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Jesse C. Fletcher (1931–2018)

Author of Bill Wallace of China

11 Works 454 Members 5 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: via Hardin-Simmons University

Works by Jesse C. Fletcher


Common Knowledge

Date of death



WBCLIB | 1 other review | Feb 19, 2023 |
This started off quite slowly with a few chapters about the training of Bill Wallace in the US. God laid a calling on his heart to be a medical missionary and his every effort was poured into this. He had the potential to become an successful surgeon in the States but turned this down in favour of China. The book picked up once he got to the field and after that was hard to put down. This was a more interesting read than a previous book I recently read by the same author.

This book tells the story of a remarkable man who stayed at his post throughout the Japanese invasion and the later Communist takeover. He inspired his hospital staff with his positive outlook and Christian faith lived in their midst. He conducted complicated surgery with few resources entrusting his patients to God in prayer. He was not an administator or a public speaker and knew his limitations. He was a skilled doctor and his passion was to heal people. His faith was critical to his work and he ensured that it remained so throughout his service.

The Chinese accepted him as one of their own noting that he took the same rations and even gave them up in favour of others when times were tough. This in contrast to most Westerners and even some missionaries who had a superior attitude. He loved the Chinese people and demonstrated this at every opportunity.

Wallace returned several times on furlough to the US and kept up some kind of correspondence with a girl who I'm sure was expecting a proposal despite long years of separation. But, it seemed that despite effectively courting her, Wallace was prevented from committing himself to marriage. Eventually, she married someone else and sadly Wallace was murdered by the Communists whilst still in his early 40's.

Whether or not he died a martyr is debatable as he was not killed specifically for his faith, more because he was American and because the Communists didn't like the way the locals idolised him. Regardless, he left an indelible mark. His grave was marked by the Chinese with the verse "For me, to live is Christ."

This is a readable missionary biography that spans several decades during difficult years in China. I recommend it.
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sparkleandchico | 1 other review | Jun 2, 2017 |
A readable account of the life and work of John and Jewell Abernathy, missionaries to China, Korea and the Philippines. They were called by God as singles in the early 1920's and actually met each other initially on the train that was taking them to their field. They became friends and married some five years later. Not being blessed with children they dedicated themselves completely to the mission work.

They were forced to leave each field due to war or other complications hence their work in three different countries. They were also forced to endure some lengthy separations from each other due to women being evacuated whilst men were allowed to remain.

They faced tensions with their sending board when they appeared to get caught up in a Pentecostal type revival that swept through Shantung. Jewel in particular became entranced by the possibility of a second baptism in the Spirit. It seemed to take over their lives and ministry for a time as they had been experiencing a period of "deadness" in terms of conversions. Revival did break out eventually in China--people were convicted of sin and the need to repent. Many were added to their training school and their church meetings. When they left for furlough though there were reports of disorder and extreme behaviour within the movement. They managed to reassure their board that they were not involved in these events and then continued their mission on their return.

Although not outstanding the book is worth reading for those interested in missions. It describes the lives of two relatively normal missionaries serving God, at times in the middle of great trial and hardship.
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sparkleandchico | 1 other review | Jun 2, 2017 |
From the life and times of early missionaries, a good help to understand early SBC missionary work.
temsmail | 1 other review | Dec 12, 2006 |

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