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Landis wedding photo.

Photograph courtesy of Irma E. Landis, Matthews Phillips, and Darlene Gilnockie.

Landis, Frederick Amos (1894–1983) and Chloe Bell (Buchanan) (1895–1972)

By Michael W. Campbell

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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 6, 2023

Frederick Amos Landis (Chinese name 藍富德, pinyin Lán Fùdé) was a carpenter and builder; Chloe Bell Buchanan was a teacher. The two spent a significant portion of their lives as missionaries in China.

Early Life

Frederick Landis, known to his friends simply as Fred, was born March 19, 1894, in Battle Creek, Michigan, to Henry (1852-1934) and Mary (Caldwell) (1858-1936) Landis. Chloe Buchanan was born April 4, 1895, in College View, Nebraska. She was baptized in 1907 and attended the Lodi Normal Institute (graduating in 1913). The couple married on May 16, 1916. Early on Landis began to teach industrial work at Mountain View Academy.1 Frederick and Chloe returned to school, where they both graduated from Pacific Union College in 1923. Their first child, Irma, was born there on January 9, 1924. Chloe was an elementary school teacher and college elementary supervisor before they left as missionaries.

Service

The Landis family received a call to serve as missionaries in China. Frederick was tasked with teaching industrial arts at Shanghai Missionary College.2 They left on August 14, 1924, on the “Empress of Canada” from Vancouver.3 Once they arrived, they began by learning the language. They participated in preparations to move the old Shanghai Missionary College on Ningkuo Road compound to the new college site at Chiao Tou Djen, about 200 miles northwest. With Frederick’s background in construction, he would play a pivotal role in the development of the new campus, especially in supervising the construction of new buildings.4 Frederick served on the faculty as superintendent of industries at the college, teaching students various work skills and supervising industries that allowed students to be able to work their way through school.5 Soon after they left, Frederick’s older brother, Dr. Charles C. Landis (1882-1958), went to serve at the Shanghai Sanitarium.6 Their second child, Norma, was born at the sanitarium that same year on July 27, 1926.

Frederick Landis went with Paul Quimby (1894-1987) during the 1927 Nanjing Incident by bicycle from the Shanghai Training School into Nanjing to secure protection for the school’s property. He was one of seven Adventist missionaries who narrowly escaped down the city wall and evacuated by military boats down the Yangtze River. They subsequently returned to the school to evacuate their fellow missionaries. In the wake of the uprising, Landis was tasked with constructing the new Far Eastern Division headquarters at Ningkuo Road in Shanghai.7 Once this was completed, they returned to the China Training Institute, where he oversaw a manufacturing industry on campus. Over the previous two years, he noted, it had become entirely self-supporting and generated income for some fifty students to earn their way through school.8

The Landis family went on furlough on June 14, 1931, for a year.9 They returned to China on July 26, 1932, on the Taiyo Maru.10 Once they returned to China, Landis became business manager of the Chinese Junior College.11 Once again, they served primarily at the Shanghai Training School. Their third child, Derwin, was born May 9, 1939, at the Shanghai Sanitarium.

Once again, the school had to be evacuated due to the Sino-Japanese war, and all foreigners had to leave for their safety. Landis and Quimby were the last two to stay on the property after everyone else had gone. The intensifying war meant that within a week they too finally evacuated to join their families in Hong Kong.12 They subsequently went on furlough. On July 14, 1939, the family returned once again to serve in China.13

With the outbreak of World War II, they returned to the United States, where Landis became head of the Industrial Department at Loma Linda Academy.14 After the war, Landis was invited to return as business manager (treasurer) of the China Training Institute.15 Chloe was the elementary school teacher for the expatriate children on campus.16 Frederick also served briefly as manager of the Shanghai Sanitarium.17 They served until the Communist Revolution in 1949 necessitated the evacuation of all expatriate missionaries. The Landis family was on the third chartered plane of Adventist missionaries that left December 16, 1949.18 At this point they moved to Pacific Union College, where Landis was put in charge of building the new men’s dormitory. He afterward stayed on as director of construction for the school. Their daughter Norma (1926-2010) married Warren Hilliard (1922-1985), who was a child of missionaries, and they served as missionaries in Japan.19

Contribution

Chloe died March 5, 1972.20 Frederick died March 14, 1983, at age 88, in Simi, California.21 They are buried next to each other in Montecito Memorial Cemetery in Colton, California.22 In two decades of missionary service they had been evacuated numerous times, yet they kept returning to serve when the opportunity arose. Their friends called Frederick an “old China hand”23 because of his consistent loyalty and dedication, particularly to the China Training Institute.

Sources

“Address of Workers.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 1925.

“Chloe Landis Dies After Long Illness.” Redlands Daily Facts, March 6, 1972.

Cormack, A. W. “China Carries On.” ARH, October 28, 1937.

General Conference Committee Minutes, 1923, 1942, 1946.

Interdivision Employee File, “Landis, F. A.” ID #46279, December 31, 1953, redacted for personal information. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.

“Landis, Frederick.” Obituary, ARH, April 14, 1983.

“Landis, Chloe Buchanan.” Obituary, ARH, May 4, 1972.

“Landis, Chloe.” Obituary, Pacific Union Recorder, June 5, 1972.

Notes

  1. “Mountain View Academy and Church School,” Pacific Union Recorder, July 10, 1924, 3.

  2. General Conference Committee Minutes, June 12, 1923, 371.

  3. “Recent Missionary Sailings,” ARH, August 28, 1924, 16.

  4. See a note in “Address of Workers,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 1925, 12.

  5. “Constituency Meetings of China Theological Seminary—February 16, 17, and 26, 1928,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, May and June 1928, 12.

  6. “Sailing August 14 for the Far East,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, August 1924, 12.

  7. “For Building Work at Division Headquarters Compound,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, June 1927, 12.

  8. [F. A. Landis], “Heard at Chiao Tou Djen During the Annual Meeting of the Board of the China Theological Seminary April 3-6, 1930,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, August 1930, 8.

  9. “Departures,” The China Division Reporter, August-September 1931, 8.

  10. “Missionary Sailings,” ARH, August 18, 1932, 24.

  11. See note, Pacific Union Recorder, July 28, 1932, 8.

  12. A. W. Cormack, “China Carries On,” ARH, October 28, 1937, 20.

  13. “Missionary Sailings,” ARH, August 3, 1939, 24.

  14. General Conference Committee Minutes, August 6, 1942, 538.

  15. General Conference Committee Minutes, June 27, 1946, 35.

  16. C. A. Schutt, “Tested and Found Faithful,” “China Training Institute,” Youth Instructor, January 3, 1950, 22.

  17. “News and Notes,” ARH, March 13, 1947, 24.

  18. “Evacuation News,” The China Division Reporter, January 1949, 8.

  19. W. P. Bradley, “Recent Missionary Departures,” ARH, July 28, 1955, 32.

  20. “Chloe Landis Dies After Long Illness,” Redlands Daily Facts, March 6, 1972, 4.

  21. Obituary, ARH, April 14, 1983, 23.

  22. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/145449919/frederick-amos-landis and https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/145450037/chloe-belle-landis [accessed 12/29/22]

  23. C. A. Schutt, “Tested and Found Faithful,” “China Training Institute,” Youth Instructor, January 3, 1950, 22.

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Campbell, Michael W. "Landis, Frederick Amos (1894–1983) and Chloe Bell (Buchanan) (1895–1972)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 06, 2023. Accessed May 23, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=G8H1.

Campbell, Michael W. "Landis, Frederick Amos (1894–1983) and Chloe Bell (Buchanan) (1895–1972)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 06, 2023. Date of access May 23, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=G8H1.

Campbell, Michael W. (2023, April 06). Landis, Frederick Amos (1894–1983) and Chloe Bell (Buchanan) (1895–1972). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 23, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=G8H1.