John MacKenzie was born in Yarmouth, England. Converted at seventeen, he enrolled in Bristol Medical School. At twenty-three, he received diplomas for medical training and was accepted by the London Missionary Society. He arrived in China as a missionary in 1875, setting up a medical work. In 1880, he opened a permanent hospital and the year after a medical school to train doctors. He spent much of his short life separated from his wife who was forced to return to England as an invalid. At the young age of thirty-six, MacKenzie contracted smallpox and died.
John Henry Jowett was born in Halifax, England. "I was blessed with the priceless privilege of a Christian home," he later remarked. His love of reading manifest itself early as he spent evenings devouring volumes from the town's library. His Sunday school teacher J. W. T. Dewhirst said to his pupils, "I always hoped that you would go into the ministry." John Henry Jowett did. After theological training at Edinburgh and Oxford, Jowett assumed the pastorate of St. James Congregational Church. Six years of effective ministry brought him to the famous Carr's Lane Church in Birmingham, England. He also pastored in the US but his last pastorate was in England.