Lutherans On The Yangtze


Sixty fresh American seminary graduates voluntarily gave up American civilization’s emerging technology, glamor, health, efficient transportation, and telecommunication over 38 years to open schools, chapels, clinics, and orphanages in war-ravaged early 20th century China in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sent by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod during the days of The Great War, the Great Depression, and World War II, they opened and operated six major mission stations primarily along isolated reaches of the Yangtze River in Hupeh and Szechwan provinces. Raised in mostly German-English homes, they transitioned into speaking and writing Mandarin Chinese. Some became translators, all did wai-tang street preaching, managed schools, operated chapels, and bandaging injured fighters and treating tropical diseases.

Lutherans on the Yangtze is the result of six years of interviews, library and archival research, and on-site exploration in the search to tell the amazing centennial story of efforts in China by Missouri Synod Lutherans. The joy and strength of the Christian family evidenced itself in the tales, discussions, and witness of faithful men and women, and the combined efforts of adults and children to live out the Gospel in the unique geography of East Asia. And they experienced living an adventurous expatriate life amidst battles, evacuations, and raising large families.

Unsung heroes in this saga are the folks back home – family without regular news, auxiliary organizations raising funds and sending donated materials, sponsoring individual missionaries, generating radio broadcasts, administering a Board of Foreign Missions, and publicizing the “cause.”

Part One contains 300 photos, most never published, many discovered in forgotten dusty albums. Tables list arriving and departing staff, and eight maps clarify remote locations, in the language of the day. Most pin-yin equivalents are provided. Fully Indexed, with a glossary and bibliography.

Part Two continues the story, as evacuated missionaries in 1949 establish new fields of work among refugees in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, leading to the establishment of two Chinese Lutheran Synods, expansion into a full ministry of social services, and an establishment of local and International schools.

This is an account of interest to Asian scholars, Christians of many denominations, and students of adventure and faith.

You may buy Volume I at  Lutherans On The Yangtze

Volume II at  Volume II of Lutherans On The Yangtze

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