The South China Mission

Map of South China Mission.Map of the South China Mission from Foster's PhD thesis, pg.316/317.


The Canadian Presbyterian South China Mission took place in the province of Kwangtung, now properly known as Guangdong in 1902.  The mission originally began in the City of Macao (now known as Macau) but the church soon got property in Kongmoon (now known as Jiangmen) for a central station.

By 1912 the mission had completed four houses and a hospital, then in 1915 a nurse’s home was completed, and in 1924 a hospital for men was added, allowing women to occupy the original hospital building. By 1924 the mission was made up of 22 Canadians, both men and women, and had created a Christian community in China of about 1236 people. The mission had 15 day schools and 2 boarding schools.

Missionary work in South China began to slow down in 1925 with an anti-Imperialist strike that lasted until 1926, but was not the end of anti-imperial activity. This caused missionary work, both educational and evangelical to become difficult for missionaries due to lack of participation.

Lantern slide scan of pioneer missionaries in South China. Pioneer Missionaries - Rev. W.R. Mackay, Dr. J.A. McDonald, Rev. T.A. Broadfoot with two elders and preachers, n.d. 


The South China Mission is only represented by 4 slides in the collection, the least number of slides for any of the missions. However, they represent medical work, the pioneer missionaries themselves and the legacy of missionary work with Robert Morrison’s grave, the man who translated the whole Christian bible into Chinese and published and distributed it.[1] The South China Mission slides reflect the beginnings of missionary work in China and the journey the Canadian churches would embark on.

Take a look at this map to see the South China Mission locations and some corresponding slides. 


[1] “Morrison, Robert (1782-1834): Pioneer Protestant Missionary to China,” para 1, Boston University School of Theology: History of Missiology, Sept 28, 2017.