Eleven Baptists martyred for Christ
1943 – Eleven Baptist missionaries suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Japanese on the Island of Panay in the Philippines during World War II. As the Japanese troops approached, all Americans fled to the mountains. Businessmen, miners, their families, and the missionaries fled as best they could. The eleven included – Dr. and Mrs. Frederick W. (Ruth) Meyer, Miss Jennie Adams, James Howard and Charma Covell, Erle F. and Louise Rounds and son Earl Douglas Rounds, Francis H. and Gertrude Rose, Miss Signe Erickson and Miss Dorothy Dowell. The group was initially successful in their effort, and a letter from Mr. Covell arrived at the mission board office in March 1944 having come through a circuitous route. The letter had been written on May 16, 1943, and was addressed from “Hopevale,” the name they had given their hideaway. The Provost Marshal General’s office in Washington gave a brief report on the Covell’s death on March 20, 1944, however final confirmation was received from Mr. Engracio C. Alora, the General Secretary of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, in a letter dated April 11, 1945, in which it was officially stated that all eleven missionaries had been slaughtered on December 20, 1943, though captured on the 19th. The local Baptist pastor had gotten to the camp as soon as it was safe, and had interred the bodies. The missionaries were told that they were under the death warrant. They asked if they might first have time to pray, and an hour was spent before the throne of grace. They then stood and declared that they were ready, and the shade drops on this awful crime.
[This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 694-96. Jesse R. Wilson, Through Shining Archay(Valley Forge, Pa.: Board of International Ministers of the American Baptist Churches, 1949), p.5.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon