A village church, established 75 years ago, dedicated its new main building and celebrated its 75th anniversary.
The three-story building, situated at the end of a road in Jiangsu, boasts a pristine white exterior adorned with a tall cross and the inscription "Outang Church."
Inside the church, a prominent cross is embedded in the wall, while vibrant red flowers grace the altar. The roof is adorned with golden and translucent lamps depicting the fish symbol of Jesus. On April 15, during the service, Pastor Ma delivered a sermon titled "The Glory of the New Temple."
Pastor Ma emphasized that this temple represented the presence of God, drawing from the story of the prophet Haggai, which recounts the return of the Israelites from captivity to rebuild the temple.
He stressed that the temple was a place of glory, emphasizing that the altar was not meant for disputes or conflicts but for proclaiming the Word of God. Within the Lord's family, believers should pray for themselves and for the entire community.
Furthermore, he highlighted that this was a temple characterized by love, citing the story of Arnan's field. Ma urged believers to share Christ's love and the gospel with those around them, both in their daily lives and in their ministries and workplaces.
Wu, a female believer responsible for the Outang Church, recounted the process of building the church. Seventy-five years ago, a pastor from Shanghai established a place of worship in the home of a male believer. Faculty and students from North China Theological Seminary occasionally delivered sermons. During the Cultural Revolution, gatherings took place in non-fixed locations. In 1985, when regular gatherings resumed, the church had its own designated meeting place with thirty or forty Christians. Later, during the construction of the new church, a dedicated female believer in her 70s boiled water daily for the construction workers. Male members drove tractors to transport construction materials, while some resided on the construction site for three consecutive months to ensure its safety. Finally, a red brick building with white walls was erected, and the number of Christians grew from thirty to three hundred.
As the new church leader, Wu established a church-building team and searched for a temporary meeting place. Undeterred by reports, she led the believers in cleaning and constructing a temporary transitional house within a week.
Several churches from neighboring counties and cities joined in the celebration, presenting 25 songs and dances.
Following the two-and-a-half-hour celebration, the church arranged an evangelistic music concert featuring Mr. Xianghai, a renowned Christian musician.
At the conclusion of the evangelistic meeting, more than 30 individuals came forward to respond to the call.
- Translated by Abigail Wu