- John, Grffith
- (18 31-1912)popular Congregationalist missionary to ChinaGriffith John was born in Swansea, Wales. He was educated in Wales and England at colleges sponsored by the Union of Welsh Independents (Con-gregationalist), and then offered himself as a missionary for the London Missionary Society (LMS, now the Council for World Mission), founded by Congregationalists. John had been inspired by the work of missionary David Griffiths, whose daughter Jane became his wife.John sailed for Shanghai in 1855. Once there, he proved himself an energetic worker, known for enthusiastic preaching, many writings, and journeys inland. in 1861, he relocated from Shanghai to Hankow in central China, which became his headquarters for the next 50 years.John spoke to large audiences assisted by his fluency in several dialects of Chinese. He trained and motivated a number of Chinese evangelists. He was a prolific writer, and he translated the New Testament into both Mandarin and Wen-li. He chaired the Central China Tract Society and wrote numerous tracts and pamphlets for use by those he had trained. From his center in Hankow, he traveled extensively, creating new centers of activity.He made only a few trips back to Wales. He died during his last visit in 1912.Further reading:■ Nelson Bitton, The Life of Griffith John (London: The Sunday School Union, 1920)■ Noel Gibbard, Griffith John: Apostle to Central China (Bryntirion, Wales: Bryntirion Press, 1998)■ Griffith John, A Voice from China (London: James Clarke, 1907)■ Ralph Wardlaw Thompson, Griffith John: The Story of 50 Years in China (London: Religious Tract Society, 1906).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.