dying millions…. I am doing all I can to teach and train good Christian men to help me in the work.43

In a letter quoted by W. A. Spicer, he further elaborated about his ministry from about the time just before his transition to becoming an official Adventist missionary:

Bible studies are held at my station every day. I have a teacher here who fully believes the Word of God and calls the Sabbath his delight. Several others also rejoice in the Bible truth. One young, good-hearted man who is out selling Scriptures for me said the other day, ‘Pastor, this is the best time I have ever had in my life. Now I see the word of God shineth brighter than the sun. The Bible class is a small heaven. I am unwilling to get out from here; but I will go and let all I meet on the road know what I have seen and heard.’

God is our salvation. His work will prosper if we faithfully do our part. From the first of January 1903, and until Jesus comes, I am, according to His and your calling, a worker under the direction of the Seventh-day Adventist Mission Board. I am in full harmony with the truth and love my brethren.44

He furthermore noted that his previous work had gotten him in trouble with his superiors because of his talking about the seventh-day Sabbath and not eating pork. He told them: “When you intrusted [sic] me to be a distributor of your society’s Scripture, I promised on my part to do my best to let the people of all classes know what is in the Book you intrusted [sic] to me.”45 This created a strong self-supporting aspect to his ministry that made Erik a bold missionary for starting missionary work, but also someone who was difficult to manage or to control. With this report he also enclosed copies of a new hymn book he prepared, replete with 130 translated hymns, from a print run of 200 copies. He also printed 200 copies of the very first Sabbath calendar.46 He made a personal appeal once again to the Seventh-day Adventist Church for medical missionaries and a printing press, urging specifically that Dr. Arthur Selmon (1877-1931) come to China as a missionary.47

Erik made continued strong appeals for more missionaries and a printing press. As a direct result, a group of six missionaries (Arthur and Bertha Selmon, Harry W. and Maude Miller, Carrie Ericksen, and Charlotte Simpson) arrived in China in late 1903. They felt it was a providential answer to prayer that a firm in Chicago donated a Washington Hand Press that went to pioneer the church’s publishing work in Asia.48 When the missionaries arrived on October 24, 1903, J. N. Anderson met them and helped them find supplies and Chinese clothing. They met Pilquist in Hankow who went with them by train, boat, and wheelbarrow to Sin-tsai Hsien (now called Xincai 新蔡) where they arrived on November 7, 1903. Unfortunately, Pilquists’ Swedish was better than his English, making it difficult for them to learn Chinese.49 At the 1903 General Conference Session, J. N. Anderson was authorized to ordain Erik Pilquist to the gospel ministry and give him credentials.50 This second ordination occurred in October 1903.51 Pilquist served as a regular guide for these new missionaries, once again utilizing the model of the China Inland Mission to adopt the clothes and culture, and to incarnationally (following the example of Christ) conduct missionary work. When John J. Westrup (1863-1945) and family first arrived in China, once again Erik was there to meet them, help them find clothes and supplies, and take them to their new missionary location.52

When the Adventist missionaries (Selmon/Miller/Ericksen/Simpson) separated into different areas, about ten months after the group of six arrived, the Pilquists located 50 miles south to Loh Shan [Losan] Hsien (羅山) in October 1903. Here they started a boys’ school and helped train a native Chinese teacher and another evangelist to help them. They would remain here for the next five years, building up a strong missionary presence in this town and region.53 In January 1904 Ida experienced a dramatic healing. She had been sick with malaria and then caught tuberculosis. Her husband, Erik, was sick, too. Fortunately, Carrie Ericksen and Dr. Maude Miller came from neighboring missions to help her. Her fever and health deteriorated until she was on the verge of death. She had a bedside experience where she confessed her sins. She described what happened:

To the brethren and sisters I expressed a desire that on Sabbath, January 23, they should pray for and anoint me according to the instruction in James 5:14-16…. My husband reminded us of the first year in China, when I became deathly sick, but was restored through the healing power of God. The brethren and sisters prayed for my restoration, and we felt the presence of Jesus and his angels and experienced a rich measure of the Holy Spirit…. The Great Physician had been with me, with his life-giving divine power, and had healed me, yes, he redeemed my life from the grave.54

At the 1905 General Conference Session it was reported that the Pilquists had “forty-one baptisms for last year, with a church organized at Losan. Sister Pilquist has a girls’ school, and works for the women. Extensive work is also carried on in the surrounding villages, in the way of preaching and distributing Bibles and other literature.”55 Of significance, while located here, Erik produced a tract translated into Chinese titled in English, Questions and Answers on the First Sixteen Chapters of Genesis (ca. 1905). Erik attempted in a culturally sensitive way to share his faith with the Chinese in northern China.56

Later Years and Controversy

On May 13, 1908, the four Pilquists arrived once again in Seattle, Washington, on the USS Minnesota.57 They headed first to Lincoln, Nebraska, so that Erik could recover from “debilitating rheumatism” and so that his daughters could benefit from an Adventist education.58 Hannah and Ellen were noted for their fluency in Swedish, English, and Chinese.59 Erik and Ida’s names appeared for the last time in the 1908 Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook.60

In 1909 the General Conference Committee voted for Erik “of College View to labor in California for the Chinese, under the support of the California Conference or the Pacific Union.”61 The whole family appears in the 1910 United States Federal Census where they are listed as living in Fresno, California.62 At some point in late 1910, the Pilquist family returned to China. For a while the Pilquists worked with the Allum family doing missionary work in Nanking, but were unable to get along with some of these newer missionaries.63 The General Conference Committee voted in 1911 “to return” the Pilquist family “to American at General Conference expense for transportation, at any time they may decide to discontinue his services.”64

The Pilquist family returned to the United States once again, leaving Hong Kong on June 30, 1911.65 They arrived in San Francisco on July 27, 1911, headed to Tacoma, Washington.66 Upon his return to the United States he severed ties with the Adventist denomination, even though he appears to have remained active in ministry.67 He is mentioned, for example, as speaking at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, in 1911, in Tacoma, Washington.68

After their return from China, at some point it appears their family life fell apart. Ida wrote to church leaders that “things too dreadful to be mentioned had come to my knowledge,” suggesting some kind of indiscretion.69 In 1917 Ida Pilquist received a divorce from Erik Pilquist for failure to support her.70 Erik appears to have joined the Pentecostal movement and had a vision that God had called him to return to China as a missionary, presumably in 1912.71 Ida’s name appears in the 1913, 1915, and 1917 Tacoma City directories, but after 1920 disappears; Ida’s name appears without Erik, and the 1915 directory lists daughter, Hannah, as living with her.72 On May 1, 1918, Ellen married James Edward Scott (1883-1962) in Tacoma, Washington.73 Hannah, who also went by Anna, married Addie Edward Ukini (1901-1963) on October 29, 1925, in Oakland, California.74 Ellen died in 1927 and Hannah lived until 1994.75

Upon his return to China Erik worked as an independent quasi-Pentecostal Adventist missionary around Beijing.76 He had a significant influence upon Bernt Bernsten (1863-1933) who would in turn play a significant role in the emerging Apostolic Faith movement in North China.77 According to Edgar Charles Steinberg (1884-1972), Erik received his spirit baptism in the autumn of 1914. Pilquist would write regular reports to various Pentecostal periodicals such as The Weekly Evangel and The Bridegroom’s Messenger soliciting funds for missionary work. He described himself: “I am a lonely, independent mission worker who belongs to no organization.”78 Both Pilquist and Bernsten had loose affiliations with the Church of God Seventh Day. Erik also played a role in the conversion of Wang Ming-Dao (1900-1991) to righteousness by faith, showing ecumenical links with early Pentecostal Christianity in China (Wang described him as an eccentric person who wore “extremely untidy clothes”).79 He added that he was “very poor and sickly” so he “visited him often to care for his needs.”80 According to him, the elderly Swede passed away in November 1925.81

Conventional Adventist historiography has treated the Pilquists as having converted to Adventism about the time J. N. Anderson arrived in China. It is certainly true that Erik took a more independent approach to Adventism, affiliating with various missionary societies as he saw best. In 2014 Lawrence Onsager corrected this historiographical deficiency by pointing out that Erik converted to Adventism long before—while he was still in Sweden—and essentially worked as an independent and self-supporting missionary sharing his various convictions as he saw best.82 Tragically, his strong will and independent spirit ultimately led to his severing ties with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and even his family.


Anderson, Emma. With Our Missionaries in China. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1920.

Biographical Information Blank, Erik Pilquist, December 23, 1905. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

Clart, Philip and Gregory Adam Scott, Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, 1800-2012. De Gruyter, 2015.

Höschele, Stefan and Chigemezi N. Wogu, eds. Contours of European Adventism: Issues in the History of the Denomination on the Old Continent. Theologische Hochschule Friedensau, 2000.

Lee, Joseph Tse-Hei and Christie Chui-Shan Chow. “Publishing Prophecy: A Century of Adventist Print Culture in China.” in Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, eds. Philip Clart and Gregory Adam Scott (Munich, Germany: De Gruyter, 2015), 51-90.

Lian, Xi. Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010.

Lo, Bruce W. “Eric Pilquist,” c. 2013. [accessed 12/10/21].

Miller, Maude A. “The Women of China,” The Welcome Visitor, June 1, 1904, 1.

Moore, Raymond S. China Doctor: The Life Story of Harris Willis Miller. Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1969.

Nagel, Florence. “Eric Pilquist.” [accessed 12/10/21].

Onsager, Lawrence W. “On Fire in China, The Story of Erik Pilquist, Pioneer Adventist Missionary to China.” Adventism in China Conference, Hong Kong Adventist College, October 31, 2014.

Onsager, Lawrence W. “J. N. Anderson’s China Diary.” Adventist Heritage 49, no. 1 (Spring 1984): 22-24.

Pilquist, Eric. “China Our Great Mission Field.” ARH, August 29, 1899.

Pilquist, Uncle Erik. “Experiences in Kansu, II.” YI, November 23, 1899.

Pilquist, Erik. “A Message from Inland China.” ARH, February 4, 1904.

Pilquist, Erik. “Pictures from Real Life in China.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 9, 1900.

Pilquist, Erik. “A Testimony from Honan.” ARH, March 16, 1905.

Pilquist, Erik. “A Voice from Honan, China.” ARH, December 16, 1902.

Pilquist, Ida. “Experiences in China.” ST, April 29, 1908.

Pilquist, Ida. “Little Miss Ho.” The Youth’s Instructor, December 6, 1904.

Pilquist, Ida. “What the Lord Has Done for Me Personally.” ARH, May 26, 1904.

Tiedemann, Rolf Gerhard. “The Advance of Pentecostalism in China, 1907-1937.” in Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity: Historical Essays in Honor of Brian Stanley, eds. Alexander Chow and Emma Wild-Wood (Brill, 2020), 195-220.


  1. “From the Diary of Our Missionaries to China,” The Welcome Visitor, January 13, 1904, 1.

  2. There are conflicting dates, but the earliest document is the church records in Sweden for which this date is based. See Yvonne Joster to Lawrence Onsager, August 27, 2014.

  3. See Yvonne Joster to Lawrence Onsager, February 24, 2015; 1910 United States Federal Census; Year: 1910; Census Place: Fresno Ward 6, Fresno, California; Roll: T624_75, 4B; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 1374088 [accessed from 12/5/21].

  4. Biographical Information Blank, Erik Pilquist, December 23, 1905, General Conference Archives.

  5. Swedish Emigration Records, 1783-1951 [accessed from 12/6/21].

  6. Biographical Information Blank, Erik Pilquist, December 23, 1905, General Conference Archives.

  7. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook of Statistics for 1889, Comprising the Classified Business Proceedings of the General Conference, the International Tract Society, the International Sabbath School Association, the American Health and Temperance Association, Denominational Publishing Houses, Colleges, Etc., Supplemented with a Department of General Information, Interspersed with Practical Comments on the Proposed Religious Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (Battle Creek, MI: Review and Herald, 1889), 32.

  8. See Lawrence W. Onsager, “On Fire in China, The Story of Erik Pilquist, Pioneer Adventist Missionary to China,” Adventism in China Conference, Hong Kong Adventist University, October 31, 2014.

  9. Biographical Information Blank, Erik Pilquist, December 23, 1905, General Conference Archives.

  10. A brief reference to his conviction to preach and go to China appears in Josephine Princell, Missionär Fredrik Franssons Lif och verksamhet (Chicago: Chicago-Bladet Publishing Co., 1909), 127.

  11. “En Route for China,” The San Francisco Call, January 22, 1891, 7; “Labourers in China,” Australasian Signs of the Times, November 23, 1903, 566.

  12. For more details, see “En Route for China: Arrival in the City of Thirty-five Swedish Missionaries,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 22, 1891, 7.

  13. “Labourers in China,” Australasian Signs of the Times, November 23, 1903, 566.

  14. Stefan Höschele and Chigemezi N. Wogu, eds., Contours of European Adventism: Issues in the History of the Denomination on the Old Continent (Theologische Hochschule Friedensau, 2000), 63.

  15. Biographical Information Blank, Erik Pilquist, December 23, 1905, General Conference Archives.

  16. See note in ARH, December 18, 1894, 300.

  17. Uncle Erik Pilquist, “Experiences in Kansu,” YI, November 16, 1899, 543.

  18. Uncle Erik Pilquist, “Experiences in Kansu, II,” YI, November 23, 1899, 549

  19. Uncle Erik Pilquist, “Experiences in Kansu, II,” YI, November 23, 1899, 550.

  20. Erik Pilquist, “From China,” Missionären, August 1897, 75.

  21. Biographical Information Blank, Erik Pilquist, December 23, 1905, General Conference Archives.

  22. See biographical information available at: [12/5/21]

  23. The Ninety-Sixth Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for the Year Ending MDCCCC (London, E.C., The Bible House, 1900), 258.

  24. “Passengers. Departed,” The North-China Herald and Supreme Court & Consular Gazette [Shanghai], July 3, 1899, 43.

  25. “The General Scandinavian Meeting in Sioux City,” ARH, December 19, 1899, 325.

  26. Uncle Erik Pilquist, “Chinese Girls,” YI, October 19, 1899, 511.

  27. Uncle Erik Pilquist, “Chinese Children,” YI, November 9, 1899, 535.

  28. Erik Pilquist, “Pictures from Real Life in China: The New Year,” The Youth’s Instructor, July 26, 1900, 237-238; idem., “Pictures from Real Life in China: New Year’s Night,” The Youth’s Instructor, August 2, 1900, 241.

  29. J. N. Loughborough, “Scandinavia,” ARH, August 21, 1900, 539-540.

  30. Eric Pilquist, “China Our Great Mission Field,” ARH, August 29, 1899, 10.

  31. Eric Pilquist, “China Our Great Mission Field,” ARH, August 29, 1899, 10.

  32. Eric Pilquist, “China Our Great Mission Field,” ARH, August 29, 1899, 10.

  33. A note under “Arrivals” notes the arrival of Mrs. Pilquist and children on April 19, 1902. See The Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal, May 1902, 264. It appears that Erik Pilquist arrived about two weeks earlier. See: “Passengers, &c.,” The North-China Herald and Supreme Court & Consular Gazette, April 2, 1902, 662.

  34. [J. N. Anderson], “China,” Australasian Signs of the Times, June 22, 1903, 298.

  35. Foreign Mission Board Minutes, April 28, 1901, 4.

  36. Foreign Mission Board Minutes, January 15, 1902, 40.

  37. Foreign Mission Board Minutes, May 15, 1902, 67.

  38. Mrs. J. N. [Emma] Anderson, “Our Work in China,” ARH, February 10, 1903, 11-12.

  39. J. N. Anderson, “From China,” Pacific Union Recorder, April 23, 1903, 6.

  40. J. N. Anderson, “From China,” Pacific Union Recorder, April 23, 1903, 6; See also the note of an exchange of letters and an anticipated visit by Pilquist to Shanghai to see his family, J. N. Anderson, “China,” ARH, May 6, 1902, 19.

  41. Emma Anderson, With Our Missionaries in China (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1920), 32.

  42. J. N. Anderson, “Central China,” ARH, May 5, 1903, 11.

  43. Erik Pilquist, “A Letter from Honan, China,” ARH, July 21, 1903, 15.

  44. W. A. Spicer, “Hymns of Zion in a Strange Land,” Union Conference Record, Feb. 15, 1903, 8.

  45. E. Pilquist, “A Voice from Honan, China,” ARH, December 16, 1902, 14; Reprinted as: E. Pilquist, “A Voice from Honan, China,” Union Conference Record, March 1, 1903, 3.

  46. Erik Pilquist, “A Letter from Honan, China,” ARH, July 21, 1903, 15; see also W. A. S[picer], “Hymns of Zion in a Strange Land,” ARH, December 23, 1902, 5.

  47. Erik Pilquist, “A Letter from Honan, China,” ARH, July 21, 1903, 15. For background on the development of Adventist publishing, see Joseph Tse-Hei Lee and Christie Chui-Shan Chow, “Publishing Prophecy: A Century of Adventist Print Culture in China,” in Religious Publishing and Print Culture in Modern China, eds. Philip Clart and Gregory Adam Scott (Munich, Germany: De Gruyter, 2015), 51-90.

  48. “Missionary,” The Welcome Visitor, July 29, 1903, 2.

  49. H. W. Miller, “Mission Life in China Not All Sunshine,” Pacific Union Recorder, Feb. 23, 1905, 6.

  50. 1903 General Conference Bulletin, April 12, 1903, 216.

  51. Biographical Information Blank, Erik Pilquist, December 23, 1905, General Conference Archives.

  52. John J. Westrup, “New Recruits for China,” ARH, November 30, 1905, 14-15.

  53. They are listed as missionaries here in 1908. See Directory of Protestant Missionaries in China, Japan & Corea for the Year 1908 (London: The Hongkong Daily Press Office, 1908), 32.

  54. Ida Pilquist, “What the Lord Has Done for Me Personally,” ARH, May 26, 1904, 14.

  55. J. N. Anderson, “A Report of the China Mission Field,” ARH, May 25, 1905, 21-22.

  56. “Chinese Publications,” The Signs of the Times, August 2, 1905, 16.

  57. Washington, U.S., Arriving and Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1965 [accessed from 12/5/21].

  58. 1909 General Conference Bulletin, May 23, 1909, 186.

  59. The Educational Messenger, August 28, 1908, 6.

  60. 1908 Year Book of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination: The Official Directories (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1908), 17, 19.

  61. General Conference Executive Committee Minutes, June 13, 1909, 36. The published version appears as: “Committee Actions,” ARH, July 1, 1909, 24.

  62. 1910 United States Federal Census; Year: 1910; Census Place: Fresno Ward 6, Fresno, California; Roll: T624_75; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 1374088 [accessed from 12/5/21].

  63. [F. A. Allum], “Encouraging Word from China,” Union Conference Record, 3; R. F. Cottrell, “East China Mission,” ARH, Oct. 20, 1910, 6.

  64. Foreign Mission Board Minutes, March 27, 1911, 369.

  65. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii, compiled 02/13/1900 - 12/30/1953; National Archives Microfilm Publication: A3422; Roll: 030; Record Group Title: Records of the [accessed from 12/5/21].

  66. California, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959 [accessed from 12/5/21].

  67. Ida Pilquist to W. A. Spicer, November 26, 1913, General Conference Archives, Secretariat Incoming Letters, Box 55, 1212-P to 1913-A.

  68. The News Tribune, October 14, 1911, 6 [accessed from 12/5/21].

  69. Ida Pilquist to W. A. Spicer, November 26, 1913, General Conference Archives, Secretariat Incoming Letters, Box 55, 1212-P to 1913-A.

  70. See “Four Couples Divorced,” The Tacoma Daily Ledger (Tacoma, Washington), July 7, 1917, 3; “New Divorce Suits Filed,” The Tacoma Daily Ledger (Tacoma, Washington), April 13, 1917, 6 [accessed from 12/1/21).

  71. E. Pilquist to Mrs. Pilquist, October 12, 1912, General Conference Archives, Secretariat Incoming Letters, Box 55, 1212-P to 1913-A.

  72. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Tacoma, Washington, City Directory, 298 [accessed from 12/5/21].

  73. Washington, U.S., County Marriages, 1855-2008 [accessed from 12/5/21]

  74. California, U.S., Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014 [accessed 12/5/21].

  75. [accessed 12/5/21].

  76. Georgina Giles, “Fire and Water: The Middle Years of Wang Ming Dao,” Evangelical Times, August 1999. Accessed from 12/5/21].

  77. Rolf Gerhard Tiedemann, “The Advance of Pentecostalism in China, 1907-1937,” in Ecumenism and Independency in World Christianity: Historical Essays in Honor of Brian Stanley, eds. Alexander Chow and Emma Wild-Wood (Brill, 2020), 200.

  78. Cited in Ibid.

  79. [accessed 12/6/21]

  80. Martyrs of the Faith (Singapore: Calvary Pandan Bible-Presbyterian Church, 2016), 49. Accessed from [accessed 12/6/21].

  81. Ibid., 49.

  82. Lawrence W. Onsager, “On Fire in China, The Story of Erik Pilquist, Pioneer Adventist Missionary to China,” Adventism in China Conference, October 31, 2014.


Campbell, Michael W. "Pilquist, Erik Karlsson (1857–1925) and Ida Henrietta (Gran) (b. 1867)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 20, 2022. Accessed May 25, 2024.

Campbell, Michael W. "Pilquist, Erik Karlsson (1857–1925) and Ida Henrietta (Gran) (b. 1867)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 20, 2022. Date of access May 25, 2024,

Campbell, Michael W. (2022, April 20). Pilquist, Erik Karlsson (1857–1925) and Ida Henrietta (Gran) (b. 1867). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 25, 2024,