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East Asia Association and its predecessor, Eastern Asia Committee, were important administrative entities formed in response to the complex challenges the Seventh-day Adventist Church faced due to changes in China’s attitude toward Christianity and the western world during the post-Cultural Revolution era of the late 1970s to 1990s.
Walter Emslie and Helen Agnes Gillis devoted thirty years of service to the foreign mission fields in Asia. Walter is often remembered as the pioneer missionary who was responsible for the development and construction of major Seventh-day Adventist mission headquarters compounds in Shanghai and Xi’an in China; Seoul in Korea; and Singapore in Southeast Asia. Also, as the early manager of the Signs of the Times Publishing Houses in these countries, he was also responsible for building up the publishing ministries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong, Zijie (洪子杰), also known as Ang Tau Kiet, was the second indigenous Chinese Seventh-day Adventist minister ordained in China.
American missionary in The United States, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan from 1927 until 1984. Smith’s husband Herbert was murdered by bandits in China weeks after arriving at their first mission posting as young newlyweds and young parents. Mrs. Smith remained in Asia as a missionary for most of the next forty-seven years.
American missionary to China from 1902 to 1931, Ida Thompson opened the first Adventist school in China – Bethel Girls School in Canton (Guangzhou). That school became what is now Hong Kong Adventist College.