Short Biography of Rev. Lin Zhicheng, Father of Lin Yutang

By Paul Wu, March 07, 2018 03:03 AM

The family of Lin Yutang (Paul Wu )

Rev. Lin Zhicheng was the father of Lin Yutang, world-renowned Christian writer and the first pastor in Baizai Church in Pinghe County, Zhangzhou, Fujian Province.

When Lin Zhicheng was nine, his father was shanghaied by the Taiping Army as a porter and his whereabouts were unknown ever since. Lin's mother was just a farm woman who allegedly knew how to box and had great arm strength.

"My father was a pastor and a second-generation Christian," Yutang recalled. We could also learn that his grandmother heard the Gospel, accepted Christ's salvation and became a Christian.

After Lin's father left home, he bore the responsibility of the home. He worked hard as a street vendor. Everyone there loved this young man and his business started picking up. "He had a sarcoma on his shoulder, a result of carrying the pole. It never went away." This memory is an exact portrayal of his father's hard work.

Though Lin couldn't afford to go to school, he deeply understood the importance of education. He studied hard during his part time and soon mastered the abilities to read and write like others.

At age 24, he heard the call of God, so he abandoned his business and went to seminary run by Reformed Church in America, RCA. After graduation, he was anointed as a pastor.

He served in Tong'an Church and others. In 1880, he was posted to Banzai Church.

In 1872, an American missionary from RCA came to Pinghe. Locals in Banzai came one after another to receive salvation in Caihuopu, Wenfeng. Later they returned to their hometown to spread the Gospel and founded Banzai Christian Church which was presided by Lin Wenqu.

When Pastor Lin arrived in Banzai, people were immediately attracted by his witty sermons. He was very good at combining Biblical truth with his jokes so that people could take in the Gospel in a light mood. Moreover, Lin was loud. It was said that people could hear his loud sermon from a distance.

Lin was very compassionate about poor people because of his divine faith and early experience. He traveled around to help the locals with practical problems. He was very familiar with difficulties, such as which young couple had trouble and who had quarrels. He also enjoyed matchmaking, especially widows and widowers.

Above all, he often went out to right wrongs for the locals.

Under Lin's sincere ministering the Gospel spread very fast. With more and more believers, the old small church couldn't fit them all. Pastor Lin motivated believers to donate money, buy land, and expand the church. in 1886, the new church was completed. Around this time, Rev. W. L. Warnis from America made a donation - a 200-kg-clock made from iron. The sound could travel more than 5 km.  Yutang mentioned it many times in his book.

Lin valued education very much. In 1887, the church set up Mingxin Elementary School which was a new western-style school. Yutang also went to this school.

Lin was very close with Doctor Warnis. He learned a lot about science, knowledge, and culture and was deeply fascinated.

At the time, The Chinese Christian Intelligencer by Young John Allen introduced Christianity, modern science, and culture. Lin became a loyal reader and never missed a volume.

Lin's fascination about western learning gave him a worldly view that no other Chinese countryman had. He felt that his son must receive a western education and master modern science and knowledge to adjust to the development.

In order to put his son through school, he had to tighten his belt, even selling his property to pay for the expensive tuition. The importance Lin laid on western education played an immeasurable role in Yutang's life.

As the head of the household, Lin never used the traditional teaching "Father guides son" to oppress his son. On the contrary, they communicated, even joked together equally.

Pastor Lin Zhicheng passed away after serving in Banzai Church for 42 years.

-Translated by Grace Hubl

The article was originally posted on the Sina Weibo of Paul Wu. CCD translated it with permission.

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

Tesla Experiencing 'Delivery Logistics Hell'

Clients of Tesla will be experiencing some delays in getting their new cars from the company.

Chinese Golfer Becomes 2018 European Tour Champion

One of China's top golfers makes history in the European Tour.

Hong Kong and Southern China Starts Clearing Operations After Super Typhoon

The damages caused by Mangkhut are now being assessed in China..

Chilean Priest Expelled by the Pope After Involvement in Child Sex Abuse Case

Another Chilean priest is removed from the church while under the investigation for his alleged involvement in a child sexual abuse case.

Pope Francis to Sicilian Mafia: 'Repent'

Pope Francis calls upon to the mafia on his address during a visit in Palermo this weekend.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut Makes Landfall in China

After the Philippines, Manghkhut makes its way to China.

Sexual Abuse Victims Slammed Pope Francis

Pope Francis is facing more criticism over the sexual abuse crisis in the church.

Tapeworm Extracted from Chinese Man's Brain

One odd news in China is currently making headlines.

Philippines Braces for Super Typhoon

A new super typhoon is currently making its way across the Philippines.

Russia Launches Largest Post Cold War Military Exercise

Russia's military power is on full display in its joint military games with China and Mongolia.