February 12, 2021

​On Fire for China

Arthur Allum was the first Australian Seventh-day Adventist minister to be sent by the Adventist Church to China. Arthur and his wife, Eva, spent 17 years there

To Arthur Allum, a young Adventist convert in Australia, “just as definite as the call to keep the Sabbath, came a call to go to China.” Upon sensing the call, Arthur knelt in the family orchard and dedicated his life to working in that region.

To prepare, Arthur completed the missionary course at Avondale College in 1905 and assisted in tent evangelism. He contacted Harry W. Miller, an Adventist missionary in China, who encouraged Arthur to go to China. Arthur also wrote to the General Conference, but was told that no funds were available. So he sold religious books door-to-door in New Zealand to earn money. 

Arthur and Eva Allum wearing China costume, c. 1906. [Courtesy of Julie and Barry Oliver]On March 12, 1906, Arthur married Eva Osborne, a graduate of Avondale’s business course. About a month later, they traveled for more than a month—by boat, train, and donkey cart—to reach their first mission station. They adopted Chinese dress, including the queue, or pigtail, hairstyle and began learning the Mandarin language.

1 F. A. Allum and Eva Allum, “Experiences in Honan, China—No. 1,” Union Conference Record, March 1, 1909, p. 2.

2 Mrs. I. H. Evans, “ ‘Missionary Wives’ or ‘Missionaries’ Wives?’ ” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 20, 1916, p. 12.

3 Clarence C. Crisler, “The Conference Through Far Eastern Eyes,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 1, 1922, pp. 3–5.