Century-Old Xiazhai Church in Pinghe, Fujian

Xiazhai Church in Pinghe, Fujian
Xiazhai Church in Pinghe, Fujian (photo: Xiazhai Church)
By Lin MuliMarch 22nd, 2022

Xiazhai Town is located in the west of Pinghe County, Zhangzhou, Fujian Province. In the early part of the last century, in order to introduce the gospel to Xiazhai villages and other places, Ye Hanzhang, one of the first Chinese pastors in China, was appointed by the church in 1883 to leave the Zhushu Church, return to his hometown Pinghe, and serve in the Xiaoxi Church with Lin Wenqu, a pastor from Tong’an. After arriving at Xiaoxi Town, Ye, at an old age, trudged over mountains upon mountains on foot to do his work for the Lord. In 1902, Ye helped to set up the Xiazhai Church.

Xiazhai Church was originally located in Qunying Village, which was diagonally opposite the Pinghe No.3 Middle School. After the Cultural Revolution, the church stopped gatherings. In 1972, a flood occurred in Pinghe, and the site of the church collapsed. The land later was transferred to someone else to build houses. With the grace of the Lord, church services resumed in 1991. The Xiazhai Meeting Point was established in the home of a believer named Zhou Huixin. Then, with the joint efforts of elders and local Christians, two firewood houses next to the old stage in Qunying Village were returned to the church, then a church building with a civil structure was built in 1996, covering about 80 square meters (0.02 acres). From 2010 to 2013, Huang Hezhong and Huang Binghuang, who served in the Xiamen New District Gospel Church, insisted on going to the Xiazhai Church every Saturday to help set up choirs, prayer meetings, Bible study meetings and visiting groups, so that the church work could be carried out in an orderly manner. However, the church became a dilapidated building due to low foundations, poor drainage, and decay in the walls and beams.

In 2012, a 330-square-meter (0.082-acre) piece of land on Futan Road was granted by the local government for the construction of the new church, with a total price of 230,000 yuan. In 2013, the construction of the new church with an area of more than 1,000 square meters (0.247 acres) began. Pastors, church members have provided great support. Churches in Quanzhou, Fuzhou, Jinjiang, Xiamen, and Zhangzhou have also contributed to the church construction.

In August 2019, after a general election of the church council, the senior pastors together with other pastors led the new team to focus on indoor and outdoor decoration. (The exterior wall and the third, fourth and fifth floors have been renovated, with the first and second unrenovated)

Reference: Pinghe Christianity Gazetteer (2020 Edition)

- Translated by Stephen Huang

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