FORWARD-LOOKING: Charles Lillie, in a photograph taken about the time he became a Seventh-day Adventist and felt the call to serve God as a missionary.


Abigail Cosgrove Duman

is the great-great-granddaughter of Charles and Kitty Lillie. She is a medical assistant who uses her love of music and writing for the glory of God. She lives in Alabama.

​Charles Lillie’s China Mission

Snapshots of a pioneer missionary

Charles Lillie traced a band of pale clouds across the summer sky. The 24-year-old’s characteristically brisk step poorly reflected the uncertainty in his heart as he grappled with the nagging question: Will my boss give me Saturdays off?

In 1907 Saturday was an excellent business day for shops in Springfield, Massachusetts. From his position on the busy street, the young man could already envision chattering shoppers making the small bell at the top of the shop door constantly ring. With heavy heart he opened the shop door and tied on his work apron. It would be a long day.

Ever since evangelist F. W. Stray presented the compelling …

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