This Week in Texas Methodist History July 28
Texas Epworth League Convention Stunned By News of Missionary
One of the highlights of the 1907 Texas Epworth League meeting at Epworth-by-the-Sea near
Corpus Christi was a
farewell speech from one of their own.
Ruby Kendrick, a 24-year old Leaguer from Plano
told the 5,000 assembled there that in a month she was going to depart for
missionary service in Korea.
Kendrick was well-prepared for the mission field. She had been a member of the Junior Epworth League and Senior Epworth League. She graduated from
High School in 1903 and spent two
years at Scarritt and another at . Since she was still too young to be commissioned as a missionary, she taught Bible classes at a Methodist school in Terrell. Southwestern
In 1908, the North Texas Conference Epworth League met in
While they were in session, a cablegram arrived informing them that Ruby
Kendrick had died of appendicitis in . Few missionary deaths have inspired great
One of the actions was immediate. The North Texas Conferences organized a memorial service on the day the telegram was received. It concluded with an appeal to continue her Korean missionary service. Eleven Leaguers answered the altar call and volunteered for missionary service.
The next year at the state convention at Epworth-by-the-Sea participants collected funds for a memorial stone to be erected over Kendrick’s grave in
Korea. The monument recorded her last words, “If I
had a thousand lives to give, Korea
would have them all.”
The Leaguers raised so much money for the monument that after paying for the monument they had a surplus of $1000. They decided to use that money to build a missionary hall at Epworth-by-the-Sea. Before they could begin construction, a hurricane destroyed the encampment. Although a new site for a new encampment was soon acquired, trustees decided to take the $1000 on hand and add $3000 raised for the missionary hall and create a missionary scholarship at the new Methodist university then being created in Dallas, Southern Methodist University. From 1908 to 1928 the Epworth League members raised $120,000 for scholarships for future missionaries in honor of Ruby Kendrick.