Renowned House Church Evangelist, "To The Unknown Evangelist" Author Bian Yunbo Dies at 93
By Ruth Wang, March 07, 2018 08:03 AM
Bian Yunbo, the famous Chinese house church evangelist who wrote the poem To Unknown Evangelists and assisted Wang Mingdao in writing ministry, died on February 14, 2018, aged 93. Many pastors and church workers in China paid tribute to his faith and lifelong ministry.
Born in China's northern Hebei Province in 1925, Bian became a Christian in 1944 after graduation from high school. In 1945 he joined in a Christian fellowship while he majored in education at National Central University (formerly Nanjing University) and then became a preacher during college. He rejected the offer to study further in Edinburgh twice and went to Southwest China to evangelize and establish churches after graduation from university.
He served God for over seven decades. He wrote the famous narrative poem To Unknown Evangelists in 1948, shortly after his graduation. The poem was to inspire Christians to serve the Lord and stick to the way of the cross.
When Bian left the borderland for Shanghai, he worked alongside Wang Mingdao, one of the Chinese church fathers. Later he was imprisoned and gave testimonies after being discharged from prison. Afterwards, he went to the United States and worked with Chinese churches there. In his later years, he returned to China according to his will.
He recalled the difficult period for Chinese house churches in the 1950s and 1960s in his book Recalling History in My Declining Years. The book includes his experience in jail for starting a fellowship in his house in Tianjin in 1954, the origin of house churches in mainland China, and the Christian Tabernacle founded by Wang Mingdao and him in Beijing.
It also tells the story of how Chinese Christians gathered under harsh conditions: Wenzhou Christians held prayer meetings in caves in the 1960s and this contributed to the subsequent revival of the church in Wenzhou; a Henan Christian dug a hole under his house for worship; other Christians conducted services and gatherings in tunnels, on board, islands, mountains, in forests and wilderness.
The elderly evangelist shared the stories of the last century in Chinese churches across the world, hoping his witnesses inspired believers not to "overlook Sunday worship services or forget that we should attend services".
"The church are saints rather than a chapel or a building. We, the children of God, are the church. A shabby chapel with a fervent congregation who love one another, exalt Christ, and preach the gospel is better than a magnificent one with a cold congregation," he said.
- Translated by Karen Luo
More from CCD
I think that "community church" can be a direction and a helpful way out for the church in China.
With a batch of theological students graduating from seminary and going to the threshing floor, there are some other theological students have left the church for various reasons.
The 5th-anniversary celebration for Haikoulu Church officially started on the morning of Jul 28.
On July 26, 2018, the Urad Front Banner CCC&TSPM of Inner Mongolia launched a fundraising campaign for the victims of a flood.
On July 29, 2018, the Changchun Christian Church of Jilin held its annual baptism service.
On July 28, 2018, the Gospel Church in Lin'an District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, held its annual summer baptism service.
Turn to God when everything seems wrong or right.
On July 22, 2018, the sacrament department of Wuxi International Church held an open class of funeral liturgy.
However, nowadays the brothers in churches are in a state of absence.
In 1854, missionaries of English Presbyterian Mission went to Zhangpu County Fujian Province to evangelize. Now there are nearly 3,000 members in the church.