Impression of Litang Church in Guangxi

The outer view of the Litang Church of Binyang County in Nanning City, Guangxi Province
1/2The outer view of the Litang Church of Binyang County in Nanning City, Guangxi Province
A picture of the main hall in the Litang Church of Binyang County in Nanning City, Guangxi Province
2/2A picture of the main hall in the Litang Church of Binyang County in Nanning City, Guangxi Province
By ZhongyiSeptember 25th, 2023

After finishing the video for Pastor Paul Liang, a centenarian preacher in Guangxi, I came from Nanning to Binyang County to visit Litang Church.

According to historical records, the gospel was introduced to Binyang County in 1917, which was 106 years ago.

According to the history of Litang Church, in 1996, Pastor Shi Yujian (female, Zhuang nationality) spread the gospel to his hometown of Litang. She began her first service in her living room with just five listeners. By 1999, the original meeting space was too small for the meeting group, and after buying a house land of 160 square meters, it took more than four years to build a church of four and a half stories, and the dedication ceremony was held on December 21, 2003. 

As of 2023, the Litang Church has more than 400 baptized believers and currently has three full-time workers (including one pastor). There is also a choir group, a service group, a visiting group, an intercession group, and a couple group in the Litang Church. Every week, there are Sunday services, Wednesday prayer meetings, Friday formation classes, Saturday choir growth classes, and witness meetings. The church has seven deacons, and the deacons govern the organization democratically for the church.

The current head of the church is Pastor Li Yong, who graduated from the Zhongnan Theological Seminary in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in 2003. He went to study at the Alliance Bible Seminary in Hong Kong in 2007 and graduated with a Master's Degree in Divinity in June 2010.

The first head of the Litang Church is Pastor Shi Yujian, a graduate of the Alliance Bible Seminary. She was the vice chairman of the Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Christian Movement in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and became the founder of the Litang church in Binyang County and Shanglin County. She retired from work and rested in the bosom of the Lord in February 2016. Her real name was Shi Yuhua, and she decided to dedicate her life to the Lord because of an amazing experience.

As early as the 1920s, the Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries had spread the gospel to many places in Guangxi. When she was only eight years old, Shi Yujian had the opportunity to listen to the sermons in the church with his grandmother every week. Five years later, Shi was baptized into Christ at Xiangxian Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

When Shi Yujian was about eleven years old, her mother suffered from a strange illness. Due to her long illness and inability to eat, she became emaciated.

Once, Shi Yujian served rice soup to his mother and said to her, "Mom, have some rice soup!" Her mother replied, "Why don't you ask the one inside? Did you ask him if he wanted to have something?" Shi is still shocked and says, "This is a miracle! Although I was only about eleven years old at the time, I didn't quite know what kind of miracle it was. But I knew there was a God who had saved my mother's life, and I’m going to seek opportunities to serve him."

God accepted this tiny voice, and from then on, Shi embarked on the road of evangelism, development, and dedication throughout her life.

In 1999, when they built the new church, they did not seek to expect something fancy but built it according to the funds they had. Building one story a year, they gradually built a church of four and a half stories. Due to the slow construction, machinery and equipment could not be withdrawn. Thus, the profit of the construction company was minimal. However, when the church was completed, the construction company began to receive several government projects.

During the 20 years since the church was built, Litang Church has experienced three years of COVID-19, and the number and offerings of believers have even increased.

Unlike other churches where the elderly are the majority, Litang Church's followers are mainly young and middle-aged, and they are highly educated, with nearly half of the believers being Zhuang people.

They have a team of church deacons composed of Han and Zhuang ethnic groups. Pastor Li Yong said, “When they meet to discuss some issues and decide on some matters, the meeting usually does not exceed 10 minutes.” He exclaimed that the communion of saints was true and that the Holy Spirit really moves everyone.

Litang Church often carries out training and family pastoral care for believers. Christian families are also elected every year, provided that both husband and wife are believers and that their adult children are believers and participate in church activities. The Church also participates in social charity activities, such as the annual Chong Yang Festival for the Elderly, sending gifts to elderly believers and those who do not believe in Christ.

(The author is a staff writer from the Gospel Times reporting from Nanning, Guangxi.)

- Translated by Nicolas Cao

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