Wenxi County Church in Yuncheng Dedicated

Wenxi County Church in Yuncheng, Shanxi
Wenxi County Church in Yuncheng, Shanxi
By Zhang XiaohuaMay 24th, 2024

The church of Wenxi County, Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province, held a dedication worship and ceremony.

On May 22, about 300 people in charge of local churches in the province attended the ceremony.

The interior of this church are divided into three floors. The first floor comprises a garage, a restaurant, and a guard room. The second floor houses the auxiliary hall and multi-function office, while the church is located on the third floor. 

Pastor Wang Qingsuo of the church in Taiyuan shared the theme of "The Reasons for the Prosperity of the Church in Antioch" with verses from 11:19-30 of the Acts. Pastor Wang urged everyone to be united and follow the example of the church of Antioch to build a church of grace that pleases God and man.

After that, a ceremony was held to dedicate the church, and Elder Guan Xin'ai, head of churches in Wenxi County, introduced the process of building the church. Since 1980, religious policies of freedom have been implemented throughout China, and churches have gradually resumed worship. However, the original church in Wenxi County no longer exists. In 1983, the older generation of church leaders got the allocated land of 0.32 acres and mobilized the believers in Wenxi County to make their own bricks and tiles using abandoned brick kilns to build more than 20 brick-and-tile houses as a church, dormitories, and canteens. 

However, disagreements arose during construction, and the church was not completely built. It was not until 2003 that the unfinished building was finally completed. Because these houses were made of bricks and tiles and they leaked rain, more than 20 houses were repaired by the believers. In 2009, due to the increase in believers, there was not enough space for activities, so a house with steel tiles was built on the bungalow in the south. In 2018, the church was classified as a dangerous building during a safety check. In July 2019, the church invited design experts from Ningbo to design the church drawings. 

The new church covers a total area of 1552.68 square meters, with a total construction area of 2004.53 square meters. It can accommodate more than 600 people. The foundation stone was laid on May 1, 2020, and the renovation began in 2021. It was put into use in April 2024. The total construction cost is 8.7 million yuan, and more than 1.7 million yuan are still owed for the project funds and borrowings from the congregation and other churches.

In 1878, Timothy Richard distributed relief supplies in Wenxi County. In 1900, six missionaries, including William Graham Peat, his wife, and two children from the missionary station in Xixian County, the China Inland Mission, were martyred here. In 1908, Arthur Langhorne of the China Inland Mission was sent to visit Wenxi County and used the Boxer Indemnity to buy houses and set up two churches, a school clinic, and two mission areas. Wenxi County now has six pastoral areas, including 20 churches and about 2,000 believers. 

(The author is a staff writer of the Gospel Times.)

-Translated by Nicolas Cao

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