William Thomas Berger 1815 - 1899
February 26, 2012
William Thomas Berger (1815–1899) was a Christian starch manufacturer in London and owner of Samuel Berger & Co., a patent rice starch manufacturer, who became the first home (England) director of the China Inland Mission with James Hudson Taylor on 25 June 1865 (James Hudson Taylor, A Retrospect, (Morgan and Scott). Multiple pages).
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Thomas_Berger At this time the headquarters of the mission agency was located at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England. As the Home Director he was responsible for editing the Occasional Paper of the China Inland Mission and carrying on the work of sending more missionaries to follow James Hudson Taylor to China.
At the time of the Yangzhou riot that brought unwelcome notoriety to the mission activity in China, Berger had to defend Taylor and his group from the attacks of the British press. Often, he had to assume this role with little or no knowledge of the current events in China due to the delay in communication with the missionaries overseas.
The Bergers resigned due to failing health and also due to his personal convictions which were similar to Andrew Jukes (in conflict with the traditional Christian principles of the China Inland Mission) regarding the eternal punishment of non-Christians. He remained a faithful supporter of the mission and a friend of James Hudson Taylor until his death.