A church in Baoji, Shaanxi hosted a special three-day spring retreat.
From April 5 to 7, the Baoji Protestant Church in Guo Town, Chencang District held three days of special meetings about pastoring. Nearly 300 brothers and sisters attended.
The person in charge of the church, Elder Zhang Wanbao, shared about what happened at this three-day meeting. For worship and praise, two church choirs from Nanyang and Chengxi churches were invited to praise God on the same podium for the three days. Regarding spiritual care, Pastor Wang Xixin and co-worker Zheng Jing were invited to preach for the first two days. On the last day, he shared and presided over the baptism and the communion services. Two women had come to faith and were baptized.
Elder Zhang Wanbao introduced the Protestant church. Its predecessor was the Guozhen Protestant Church in Guo Town of Baoji County. It was founded in 1943 by Zheng Guangen, a Henanese. There was a compound in the lane, which was divided into three small courtyards. Each small courtyard had several rooms. In 1948, there were three deacons and only a dozen believers attending the service.
After the Cultural Revolution and during the implementation of the religious policy by the government, the Baoji County government returned the church's 333 square meters (0.082 acres) of land as a church site. Around 1992, the church was re-established. In the same year, four new bungalows (the main hall) and one simple kitchen were built, which basically solved the problem for the dozens of believers worshipping and eating. In the following years, the church expanded the place, not only the main hall but also space for an office, room for poetry practice and accommodation.
During this period, there were ministers who were stationed in the church continuously. In 2005, the Civil Affairs Bureau of Chencang District transferred Elder Zhang Wanbao to pastor onsite, to be in charge of the church's pastoring and administrative duties until now. In 2006 and 2009, the Guo Town Protestant Church twice invested funds, totaling 300,000 yuan, for church expansion and maintenance.
At present, the main building area of the church is more than 700 square meters (0.17 acres) which can meet the needs of nearly 300 believers to gather together, eat and have lodging. On April 30, 2010, a grand ceremony was held in the newly built main hall.
Since the accomplishment of the new church, the church has focused mainly on the following ministries. Firstly, in 2010, they democratically re-elected the church deacons. Secondly, in 2015, the church management organization was re-elected. Thirdly, the church's various rules and regulations regarding their management system were established and improved. And the fourth, a ministry group has been established in charge of serving, finance, visitation, choirs, and bands.
The fifth ministry has implemented the "Four-in" religious regulations (the national flag and constitution, religious regulations, and traditional Chinese culture) into the church. The sixth area refers to the stability and promotion of the healthy development of the church's various ministries. Poverty alleviation activities have been carried out inside and outside the church. In recent years, they have repeatedly dedicated their love to the disaster-stricken areas, donating thousands of clothes and tens of thousands of yuan in cash. Every year more than 100 homes of seniors in the church are visited, as well as the sick and those believers with financial difficulties.
- Translated by Ze Wang