History of Jinsha Christian Church, Nantong, Jiangsu Province

A picture of Jinsha Church in Nantong, Jiangsu,
A picture of Jinsha Church in Nantong, Jiangsu, (photo: Jinsha Church)
By Mark Cui May 12th, 2023

The history of the Jinsha Church dates back to August 1989. In Jinsha Town, there were seven sisters who believed in the Lord and often gathered to pray. A few years later, they rented three rooms for gatherings. By October 1995, there were already more than 100 believers.

On October 28, 1996, the local government approved the establishment of the official activity site of Christianity in Jinsha Town and set up a management team. At that time, preachers started to be trained at the activity site. Educated and biblically literate co-workers were selected for training and correspondence.

On April 29, 1998, an area of 4.9 mu of land (namely the site of Jinsha Church) was obtained by the local church, which included nine houses. After the land acquisition and purchase procedures, the old houses were renovated and became the initial property of the Jinsha Church.

Less than two years after moving to the new location, the number of believers had grown to more than 200. The idea of building a church came about, but the local church only had fifty thousand yuan, while the budget for this project was about five hundred thousand yuan.

After the Spring Festival in 2000, the local church began to build the Jinsha Church. First, the local church got approval for building the church, and the government waived 60,000 yuan of land construction and management fees. Second, the local church raised funds for the building of the Jinsha Church. Third, the bid evaluation meeting for building the church was held.

A competent and willing contractor was finally selected for the construction of the building through the bidding process, which was willing to pay the advance fund of 259,000 yuan (including an additional toilet), while the total cost of the church was double that. The contractor would pay the advance fund in installments. The contract was signed, and construction started on June 20, 2000. The project was completed on December 24 of the same year.

In 2007, the Jinsha Church was decorated at a cost of nearly 100,000 yuan, with new chairs costing 48,800 yuan. It can hold a congregation of 1,000 people.

In the process of building the Jinsha Church, Pastor Yang from Taiwan donated 80,000 yuan, and a female believer surnamed Wen from Hong Kong donated 180,000 yuan.

In 2001, the believers volunteered to raise funds to build a nursing home, and they were all willing to serve as volunteers. The most senior people in the nursing home were in their 90s. Later, the number of people in need of the services of the nursing home was constantly increasing, but the Jinsha Church was short of funds and the rooms of the nursing home were too old and shabby, so it was forced to be shut down.

In November 2018, Jinsha Church reselected its committee members. In November 2019, the third Church Committee of Jinsha Church in Tongzhou District of Nantong City was formally established with a term of five years. Pastor Qiu Cheng served as the legal person and the director of the church committee.

After the establishment of the church committee, the church committee system and the regular meeting system of the church committee were established soon. General affairs shall be discussed and decided by the church committee at its meeting, and major affairs shall be discussed and decided by the church committee at an extended meeting (which may include all co-workers as appropriate). Secondly, comprehensive and detailed rules and regulations were made.

Finally, establish a clear management structure. The Jinsha church has the office of the director, general office, finance room, archives room, and logistics department. Fourteen co-worker teams have been set up, including the reception group, audio-visual planning group, hymn group, finance group, and visitation group.

Fourth, in addition to improving the church committee system, Jinsha Church also established a monthly spiritual practice system for the co-workers.

Fifth, the lecturers and contents would be supervised by Pastor Qiu Cheng himself. The lecturers are ordained and accredited missionaries, such as priests, elders, and seminarians.

In September 2015, according to the appraisal of the Tongzhou District Housing Safety Appraisal Institute of Nantong City, the bearing capacity of part of the two bungalows east of Jinsha Church could not meet the requirements of normal use.

Therefore, in March 2019, Jinsha Church began to prepare for the construction of the outbuilding. The attached office building of 1808.85 square meters has a total budget of 6.2 million yuan.

The construction officially started on August 10, and by the end of 2021, the main body of the outbuilding was completed.

At present, the church has more than 700 registered believers and more than 60 staff workers.

- Translated by Nicolas Cao

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