- Taylor, James Hudson
- ( 1832-1905 )founder of the China Inland MissionJames Hudson Taylor was born at Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, on May 21, 1832. His father was a pharmacist, but also a Methodist local preacher. Hudson had a conversion experience at age 15 and a call to full-time Christian service. He went on to study medicine at the London Hospital, with China already in mind as his field of work.Lacking formal theological training or any other university credentials, he was turned down when he first applied to mission agencies in the early 1850s. He was also sickly. However, the newly formed and inexperienced China Evangelization society gave him the opportunity.Taylor spent six years (1854-60) in Shanghai, swatow, and Ningpo. in the meantime, the China Evangelization society disbanded, and Taylor was forced to find alternative sources while continuing as an independent missionary. During his last years in this first stay in China, he became head of a hospital in Ningpo.Illness forced his return to England in 1860, where he translated the New Testament into the Ningpo dialect, finished his medical training, and wrote his first book, China, Its Spiritual Need and Claims (1865). He completed his stay by founding the China Inland Mission (1865) and raising the first group of missionaries to go out under its auspices. in 1866, with 16 missionaries and his wife, he returned to China.As executive director of his new agency, Taylor spent his time moving around the countryside coordinating the work of his growing staff of missionaries, and returning home to secure new recruits and raise funds. In 1888, he opened offices in North America (where he found an ally in evangelist Dwight L. Moody) and in 1890 in Australia. He also cooperated with missionary agencies in Europe, which sent missionaries to work under Taylor's direction. He wrote several books, including: Union and Communion (1893); A Retrospect (1894); Separation and Service (1898); and A Ribbon of Blue, and other Bible Studies (1899).In 1900, he began to shift his responsibilities to Dixon Edward Hoste (1861-1946) and settled in Switzerland. He died on a visit to China on June 3, 1905. At the time of his death, the China Inland Mission oversaw more than 900 missionaries (including wives) scattered across the country.Like other Christian organizations working in China, the mission was thoroughly disrupted by the exile of its missionaries in 1950-51. With China closed, it redirected its efforts to other countries, initially in Southeast Asia, and reorganized itself as the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (or OMF International).See also faith missions.Further reading:■ Cyril James Davey, On the Clouds to China: The Story of Hudson Taylor (London: Lutterworth Press, 1964)■ Marshal Broomhall, The Man Who Believed in God: Hudson Taylor (London: Hod-der & Stoughton, 1936)■ Grace Stott, Twenty-Six Years of Missionary Work in China . . . With a Preface by the Rev. J. Hudson Taylor (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1904)■ James Hudson Taylor, A Retrospect (London: Morgan & Scott, 1894); , Union and Communion (1893, rpt., Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House, 1971).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.