John Birch: Missionary and Intelligence Officer

Friday, August 17, 2012

     Captain John Birch was a young man of principle, who lived for God and served his country as whole-heartedly as he could. Born to missionaries in India in 1918, Birch came to the United States at the age of two.  At seven he received Jesus as his Savior, and was baptized. When he was 16, John and his younger brother, Ellis, fixed up a house in an old mining town their parents purchased, and the family moved to Birchwood.   John was responsible for maintaining the farm. He also enrolled in Mercer University. He was a very good student; as one fellow student put it, “John was a brilliant fellow who made A’s almost automatically.” Sacrificing his own popularity and risking expulsion, John and a group of students, derisively known as the “Unholy Thirteen” fought for a return to Biblical fundamentals.  John Birch graduated from Mercer University in 1939 magna cum laude, and after attending a non-accredited Bible institute, sailed for China. There he served as a missionary in a war-wracked area, winning many souls to Christ.
John Birch
     After Pearl Harbor, John volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army as a chaplain, but was not accepted because the Bible institute he attended was not accredited.  John Birch was instrumental in rescuing Jimmy Doolittle and his crew, and Doolittle recommended Birch to General Chennault.  General Chennault gave him the task of assisting to safety or giving a decent burial to all of Doolittle’s Raiders, and after John had completed his assignment, he became Chennault’s intelligence agent.  He worked out liaisons between the 14th Air Force--the Flying Tigers--and the Chinese army, and saw incredible destruction and carnage.  He was invaluable to Chennault, who viewed him as a son.  John Birch did not compromise on fulfilling his mission to China, and preached almost every Sunday in Chinese churches.  He requested to be able to take tracts with him and preach to Chinese Christians while on his missions for the Army; the officers told him they didn’t care who he preached to so long as he got his job done. He preached and prayed, and he got the job done in spite of grave dangers.
     In 1944, he met and became engaged to a young British nurse. Although he wanted to marry her, he realized that God’s calling for him would take him to very dangerous territories preaching the gospel, and he called off the engagement.  Japan surrendered, and Communists raced to take Japanese territories ahead of the legitimate government, the Nationalists, who had fought so long and hard beside the Americans. Captain John Birch and Bill Miller were sent to the Japanese occupied town of Suchow to arrange for the Japanese surrender to the Americans. Miller and Birch chose different routes.  Miller was slowed down by Communists and expected Birch to beat him to Suchow.  But upon arrival in Suchow, he heard reports of an American captain who had been brutally murdered by Communists.  Birch had always been suspicious of Communists and knew they were a group trying to take advantage of the chaos of the war. Birch was waylaid by Communists, and refused to disarm. He told his Chinese aid that he wanted to see how their Communist “allies” would treat Americans, and told him that if the Communists did kill him, America would bomb and destroy them. The Communists gave him the run-around as he tried to locate their responsible man, and then he was shot and his body was mutilated.
     Instead of taking care of the Communist threat, and thereby saving millions of lives from the terrors of Mao’s regime, the American government that Birch had served so faithfully marked Birch’s file top secret, and told his family that he had been killed by stray bullets. Birch’s mother happened to glance at some papers an officer had when he came, reporting on John’s death. These papers led her to believe that John, 27 years old, had not been killed by stray bullets. She spent years investigating her son’s death. Birch’s file was finally declassified in 1972 by the Freedom of Information Act, and the book The Secret File on John Birch was published in 1981.
  John Birch’s challenges us to give our all, never compromise, and be faithful unto death so that Christ may give us a crown of life.
 John Birch left all for Jesus, will you?


  1. I enjoyed reading your blog.
    Thanks for writting.

  2. Nice post. I worked with a member of the John Birch Society many years ago and he shared a lot of information with me. It's shameful how our government keeps trying to suppress the truth.

  3. Thanks MC!
    You're right,
    Spice. The Bible
    says we will know the truth and
    the truth will set us free. It
    is a disgrace when the truth is
    suppressed in the so-called land
    of the free and home of the brave.