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LeeMilton

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William Milton Lee 李嗣贵 (1915-1997) 
and 
Helen Virginia Warren Lee 李海倫 (1914-2012)
Basic Biographical Data
Milton Lee was born March 9, 1915 in Shanghai, China, and died on December 4, 1997 near Rutherford, California. Helen Warren-Lee was born July 22, 1914 in Shanghai, China, and died on April 25, 2012 in Yountville, California.

Parentage: Milton was the son of China missionaries, Frederick and Minnie Lee, while Helen was the daughter was the daughter of another China missionary couple, Merritt and Wilma Warren.

Siblings: Milton was the only son, but had three sisters, an older sister, Anna, and two younger sisters, Dorothy and Mary Lou, all born in China. Helen was the eldest among six children in the Warren family. Her sisters were Eleanor and Dorothy, and her brothers were Merritt (Jr), Donald, and Fred.

Education: Milton and Helen completed their secondary education in China graduating from the Far Eastern Academy in 1932. They also graduated in the same year, 1936, from Pacific Union College, Milton with a BA in history, and Helen in nursing with and RN. Later on during one of his furlough year, he also obtained an MA degree at the seminary.

Marriage: After seven years of friendship Milton Lee and Helen Warren were married on August 4, 1936.

Children: Milton and Helen Lee were blessed with two children: son Frederick M. Lee was born 1939 in Kunming, southwestern China; daughter Sylvia Lee-Fillman was born 1944 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, USA.

Summary of Service: Milton and Helen Lee set sail to China on August 21, 1936, a little bit over two weeks after their marriage. They began their pioneer mission service at Mokiang, among the mountain tribes of Yunan. In 1946, after WWII, the Lees returned to Shanghai, China and Milton began ministry in radio, Bible Correspondence School, and evangelism. With the establishment of the People Republic of China, the Lees moved to Hong Kong in 1949, where Milton taught religion in the college there. In 1951, the Milton Lees were called to Taiwan to lead out in the evangelism work in the southern part of the island. From 1960 to 1966, Milton Lee, because of his excellent Chinese language skill, was the Division Evangelist for Chinese speaking people for the Far Eastern Division, with home base in Singapore, conducting evangelistic efforts in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 1967, Milton returned to Taiwan to focus his radio evangelism, broadcasting to the China Mainland, as well as Taiwan. He also fosterd the production of a weekly TV program, The Voice of Signs, for a number of years.  In total the Milton Lees served among the Chinese people for 44 years. Even after retirement since 1980, the Lees still held many  Chinese evangelistic efforts in the Far East.

Childhood and Youth
 
William Milton Lee 李嗣贵 (Li Sze Gwei) was born March 9, 1915 in Shanghai, China, to China missionaries, Frederick and Minnie Lee.  Milton was an only son, having an older sister, Anna, and two younger sisters, Dorothy, and Mary Lou, all born in China. His  father, Frederick
Lee, evangelist and writer,  served some years as editor of the Chinese "Signs of the Times", and in later life as associate editor of the "Adventist Review."
Milton  received all his primary and secondary education in China, graduating from the Far Eastern Academy in 1932 as president of his class.  Helen Warren, daughter of missionary parents,  Merritt and Wilma Warren, also graduated in the same class, as did Clarence Miller, Lyle Ham, Helen Anderson, Charles Anderson, and Janet Wood. Helen was born on July 22, 1914, also in Shanghai, China. She was the oldest of six children in the Warren family. Her sisters were Eleanor and Dorothy, and her brothers were Merritt (Jr), Donald, and Fred. 

After graduating from the academy, Milton went to Southern California Junior College in La Sierra for two years, then finished at Pacific Union College with a history major and religion minor in 1936. A year before finishing college he had filled out a questionnaire from the General Conference indicating his willingness for mission service. Before graduation he had a call from the China Division.

Milton's seven years of friendship with Helen Warren, culminated in their marriage August 4, 1936 and their sailing for China August 21, one with only a BA. and the other with only an RN. But both had some foundation in the Chinese language and loved the Chinese people.  

Began Mission Service in China
With Father Warren's encouragement, the young couple turned down a position in Shanghai's Home Study Institute in favor of going out to pioneer mission work among the mountain tribes of Yunnan. There, under Pastor C.B.Miller's leadership, they were assigned to open new work in the Mokiang area, ten day's journey from headquarters.

Helen had a little clinic on a Mokiang street, thankful for her nurses' training since they were ten day's away from the nearest doctor or hospital. And Milton was kept busy raising up companies of believers in the hills©©seven different groups. In 1939 son Fred was born in Kunming. Then the Japanese war began which bloomed into World War II. 

 In 1944 the Lees took a furlough and daughter Sylvia was born in Mt Vernon,Ohio. Milton studied a while at the seminary. Since the U.S. Government was not permitting American civilians to return to China during the war, Milton was first assigned to pastor 5 churches in Ohio.  Then he asked to go to the Voice of Prophecy in Glendale, California, to see how their successful Bible Correspondence School operated, feeling that it would be a good idea for China. There Milton met David Lin who was writing Chinese Bible lessons especially prepared for the Chinese mind

In 1946 the Milton Lees were on the very first ship (the Marine Lynx) carrying missionaries back to China. Assigned to live in Shanghai, Milton's work was in radio, Bible Correspondence school, and evangelism.  Events taking place in 1949 forced them, and most other missionaries out of China.

Once in the safety of Hong Kong, the Lees lived out at Clear Water Bay where Milton taught religion classes in our college which had moved there from Chiao Tou Djen. On Sunday mornings he helped in the Bible Auditorium services in Kowloon. However, after one school year the college elected to move back to China, without any "foreign" teachers, of course. Milton stayed on in Hong Kong doing evangelism.

Ministry in Taiwan and Other Parts of Far East
In 1951 the Milton Lees were called to Taiwan to lead out in our work in the south of the island and to hold evangelistic campaigns in the larger cities. The six years from 1960©1966 Milton was Division Evangelist for Chinese, with home base in Singapore. He was kept busy holding Mandarin efforts in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. But when Taiwan called for him again, he was glad to return there.

It was in Taiwan that Milton had a burden for radio evangelism and broadcasting the truth to China Mainland, as well as Taiwan. This resulted in hundreds of sermons being recorded on tapes. These tapes are still being heard and reproduced in Taiwan and in the Mainland. For nine years, till costs became prohibitive, he fostered the production of a weekly TV program called "The Voice of Signs". Furlough years were spent getting slides and tapes ready for evangelism in China or obtaining his MA degree at the seminary. 

Retirement
After retiring in 1980, the Lees have lived in Angwin, California. In his retirement he continued to record sermons for broadcasting.  One school year they joined the faculty of our college in Taiwan as SOS workers. He also held several full-length Chinese efforts in the Far East. After China opened up for visitors the Lees made 14 journeys back.  Milton never lost interest in China and Chinese. 

In 1981, Milton Lee was selected by the Pacific Union College Alumni Board to be honored as the Alumnus of the Year.

Milton's life ended abruptly as the result of an automobile accident near Rutherford, California, on December 4, 1997.  Helen was critically injured, but is surviving.  Left to mourn his death are his wife, Helen; son & daughter-in-law, Frederick Milton & Aura; daughter & son-in-law, Sylvia & Daon Fillman; sister, Mary Lou Gregory, step mother, Emma Lee, granddaughter Stacy and grandson Lorin Milton Lee, as well as a host of dear friends and relatives. 

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The text below will be integrated into the main body of the biography.
                                                   MILTON LEE 
     The story of Milton Lee must begin with his pioneer missionary parents, Elder and Mrs. Frederick Lee, who in 1909 at the age of 20 and 21, arrived in China for mission service.  Born to them in China were three daughters and one son—Milton. Father Lee was, first of all, an evangelist as well as a writer.  The old saying, “Like father, like son,” could appropriately be applied to Milton. (Perhaps that prompted B. A. Liu, President of the old China Training Institute, to give Milton his Chinese name—Li Sze Gwei.)    Milton grew up in Central and North China, finished high school at the Far Eastern Academy, graduated from Pacific Union College, married his high-school sweetheart, Helen Warren, (who had finished the nurses course), and accepted a call to do pioneer  work in the mountains of Yunnan among its minority nationalities.          
     The young couple’s first home was in Mokiang, ten day’s travel south of Kunming . There life was quite primitive—no electricity, or running water; no banks, hospitals, doctors, or other Americans; no telegraph, telephones or radios.  That was before the days of airmail, so letters from the States took six weeks.  Travel on mountain trails was difficult and tiring, but the warmth and love of the converts was reward enough.
     Among the national workers who helped build up the Mokiang work were the Lo Gwei Ih, Nun Da Deh, Lin Dzung Hsi, and Wang Wei Dzung families.  By furlough time the Mokiang district had a much-respected nurse-operated clinic in town, a thriving church school two days away, and seven churches with over three thousand worshipers. 
     After their first furlough and the end of World War II, the Milton Lees returned to China, along with others China missionaries, on the very first ship that could take civilians.  Now, assigned to live in Shanghai, Milton  worked with David Lin and Pastor C. I. Meng in evangelism, the Bible Correspondence School, and radio. God must get the credit for Milton’s sudden switch, practically overnight, from the western Chinese tones,  (which he had been using for seven years)  to the northern Chinese tones.  His first effort was in Shanghai, followed the next spring by one in Peking—unusual in that it was a father-son campaign.  Pastor Frederick Lee, associate editor of the Review and Herald,  joined  his son,  speaking on alternate nights. After his father left, it was decided in the fall to continue with a second campaign in Peking, but it was cut short by the advancing communist army.
     One last effort was held in Kunming before the curtain came down on freedom to hold holding public evangelistic efforts in China. Evacuated to Hongkong,  Milton was asked to teach in the religion department of our college, which had been recently evacuated from the Mainland to Kowloon. This began his enjoyable years of close association with the young men and women who were preparing for gospel work. The friendships formed between Milton Lee and his students lasted twenty, thirty,  and forty years.
     Milton held deep admiration for several Chinese preachers.  One was C. I. Meng, preaching in beautiful Mandarin, and another was Ho Wai Yee, preaching in Cantonese.  They could hold their audiences spellbound.  What a pity there were no recordings of their sermons to be used after the men themselves had gone!  Milton himself recorded hundreds of sermons which he hoped would continue to be useful.   
     Two things Milton Lee labored to promote—one was to keep the Chinese Signs of the Times from being discontinued.  (It bore the distinction of being the oldest continuous religious publication in Chinese.)  The other was to have an SDA short-wave radio station in the Far East strong enough to reach all of China.  Thank God, it is now a reality.
Milton Lee felt the call to preach the word, not just to those already members of the church, but to those who had never heard the gospel before.  When public evangelism could no longer be done in Mainland China, the Milton Lees were moved to Taiwan, where there was freedom of religion.  In the early part of the 1960’s  the Lees spent six years living in Singapore where He was Division evangelist for the Chinese.  Thus he held evangelistic campaigns in the large cities of Asia where there were a sizable  population of Chinese—in Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Borneo, Thailand the Philippines, and Hongkong.  
After retirement the Lees spent a year teaching in our college in Taiwan as well as holding several evangelistic efforts in the Far East. For a number of years during retirement Milton regularly recorded Mandarin sermons for broadcasting from Guam.  
Any success Milton Lee may have had in his assigned work, he knew full well that he was very dependent upon his Chinese brethren for their assistance.  His policy was to have the local pastors do the baptizing of the new converts, and he never kept any records of the number of converts.  Those who lived closest to him knew that he did much praying, and wished no praise for himself, but only for God’s glory.


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