John Livingston Nevius

1829-1893. American missionary to China. Educated at Princeton Seminary, he went to China in 1854 under the Presbyterian Mission Board and served mainly in the Shantung area. He is best known for the “Nevius method” of self-support and propagation. Its principles were: (1) each Christian should support himself by his own work and be a witness for Christ by life and word in his own neighborhood; (2) church methods and machinery should be developed only so far as the indigenous Christians could take responsibility for these; (3) the church should select for fulltime work those who seemed best qualified and whom it was able to support; (4) churches were to be built in native style and by the Christians from their own resources. The Korean missionaries adopted this approach, and a vigorous church rapidly developed there which maintained an independent spirit virtually unmatched in the non-Western world.