George L. Williams
Historically, numerous church denominations have actively sought converts. Many churches send missionaries to other countries hoping to find converts. While this practice remains common for some denominations today, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, missionary activity was much more prevalent than it is today.
George Louis Williams was a missionary for the Congregational Church. He was born on October 4, 1858, in Stonington, Connecticut. In 1891, Williams graduated from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He was ordained as a Congregational minister on May 21, 1891. Williams had already served as a supply preacher in Jerauld County, South Dakota.
On July 29, 1891, Williams and his wife, Alice Moon Williams, left for China to serve as missionaries with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The couple spent the first year of their mission work learning Chinese. In 1892, George Williams and his wife traveled to Taigu, in the Shanxi Province. Numerous graduates of Oberlin College worked at this mission in Taigu.
Williams primarily worked among opium addicts, helping them break their addiction. On July 31, 1900, while his wife and three children were in Ohio, Williams was killed in the Boxer Rebellion in China. The Boxers killed all thirteen of the Oberlin missionaries in Taigu. They also destroyed all buildings comprising the mission, hoping to eliminate the missionaries' connections with the Chinese people. Undaunted, Alice Williams continued her missionary activities in China.