With a debt of 150,000 yuan for the reconstruction project, a Zhejiang rural church held Sunday services in the basement of a female believer’s home, since the usual church building has not yet passed the fire safety inspection.
Located in Jiuli Village, west of Tianmushan Town, Lin’an District, the church is 10 kilometers away from the market town, and is the bridgehead of industry, transportation, and tourism in Lin’an.
Established in 1885 and named Jesus Church, the centurial church is the first one in this area. Having resumed gatherings in 1985 after reform and opening up, it carried out a small-scale protective restoration since 1997.
Identified as a dilapidated building in 2018, it has security risks for gathering, with the cracked beams and columns, and rotten wooden floor.
Demolished in 2019, it was rebuilt on the original foundation starting from 2020, with a cost of 1.2 million and a total area of 300 square meters (0.0741 acres). The construction was completed in February 2021, with three floors of the facade, the first floor for the dining room, the second for gathering, and the third for accommodation. Due to the poor economy of the rural church, it owes 150,000 yuan for the project, and the fire safety inspection has not yet been passed.
The in-person Sunday services are still held in the basement of a female believer’s home. Hosting prayer meetings and night gatherings regularly, the church has many volunteers and perfect ministry organizations, including a funeral group, a Martha group, a finance group, an infrastructure group, and a fire safety group.
- Translated by Abigail Wu