Alumni A World Community
Celebrated Missionary Visits Campus
“Doris Brougham Day” Declared
By Hope McPherson (email@example.com) | Photo by Luke Rutan
Doris Brougham (left) and the Heavenly Melody choir performed in First Free Methodist Church, adjacent to SPU's campus, as part of their 2014 U.S. tour.
If you’d met Doris Brougham ’53 on campus last April, you might not have guessed this 87-year-old is a veritable rock star in Asia — certainly the most famous English teacher in the Far East — with a list of accomplishments nearly as long as her 60 years of ministry.
“Everybody in Taiwan knows who Doris is,” says Rick Eigenbrood, dean of the School of Education at Seattle Pacific University, who met her on a 2011 trip to Taiwan. “She was committed to mission work, but instead of proselytizing, she found a way to connect with people through radio and TV as she taught English.”
Known as Peng Meng-hui throughout Taiwan, Doris began the first Christian radio programs in 1951; in 1960 she co-founded ORTV with Seattleite Leland Haggerty. In 1962, when television came to Taiwan, they began Heavenly Melody TV and Studio Classroom, teaching English through islandwide networks and stations abroad. Today, this multimedia nonprofit has offices on three continents, and is credited with teaching English to millions of Chinese speakers. The ministry also includes youth and adult Bible studies, TV programs, print and online magazines, rallies, and music ministries, including the popular group, Heavenly Melody, which Doris accompanied in April on their 2014 U.S. tour.
One of the first foreigners to receive permanent resident status in Taiwan, Doris has met with every president of the Republic of China since the 1950s. The Washington State Senate issued Resolution 8651 in her honor in 2013, and, when she stopped in Seattle this spring, Mayor Ed Murray declared April 2, 2014, as “Doris Brougham Day.”
Although slowing down from her days as a young missionary when she delivered tapes for her team’s radio gospel variety show by bike, she still travels the world and plays her trumpet with Heavenly Melody and takes an active part in ORTV. She has no plans to move back to Seattle, where she was born.
“We used to help with the Billy Graham campaigns when he was in town,” she says. “One time I said, ‘Billy, what do you think about retirement?’ I was about 65 at the time. He said, ‘Doris, it’s not in the Bible.’”