The Rev. Bruce F. Hunt was a missionary to Korea for 48 years until he completed his final term as a missionary of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1976.
Bruce Hunt was born into a long line of Christian ministers and leaders. His great-grandfather was a missionary in the Hawaiian Islands and was the first Protestant minister in San Francisco during the days of the gold rush. His grandfather was a Presbyterian elder in Ottawa, Illinois, and his father, William B. Hunt, was a missionary in Korea for 42 years, beginning in 1897.
Bruce was born there in 1903. His wife, the former Katharine Blair, was also a native of Korea, a daughter of missionaries. Korean people said of Bruce that he “speaks Korean like a native.”
After attending Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, for three years, and graduating from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Bruce graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1928. He went to Korea as a missionary in the fall of that same year.
His first sabbatical was spent at Westminster Theological Seminary during 1935-36. In 1936, he left the PCUSA and became a founding member of the PCA (later OPC). As a member of the Presbyterian Independent Mission Board, under the leadership of J. Gresham Machen, Bruce Hunt served in Manchuria from 1936 to 1942. During that time, he became a missionary under the OPC Foreign Mission Board.
His work in Manchuria concluded with his imprisonment for seven months by the Japanese in 1941 as World War II was breaking out. The imprisonment was a result of his anti-Shinto Shrine worship activities. The Japanese Empire required Shinto Shrine worship as a sign of loyalty to Japan from its own people as well as those who became its colonial subjects. Many Korean Christians were imprisoned and martyred during this oppressive time.
Repatriated in 1942, Bruce returned to Korea in 1946. The Korean War again interrupted his work in 1950, but he was able to return once more in 1952. His book, For A Testimony, tells of his experiences in prison and of the steadfastness and valor of Korean Christians.
Bruce Hunt officially retired in 1976 to Abington, Pennsylvania, and continued to preach the gospel, on a weekly basis, to all peoples, especially Koreans in the U.S. and Canada. He went to be with the Lord in 1992 at the age of 89.
This information is provided by Westminster Theological Seminary’s SaRang Korean Missions Center. The SaRang Korean Missions Center is an outgrowth of Westminster’s long history with the Korean church in training a significant number of Korean pastors, ministry leaders, and theologians. Created in 2001 through the generous support of SaRang Community Church in Seoul, the center exists to advance research and academic discussion on the past, present, and future of the Korean church, via visiting scholars and workshops. The center is cooperating with the Montgomery Library to digitize the Bruce Hunt archives, a collection of thousands of photographs and Korean and English manuscripts documenting two generations of Korean missions. Part of this collection is now available at http://sarang.wts.edu/.