A 100 year timeline

A Brief Summary of Pastor John Willis’ Life

1904 Was born on 18 November in Finland.
1909 Migrated to the United States at the age of 4 and lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1912 Moved to Duluth, Minnesota.
1920 Accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as His personal Lord and Saviour at 16 years old at an evangelistic meeting. Attended Ebenezer Baptist Church in Duluth, Minnesota.
1922 Baptised as a Christian.
1923 Graduated from Robert Denfeld High School in Duluth.
Moved to Illinois, Chicago and worked as a post office clerk.
Worshipped at Bethel Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. Later on, he attended evening classes at Moody Bible Institute, served as Sunday School teacher, then Superintendent and conducted evangelistic chalk meetings on the streets of Chicago with The Northside Fishermen.
1926 Graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts majoring in Art. Created comic strip called Red Flannels for a neighbourhood newsapaper, cartoons for The Mission Post and subsequently, Christian art for Chicago Daily News.
1927 Moved into a one and a half bungalow built by his father, a bricklayer.
1951 Mother, Louisa Alexandra Lindquist, went home to be with the Lord at the age of 83.
1940s/1950s Started his not for profit Christian cartoon tract company.
1953 Invited by YFC to share about his chalkboard ministry at Tokyo Congress on evangelism.
Did chalk talks in Japan (Tokyo and Wakayama Prefecture), Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Italy, France and Germany.
1963 Invited by Reverend John Lu, Southeast Asian Director of CNEC , to conduct chalk talks in Singapore.
Father, John F. Willis (born Johan Ferdinand Skruv), went home to be with The Lord at the age of 90.
1963-1964 Went on second chalk talk evangelistic tour from October 1963 to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.
1966 Retired from Postal Service, visited ministries in Hongkong and Thailand before comingto Singapore to help out with the CNEC work at request of Rev John Lu.
Stayed at the CNEC headquarters at 51 Jalan Jelita and continued serving at Bartley Christian Church at Jalan Rindu.
1968 Became Honorary Pastor of Bartley Christian Church (BCC) at the age of 64.
1973-1974 Returned to the United States to serve as a Assistant Pastor in his home church, Bethel Baptist Church, for 10 months but traveled first to visit the various Christian ministries in Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. Took the Trans-Siberian Express from Khabarovsk across the Soviet Union and took the flight out to Helsinki. Attended a missionary conference in Toronto, crusades to Switzerland and South Africa and checked out the workings of the holy spirit in Fiji before returning to Singapore in 1974.
Early 1970s Appointed Pastor of Grace Church (now known as Neighbourhood Church) at 7 Jalan Kuras.
1970s Went on mission trips and did chalk talks with Rev Dr Paul B.Chang in Northern Thailand and Malaysia.
1977 Stayed at Bartley’s office after CNEC moved their premises to Braddel Road.
Early 1980s Conferred the title of Pastor Emeritus by BCC.
1985 Celebrated his 81st birthday on 18 November and proceeds of cash gifts were dedicated to SBC known as the John Willis Scholarship Fund.
1987 Received the Faithful Service Award for being the longest service pastor at BCC's 25th anniversary celebrations in July.
1991 Travelled to India for a month-long mission trip covering five cities at the age of 86.
1995-1996 Made three mission trips to Myanmar at over 90 years of age
1998 Moved to St Luke's Hospital for health reasons on 5 February. Given a pacemaker in March at Singapore General Hospital.
1999-2000 Took a last holiday back to the United States from 20 December 1999 to 6 January 2000.
2003 Replaced the pacemaker in November.
2004 Promoted to glory on 10 April at 2200 hrs while at St Luke’s Hospital.
2004 Pastor John Willis Scholarship Fund at SBC is established with the over $240,000 he willed to SBC.
2005 John B Willis Memorial Scholarship Fund at Moody Bible Institute is established with the money from his estate.
2010 BCC names a 450-seater hall on the second storey of its new church building as John Willis Hall.
2010 The book An American We Are Grateful For on the life and legacy of Pastor John Willis is published in February by Singapore Christian Foundation.
2010 PJW Mission Endowment Fund is established, with the proceeds from the sale of this book via BCC, to support future missionaries of BCC.