Women's Missionary Association: S. Fujian/Amoy

Scope and Content

Minutes of South Fukien [Fujian] WMA Committee and correspondence; plans of mission compounds and buildings.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first WMA missionary, Georgina Maclagan arrived in Amoy [Xiamen] in 1882. She engaged in educational work, visited women in the surrounding areas and in 1887 opened a home for destitute girls. The work in the region expanded in partnership with women workers in the LMS and the American Reformed Church. In 1898 a women's conference was held at Ku-lang-su with around one hundred participants. Other mission centres were Chang-pu [Zhangpu] and Chaun-chow [Qaunzhou]. WMA missionaries worked in all three.. The first WMA worker at Chuan-chow was Lilias Graham, a woman of means who offered her services as an honorary missionary. She financed a group of women missionaries to assist her in her work for Chinese women and girls but also contributed to the establishment of a school for the blind and to mission buildings at a fourth centre, Yongchun. In 1903 a women's hospital was built at Chuan-chow where Dr Edith Bryson and Dr Louise Thacker directed women's medical work for nearly thirty years.

A new girls' school building was opened at Amoy in 1911. Eventually, the school had three departments - primary, secondary, and a training or normal school for teachers. A middle or secondary school for girls was opened at Chuan-chow in 1922 and a new school building at Chang-pu opened the following year. Other women missionaries engaged in what was termed country work, supervising the work of bible women, visiting and organising conferences for Christian women. Because of fighting in the Yongchun neighbourhood Christian work with girls and women became dangerous. Many of the pioneering WMA missionaries retired in the early 1930s and this brought to an end the most flourishing period of WMA work in the South Fujian mission field. From 1938 Amoy was under Japanese control with other areas of the mission field being subject to aerial bombardment. Chuan-chow and Yong-chun remained in Free China throughout the war and a certain amount of missionary work continued.

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