Jonathan Goforth was born on his father's farm near Thomdale, Ontario, Canada. He was the seventh of 11 children. He had a godly upbringing, but in spite of missing much public school because of work on the farm he graduated at the top of his class. He was converted at 18. While enrolled at Knox College, Toronto, his attention was drawn toward the slums, and God gave him an exceptional ministry among the poor and down-trodden of the city. Florence Rosalind Bell-Smith became his bride. The couple went to China, where they had a very hard life, but a very fruitful ministry. Shortly after arriving, a fire swept through their little home with a dry-thatched roof, and all their valuables were destroyed, except Goforth's Bible, a valise containing what little money they had for the work, and the clothes on their backs! Nevertheless, they made a valiant new start, and they labored together for 47 years. Their field was a pioneer work in North Honan Province, considered one of the most dangerous and anti-foreign sections of anti-foreign China. They had been there only a very short time when their first child, Gertrude, died--but as before the parents pressed on! Many in China and Mongolia cameto Christ through the Goforths.
Jonathan Goforth (1859 to 1936)
He Indeed Went Forth