Young John Allen
1836 - 1907
Young J. Allen graduated from Emory College in 1858 and went on to become the first American Methodist missionary to China. A prolific writer of more than 250 books, his most influential work was in the field of education, having founded the Anglo-Chinese College in Shanghai. While living in Shanghai, he also founded and edited the newspaper, Wan Kung Pao (“Review of the Times”) and other periodicals that were very influential on the Self-Strengthening Movement in China. His articles prompted philosophical discussions comparing Confucianism with Christianity. His publications were highly popular in China due to their insights into the Western concepts of international relations, economics, and the natural sciences.
At a time when it was considered an extremely radical notion, especially in Chinese Confucian society, Dr. Allen was a strong force in promoting the education of women by helping to establish the McTyeire School for girls. Four years after his death, the Methodist congregation of Oxford named their newly constructed church the Young J. Allen Memorial Methodist Church for the man who was widely recognized as the greatest Methodist missionary of his day.