Jennie Faulding Taylor

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Jane Elizabeth Faulding
MrsJennieTaylor.jpg
Jennie Taylor
Born6 October 1843
England
Died31 July 1904
Les Chevalleyres, Switzerland
 
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Jane Elizabeth Faulding
MrsJennieTaylor.jpg
Jennie Taylor
Born6 October 1843
England
Died31 July 1904
Les Chevalleyres, Switzerland

Jane Elizabeth "Jennie" Faulding Taylor (6 October 1843 – 31 July 1904), was a British Protestant missionary to China with the China Inland Mission. She pioneered the work of single women missionaries in China and eventually married the founder of the mission, James Hudson Taylor, after the death of his first wife, Maria Jane Dyer. As Taylor’s wife, she assumed many roles within the mission agency when Taylor was overseas—acting at times as a home director for the mission. She encouraged women, both married and unmarried, to participate in the work of the China Inland Mission in ways that had previously only been reserved for male missionaries.

Early life in London[edit]

Jennie Faulding in 1866.

Jane Elizabeth Faulding was the daughter of a piano manufacturer in London. She was an 1865 graduate of the Home and Colonial Training College along with her friend, Emily Blatchley. She attended the weekly prayer meeting at the home of Hudson & Maria Taylor in the East End of London in 1865. She was influenced by the Taylors and their book: "China's Spiritual Need and Claims", that spoke of the desperate need for the Gospel message to be brought to the Chinese before they died “without God and without hope in the world”.

The youngest missionary[edit]

When the Taylors were recruiting missionaries to go with them back to China, Faulding volunteered to accompany the 15 other candidates who were all as inexperienced as herself. She was the junior member of the Lammermuir Party, the largest party of Protestant missionaries ever to sail to China in 1866, but she quickly proved herself useful.

Mrs. Jennie Taylor.

Pioneering work among women[edit]

After the new arrivals had weathered two typhoons and arrived nearly shipwrecked in China, they donned Chinese clothes and ventured down the Grand Canal, looking for a place to settle down to mission work. It caused a scandal among the other Westerners in China to see a young single woman like Faulding adopt the Chinese dress, which was considered a compromise with an idolatrous culture. However, Taylor was undeterred in encouraging his missionaries to “adopt all things not sinful that were Chinese in order to save some”. In Hangzhou, Faulding proved the value of being an unmarried female, as her daily walks around the neighborhood gave her opportunities to be invited in by the Chinese women who did not feel threatened as they might have by a foreign man.

After she had been in China for five years, she was given a furlough at the request of her parents, that Hudson Taylor honored. Taylor accompanied her home in 1871. She had keenly felt the loss of Maria Taylor the year previously, her friend and mentor. On the way back to England, Hudson proposed marriage. She accepted on the condition of her parent’s approval – which was not easily obtained. Finally in November of the same year they were married. She instantly became the stepmother to Taylor’s four surviving children and a successor to Maria as the “Mother of the Mission”. Together, they had two children of their own and adopted an orphaned daughter of a missionary.

Leading from the shadows[edit]

The news of the terrible Great North China Famine of 1877-78 in Shanxi Province motivated Faulding to go there with two single women as part of a relief team – when no men could be spared to accompany them on their journey and her husband could not go, himself. She began an orphanage in Taiyuan, and distributed aid to the starving people there.

Faulding worked alongside her husband until the end of her life. They traveled across the globe many times recruiting missionaries and visiting mission stations in China. She died of breast cancer in Les Chevalleyres, Switzerland in 1904. Hudson remained with her at the end of her life.

Quote[edit]

How I wish that burning soul-stirring words could be written, words that would induce wrestling prayer and earnest effort. . . . How few are those who live for souls as worldly men live for riches, from year end to year end, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, every obstacle made to give way by persevering effort. . . . People speak of the progress of truth being slow, and in the half-truth hide the Church’s guilt

Chronology[edit]

Birth to First Time in China 1866

Furlough and marriage

Return to China

Raising a family in England

Pioneering work in China

Final years

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]