A new book named "Pinghe Christianity Gazetteer" was recently published in commemoration of the 152nd anniversary of the introduction of the gospel to Pinghe County, located in Fujian Province.
Compiled by Lin Muli, Lin Yunshan, and Zheng Muren, the book records the 152-year history of Christianity in Pinghe County. The book contains nearly 100,000 words and 525 photos, including 65 which are old photos. Yue Qinghua, the deputy chairman of the China TSPM, the chairman of the Fujian TSPM, and the president of Fujian Theological Seminary, wrote the book’s preface. Pastor Chen Lifu, the president of Fujian CC ( Christian Council ) and senior pastor of the Huaxiang Church in Fujian, inscribed the title of the book.
In 1867, Yang Ling, Yang Mi, Yang Yin, and other villagers from Chaitoupu in Wenfeng Town, Pinghe County suffered from illness and went to a Christian hospital in Xiamen for medical treatment. During this period, while learning the truth of the Bible, the Holy Spirit moved their hearts, and they repented and believed in God. After being healed, they brought back the Bibles, hymns, and poetry which they often read and chanted at home. Spreading the truth of Christ, many people believed, and they asked the Zhangzhou church to send pastors to preach the gospel there. In 1868, the American Church of Christ sent elder Chen Ge from Shima Church and Pastor Lu Rongkang from Zhangzhou to preach at a gathering place in Chaitoupu, so the seed of the gospel was sown in Pinghe Villiage.
After 1898, most of the towns and villages established churches or meeting places, and the number of believers increased year by year. According to historical records, from 1870 to 1910, Pinghe County established the following new churches: Wuzhai Church in 1870, Xiaoxi Church in 1873, Wenfeng Church in 1889, Shan'ge Church in 1890, Nansheng Church in 1881, Banzai Church in 1877, Shuangxi Church in 1902, Luxi Church in 1903 and churches in Xia Zhai Town, Jiufeng Town, Anhou Town, and other locations.
Pinghe County is also the birthplace of Ye Hanzhang, one of China's first Chinese pastors, and Lin Yutang, famous for world literature. The church also established Xiaoxi Hope Hospital- the first western hospital in southern Fujian.
- Translated by Abigail Wu