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Liaoning Bethany Church Attendance Reaches 1,000 After Reopening

Liaoning Bethany Church Attendance Reaches 1,000 After Reopening

Bethany Church in Bayuquan District, Yingkou City, Liaoning Province Bethany Church in Bayuquan District, Yingkou City, Liaoning Province
ByWu Zhongyi February 23, 2023
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Bethany Church in Bayuquan District, Yingkou City, Liaoning Province, held an in-person Sunday service on February 19, 2023.

Bethany Church held communion services and praise meetings after resuming in-person services, and church attendance mostly reached up to 1000, according to elder Fu Fengjun, the church leader and TSPM vice chairman of Yingkou City. 

The church introduction file says Bethany Church was founded in 1995 and started with only three believers gathering at home. With the spreading of the gospel, believers gradually increased, so they began to rent houses for service in 1996. 

In 1998, they spent 210,000 RMB purchasing a house on Shugang Road as the church site and borrowed another 200,000 RMB for renovation. 

In 2001, the church building was requisitioned by the government because of the expansion of Shuang Road. As compensation, the local administration granted them 5,000 square meters of land free of charge in another place, where the church was rebuilt in 2004, costing 3.3 million RMB.

Four years later, the church was demolished and relocated again due to the construction of the second phase of the Angang Steel Project, for which the government provided compensation of 3.9 million RMB and a 7018-square-meter land. The congregation spent six million RMB to reestablish it, and the church floor area is up to 3,295 square meters.

In 2018, church members borrowed money and donated together to repair the building: maintained the church's outer wall, wholly renovated the indoor toilets due to the sewer pipe problem, paved geothermal for all rooms, advanced the transformer capacity, and so on. The total expense was more than two million RMB. 

During the past two decades, apart from the church building, the congregation expanded from three to 1000 believers. There was no church staff before, but now they have an elder, two pastors, a Bible teacher, and a seminary graduate. The church also sets up different ministries: groups of deacons, church workers, praising, finance, serving, book arrangement, new believers education, cleaning, logistical support, etc. 

In addition, they also established the Unity Fellowship, the Fellowship for the Aged, and the Fellowship of Love, which is a team focusing on social charity and public welfare activities and mainly helps poor families, elderly people who live alone, and those with serious diseases. 

More importantly, the church has 200 cell groups and 249 group leaders for evangelism and pastoral ministry. 

To make the ministry stronger, they hold training sessions every week for preachers, cell group leaders, and other workers, and there is a dynamic layer system for all church staff. 

At the same time, the church has participated in social charity activities. They have supported students from poor families in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces for many years by covering their tuition fees and sending them “small dining tables,” etc. Some of these students have already gone to college, while others have graduated and started working. Financial, material, and spiritual assistance are sent from the Bethany Church annually to Sichuan, Yunnan, and other regions. 

Even though the church didn't meet as often and people gave less money during the last three years of the pandemic, it still gave more than 223,000 RMB, including 20,000 RMB in cash to the Red Cross Foundation, to help prevent and control epidemics in the area.

(The article is originally published by the Gospel Times.)

- Translated by Kristina Ran

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