World Presbyterian Missions

You are currently browsing articles tagged World Presbyterian Missions.

Our God Is Faithful, from Generation to Generation.

On this blog, now nearing the end of its second year, we have on numerous occasions made use of the news clippings preserved in seven scrapbooks gathered by the Rev. Henry G. Welbon. Henry had a keen eye for the value of history, and those scrapbooks contain valuable coverage of the modernist controversy of the 1930’s. Additionally, Rev. Welbon also wrote histories of two churches that he served.

welbonHenryGHenry Garner Welbon was born in Seoul, Korea on September 28, 1904. His father, Arthur Garner Welbon [1866-1928], was a missionary sent to Korea under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Upon arriving in Korea in 1900, a year later he married Sarah Harvey Nourse, a missionary nurse who had arrived on the mission field a few years earlier.

The Welbons served at several mission stations, raising a young family there on the field, until Mrs. Welbon’s declining health forced the family to return to the United States in 1919.

Up until that time, Henry had attended the P’yongyang Foreign School in Korea. He then completed his secondary education in California, before the family relocated to Maryville, Tennessee. Henry graduated from Maryville College in 1927, though he had suffered the death of his mother in 1925, and his father returned to the mission field shortly thereafter.

Pursuing a call to the ministry, Henry entered Princeton Theological Seminary in 1927 and was there during those turbulent years that witnessed the reorganization of Princeton and which in turn led to the formation of Westminster Theological Seminary. Henry was one of those that left Princeton to complete his education at Westminster, graduating there in 1931. He was licensed just before graduation and ordained in September of 1931 by the Philadelphia Presbytery (PCUSA), being installed in what some term a “yoked” pastorate, serving both the Head of Christiana PCUSA church in Newark, Delaware and the Pencader Presbyterian Church in Glasgow, Delaware. Now settled as a pastor, he married his dear wife Dorothy the following June of 1932.

Following his convictions, Rev. Welbon led his congregations to take a stand for the gospel, though it meant the loss of their respective buildings. This was in 1936, and Rev. Welbon became one of the founding ministers of the Presbyterian Church of America [later renamed as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church]. Then in 1938, he was among those who left the PCofA to form the Bible Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Welbon serving the BP congregation in Newark, DE until 1942.

Our own records do not tell how he spent the years between 1942 and 1946, but in post-war years, his facility with the Korean language became important to the U.S. government. The government eventually wanted to relocate him to Korea, but wise friends there urged him not to take that appointment. Wise advice indeed, in the late 1940’s. Later in life, Rev. Welbon returned to missions, serving first as a teacher in Japan, 1966-69, and then as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Boatswain Bay, Grand Caymans, 1969-71. Thereafter, he was honorably retired as a member of the Delmarva Presbytery of the RPCES.

In the closing years of his life, and after the death of his beloved wife Dorothy, Rev. Welbon got on a train in the Spring of 1999 and left his home in Tucson, Arizona to travel across the country to research his family history. This had been a life-long project, and he hoped to finally locate some of the last necessary bits of information. St. Louis was one stop in his journey, and I was honored to meet him at that time. He continued on to Washington, D.C. to complete his research and then returned home to finish writing his family history. Completing that work, he took it to the publisher and died the very next day, on December 11, 1999.

Words to Live By:
Arthur and Sarah Welbon had six children, two of whom died in Korea while still quite young. They lived their lives in service to our Lord, as did their son Henry. Time does not permit us to search out the lives of their other children, but of the surviving children, one of Henry’s sisters, Mary, was the ancester—the great-grandmother—of Gabriel Fluhrer, a graduate of Greenville Seminary who served for a time at Second Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greenville, and who now serves as an OPC pastor in Cary, North Carolina. And as Rev. Fluhrer himself once said, as he reflected on his family’s heritage,

“Praise God for His covenant faithfulness to generation after generation.” 


Rev. Welbon authored four books, of which the first two are currently preserved at the PCA Historical Center:

A History of Head of Christiana Church. (1933).
A History of Pencader Presbyterian Church,. (1936).
A History of Christian Education in Delaware. (Univ. of Delaware, M.A. thesis, 1937).
A History and Genealogy of a Welbon Family which Came from Lincolnshire, England to Detroit, Michigan in 1854. (1999).

[with gentle humor, it’s hard not to notice, that when Rev. Welbon found a title he liked, he stuck with it!]

The grave site of the Rev. Henry G. Welbon can be viewed here.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

MEDICAL MISSIONARY JOHN C. TAYLOR, SR.

taylor_JohnCOn December 13, 1973 the Lord called Home one of His faithful servants, Dr. John C. Taylor, Sr., who for more than fifty years had given of himself, his time and his talents to his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to the people of India. He was a man greatly beloved of the Lord and by the people of India whom he served so faithfully and so lovingly. Many are the people who will remember Dr. Taylor for his great love and sacrificial service to them as he sought to bring to them physical healing for their bodies through means of his medical knowledge, and spiritual healing for their souls through his know¬ledge of the Word of God and his personal testimony to the power of Christ to save lost sinners. John Taylor was not only a medical doctor but also an ordained minister of the Gospel and a real evangelist.

Born in Richmond, Kansas on April 9, 1886, of godly parents, John Taylor early came to know Christ as his personal Saviour. On August 14, 1913 he married Elizabeth Siehl, and together they went to India in November, 1914 and were stationed at Roorkee, U.P. where they labored for half a century, returning to the U.S.A. for retirement in October, 1967. They served under the Reformed Presbyterian Mission which, in 1965, became World Presbyterian Missions, the foreign board of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. Mrs. Taylor passed to her Heavenly Home in March, 1970. Some years later, God provided another helpmeet for Dr. Taylor in the person of Mrs. Elizabeth H. Daniels, and the remaining years of Dr. Taylor’s life were enriched through her fellowship.

taylor_family_1931Dr. Taylor was survived by his widow, Elizabeth D. Taylor, three sons—John, Jr., Carl and Gordon, and two daughters, Margaret Courtwright and Gladys McGarey.

A friend of both the high and lowly, Dr. Taylor became almost a legend in India. He was a man of faith and action, a good example of the kind of Christian of whom James writes, “I will show thee my faith by my works.” Nothing was too hard or sacrificial for him if, by doing it, he could help ease the physical or spiritual suffering of his fellowman. He especially ministered to the poor and downtrodden people in the villages of Northern U.P., India. His work varied from village evangelism, medical clinic work, relief work during the awful days of partition between India and Pakistan, to the founding in 1945 of the Children’s Home and Baby fold for the children of leprous parents in Bhogpur, which is now under the direction of his son, Gordon, and which now houses some 200 children. Dr. Taylor had the joy of seeing a number of these children come to know Christ as their personal Saviour and then go out to serve Him full time. Several of the children studied in the Theological Seminary at Roorkee and are now preaching the Gospel in India, and several more are now students at that Seminary. Others have gone into other fields of service where they are also witnessing for the Lord whom they came to know while at the Children’s Home.

During his semi-retirement, Dr. Taylor wrote of his experiences in India, which have been published in book form, India—Dr. John Taylor Remembers. This book reflects his touch with people, an essential ingredient in the life of any servant of Christ.

taylorDr_wPaulTaylor_1948Dr. Taylor was a valued member of the Saharanpour Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, and served his last years on the field under World Presbyterian Missions. To those who had the privilege of serving with him in India, he was a tower of strength and wisdom in so many matters concerning the work; but he was more than this—he was a kind and loving friend and counselor and a true “brother in Christ.” To many of the Indian Christians he was like a father. To the struggling National churches he was a guide and stay and inspiration. We rejoice that God gave him the great joy of seeing the beautiful church building at Bhogpur finished and used for the worship of Christ, before he retired from active missionary work in India. This building was erected largely through the efforts of Dr. and Mrs. Taylor and will be a continuing memorial of their sacrificial service for Christ and the people of India.

No doubt Dr. Taylor has entered with great joy into the presence of Jesus Christ, his Lord and Saviour, and has heard him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

The General Synod and World Presbyterian Missions are happy to pay tribute to such a saint of the Lord. We thank God upon every remembrance of him. “He being dead, yet speaketh.”

[excerpted from The Minutes of the 152nd General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, 1974, pp. 157-158.]

Words to Live By:
Please take the above testimony as a good reminder to pray for our many missionaries, wherever they may be serving.

Tags: , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: