Robert Baird McClure

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Robert Baird McClure

23rd Moderator of the United Church of Canada
ChurchUnited Church of Canada
In office1968-1971
PredecessorWilfred C. Lockhart
SuccessorArthur B. B. Moore
Personal details
BornNovember 23, 1900
Portland, Oregon
DiedNovember 10, 1991(1991-11-10) (aged 90)
Toronto, Ontario
SpouseAmy Hislop
Alma materUniversity of Toronto
McGill University

Robert Baird McClure CC FRCS (Edin.) FICS (November 23, 1900 – November 10, 1991) was a Canadian physician, medical missionary, and was elected Moderator of the United Church of Canada by the 23rd General Council in Kingston, Ontario in 1968. He was the first lay person to be elected to this position.

Early life[edit]

Born in Portland, Oregon, the son of a medical missionary, he spent the first fifteen years of his life in China.

He graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Medicine in 1922. In 1923, he was appointed as a medical missionary to Henan, China and served until 1948. He was the only medical missionary in India and China who was able to provide radium treatment for cancer. He was also on the staff of the Church Missionary Society Hospital at Gaza, Palestine.

Multiple Christian hospitals in Henan China were established by Canadian Christian missionaries in the 1900s. Many Canadian Christian missionaries devoted their lives there, including Dr. Robert Baird McClure. Most western missionaries were expelled from China in 1950. Today Henan Province has the highest number of Christians among all provinces of China. Since the 1970s, great Holy Spirit revivals happen in that province. In 2018, most Christian churches in Henan were forced to remove their Cross on their buildings. Many Christian churches in Henan province were attacked by the Police and Public Security of the Chinese Communist Party. Shortly after that, in Dec 2018, a diplomatic crisis happened between Canada and China due to an incident. The relationship between Canada and China has reached to an all-time low.

Dr. Robert Baird McClure and other Canadian Christian missionaries will be forever remembered and loved by the people of Henan, China.

Medical career[edit]

Church Involvement[edit]

He was Moderator of the United Church of Canada 1968–1971 and in 1971 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.


  • Munroe Scott, McClure: The China Years; McClure: Years of Challenge (biography of Dr. Robert McClure, vols. 1 and 2), Penguin Books Canada, Toronto 1979 and 1985.
  • McClure, Robert G., Vintage McClure; (with Diane Forrest), ISBN 1-55011-055-1, Welch Publishing, Burlington, Ontario 1988.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Wilfred C. Lockhart
Moderator of the United Church of Canada
Succeeded by
Arthur B. B. Moore