Songmen Church of Wenling, Zhejiang held a summer retreat from June 30 to July 2, 2017 to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the introduction of the Gospel and the church's 20th anniversary.
A foreign missionary brought the Gospel to Songmen Town during the reign of the Tongzhi emperor (between 1861 to 1874). In 1897, a church belonging to China Inland Mission was built with nine rooms. A church of the Holy Catholic Church in China was founded outside the town in 1918.
The church was destroyed by the Japanese army in 1941 but rebuilt two years later. After the Second Sino-Japanese War the church grew steadily. In 1950, it was forced to be closed and the church leader was persecuted. The church property was occupied and Wu Fuqing, who was in charge of the church, was expelled in 1958. During the Cultural Revolution, the persecution worsened to the extent that the congregation gathered in one house after another. The occupied church was returned in 1984 but the house property of the Holy Catholic Church in China has still not been given back. The two denominations united in the town. The church purchased an old brick kiln in 1990 and the new church was completed on July 1, 1997.
The latest statistics collected in March 2017 reveal that the local congregation has grown to 3,425 from just over 30 in the beginning.
-Translated by Karen Luo