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Insights from a 19th Century Welshman

A Webinar on the Life and Ministry of Timothy Richard.


Due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak, this lecture will take place as a webinar rather than an in-person lecture. Details below have been emended to reflect the necessary changes. 

Are there lessons to be learned about effective cross-cultural work from a 19th  century Welsh Baptist missionary? According to Dr. Andrew Kaiser (a regular ChinaSource contributor) the answer is a resounding yes!

The Welsh Baptist missionary in question is Timothy Richard, who served in China for 45 years, beginning in 1870. According to Kaiser, author of a recent biography of Richard, he “pioneered a pragmatic and sympathetic approach to cross-cultural ministry that was surprisingly progressive for his time.”

Writing in a recent article in Christianity Today, Kaiser says,

Richard the missionary deserves to be remembered by the Western churches still committed to the Great Commission, by the dynamic churches of the majority world mobilizing for mission, and most importantly by the new generation of Chinese Christians who are now retracing Richard’s footsteps in reverse. In his many writings, Richard anticipated with the eyes of faith that China would experience an age of “conversion by the million,” a notion dismissed by most as a romantic dream, something only possible if conversion was reduced to something this worldly and very much human.

One hundred years later, Richard’s dream is a reality and the world is still marveling at the miraculous, rapid growth of the Chinese church. The one million believers that existed in China at the time of Richard’s death expanded dramatically over the last century. Today even the most conservative estimates count 60 million Christians in China, with some placing the total population of Christians within China in excess of 100 million believers—a population many expect to become the greatest global evangelistic force since Richard’s days during the golden era of Western missionary expansion.

ChinaSource is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a webinar by Dr. Andrew Kaiser about the work of Timothy Richard and what we can learn from him. The webinar, titled Real Lives of Real Missionaries: Timothy Richard (1845-1919)” will be held on Thursday evening, April 30 at 7:00 pm, US Central Daylight Time.

Click here for more details and information.

This webinar is free and open to the public.

We are grateful to the History and World Languages departments of the University of Northwestern-St. Paul for being our on-campus sponsors. We are also grateful to our other co-sponsors: The U.S-China Catholic Association, Anselm House, and Evergreen

Details emended to reflect necessary changes in this event were made on March 24, 2020.

Image of Timothy Richard and family in 1887 courtesy of the China Mission History Digital Archive. 
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul …View Full Bio


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