Daily Reading for April 6 • Daniel G. C. Wu, Priest and Missionary among Chinese Americans, 1956
The Episcopal Church began evangelical work among the Chinese in the Diocese of California in the mid 1850’s. It began to bear fruit by the turn of the century when Deaconess Emma Drant came to San Francisco and organized a Chinese worshiping group in 1905 and established True Sunshine, the first Chinese Episcopal mission in San Francisco. The original location was at 966 Clay Street in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Deaconess Drant had worked in Hawaii. She knew that in order to become an effective worker among the Chinese, she had to learn Cantonese. For several years, while in Honolulu, before coming to San Francisco, she employed a young man, Wu Gee Ching, as her tutor, and she in return taught him English. Wu Gee Ching was anti-Christian when they first met. During their association, he was converted and was baptized, taking the Christian name, Daniel. He is now known as Daniel Gee Ching Wu. This faithful, inspired convert was to be the key to the success of Emma Drant’s work.
The 1906 earthquake and fire played a crucial role in the life of True Sunshine, San Francisco and Oakland. After the disaster, many San Francisco residents, including many Chinese, moved to Oakland. Consequently, the work of the church moved with them, and a mission was begun across the bay. At this time, Deaconess Drant needed help, and in 1907, Daniel G. C. Wu answered her call to come to San Francisco from Hawaii. Although still a layman, he took on the task of running the mission in San Francisco, firmly establishing the one in Oakland, and ministering to both congregations. Not long after Daniel Wu’s arrival, Deaconess Drant left to do work in the East, leaving him the burden of both missions. Aspiring to become an ordained priest, he studied at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific while attending to his lay ministry. After graduation in 1912, he was ordained and became the vicar of both missions, which were already thriving as a result of his work.
Adapted from “The Colors of Diversity” by Vincent Jang, published by the Episcopal Diocese of California, and found at http://www.truesunshine.org/historypast1.html.