Skip to main content

Collection 394 Oral History Interview with Ruth W. Adeney

Identifier: CN 394

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews with Ruth Winifred Temple Adeney (1912-1911) in which she describes her youth; spiritual growth; education at Northwestern Schools; call to missionary work with China Inland Mission; her missionary experience; her husband, David Adeney; her work with with China Inland Mission in rural areas of Henan Province (1934-1941); and her husband's work with university students in Nanking (1946-1948) and Shanghai (1949- 1950). Other topics discussed include the impact of war and separation on family life; evacuation to the U.S.; work with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship; the Adeneys' evacuation from China in 1950; fondest memories; and observations during her 1978 return to China. The time period covered by the interviews is 1912 to1988.

Ruth Adeney was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on June 10, 1988, at the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.


  • Created: 1988


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Ruth Winifred Temple was born September 29, 1912 in Morristown, MN to Lewis E. and Laura Temple. When she was nine, Ruth commited herself to Christ. Following high school, she attended Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis, from which she graduated in the missions course in 1933. In 1934, she joined China Inland Mission, and by year's end was studying Chinese at the mission's language school in Yangzhou. For the next six years, she worked in Henan province. After completing the six-month course, she was first assigned to work in Wuyang, along with with Helen Nowack (later Frame). In 1936, she was moved to Yengcheng. In 1938, she married fellow-missionary David Adeney, and together they opened a station in Fangcheng. Wartime conditions required them to leave China in 1941.

The Adeneys returned first to the U.S. after leaving China. While David joined Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship to work first as Missions Secretary and then, based in Boston, as secretary in the Northeast U.S., Ruth cared for her family and entertained student guests. The Adeneys then moved on to reside in London, where David worked on the mission's home staff.

David returned to China in 1946 as part of CIM's effort to reestablish male workers on the field before bringing out their families. Ruth returned to her home in Minnesota with her three young children, where she suffered a slipped disc before she followed David back to China. From 1946 to 1950, Ruth assisted David in his ministry among Chinese university students in Nanking and Shanghai. The Adeneys evacuated China a second time in 1950, returning again to the United States.

From 1950 to 1955, David again joined the staff of Inter-Varsity, and the family lived in Geneva, IL. In 1956, he was offered a position in Hong Kong, working with International Fellowship of Evangelical Students [IFES]. The Adeneys lived in Hong Kong until 1967 when he resigned from IFES.

In 1968, the Adeneys were readmitted to the mission, by then renamed Overseas Missionary Fellowship. David was assigned to coordinate the Discipleship Training Center in Singapore. Following the reopening of China to Western visitors, Ruth and David made a number of trips to China. Ruth Adeney died on August 31, 2011.

The Adeneys had four children.


2.00 Audio Tapes

76 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Ruth Adeney in June 1988.

Accession: 88-67

November 16, 1993

Paul A. Ericksen

S. Henning

Collection 394 Oral History Interview with Ruth W. Adeney
Paul Ericksen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US