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  • By Life or by Death: The Life and Legacy of John and Betty Stam

By Life or by Death: The Life and Legacy of John and Betty Stam

Available Formats

Format: Paperback
Your Price: $16.99
Expected Availability: 10/1/2024

Product Description

One of the most incredible missionary stories of the 20th century.

As a young boy Andrew Montonera stumbled upon a cabinet of books in his grandparents' house. He was captivated by what he discovered—the library of his distant relatives, John and Betty. By Life or by Death shares the story of these two remarkable people—inspirations of contagious joy and kingdom-focused lives.

John Cornelius Stam and Elisabeth Alden "Betty" Scott met at Moody Bible Institute in fall 1929. A few years later, their paths crossed again—this time in China. The two were united in marriage and in their love for the Chinese people.

Using family scrapbooks and unpublished sources, Montonera takes a fresh look at a famous story—how two missionaries and their baby were kidnapped by Chinese soldiers and ransomed. Montonera recounts the courage and martyrdom of the Stams, as well as the succeeding miraculous tale that captured the world's attention.

The Stams' lives were cut short, but their faithfulness continues to impact Christianity in China today. By Life or by Death looks at the legacy of the Stams, including new testimonies of those shaped by their commitment to the gospel.

Shortly before his death, John Stam mailed a letter to the mission authorities. He wrote, May God be glorified whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20

Discover how that prayer was answered both in the deaths and lives of John and Betty Stam.



About the Authors

Andrew Montonera
ANDREW MONTONERA is the great-grandson of Cornelius Stam, younger brother to John Stam. He holds a BA in communication from Trinity International University and resides in suburban Chicago.


"By Life or by Death is a beautifully written and updated account of an inspiring missionary story well known to a previous generation. This powerful story, which presents a clear picture of two lives fully surrendered to Christ, will prompt readers who reflect on this moving story to join together to give thanks to God for the global influence and faithful service of John and Betty Stam as they faced martyrdom for the sake of the kingdom of Christ. Congratulations are in order for Andrew Montonera on providing this fine biography, which I am delighted to recommend for a new generation of readers."
David S. DockeryPresident, International Alliance for Christian Education
President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

"My mother, Elisabeth Elliot, was profoundly influenced by John and Betty Stam's unwavering commitment to take the good news of Jesus Christ to China in spite of the danger. Communism was taking over the country. Mother's own obedience to Christ began to take shape at a very young age and solidified when she learned of the Stams' tragic deaths. Their martyrdom impacted her understanding of radical devotion to Christ and fueled her own commitment, years later, to spread the gospel. I'm grateful for this biography that retells a story of radical obedience, setting a standard for generations to come. May it inspire a new generation to trust and obey their Lord."
Valerie Elliot Shepard, Daughter of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot; author/speaker

"This is a deeply moving biography, written from the family's perspective, of the young American missionaries John and Betty Stam and their death in China in 1934. It is an utterly tragic story, not least because they were so recently married and had so recently become parents. Providing a personal perspective through use of never-before published photographs and documents, Andrew Montonera tells of their training, exemplary courage, and committed faith."
Iain Torrance, Pro-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen; President Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary; Extra Chaplain in Ordinary to Queen Elizabeth II

"The story of missionaries John and Betty Stam is that of missionary lore. Their life and brutal death, and the miraculous rescue of their baby girl, Helen, literally captured the hearts of people around the world in 1934. Their inspiring story must not be lost to future generations. By Life or by Death by Andrew Montonera will make sure that does not happen. The book is beautifully written, captivating, and inspiring. I read it in an afternoon. My prayer is many who read this book will be moved to GO to the nations, following in the footsteps of these two heroes of the faith."
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina

"An account read with many tears. My parents and both set of grandparents were missionaries in North China, where I also spent my first six years growing up. These were dangerous times. John and Betty Stam's witness to their faith is extraordinary and in many ways uplifting. I could not put this book down. Even after their short lives and martyred deaths, their influence reached thousands known and unknown. A truly inspiring journey."
Patricia Liddell Russell, Eldest daughter of Eric and Florence Liddell

Product Details

ISBN: 978-0-8024-3276-6
Publish Date: October 2024
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Format: Paperback