Puyi Church in Fujian Marks 120th Anniversary

Puyi Church in Zhangzhou, Fujian celebrated its 120th anniversary on Oct 7, 2019.
Puyi Church in Zhangzhou, Fujian celebrated its 120th anniversary on Oct 7, 2019.

Zhangpu County is located on the southern coast of Zhangzhou City, Fujian province. In the early 19th century Christianity was introduced to Xiamen. In 1853 missionaries came to Zhangpu. By 1865, the gospel had basically spread throughout most of the countryside except the county town. Later  in the county town the Yuanliang Church Hospital and Fengyuan Church School were established.

In 1881, Reverend Wu Ba of the then Zhangpu Kengwei Christian Church, in collaboration with British missionary Reverend John, Reverend Tong Hsien Li, and Cai Yirong, planned the carrying out of spreading the gospel to the town in Zhangpu county. They overcame much resistance and by 1886 rented a cabin in the county town for worship. In 1899, a new Luwei Christian Church with a capacity of 200 people was built in the county town of Zhangpu.

After 1949, the church stopped meeting. It was not until March 1953 that it resumed services with the ministry being overseen in a better and better way. In September 2000, the old chapel was demolished and a new facility rebuilt. In 2010 the name, "The Christian Church of Zhangpu Puyi" was approved by the Fujian Provincial Department of Ethnic and Religious Affairs. The church participates in social public welfare activities such as disaster relief, student aid, disability and poverty assistance, and has been commended by the local authority's religious administrations on many occasions.

A 120th anniversary praise and thanksgiving celebration service was held and presided over by Liu Yinguo, president of the Zhangpu Christian Association. Reverend Mai Jianxin of the church delivered a welcoming speech and gave a brief synopsis of the church’s 120 year history.

Reverend Yue Qinghua, chairman of the Three Self-Patriotic Committee of Fujian Province, delivered a speech on behalf of the two councils of Fujian Christian Church, pointing out that the development of a church requires the words of God and the life of the people. The church needs to have love, not only for brothers and sisters but also for neighbors. Love is also action and the church should show the love by its actions. In many European countries, many beautiful churches have been built. However, because of fewer believers, these houses of worship are being sold with some become warehouses, some cafes. It is very sad and unfortunate. He reminded everyone that there will be churches if there are people, but no churches if there are only the buildings.

- Translated by Charlie Li

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