First Church in Xiamen Marks 10th Anniversary of Reopening
By CCD contributor: Paul Wu, Lin Muli , June 07, 2018 01:06 AM
On June 2, 2018, Xiamen Zengcuoan Church celebrated its 10th anniversary of reopening with a service. Besides, a praise and worship meeting and a retreat were also conducted.
The first church in Xiamen was built in Zengcuoan, a fishing village at that time, by the Dominican missionary Victorio Ricci during the Koxinga Dynasty. But the aging church turned desolate.
In 1916, Zengcuoan Church was officially founded in a rented folk house. One decade later, the local congregation numbered around 60. The first preacher Cai Zhenxun constructed a church building. During World War 2, the Japanese army invaded the village, forcing many local believers to flee to Gulangyu and inland cities. Meanwhile, all religious activities were forced to be suspended.
After the victory of the war, the church was reopened. However, the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis broke out, so the church that sited at the coastal front was expropriated. The building was severely damaged in the 823 Artillery Bombardment.
In 1994, the local government returned the run-down estate to the Xiamen CCC&TSPM. There were only four believers.
In June 2008, the dilapidated house was renovated and put into use. Covering an area of 700 square meters (0.17 acres), the new gathering place could hold 320 people. There were 69 members.
Christianity survived in the village where most residents believed in Buddhism, Taoism and folk deities like Mazu. The gathering was upgraded to the church status in November 2011. One year later, Rev. Chen Miaozhen became the church's first pastor.
During the past decade, 355 people were baptized.
- Translated by Karen Luo
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