Henry Davies (1890 – 1922) educator, missionary
If you fly into Seoul, the capital of South Korea, at night, you will see the night sky lit up by a galaxy of neon crosses, raised over the churches and houses of the city. For South Korea is now 40% Christian. And Henry Davies, the founder of Caulfield Grammar School, is remembered in that nation as one of the founders of the Korean church. His example has led the way for millions of Koreans to follow Christ.
Today the Korean Presbyterian church is the largest in the world, and there are over ten thousand Korean missionaries scattered around the globe. You are as likely to meet a Korean missionary in Kazakhstan or Ghana, Moscow or Kathmandu.
The head of the largest church in the world, Yonggi Cho, has come to Melbourne expressly to thank a Melbourne church for sending missionaries to Korea late in the 19th century. The missionary endeavour they started has resulted in there being 17 million Christians in South Korea today.
The church he came to thank is St Mary’s Anglican Church in Caulfield. Our “Christians who have made a difference” segment today is brought to us by the minister of St Mary’s, the Reverend Mark Durie.
The first Australian missionary to Korea was Henry Davies in 1890, but he died of smallpox and pneumonia after 8 months, aged only 32 years, and is buried in Busan.
Reverend J H Davies founded Caulfield Grammar School in Elsternwick, Victoria, in 1881 with just nine pupils. By 1911 it had moved to land that is now the site of the Caulfield Campus in Glen Eira Road, East St Kilda. Today, this campus provides a broad range of learning programs for girls and boys, day students and boarders, in Years 7 to 12.
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