Covering an area of 1047 Square Meters, the Horqin Church of Tongliao in Inner Mongolia has over 5000 registered members, including the exceeding 2,000 believers developed in the past 12 years. Built in 1914 and renovated in 1994, it has a construction area of 472 m2 and served a landmark in the city. Having walked through over a century, the church has experienced ups and downs, as well as God's providence and guidance.
From 1998 to the end of 2004, it was in chaotic state. To bring the church disorders to an end, the church administrative board applied to the local CCC&TSPM to request a pastor. Then Rev. Wang Zhan'guo, the former secretary of Bayannur CCC&TSPM, was formally appointed as its senior pastor on December 12, 2004.
In the following years it has stayed stable from chaos, experiencing revival from desolation, thanks to the providence of God.
During those seven chaotic years, dissention aroused inside the church where there was no management with the absence of any pastor. A small portion of members who desired to control the church fought against each other, consequently, other believers were unable to gather as normally as they could. Once, one of them attempted to deliver a sermon at the lectern and another deliberately cut off electricity. Some even grabbed the microphone or pushed down the lectern.
At that time, the majority of the congregation who desired God's word insisted on gathering while those people vying for power messed up services that had to be ceased. Instead, the audio tapes of sermons were played to replace sermons delivered during gathering.
Arriving in the church, the new appointed pastor resumed the services on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Moreover, morning prayer meetings in which sermons are delivered are held daily. In the past 12 years, Rev. Wang has led the congregation to finish the study covering from Genesis to Revelation for one and half times. It is estimated that the second whole Bible study will end, by which the study of Psalms is completed.
The daily Bible study and sermon has resulted in the repentance from the believers and their spiritual growth. The believers who repented are accepted. Contradiction in the church can only be solved by God's word and love and melt in sermons and gatherings. There is no other way. It cannot be handled by the means of violence, power or the law.
This long lasting disorder was finally calmed down by preaching God's word and practicing it, saving the lost by God's love. On Wang's arrival, the axegrinders fabricated a charge against him, disturbed the services and made personal attacks on the pastor and his wife to drive them away. The related local authority intervened the issue and founded out that it was a false charge.
Thanks to the support by most believers, the church regained peace and some ministries were gradually restored.
In addition, Rev. Wang has trained young believers to deal with the problem of inadequate preachers. Three young people have graduated from seminaries and three elders participate in the preaching ministry. However, it was still not enough to meet the demand of a large congregation with only seven preachers, including Wang. Then two pastors offered two of their sons who are studying theology in Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and Yanjing Theological Seminary, respectively to assist.
The church is responsible for nurturing the surrounding churches and helps other ministries. For example, preachers are sent to deliver sermons in the churches in need and donations are given to support the church construction of some local churches. Now, it faces major difficulties.
The current church cannot hold the congregation. It purchased a big yard with an area of more than 10,000 Square Meters in August 2013 but the new site hasn't been used until now, which limits the development of the church ministries.
The church staff have to teach the Bible in the old church to over 80 co-workers serving in more than 50 gathering places subordinate to the church. Due to no acceptable accommodation, these students need to travel back and forth once a week to take the courses on methods of interpretation, homiletics and the church history.