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Biographical Note

Scope and Content


Preferred Citation

Restrictions on Access

Restrictions on Use

Related Material

Subject Terms

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Papers of Edward Pearce and Lily Anderson Hayes

Meghan Chapuran, Student Assistant, and Mark Shenise, Associate Archivist

United Methodist Archives and History Center
General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church


Overview of Collection

Record Creator: Hayes, Edward Pearce
Title: Papers of Edward Pearce and Lily Anderson Hayes
Date Span: 1916-1988
Abstract: Reverend Edward Pearce Hayes (1895-1979) and Lily May Anderson Hayes (1895-1988) were missionaries who spent nearly thirty years together in Foochow China. They were married in 1917 and sent to China in 1921 as the District Missionary for the Methodist Episcopal Church Board of Foreign Missions, Edward Pearce Hayes supervised the development of churches, schools, and hospitals. During World War II, the Hayes' spent time apart, with Lily living in California until 1947. Living in China near the end of the 1940s, the Hayes' experienced the turmoil of the Chinese Communist Revolution. While many missionaries left by 1949, they stayed behind in China to continue their work until 1951. For the rest of his life, Hayes was outspoken about communism and the effect it had on Asia. The Papers of Edward Pearce and Lily Anderson Hayes are comprised of correspondences, journal entries, informational files, photographs, speeches, newspapers, and conference programs.
Extent: 3.64 cubic feet
Identification: gcah.ms.gcah5772
dbtext 5772

Biographical Note

Reverend Edward Pearce Hayes (1895-1979) was a missionary who spent thirty years in China. He was born on July 18, 1895, in Hazen, Maryland, to Reverend Edward and Ella Pearce Hayes. He attended Johns Hopkins for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, graduating with a Bachelors in 1916 and a Masters in 1921. He also received a Bachelors of Divinity (B.D.) from Drew Theological Seminary in 1917 and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity (D.D.) from Western Maryland College in 1945.

In 1917, he was appointed to organize a YMCA at Fort Howard. He later established a YMCA headquarters at Fort McHenry and opened branches at smaller posts around the Baltimore Harbor. He was the YMCA War Work Secretary from 1917 to 1919 and then the first full time YMCA Secretary at Johns Hopkins, from 1919 to 1921. He was also licensed to preach in the First Church Baltimore, now known as Lovely Lane Church.

Lily May Anderson Hayes (1895-1988) was married to Reverend Edward Pearce Hayes and a missionary who spent a little under thirty years in China. She was born on November 6, 1895, to Charles Horace Anderson and Clara Amelia Nixdorrf Dowell. She attended Peabody Conservatory of Music after graduating from Western High School in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1914. Edward Pearce met Lily around 1914. They were married in 1917 at the First Church Baltimore. They had three children, Ann Dowell Hayes (Valois), Edward Bruce Hayes, and Donald Pearce Hayes.

In 1921, the Methodist Episcopal Church Board of Foreign Missions sent both Edward Pearce and Lily to Foochow, Fukien Province in China. He was appointed as the District Missionary of the same area. Edward Pearce Hayes supervised the development of churches, schools, and hospitals, including raising funds for their support. He also served as a middle man in negotiations between bandit bands and lawful authorities; was on the committee serving one million lepers in the province; and was the superintendent to three hospitals and the head of three schools. Lily Anderson Hayes taught English and music at the local high school while in China, in addition to entertaining guests and hosting traveling missionaries.

From 1936 to 1952, Edward represented Chinese churches at General Conference. He stayed in China throughout World War II, while Lily did not. Lily rejoined him in 1947 for the Centennial Anniversary of Methodism in China and they stayed in there until January 1951. While most missionaries left China during the Communist Revolution in 1949, they stayed for two more years to serve as liaison to government officials in order to assure an orderly transfer of educational, medical, and social institutions. After their time in China, Edward Pearce took two study trips around Asia, in 1952 and 1955.

In 1952, he raised money to open the Japan International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. Later, he helped to raise funds for many different projects in Southeast Asia. In 1965, he became the West Coast representative for the Ludhiana Christian Medical College and Hospital in Northwest India. In 1962, he was the recipient of the Freedoms Foundation Award. He retired fully in 1971 due to illness and on June 27, 1979, he passed away of a stroke before his 84th birthday. Lily Anderson Hayes passed away in her sleep on January 23, 1988 at the age of 92.

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Edward Pearce and Lily Anderson Hayes are comprised of correspondence, journal entries, informational files, photographs, speeches, newspapers in both English and Chinese, and conference programs and journals, dating from 1916 to 1988. This collection reflects the Hayes’ passion in their mission work in China, as well as Edward Pearce Hayes' view on Communism and its perceived threat to the United States.

The largest part of the collection is correspondence. Edward Pearce Hayes signs his name as Pearce in his letters. The bulk of the correspondence (1938-1947) is letters from Edward Pearce Hayes in China to his wife and family residing in the United States. These letters recount his life in China. The letters discuss homesickness and difficulties due to lack of money, food, and clothing. They also allow for a glimpse into the uncertainty of life during war time, including rumors about the path of war, bombings, and government unrest. Once Lily rejoined him in China for the one hundredth anniversary of Methodism in China, they both sent letters to their family in the United States. These letters (1947-1950) inform family about daily life and how it had changed before, during, and after the communist takeover in China, which later produced the People’s Republic of China. These letters also discuss the ever changing prices in China, rumors about the happenings in cities and towns taken over by the Communists, information on the fate of other missionaries, reasons for staying in China longer, and the evacuation of other missionaries.

Another collection of correspondences pertain to Edward Pearce Hayes’ 1958 and 1961 trips for the then Methodist Church Board of Missions in New York. These letters, written to his wife, discuss his daily life, as well as give a glimpse into his thoughts on issues in Asia, Africa, and Berlin, as well as his thoughts on the state of the Methodist Church and mission issues.

The collection also includes Edward Pearce Hayes' letters and travel logs about his two trips abroad. In 1952, he traveled to South East Asia. This trip consisted of visiting Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Manila. In 1955, he traveled to other areas of South East Asia, India, and Malaysia. Both sets of letters and travel logs tell of his daily travels and encounters.

In addition to correspondence, the collection includes files containing biographical information written by the family about the lives of Edward Pearce and Lily. These files also include letters Edward Pearce wrote to friends and family over the years prior to 1938. There are also clippings of Edward Pearce's various speaking engagements, as well as numerous obituaries for both and a clipping about their Golden Anniversary. Other items of note found in the collection are notes written by Edward Pearce for his speeches, and some diary and journal entries from his trips abroad. There are also pamphlets and booklets from Methodist conferences Hayes attended, including a photograph of the 1947 Centennial Celebration of the Methodist Church taken at the China Central Conference, as well as four banners given to the Hayes' as parting gifts upon their departure from China in January 1950. There is a General Conference badge Edward Pearce received when attending the 1940 General Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Another item of note is a 1947 Chinese newspaper printed in Foochow, China, pertaining to the one hundredth anniversary of Methodism in China.

While this collection is primarily in English, there are a few items that are in Chinese. The banners are in Chinese, with translations included. There is a document with his name written in Chinese. This includes a YMCA membership certificate from Foochow. The 1947 newspaper pertaining to the one hundredth anniversary of Methodism in China is printed in Chinese as well.


Materials have been arranged in the following manner.

The collection is arranged according to original folder order and then chronologically within the folders.

Preferred Citation

When citing material from this collection please use the following format: Direct reference to the item or its file folder, Papers of Edward Pearce and Lily Anderson Hayes, United Methodist Church Archives - GCAH, Madison, New Jersey. Do not make use of the item's call number as that is not a stable descriptor.

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding this collection.

Use Access

Detailed use restrictions relating to our collections can be requested from the office of the archivist at the General Commission on Archives and History. Photocopying is handled by the staff and may be limited in certain instances. Before using any material for publication from this collection a formal request for permission to publish is expected and required.

Related Material

Records of the Mission Education and Cultivation Program Department of the General Board of Global Ministries, General Commission on Archives and History

Missionary files series of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church, General Commission on Archives and History

Missionary Files Series, General Commission on Archives and History

Mission Biographical Reference Files, General Commission on Archives and History

China Records Project Miscellaneous Personal Papers Collection, Yale Divinity Library

Interview, China Missionaries Project, Oral History Program Archive, Claremont Graduate University

Index Terms

Subject Terms
Geographic Terms
Genre Terms
Subject Names - Corporate Bodies
Methodist Church
Methodist Episcopal Church
United Methodist Church (U.S.)
Added Names - Persons
Hayes, Lily Anderson
Occupation Terms

Container List

Call Number Folder Title Date(s)
1591-4-1: 1 Biographical 1916-1988
1591-4-1: 2 Biographical 1920-1970
1591-4-1: 3 Biographical: Photographs 1921-1963
1591-4-1: 4 Biographical: "Our Golden Wedding Anniversary" 1967
1591-4-1: 5 Biographical: Edward Pearce Hayes Funeral Book 1979
1591-4-1: 6 Diary Notes 1941-1943
1591-4-1: 7 Correspondence: Edward Pearce Hayes to Lily Hayes and Family 1938-1940
1591-4-2: 1 Correspondence: Edward Pearce Hayes to Lily Hayes and Family 1941-1943
1591-4-2: 2 Correspondence: Edward Pearce Hayes to Lily Hayes and Family 1943-1947
1591-4-2: 3 Correspondence: Edward Pearce Hayes and Lily Hayes to Family 1947-1949
1591-4-2: 4 Reports on the Church During the Communist Takeover 1949-1950
1591-4-2: 5 South East Asia Trip Folder 1 1952
1591-4-2: 6 South East Asia Trip Folder 2 1952
1591-4-2: 7 South East Asia, India, and Malaysia Trip 1955
1591-4-2: 8 Board of Missions Trip 1958
1591-4-2: 9 Board of Missions Trip 1961
1591-4-2: 10 Notes on Speeches Undated
1591-4-3: 1 Chinese Mission Newspapers 1935-1941
1591-4-3: 2 Conference Booklets 1917-1947
1591-4-3: 3 Conference Booklets: China Central Conference 1947
1591-4-3: 4 Clippings 1951-1956
1591-4-3: 5 Miscellaneous 1916-1979
1591-4-3: 6 1940 General Conference Medal 1940
1591-1-1: 6 Clipper Club Membership Certificate 1955
1591-1-1: 7 YMCA Foochow Membership Certificate 1948
1591-1-1: 1 Banner: Fukien Union Theological Parting Gift 1951
1591-1-1: 2 Banner: Miss Dieu Buoi Ing Parting Gift 1950
1591-1-1: 3 Banner: Congregation of Hok Ming Parting Gift 1951
1591-1-1: 4 Banner: Futsing Parting Gift 1951
1591-1-1: 5 Photograph: "The Centennial Celebration of the Methodist Church" 1947
1591-1-1: 8 Chinese Foochow Newspaper of 100th Anniversary of Methodism in China 1947