11. The First Local Spiritual Assembly of
Keith and Edith Danielsen-Craig, the second couple to pioneer to
Taiwan, arrived April 11, 1958 to settle in Taipei. Their arrival and the
enrollment of Mr. Pershing Wang made it possible to form the Local Spiritual
Assembly of Taipei, which was the second Local Spiritual Assembly in Taiwan.
The nine members were Mr. Pershing Wang, Mr. Yuan Hsu-chang, Mrs. Edith
Danielsen-Craig, Mr. Keith Craig, Mr. Gellan Wang, Mr. Yuan Mein-hsien (Mason),
Hsiao Tsan-chang (Johnson), Mr. Hong Li-ming (Jimmy), and Mr. Shih Hung-mok.
Mrs. Danielsen-Craig was chairman and Mr. Hong was secretary. Mr. Hong,
originally from Chia-yi, was in the army but was released from it the following
year and left Taipei.
The first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of
We can identify the following. Seated from the left: Mr. Keith Craig,
Mr. Yuan Mein-shien (Mason) and Mrs. Edith Danielsen-Craig. Standing: second
from the left Mr. Yuan Hsu-chang, Mr. Gellan Wang, Mr. Hsiao Tsan-chang
(Johnson) and Mr. Hong Lee-ming (Jimmie). We have ascertained that the top far
left and bottom far right are Mr. Pershing Wang and Mr. Shih Hung-mok but we do
not know which is which.
Mrs. Edith Danielsen-Craig was designated a Knight of
Bahá'u'lláh as she was the first Bahá'í to pioneer
to the Cook Islands (1953), which was one of the unopened areas mentioned by
the Guardian at the launching of the Ten Year Crusade.
In Taipei there was much activity after the arrival of the Danielsen-Craigs.
They stayed for three years until 1961, devoting all energies to the
advancement of the Faith. In 1960 Mrs. Danielsen-Craig wrote about the first
youth to enroll, Wang P'u-sheng (Steven), brother of Pershing Wang. She said he
was a quiet, thoughtful boy who was "filled with the love of
In 1959, due to a change in the administrative area, which had the effect of
removing some of the Bahá'ís from the city limits, the Local
Spiritual Assembly was not able to form. Nor could it the year after. In 1961
things had progressed to a point where the Bahá'ís could elect an
assembly, but not the year after that.
In 1963 assisted by the arrival of pioneers Mr. and Mrs. Enger, they were able
to elect the assembly but its status was lost the following year. Then in 1965
an assembly was elected and that status has continued. Taipei had steady
enrollments but much of the problem stemmed from the fact that the active
Bahá'ís tended to move out; many left Taiwan to continue their
studies in the U.S. But then many of the Bahá'ís were quite
internationally minded so it is not surprising that they would try to advance
their education by moving to another country.
Tainan also had a moving population of Bahá'ís but always
managed to elect the local assembly, from 1956 on. Much of this was undoubtedly
due to the steadfastness and stability of Mr. and Mrs. Suleimani. They were
always there, teaching, deepening, making new friends, from the beginning in
1954 to the end of their lives.