The Wesleyan Missionary Society sent out Revs. W. R. Beach and J. Cox to Guangzhou in 1852. It afterwards established itself in Hankow, and had its principal stations in that city and others of the province of Hupeh. Lay agency, under the direction of Rev. David Hill, was a prominent feature in the Mission at Hankow, and this Society was also trying the experiment of giving to some of its missionaries a medical training, that they might combine preaching and healing gifts in their labors. In 1884 it resolved to open a college or high school in connection with their Central Mission, and the Rev. W. T. A. Barber, M.A., was appointed principal, and arrived at Hankow early in 1885. The object of the institution was to provide a liberal Western education for the sons of official and other wealthy Chinese. Attempts to purchase land for the erection of a suitable building were unsuccessful, but in 1887 a large house was rented in the main street of Wuchang, and the work begun. A ladies auxiliary society also sent out female workers. In 1890 there were twenty-five missionaries at work, with six lady agents, two ordained native pastors, thirty-three unordained native helpers, and nine hundred and seventy-five communicants.