Life Chronology:
Rev. J. Wesley Day
China, Malaysia, Indonesia

Life Chronology

The Call: Growing Up, 1910 - 1932

Chapter 1. The Call. From birth in a Maryland farmhouse in 1910, childhood in a Long Island parsonage and a college scientific experiment.

  • August 24, 1910. Born in Browningsville, Maryland to Roby F. Day and his wife Rachel Vivia Cochel Walker, at the home "Mendelssohn Manor" where his mother grew up.

  • December 15, 1915. Roby Day purchases farmhouse in Allenwood, New Jersey as a summer retreat. Sidetrip: Allenwood .

  • 1916-1921. Elementary School, Public School #4, Inwood, Long Island, NY.

  • April 20, 1919. After evangelistic service, eight-year-old Wesley Day joins St. Paul's Methodist Protestant Church, Inwood, Long Island, New York, where his father is pastor. The Certificate of Admission is contained in the inside front cover of a Methodist Protestant Discipline presented to him on the occasion and calling on him to determine to be "an intelligent Christian."

  • 1921-1923. Junior High School, Lawrence High School, Lawrence, NY. .

  • Sidetrip: My favorite teacher .

  • 1923-1927. Senior High School. Lawrence High School, Lawrence, NY.

  • 1927-1931. Attends Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), Westminster, Maryland.

  • 1931-1932. Attends first year of seminary at Oberlin Graduate School of Theology, Oberlin, Ohio.

    Missionary: Kalgan, China: 1932 - 1938

    Chapter 2. Kalgan, China . The first China trip, 1932-1938, with adventures on both sides of the Japanese lines.

  • 1932. To China. Begins by attending College of Chinese Studies, Beijing.

  • 1933-1938. Teacher, advisor, Methodist Schools, Kalgan, North China.
  • 1933, ordination. "Authorization for ordination was made at the Eastern Conference, Methodist Protestant Church while I was in China." Ordination was consummated on Easter Day, 1933 at the China Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church at Kalgan, China, by Rev. Carl G. Soderbom, Rev. Horace S. Williams, and a visiting missionary, Rev. Stuart Gunsell of the Swedish American Mongolian Mission. . The Methodist Church recognized the Eastern Conference membership, from 1932. (See The Missionary Record, June, 1933, p. 10.

  • 1936. Maryland Conference, Methodist Protestant Church, sends a car for mission work, which is named "Green Glory."

  • Sidetrip: A Trip to Hanoi, January, 1937, dictated and edited December 26, 1998.

  • July 1937. War breaks out between China and Japan.

  • December 1938. Leaves Kalgan to return to United States.

    Back in the US: 1938 - 1947

    Chapter 3. The War Years. Seminary, Marriage, Pastorate.

  • 1939. Union of Methodist Protestant, Methodist Episcopal, and Methodist Episcopal, South denominations to form The Methodist Church

  • 1939-1940. Attends second year of seminary at Westminster Theological Seminary, Westminster, Maryland (now Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC)
  • 1940-1941. Completes seminary education with third year of seminary at Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, New Jersey, with S. T. B. degree awarded by Westminster.

  • June 7, 1941 Marriage to Ruthlydia Slayton

  • 1941-1943 -- Language School, Oakland, California

  • March 18, 1942, Oakland, California. Birth of son Jackson Harvey

  • 1944-1946 -- Pastor of Methodist Church in Danby, New York, and student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

  • March 7, 1945, Ithaca, New York. Birth of daughter Vivia Ruth

  • 1946 -- Awarded MA in Rural Sociology from Cornell.

    Missionary: Return to China, 1947 - 1951

    Chapter 4. Return to China. The Waning Years of the Chinese Nationalists in Kalgan, North China and Chengdu, Sichuan, 1947-1950.

  • April 1, 1947. Back in Kalgan, China. Conference Treasurer and Superintendent, Western District, Kalgan Mission Conference, 1947-1948.

  • Scrapbook: "A Chinese Table Grace" -- this table grace was often used in the Day household in China, 1947-1951.

  • December 1948, arrival in Chengtu after trip from Kalgan via refugee ships. District Missionary, Chengtu District, West China Annual Conference, 1948-1950.

  • Summer, 1949, trip to Mount Omei

    Chapter 5. Communist China. A year under the Communists in Chengdu, 1950.

  • January, 1950, Communists enter Chengtu

  • November 14, 1950, Application to leave China

  • January 4, 1951. Permission to leave and beginning of trip home.

  • January 5-7, 1951. With Birdice Lawrence in Chungking. Trip to Foreign Affairs Office to ascertain location of missionary prisoners Janet Surdam and Luella Koether. Birdice leaves January 8.

  • January, 1951. Time in Chungking while awaiting transportation down the Yangtse. Live at Dai Jia Hang house in Chungking with other missionaries stationed there or passing through.

  • June 4, 1951. Ship enters New York Harbor

  • 1951. Furlough year at Ramshorn Drive, Allenwood, NJ

    Missionary: Southeast Asia, 1952-1975

    Chapter 6. Malaya Teluk Anson, now Teluk Intan, 1952-1955.

  • August 1952, arrival at Penang, Malaya, and trip by taxi to Teluk Anson. Pastor, Wesley Methodist Church, Teluk Anson, 1952-1955. Chaplain, Anglo-Chinese School, Teluk Anson, 1952-1954. Principal, Anglo-Chinese School, 1954-1955.

    Chapter 7. Palembang, Indonesia, English School and Oil Company Ministry, 1955-1961

  • May 20, 1955, arrival in Palembang, Indonesia. Principal, Methodist English School, Palembang, 1955-19556, 1958-1961. Pastor, English Protestant Church, Sungei Gerong, 1955-1961. Superintendent, South Sumatra District, 1956. Superintendent, North Sumatra Chinese District, 1958.

  • 1957 Furlough year, Dunroven, Allenwood, New Jersey. First of two years at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.

  • Early 1958, return to Palembang.

  • May 1959, trip to India for son's graduation from Woodstock School.

  • 1960, move into new missionary residence in Palembang

  • Scrapbook: Houses, about the Day homes in Palembang and Tandjung Karang, by Vivia.

  • December, 1961, move to Tandjung Karang.

    Chapter 8. Bandar Lampung (formerly Tandjung Karang, Lampung), Indonesia, 1961-1965

  • Dec 1961-Jul 1962, Pastor, Chinese Methodist Church, Tandjung Karang. March - June 1962, Pastor, Indonesian Meethodist Church, Tandjung Karang.
  • 1962-1963 Furlough, Island Park, New York. Second of two years at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Completes all work for D. Ed except dissertation; in lieu of dissertation, awarded professional diploma as director, rural education. Vivia graduates from high school in Island Park, NY and Jack from Western Maryland (now McDaniel) College, Westminster, Maryland.

  • Jul 63-Mar 65, Pastor, Chinese Methodist Church, Tandjung Karang. Chapter 9. Medan, Indonesia , 1965-1974

  • April, 1965, move to Medan. Teacher, Bible School (Institute Alkitab Methodist), 1965-1967, 1969-1975. Pastor, Chinese Methodist Church, 1965-1967, 1969-1975.

  • September 28, 1965, Attempted Communist coup in Indonesia

  • 1967 Home leave to the U. S. Participates, along with Bishop Lord of the Baltimore Conference, and retired Bishop Straughn, the Methodist Protestant Church leader who was ordained bishop at union in 1939, in the ordination of son Jack. Baptized grandson James Wesley.

  • 1968 Union of Evangelical United Brethren and The Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church.

  • 1968, Lecturer, Theological Faculty, Nommensen University, Pematang Siantar.

  • 1969, June. Son visits in Medan after year in Vietnam as chaplain. See Jackson Day's separate Vietnam Chaplain website.

  • 1969-1974, Lecturer, Methodist University, Medan, Indonesia

  • 1972, April -- 1973, May: Pastor, Wesley Methodist Church, Medan

  • 1974 Medical Furlough, Allenwood, New Jersey

  • May 8, 1975, death of Ruthlydia at 1:30 PM, of stroke. May 11, 1975 Memorial Service for Ruthlydia, 3 PM. June, 1975 -- trip to Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas -- State Parks -- visit brothers. Back July 1.

    Retirement Travels

    Chapter 10. Retirement 1975 to 2005, including return trips to the places of ministry.

  • June 1, 1975 Retirement

  • January 1977. "My tropical blood does not keep me warm during the cold winters. I think I must be wearing more clothes than anybody else in New Jersey, and I find a supplementary heater in my care very useful. But the climate is invigorating, and I like it."

  • Feb 2, 1978. Visit to son Jack and family in Poolesville, Maryland as part of long trip that includes Ruthlydia's family in Auburn, New York. In March, Jack and family visit in Allenwood.

  • November 1979. St. Paul's Church, Brick, sponsors Laotian refugee family. They are ethnic Chinese from Pakse, Laos. They speak no English, but can communicate in Mandarin.

  • 1980 (Spring) Mission Saturation Events in Mississippi (February) Indiana (March), Tennessee (April). "During the question and answer period, often someone would ask: "When were you last there?" My Answer: China, 1951; Indonesia, 1974." It was time to update my experience in these lands.

  • 1980. First Volunteer in Mission experience in Medan, Indonesia, leading to China Trip November 5 - 18. (United Methodist Heritage Fellowship tour) The routing involved Trans World Airlines flight from New York to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a two day stay in Addis, and then flight to Beijing on Ethiopian Airlines, with immediate transfer for Shanghai. The China itinterary included Shanghai (Nov 11-13, Wu Xi (Nov 14-16), Beijing (Nov 17-19, Xi An (Nov 20-22), although bad weather cancelled the Xi An portion. Among Wesley Day's tour group were cousins Ruth and Robert Zeller.

  • 1983-1985 (May) , Second Volunteer in Mission experience in Medan. "My time has been spent visiting churches in Indonesia. Last year much of it was spent with the English-speaking Wesley Methodist Church of Medan....The Methodist Center at Bandar Baru, halfway up the mountain to the Berastagi plateau already has second yaeer students in its Theological College, orphans in its orphanage, and an agricultural extension farm, including pig raising and fish culture. The students work on the farm. The philosophy of work as told me is this: the garden feeds the students and the pigs. The pig offal feeds the fish. The students eat the fish, the vegetables and sometimes the pigs. And they will teach their villagers how to make a living on theier land, as intelligent Christian farmers. Weekends the students spend with the new converts." This is just a taste of what is happening in the 60,000 member Indonesian Methodist Church. (letter, Spring 1985)

  • 1986, July 23-29 Attend Fifteenth World Methodist Conference, Nairobi, Kenya. "Dynamic and spirit-filled leaders from inside and outside the Methodist Church led in Bible Study and in challenges to live out the gospel. From Indonesia Sinta (Mrs. Hermanus) Sitorus was one speaker and gave her witness. Her husband, former Bishop Sitorus, now President of the Methodist Seminary was there, and our current Bishop, Yohanes Gultom and Rev. Jonathan Napiun....The United Methodist Heritage Fellowship, with whom I traveled, went on safari after the Conference, "shooting" with our cameras wild animals of Kenya.

  • 1986, December. Trip to Ottawa and Winnipeg, Canada; visits with chidren of Liang Shih Chieh, founding member of our church at Tanjungkarang (now Bandar Lampung), Indonesia.

  • September - December 1987 -- China Trip with visit to Medan. Social Hall dedication in Wesley's name at Wesley Methodist Church.

  • 1989 -- January - February. Trip south to Farmville, VA, Charlotte NC, Norcross, GA.

  • 1989 -- April -- Columbia, Maryland, for wedding of son Jack to Fran Irvin.

  • 1989-1990, Third Volunteer in Mission trip to Medan; beginning on October 8, 1989 with auto trip across the country through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, utah, Oregan, Washington. Left car with friend and then on November 2, on to Tokyo, Singapore; Nov 9 Medan, November 15, Parapat, then back to Medan with service at Wesley Methodist Church at year's end.

  • 1991 World Methodist Conference, Singapore, and two weeks in Indonesia

  • 1992 Listed in Who's Who in New Jersey
  • 1995 April -- joined New York Conference Team carrying medical supplies to Methodist Hospitals in Mozambique, Africa, and to opening of Africa University in Zimbabwe.

  • 1995 June -- with son Jack to Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington for Woodstock School Reunion. On the way, stopped in Louisiana to see Rotolos, and afterward to Yakima to see Fran's mother.

  • 1995 October -- Lake Junaluska, NC, "China Reunion" of United Methodist China, Taiwan and Hong Kong missionaries.

  • 1996 Attends United Methodist General Conference, Denver, Colorado, as translator for Indonesian delegation

  • September 18, 1997, move from Dunroven at Allenwood, to Francis Asbury Manor, Ocean Grove, New Jersey

  • "Seniors explore world on Web" -- newspaper article from the Asbury Park Press including a photo of Wesley Day at the computer.

  • January 1998, return to Medan for 40th Anniversary of Wesley Methodist Church, accompanied by son, daughter in law, and grandson. "A Very Special Day" is an article describing the trip.

  • 2000. 3-5 January -- Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. No longer driving, no longer travelling so much. 12 May, train to Maryland, 15 May Ocean Grove, 31 May - June 4, New York Annual Conference.

  • 2000, June 30-July 3. Train to Columbia, drive with son Jack to Romney, WV for Scanlon - Walker Family Reunion.

  • 2003, August. Daughter Vivia hosts family reunion and 93rd birthday celebration at her home in Allenwood. She is moving to North Carolina, and this will be the last August such a reunion could be held.

  • 2004. Health begins to fail; falls asleep with increasing frequency; much mail unanswered.

  • March 24, 2005. Helps serve communion at Holy Thursday Communion Service, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Herbertsville, NJ.

  • April 1, 2005. Has dessert -- strawberry cheesecake, with son Jack and daughter in law Fran, who have come to get papers to fill out tax return. First time he has forgotten that one of his children is coming to visit.

  • April 5, 2005. Wesley has a fall at his retirement community and sustains serious brain injury. Admitted to intensive care at Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune, New Jersey. After a week's stay and stabilization, transferred to Fountain View Care Center in Lakewood, NJ. where his granddaughter is a speach therapist.

  • June 5, 2005. Wesley dies peacefully at Fountainview Care Center in Lakehood, New Jersey, June 11, 2005. Service of Death and Resurrection, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Ocean Grove, NJ. Wesley's ashes are buried in the family plot in Allenwood, New Jersey.

  • August 8, 2005. Sale of Dunroven is completed.

    Rotary International

  • Chengdu, China, 1949-1950
  • Teluk Anson, Malaya, 1952-1955, President, 1954-1955
  • Palembang, Indonesia, 1955-1961
  • Medan, Indonesia, 1983-1985

    The Call | Kalgan | War Years | Post-War China| The Communists | Malaya |
    Palembang| Bandar Lampung | Medan | Retirement Travels
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    "A Missionary Life" © 1998-2005, Rev. J. Wesley Day. All Rights Reserved. Jack Day, Webmaster

    Updated July 4, 2005