OMF International Celebrates Anniversary of Founder

A global network of Christians serving throughout East Asia is observing the 100th anniversary of the death a man who had labored for over 50 years to bring the gospel to China.

It was on June 3, 1905, that OMF International’s founder, James Hudson Taylor, ended his days, slipping quietly away in Changsa - the capital of China’s Hunan Province - after a tea party held in his honor.

“His achievements are formidable, for the seed sown in tears and watered with blood resulted in an abundant harvest,” wrote Gary Clayton, Managing Editor of East Asia's Billions – the magazine of OMF International.

“In 1865 there was no Christian church anywhere in the interior of China,” Clayton continued. “In 1910, five years after Taylor’s death, the China Inland Mission (later named OMF International) had founded 611 organized churches throughout China, with a total of over 20,000 communicant members. By 1915, churches founded by a large variety of missions existed in every province as well as in Manchuria, Mongolia and Turkestan.”

According to OMF International, the total of annual baptisms in 1865 had been only 400. In 1895 the figure had risen to 700. In 1905 it reached 2,500 and continued to mount in the following years.

“Today, 100 years after the death of this eminent Victorian, the mission Taylor founded in 1865 with ‘£10 and all the promises of God’ continues to advance,” Clayton wrote.

“The gospel continues to spread throughout China at a rate Taylor could only have dreamed of and even countries closed to the gospel are now opening the door to Christians with the right professional skills and qualifications to serve in East Asia.”

Currently, OMF International reports that nearly 1,300 missionaries from 30 nations are working with the organization throughout East Asia, and serving in Western nations where East Asians work or study. Clayton says 100 years after the death of its "dear and venerable Pastor," Taylor’s descendants remain committed to Christ and are still active in the work of OMF.