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Template:Protestant missions to Pacific Islands Merriman Colbert Harris (July 9, 1846-May 8, 1921) was a Missionary Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1904.

Birth and Family[]

Merriman was born July 9, 1846 in Beallsville, Ohio, the son of Colbert and Catherine Elizabeth C. Harris. Merriman married Flora Best October 23, 1873. They had two daughters, Florence and Elizabeth.

Military Service and Education[]

Merriman served for three years as a soldier in the 12th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry in the American Civil War (1863–65), gaining the rank of Corporal.

Merriman attended the Washington Academy in Ohio, and the Harlem Springs Seminary. He then attended Scio College, earning the B.A. degree (1873) and the M.A. degree (1877) from Allegheny College.

Ordained Ministry and Missionary Service[]

Merriman entered the ministry of the Pittsburgh Annual Conference of the M.E. Church in 1869, serving as a Pastor and a Missionary. He was sent to Japan in 1873, and later he established Japanese missions on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and in Hawaii. He became the Superintendent of Japanese Missions in San Francisco in 1886. He also served as Superintendent of all Pacific Coast Japanese Missions of his denomination, including the Hawaiian Islands, in 1890.

Episcopal Ministry[]

Merriman Colbert Harris was elected a Missionary Bishop by the 1904 General Conference of the M.E. Church. He was assigned Korea and Japan.

As a Missionary Bishop he served with distinction in Hawaii and Japan. He was twice decorated with the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Emperor of Japan.

He died May 8, 1921 in Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan in a home given to him by the Japanese. He was buried in Aoyama as well.

Selected Writings[]

  • Address: Japanese Buddhism, San Francisco, 1887. Typed, in Methodist Bishops' Collection.
  • Christianity in Japan, 1907.
  • Save Korea, Quarterly-Centennial Documents, 1910.
  • Contributor, Japan Proverbs.
  • Statement in Competent Witnesses on Korea as a Mission Field, Korea Documents, with others.

See also[]

  • List of Bishops of the United Methodist Church


  • Leete, Frederick DeLand, Methodist Bishops. Nashville, The Methodist Publishing House, 1948.
  • Methodism: Ohio Area (1812–1962), edited by John M. Versteeg, Litt.D., D.D. (Ohio Area Sesquicentennial Committee, 1962).
  • Price, Carl F., Compiler and Editor: Who's Who in American Methodism, New York: E.B. Treat & Co., 1916.

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