Brown, Henry Jacob (1879-1959)

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Henry Jacob Brown, b. 9 December 1879, d. 18 September 1959, went to China in 1909 with his wife, Maria Miller Brown, to begin mission work in the city of Kai Chow (later known as Puyang), Hopei Province. An early ministry for them was a medical dispensary in which Brown, with limited training, performed minor surgeries because of the dire needs of the people. In 1914 their initiative was approved as a mission field for the General Conference Mennonite Church. The son of Jakob and Elizabeth Penner Braun of Mountain Lake, Minnesota, Henry was a traveling evangelist in the United States and Canada for two years before leaving for China. In 1922 he proposed a plan to share leadership of the church and mission with the Chinese Christians. In 1941 the Browns were interned near Beijing by the Japanese in their invasion of China. They were released in 1943 and returned home. After World War II, they served in Kaifeng and Shanghai. They retired in 1949.


Juhnke, James C. A People of Mission: A History of General Conference Mennonite Overseas Missions. Newton, KS: Faith and Life, 1979: 45-64.

Kaufman, Edmund G. The Development of the Missionary and Philanthropic Interest Among the Mennonites. Berne, IN: Mennonite Book Concern, 1931: 160, 323-326.

Kaufman, Edmund G. "Henry J. Brown, 1879-1959," in General Conference Mennonite Pioneers. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1973: 347-353.

Books by H. J. Brown include:

Chips of Experience. n.p., n.d.

The General Conference China Mennonite Mission. Taming-fu: Author, 1940.

In Japanese Hands. North Newton, KS: Author, 1943.

Author(s) Maynard Shelly
Date Published 1986

Cite This Article

MLA style

Shelly, Maynard. "Brown, Henry Jacob (1879-1959)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 6 Jul 2022.,_Henry_Jacob_(1879-1959)&oldid=83312.

APA style

Shelly, Maynard. (1986). Brown, Henry Jacob (1879-1959). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 July 2022, from,_Henry_Jacob_(1879-1959)&oldid=83312.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 103-104. All rights reserved.

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