A 117-year-old church in Guangxi Province, founded by the US Christian and Missionary Alliance, held its first Holy Communion service in May.
Liuzhou is the second largest city in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The present Beique Road Church in Liuzhou originated from the Missionary Society established by the United States in Liuzhou. It is the first American church to successfully establish a base station and carry out educational activities in Guangxi.
In 1904, Rev. F.A. Fermer, who had established a missionary base in Pingnan, formulated plans to extend westward to Liuzhou. However, due to the rampant banditry in Liuzhou at that time, he was unable to proceed. Two years later (1906), the situation stabilized, and two pastors, Rev. F.A. Fermer and Rev. W. H. Oldfield, were escorted into Liuzhou by two local soldiers. They rented a room in an inn as an initial foothold and preached on the street while evangelizing the gospel and looking for a suitable house for preaching. Within a month, they acquired a property on Qingyun Road (present Zhongshan Road) with 1,500 silver dollars. There was an immediate public backlash for that. The Qing authorities even dispatched troops to quell the unrest. They soon bought a house from a person named Ke for 500 silver dollars and reconstructed it into a church capable of accommodating over 300 individuals. Eventually, their wives also joined them in Liuzhou to bolster the sacred work of the church. (See the book Christianity in Guangxi by Pastor Paul Liang)
In addition, according to historical records, in that year, A. Burien, a missionary, first came to Dongjin, Guixian County, Guangxi, and established the first church of the US Christian and Missionary Alliance in Guangxi. Later, the Missionary Association was also established in Liuzhou. Missionary Mrs. W. A. Farmer, the first American who came to China in the late Qing Dynasty, resided in Guangxi for nearly a decade, including Liuzhou. Rev. Enoch T. C. Yang was born in Raoping, Guangdong Province. He received his lifelong calling at the age of 17. Early on, he served with the Liuzhou Missionary Association of Guangxi.
After the liberation, the church of the Liuzhou Missionary Society was demolished due to the construction of the Liujiang Bridge in Liuzhou. It was not until after the Cultural Revolution, when religious policies were reinstated, that the government constructed a new church for the local congregation in 1985. Presently, the church encompasses an area of 1,433.3 square meters, with the main church building spanning 471.5 square meters. In addition to the main church, there are auxiliary churches and office facilities. The church is served by three full-time preachers, and it can accommodate nearly 1,000 worshipers.
May 7, the first Sunday of May, was the day for the church's Holy Communion service.
Pastor Meng Renzheng, president of Liuzhou Christian Association and head of Beique Road Church, testified in his sermon "Recognition according to the Name of Jesus." He shared God's transcendent deeds, boundless love, transcendent trials, and transcendent salvation.
After the sermon, the pastor officiated the Communion service.
(The article is originally published by the Gospel Times and the writer reported from Liuzhou, Guangxi)
-Translated by Nicolas Cao