William Fitzjames Oldham
William Fitzjames Oldham (15 December 1854 - 27 March 1937) was an India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n-born British-American Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of the Methodist Episcopal Church
Methodist Episcopal Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church, sometimes referred to as the M.E. Church, was a development of the first expression of Methodism in the United States. It officially began at the Baltimore Christmas Conference in 1784, with Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke as the first bishops. Through a series of...

 and Missionary Bishop for Southern Asia. He also distinguished himself as a Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

, an Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

, and a Church
Church Body
A local church is a Christian religious organization that meets in a particular location. Many are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by pastors or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek seek non-profit corporate status...

An official is someone who holds an office in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority .A government official or functionary is an official who is involved in public...

. He is also the founder of Anglo Chinese School in Singapore in 1886.

Birth, Family and Ancestry

William was born in Bangalore, India the son of James and Mary Elizabeth Oldham. James was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 officer commanding Sepoy
A sepoy was formerly the designation given to an Indian soldier in the service of a European power. In the modern Indian Army, Pakistan Army and Bangladesh Army it remains in use for the rank of private soldier.-Etymology and Historical usage:...

 troops in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. William's ancestry was primarily Irish-English, with some Indian blood, it was said, on his mother's side. William married Marie Augusta Mulligan 13 September 1877.

Education and Conversion

William earned the B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree from Boston University
Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

 and the M.A.
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 from Allegheny College
Allegheny College
Allegheny College is a private liberal arts college located in northwestern Pennsylvania in the town of Meadville. Founded in 1815, the college has about 2,100 undergraduate students.-Early history:...

. He became a government surveyor
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

. He was converted
Conversion to Christianity
Conversion to Christianity is the religious conversion of a previously non-Christian person to some form of Christianity. It has been called the foundational experience of Christian life...

 to the Christian faith under the preaching of the Rev. D.O. Fox, who assisted at the time of the well-known Taylor evangelistic meeting in 1873.

Ordained and Missionary Ministry

The Rev. Oldham entered the Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 Annual Conference
Annual Conference
An Annual Conference in the United Methodist Church is a regional body that governs much of the life of the "Connectional Church." Annual conferences are composed primarily of the clergy members and a lay member or members from each charge . Each conference is a geographical division...

 of the M.E. Church in 1883. He also served for a time under the auspices of the Ohio Conference. He was the founder of a Mission. He also served as an Assistant (Corresponding) Secretary of Missions for his denomination, beginning in 1912.

Rev. Oldham was a member of M.E. General Conferences in 1880, 1900, 04, 08 and 1912. He was a delegate of the Second and Fourth Ecumenical Conferences of 1891 and 1911, as well as the Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 Convention of 1910.

Episcopal Ministry

Bishop Oldham was elected Missionary Bishop for Southern Asia in 1904. He later was elected a Bishop of the M.E. Church in 1916, serving until his death. His office was at 150 Fifth Ave., New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. His residence was in Leonia, New Jersey
Leonia, New Jersey
Leonia is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 8,937. It is located near the western approach to the George Washington Bridge....

. He also served as a Trustee
Trustee is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another...

 of the Union Missionary Institute of Brooklyn, New York.

Death and Burial

Bishop Oldham died 27 March 1937 in Glendale, California
Glendale, California
Glendale is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the city population is 191,719, down from 194,973 at the 2000 census. making it the third largest city in Los Angeles County and the 22nd largest city in the state of California...

. He was buried in Forest Lawn
Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Forest Lawn Memorial Park is a privately owned cemetery in Glendale, California. It is the original location of Forest Lawn, a chain of cemeteries in Southern California. The land was formerly part of Providencia Ranch.-History:...


Selected Writings

  • Translated from Malaysia, Charles A. Gray, pamphlet, 1889.
  • Sketch of Thoburn, The Picket Line of Missions, 1897.
  • The Study of Missions in Colleges, Student Missionary Appeal, 1898.
  • Presenting the Gospel to Non-Christian Peoples, Ecumentical Missionary Conference, 1900.
  • Addresses: What the Missionary Secretary Can Do, and The Deaconess as a Missionary Worker, First General Missionary Convention, Cleveland, 1903.
  • Malaysia, Nature's Wonderland, 1907.
  • Address: To Advance in Foreign Missions, Militant Methodism, Downey et al., Eds., 1913.
  • Address: The Crucial Hour of Missions in Non-Christian Lands, The Second General Missionary Conference, 1913.
  • India, Malaysia, the Philippines, 1914.
  • Graves Missionary Lectures, 1914.
  • The World Task and Opportunity, New England Methodism's Convention, Ed. E.C.E. Dorion, 1915.
  • Address in Challenge of Today, 1915.
  • Introduction, Bishop Frank Warne's Story of His Conversion, 1915. (33 pages)
  • Address: Book of Devotions, 1916.
  • Thoburn - Called of God, 1918.


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