Little-known History Facts of Samuel Pollard in Late China

By Yang Yi, September 29, 2015 00:09 AM

Decendants of Samel Pollard in the Miao's Church

Speaking of Pastor Samuel Pollard, many people think of the phenomenon of Shimenkan, Dahuamiao People, Zhaotong and pastor Tai Mulian. But few people know pastor Pollard and his friend F.J.Dymond (Chinese name Tai Mulian) once built churches, schools and hospitals in Huize County, Qujing City, Yunnan province, which cultivated many talents for the local place.

According to The history of Christianity in Yunnan, Huize is the first missionary station of the Methodist Church in China which pastor Pollard was in.

Christianity was brought in Yunnan in 1883 by the English missionary Thorned and another missionary named Fan. They preached to Yunan via Sichuan, Chongqing and Zhaotong. In 1885, Methodist Church sent pastor Pollard, Tai Mulian and female priest Su Mucai, all of whom had learnt Chinese in Shanghai beforehand. After arriving in Zhaotong, pastor Pollard preached Gospel to Yi People and Miao People. He also worked with Pastor Tai Mulian in building churches, schools in Zhaotong and Huize, which were all written in Pollard's journal In the unknown China.

According to the article The history of Christianity building schools in Huize written by former female headmaster Zhong Yulan of Huizedongfeng Primary School (originally named Xinghua Primary School), graduated from Oxford University, Pastor Tai Mulian came to Huize in 1886 and he knew many people of educational fields with his profound knowledge. He also taught the students in public expenses English who were prepared to go to Japan. He found a house in Fengle Street in the form of permanent renting from someone named Peng by the introduction of some people of the educational field. Later, Yi Lifan, John Li were sent to assist him to build the chapel, which was in old fashion.

In that old fashion chapel, men and women sat separately with a partition in the middle. The signboard of the church is United Methodist Church Mission. The name of the school was School of Chengdu Huaxi, which advocated the equal of men and women, the liberation of women and forbidding of foot-binding.

In 1934, The Holy Chapel of Grace was built and the school was renamed Xinghua Primary School, generally referred to as the Great Britain Methodist church. The church at that time was in its most prosperous times for three reasons.

1. The Christian church cultivated many talents. Pastor Liang Faqi's six sons all graduated from famous universities in China. Three of Pastor Yang Jianlie's daughters graduated from college. Yan Yichang's son Yan Defu got three Ph.D (Chemistry, Medical and Philosophy) in America. Luo Shuyi was one of the students who were sent to study in deaf and blind school in Hongkou of Shanghai and later he contributed a lot to the education of the deaf and the blind in Kunming.

2. Social support. Pastor Tai Mulian retired and went back to English. When news of his death came, people from educational field gathered in the hall of Huize Middle School, hung his portrait and had a memorial ceremony. It was perhaps the first time for the Chinese people to have a memorial ceremony for a foreign, which indicated the active social support at that time.

3. Start a charity. Opening up hospitals.  Soul-winning is the chief business of the Christian minister. Opening up hospitals treat people's body. On the right of the chapel stand two bungalows where free outpatient service was provided for people on each Tuesday and Friday. Huize Hospital originated from the Christianity church.

Some progressive teachers like Zeng Dehua, Luo Dingyi and Jiang Shigao made the church boom before the liberation, even some leaders from the government graduated from this university.

The church came to an end in 1950 but some school fund was still in Zhaotong. Thus, the government sent Zhong Yulan to help the school development. Only in this way, the government will take over the school. At that time, Zhong had to completely obey the laws and principles of the government and he took part in all kinds of activities than others, such as literacy, science, literature and art, and the propaganda of opposing America and helping North Korea. She went through many difficulties to make the school better. The she gave it to the government and the government renamed it Dongfeng Primary School.

Zhong Yulan began to teach in Huize in 1934. Formerly, foreign pastor Yi Mulian, Ma Jianzhong, Yi Lifan, native pastor Liang Faqi, Wu Xuchu, Wang Biancheng and Liang Xiaochuan all taught here. In 1934, only pastor Yang Jianlie worked part-time as the headmaster and foreign pastor Gu Weide's wife open up a evening clinic, which treated more than one hundred people free each day. The church reached its climax because of pastor Yang's seriousness and responsivity.

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