History of Liaoning Church Built 13 Years Ago

The exterior picture of the Cifu (Blessing) Church in Huanggu District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province
The exterior picture of the Cifu (Blessing) Church in Huanggu District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (photo: Cifu (Blessing) Church )
By Wu ZhongyiSeptember 15th, 2023

On September 1st, I went to Cifu (Blessing) Church in Huanggu District, which is also a popular tourist destination in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. The crimson-colored church, with its Romanesque style, stands on the roadside in the bustling city, with a nursing home on the right.

According to Pastor Fan Wei, the church was originally located on Yalujiang Street in Yuhong District, Shenyang. The ethnic and religious bureau approved it as a place of worship in October 2010. After a regional adjustment, it moved to its current location in December 2012. The church occupies a construction area of 4,598 square meters (1.136 acres), with a floor area of 862 square meters (0.213 acres), and its affiliated senior apartment covers 1,008 square meters (0.249 acres). In October 2014, it was officially approved as a first-class place of worship.

The church features the shapes of an ark and a cross found in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. There are a total of ten crosses on the church building. Over the years, the number of participants in Sunday services has increased from around 400 in 2005 to nearly 1,000 now. There are over 1,500 registered visitors, and the volunteer team has grown from around 10 members to 150.

Pastor Zhu Lixia, who is in charge of the church, accepted the gospel in August 1997 and was baptized into Christ in August 1998 at Dongguan Church. She graduated from the Northeast China Theological Seminary's specialized class in 2014. Since October 2009, Pastor Zhu has been serving as the leader of the church.

Speaking of the unique architectural style of the church, Zhu Lixia smiled and said, "Thank God! It was the Holy Spirit who inspired us to design it ourselves. Initially, the design proposal from professional designers was going to cost 12 million yuan, which the church couldn't afford. So, we relied on the Lord to do it ourselves."

During the initial construction of the church, they only had 1.2 million yuan in hand, while the land for the factory where the church is now located was priced at 14 million yuan. Pastor Zhu managed to negotiate a reduction of four million yuan from the selling price. 

She did not borrow a single cent from other churches for the construction funds. She personally contributed more than 500,000 yuan from her family's finances. The congregation followed her to make contributions.

Zhu once suffered from a serious illness and was nearly on the brink of death. However, through God's healing, not only did she overcome the illness, but she also made a full recovery.

The Cifu Church is involved in charitable activities in the community. According to incomplete statistics provided by the church, during the COVID-19 pandemic, church members donated over 200,000 yuan. In their daily lives, they support families affected by illness or disability, with annual expenditures exceeding 30,000 yuan. Since 2020, they have been providing financial assistance to three university students, giving each of them a monthly living allowance of 500 yuan until their graduation.

Earlier this year, when certain areas of Jilin Province experienced flooding disasters, believers of the church donated 57,000 yuan, with a contribution of 3,000 yuan from the church itself, totaling 60,000 yuan. The money was then transferred to Songyuan CC&TSPM in Jilin to assist in purchasing supplies for churches in the disaster-affected areas, aiding them in their recovery and reconstruction efforts.

(The article is originally published by the Gospel Times and the author reported from Shenyang, Liaoning.)

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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