'Last Member of the Northwest Spiritual Band' Dies at 94

By Ruth Wang, July 28, 2017 09:07 AM

Rev. Li Daosheng (File photo )

Rev. Li Daosheng, who was called "the last member of the Northwest Spiritual Band," passed away today at age 94.

A fellow pastor published an obituary for his death. Below is an excerpt:

"It has been 71 years since the Northwest Spiritual Band started the Back to Jerusalem movement in 1946. Our predecessors traveled thousands of kilometers from Shandong to Xinjiang to preach the gospel, experiencing hardships.

Li Daosheng and the seniors of his generation adhered to the vision for 71 days. He said, 'I only pray to the Lord to be his witness while I'm alive.' The prayer he repeated the most while he was in jail and a labor camp for three decades was this: 'Lord, I didn't die in poverty or sufferings. Let me experience you by death.'

He insisted that the Chinese church would rise up to continue to work for the vision of the Back to Jerusalem movement."

The band was established by Zhang Guquan from Shandong in 1946, aimed at preaching the gospel from China's frontier areas like Xinjiang back to Jerusalem. The main members included Zhang Guquan, Li Shiying, Li Daosheng, Tang Yuanmo, and Zhang Meiying, most of whom were from Shandong. The movement was discontinued due to historical reasons.

Having accepted the vision of preaching the gospel back to Jerusalem at 21, Rev. Li went to Xinjing and planted churches in Turpan. He dedicated his life to the Lord, engaging in evangelism for almost seven decades. He wrote his own memoir named "Walking on the Path to Zion -- Memoir of Li Daosheng". He had no children, but many Chinese pastors and Christians studied him.

In 2008, a number of pastors from the Chinese house church encountered the remaining elders of the Band who were still working for the mission in Kashgar in Xinjiang. They made their final days into a three and a half hour long documentary entitled "Pilgrimage", including the final image of Rev. Li.

In 2015, a worker of a church in Xinjiang claimed in a prayer request that Rev. Li, who was 92, was hospitalized due to sickness, calling for healing prayer that mentioned the spiritual inheritance and oneness of the two generations.

-Translated by Karen Luo

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