On February 4, 2009, China Inland Mission founder Hudson Taylor’s great-grandson James Hudson Taylor III’s memorial service was held at the Hong Kong Kowloon City Baptist Church with the theme “Living to make a difference”, portraying the life and summary of Rev. Taylor’s life.
The memorial service attracted over a thousand church leaders, coworkers, and believers who loved Dr. Taylor. With the participants dress in dark funeral attire, blackness seemed to filled the chapel. Placed outside the chapel door are rings of white flowers sent from local and overseas organizations, expressing their condolence to the Taylor family.
The memorial service proceeded with hymns, prayers, scripture reading, and sermon. Everyone sang the hymns “Great in Thy Faithfulness”, “God of Our Fathers”, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Love Never Fail”, “Jesus, I am Resting.”
In the prayer of Rev. Morley Lee, executive director of Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism (CCCOWE), he said, “Dr. Taylor was born in China, has served numerous brothers and sisters. Although he is dead, he is like Abel still speaking to us because of faith.” In Rev. Dr. Patrick Fung’s prayer, he said, “May the spirit that touched Dr. Taylor touch us multiple fold.”
Having known Dr. Taylor for around 40 years, Dr. Philemon Choi expressed in his message that Dr. Taylor has been a friend to the Chinese churches, the Chinese people, the unreached people in the world, and the believers worldwide. He said that Dr. Taylor kept close to God at every moment and is a son that the heavenly father finds joy in. Not only so, he loved history, sought after history, and is a beloved son of the Hudson Taylor family. Born and grew up in Henan Kaifeng, China, Dr. Taylor has equipped the Chinese believers, using their professions to serve hundreds of millions of Chinese, so he is also a son of China, said Choi.
Similarly, Rev. Kenneth K. Lo have also known Dr. Taylor for several decades and he reminisced of his old friend’s life. He testified that Dr. Taylor had a humorous personality, cared much for the China’s churches, and had a wide and broad heart, treating others with love. Dr. Taylor gave him a simple but the best departure words of advice for those serving – “Faithful.”
Having been a colleague of Dr. Taylor for 25 years, Mr. David Pickard, the eighth international director of OMF, testified Dr. Taylor of using his life to influence his colleagues and has talents in leadership, always used perseverance and action to achieve what others cannot accomplish, and made the vision become reality. He also testified how Dr. Taylor gave him great love.
The couple Drs. Chung Ying Leung and So Ka Yee said three weeks before Dr. Taylor passed away he shared with them the most exciting thing in his life of service and that is personally experiencing God working, calling brothers and sisters to do his work. When he spoke of the exciting part, he even cried. They thanked Dr. Taylor for following God’s heart in serving the multitude of brothers and sisters.
On behalf of all of his family members, James Hudson Taylor IV, son of Dr. Taylor, offered his thanks to all of the participants. He said that although everyone expressed their respect towards his father, he believes that his father would want today’s focus to be on Jesus Christ, who saved and called him. In addition, he said that the Taylor family has received far more from the Chinese and the Chinese churches than they have given, so he gave his genuine heart of thanks to the Chinese churches and the believers.
A choir consisting of colleagues of CIMI, MSI, and OMF sang a special music titled “Courage Brother” and “It Is Well With My Soul”, which was Dr. Taylor’s favorite song when he was still alive.
Lastly, as Dr. Taylor’s family members looked upon Dr. Taylor’s deceased remains, the crowds stood in a moment of silence. The entire memorial service lasted for approximately three hours; the overall process was dignified and touching. Afterwards, pastors and coworkers from Hong Kong, mainland, and overseas shook hands with the family members and conversed with each other.
Reporter Sharon Chan contributed to this report.