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Dr. Robert T. Henry

The Golden Age of Preaching:The Men Who Moved the Masses

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Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Henry was graduated from Crown College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he met his wife, Svea. In 1956 they commenced their missionary service under the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Viet Nam. They were blessed with the births of three daughters. The eldest, Karen Lynne (now deceased), was born 15 months before they set sail from New York for their first term. Daughters Lynda Lee and Virginia Jewel, a Down's Syndrome child (now deceased), were both born in the mountain city of Dalat, Viet Nam. An informally adopted fourth daughter, Kien, a Chinese refugee from the tragic "killing fields" experience in Cambodia, was taken into their family in 1980.

Due to Virginia's special needs, the Henrys returned to North America where, for a short period, in order to support his family, Dr. Henry became a scientific linguist with the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State where he taught the Vietnamese language. Later he served as a language consultant to the Institute for Behavioural Research, then situated in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he engaged in the development of a new approach to language study. Following this Dr. Henry pastored the C&MA church in Washington, D.C. When the Henrys returned to Viet Nam in 1966 after finding suitable care for Virginia in Ontario, Dr. Henry founded and directed the Vietnamese Language School in Dalat. Later still, the Summer Institute of Linguistics published his six volume textbook series on the Vietnamese language.

In 1968 the Henrys, along with over thirty missionary colleagues and their children, just barely escaped with their lives in the infamous Tet Offensive. Most of their colleagues were either killed or kidnapped on the next station at Banmethuot. Meanwhile, in Dalat, the Henrys and their language students, together with their small children, escaped Viet Cong encirclement with only seconds to go before Viet Cong troops stormed into the buildings where they had been hiding.

At the end of that year the Henrys were appointed to Sydney, Australia, where Dr. Henry founded and directed the work of The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia. While there he became a regularly invited speaker in several of the Australian Keswick conventions. After over 9 years of leadership in the Australian C&MA, and after a short stint as a national conference speaker and evangelist for the C&MA in North America, he was called to be the Preaching Pastor of Sevenoaks Alliance Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. This rewarding but short appointment was interrupted when in 1979 he was elected Vice President/Church Ministries of the denomination headquartered in Nyack, New York. Dr. Henry then pastored The Tenth Avenue Alliance Church in Vancouver, B.C. and subsequently assisted in the reorganization of the British Missionary Alliance, taking sabbatical studies at Regent's Park College, Oxford, where he conducted the major portion of his research on notable British preachers of the Victorian era.

Following this, he directed the work of World Relief Hong Kong among the Vietnamese boat people while at the same time regularly going into Viet Nam itself to head up a program of relief and development on behalf of World Relief Corporation, U.S.A. Later he became President of World Relief Canada followed by a one year commitment preaching in colleges and universities on behalf of English Language Institute China in an effort to recruit Christian English teachers to teach in universities in China, Mongolia, Laos, Tibet, and Viet Nam. Now retired, the Henrys reside in Toronto.