During my participation in the compilation of Pinghe Christianity Gazetteer and Shima Town Christian Church History, I found a servant who once served in Pinghe and Shima - Pastor Lin Wenqu.
On April 9, 1848, Lin Wenqu was born in Pantu community, Tongan District, Xiamen, Fujian Province, as a "gifted and clever, honest and frank" child. At the age of 17, he "collected state taxes in Hongtang town on behalf of his father", attending Sunday services in Hongtang Church. Although obstructed and opposed by his clansmen, Lin was still determined to become a Christian. Rev. Ye Hanzhang of Zhushu Church, Xiamen, the first pastor employed and supported solely by the Chinese church, baptized him into Christ. Also, the church in Xiamen recommended Lin to study in Southern Fujian Holy Word School.
After graduation, Lin worked as a pastor in Xiamen Xinjie Church for many years. In 1873, he went to Zhangzhou, Pinghe, and other places to preach with his seminary classmate Huang Hecheng. Walking through different towns such as Dahu, Banzai, Nansheng, and Xiaoxi to spread the gospel, he bought land in Xiaoxi Town to build the Xiaoxi Church, the pastor’s building, and Huihe Girls' School buildings.
In 1886, he took the Chinese Christianity Zhangzhou-Quanzhou Conference exam, qualified as a pastor. On June 22nd, 1887, he was ordained as a pastor.
Three years later, Rev. Lin was transferred by the Reformed church from Pinghe County to Shima Church as the second pastor.
In 1883, the three missionary stations in Wuzhai Jingziwei, Qianban and Nansheng Gongye merged to form Jingnan Church. A decade later, when Nansheng Church was completed, he served as a pastor in the newly established church. Until 1903, he left Pinghe County and was employed as a pastor at the Shancheng Church in Nanjing County. Lin spent 26 years serving in Pinghe churches, where he stayed the longest in his life.
After his departure from the Shancheng Church in Nanjing, Lin was appointed by Jinmen Church as a pastor from 1908 to 1917 until his retirement.
In 1917, aged 70, he returned to Tongan to rent a place for church service. He turned a "deserted land" into a gathering sit, continuing to preach for five years, which was well received by the villagers.
The servant of God died in Tongan on Sunday, March 28th, 1923, at the age of 76.
1. Annals of the Chinese Christian Southern Fujian Conference of Chinese Christianity
2. Construction-Inheritance and Growth-Special Issue of the 80th Anniversary of the Founding of Jinmen Christian Church (1924-2004)
- Translated by Oliver Zuo