Roy Falls at Norris' gravesite

Roy Falls at Norris' gravesite

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Books for Sale

Friday, June 3, 2011

John Birch - The story of an unsung hero...the first victim of undeclared World War III.

After college, John Birch came to Fort Worth and attended the seminary at First Baptist Church of Ft. Worth. Visitation was his passion.

Under the auspices of J. Frank Norris, John Birch was sent as a Baptist missionary to China...and ultimately was shot execution style by the Communist party.

J. Frank Norris named one of the church buildings after John Birch ... 'The John Birch Hall'.

John Birch had been a personal friend of mine as well as Lloyd Falls, my brother, during the time we attended Dr. Norris' First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

Most associate John Birch with The John Birch Society, which was formed several years after his death.

By Roy Falls


The name John Birch is best known in the context of the John Birch Society. But the real John Birch is a different story.

Birch had heard J. Frank Norris in Georgia in 1938. He was intrigued by the messages of Norris. After graduation of Mercer University, Birch enrolled in the Bible Baptist Seminary of which J. Frank Norris was it’s founder as well as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth.

After spending about 1.5 years in Fort Worth, Birch headed for China as a missionary out of the First Baptist Church. Birch quickly learned the Chinese dialect, which enabled him to blend in easily with the natives.

His presence in China soon came to the attention of General Claire Chennault of the Flying Tigers of Burma. Birch had discovered the plane which carried the famous Doolittle. Escorting these airmen to safety soon caught the attention of Gen. Chennault. Chennault proposed Birch to join his intelligence service whereby agreed if he could continue his missionary efforts.

By virtue of radio signals, Birch enlisted the native Chinese to be a part of acting as outposts for the Flying Tiger airmen. Needless to say, John Birch became an integral part of disrupting the Chinese occupation of coastal China.

The climatic event which ended the life of John Birch took place in a northern Chinese province, where Birch encountered a group of hostile Red Army Brigade. At age 27, the life of John Birch ended in a way some have described as the first casualty of the undeclared World War III. The complete account story of John Birch has of yet not been completely told. But the heroics of this fallen soldier is the reason his name remains a part of the J. Frank Norris legacy.

By Roy Falls

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