Yunnan Province Holds Emotional Ceremony to Mark 100th Anniversary of Samuel Pollard's Death

By Yang Yi, September 15, 2015 10:09 AM

9.#The 100th Anniversary of Samuel Pollard's Death#

Descendants of Samuel Pollard

A ceremony was held in Kunming, Yunnan to mark the 100th anniversary of Samuel Pollard's death on Sept. 1st, 2015. Some 100 people of Miao and Han believers from Yunnan and Guizhou who are researchers of the "Shimenkan phenomenon" attended the ceremony and commemorated this great missionary. Samuel Pollard's mission in Yunnan and Shimenkan, Guizhou was reviewed and his realistic significance, from his spirit to preaching the gospel nowadays, was discussed. His grandson and descendants also visited China for the first time and paid respects to their ancestor in Zhaotong and Shimenkan.

Samuel Pollard was born in a Christian  laborer family in 1864 at Cornwall, England and had all sorts of talent when he was a child. Encouraged by the story of African missionary Stephen Lee, he was appointed a missionary and left for China in 1887. As a Methodist missionary, he named himself Bo Geli after a Confucian scripture and was posted in a Christian mission station in Zhaotong with his friend F.J.Dymond (Chinese name Tai Mulian). Most of the Chinese Confucian scholars were not willing to convert to the Christian faith and less than 17 people were baptized during Pollard's first 17 years in Zhaotong. Pollard faced depression with his surroundings during that time. The hard time he faced was buried in history and is not mentioned very often.

In 1904, God gave him an opportunity with  he Big Flowery Miao. They were the descendants of the guard of Chi You in the legends and they have suffered through wars, lost their homes and lived at the bottom of the social system under the rule of Yi for over 2000 years. Four Miao people met missionary J.R. Adams by accident. Samuel Pollard knew those Miao people by a letter of introduction from Adams and he had transferred from his mission station to a poor countryside in Shimenkan since then.

Samuel Pollard created a Miao script and translated the Bible into Miao languages. He founded dozens of churches within several hundred miles of Shimenkan. In terms of education, he built the first elementary school for the Miao people in the Wumeng mountain area and expanded to about 120 schools later on. He advocated bilingual education and co-education. Meanwhile, he launched a planned campaign to gradually wipe out illiteracy to improve the Miao's education levels. To address sanitary conditions, he identified the earliest leprosies and established hospitals in the Southeast as well as buildingswimming pools and football grounds to enrich the Miao's lives. It took 11 years only for him to change Shimenkan from a remote and desolate area to a cultural highland and living paradise in Southwest China.

Unfortunately, an attack of Typhus fever broke out in Shimenkan in July, 1915. Pollard became infected while saving the patients and left the world on Sept. 15, 1915. On his tombstone were the words from John 12:24, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit," written by Li John, who wrote traceability stele for Miao.

During the anniversary commemoration, Tao Shaohu, a professor from Yunnan association for Miao study, talked about the realistic significance of the spirit of Pollard in his speech. He praised Samuel Pollard for respecting and learning about the culture of Miao and called for all those who attended to learn from him, not only to learn the Miao culture but also to train the Miao talents and leaderships.

Li Keling, the descendant of Li John, also reviewed the stories how they were converted to the faith in Christ. Their families were the earliest to accept beliefs in the Miao people. Young and elder delegates from the Miao's church each had a speech respectively, talking about how thankful they were for the changes in religion and lives brought about bySamuel Pollard. They even  said that Pollard loved the Miao all his life beyond blood relations because of Christ's love. A Miao elder, Long Guangrong, couldn't help but shed a few tears during the speech.

In late August and early September, Stephen Pollard, Samuel Pollard's grandson, with his wife Marcia and their children, Stephanie and Blake, visited China for the first time. They came to Zhaotong and Shimenkan to pay respect to their ancestors. Stephen Pollard was greatly touched by the Miao script made by his grandfather and the Christian missionary's spirit in the Miao. He prayed for the Miao believers and hoped that they will  forever be with God, that their education level will improve, their economics be developed, and their spiritual to continue to grow. He said that he was grateful for this trip to meet and visit the many Miao believers.

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

Shishi Starts Religious Charity Week

The Christian community in Shishi participated in the "religious charity week" campaign by giving donations.

A Visit to the Hudson Taylor Memorial Building

The Hudson Taylor Memorial Building was opened in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, where the great missionary is buried.

Shaanxi Holds Opening Ceremony for Pastoral Training

56 students were enrolled in the 30th full-time training program for pastoral volunteers initiated by the Shaanxi CC&TSPM and Shaanxi Bible School.

Visiting Christian Shelter: Showing Mercy in Caring for the Blind and the Lame

A brief story of a Christian care home in China that takes care of four elderly people.

Church-Run Primary School in Fujian, Founded 100 Years Ago

There was a church-run primary school located deep in an alley near Shima Church in Longhai, Fujian.

Heilongjiang Theological Seminary Starts Bible Week

All the students are categorized into 26 Bible groups in which the whole Bible will be read through.

Germany Organist to Perform Recital in Hangzhou Gulou Church

On August 28, 2019, German Professor Jürgen Kursawa will perform an organ recital in Hangzhou Gulou Church of Zhejiang.

Shanghai District CC&TSPM Aids Poor Yunnan Students

Pudong New Area CC&TSPM held a launch ceremony for an education support project for Yunnan.

Young Summer Camp Held in Quanzhou, Fujian

A summer camp for young adults was held in Yecuo Church in Quan'gang District, Quanzhou, Fujian.

Heilongjiang Theological Seminary Opens New Semester

On August 19, 2019, Heilongjiang Theological Seminary held the opening service & ceremony of its 2019 autumn semester.